Refix 2017 (C64)

Well, we’ve finally got through 2016 and my first bit of code for the new year is Refix 2017 on the C64, a developed from scratch, expanded remake of an intro that Cosine used on games and tools during the 1990s. The original version looked like this…

…and here’s a video of the new version with a brilliant cover of the Amiga module Macrocosm handled by Andy Vaisey, the box around the screen being pushed into the upper and lower borders, a high resolution bitmapped logo and some quite frankly bonkers colour splitting on the text…

This was my third and, for this instalment, final release for the CSDb Intro Creation Competition and, although it was initially quite painful to actually get going – the colour effect was a tricky little bugger to get timed up – and needed quite a bit of late in the day optimisation to make the music fit, this really was a blast to code!

There’ll be another post about my second piece of code this year in the extremely near future, mainly because it’s another NYD contribution for the Atari 8-bit and should turn up online a little later today!

Koalatro (C64)

I’ve been almost worryingly quiet for a few months – according to others rather than myself I hasten to add, I worry about me all the time – due to a mixture of illness and… well, more illness really. Normal services will hopefully be resumed once the “festive season” is out of the way and I cheer up a bit! In the meantime, I’ve been working on entries for the Intro Creation Competition at the C64 Scene Database where the primary rule is that the releases must use a single block of 16K at all times. I’ve already put out one called Clonetro on the C64CD label and today has seen the launch of the second, this time from Cosine and sporting some music from aNdy.

Koalatro is a somewhat masochistic exercise in cramming a multicolour bitmap, music, scroller (with unrolled colour splitting code that takes over five hundred bytes on it’s own) and some text into just 15K. Using a Koalapainter format picture in an intro that small whilst executing doesn’t sound too complicated, but the 10,001 bytes of data would normally eat through two thirds of the space before any code or music is included! So, whilst all the data that a Koala picture would normally require is still present, 1,000 nybbles of $D800 colour data have been rather unceremoniously packed into 500 bytes. The double speed music (the player is called twice per frame) was supplied by aNdy who originally created it for a CSDb competition a few years ago, fortunately it was pretty short because the intro needed it to be.

The scroller started out as a reasonably straight copy of one in Contribution by Super Swap Sweden – the sprite colours are split on each scanline rather than the background colour, so it only just has enough time to load two values, write to all eight and keep the side borders open if the entire loop is unrolled and all of the LDAs are absolute! As is now usually the case, I’ve pushed the source code to Github for people to prod around, but it’s not exactly the cleanest thing I’ve ever written!

Gamerz Xtreme Intro (C64)

So no new posts since the last one bemoaning the lack of them; perhaps I need to write something each time there’s a new release, something this perhaps?

There’s a new Cosine release just appeared online, which was written as an intro for channel Gamerz Xtreme; channel owner Adam – who used to go by the handle Psycho Stick – basically wanted an oldschool crack intro style affair, so naturally I went for raster bars, sprite movements, a three colour logo swinging back and forth and cosine curves pretty much everywhere!

There isn’t a Github repository this time – since it was written for someone else it didn’t feel appropriate and the “plan” was never to release everything that way – but the source code comes with a text file that configures many of the on-screen elements such as the raster bars, sprites and logo, allowing their movement and colour to be tweaked; it’s not a perfect solution (I seriously toyed with writing a dedicated, Windows-based editor at one point) but does the job well enough and allows the intro to be changed over time without input from mas as the programmer.

And who doesn’t love a good raster split… or two hundred? The music is by Matt “4-Mat” Simmonds from the old Commodore Zone release Comets Trilogy which was used because, as a remix of Rob Hubbard’s classic Crazy Comets, seemed to fit nicely with the overall style.

In other news Sean Connolly has been beavering away with Ableton Live 9 recently so, along with the loop he did for Macro Clone Cafe, he’s produced a rather lovely new version of his track “A Sporting Chance” (the C64 version appears in Blok Copy) which can be heard in the little thingy above this paragraph or over at Soundcloud.