Home > Retro > Games I made when I was a kid #3 – Stompy

Games I made when I was a kid #3 – Stompy

May 8th, 2009


“Oh no!” you wail, “not another game he made when he was a kid that no-one played or cared about, and which no-one cares about now either!”

I’ve actually skipped at least ten games, so stop complaining. Stompy (1985) is a lot like the last game I featured, Splatter. The difference is that Splatter was written in Microsoft BASIC and Stompy is 100% Z-80 Assembly Language.

To play it, load the Stompy cassette image in your emulator. Type “SYSTEM”, then type “S”. When the game is loaded, type “/” to run it.

If you’re interested I’d like to tell you how you write a program in Assembler on a 48K Dick Smith System-80 cassette-based system…

  1. Insert cassette containing the Editor/Assembler program. Wait a couple of minutes for it to load, nursing the volume control to keep the meter in the yellow zone. If it loaded without a checksum error then run it.
  2. Insert cassette containing your source code. Wait a couple of minutes for it to load. All the time keep praying that your code will actually load, and isn’t gone forever.
  3. Make your changes in the editor.
  4. Save your source code to tape (another couple of minutes). Don’t use the same tape, you idiot. Multiple copies, multiple copies…
  5. Assemble your code.
  6. Save the assembled machine language to tape (another couple of minutes). Wait.. that’s not the tape you just saved the code on is it? Arghhhh!
  7. Reset the computer.
  8. Load your machine code from tape (another couple of minutes)
  9. Run your program and try to work out from the quick flash of garbage on the screen what went wrong.
  10. Reset the computer.
  11. Insert cassete containing the Editor/Assembler program…

Needless to say, you want to minimize the number of build cycles. That’s why I wrote the code for the entire game in a notebook first. It is a matter of some pride to me that it almost worked first time.

Ahhh, the Dick Smith System-80 Blue Label edition. Lower-case characters! Inbuilt cassette with volume control! Woodgrain side panels! This was the greatest of all TRS-80 Model 1 clones. You youngsters today have no idea. I’m actually starting to get a little teary. How I loved that machine. No kidding, I’m actually sitting here starting to cry.

Categories: Retro
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