SAM Revival issue 19
Let's start off with what's on the coverdisk: Conquest. Written by Peter King in 1997 this originally had a limited release from Zedd-Soft, and now for the SAM Revival coverdisk it's had a graphical overhaul. It's best to describe Conquest as a 'Civilisation' style game where you establish and expand your village, search for raw materials, form and train armies with the goal to defeat the computer controlled enemy who's trying to do the same.
Onto the magazine. The cover gives away what I've been working on recently myself - the Trinity Ethernet Interface, bringing ethernet to your SAM with the eventual goal of getting the SAM onto the Internet! It's an idea I started kicking around back in March with a few people but with my moving house in June it wasn't until after I was all settled up here I was able to get on with building the prototype. Everything is covered in the magazine up to where it stands just now and I hope to have some final units in the hands of some programmers by the end of the month. The news section also covers more hardware - Edwin's new Atom-Lite+ interface - his new Atom interface for using Compact Flash cards with a built in real time clock. Software news, well there's quite a bit, covering games and emulators that are currently being written for our favourite blue footed computer!
The first feature article in this issue is "Programming the Z80", a new machine code column from the talents of Adrian Brown. Aimed for the beginner this first part gives an introduction to the SAM's Z80 CPU, hexidecimal numbering, memory and a couple of machine code instructions with a very small program just to wet your appetite for assembly language. If you've only stuck with BASIC or the likes of Games Master then now is your chance to take a gentle plunge into learning Z80 assembly and you'll soon see it's nothing to be scared of!
Next up is a SAM Games article from Gavin Smith, who takes a look back at a couple of games that he feels were quite a surprise to see on the SAM.
And the issue is rounded up with the Developer Diary. There's news on the SAM2_GB Gameboy emulator from Adrian Brown, who has been working on it since July when he offered to help Johan out. Adrian's really showed off his programming talents with this - rewriting parts of the core and all new graphic routines to get it running a game! Plenty of colour screenshots show it in action, this is one emulator I certainly have my eye on! Simon Owen, another master of emulation, goes over the latest version of his .SID music player which now uses his most up to date 65C02 cpu emulator code and other enhancements including support for NTSC and 100Hz .SID tunes and larger file sizes. And last, but not least, is some fantastic colour screenshots from SAM Fighter - a beat 'em up being written by Warren Lee, which looks great so far.