Before we begin…
There were a lot of things that I learned in the process of making this game. I can’t imagine making something like this back in the day. I’ve always had a lot of respect for the games and software developed for the machine on the machine. Without emulation, this would have been a real mess.
I’ve never made MultiColor GFX (serious ones) and it was always this mystery to get a koala painter image going with a scroller. I always wanted to make an ESI Intro (that eagle one). Draw a cool picture, make a custom font scroller and bang out a simple tune. I could do everything but the picture.. there was always something getting in the way.
Cross Development is really hard in the MC Picture side of things. I’m used to Photoshop or Deluxe Paint for source material.. but getting it looking ok on the commie was a royal pain. At the end after piles of crashing plugins and ageing software, I found something that works great:
Photoshop using the Dan Fessler method -> GangEd ( https://csdb.dk/release/?id=19831 ) -> PRG for Import or Viewing on Real C64 -> MMC64 Cart
Photoshop could be replaced by any other bitmap software, but it is what I am comfortable with. GangEd is great for the conversion and troublesome as an editor. I would love to help clean up that application.
I’m colour blind ( Protanopia ), so having some colour conversion or colour by numbers is really helpful. So the tool/dev chain above really helps.. if I had to come up with gradients by eye… well that is not going to happen. Also having the commodore palette files for photoshop is really helpful.
A great resource for gradients is Daniel Krajzewicz’s notes on his blog.
I can do sprites and fonts ala code, which in the day I also had a nice editor from Compute! Gazette — but SpritePad and CharPad are awesome tools. It’s also handy to load snapshots from VICE and see charsets that have been modified by code or have as a reference for where things are.
One of my “like to have” addons for Trogue64 is fade/pattern wipe for the intro graphic. It’s not hard but I had to draw the line somewhere to get this to Beta.