Skip to main content
main-content

Über dieses Buch

How did the Commodore 64 conquer the hearts of millions and become a platform people still actively develop for even today? What made it so special?

This book will appeal to both those who like tinkering with old technology as a hobby and nostalgic readers who simply want to enjoy a trip down memory lane. It discusses in a concise but rigorous format the different areas of home gaming and personal computing where the C64 managed to innovate and push forward existing boundaries.

Starting from Jack Tramiel's vision of designing computers "for the masses, not the classes," the book introduces the 6510, VIC-II and SID chips that made the C64 unique. It briefly discusses its Basic programming language and then proceeds to illustrate not only many of the games that are still so fondly remembered but also the first generation of game engines that made game development more approachable − among other topics that are often neglected but are necessary to provide a comprehensive overview of how far reaching theC64 influence was.

Written in a straightforward and accessible style, readers will relive the dawn of modern technology and gain a better understanding of the legacy that was built, bit by bit, in those pioneering days by computers that had only a tiny fraction of the power modern machines have and, yet, were used to create the technological world we are now living in.

With a foreword by Michael Tomczyk

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Computers for the Masses, not the Classes

Abstract
This chapter discusses the origins of Commodore under the helm of Jack Tramiel and the events that followed MOS acquisition, from the release of the PET to the idea of providing “computers for the masses, not the classes” which led to the VIC-20 and, ultimately, the C64.
Roberto Dillon

Chapter 2. The Commodore 64 and Its Architecture

Abstract
Here the unveiling of the C64 is discussed together with its original architecture, introducing the main components that made it unique: the 6510 CPU, the VIC-II and SID chips.
Roberto Dillon

Chapter 3. Ready

Abstract
This chapter introduced the reader to the joys and sorrows of the C64 original OS and its BASIC programming language, including a foundational knowledge of sprites and sound programming via the VIC-II and SID chips respectively.
Roberto Dillon

Chapter 4. Games, Games and More Games!

Abstract
Critical analysis, by genre, of more than 100 games on the C64 that defined 8 bit gaming. The following genres are covered (in alphabetical order): Action Adventures, Adventures, Arcade conversions, Driving games, Edutainment, Movie Tie-ins, Platformers, Puzzles, Role Playing Games, Shoot ‘em ups, Sports, Strategy, Virtual life, 3D Games.
Roberto Dillon

Chapter 5. Rise of the Game Engines

Abstract
Almost all games developed today are not built from scratch but by using powerful middleware tools, commonly named “game engines”. These provide programmers, artists and designers with a set of commonly used features and systems already implemented and ready to be reused to craft an original concept, considerably speeding up the development process. On the other hand, back in the 1980s, most games were developed in assembly language starting from zero and, while the various computer architectures were much easier to understand and master than modern counterparts, this barrier still made game development hard, especially for non technical people. Nonetheless, being creative and able to express ideas by writing their own programs and games, was always one of the main reasons or, sometimes, main excuses, used by kids to ask parents for investing in one of those new 8-bit technological marvels. This hunger for creativity didn’t pass unnoticed and it wasn’t too long before some of the leading developers in the newborn computer game industry decided to release the first tools offering users a shortcut for simplifying game development.
Roberto Dillon

Chapter 6. Windows and Icons

Abstract
Commodore had very ambitious plans for the C64 from the very beginning, with Jack Tramiel trying to position it in the market as the definitive “Apple II killer”. Naturally, to manage this goal, they needed more than games to push the computer’s appeal beyond the entertainment field and compete with a machine that had exceptional apps like VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet program to run on home computers, besides a more robust OS.
Roberto Dillon

Chapter 7. BBS: The Internet Can Wait

Abstract
It may be odd today to think of a world with computers but without the Internet and it may even be more surprising to realize that, even when the Internet as we know it was not available, people still managed to use computers to connect together, socialize and exchange files online.
Roberto Dillon

Chapter 8. Verba Volant, Scripta Manent

Abstract
The computer revolution gave birth also to another related industry: its specialized press. Starting from Byte , whose first issue was published in September 1975, more and more magazines appeared in the following years discussing a broad range of topics, with games being among the most popular and extensively covered on both home computers and gaming consoles.
Roberto Dillon

Chapter 9. Today and Tomorrow

Abstract
To someone new to the Commodore 64, realising how active its scene has been throughout these years may, perhaps, be even more surprising than discovering its original legacy.
Roberto Dillon

Backmatter

Weitere Informationen

Premium Partner

    Bildnachweise