"When we released Super Crate Box almost two years ago, one of the things we kept on hearing was that the game felt like the classics – the arcade era of old," Ismail says. "We like to think that our games could've been made in the 80s – that they would've worked in some way on a C64 or similar. When Adam Saltsman released C64anabalt, we decided that it could be worth trying to see whether it'd work. We got in touch with the team that developed the C64 version and decided developing a real, actual C64 version was the ultimate test."
OK, that's fine, we thought. Developers challenging themselves is a great way to ensure the industry doesn't stagnate. But then we thought of another conundrum. "Who the hell still has a C64?"
"One of us does have an old one somewhere, although we're not quite sure whether it still works," Ismail says. "We don't know how many people actually have a C64, but we hope that enough people would grab it from their storage to give Super Bread Box a try. Either way, we're mostly doing the project because we want to see whether it is possible."
Back in the day, the C64 was called the "bread bin," hence Super Crate Box's new old name. C64 coder Paul Koller, the old-school brains behind Super Bread Box and C64anabalt, knows all about bringing "back in the day" technology to a modern audience: He describes developing for the C64 as "completely different to modern platforms."
"You have to keep in mind that the C64 is severely underpowered – we're talking 64Kb with only 1MHz clockspeed," Koller says. "To keep the speed up, everything is programmed in assembly code. You have to do everything yourself instead of relying on modern programming advances – but then again that's where the challenge is. On the other hand, C64 development has never been easier than nowadays, with the variety of tools available to help with music, graphics and the like."
Vlambeer will take Super Bread Box to the company that handled C64anabalt's endeavor, RGCD, to be written onto cartridges. Then they'll be sold to all those dozens of Super Crate Box fans who still have a C64, recently found one for $1 at a garage sale, or who have a deep sense of nostalgia for a gaming era they were never a part of. Bread bin hipsters.