Oct 272019
 

8BP (= 8bits of power) is a set of RSX commands (commands that are directly integrated into BASIC) that helps you to create games in Locomotive BASIC for the Amstrad CPC. It features new commands for sprite handling, animation, scrolling, music (based on the WYZTracker), etc. With only 8kb of code, it is very small and leaves 24kb to be used by your BASIC program. You can download the latest version from GitHub, read the (spanish) development blog or participate on the technical discussions in the CPCWiki forums.

Eridu – an example for a game written with 8BP

Main features

  • 32 sprites with clipping, overwrite, ordering (4 order types) and collision detection (mode 0 and mode 1)
  • 4 modes of sprites sorting, based on Ymax or Ymin, partial or complete
  • sprite/image flipping (mode 0 and mode 1)
  • animation sequences, and macro-sequences. Any sprite can change automatically its animation sequence depending on its parameters Vy,Vx
  • multi-directional scroll (based in command MAP2SP)
  • allows in-game music based on WYZtracker 2.0.1.0 tool (commands MUSIC and MUSICOFF)
  • layout ( which is a kind of “tile map”), with collision detection
  • only takes 8 KB, leaving 24 KB for BASIC programs. 8BP reserves 8KB for sprites and 1.4KB for music, but your BASIC program can have up to 24 KB length
  • STARS command for sand effects, rain, snow and stars planes
  • commands for move N sprites at the same time (such as MOVERALL, AUTOALL, ROUTEALL…)
  • routing sprites through user-defined routes, simplifying game logic. These routes can be loopings, jumps, complex trajectories or whatever
  • inks animation command (RINK) for racing cars games, bricks. etc
    complete sprite editor included (SPEDIT)
  • customizable mini character set for printing in mode 0 (using command PRINTAT)
  • Pseudo 3D capability for “pole position” style games (racing games, tanks, etc)
Oct 222019
 

Do you remember BSCs AyAy Kaeppttn SID player for the CPC? He started to work on it again and improved it even more so that it supports three SID channels on the CPC now. When running his new SID engine, the CPC uses about 100% of the CPU, so there is nothing left for anything else. Well, since this is currently work in progress there is no official release, but you can listen to a conversion of the song “The Last Hero” by Future Freak of Dexion. You can join the technical discussion about the player in the CPC Wiki forums.

Oct 172019
 

You still love to write programs with the awesome Locomotive BASIC that was delivered directly with the Amstrad CPC? Maybe you still have a BASIC program that you want to run on a modern computer without using an emulator? Great! Then Marco Vieth, well-known for his CPC emulator CPC-Emu, has a solution for you: CPCBasic. It can run you BASIC program in a webbrowser (serverless) and sends its output to the HTML canvas.
To learn more about CPCBasic, head over to the CPCBasic GitHub page and test it by yourself.

Features:

  • Run old an new BASIC programs in a browser
  • “Wrap factor” Speed: Frame Fly and other events in real-time, calculations as fast as possible
  • CPC Basic Unchained: Less restrictions, extended by new features, breaking out of the CPC box
  • BASIC compiler and not just interpreter
  • Lots of memory, no memory full
  • Runs locally without a server (even on mobile devices, but without input)
  • HTML5 / JavaScript without external libraries
Oct 022019
 

A new version of the Retro Virtual Machine by Juan Carlos Gonzalez Amestoy was released. It is a modern multi-platform emulator for Windows, Linux and MacOS. Currently it supports the emulation of an Amstrad CPC 464, 664 and 6128 and also different Sinclair computers. Besides that it is also feature packed with for e.g. realistic CRT emulation and devices like the X-Mem, the CPC Dandanator or the AMX mouse. Hopefully more will come in the future. Needless to say that it also supports tape and floppy emulation and features extended development features like debugger and integrated assembler.

But have a look by yourself:

The Retro Virtual Machine immediatly became my favourite emulator, so if you want to test it, too, head over to the Retro Virtual Machine homepage and download it for your favourite operating system.

Features:

  • Multiplatform
    • Windows (Vista+)
    • Linux
    • MacOs (10.9+)
  • Multi System
    • ZX Spectrum
      • ZX Spectrum 16k
      • ZX Spectrum 48k (issue2/3/+/+English)
      • ZX Spectrum 128k (eng/spa)
      • ZX Spectrum +2 (eng/spa/fr)
      • ZX Spectrum +2A (4.0eng/4.0spa/4.1eng/4.1spa)
      • ZX Spectrum +3 (4.0eng/4.0spa/4.1eng/4.1spa)
      • ZX Spectrum +2E (eng/spa)
      • ZX Spectrum +3E (eng/spa)
      • Inves Spectrum +
      • ZX-Uno (v4.1/v4.2)
    • Amstrad CPC
      • Amstrad CPC 464 (CRTC-0)
      • Amstrad CPC 664 (CRTC-0)
      • Amstrad CPC 6128 (CRTC-0)
    • Multi machine
      • Possibility of opening several machines in parallel
    • Virtual Cassette
      • Support TAP,TZX,PZX,CSW,CDT in playback or recording.
    • Floppy disks
      • Low level disc (mfm)
      • New implementation of upd765
      • HFE/DSK support
    • Monitor
      • Emulation of synchronism (H-sync/V-sync)
      • New Shader
    • Joysticks / Gamepad
      • Autodetection
    • Devices
      • ZX Spectrum
      • DivMMC
      • Kempston Mouse
      • Magic-AY
      • Turbo Sound
    • Amstrad CPC
      • X-Mem
      • CPC Dandanator
      • AMX Mouse
    • Supported file systems in the integrated explorer
      • FAT 16
      • FAT 32
      • CPM
    • SD Emulation (SPI)
      • SD (max 2GB)
      • SDHC (max 32GB)
    • Development system (ALPHA)
      • Editable hexadecimal view
      • Editable disassembly view
      • Multiple monitors
      • Assembler with LUA pre-processor
      • Command terminal

Sep 272019
 

You are currently working on your latest production and need a way to compose music for it? Then the Arkos Tracker might be a good choice for you. In the latest version, Targhan, the author of it, completely rewrote it, so it is available for your favourite operating system now. Besides the obvious support for the Amstrad CPC it also supports the Atari ST, ZX Spectrum, MSX, Oric, Apple 2, Vectrex and the Sharp MZ-700 and of course you can also import various chiptune tracker formats (e.g. from Soundtrakker, Arkos Tracker 1, Starkos Tracker, Wyz Tracker, etc.) but also MIDI or MOD files for easy music conversion. Let’s not forget that it also supports extra hardware that adds multiple soundchips to your system (like the PlayCity on the Amstrad CPC).

This is an example tune playing in the Arkos Tracker 2:

You got interested in it? Great! Head over to the Arkos Tracker 2 homepage and download it.

Features:

  • Cross-platform (Windows, Linux, Mac).
  • Manage both standard PSG sound and samples without any distinction!
  • Support of AY-3-8912 and YM2149F.
  • Unlimited PSG count! You can create standard 3-channel songs, or 6, 9, 32 or more if you want!
  • 4 columns of effects per channel, including Arpeggio (via a table or inline value), Pitch, slide, glide, change Arpeggio/Pitch/Instrument speed, etc.
  • Import from MIDI, AKS (Arkos Tracker 1), SKS (STarKos), 128 (BSC’s Soundtrakker), WYZ (Wyz Tracker), MOD, VT2 (Vortex Tracker 2), CHP (Chip’n’sfx).
  • 4 players, from versatile to extremely fast, or slower but less memory consuming.
  • Support of specific hardware: PlayCity (CPC), Spectrum TurboSound, SpecNext, MSX Darky and MSX FPGA (AKY player only).
  • Sound effect support, shared among songs.
  • ROM players available: no more auto-modifying code, a small buffer is used.
  • Exports can be assembly sources or binaries: it makes it easy to integrate the songs in your production.
  • Sources can be converted to any assembler.
  • Each PSG can have its own frequency (including custom ones).
  • Replay rate from 12Hz to 300Hz, or custom.
  • A song is composed of sub-songs, all sharing the same instruments. Helps you save even more memory!