This time I’m writing about a C64 game and how I got involved with it, rewinding to early 2015.
For my part things got in motion when my Out Run Memories picture got some positive attention at the time of its release. Thanks to that I got in contact with Antonio Savona, who kindly asked me if I could make a loading picture for his game P0 Snake. Antonio had already created the game for the RGCD C64 16KB Cartridge Game Development Competition 2014, and the game ended up winning the competition by a fair margin!
And it’s no surprise. It’s a clever snake game with a twist, with varied levels and gameplay, and an ingenious one-button game mechanics! On top of the solid game design there are some surprising features for a 16k game like a password system and digitized speech samples! I mean, the game fits into 16 kilobytes. And when that game greets you with a speech sample saying “Welcome to P zero Snake” and introduces more samples during the gameplay, it does raise an eyebrow! There’s an interesting article at the game’s development blog about the challenges with the audio and how it was pulled off.
Just take a look. Note the clever references to various classic games:
Thanks to the 16k game’s success and popularity, it was going to have an extended RGCD C64 cartridge release. And for this extended version I got to make the intro screen! Read the rest of this entry »
At X’2014 C64 Party I took part in graphics competition with a piece called Out Run Memories, part of which you can see above.
Some time later an extended version was released as a one-file demo called Out Run Memories Upshift!
Crafting the picture together was quite a lot of work – it all came back to me now that I started to clean up my old work files. While going through the numerous files I had laying around, I thought it might be fun to put together an animation of the work steps I went through.
Like I told in my previous post I wanted to enter one of the graphics competitions in this year’s Alternative Party. I wanted to make my picture using C64 graphics formats, but I wasn’t planning to pixel the picture in native formats in the first place. Instead, I was planning to draw the picture using modern tools and then convert it! Shocking!
I already had a concept in my mind that I wanted to try out: to combine and use different screen modes for different parts of the picture. Of course it wasn’t possible to actually use different screen modes with the picture, especially with my non-existing programming skills. So the road I had to take was to draw the picture elements separately which I then converted to different graphics modes. The parts would have to be combined, and then finally, converted into final picture.
I’m talking about Alternative Party 2011 – Red Machine, held at the end of October in Helsinki. This year’s theme was, well, anything soviet. This was also the last Altparty for the time being – at least in its current form. The end of an era was somehow present in the overall atmosphere in my opinion. Even though this year was not special in any way, I think it’s a great shame that this tradition of the untraditional event will end.
The theme was taken into account by the organizers rather nicely. Before getting to the event area, or before receiving the ticket, you had to queue. Several times in different lines. Asking for stamps and presenting documents which were rejected in the previous queue. A fun but slightly annoying number I say!
Queuing is important! (Video in Finnish)
When finally entering the area, you were presented with world’s largest collection as an exhibition. A collection consisting of items from former Soviet Union. Read the rest of this entry »
Some time ago a C64 pixel art gallery emerged: C64pixels.com. The gallery is constantly being updated with old and new C64 graphics and already contains pictures to amaze for a good while. And there is even more content available if you register to the site.
The gallery is executed really well with emulation for actual display picture. The pictures have filters applied to them to simulate for example CRT-monitor scanlines, the softness of old monitor or TV and the colour bleeding. Also the interlaced pictures are flickering in the gallery! The result is close to how the pieces actually look on authentic hardware.
Some of the artwork is magnificent just as they are, but to really see the beauty in the pictures one has to understand the limitations that the artist have to work within. The fixed palette of 16 colours and the relatively low resolutions are just the beginning. Here is a short and nice introduction to different C64 graphics modes, their properties and limitations. Here is another, more technical approach to C64 graphic capabilities. Have a look into these documents, and then to the best pieces in the gallery!
After many many years, I got myself doing some pixel artwork again. The motivation was this year’s Alternative Party. As I mentioned in my previous post, I entered the Retro Graphics Competition. I came second, and here is the picture:
(picture scaled, click for 2x original image)
The rules were: 320 x 200 resolution, max. 32 colours. I had made the decision to enter the competiton months before the event. Of course I did not start drawing until the very last minute – just typical from me. This picture was made in two previous evenings before my Alt weekend. Read the rest of this entry »