Amstrad CPC Stuff
Amstrad CPC Stuff
With the end of 2010, now is the time after all the wild parties and heavy drinking to look back on the year that just ended 🙂 Overall, I think it was a great year with many of my personal achievements accomplished 🙂
The year began with a very big bang for me as I had started working on Zine at the beginning of the year. Zine was to be my first big contribution to the scene in a very long time, since my Amiga days actually, and I was very excited to be able to travel to Evoke in Germany and see it unveiled, talk to the people who read it, and cook a few sausages for people attending the release party. I got to meet a lot of cool people, a lot of people who I idolized as a spotty nerd teen, and most of my fellow Brainstorm guys. I was also proud to get Bit Arts and Romeo Knight (musicians from the Red Sector Megademo) together in the same room for beers \o/ Lots of beer, tears and laughs were had that weekend 🙂 It was definitely my greatest moment this year and I can’t thank everyone who helped on this project enough! Issue 15 will appear some time soon! [Zine #14 Page | Pouet Link]
The next big personal acheivement for me came with working with Ultrasyd on a last-minute Amstrad CPC project called NOW! I spent most of my early life developing on the Sinclair Spectrum and I had wanted to get back into 8-bit coding for quite some time. The Spectrum & Amstrad are very similar in design. Syd and Fenyx Kell composed the music for the project, and I threw a very basic interface together in about 2-3 weeks to get the release ready for Main party. Boy were we shocked when we scored a 3rd place win! Completely unexpected, as we weren’t really trying to win anything 🙂 Again, the feeling was great to see the video being played on the big screen, and watching people’s reactions. Great job guys 🙂 [NOW! Page | Pouet Link]
Another project I was proud to be involved with this year was the Alien Invasion music disk supported by Nectarine, and coded by maep. This disk took the 4sceners.de award for the best music disk of 2010. Nectarine is a demoscene web radio station, using the Demovibes codebase that I work on with Terrasque (Project Page). Congratulations to everyone involved, especially maep who stayed up late to talk to me, and for working so hard on the project! [Pouet Link]
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to release any new games this year though I have been working on some projects. I have been working a lot on the new Piles’O’Tiles engine, which i’m not sure yet when it will be ready. I have also started working on some Android code, so I am hoping to be bringing some of my games to this exciting platform. The first game released will most likely be Jelly Othelly, but I may change my mind in the future with that and release something else instead, like Piles’O’Tiles.
I am pretty sure I have forgotten to add something epic to this post, so I apologize ahead of time and will keep editing it as time goes on to thank all the great people that helped me this year. It’s time to enjoy a bit of 2011 with a large pint of beer and a compiler!
NOW! is a music disk I have been working on in collaboration with Ultrasyd and Fenyx Kell for the Amstrad CPC 128K system. The music disk features 12 awesome music tracks, and was coded in a little over two weeks before I get settled into working on Zine again. This is my first production on the Amstrad (and also the first CPC project for Brainstorm) that was any good (as I did a bit of BASIC many moons ago), I have played with a friends system many years ago as a kid, but this is the first piece of code I have written on the system that hasn’t been utter shite. I am very pleased with the outcome of this project, and the music is amazing 🙂
I started working on this project on Sept. 13 with Ultrasyd, as the people who were supposed to write him a music disk had bailed out of the project. I took it on as a challenge, realizing the path would not be straight and easy, plus I have been looking for an excuse to get back into 8-bit development for quite some time 🙂
The project is written using Z88DK (available HERE) and uses C and Z80 Assembly language. I used CPCRSlib for some of the graphics code, mixed with a bit of my own dodgy code. The music replayer is by Targhan and available HERE.
There were many technical challenges on this project. The biggest was the small amount of RAM available to the system at any one time, certainly not enough to hold all the music let alone the program and the data it needed to run. At one point, I spent 2 solid days working on getting 5 tunes in and working without crashing the computer, when I realized a mistake I had made in some code earlier that would allow me to hold many more. So at around 4pm yesterday I was able to fit all 12 songs into the production without a problem. Nothing quite like a last second fix for a production thats due to be released the very next morning 🙂 Many thanks to Ultrasyd for staying up late on the CVGM OneLiner to get this thing finished in time for Main (and showing it off to the Amstrad community there). There is also a hidden, 13th tune 🙂
Download the DSK file Here. To run, insert the disk and type RUN “NOW!” to start the music disk. Up & Down arrow keys to change between music. Escape to quit. If you wish to run this in an emulator, I recommend using JavaCPC or WinAPE. This disk has been fully tested on real 6128 Hardware (Thanks again, Ultrasyd!).
Full Production Credits
Music: Ultrasyd/BRS and Fenyx Kell
Graphics: Yes/BRS (Loading Screen), Ultrasyd/BRS (Main Picture)
See the TXT file on the DSK/Zip for a full list of everyones greetings and thanks 🙂
EDIT: The music disk was entered into the Wild compo at Main and ranked in 3rd place!!! Fantastic! \o/ Congratulations to everyone again! It can also be found on Pouet now, where you can comment and rate it! Thanks!
While I won’t be at Main Party this year, Ultrasyd will be, and to mark the occasion I am working on a project with him for some Amstrad CPC music he has written along with Fenyx Kell. We are putting together a music disk that will be released at the party, featuring my code and Ultrasyd’s music and gfx. This will be the first Amstrad CPC project I have work on in almost 16 years (and that was using BASIC code!).
The new disk will be written using the z88dk compiler, which turns raw C code mixed with assembler into Z80 code that can be used on the Amstrad, ZX Spectrum, and many other Z80/Z88 based computers. Its a very exciting project for me, as I have been itching to get into 8-bit development again for quite some time! I will post more on this project as it is released!