Commodore VIC-20 Archived News Items

29 January 2017Floppy Days podcast - VIC-20 History with Michael Tomczyk, Neil Harris, and Brian Bagnall

The latest Floppy Days podcast is out!

In this month's episode, Randy talks about the Commodore VIC-20, the computer that brought colours for the users for an affordable price.

Randy says "In this first episode about the Vic-20, I want to cover the history of this machine: why it was developed, some of the stories around its development, what happened after its release, and when it was canceled. To that end, I contacted some notable persons that were involved with the roll-out and support of the Vic-20, as well as a person who was involved in documenting Commodore's history. The first person I contacted was Michael Tomczyk, who was an assistant to Jack Tramiel at Commodore and who led the so-called "Vic Commando Team". Michael was intimately involved in the marketing and support of the Vic. In addition, a key member of his team, Neil Harris, agreed to help with this episode as well. And, finally, I talked with Brian Bagnall, who you might recognize as the author of "Commodore: A Company on the Edge". This is an amazing line up of people who are very familiar with the Vic-20 and its history and I'm very lucky to have been able to get their assistance with telling its story."

Listen to the podcast here.

04 November 2016Hat Trick VIC-20 Homebrew Port, RC1 Update Released

Hat Trick is a VIC-20 port of the C64 game with the same name. It requires 16k of memory expansion to run. The game is basically one-on-one hockey with a space-time anomaly simulation for extra fun. Two players are supported. The second one uses the keyboard or a user port joystick (see the Readme for details). This is version RC1, Which now has music. Source is included.

Download the game here.

25 September 2016The VIC-20cr Reloaded Project Page

VIC-20cr Reloaded is a new project by Steve J. Gray to create a new VIC-20cr (Cost Reduced) motherboard, which could become a starting point for modified VIC motherboards. For example, using a single 32K ram chip to make a VIC-32, combining multiple ROMS into a single ROM to save board space, or even adding extra colour RAM to expand it’s graphics capability. How about a SID chip and a second joystick port? ;-) If you find this idea interesting, you can follow Steve’s website in the link below. Website: http://www.6502.org

28 January 2016VIC-20 Penultimate Cartridge nearing completion

Dave Curran of Tynemouth Software LLP has been busy developing the "Penultimate Cartridge" for the VIC-20. This expansion cart provides the following benefits to an unexpanded VIC:
* Selectable RAM upgrade (up to 35K total) * Selectable read-only sections of RAM * Selectable ROM initialisation * Menu-driven interface via Reset button * Integrated IEEE-488 adapter * Integrated IEEE-488 SD card disk drive (a version of PET microSD)

After several iterations, Dave has been improving on his original designs to the point where no external DIP switches would be required to select RAM and ROM, instead using a microcontroller and firmware to perform user RAM/ROM selections and reset the VIC in that mode.

Visit Tynemouth Software for more details, and to buy a board!

02 October 2015New memory expansion for VIC-20

Jim Brain is working on a new memory expansion for the Commodore VIC-20.

The features are: The memory is organized in 5 "windows": RAM1/2/3, BLK1, BLK2, BLK3, and BLK5. Each "window" can be configured to show any 8kB RAM or FLASH ROM page in the memory space. There are 1024 8kB pages of FLASH RAM, and 128 8kB pages of RAM.

So it has an 8MB Flash ROM, and 1MB SRAM onboard. Jim is hoping this new card will be somewhere around the $40-$50 price point.

VIC-20 Denial website has more details and feedback comments.

30 January 2015New VIC-20 Text Adventure

Kurt Johns over at AJ&KJ Games (click here for link) have just launched a new set of six text adventures for the VIC-20!

In these linked adventures you are given instructions by COMMAND to explore the planets around Tau Ceti.

A .tap image is available for free download from the site, or you can order a hard-copy on cassette for $5. The machine language game requires a 3K expanded VIC to run.

14 November 2014Cassiopei High Speed Cassette Interface for C= Computers

The Cassiopei now supports VIC-20s that have a memory expansion. The menu program does a small analysis regarding the load-ability of the selected program and relocates the BASIC program where possible. Available are the firmware update (v20141018.hex), a menu program and a user manual.

The Cassiopei is a cassette port-based device. It can load .PRG files 50 times faster then the standard tape protocol and more importantly it can work on all 8-bit cassetteport equipped Commodore computers, from the PET series to the C128.

The Cassiopei looks more like a cartridge then a tape device and that is exactly how you should see it. As tape is slow and not user friendly while the Cassiopei IS fast AND userfriendly. Once properly configured along with the proper files and programs, you plug it in, type load on your CBM and press the menu button. The menu is loaded and shows you all available programs on the device, simply choose one from that menu and it starts automatically, very easy. No more fast forward, rewind or those annoying load errors!

Click here to read the full article

06 June 2014FIFA Game launched for VIC-20

Jeff made a 2014 version of his FIFA football game. The game can be played on a unexpanded VIC-20 (keyboard). All the 32 national teams are available. There is a one player elimination mode (knock-out) and a two player mode available, plus adjustable skill levels. And the vuvuzela is removed from the 2010 edition.

To download the game click here, or go to the topic on Denial for more information.

18 April 2014Bertie the Ball

Misfit have released a new game for the Commodore VIC-20.

The game can be played with a PAL VIC with a 16 kByte memory expansion and a joystick. Bertie the Ball is an action-adventure / platform game and is a tribute to the C64 game Cauldron II: The Pumpkin Strikes Back.

Watch the Bertie the Ball video on YouTube or download the .PRG here!

12 April 2014VIC-20 game released: Get the Cat

A simple game where you have to step on the bricks to save your cat.

Requires an unexpanded VIC-20 and a joystick to play.

To play, move left and right with the joystick. Press fire to place a brick under your character, provided you have bricks left. Your character can step up one brick only. You can let him fall from any height. The bricks seem to fall randomly, but there is a pattern to make the game easier. If you reach level 5,10,15,... you gain an extra live. Maximum extra lives is only 1. It gets easier when you know every fifth block falls directly above you. Very useful for building stairs to the cat.

Download the game free here.

19 January 2014Realms of Quest IV released

The adventure continues in Realms of Quest IV where you assemble a group of heroes to do battle against the mysterious Time Lords inside the Dungeon. Thus befalls you, brave adventurer, to accept the challenge and venture forth into the labyrinth below to ensure that evil and chaos do not rise. If you can survive the perils that await beneath, there lay riches, glory and the immortality of your name.

Realms of Quest IV is now available as a Premium Disk Edition (packaged in a clear plastic 5.25" disk case with 16 page printed instruction booklet), a Budget Disk Edition (5.25" floppy disk with a download link for a .PDF version of the 16 page instruction manual) and as a Digital Download (download links for both .D64 files along with a download link for a .PDF version of the 16 page instruction manual).

Visit the Psytronik.net website for more details!

20 December 2013Pooyan for the VIC-20

Beamrider (Adrian F) has released a Commodore VIC-20 version of the arcade classic Pooyan. If you want to play the game you will need a Commodore VIC-20 (PAL), a 16KB memory expansion and a joystick. This is not the final version so please feel free to give your feedback about the game.

For the back story on the original Pooyan, click here.
You can download Pooyan here.

19 August 2013Kenz' creation - Theatre of War out now!

Theater of War is a gripping trilogy of turn-based strategy games for the unexpanded VIC-20 by Ghislain De Blois, authour of the popular Realms of Quest RPG games. As well as the three 'Theater of War' games this compilation also contains a bonus selection of arcade games (see below for complete list).

The Theater of War trilogy features three complete campaigns to play - WW2 Eastern Front, WW2 Pacific Theater and WW1 Western Front. The games put you in command of military units and allow you to recreate battles from the first or second World War.

The Premium Disk version of Theater Of War is presented in a 5.25" plastic disk case and features full colour glossy cover artwork by Steve 'STE'86' Day with the instructions printed on the reverse. The floppy disk is packaged in a full colour glossy disk sleeve with a full colour label. The compilation is also available as a Budget Disk release which features the floppy disk packaged in a glossy full colour disk sleeve with colour disk label and a printed instruction sheet.

Head over to Kenz' company's website Psytronik for more details.

16 November 2012VICE 2.4 emulator released

VICE 2.4 adds a ton of great new functionality, including: - New SDL based MIPS Windows NT port.
- New SDL based native Dingoo port.
- New monitor commands: autostart and autoload.
- Rewrite of the sound system, output is now mono/stereo selectable.
- Split off sid player from c64, new program is called vsid.
- New 1541 drive sounds emulation.
- 1541 drive emulation has been greatly improved.

There are also lots of system-specific updates for emulating C64, C128, VIC-20, Plus/4 and PET.

25 October 2012Carling the Spider launched

Psytronik Software proudly presents CARLING THE SPIDER - our very first VIC-20 release! This is a multi-screen platform game featuring a little spider called Carling. Your mission is to collect all the shiny diamonds on each screen while avoiding deadly spikes and marauding BALLS OF STEEL! Once you have collected all the diamonds you must head to the exit in order to reach the next level.

Spiders like dark places, and Carling The Spider was no different. In fact, he was very proud of the vast abandoned mine he called home, and had lived there happily for many years, undisturbed. With that in mind, imagine his surprise when he awoke one morning (or evening, it's difficult to tell when you live underground) to find his home had been transformed into a high security diamond vault, littered with traps and guarded by the ominous automated BALLS OF STEEL! Carling knew the only way to return his home to darkness would be to shut down the security system by stealing every last glittering diamond from each room in the vault. But with the BALLS OF STEEL getting faster and increasing in numbers with every room looted, this was never going to be an easy task...

Visit Psytronik.net for purchase information.

07 April 2011New Commodore 64, Vic-Slim, Vic-Pro Available for Pre-Order, New Amigas Coming Soon

Ill confess I didnt see this one coming at all. Back before my family got the C64, we started down the computing path on a Commodore Vic-20. I loved that thing, and now it looks like it has its own line of successors to carry on the name in the Vic-Slim and the Vic-Pro.

The Vic Slim offers a full-sized modern keyboard, as opposed to the classic C64 keyboard that the nostalgia-oriented new C64 has. It comes in 2 configurations; the the Vic-Slim Standard has 1 GB of RAM and a 250 GB HD, while the Vic-Slim Deluxe has 2 gigs of RAM and a 500 GB HD. They both have a 1.8 dual-core Intel Atom CPU and will run you $395 or $495 respectively. Like the C64, a bare bones option will be available for $295.

The power user will want to check out the Vic-Pro. Like its slim cousin, it has two configurations to choose from, the Vic-Pro Standard and Vic-Pro Deluxe.

16 February 2010Commodore VIC-20 prepares for first-ever tweet

The Commodore VIC-20 wouldn't hold its own in today's PC market. The device, which was originally announced in 1980, boasted a whopping 1.02MHz processor and 5KB of RAM. At the time, it was state-of-the-art. And it lasted five years before being discontinued in 1985.

But now, 25 years after the VIC-20 was a viable computing machine, The Personal Computer Museum in Brantford, Ont., is resurrecting it to send out a tweet to Twitter. Gizmodo first reported on the story. "The Personal Computer Museum is proud to make history on Saturday, February 20, with Twitter and the Commodore VIC-20," the museum wrote on its Web site.

At 11 a.m. EST, the museum plans to power up a cassette-tape-based Twitter program, dubbed Tweetver, to run on the VIC-20. Once it's up and running, the museum will send out the first tweet from the device. The goal, according to the museum, is to create "history" and "put one of the lowest-powered personal computers" onto Twitter.

11 February 2010New VIC game: Realms of Quest

This is a vastly impressive RPG for the 32K expanded Vic 20, and comes with an easy to use menu system, impressive multi-colour graphics (Which have only really started to be seen on the machine as people begin to push it), a surface world map, underground 3d tunnels.

I never really got into RPGs or the likes of Ultima, apart from playing Zelda on the Gameboy, but the quality of this new release was so brilliant, plus the fact it is a new Vic 20 game meant that I had to grab it.

As well as all the usual very polished colour inlays by Kenz (With artwork contributed), the game comes with a neat instruction booklet with full colour elements. The disk itself (Being a large container for a 35.5k (Is that right?) game) contains most of the developers previous work as bonus material.

From what ive seen via emulation so far, this is a superb title and one that raises the bar on the Vic 20 a notch or two. I just now need to get my Vic20/C64 combi setup sorted and play it on the real thing!

Visit Psytronik for purchase details!