Submitted by Dan Dooré on Thursday, May 17, 2018 - 16:58.
|Magazine||Interview with Mike Lamb, coder or Robocop|
|Letters||Search: “Primary Maths Pack 1”, The Key Press, Splat!|
|Sam base||Andy Green||Impressive database program|
|Mystery||Frode Tennebø||Sam Fox sample|
|Wilde Demo||Frode Tennebø||Better than Kylie I suppose…|
|Spanish inq||Simon Cooke||Not what you’d expect!|
|MC pt 10||Steve Taylor||Smooth sprite movement|
|Mogwai||Robert Smith||Animated Mogwai|
|Mouse progs||Dan Dooré, Ian Slavin||Programs for mouse owners|
|Mega fonts||Ian Slavin||Over 50 fonts to choose from|
|Lazers||Dan Dooré, Marc Rickard||Manoeuvre a line across the screen|
|Bouncer (512k)||Andy Monk||Bouncing screen effect|
|Scrolly||Andy Monk||Large vertical scroller|
|Tree||Ian Slavin||Fractal drawer|
|Circles||Colin Pratt||Ever-expanding circles|
|Quads||Paul Finn||Quadratic-equation solver|
Freditorial Greetings one and all from bonny Scotland (Och Aye The noo!) A free FRED to the first person who can tell me what it means!! Coming up to Xmas you'd expect loadsa new SAM games wouldn't you. Unfortunately, the only one I think MIGHT be out in time for Xmas is Prince Of Persia! Although I did say last month that it had been released it seems there was a slight miscalculation at Revelation (mmmm..that makes a change). Sadly, it doesn't look like there is going to be another FRED release out in time for Christmas. I have got several games "lined-up" so to speak (now including TWO major licenses - previously I was planning to convert an Amiga hit but just a few days ago I got in a demo which is just as big and twice as viable!). PLEASE PLEASE let me know what games you are wanting to see. Don't ask for SIM CITY, Populous or Lemmings but please let me know - and get your mates to write in as well even if they're not FRED readers because I will try to get the license for the most popular requests. The reason I won't be releasing my next game for a few months is SAMCo's mailshot - if you've read it you'll understand. But just remember - Your Sinclair Freditorial gave Prince Of Persia 90% and now they've reviewed Impatience and gave it 90% as well. So much for being "entertaining"!!! You should find a leaflet in with this disc so please take the time to read it. I will stress that this is not an amateur production - in fact, Colin Jordan recently phoned me up to enquire how I'd done the inlays and from now on Revelation will be using the same method! FRED - one step ahead. And now another FREDsoft request - I need people who can work to a deadline at almost any software trade. Especially graphic artists although musicians and programmers (Z80 only) as well. Please send samples of your work to FRED if you're needing a bit of cash and think you can live up to the FRED standard. There have been a few people responding to the plea for reviewers so it's nice to know that some people do actually read the magazine. Now a little offer. I just so happen to have a dozen or so specially made SAM badges featuring our little friend sitting playing the computer. To get one of these all you've got to do is send me a SSAE. Freditorial SAMCo have again decided not to go to the All Format Shows. However, this does not mean that everything will not be on sale. I personally hope to be selling a few of SAMCo's software at Glasgow and there will normally be some member of TEAM SAM there to sell the coupe itself. As you all know by now, about 5 weeks ago Newsfield went bust and Nick Roberts went to SAMCo to work. However, Europress (the people who do Games-X) have bought out Newsfield and are continueing Crash at the old Ludlow office - although Europress is based in Macclesfield,Cheshire!. So Mr Roberts has gone back to Crash but now as the deputy editor. I don't know what will happen to Crash subscriptions (especially mine!) or anything like that so we'll have to wait and see. Revalation have just gotten in a platform game called Count Dracula which they hope to release within weeks at the reduced price of £4.99. No details yet but I'll see it when I go down to Swansea this weekend and I'll tell all next issue. Freditorial Also in with the Impatience leaflet you should find an All Format leaflet which entitles you to £1 off the entrance price. If you need any more of these then just send me an SSAE saying how many you want. I hope you'll all go to as many shows as you can - I will be going to the forthcoming Birmingham, Glasgow and London fairs. I'm not sure about the Leeds one because it's on the same weekend as the London show!!! I must apologize for this month's issue - I've been away on holiday, SAMCO have been wanting me to do stuff for them, business is picking up and school is just getting in the way so I have zero spare time at present. This will soon change though I can assure you.... Sadly that's about it for this month's editorial - there hasn't been any new software or hardware announced. I think the only exciting event this month was me going on holiday for 11 days at the start of the month - only to get back to a HUGE pile of mail behind the door! CM Interview Time The following two interviews are donated by Andy Monk who was going to start up a disc zine and did several interviews but it didn't work out so FRED have the interviews instead : We (Gary and I) thought that an interview from someone famous would go down a smartie! So we went the full length and 'phoned up none other than MR.RENEGADE, MR.ROBOCOP, and MR.BATMAN, but he was all in one! Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, please give a hot round of applause for ...MIKE LAMB!!! Q: OK. LET'S START OFF WITH, YOUR FIRST GAME EVER? A: THAT WAS A GAME CALLED 'POOL' I THINK, BACK IN '83. Q: BEING A BIT PERSONAL, WHAT DID YOU GET OUT OF IT? A: WELL, I DID'NT DO TO BADLY. I GOT AROUND £10,000 FOR IT, BUT THEN, SOFTWARE WAS PRETTY SCARCE, AND SO YOU'D EXPECT A LOT FROM A SINGLE PRODUCT. Interview Q: THAT NOT BEING THE CASE TODAY? A: THAT'S RIGHT! Q: I HEARD THAT YOU DONE 'STEVE DAVIS SNOOKER'? A: I DID. Q: I'VE ONLY SEEN 'POOL', YET GARY DESCRIBES 'STEVE DAVIS' AS THE SAME AS 'POOL'. THEY SEEM VERY SIMILAR. A: WELL, THEY ARE, REALLY. Q: OK. WHAT GAME ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF FOR PROGRAMMING. A: ERM. THAT HAS TO BE 'TARGET RENEGADE', I SUPPOSE. Q: I THOUGHT SOMETHING LIKE ROBOCOP, OR BATMAN WOULD'VE BEEN YOUR FAVE,AS ROBOCOP STAYED IN THE TOP SLOT FOR OVER 2 YEARS A: WELL, I SUPPOSE IT COULD'VE BEEN. Q: SO (BEING PERSONAL AGAIN?), WHAT DID YOU GET FOR ROBOCOP? A: WELL, ACTUALLY I JUST GOT PAID WAGES, AND A BONUS FOR THE FINISHED GAME. Interview Q: HMM, NOW LET'S MOVE ONTO SOMETHING ELSE. I KNOW, THE WONDER 8-BIT, THE SAM COUPE. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF IT SO FAR? A: WELL, PERSONALLY I THINK IT CAME OUT TOO LATE FOR PEOPLE. THE SPECIFICATIONS WERE OUT A WHILE BEFORE THE ACTUAL MACHINE Q: YES. SO DO YOU THINK THAT IF THE MACHINE CAME OUT THE SAME TIME AS THE SPECIFICATION'S, MORE PEOPLE WOULD BE BUYING AND SUPPORTING IT? A: YES, I THINK SO, BUT IT'S STILL A NICE MACHINE. BUT,STILL IT COULD HAVE GOOD CHANCE BECAUSE AMSTRAD HAVE TAKEN THEIR PLUS THREE SPECCY'S OUT OF PRODUCTION,AND NOW THERE'S RUMOUR'S OF THE PLUS TWO GOING AS WELL. SO THERE IS HOPE. Q: WHAT'S YOUR BEST 16-BIT GAME? A: I HAVE'NT ACTUALLY WRITTEN ANY 16-BIT GAMES, BUT I DID THE SCROLLY BITS ON 'BATMAN THE MOVIE' ON THE 16-BITS (NOT THE BATWING STAGES!) Q: WHAT'S THE BEST GAME YOU'VE PLAYED. A: THAT HAS TO BE 'SIM CITY', IT'S BRILLIANT! Interview Q: SOMETHING I FORGOT. YOU KNOW THE MAIN CHARACTER SPRITE IN RENEGADE 3 IS DIFFERENT FROM THE PREVIOUS RENEGADE GAMES.HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT? A: WELL, I WOULD'VE PREFERED THE ORIGINAL SPRITE MYSELF. Q: SO WOULD I,ACTUALLY.SO HOW COME YOU DIDN'T PROGRAM RENEGADE3 A: I SUPPOSE I COULD'VE DONE. BUT I FELT THAT I HAD TAKEN THE Q: WELL,PERSONALLY I PREFER TARGET RENEGADE THAN RENEGADE 3 ANY WAY. I SUPPOSE EVERYONE WOULD'VE LIKED IT IF YOU HAD DONE RENEGADE 3? A: PROBABLY. AFTER THAT, I LET GARY HAVE A NATTER... Unfortunately Gary talked about something not to do with the Sam, and so I, er, took the phone back and had a bit more of a chat about something else that's nothing to do with the coupe either!! . My Interview!! We were sitting around the other day desperately thinking of someone to interview, when I came up with the idea of interviewing the interviewer! Yes, it's true, we have Colin Macdonald, FREDitor extraordinare! Gary: When was the idea of FRED conceived? Colin: When I first got my Coupe. I invented FRED just for something to do. Gary: When did you start programming and on what computer? Colin: I got a Spectrum 48K in the summer of '83, and started programming 'seriously' a year later. Gary: What advice would you give newcomers to the 'Disk-Mag' scene? Colin: I'd advise them to persevere and never rely on anyone. Be prepared to be unsuccessful - FRED was unsuccessful for a few months before people took any interest in it. Interview Gary: How much of your time is spent on FRED? Colin: I spend about 15 hours a week on FRED - about 1-2 hours a day. Gary: In what ways do you think FRED has improved over the issues? Colin: I don't think it has. It's grown because a lot more stuff has been sent in, but I don't really think it has improved. Gary: Why did you name the mag FRED ?!?! Colin: Oh know, not that one. I was dreading that !! Erm, no idea why I named it that! I suppose there was nothing around at the time, I suppose FRED goes along with SAM! Gary: How long can you see FRED lasting? Colin: Erm, well up until last Christmas, I was just concentrating on one issue at a time, but when it started selling I decided to head for issue 20 and either continue, or stop it there. But now I'm more involved, I see FRED going on for a good few years, probably up to the year 2000 !! Interview Gary: If FRED really 'took off' (Even though it has!-Andy), would you consider extra staff? (ME, ME, TAKE ME! - Andy) Colin: Well, theres several asking, but I've already got lots of contributors, but if I took on one asking, it'd be unfair to the rest of them (Damn! -Andy) Gary: What was the hardest interview you ever had to do? Colin: Um, well I WAS going to interview Mel Croucher when I saw at the PC Show, we got talking but I discovered his language was erm, foul to say the least! That was'nt really an interview, so the hardest interview was Daniel who evaded the questions but still managed to give a excellent answers. Gary: What do you have on top of your monitor right now ?!?! Colin: Absolutely nothing! Actually I have got a can of coke next to the keyboard, but when I'm working on a project I usually stick Information on it. Interview Gary: What did you anticipate at SAMCO? Colin: Well, I thought it'd be a lot smaller, just the one room organization. It is in fact 4000sq ft spread out onto two floors. The whole thing is fairly well organized with 4 PC's running the show. There's also dozens of boxes beside me which they won't tell me the contents of! I know SAMCO better than most people. The downstairs is despatch and repairs, and upstairs is a massive room for product building. Gary: How did you get to work at SAMCO? Colin: A couple of months ago Alan Miles phoned me asking to put an advert in FRED asking for a technical jobbie. That was before my exams. After my exams I asked Alan if anyone had applied, and he said no, so I dived in for the place. I'm due to leave in the middle of August. Interview Gary: What are your favourite musical masterpieces on the Coupe? Colin: Er, ingame I have to say Prince of Persia, for PD...Tetris is probably the best I've heard! Gary: When did you buy your SAM and why? Colin: I got my coupe in Christmas '88 after saving for 18 months. I got the coupe because I was bored with the Speccy, not so much bored but I fancied a change to something more powerful with a disk drive. I got it a couple of days before MGT went bust. I'm constantly Impressed with the SAM and it was worth the £260 I paid for it. OK, so maybe I'll stick to interviewing! Thanks to Andy and Gary for letting me print these. If I ever get round to it I'll type up a couple of interviews I've still got on tape - but no promises! . ANDY M. AND GREG G.'S CLUB SCENE (#1) After a brief spell of listening to many, many tunes for your reading pleasure, and namely because they couldn't be bothered writing anything last issue, Andy M and Greg G are back to assault your ears and eyes with another wheelbarrow full of reviews. So pin back yer lug'oles and listen up! (Cookie) Right, I'm back again, by popular demand to once again right the wrongs of a certain Mr.Moore. Obviously I would have been here last month, but apparently there was no such page which gave me plentiful time to astutely observe the finer techno tunes. Over to you M. (GG) Greetings fans. Andy M back 'ere you'll be glad to know. Sorry I didn't appear in FRED last issue (I hope the suicide rate wasn't TOO high in my absence), but I was on holiday. So, on with the reviews without further ado. (AM) ANDY M. AND GREG G'S CLUB SCENE (#2) GOD OF ABRAHAM - N.M.O. Although its been out a while, it still provides hardcore rave entertainment. If you haven't heard it before, then you must! A firm favourite with the DJ's in the North, and full of bass, which of course makes it essential listening. (GG) This is an ultra heavy hardcore tune, with a wailing synth line and a fast beat. This killer track is a must for all ravers who consider themselves "on the scene". (AM) That was an original little summarisation of NMO Andy. Pretty similar to the one some bloke in this magazine on my lap has said!(GG) Likewise, squire. (AM) ANDY M AND GREG G'S CLUB SCENE (#3) DANCE NO MORE - Illustrious This is probably one of my favourite tunes of the month, although it isn't hardcore - which is my preference - it's simple, but has lots of quirky little samples to spice it up, and if you're interested in a little trivia, it has been made by the bald guy in Manchester's very own Eastern Bloc record shop. It's really a summer track, but nice to listen to all the same. (GG) Aye - he's called Kenny, the guy who did this (I knew that.GG). It's a pleasant enough little number, and is quite addictive in its own way. However, it just lacks that little something to make it an essential tune, and is too slow to fill the dance floors. (AM) I'll just say that Andrew Moore is WRONG. (GG) I'd just like to say that I'm decidely CORRECT in my judgement (AM). ANDY M AND GREG G'S CLUB SCENE (#4) CRASH COURSE - Jimmy Crash This is THE BEST EVER TUNE EVER MADE!!! You've got everything from your little tuneful singing to your extremely fast beats, to just about everything that a top tune needs. I don't give a damn how old it is, because it's timeless. Buy it several times over, and pump up the V to its maximum and go MAD! (GG) I have to agree with the stupid snecker just this once. This is definitely an essential tune. 'Nuff said. (AM) "Snecker"? (GG) INSOMNIACC - DJPC This is just too good to be true! This one in my opinion is at least going to take the Underground scene by storm! By the time you've read this, it will be huge, and will go down in club history as one of the mega anthems of the moment. Guaranteed to ANDY M AND GREG G'S CLUB SCENE (#5) be put on all the compilation albums in the future. (GG) THIS IS A FRIGGIN' MASSIVE, GIANT, HUMUNGOUS, OVER-SIZED, LARGER THAN LIFE, BANGIN', KICKIN', DEF, ADDICTIVE, MIND NUMBING, MENTAL, MAD, RAVIN', SPEAKER-BUSTIN', FLOOR FILLIN', TOTALLY PARANOIA MAKIN', EAR-BUSTIN', NEEDLE BLOWING, OUT OF THIS WORLD TUNE! (I take it you like it then, Andy? GG). Err, woo, well, what can I say? (It's good perhaps? GG) It nukes "Fairy Dust" off my number one spot. (You got a bit worked up there Andy! GG) If you haven't heard it yet, DO! It's very varied, and has three main tunes within it. First are scratchy samples, reminiscent of a DJ's mixing, put together as a workable tune. The second "tune-within-a-tune" is a wailing, screeching sound, as heard in "Mentasm", "Fairy Dust", "Dominator" etc. The last part of the tune is a weird vocal theme, similar to that in "Anasthasia". Altogether, Insomniacc is the greatest piece of music in the history of mankind. (AM) ANDY M AND GREG G'S CLUB SCENE (#6) CUBIK CUBED - The Science This is the definitive remix of "Cubik", that timeless classical piece of techno from 808 State. This largely unheard of tune revamps and brings Cubik kicking and screaming into the latest rave scene. The Science have done all manner of weird things to the tune we all know and love. You would not believe! Its been speeded up to an astonishingly over-the-top pace, put through the echo machine, warped around, bassed up, and overall it's pretty darned good. (AM) This piece of mythology sounds good, but when someone other than Andy "the Asylum" Moore hears it (I'm the ONLY one in the know. AM), I might be able to review it. See ya now, fellas and fellaresses! (GG) See ya and look out of XL THE SECOND CHAPTER, featuring "Fairy Dust" and all the other top tunes over the previous months. (AM) Eskimos and Egypt (reviewed last time) are gonna be big (GG). It's another rush job!! SAM BASE from Phantom Software is a versatile database package which is dead easy to use and pretty useful at the same time. From THE PRESIDENT comes a Kim Wilde sample which proves that people other than Edwin Blink can sample stuff!! Simon Cooke is also busy sampling and has taken the classic quote from the Monty Python series. If you've seen it you'll laugh - if you havn't you'll wonder why everyone else is laughing. Steve Taylor conquers more m/c hassles in M/C Lesson 10. From Robert Smith comes one half of an amusing Gremlin demo. If I've got room the other part will be on next month. Both BANZAI and AXE have contributed some SAM MOUSE software to this issue - AXE asks if anyone can do anything with his RACE demo???? BANZAI is back! Him and Marc Ricard have done great versions of the classic game which originally appeared in Format. The Mystery program is a surprise ie I havn't decided what it is yet! Sorry! Cheerio Chaps (and Chapesses) FRED 17 out first week in December so send in all your Christmas type programs especially a menu!! Cheques payable to FRED [redacted] Subscriptions : £15 for 12 months or £8 for 6 months Thanks very much to all the contributors that I havn't got time to thank and I'm sorry for this issue being a few days late.
JH PRIMARY MATHS PACK 1 Revelation £9.99 This is a basic course in Maths covering 3-4 years progress, from reception class age (5 upwards). It contains exercises in counting, addition and subtraction including carrying and borrowing (remember those?!). In it are a series of programs accessed from a main menu, running from the simplest sums through to those dealing with thousands, hundreds, tens and units. In his program notes,author David Philpot goes to great length to stress the importance of practical maths paper work as a mainstay of the learning process, with the computer as a useful aid within that process. Those of us who are keen on computers might be accused of the assumption that they are necessary in schools without really thinking about why they are there, and I'm sure there are many lying idle for this reason. We did without them for centuries after all! This author has obviously thought this through, and his aim is to reinforce the basics and help to get rid of any lack of confidence with numbers, and I think his program succeeds. JH Primary Maths 1 The initial reaction is that the graphics are pretty basic,but frankly we've been spoilt by computer games. These aren't games, and they do the job extremely well. The use of sound and simple repetition of figures and words, together with the animation of counters in the simpler sums, is the right way to draw children in and give them confidence. There are ticks aplenty when the correct answer is given,along with smiling faces on the counters, but wrong answers are explained visually rather than just given a cross (although the counters have frowning faces!) Further on, the child has to recognise the word for a relevant number by hitting the space bar at the right time, and in the higher levels borrows and carries are shown visually as the sum is worked out. The author encourages the user to get children to work things out on paper sometimes before doing it on screen, as the computer does this for you. JH Primary Maths 1 The children I tried this out on (my own) really enjoyed it - th fact that it is "work" doesn't put them off in the context of the Sam, which they see as a fun thing to play with, and the blurring of the divide between school and play is a good thing, though this might be different in a school environment! Obviously part of a planned series then, with more programs promised, and just the sort of thing that's needed if the Sam is to find a niche in schools. John Hawkins . JH THE KEY PRESS Revelation £15.00 The Key Press is a suite of 5 programs to introduce the concept of word processing to children from the age of about 5 upwards. That is to say, it's 5 different word processors, starting with a basic screen with frame cursor within which typed letters appear or are erased, through to a full 80 column effort which it is claimed "may be quite sufficient for home computer users" The program was written by David Philpot, who as a teacher is obviously familiar with the way children learn, and has been carefully put together, with attention to details such as not having a hefty manual - all the instructioms are on screen and pretty foolproof, a must in the classroom! If there's one thing I hate about word processors it's the vast documentation, and kids would run a mile! The graphic display is pretty clear although I've not got a monitor and found mode 5 difficult to read in places. Mode 1 (for the youngest) is very nicely done - the letters are actually drawn as a key is pressed, and erased by placing the cursor over them - great for kids who are learning to write. JH The Key Press As you progress through the levels, things evolve, the erase becoming a standard left of cursor style, and paper/ink coloor choice coming into play from Level 2 (the kids loved this bit!).In later levels you can set up columns, underline and italicise etc., each from an on screen menu. Printing is also fully supported, with a couple of key presses dumping the current screen, and there is a load/save option from Level 4 onwards. So, everything's been covered, but there are some major niggles. For instance, no full word processor can do without a character insert - even (especially!) children are going to get annoyed with this omission when they get more proficient, and find you have to retype a whole line to insert a letter. Not on really. The author seems to cover such omissions by claiming that certain things are left out to stimulate thought on the child's part - a sort of what if? or why doesn't? situation, but I'm left wondering if this isn't just covering up cracks in the program! Perhaps it's my suspicious mind. JH The Key Press Saving text can also be a pain - you have to use a specially prepared disk, minus DOS, to store it, and each mode will only read its own files. My l0 year old, who knows the SAM pretty well, got in a muddle with this, but hopefully the teacher could sort out this type of problem. Incidentally my copy crashed after setting up one of these disks - hope its an early version Samco... On the whole then,a good implementation of a vital educational tool, but lacking the fine tuning to make it indispensable. Nevertheless a worthy addition to the Samschool series. John Hawkins Thank you very much John Hawkins. He was one of the few to respond to my reviewers plea. Anyway he's done a great job with reviewing. I will mention that this version is NOT an early version so you might encounter a few bugs (you wouldn't find any bugs in Impatience! - sorry). . Letters Dear Fred, I took up a previous suggestion of writing to Zeppelin Games about Sam software and in an interchange of letters Gareth Briggs gave me some interesting but not unexpected info about games sales, namely that Sam software has less than 0.2% of the market, and so is not really financially viable - "a lost cause" in his words. I also wrote to Virgin, Ocean, US Gold, Codemasters, Empire and Hitec without replies except for Hitec who felt that Sam would go down the pan with the Speccy. With Enigma's profile getting lower by the month I'm wondering whether anyone's seen any hopeful signs, or will Revelation be left to do it all? Are Sam users to remain in a software ghetto? It seems that if people are going to buy a real computer they spend more than £200 and if not they go for a console at a cheaper price. Fools! For anyone who can't complete CASTLE on the anniversary disk (wimps!) try entering your name as "johnnyhero" or "castlehero" (all lower case) for some interesting results. There are others. Best wishes, John Hawkins Reply Many thanks to John and numerous others who followed my advice and wrote to Mr Briggs at Zeppelin games. Although his letters still do not indicate any change of mind (ie he's still advising people to buy an Amiga!), he must be beginning to release that there is a market worth entering - considering Zeppelin had HUGE plans for the coupe only 2 years ago. If anyne else is feeling like a good moan then I suggest you do it to Mr Gareth Briggs at Zeppelin. The address is : Zeppelin Games 9D Ash Way Houghton-le-Spring Durham DH4 6JW And in response to your question : no, Revelation will not be left to release all the games because FREDs here and there will hopefully be numerous FRED release (on time!) in the near future. . Letters Dear Colin, Impatience is nothing short of excellant. The only criticism I have of Triltex is that the backdrops bugged me a little, but as there is an option to get rid of these this wasn't a problem. I would also like to say that I thought the music was great - I spent half of one night just listening to the music while I finished some work for college. I was however, ever so slightly disappointed with The Viking Game. I thought that the music and scrolling title ran too slow, considering there was a faster scroller in the last edition of FRED that also flickered a lot less. The actual game was up to the standard that I had expected. I suppose after playing Triltex I was expecting something a bit more. With the excepted of the above two comments, The Viking Game was also great. One final comment: Out of the two games, Triltex has to be the best, and if you keep producing games of this standard, I would for one buy them. All the best with FRED and any new software you produce. Andy Green Reply Thanks to Andy Green for letting FRED readers know what he thought of Impatience. As many of you will have guessed, the music on Impatience is not the music on the Triltex demo which has appeared. The new music was composed and written by Frantisek Fuka who did the Fuxoft music on the SCPDSA demo disc, the Shanghai game and music and the music for Prince Of Persia and Hexagonia. Yes, Viking is not as good as Triltex but it was put on just to give better value for money although it is still a good game. I do plan to release more games as soon as somebody else buys Impatience (well, near enough - courtesy of SAMCo's recent mailshot). I put a lot of money into Impatience which means I cannot release anything else until I make the money back. Once I do though, you will be seeing some fabulous releases (including a top license from the Amiga!). If you have a SAM dealer near you, please, please visit him and ask to see Impatience and you'll see it's much better than the SAMCo mailshot implied. Thank you. . DD/BP OF MICE AND TRILTEX... I've now taken up smoking and swigging large amouts of valium at the hands of Triltex. (Go out and buy it people, or be in ignorance for the rest of your pathetic lives since it makes Tetris look like a Fisher Price activity playset..). The SAM Mouse troubles me, It is so good, but there are a few things that get on me headband (?): 1.ANY computer person (such as my good self) can tell you that when it comes to the buttons on the mouse the priciple button (the one you use most) is ON THE LEFT and NOT the right. This confuses me no end since I use Archimedes and PC's (Mainly running Windows 3) my wee fingers are used to the NORMAL configuration. This means that when I get home to me ol' Coupe, I have to swap my fingers around (very painful I can tell you) and I don't like it. 2. FLASH! is crap (especially the mouse version), someone PLEASE write a new art package (with scaling, file compression and brutal animation). DD/BP Of Mouses and scrollers 3. The SAM mouse is miles (an hour?) better than the Joy Mouse since it moves like greased lightning and the BA mouse crawls (Sorry BA, I like your small rodent, but it's not i in the same league as the SAMCO mouse...) A small bitty in response to Howard Price's little note at the end of his scrolly about how my scrollers weren't so smooth after all. Viz. P145 of the User Guide describes the GRAB command (which I use in my, slow, smooth scrollers ). It says that the X and Y Coordinates of what you are GRABing are rounded to an even number. This presents a problem since if you want a true smooth scroller then you have to shift the columns of pixels (of the letter) one at a time. GRAB in Basic does not allow you to do this,since it rounds the value up to the nearest even number which after one is, suprisingly, two. This is why my 'Smooth Scrollers' aren't so smooth, since two columns are being shifted in one cycle (the jerky effect this causes, as you may have discovered, can be reduced by SCROLLing the area twice in one cycle by half the intended length each time (say what?) DD/BP Well Stab me, Scrolly Secrets eg if you wanted to SCROLL the area two pixels along, you would SCROLL it twice but by one pixel each time. Adding a PAUSE also can reduce the jerky bits.And that is why the 'Smooth Scrollers' are not so smooth, and if anyone can sort this out IN BASIC NOT M/C (I know all you m/c programmers can do it with all you appendages amputated (a la Black Knight) using your tounges but since I know bugger all about m/c, and I can't afford an assembler, it's of no use to me.), let me know through FRED. Thank you Dan Doore - some wonderful comments and with any luck we'll here from Howard Price (hint hint). If you agree, disagree or just want to say something (which must be PRINTABLE!) then just send your letter as a WP file (preferably Outwrite, Tasword, PCG DTP or Samscratch - although almost any will do) It seems you aren't the only one wanting a decent art package - I know of THREE programming teams who are working on one!! But I won't say any more.... . SPLAT-INCENTIVE/REVELATION-£9.99 Andy J. This is a conversion of,I'm told,a classic Speccy game. 'I'm told' because it was years before I got my first ever computer,it can't have been that bad as Crash (RIP) rated it in at 82%,in their first ever issuse (now that's what I call a collector item!). This new version contains the original 7 levels and 21 new ones,it has full mode 4 graphics,and again 'I'm told',stero 6 channel music.This time because this is only an early pre-release version,so contains no music. The version that I have only contains the original 7 levels,no music,but does contain limited FX including a sampled 'Yipeee', has infinate lives for playtesting,has fairly good scrolling which will be improved,a cheat for skipping levels,a percentage indicator that doesn't work and finally an object that when I go into it,I'm returned to basic,but what the hell,this shouldn't worry you as this is only a pre-release version,and all of this will be 'fixed' for the final version. . Even with all of these bits missing it is still quite a good game,and the final version should be quite good. Splat Andy J. I'm sorry but I don't know the plot or the game's objective as all I was told,was the idea of the game was just to survive. As the percentage indicator did not work the only way that I knew I had finished the level was the sampled 'Yipeee',which is quite good,thought it sound rather high pitched so had the guy just been kicked somewhere to give the desired effect! The game is very playable,even in this early stage of development,so the final version should be very playable indeed, thought if you only like shoot'em ups I don't know if this will be your kind of game. I wish I could say more about this game,perhaps Colin can,but as there is not any sound etc. I can not give a full review etc. with marks for sound etc. so I can only give an overall mark. I think overall I would give it about 75%,this is very vague I'm afraid as the score on the final version could be anywere from 70-90%,but if things are at this level on the final version it should be somewhere around the 75-80% mark. Splat should be available from SAMCO sometime soon on their Golden-Oldies label. . The End OK listen up, FOR SALE Coupe: Mind Games 1 £6. Speccy: (* means has compatibility problems but works fine on any speccy): Action Reflex* Cauldron 1+2 Quattro Sports Future Bike Sim. 3D Snooker Space Harrier* Slap Fight Bobby Bearing Hydrofool Rastan* Jack The Nipper Buggy Boy* Survival Mad Martha Chuckie Egg Chuckie Egg 2 WEC Le Mans ALL THESE TITLES COST A MERE £2., THREE FOR £5, WHOLE LOT £25 Phone the 'Banzai Hotline' 3-11PM [redacted] or write to: [redacted] Sorry - this section has been a bit of a mess but I'm sure you'll have enjoyed reading other peoples opinions for a change. Thanks to John Hawkins, Andy Jones, Andy Green, Dan Doore. .
Machine Code Tutorial #10
Ya know, many people (gals, mainly) aproach me in Perth High Street and ask me "Just how'd ya get the hand to move so smoothly in Triltex, Steve?". Well I won't tell them, but the reader(s?) of Fred? Why not. Oh, and I know this might seem a bit easy for the more advanced coders amongst you, but this IS a column to introduce more peeps into our elite world, so bear with me. Incidentally, and before I go any further, I hear that Col's running a compo to win a liftime subscription to the best coupe disk mag around. Well, if anyone fancies knowing the answers, just send your name and address on the back of a tenner and send it to the usual address. On that subject, if anyone DOES fancy writing to me (for whatever perverse reason you can find) please do. Being the shy and retiring type, my correspondance in the coupe world doesn't extend much beyond CM and and this mate of mine up the road. I would go to the odd show, but they always tend to be the same weekend as St Johnstone away games, and my measly royalties (are you listening Colin!) don't stretch much further than my travel club payment. Still, I can be reached at 29a Murray Crescent, Perth PH2 OHN and on (0738) 32535 in the evening (if you're feeling rich!) if you wish to communicate anything to do with this article, my games, or the coupe world in general! There may even be one or two freebies for those who send an SAE and a disk! Oh dear, that's a page wasted already on my mutterings. Back to the point. What was it? Oh yes, smooth sprite movement. Well, there are two ways we can use. The first is the faster, and the one used in both Triltex and the Viking Game. Basically, we do a HALT before scanning the keyboard and joystick. If there's a movement, wipe the sprite from the screen, and print it at its new location. When we have a patterned background to mask the sprite onto, whatever we over-write is copied to a buffer, and this is dumped back to the sreen to erase the sprite. This method has three main advantages: a) The code is nice and simple. b) The routine is fast because it only updates part of the screen. c) Because we use HALTs, the whole thing is syncronised and the sprite moves at a steady speed. Now, if you recall the last few articles about interupts, you'll remember that HALT just waits for the next maskable interupt, of which there are five types - it doesn't distinguish between them. Now, you can either disable the line interupt (output 255 to port 249) and hope only the frame interupt will need servicing, or you can disperse with th use of one HALT instruction, and set up routines to HALT for specific interupts. If we run the sprite routine off the frame interupt, we can update the sprite during the frame fly-back. ie, between two updates of the actual TV screen. This avoids flicker. However, if we've got a long interupt, taking a long time (eg. playing music, scanning mouse, etc), the new screen could be updating before we're ready to dump our sprite, and flicker now results. This was the case in Triltex, with Frantisek Fuka's music taking a fair amount of time to play every frame. So, I ran everything off a line interupt instead. Firstly, we set up a line interupt just below the game playing area, and put the music etc inside it. The routine sets a flag, line_int_on, and returns. If we are at a part of the game moving the sprite, and to slow it down, we put a HALT in, but to make sure we are waiting for the line interupt, we change this to CALL halt_line_int . . . We then have a routine, halt_line_int push af hli_loop ld a,(line_int_on) and a jr z,hli_loop xor a ld (line_int_on),a pop af ret And hey presto! Now, this method of sprite movement has its drawbacks. We can only update one or two sprites during the frame flyback, and it doesn't allow for background changes. eg, scrolling. To overcome this, we use a different method, where we have two screens - the one in vmpr, and a dummy. One by one, the graphics are dumped to the dummy screen. When it's ready the screens are switched and the dummy becomes visible. To avoid flicker and sheer, we must switch the screens after the games playing area has been updated on the TV, either through the frame or a line interupt. This does allow for scrolling and more sprite movement, but uses more memory, and more importantly, more time. I'm kinda depressed at the moment, by the way. I'm walking (hobbling) about on crutches following an accident during a hockey match last Thursday (we lost 3-0 too). Scotland have been robbed of a place in the World Cup final, and my beloved Saints somehow lost to Aberdeen at home in the Premier League. So I hope you'll forgive me if I go and do a Gazza. (Cry, that is. I don't tend to get involved in fights in night clubs!) And in next month's exciting (and hopefully longer) edition... A complete redefinable key scanning routine, since none of the SAM games I own (except Triltex) allow you to redefine keys. Let it be known! [END]