Thursday, October 20, 2016

10 Line BASIC game programming contest

So I entered this contest earlier this year.  The challenge was to create the best game with just 10 lines of BASIC code for any old 8-bit computer.

How hard can that be?  BASIC is like a second language to me.  Well I had no idea how how hard it would be to get some simple functionality and how much time I would ultimately spend on this!

My entry is called "10 RUN 10:AN ENDLESS RUNNER".  (Get it?  10 RUN 10 would be an endless BASIC loop.)  It is inspired by the simple endless runner game that the Chrome browser plays when you have no Internet connection.

My entry... 


You run so fast, people say you flash. But on this green field, you have to be careful to jump over the rock boulders and duck under the deadly black birds. How many strides can you score while staying alive? 

  • c64, VIC 20 and PET versions
  • Space bar to start
  • Joystick up to jump, down to duck (port 2 on c64, 1 and 0 on PET keyboard)
  • Two jump lengths
  • Two "waves" of obstacles (second wave starts at score of 255)
  • Four different death scenes
  • High score
  • Mega jump straight from ducking to jump (useful in the second wave where the objects can be very close together) 

commodore 64 version

VIC 20 version

PET 2001-8N Version

Space to start, Cursor Up / Down for Jump / Duck

I first wrote this for the commodore 64.  Then I 'ported' it to its predecessor, the commodore VIC-20.  It was so much better on the VIC-20!  I was using the PETSCII graphic symbols so they looked much larger on the VIC-20's 22 character wide screen. It also ran faster, probably due to the less characters it needed to repaint each cycle.  I actually had to add a delay!  This is a 1MHz 8-bit processor running an interpreted language!  (I also created a PET 2001 version for kicks but it's quite slow)

Here's an image of the VIC 20 program listing.  I entered the
PUR-80 part of the contest, so each line could only be a maximum of 80 characters.  However, you are allowed to use shortcuts for the keywords to get more to fit.  Honest, these all fit when the commands are shortcuts!

Program listing
Full size view of program listing

Contest Results??

I got 5th place!!  I was very happy with that.

We'll see if I do this again next year...

Downloads / Online discussion links

Here's the files in a .d64 format if anyone wants to try any these on their equipment / emulators.

If your loading from tape on the VIC 20, use this file (and leave the play button pressed down after the load)

(For those true commodore geeks)
Obligatory CSDB entry...

Lemon discussions start at...

Saturday, September 12, 2015

cOS has been released for the commodore 64!

This project started as a simple experiment to see if I could create a "modern" looking graphical user interface for the commodore 64.

Once I got the basic user interface working, I decided to add an optional touch screen. It pretty much works! Of course cOS can still be operated by a standard joystick or the cursor keys.

I then decided to create a Test / Demo 5.25" disk that would have a similar feel as a basic tablet. I ended up adding pictures, songs, games, and some typical iPad style apps. These disks only hold 170k of data! So, I used a 80's disk notcher to make a "flippy" 2-sided disk. I then had a whopping 340k of space to fill up.

The iPad style apps are mostly gags for fun.  Yes, there are real internet programs for the commodore 64 (IRC clients, twitter client, contiki web browser, etc.) but they are typically large and require specific hardware.  Who could resist Microsoft's insistence that I include IE 6 (running on Windows 9)!  There's also a cBooks app that links to all the books you'll need.  Of course these devices need a sassy assistant.  I pulled together some 80's technology to create SAM-Siri.

If you have a real commodore 64 or want to try it out in an emulator, here are links to the disk images for sides A and B of the Test/Demo disk.

Disk Links:
cOS Test/Demo Side A
cOS Test/Demo Side B