This is currently a work in progress – we estimate the first release to be around end of August 2014
So in a moment of insanity me and a friend decided that it’d be really cool to have a Commodore 64 client for Pyffle, complete with PETSCII graphics etc.
Thus began the quixotic quest toward Pyffle64. Basically, the client runs on the C=64 and sends Remote Procedure Calls to Pyffle HQ. Some of the more exotic features we’ve decided to add to Pyffle64 include:
- “Block mode” operation. Basically, instead of transmitting data one byte at a time to the client like a typical BBS, we operate in a similar way to a IBM 3270 – the server sends a menu or form, the user fills in the form (locally, on the C=64) and the client sends the results back.
- Caching of screens. To make the block mode operation even faster, Pyffle64 comes with all the screen used by Pyffle HQ and these are loaded into RAM on startup of the client. This results in almost instantaneous interaction between the user and the BBS, even at very low speeds. Of course the cached screens are checked against the ones on the server and can be updated if needed.
- Downloading of executables and running them. Instead of door games, we offer actual games 🙂
Basically we hack the binary with a little bit of bootstrap code if possible, and this bootstrap code is jumped to by a special key combo. The bootstrap code is even designed to send high scores back to the server 🙂 If it’s not possible to add the bootstrap code, the game can still be run, but of course the user will not be able to get back to the BBS without a reboot.
Of course all the normal Pyffle features such as multi-network email, discussion groups, multi-line chat and online private messaging etc are implemented in the client as well.