Something Old, Something New, ...
August 15, 2006
I wrote Black Belt in the fall of 1983 for the Apple II computer. It was a side view game with different
keys mapped to different Twai Kon Do moves and used the actual rules from competition. Two people
could play against each other on the same computer.
I did all the artwork myself trying to match the actual moves as best I could. It looked, uh,
not too good.
For the music I went to the University of Oregon library and checked out some books on Japanese
Music and found one that was fairly short and had an oriental feel to it.
To make sound on the Apple II you would access (read or write) a memory location and it would
make the speaker move back and forth once. So to make musical notes you would need to burn up
the correct number of 6502 cycles between access to the speaker memory location so you'd get
the speaker vibrating at the correct number of times per second. Access it more often for a
higher pitch and less often for a lower pitch. It was a big pain.
Looking at the packaging I remember that I supported the Mockingboard sound/music card. It
had this phoneme based speech chip on board and it was fun to hear the Apple talk, but it
After finishing off the Apple version I created a C64 version of the game. The C64 was also
based upon the 6502 so they only major differences/problems were that the graphics were
different and the sectors/tracks on the disk drive were laid out differently. I'd read/write
info sector by sector from the disk drive rathter than use files. You could also alter the
pattern you read sectors from the drive to more than double your speed. C64 disk drives
were very slow.
Anyone remember Load "*",8,1 and then listen to the C64 clunk around for while (a long while)?
I don't know if I have ever completed a game, but there are about 25 to 30 or so that I stopped
working on that made their way out into the marketplace. One of the benefits of creating
downloadable indie game is that you can continue to make changes after you have shipped and
still get into the player's hands.
I have added a new game mode to Puzzle Poker called Chips Mania. It is a just a little more
action oriented than the other game modes, but still has some strategic elements in it. You
this new version by clicking here. This is an unoffical version right now, but it feels
pretty solid/bug-free and will probably be rolled into the shipping version sometime.
Please, if you have the time, try it our for a short while and let me know if there are any
I borrowed this from Damon Slye back when we were working on Arctic Fox and found it the other
day when I was going through a bunch of old CDs. If I remember correctly CD players were fairly
new at the time. Damon, I'll trade this back for that EA trophy you snagged for me back
when Dyanmix closed down. :^)
I had to ask my wife how this whole "something old, something new, something borrowed, ..." thing
ended. So here you go...