Hawkeye Tunetro

This demo was created for the Atari 8-bit demo competition at SillyVenture 2022 SE in Gdansk. It is a 40k single file executable and runs on all 64k PAL Atari 8-bit computers.

Story

Thalamus released the C64 game Hawkeye in 1988. It was coded by Mario van Zeist and Paul Cooper and was totally mindblowing for me. It features excellent visuals and sound - and lots of them! The loading screen, sound configuration tool, a whole animated game story, in-game parallax scrolling, animations, and music while the next level is loading, a raster bars high score table, and more.

All these things were immediately engraved in my memories forever and I was always thinking about bringing at least a small portion of them ao my beloved Atari 8-bit machine. I ripped from the graphics (heaven knows how I transferred them from the C64 to the Atari back then?) and had planned to use them in my mega demo in 1989 - which was never finished as it was a too ambitious project. Then, in January 2020 I found this video by Buddy76CD in my youtube proposals. He had done a POKEY cover of the original Hawkeye title tune using Raster Music Tracker. And to make it more interesting for youtube he had added the original C64 title picture and some "fake" 8-bit scroller via a PC video creation program. The POKEY cover was excellent and it made me feel that it deserves to be a real Atari program, and not "just" a video.

My plan was not to do much, but simply create a Raster Converter version of the original title picture as a backdrop for the music. I started but then nothing really progressed for another 2 years. Until Grey asked me if I could create an entry for the Atari 8-bit competition at Silly Venture 2022 Summer Edition. It was already over 3 years since my last real Atari 8-bit release. Another Silly Venture with no release - com' on - what kind of demo coder would I be?! So I decided to change priorities and give it a go. First I re-did the raster conversion and tweaked the original image for the best result. Then I realized that nobody had ever faded a raster converter picture, and because I had plenty of RAM left, I added that. When Grey saw the first preview, he came up with additional requirements because it is the "Atari 50 Years Aniversary" edition of the Silly Venture. And there was my teenage dream of having the Synthetic Life Form (SFL) running and shooting my Atari with all the blinking lights controls and flashing hawk eyes. After the groundwork was done, the project evolved quickly into "half-a-game" with a small AI controlling the SLF so it's running around automatically, firing at text sections to trigger the display of the next text section. Following great demoscene traditions, the party version was finished at 03:03 AM the night before the compo, and I am really satisfied with the result. The structure of the code is probably the most complex and still the best structure I've done in a long time. Yes, 6502 assembly language is hardcore for large projects, but with MADS you have great options using nested scopes. "MAIN.EFFECTS.FADE_MAIN_SCREEN.FADE_GAME.RECHARGE_WEAPONS_IF_NEEDED.NO_RECHARGE" - what's not to understand about this label name :-)

Credits

  • Atari Code: Peter Dell aka JAC!
  • Atari Music: Christian Düsterhöfft aka Buddy76CD
  • Original C64 Music: Jeroen Tel
  • Original C64 Graphics: Robin Levy aka RjL, Jacco Van 't Riet

Thanks

  • All Atari Oldschoolers for testing on different real hardware.
  • My family for keeping everything else off my back so I could finish this in time and quality.
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