Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Thirty Years and Counting…

Posted by Rampant Coyote on August 13, 2012

I hit a major (internal) milestone with Frayed Knights 2 on Friday. So for the weekend, I decided to celebrate by taking a break. By… working on another little “side” game project. Mostly it was an educational experience to get more familiar with NGUI for Unity – and it did enlighten me to a few of the little quirks of the system. And it was curtailed a bit by a bout of what I can only figure was food poisoning.  But it was a lot of fun to just be cutting loose on a weekend project for the heck of it.

And I realized something.

This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of the release of the Commodore 64. While I learned programming (kinda) and did some tiny little projects on the Sinclair ZX80 (my first computer), it was the arrival of the Commodore 64 that really changed my life. I’d come home and… aside from playing games… I’d write them. I “finished” a few, dabbled in many more, and constantly explore the bounds of possibility and the limits of my understanding of the machine.  I had nobody to teach me, so anything I learned I had to learn from books and magazines.

But especially that first year, 1982-1983… I was a game-making maniac. As I said, I finished very little, but I had a lot of fun experimenting.  It was what I did with my spare time. Cutting loose this weekend with something new (although… ahem… not really) recaptured that feeling. The “Have computer, can make anything!” feeling, I guess.

Some things never change, huh? It’s just weird to think that after all this time, all these life-changes, I’m still basically doing the same thing I was doing as a kid. And still loving it.

Filed Under: Game Development - Comments: 7 Comments to Read

  • Adamantyr said,

    Amen, brother. 🙂

  • Xenovore said,

    In my case it was the Atari 800 XL, but I’m with ya there! =)

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    The Atari 800 (no XL) was the machine I *wanted* prior to the release of the C-64. I was annoyed when my dad decided to pre-order the C-64… especially when it was delayed several times.

    In retrospect, I’m really happy he chose as he did. 🙂 It was a really amazing machine.

  • Acrin1 said,

    I remember making menu driven adventures on my C64 using the built in graphic symbols and overlaying those with a few sprites.

    I remember when I sold my C64 in the 90s how many calls I got from people wanting to buy it.

    Lots of great memories and games.

  • Acrin1 said,

    … don’t miss the 1541 drive though 🙂

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    Oh, man, yeah. The 1541 — marginally faster than a tape drive. The sucker was notorious. I don’t know how many cartoons I saw joking about people dying of old age to load a game…

  • Adamantyr said,

    Yeah, I remember the 1541… we didn’t have a Commodore 64 ourselves, but several of our friends did, so they would bring it over and we’d play games together. I remember sitting on the bed BS’ing with them for 5-10 minutes waiting for games to load up.

    One thing the rosy goggles of nostalgia does tend to make us forget, though, is the constant lock-ups and crashes those old computers had. One of my friend’s C64’s locked up after about an hour EVERY time I used it…

    My TI-99/4a was hardly better. Jostling it could cause a lock-up, especially around the connecting ports which were rather delicate. The cartridge area also got hot enough to keep a coffee cup warm on. (Not that I ever tried THAT…)