I wanted to work on a game for the Apple ][, mainly because it gives me something to focus on while getting back into programming on the Apple ][.
In my younger days, I did most of my programming in BASIC with a little dabbling in assembly. I figured now is the time to move forward to using something faster. I’m a long time C developer, so that seemed natural.
Enter CC65. CC65 is a cross-compiling toolchain to the 6502. Basically, that means I can develop and build on a modern machine and the output is binary code that will run on retro machines. In my case, the Apple ][.
In the beginning, I’d write code in a text-editor, compile it, place it on a disk image and boot that disk image in an emulator. Slow going, but it was just playing around so it didn’t matter too much.
Fast forward and time to get serious.
Some of the people in the Apple ][ community put together a build pipeline for Xcode that make this all nice and smooth. Develop in on modern IDE (Xcode), click build and it compiles, puts it in a disk image, boots Virtual ][ and runs the program. Very nice.