After the great success of the last CPCRetroDev last year it is time for a new game competition in 2017 again, isn’t it? This year, you can win around 1100 EUR in all different categories. As usual the competition is organised by the University of Alicante (UA) / Spain and aims to award the best and creative game developers, who create a game for an unmodified Amstrad CPC 464. The deadline for this years competition is the 31st October 2017, 23:59h (CEST), so don’t waste any time and start the development of your awesome game (you will find a countdown on the top right of this page :)).
If you are not familiar with development for the Amstrad CPC, you can have a look at the CPCtelera game development kit, the great programming tutorials on CPCMania, the CPCrslib programming library or cpcitor’s development toolchain. As always you can find help in the CPCWiki forums.
You can achieve the following awards (all in all about 1.100 EUR!!!):
Official Awards (1.100 €)
100 € – Gominolas to the best music
100 € – Carlos Abril to the funniest game
100 € – Pablo Ariza to the best Artificial Intelligence
300 € – Best game
175 € – Second best game
100 € – Third best game
50 € – Fourth best game
25 € – Fifth best game
100 € – Best game made by UA students
50 € – Second best game made by UA students
German enterprise RetroSpiel will award with a physical publication, distribution and selling of an extended version of games presented by two selected teams.
You can get more information about the competition rules and about the competition itself on the CPCRetroDev 2016 homepage. Be sure to participate and bring your creative game ideas to the Amstrad CPC.
A new version of CPCtelera, the Amstrad CPC game framework for C developers, was just released in version 1.4.2. CPCtelera offers a huge C library for the SDCC C cross-compiler, which makes it easier to create games and applications for the Amstrad CPC. This version mainly contains a new version of the SDCC compiler (v3.6.8), which is more efficient, creates better code and contains several bugfixes, but there are also some nice little features, which were added, too (see the ChangeLog for more details). It is available for Windows, Linux and OS-X. You can get the latest version from GitHub and discuss it in the CPCWiki forums.
Changes in v1.4.2:
Updated SDCC compiler from version 3.5.5 to newest version 3.6.8 (revision 9946). New version is much more efficient, generates better code and solves some bugs from previous one.
Added automatic Arkos Traker 1 AKS music conversion. It is done through the makefile macro AKS2C, which is easily added in config file cfg/music_conversion.mk
Added project support for Visual Studio Code IDE. All CPCtelera projects can now be opened and compiled in VS Code. Moreover, intellisense and keyboard shortcuts for automaticly running games are easily added.
Documented VS Code integration, with plenty of information for users on how to set up projects.
Documented Automatic Conversion Tools for Music, Graphics and Tilemaps. This will greatly help users on fastly and comfortably integrating asset production in their projects without having to bother to convert them when they change.
Added support for drawing tiles using gray code order and making use of the stack. Really fast method for advanced users.
Added troubleshooting section to the documentation in order to help users with common issues.
Fixed issue in iDSK: it was overwritting files with same name but different extension.
Added Support for Paged Memory and use of memory beyond 64K.
Added z88dk speculative optimization peepholes for advanced users wanting to experiment with advanced optimization.
Added new asm examples with animations, music and data structures: greetcardmusic/ and structs/.
Updated RGAS to latest 1.2.2 version.
Added bitarray support for tiled Tilemap TMX-CSV conversion to C.
Fixed getRandom to output predictable random sequences
Did you ever asked yourself how the Amstrad CPC was developed back in the 1980s? What was the intention of its design? Why did they change the main CPU from an MOS 6502 to a Zilog Z80 during the development? Why did they chose Locomotive BASIC instead of an other BASIC dialect? … Nostalgia Nerd uploaded two great videos to Youtube where he had a closer look at Amstrad and the CPC development. Enjoy them!
A new version of the Z88dk development environment for Z80 based computer (e.g. Amstrad CPC, Cambridge Z88, MSX, Sinclair ZX 81, Sinclair ZX Spectrum, etc.) was released. The release is a transition release on the way to v2.0 which aims on using both, the SDCC compiler and the Small-C compiler, to combine their advantages, which leads to much faster and smaller output binaries. You can choose between using the Small-C compiler with the old and the new C library or use the SDCC compiler with the new C library. The new C library also introduces full C standard compliance to Z88dk.
The newest version can be downloaded from the Z88dk homepage. The source code is available on GitHub.
The win32 and osx packages are complete and now include the zsdcc & zsdcpp binaries. zsdcc is z88dk’s customization of the sdcc compiler. Other users can compile zsdcc from source.
A VS2015 solution file is now available in z88dk/win32 for building all z88dk binaries except zsdcc & zsdcpp. Instructions for building zsdcc & zsdcpp can be found in the install instructions link above.
ZCC – Compiler Front End:
M4 has been added as an optional macro pre-processor. Any filename ending with extension “.m4” will automatically be passed through M4 and its output written to the original source directory with the “.m4” extension stripped prior to further processing. The intention is to allow source files like “foo.c.m4”, “foo.asm.m4”, “foo.h.m4” and so on to be processed by M4 and then that result to be processed further according to the remaining file extension.
In conjunction with the above, a collection of useful M4 macros has been started in “z88dk.m4” that can be included in any “.m4” file processed by zcc. Currently macros implementing for-loops and foreach-loops are defined.
List files ending with extension “.lst” can be used to specify a list of source files for the current compile, one filename per line. The list file is specified on the compile line with prefix @ as in “@foo.lst”. List files can contain any source files of any type understood by zcc and individual lines can be commented out with a leading semicolon. Paths of files listed in list files can be made relative to the list file itself (default) or relative to the directory where zcc was invoked (–listcwd). List files can list other list files, identified with leading ‘@’.
zcc now processes all files it is given to the final output file type specified. For example, with “-E” specified, all listed .c files will be run through the C pre-processor individually and all output copied to the output directory. Previous to this, only the first file listed was processed unless a binary was being built.
-v gives more information on what steps zcc takes to process each source file.
-x now builds a library out of the source files listed.
-c by itself will generate individual object files for each input source file. However, if -c is coupled with an output filename as in “-o name”, a single consolidated object file will now be built instead of individual ones. The intention is to provide a means to generate identical code in separate compiles by allowing this single object file to be specified on different compile lines.
Better error reporting for source files with unrecognized types.
Better parsing for compile line pragmas; pragma integer parameters can now be in decimal, hexadecimal or octal.
-pragma-include added to allow a list of compile time pragmas to be read from a file as in “-pragma-include:zpragma.inc”. This way projects can consolidate pragmas in one location; this is especially important for the new c library which uses pragmas extensively to customize the crt.
-pragma-export added, is similar to -pragma-define but the assembly label defined as a constant on the compile line is made public so that its value is visible across all source files.
–list will generate “.lis” files for each source file in a compile to a binary. The “.lis” file is an assembly listing of source prior to input to the linker.
–c-code-in-asm causes C code to be interspersed as comments in any generated assembly listing associated with C source files.
“.s” files are now understood by zcc to be asz80-syntax assembly language source files. This allows sdcc project files written in assembly language to be assembled by z88dk. asz80 mnemonics are non-standard so zcc attempts to translate to standard zilog mnemonics before assembling. You can see the translation to standard zilog form by using “-a” on a compile line. This is still a work-in-progress feature.
–no-crt allows compiles to proceed without using the library’s supplied crt for a target. The first file listed on a compile line will stand in as the crt and will be responsible for initialization and setting up the memory map.
Temporary files are always created in the temp directory. The option “-notemp” has been removed.
Library and include search paths have been fixed to honour the order specified on the compile line. This allows the user to override library functions when desired.
Source files are now processed from their original location so that includes can be properly resolved. Previously this was only done for .c files but this now applies to other file types.
clang/llvm compilation is in an experimental state.
Roudoudou worked on a compressor / decompressor which uses the LZ48 / LZ49 compression algorithm on the Amstrad CPC and released his work in the CPCWiki forums. The compressor is inspired by the LZ4 compression algorithm of Yann Collet and the modifications fits well to the Z80 CPU of the Amstrad CPC. The advantage of this compression method is, that the decompression code is very small (83 bytes) and very fast. The disadvatage is that there are other compressors which feature a better compression ratio, but require more memory and more time for decompression as well.
You can get more information about the modified algorithm and download the assembly source from the CPCWiki forums. You can also find a version for SDCC / CPCtelera and binary files for Windows there.
This archive features the LZ48/LZ49 (de)compression routines by Roudoudou, which were derived from the LZ4 compression by Yann Collet. Its advantage is the small decompression routine size (84 bytes) and high decompression speed. In this archive you will also find Windows binaries of the compressor for cross-development and routines, which you can direclty use with SDCC / CPCtelera.
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