Old School Gamer Magazine chats with INC $D020:
Guide to C64 Intro Coding author Damian Caynes to find out what inspired the upcoming book and why it’s different from any tutorial you’ll find on the web.

About INC $D020:
Guide to C64 Intro Coding:

A ground breaking full colour DIY book about creating your own Commodore 64 intros and game title screens. This book covers everything you need to know, from raster interrupts to more advanced demo effects. The book is fully illustrated and very easy to follow.

Old School Gamer Magazine: When did the idea for this book begin?

Damian Caynes: In late 2016, when I launched the C64 Code Hacking blog. The concept grew with the corresponding Youtube channel later that month, and then two issues of INC $D020 Coder’s Digest magazine in 2017.

Old School Gamer Magazine: What is the community for Commodore 64 Homebrew like?

Caynes: Good and bad, like any closed retro community. The good is that there’s lots of information and tools on the web for C64 development, the bad is that there are some bad eggs that will simply put you down for trying to make a buck from your passion.

Old School Gamer Magazine: How easy is it to just jump in?

Caynes: Pretty easy, there’s an abundance of tutorials, code snippets and cross dev tools these days available on the internet, and the INC $D020: Guide to C64 Intro coding will take you from the basics of 6510 ASM, to raster interrupts, scrolly routines, overviews of cross dev tools, as well as more intermediate and advanced topics. You’ll be eased into coding intros and game title screens so slowly you won’t even realise when you’ve become an expert.

Old School Gamer Magazine: What is covered in the book?

Caynes: You’ll learn the tricks of the trade as you create various types of scrolly messages, colour cycling text, colour bars, FLD techniques, stable raster interrupts, sprite multiplexing and much more!

Old School Gamer Magazine: How is it different from other tutorials online?

Caynes: Unlike all of the online tutorials you’ll find, the book will be a comprehensive and progressive path into coding intros and game title screens; without the often short shelf life of a blog, no matter how good it is. Also, it will contain several comprehensive case studies of intros and game title screens.

Old School Gamer Magazine: Why must someone read this book?

Caynes: If you want to take part in the fun part of the Commodore 64 scene, coding intros; or create title and high score screens for your games, this is the book for you. It will also be compatible with the recent Retro Game Dev C64 Edition, so that you can make title screens for those games.

Old School Gamer Magazine: How did you get involved in coding?

Caynes: I got a C64 in 1985, and by 1989 I had an Action Replay IV cartridge I used to disassemble intros, demos and games to learn the tricks of the trade. I remember the first game I dissected was Lazy Jones, which was perfect for study as all the minigames were modularised and it was clearly coded in a cartridge monitor.

Old School Gamer Magazine: What’s next?

Caynes: Coding a game or two. What inspired me to start the C64 Code Hacking blog in late 2016, was an urge to develop my brother’s original C64 game concept; Magic Bag, a match-3 RPG game. In conjunction with that release I will relaunch FutureVision Publishing, which is also the arm of the business that will publish the book. All of my C64 releases will be under the FutureVision Designs Gaming House; an extension of my 90s Australian demo crew.

Old School Gamer Magazine: Anything else you’d like to add?

Caynes: I hope my book will inspire many people to get into coding C64 presentation screens, and that they will also take up the offer of VIP lifetime membership to the exclusive private support site. This will allow us to spend time answering one on one questions from readers, maintaining the Buddpress social network, and creating new chapters and code snippets to be released in the private Bitbucket repository.


Patrick Hickey Jr. is the author of the book, “The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews With Cult and Classic Video Game Developers,” from McFarland And Company. Featuring interviews with the creators of 36 popular video games–including Deus Ex, NHLPA 93, Night Trap, Mortal Kombat, Wasteland and NBA Jam–the book gives a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of some of the most influential and iconic (and sometimes forgotten) games of all time.

Patrick Hickey Jr. Patrick Hickey Jr. (320 Posts)

Patrick Hickey, Jr., is the founder and editor-in-chief of ReviewFix.com and a lecturer of English and journalism at Kingsborough Community College, in Brooklyn, New York. Over the past decade, his video game coverage has been featured in national ad campaigns by top publishers the likes of Nintendo, Deep Silver, Disney and EA Sports. His book series, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews With Cult and Classic Game Developers," from McFarland and Company, has earned praise from Forbes, Huffington Post, The New York Daily News and MSG Networks. He is also a former editor at NBC and National Video Games Writer at the late-Examiner.com