VS Challenge: Write A Game In C64 BASIC – part 1

The very first computer at home was a Commodore 64. As soon as I saw that blue screen with in light blue the word READY I was sold. It was the first computer I played games on and the computer that introduced me to programming.

For this versus challenge Clemens and myself had to write a game on a Commodore 64 in BASIC. The rules were simple:

  • We must use a real Commodore 64, no emulation
  • The game must be stored on a 1541 drive
  • We can only use BASIC (no assembler)
  • No addons like Simons Basic
  • We had one month to complete the game

The first challenge for me was thinking of a fun game to program. While looking for games to play on my Commodore PET I found screenshots of a game called PET miner. I decided I wanted to create a mining game on the C64, loosely based on PET Miner (I never played PET Miner, so it’s based on the screenshots).

From there on the game just wrote itself. I added different layers of rocks. Each deeper layer requires a better pickaxe. You can sell the ores you find while mining to the shop, and with the cash from the shop you can upgrade your tool.

When I finished the base mechanic I decided to also add fall damage (so gravity basically). And oxygen;  stay under ground for too long and the oxygen meter decreases. To fill it back up you have to come back to the surface.

The finished game can be found on my personal homepage.

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