News + Updates
KICKASS - SEUCK FRAMEWORK
you ever wanted to create and generate a new front end with high score,
etc. for your own C64 SEUCK game creation? Don't have the right tools?
Well, don't panic because this tutorial gives you information on how to
create a front end for your SEUCK game creation in simple steps, with
the SEUCK Framework for Kick Assembler. The code, is self explained,
but hopefully you should get somewhere. I'm here to guide you. If you
have created games with the Shoot 'Em Up Construction Kit or Sideways
scrolling SEUCK then this PC/C64 based framework is very handy for you.
First of all.
You will need the following tools:
VICE, ULTIMATE 64 or a real C64 with Action/Retro Replay cartridge plugin.
D64 PRG importing/Extractions
- Dir Master by Style- For directory design, importing / exporting.
- D64 Editor by AlmightyC64
- by Camelot - For compiling and building your framework. You may
use other assemblers, but be aware that their pseudocode and commands
are slightly different. Kick Assembler also consists of a document
folder to help you learn how to compile and build your stuff with it.
It also prevents you from overwriting data by spitting out errors.
- PuCrunch - by Albert/Pu-239 For very fast compression
- Exomizer V3.02 by Zagon/Exon - For better compression and faster decompression
Use a native C64 packer+cruncher if you like to do things the oldschool way :) - CSDB is your friend (or enemy) :D
Front End Graphics/Design
-Charpad V2.0 or higher by Subchrist Software - For creating and designing your very own front end and end screen for your game creation
- Goat Tracker
- for composing your own music, jingles etc via a PC. If you make a
tune, why not add it to your front end. GoatTracker consists of a built
in relocator, which can allow you to place your PRG to desired memory
- CheeseCutter by Triad - for composing your own music. Contains a commandline based music packer/relocator
- Any native C64 music editor, such as JCH, DMC,etc with valid relocator - CSDB might help you there.
- Any valid text editing application. I.E., Notepad, Notepad+, Relaunch64 (The best choice for me), Crimson, etc.
that you have these tools installed. It is time to download and install
the project binary data and source code files. The files are as follows:
- Squibblies_3_Raw.d64 - A frozen snapshot crunched version of the RAW SEUCK finished game.
- squibblies3frontend.ctm - Charpad V2.0 project for the designed front end
- squibblies3endscreen.ctm - Charpad V2.0 project for the designed ending (Using the same font)
- C64 folder (Where the C64 binary/PRG files are placed - all revealed inside the code )
we start using the source code. You'll want to extract the entire
framework project as a separate folder inside the kickassembler folder.
This is usually the best way to keep projects organized, so that they
don't get mixed up with the actual application directories.
The way I have it organized is like this:
Stage 1: Loading the game, and testing
now we shall work on using SQUIBBLIES 3 as the candidate to add
enhancements to the game. First of all, run VICE, or your C64,
ULTIMATE, etc. Instert the D64 image and load it up with the usual
LOAD"*",8 and then type in run. The program will decrunch and unfreeze.
After loading has finished, you should get a freeze state unfreezing
Squibblies 3. You don't have to freeze + crunch your RAW game. You can
still load the game using the LOAD "GAME",8,1 and wait a few minutes
for the game to run. I prefer the crunching method - since it takes a
lot less to load in and run.
Here's how the title + game appears: Looks nice, doesn't it?
although we could spend minutes or hours playing this game, just for
the hell of it. We should do something really useful to it. Since you
have the Action Replay/Retro Replay plugin installed. Press the FREEZE
button (Or in Vice, ALT+Z), then, select the Machine Code Monitor
option (Unless you have it set already.
Stage 2: Splitting the Game
the game has been loaded, and you have pushed the FREEZE button on your
Action/Retro replay and selected (M) to enter the Machine Code Monitor
(Or the monitor already kicks in to your screen). We have to extract
the game data from the current freeze, for importing into the
kickassembler source. To do this. We need to use the 'S' command. This
is to save data from one area to another area.
The SEUCK game
data that gets used is from $0900-$6580, and from $B6C0-$FFFA. The rest
of the memory $6580-$B6C0 carries the editor code, which we seriously
don't need to keep and can use for our own data and additional code.
The Kickassembler SEUCK framework needs the game to be split into
two different files.
Make a new D64, or if you have enough
room on disk (Say about 200 blocks or more) you can use the same D64.
We are going to split the game in two using the following command:
you're using your own game for this method, you can simply use the same
method, but use a filename for your own game. If you are using VICE,
remember to DETACH D64 image after you have finished saving your game
(After 5 seconds when the red/green light icon has gone out).
Stage 3: Exporting the split data to the framework
this stage, you will need DIR MASTER or D64 EDITOR. In order to do
this, you will need to load in the D64, which you last saved on, into
either of the two D64 editors. Then select the two files and EXPORT
them to the C64 folder as two PRG files. - Note also: The same method
can also be done with music, if you composed music in DMC, relocated to
$9000, $A000, just take your pick of memory area and then set up the
tune values to allow play.
Stage 4: Frontend, Ending + Graphics
Charpad, you can design your own front end charset+graphics. Set the
following options to your project. Tile Mode: Disabled, Map width = 40,
Height = 25. Colours - by character. I have added the example character
set and front end screen from squibbliesfrontend.ctm to give you an
example the order of the character set. Where there's space, other
characters can be used for additional characters. Here's my example for
the front end.
you look at the character set above. It should start in order or
letters, before some symbols. The Up arrow and Back Arrow symbols have
been changed as a tick and cross for the front end. The up and back
arrow chars are tick and cross, for the RUB/END feature in the high
score name entry. Also the # and the $ keys are the music + sfx icons.
You may have designed and created the graphics project, but what about
putting it into your game project?
Simply go to the menu and select the following:
File / Import/Export / Export Charset - folder: C64\examplecharset.bin
File / Import/Export / Export Char Atrributes - folder: C64\exampleattributes.bin
File / Import/Export / Export Map - folder: C64\exampletitlescreen.bin
The same method can be done for the end screen, but you don't need to export the charset again into the code.
I hope this information helps.
Stage 5: The Source Code
is where the real fun starts. The source code may be downloadable, but
for those of you who want to see it live on this page - The code is
self-explainable. Let's show you the source files (Simply CLICK on the
filename to view the source + explanation).
First of all the source files should be as follows:
- The main source file that should be compiled through KickAssembler.
This links other source code, and binary data together to form a
complete project after compiling through the KickAssembler
- This piece of source, installs the new features into the existing
code of the SEUCK game. It POKEs new commands allowing the old front
end to be bypassed, and also allows installing new in game
enhancements, such as adding music, new colour checks, enemy detection,
smart bomb effects, and other cool features.
- This is the main code that generates the brand new front end, with
page flip, displaying the HIGH SCORE table. The code also has a GET
READY and GAME OVER sequence, and end screen, for every time the game
is complete, a new end screen takes place.
- Contains the main in game enhancements, linked to the SEUCK code.
This sets up the background animation, smart bomb effect on bosses,
colour change, object detection, etc.
hiscore.asm - The main code for detecting and generating the high score. Name, entry, etc.
Assembling and compiling the source
Enter the command prompt:
You can simply call the assembler to assemble the framework, by using the command:
java -jar "validpath\kicakassembler\kickass.jar" framework.asm
for example my path is:
java -jar "c:\kickassembler\kickass.jar" framework.asm
no errors - brilliant you compiled it correctly, and there are no
errors in the code. Otherwise try and investigate the problems. Could
there be an error in your code. Are your path locations incorrect?
If successful, compress the project with one of your chosen crunchers - for example Exomizer
path\exomizer\win32\exomizer.exe sfx $0800 framework.prg -o mygame.prg
If successful compressing, the .PRG runs in VICE, this should be the final result:
New front end:
Hi score table, implemented inside the front end
Get Ready screen
An added bonus ...
also a special SEUCK Redux version of Squibblies 3 now available to
download from the TND Games page. It features improved gameplay, aiming
enemies, the same type of front end+hi score table and much more. Please note that SEUCK Redux only works on PAL MACHINES.