February, the 23th, 2014

Pulse – a game for the unexpanded Commodore VIC-20.

Those were the days when each bit and byte available meant something. The VIC-20 came out in 1981 to make those bits and bytes affordable for millions. It was my first computer. That should totally explain that retro programming binge that just happened at my place.

The unexpanded VIC leaves about 3.5K RAM for your program, runs at about 1MHz and unnerves your mind with Lego–sized pixels of 8 badly chosen colors (no gray!) plus multibeeping. If you are looking for aesthecially pleasing gaming action, the Commodore VIC-20 is absolutely not for you.

I tried to get the last bit out of the box myself and here is the result: Pulse, a shoot–'em–up with 16 software sprites and smooth horizontal scrolling. Technically impressive but not much fun to play, yet. But hey, it's my first 6502 program…

You got to run it to see what really happens.

Download the binary for your favourite VIC-20 emulator (probably VICE) here.

That's not the last word. This is as far as one could get with the development tools available. I'm already at it…