Prince of Persia for Commodore 64 Released!

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Bill Loguidice's picture

A stunning conversion of the Apple II original, Prince of Persia, has been released for the Commodore 64. As original Prince of Persia author Jordan Mechner himself states on the site, back in 1989, he could never get anyone interested in doing a C-64 conversion because the 8-bit computer market was considered moribund at that time (it was certainly an accomplishment just getting Broderbund to put out the Apple II original at that time, despite the game's quality). Since the Apple II source code was lost, conversion author "mrsid", actually pain stakingly did a memory capture of the Apple II version and then reverse-engineered everything (and then clearly enhanced the game for the C-64's audio-visual abilities). Extraordinary! Check out the videos below and be sure to go to the site to download the cartridge image!


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Bill Loguidice
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Atari 8-bit PoP

All kidding aside, clearly an Atari 8-bit version is possible (heck, there's already a ZX Spectrum version!) and has been discussed over at AtariAge (and in fact, there's a NEW discussion inspired by this C-64 release: http://www.atariage.com/forums/topic/188835-wich-one-of-these-two-prince... ), but the issue has always been finding someone to code it and also what visual (palette and resolution) compromises would or would not have to be made. There have been some great ports, though, like Space Harrier: http://www.atariage.com/forums/topic/184410-space-harrier-released/ and Atari homebrew programmers are never shy about requiring 128K RAM or greater (like Bomb Jack, which requires 320K RAM! http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-400-800-xl-xe-bomb-jack_20831.html ), so certainly there is that going for it as well.

In any case, I think the Atari 2600 version will be finished long before the Atari 8-bit version: http://www.atariage.com/forums/topic/64948-anyone-thirsty-for-some-pop/ . Gotta love the old 2600...

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Jackie P. Emerson (not verified)
Hey, now! You guys say I'm a

Hey, now! You guys say I'm a troll? Better look at yourself.

I think these sort of projects are a waste, personally. If you have that much talent, why not make a new game? That would be a lot more creative and better for the community in my personal opinion. If everybody just made remakes we would still be playing pong. If your going to do it at all, at least make it for a platform that shouldnt be able to support it. Mr. Loguidice's link to the Atari 2600 version is not working for me, but that sounds more impressive in terms of technology.

Bill Loguidice
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Hey, we agree on something!
Jackie P. Emerson wrote:

Hey, now! You guys say I'm a troll? Better look at yourself.

I think these sort of projects are a waste, personally. If you have that much talent, why not make a new game? That would be a lot more creative and better for the community in my personal opinion. If everybody just made remakes we would still be playing pong. If your going to do it at all, at least make it for a platform that shouldnt be able to support it. Mr. Loguidice's link to the Atari 2600 version is not working for me, but that sounds more impressive in terms of technology.

Yes, you've clearly established yourself as a troll, but I actually agree with you on the use-of-talent part. I too often lament the often extraordinary talents of these homebrew programmers being used to recreate games we have umpteen other versions of rather than dedicating them to creating something completely new. At the same time, I resent when someone tells me how I should make use of my own talents or time, so my ultimate opinion is whatever moves these guys (and some gals) to create, so be it. It's better to have a 49th version of Pac-Man, for example, than not to have another new creation at all, and I've also found that you never know where something might eventually lead. Perhaps this wonderful, almost 16-bit-like version of PoP for the C-64 will inspire others to create something special themselves. If that happens, it will be worth it. In fact, it seems like this has spurred interest in creating an Atari 8-bit version again, a concept that had been stalled for quite a long time. So in that regard and more, it's well worth it to have another version of PoP.

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Hatta
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Programming and game design

Programming and game design are two entirely different fields. There are a lot more talented hobbyist programmers than there are game designers. That's why we see more ports than original games.

FWIW, I think this is awesome. I don't think anyone doubted that the C64 could do PoP, but it's amazing that someone sat down and cranked out such a high quality port.

Bill Loguidice
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Counterpoint
Hatta wrote:

Programming and game design are two entirely different fields. There are a lot more talented hobbyist programmers than there are game designers. That's why we see more ports than original games.

In some cases it may be a different skill set, but I disagree about the ratio of programmers to game designers. I think would-be game designers are a dime a dozen, but having someone capable (or willing) of programming a creation is quite rare indeed.

To be critical of the port approach for a moment (and again, acknowledging that I both admire and financially support such efforts), I often wonder why these programmers - who may not be great designers, sure - don't simply take the base concepts of the game they're porting and enhance the mechanics in some way. An argument could be made for authenticity, of course, but once you nail that, what's stopping going one step further? To use Pac-Man as an example, once you've perfected the one maze gameplay, why not add in some bonus mazes? What about adding in new ghost types? What about working in power ups? What about supporting co-op play? Etc. The possibilities are endless and these would be relatively low effort additions (for potentially big payoff in value) once the core game is nailed (and left in as a pure mode and selectable option).

Considering the effort put into getting PoP on the C-64 and the end result, I can understand why that makes sense as-is, but that's more the exception rather than the rule.

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Matt Barton
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I'd argue that there are

I'd argue that there are plenty of both, but what's rare is finding a hobbyist coder willing to work on a project from a hobbyist designer. Unless the designer is extremely charismatic and has some kind of experience or money, he's not going to be taken seriously. The coder will be more interested in a "proven" title, such as this remake. It's also a known quantity in terms of design; it's there, it works, everything has been done but the coding. Even a very detailed design will leave lots of gaps and unknowns for a coder to have to figure out.

Would mrsid be just as willing to put his time and energy into some new game idea from an unknown designer? I seriously doubt it.

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clok1966
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As a coder (work releated) at

As a coder (work releated) at one time and a very part time game developer ( i would say more of just tinkering).. there are alot of amazing ideas and coders that can code some incredible stuff. The problem with very creative (talented) people is they tend to keep moveing and seldom stick with a singel project.

I must admit IM truely amazed at what they are doing in that 2600 thread, I cant argue that seems to be talent wasted too.. but its in the same vien as the pixel art.. is it any less art depending on the medium its rendered in? playing a game over and over on different platforms does seem a bit counter productive, but I think the point is not all just the game, but the talent it make it work on the 2600.. Why did you climb that Mountian? There is no reason other then to see if you can.

Matt Barton
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I've decided the best thing

I've decided the best thing for me to do ATM is to shelve Time Police and other ambitious designs and just go back to Gamemaker. I need to figure out what kind of games I can actually make given my skills and limited resources, and do the best I can with that. As my friend Al reminded me, EVERYBODY has a zillion designs and ideas for games. The hard part is actually implementing them. So, the way I figure it, even making simplistic games like Mayhem by Matt is better than coming up with fantastic designs that will never see the light of an LCD.

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Bill Loguidice
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GM
Matt Barton wrote:

I've decided the best thing for me to do ATM is to shelve Time Police and other ambitious designs and just go back to Gamemaker. I need to figure out what kind of games I can actually make given my skills and limited resources, and do the best I can with that. As my friend Al reminded me, EVERYBODY has a zillion designs and ideas for games. The hard part is actually implementing them. So, the way I figure it, even making simplistic games like Mayhem by Matt is better than coming up with fantastic designs that will never see the light of an LCD.

I agree. I purchased Game-MakerHTML5 expressly for that purpose. I was hoping to have a test game ready for posting on Armchair Arcade to see how the Web and tablet functionality worked on our site before embarking on an official creation, but I'm behind schedule as usual...

If you want, Matt, contact me off-site and I can see if Mayhem by Matt compiles under the HTML5 version (assuming you haven't purchased it yet). It's my understanding that it can be done relatively seamlessly with only minor tweaks. Ultimately I'd like to have a dedicated games site on Armchair Arcade with just our game creations (and those of our members), naturally playable within any modern browser...

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clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
I have been on his webpage

I have been on his webpage (Jordan Mechner) he has a diary up of the times he was making PoP.. its amazing stuff, he has some real insight on game development back then. Its all very light and not to the mehcanics of the game so much but the work enverment and people he delt with. There are several mentions of other games, current events (really makes you feel old as i remeber many).. its an awsome read. I keep feeling sombody maybe already said it in this trhead, if so.. I knew thre was a deja vue feeling, .. im glad if so.. its really worht the time to read.

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