A little while back I put up a small tutorial on making a 1×1 text scroller. This tutorial builds on that foundation and becomes a dynamic 4×4 scroller. Why dynamic? I use this term since it builds each 4×4 character as needed, based on a character from a 1×1 font set. I achieve this by using a matrix of 16 character “patterns” that make up all possible 4×4 bit combinations. This is handy in situations where you’re pressed for memory in your intro and can achieve a 4×4 version of the 1×1 font for only an extra 128 bytes in font data.
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.
With the site up and running, I figured I’d next look at some sort of development environment to work with. My initial thoughts were to fire up my C64 and program directly on that. After some consideration I decided that this would not be the best approach. Having the C64 hooked up all the time at my desk would take up a lot of space. Plus I’d need to source a TV and find room for that too. Then there is the whole dealing with disks and typing on the C64 keyboard. While it would be the more authentic way to develop on it (and how I used to do it), it would be too counter productive. It’s a shame, I was looking forward to using my Action Replay cart again.