Posts Tagged ‘code’

Workprint – August 2017

Saturday, August 5th, 2017

Hammer Down is pretty much out of the door now barring unforeseen circumstances, and I’m getting to the point where I’m starting to consider which project to pick up from my overflowing folder of work files. I do have one specific idea already though; for ages I’ve been promising myself that some time would be found to rework my Hex Files programming course for the C64 so that seems like a “plan”. The originals are showing their age somewhat, the first instalment was published two decades ago through Commodore Zone and the revision currently online at Oldschool Gaming has merely been modified for C64Asm, my cross assembler of choice at the time.

I already mentioned a reworking of Hex Files on Facebook about a week ago and the response was positive enough to warrant further consideration; the new version would be more games oriented and, because I’d try to write quite a bit of it in advance rather than putting something together close to deadline each month, should hopefully be a bit more consistent in writing style and overall “direction”… and I’d have to remove all the self modifying code because I’ve never been happy about providing tutorials which rely on it.

It also requires a new name to differentiate it from what’s already online and the front runner right now is “C64 Workshop” which leaves things open for potential re-workings to cover other platforms in future if I feel brave enough. There’s also the question of which development environment to favour; I’ve considered options like Kick Assembler and CBM prg Studio – the latter is already installed on my “scrap box” laptop to get a feel for it – but at the moment my personal setup of ACME being called by Crimson Editor and backed up by a range of other tools doe seem simpler to set up.

I’ve done a little groundwork but It does need some more thought… does anyone have some ibuprofen handy?

Workprint – July 2017

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Yes I’m running late with the workprint post again (or perhaps I should say “as usual”) but, now that I’ve settled back into playing with game code, there’s been some time over the last couple of weeks spent dabbling with Z80 and quite a bit of head scratching about how to do software sprites; I’ve got a sort of working routine on the Spectrum which lacks proper X movement right now, but a lot more thought is required because it can only deal with three or at a push four objects per frame that are ten by ten pixels. That’s crappy and I know the problem is down to my Z80 “skills” being tragically weak, although another project that shall remain nameless for the moment has recently taught me a few things that might help.

On the 6502 front, I’ve been doing a few tweaks to Hammer Down that have been pending for ages so that’s slowly creeping forwards. There’s also the option of doing a small, reasonably well documented C64 game perhaps under the Backward Engineering label (since it hasn’t seen action for a while) to release via C64CD but I haven’t decided what exactly. My “default setting” is a scrolling shooter of course and part of me is tempted to write something with a simplified attack wave engine similar to the one in Ash & Dave’s Pirates In Hyperspace where the enemies have speed values for X and Y which all get changed when a timer expires. C64CD releases are meant to be simple so should I boil the design down to the bare minimum like that or do something a little more involved I wonder? Again, further mental gymnastics are needed…

Workprint – June 2017

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

There hasn’t been a lot of coding time for one reason or another recently, but one thing I’ve been tinkering with a little is the SuperCPU or more accurately an emulated version courtesy of VICE; I’ve reworked my unrolled plotter – the one used in MD201704 – to handle about four hundred points. There’s also a “user interface” so that the cosine curves can be fiddled with as well because that seemed like a fun thing to do.

Halfway through playing with it I realised that, since it’s 6502 code rather than 65816, there’s no reason it won’t work on my Turbo Chameleon-equipped machine as well… where the 6MHz mode takes longer to get all of those points cleared, updated and drawn whilst the “unlimited” mode actually gets job done faster than the SuperCPU! Since I can at least release it as tested on one real accelerator and possibly get someone to run it on a SuperCPU as well, this may well become MD201706 and there should be enough raster time to finally use Sean’s double speed cover of Brian The Lion without breaking a virtual sweat.

There’s also a C64CD demo being prodded at right now, quite literally in fact since it’s testing on my C64C as I write. Unlike previous releases on said label it isn’t inspired by classic 1980s or 1990s releases and instead has a loose theme based on current events and a discussion at the Atari Age forums which got onto the subject of encryption. It needs a little more work, but should be ready to go either tomorrow or possibly Thursday.