Graphics Demo 1.3, new fonts, new development environment

So the latest video on YouTube in my programming in BASIC series unveils my Graphics Demo version 1.3, which, by the way, is available via this blog post, click gdemo13 to download the zip image of the disk image file.

In the past few blog posts you so me go through the refinement of the fonts, and the development of the routine to take any text string and display that graphically using my font draw routine.

I took that code, saved it in an ASCII format, which ended up being SAVE “FMERGE.BAS”,A and then that ASCII file containing the code was able to be MERGED with the graphics demo, and I then added graphical text routines.

The first routine just writes the word “Graphics Demo” on a random location of the screen, the second one will take up to 8 random letters and draw them somewhere.

A nice touch, and closure to this project of getting a “usable” font routine.  Granted, I’d like the fonts to be more perfect, less bloated looking and work well in all resolutions, but for now, I’ll be happy with the fact they exist, they work, and I can use them, and, they’re 100% my own original creation.

So what else changed, and why? Well for starters, I stopped using VCC as the emulator that I had been using all along in this series.  Not because there is anything wrong with VCC, but, an issue arose on my PC that made VCC stop playing nice with my graphics drivers and multiple monitors, and I could not longer get it to behave the way I wanted.  I spent some time trying to resolve the issue, but it didn’t pan out, and I needed to move on.

Enter: MAME!  Mame, the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator, most commonly known for it’s ability to play original arcade games also emulates the Tandy Color Computer, and is actually one of the best emulators for the CoCo, although not the most user friendly, or elegant.

MAME has the best emulation of the CoCo’s read and blue “artifact” colors which display on the high res PMODE 4 graphics screen, and allow us 4+ colors on a screen that’s essentially black and white.

MAME also now supports the Tandy Speech Sound Cartridge, and I plan to include support for music in sound in my game project at this point, since it’s a newly available feature.

MAME also support the feature of copy-and-paste, so if I have code from other sources, I can now paste that directly into the emulator and save the typing.


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