Michael Archer released sources for six Commodore 64 games.
After 30 or more years we can see original source of Altered Beast,Rampage,Alien3,Atomic Robokid,Nemesis the Warlock and Slaine all (c)Michael J Archer.
Gallery of Games released by Michael Archer
Some of these games were created on PC with “Programmers Development System” often reffered as “PDS development System” that we did investigate it in separate post here:Programmers Development System (PDS) by Andy Glaister
Development was also on BBC Micro.
For retro scene and preservation Michael Archer commented each game.
Alien3 entire source code is for the 8-bit C64 computer, written in 6502 Assembly Language. The development was done on a PC via a PDS Development system, so it is not easily convertible to another target format. There are several utilities used in the development, missing is the sprite editors and level designer tools. As these were on the actual C64 itself.
Altered Beast source code was developed in an older version of PDS development System and this puts a binary data header at the beginning. So the files are not broken, it’s just how the system stored the information. Code started on 25th July 1989 last edit on 11th September 1989. Prime example of pressured development time to produce a title.
Michael J Archer comment on Rampage source code for C64 Computer :”Don’t remember much about this except was helped by an old friend David Wainwright, and also David Jolliff. Rampage had large sprites, and few people at the time really could work out how it is done. Started on 21st May 1987 most of it completed in house sleeping on a floor for a few weeks!
As this 30years old, looking at it myself I don’t remember much as the code. But for sake of preservation with the current retro scene on the C64 I hope maybe someone finds something useful.”
Note:According to Rob Craig author of US version of Rampage,this is related to European version of Rampage.
Source code to the C64 Conversion of Atomic Robokid. “This was a multi-loader with lots of levels. I dumped all my backup folders here, I think first time to use a sprite multiplexer. From looking at source it handled up to 22 sprites. (badly sometimes!, but it works). I made it quite dynamic how the sprites were handled. Totally forgotten this code as to how it hangs together.
Source used cross development called PDS on a PC to build, so it’s not complete how you would go about making it assemble now, with complex multi-loader part There is nice source code for a tape and disk loader as separate files maybe some use to somebody. Looks like used something called kdos.”
C64 Source Code to Nemesis the Warlock (c)Michael J Archer
“One of the first examples of sprite duplication to have tall sprites using same sprite number. Using the overlapping technique. A shout out to an old friend Simon Nickol, and also Stavros Fasoulas who I believe was one of the first people to discover this technique, I’m not 100% sure from memory if this was correct.
Development Started on 29th December 1986 The Source code was cross compiled via a BBC Micro computer with a parallel data link between the BBC user port and C64 port. The C64 had a modified ROM which I hotlinked my communication code which copied itself to zero page, to allow entire memory to download to. This long since gone, but I have the Cable still, and the download side on the BBC was written into a custom BBC SWR (Side Ways Rom)”
Slaine C64 Source Code (c)Michael J Archer
“Source code unusual one as this game used the bitmap screen on C64, a twist on the traditional text adventures where the elements and thoughts of slaine where presented on the screen. Code used macro’s a lot of generate the scrolling of the text. Assembler was using ADE on the BBC Micro, and sent to the C64 via a parallel link cable. Started on 21/05/1987 no idea when finished, the mind is a blank here.
As big shout out to Jas Austin as he was one of the designers here. I’m sure most of the logic was his. As I can’t work out what I did looking back over it 30 years later.”
And if you want some more information about PDS you can get them in our post here: Programmers Development System