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8bit-Unity, a game development kit for 80’s computers #VintageComputing #RetroComputing #GameDev

Incompatibility between 8bit era computers has been a problem for game developers then and now. Platforms used various CPUs (6502, 6809, Z80), graphic chips (VIC2, ANTIC, DHR), sound chips (SID, POKEY, MockingBoard)… and implemented wildly different bitmap schemes, hardware sprites (or lack of), memory maps, and so on.

8bit-Unity takes the complexity out of retro-game development, by offering a simple API with which you can write your game only once without worrying about specifics of the target systems. From initial release (planned 2nd quarter of 2019), it will contain a comprehensive feature-set:

  • Cross-Platform – Write the game once, and deploy to C64, Atari XL/XE, Apple//e (more platforms to be added)
  • Bitmaps – Compose menus and playing fields as 320x200x256 PNG files, then automatically convert and package as .DAT files on your game DISK
  • Printing/Drawing – Draw pixels and print strings over the bitmap (40×20 chars) in any paper/ink colour combination
  • Sprites – Compose sprite sheets as PNG files, then automatically convert and package with your game binary file
  • Joysticks – Read the state of up-to 2 joysticks (up-to 4 on the C64 with the iComp card)
  • SFX – Generate generic sound effects (engine noise, explosions…)
  • Music – Playback music files (SID, RMT or ElectricDuet)
  • Ethernet – Send and receive UDP packets over the internet (supports RR-Net, DragonCart, Uthernet)
  • Disk Packaging – Automatically compile and package the game with assets onto “ready-to-download” game disks

See the video below and their website.


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