Home of Richard's own Commodore 64 creations and friends/contributors' releases


HOW IT ALL STARTED - BACK TO BASIC

In 1990 I first had my Commodore 64, and it was probably one of the best Birthday presents I ever had in my inner youth. It came with a Toolbox compilation, and a few games to have started me off. The tool box compilation included one of the BEST game creating utilities 'The Shoot Em Up Construction Kit' (Known as S.E.U.C.K). I first learned to create my own games, using the S.E.U.C.K editor, and bought blank tapes, saving the games to tape. Also during the 1990's, I visited school friends at their own house, and played on their C64. They even showed me a little bit of BASIC programming. Nothing got released at that time. I also bought Commodore Format magazine and Zzap 64/Commodore Force back then.
In 1994, I bought Public Domain disks, and various utilities, played around with them in the past. I remember the Binary Zone PD utilities tape, that was featured in issue 44 of Commodore Format. Sent off for it, and it came a week later. There was a great selection of tools, to help me draw graphics and make music. It took me some time to implement the stuff in BASIC, including IRQ player routines, etc. and experiment a little with the Action Replay and its M/C monitor..

1995 I started college and did a few computing courses (Which I did for 5 years). It was also was the time I made my first ever release into the C64 world. This was also at the right time for me as well. After reading issue 60 of Commodore Format, I wanted to find a good public domain library where I could purchase disks. I contacted Binary Zone, and was given the sad news about Commodore Format closing its pages for good, and a new fanzine, Commodore Zone popped up. I also found out how the Binary Zone PD SEUCK games that were on the power pack tape had music installed. I was also invited to submit my productions for inclusion on future PD disks. I submitted my first 3 PD games, a week later, which were 'Coloured', a BASIC match 3 in a row, 'Nyaaaah!', a SEUCK game which started its crazy series, and 'Sector II'. The games are pretty bad today, but I enjoyed creating them at the time in 1995. I released more and more SEUCK and BASIC titles, which also got released into the Binary Zone PD library between 1995-2000, some of them also appeared on the Commodore Zone cover mount.



ASSEMBLY PROGRAMMING

1999 was the year I was learning to program the basics in Turbo Assembler. A fanzine hosted a tutorial on creating a first ever game engine. I followed some of the routines, and tried to memorize some of the important parts of the game, since my knowledge and skills were still limited. 2000+ I had regular access to the internet and learned from other people some of the extra tips and tricks in game programming and de-bugging. Balloonacy was born. At first is was programmed on a real C64, and then ended up being finished and compiled on a PC (I was introduced to cross assembly). I still had the hard work to crunch the program with native C64 tools, but use of emulation helped speed things up more.  More and more games were produced and uploaded on to my web site, 'The New Dimension'.

2004-2008, onwards was a huge leap for me in the C64 games scene. I ended up making commercial quality game productions, along with some friendly graphicians and other people. There was a lot of hard work involved, which launched successful game titles. Some games never got finished and only released as previews. One game which was purely much hard work and a huge success was 'SUB HUNTER'. A game, which I worked in co-op with Frank Gasking. With his helpful ideas, the game turned out to be quite unique. I also learned to enhance SEUCK games properly as well, and ended up making some pretty cool games using the SEUCK Redux Framework, and also without the framework. I ended up making some pretty cool SEUCK enhancements on many of Alf Yngve's games, to try and make them stand out more.:)



2007 saw a game I wrote for a scene party. The game was called "Racked Off", in which you were a bear, which had to eat all of the fruit that was stored in 16 different alien gardens. If a giant bug spotted you, it tried to go towards you.



2010 saw the release of Bionik Granny Returns. A funny non-commercial sequel to Mastertronic's terrible game, Bionic Granny. You played a cantankerous old lady, who waits outside 8 different places for the public to pass by. Then score points by whacking them with your brolly. Pick up coins to complete a level. A bonus level was created, in which you could help the old lady cross the road and enter one of the 3 mystery buildings. So he can try and pick up her pension. If she got hit by a car or entered the wrong building. The bonus round is lost, and you go on to the next level.



2011 saw the launch of Sheepoid (Which later on got improved).This game also appeared on the big screen at RetroVision 2011. It was a cute game, written as an ode of Jeff Minter, the guy behind many funny psychedelic games. This game saw the battle where you played two sheep, trapped in a vortex. Your mission was to survive and shoot enough invaders before they approach your two sheep. This game has a sort of 'Laser Zone' kind of twist.



2012 saw the launch of Trance Sector (which later on got improved to Trance Sector Ultimate). It was a puzzle game in which you had to guide a ship around 32 different screens, picking up pods and disposing them. You had to watch out for the heat seeker missiles. If one spotted your ship, it would try and get the player.If it did, the player would explode. This style of the game was very similar to Racked Off.



This year also saw the release of Sheepoid DX, which  I worked on in co-op with Trevor Storey and Woolly Jumper, which I worked in co-op with Shaun Pearson. Sheepoid DX was a sort of a sequel to Sheepoid, and Woolly Jumper was a horizontal scrolling platform game, where a sheep was trapped in the dream. Its task was to get across 16 different planets, picking up a whistle and get picked up by a rocket. The last level was a surprise.



2013 saw the release of Invert. A puzzle game, inspired by Que-Dex and Sensitive. In which you had to go around each level and correct the inverted all of the tiles, without having to get bombs thrown at you. Pressing fire allowed the player to protect itself from the bombs (if shields are carried that is).



2014 saw the launch of my first ever decent horizontal scrolling shoot 'em up. A game, which I did in co-op with Saul Cross, for Commodore Format Archive's Power Pack project. It is X-Force. A game in which you fly across 16 different caves, fighting the aliens, pick up power ups, and meet a mean boss and battle against it.



2015 saw the launch of Trance Sector Ultimate, a deluxe version of the original Trance Sector, featuring a new presentation,  graphics and music remixes. The graphics were done by Saul Cross



IT WASN'T ALL JUST  GAMES

Although my main focus was on producing games, I also did other releases around the C64 scene, by the way of simple demos, intros, music selectors, etc.. The most common thing I did was display a picture or a logo, add a scroll text to the pictures with music, swing logos or text or move sprites around using sinus movement. I joined on-line demo groups. Later on, I tried to adapt things a lot further on, but I got nowhere as near to some of the best demo coders at the end. So I decided to mainly focus on games and music.

It was good fun creating all these productions, and I set to continue my goal to bring more quality productions in the near future. Let's raise our glasses to the future.