As this series continues for the 64C Basic Marathon Game, we now transition into designing a character set editor for our game. I debated whether to use the CharPad tool, but eventually decided that I wanted to work on my own. Back in the 90’s I began work on a character set editor for the Commodore 64 titled ‘Gamemaster’s Toolkit’.

I noticed though that it was limited. While I could create any character I wanted in a grid, save it, and apply it to a map in memory or one loaded from disk, I realized that when I started designing my screens that I was not able to line up graphics accurately to create more defined pictures. So the idea of enhancing this editor came into mind, and I began the journey.

Commodore 64 Multiple Grids

As mentioned, I decided that I wanted to create characters side by side, so I began revising the 64C Basic Marathon Game and reduced the size of the grid to four 8×8 squares. Each of these ‘squares’ was also going to have the ability to read a character set in sequence upon loading the program.

The original version also utilized moving a sprite around inside the grid (which was much larger). Although I started working the new sprite adjustments in my editor, eventually I decided to toss it and work directly with screen characters instead.

Moving a character around in a grid was going to be pretty easy, except when I erased it to create an animation effect, it would wipe out the characters behind it. So after many revisions, I finally concluded that I wanted to keep track of the background character and replace it while moving the cursor around in any of the four grids on display.

You can download the file here.

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