I’ve created a few single file intros now and have been interested in expanding out to something bigger. There are some pretty awesome one file demos around that I’d like to work my way towards, but I’d also like to be able to have the option to load content off disk. From some initial research, I found there were a handful of common loaders around that people used. My first thought was to dive in and learn to use one. Before I do that however, I wanted to take a step back and start from the start to gain a much deeper understanding of how loaders evolved. Many of the demos I grew up with in the late 80’s and early 90’s contained multiple parts that were loaded separately off disk (or tape) and I felt this would be a good starting point.
What’s this? A new release and not a demo party in sight? I wanted to maintain some momentum this year with the goal of entering another demo into the next Syntax scene party. To make that possible, I figure it’s wise to keep active on the C64 and do a few smaller releases over the year. So with that, I present to you a small intro – 3172 – which is heavily influenced by old skool intros and cracktros.
Recently I wanted to use a set of sprites from one of my most loved demos of all time – Camel Park / Camelot. Released about 20 years ago, I watched it a lot over the years and still return to it for some nice classic effects and some great tracks. One of the parts has a nice plasma with a cool font used for the sprite scroller. I wanted to use this font in a few things I’m trying out (saves me having to design up a large font set for a sprite scroller (plus I love the font. How can I use it I wondered.. I decided to look at how to extract the font from the demo and get it into a format I could use.
Amica paint is a C64 tool designed to create bitmap images. I’ve never used it myself, but I know of people that do. One person in particular who has helped me out with some graphics (JSL) uses this a lot. The bitmaps he has sent me have been in this format. To get them into my productions, I have to jump through a few hoops, so I decided to create a script which could export them into a format ready to go into my .asm files. This post will go into those hoops a little bit, along with the script to make my life easier when extracting the bitmap data.
A very important component of any demo is having a kick arse SID chip track backing it. That means, we need to be able to play a track while performing some mastery of the raster bar. It was something I was dreading looking at, but turned out to be a very straight forward thing and only ended up taking about 10 minutes to get working.