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Old 01 November 2009, 03:08   #1
Kitty
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Question To Late To Learn How To Program On The Commodore 64?

I was thinking how awesome it would be if I could program on the Commodore 64 or maybe use WinVice or CCS64 to create a short demo or a basic game, and eventually program a more complex game/demo.
How hard is it to program on the Commodore 64? Please bare in mind I have absolutely no experience at all of programming in any language, but if I wanted to start basic why not the Commodore 64, seems like it would be far easier to learn this language than jumping into C, C++ or something as complicated right?

What I would like to know is;

Do I read Commodore 64 programming books first, then dive in?
Where do you even start programming on the C64 without any programming knowledge!

Any pointers/help on where I should start and what programs/hardware, I would need would be a great help, thanks guys

10 PRINT "EAB ROCKS MY WORLD!"
20 GOTO 10
RUN


Last edited by Kitty; 12 October 2011 at 15:59.
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Old 01 November 2009, 03:57   #2
cosmicfrog
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Its never to late to learn

but why the 64 and not the amiga, C is not that hard to learn and theres all ways amos or blitz for basic

and plenty of asm coders round here if you want to go that route
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Old 01 November 2009, 04:11   #3
Kitty
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I have a soft spot for C64, don't get me wrong I live for Amiga, I just think it would be easier for me to learn on the Commodore 64,
at least to start with, I could always move onto the Amiga in the future
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Old 01 November 2009, 04:35   #4
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there're some very good sources on the net for c64 coding. you can do very efficient cross development on the pc with tools like acme and relaunch64 too.

but if you don't know anything about programming, I'ld suggest you start on the PC with a high level language like C, java or whatever and get the hang of some programming basics (control flow, subroutines, variables, etc). For starters, there's a nice demo coding article at Hugi #31, which will show you how some basic techniques are done on the PC (double buffering, etc) then you can try to do them on the c64.

good luck
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Old 01 November 2009, 07:59   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmicfrog View Post
but why the 64 and not the amiga, C is not that hard to learn and theres all ways amos or blitz for basic
I've also been idly been thinking of teaching myself to program, but using Blitz Basic on the Amiga (AmiBlitz?).

I made a half-hearted effort when Amiga Format gave away Blitz Basic 2 on their coverdisk in the '90s - does anyone know if those tutorials are available anywhere?

Would I be able to transfer knowledge from Amiga Blitz Basic to the modern PC versions?

(Sorry to hijack your thread Kitty!)
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Old 01 November 2009, 10:31   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitty
I was thinking how awesome it would be if I could program on the Commodore 64 or maybe use WinVice or CCS64 to create a short demo or a basic game, and eventually program a more complex game/demo.
Cool.

If you wanna code demos and games then in my opinion there's really only one choice - learn assembler. You'll need to get close to the hardware to get the best performance and you'll definitely need to get close to the hardware if you want to take advantage of the features / bugs present in the C64 VIC hardware that let you do cool effects.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitty
How hard is it to program on the Commodore 64?
Personally I think that learning and coding 6510 assembly on the C64 isn't too hard but getting cool effects out of the machine such as you'd like to do for a demo will require practice as you need to master things like stable rasters / cycle exact code. Having said that, the fun is in getting this stuff to work. \o/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitty
Please bare in mind I have absolutely no experience at all of programming in any language
Neither did I when I started coding Amiga assembly. Neither does anyone until they try - be brave and go for it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitty
What I would like to know is;

Do I read Commodore 64 programming books first, then dive in?
Where do you even start proramming on the C64 without any programming knowledge!

Any pointers/help on where I should start and what programs/hardware, I would need would be a great help, thanks guys

My advice would be to use a text editor on your PC to develop your code and then KickAssembler to assemble it:

http://www.theweb.dk/KickAssembler/Main.php

This assembler is run from the command line and has an option to load and execute your program straight into WinVICE so you can instantly see it running.

For documenation and advice on demo programming in particular, try reading the material here:

http://codebase64.org/doku.php

Good luck with it and make sure you tell us how you're getting on and post all your cool code for us to check!

PS - shouldn't this thread be in the Coder's Heaven section...?
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Old 01 November 2009, 11:17   #7
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No it shouldn't be in Coders' Heaven because it's not Amiga related
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Old 01 November 2009, 11:28   #8
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Fair enough - you da mod and all that.

But... I suppose I meant it's not really related to retrogaming and I've posted C64 stuff to Coder's Heaven before now.

Maybe we should have a new Coder's Heaven - Coding General Discussion section. I'll abide by the judges ruling though of course.
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Old 01 November 2009, 14:38   #9
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The C-64 Programmer's Reference Guide (a.k.a The Bible) is a must of course, available online, and the http://codebase64.org/ is a decent resource too and if you're a bit dedicated this is enough to get you started. The forums at http://pouet.net/ and in particular http://csdb.c64.org/ and #c-64 on IRCNet together hold the bulk of the people making up the C-64 demo scene today I think, and are your best bets for expert help and info on the very intricate details of the hardware.

EDIT: as for the C-64 being difficult to program, some things are very straight forward on it being more simple than the Amiga, but in general going from the C-64 to the Amiga myself I can best describe the C-64 as being very fiddly to program because of its 8-bit CPU and the limited graphics hardware.

Last edited by Leffmann; 01 November 2009 at 14:55.
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Old 01 November 2009, 20:54   #10
Kitty
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Wow I didnt realise there was so much into programming! I think I'm gonna have to do a lot of reading before I even attempt to try any of this.
It all looks very daunting, however I'm sure I can pick this up with some hard concentration, thanks for all the links guys
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Old 01 November 2009, 21:11   #11
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Many sceners already use WinVICE for coding, with some awesome assembler tools. And there has been a bit of C64 comeback in the scene recently, so now's the time!
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