Guides to jumpstart your Retrogaming lifestyle
Xelyx
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Guides for learning to program computers.

by Xelyx Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:26 pm

I'm suddenly interested in learning how to program games on some of the older computers. I'm thinking about C64 and Apple II, specifically. I'm wondering if anyone would know of any guides to help me get started that are either free, or very cheap. Any help is appreciated.
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Anapan
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Re: Guides for learning to program computers.

by Anapan Sat Mar 05, 2011 3:00 am

What I found helped me a lot (even tho I'm still not very good) was finding well commented source code to see what the pros were doing. I started by typing out source code from BASIC programming books and modifying the code after typing it out verbatim. The best way is learning a language from a "Hello World" program and working up from there, but starting with an already finished game along with a programing syntax guide is like having a rocket pack. You just follow the code looking each command up in the guide like having a dictionary on-hand. As far as resources go, I can't help really. Depends on the system, but generally programmers don't like giving out their source code. Maybe start with C64 demoscene archives to see how the limited hardware was stretched to it's limits.
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gtmtnbiker
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Re: Guides for learning to program computers.

by gtmtnbiker Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:03 am

I suggest starting on the PC or Mac first. Get a programming for Dummies book and start there. Once you become pretty proficient there, then you can think about a retro console or computer.
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CRTGAMER
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Re: Guides for learning to program computers.

by CRTGAMER Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:42 pm

For learning Basic Language, the Commodore 64 is a great computer. The end result may not be that great though. I used to type in Compute Gazette magazine program listings, a real chore with mixed results. Some games were pretty good though, especially the ones that had data file machine language routines.

Eliza or Super Star Trek are two great Basic programs, Soundblaster made a version called Dr Sabatio.

For the PC, there is a simpler way:
http://www.racketboy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=318674#p318674
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CRT vs LCD - Hardware Mods - HDAdvance - Custom Controllers - Game Storage - Wii Gamecube and other Guides:
CRTGAMER Guides in Board Guides Index: http://www.racketboy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1109425#p1109425

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Xelyx
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Re: Guides for learning to program computers.

by Xelyx Sat Mar 05, 2011 3:37 pm

Thanks for the great responses. This should really help me get started.
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CRTGAMER
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Re: Guides for learning to program computers.

by CRTGAMER Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:12 am

There are also Game Maker programs such as Klik n Play. Give my Space Tanks game a shot if you like, it'll give you an idea:

Free download, works in Windows XP:
http://www.racketboy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=278767#p278767
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CRT vs LCD - Hardware Mods - HDAdvance - Custom Controllers - Game Storage - Wii Gamecube and other Guides:
CRTGAMER Guides in Board Guides Index: http://www.racketboy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1109425#p1109425

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