Posts Tagged ‘z80’
For LD23, I decided to go full-retro, and make a z80-based game that runs on Pac-Man arcade hardware. I’m not going to lie to you, I didn’t even come close to completing it, and I’m totally fine with that. You can see the “finished” product here. From there you can get the romset (mspacmab – bootleg spaceman, for reasons I won’t get into), the source, and the link to the google code repository that has my Z80 kernel which I used for it. Fact of the matter is, I wanted to do a Z80/Arcade rom game for LD, I did it, and I’m happy that I did. I think I may do this for future LDs as well, learning from each (failure) along the way.
I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish something in time for either the regular compo or the jam, but I wanted to see how much I could get done in time, without going out of my way to devote all 48 hours on it.
I was coming home from a work trip, so if you watch the time-lapse off of the link above, you will see that I’m actually working on it in an airport (in Atlanta, Georgia) as well as on an airplane, along with on the couch at home and at an office desk. I squeezed in as much time as possible.
The main thing that prevented me from getting (a little) further is that I was planning to spend evenings on the work trip i was on, in re-aquainting myself with the tools (assembler, z80 kernel, etc) that I haven’t really looked at in about 5 years. I also wanted to add support in my “Llemonide” z80 IDE/emulator, for building and better debugging. Instead, for various reasons, I was unable to have any downtime at all on the work trip to devote to this project. I was essentially going in to LD completely green on the subject. I spent a lot of time creating the project, remembering how my z80 kernel works, basics like that which should have been old-hat.
So what did I learn? Spend A LOT of time getting familiar with your tools. Do practice jams. Try to minimize the amount of boilerplate stuff you’ll be recreating to save time. You need to spend your time making your game, not fumbling with your tools.
Better luck and progress next time!
As a sidenote, all of the source for mine is available at the page for Tiny World ’82, along with links to the tools/kernel, and the romset. I have included instructions to running it within the Google Chrome browser, in case you don’t have MAME handy. Check it out and review it if you like. I’m just hoping for an non-zero score on this one.
In the past, I’ve made a few arcade ROM hacks, new Z80/Pac-Man hardware ROM code, as well as writing some tools that quite a few people have used over the past 15 years or so (AGE and Turaco). Being that this next LD is notable as being the 10th, I figured I’d celebrate by attempting to do an LD entry that is “retro” to the fullest extent that I can think of.
I’m going to do a 16kbyte “Ms Pac-Man Bootleg” (mspacmab) romset entry. I will provide an emulator so that you can play it in a web browser (or at least via Java) or you can drop the romset into your MAME emulator port of choice to try it out. (Note: This means I’m targetting that cpu (Z80) Memory Map (Pac-Man Arcade Hardware), Color PROM (MsPac-Man), etc. You will be able to burn the roms, and drop them onto real hardware to play this!)
I’ll be using my z80 kernel (some routines to simplify screen drawing, handling a coindrop menu, that kind of thing) which is available on google code here: http://code.google.com/p/bleu-romtools/ . (Also there are the graphics tools mentioned before (Turaco), as well as a slightly modified Z80 assembler, adding some things that simplify use in a constrained ROM memory map)
It should be pretty fun and very challenging! I invite any of you as insane as I am to pick your retro platform of choice (Commodore 64? PET? Amstrad? Sinclair? Atari 8-bit? Amiga?) and go for it for this one along with me!
I haven’t really been in a Z80 headspace in a couple years now, I’ll be starting this on the end of a work business trip ,coding in a hotel and airplane, then working on it while helping care for a toddler, and that the tools aren’t as advanced as for other platforms…
I’m sure my entry and effort will go down in a blaze of failure, due to so many things being against me on this, but I’m going to give it a try anyway.