Subliminal Extacy #01
01 января 1995

HOW TO WRITE A CRAP DEMO IN BASIC

HOW TO WRITE A CRAP DEMO IN BASIC
HOW TO WRITE A CRAP DEMO IN BASIC  by Pandagirl.                
================================================                           
                                                                
                                                                
Ingredients (*available from Prism or Alchemist)                
                                                                
 A Spectrum 128 (not a +3 if you can help it)                   
 Tasword (or similar word processor)                            
*Soundtracker                                                   
*Soundtracker Compiler                                          
*Mikropol Screen compressor                                     
*Uniscroll version 2.1                                          
 Art Studio or similar package                                  
 BASIC loader / controller (supplied)                           
                                                                
First think up a good idea. I don't usually bother with these   
but they can help a crap demo become average by making people   
think it will be worth loading.                                 
                                                                
Your first demo won't have loads of sprites flying about or     
techy effects (trust me on this one ok?) Let's settle for a     
simple one screen / one tune / one scroller type demo, just like
my first two were. The moral is, if your second demo is the same
as your first, then why the fuck did you bother. I ignored this 
simple rule in life but I'm excused cos' I said so.             
                                                                
Are you crap at drawing? You could nick a screen from a game    
with the help of a MULTIFACE if you really are fucking hopeless 
but that really is scrapping the bottom of your already spotless
barrel. I'm no great artist myself but using an illustration    
from a magazine, I draw a grid over it in 1CM blocks. You can   
then draw up a grid on your art program and convert the pixels  
box by box. This is what me and the smelly Fudgepacker does to  
thrill your eyeballs and gives pretty good results. The more you
practice doing it, the better you're efforts will become.       
                                                                
Digi-screens can look pretty good too but try to avoid using    
things you've already seen in demos hundreds of times before!   
Leave a gap for where your scrolling text will go, three        
attribute blocks high is usually enough. Remember that whatever 
colour codes you have left on your finished art screen will be  
the colours that your text will scroll with so try to avoid     
using black ink on black paper ok? Jesus, some people...        
                                                                
You could leave your screen as a standard 6912 bytes file but   
this is even more crap than NARC was as a game. The Mikropol    
screen compressor will scrunch your screen down into a nice     
compact chunk of code. The compressor is simple to use so save  
off your code with a helpful name (try SCREEN!) Keep this nice  
and safe on a cassette called 'bits of finished crap' so you    
know where to find it later. I suppose you could save a 6912    
bytes file to RAM disk or whatever by why bother.               
                                                                
You could have a silent demo with just your text to thrill the  
demo watchers, but that really is a no-no. It took me quite a   
while to learn how to wield Soundtracker into making noises that
actually sounded like a tune. I'm not going to tell you how to  
use it, I'll be here all fucking night. As it's your first go at
Speccy demos why don't you nick one? Alchemist has loads of     
files to choose from. You could even try remixing it. When you  
don't know what the fuck you are doing on Soundtracker you can  
come up with some pretty nifty audios!                          
                                                                
The compiler will pack it nicely but this is where a pencil and 
paper will come in handy. You have to save your tune code to a  
certain address so it's time to do some memory management!      
                                                                
The BASIC program provided with this boring article will run    
your bits of stuff, you just have to load them to the right     
addresses! In the example, music code will be loaded to address 
60000. So save your tune code with the compiler to (yes, that's 
right) 60000. Write down all the other shit too, especially the 
LENGTH of your code. If you don't then you can fuck off now and 
do something a bit less tiresome.                               
                                                                
Bottom is on the telly in a minute but I'll press on.           
                                                                
Do you have Tasword or some other WP? Well you should have. This
is what you'll write your scroller text on. If there are two of 
you in your mob then one can use UPPER case and the other can   
use the little one. When you come to doing minor flash things   
like having a customized font it'll look like two fonts! Do try 
to write something interesting and not shit like "I can't think 
of anything to say". If you are a boring twat, LIE! make it up, 
copy some porno text from your hand shandy mags, anything but   
the above. You don't know how shit it looks! Turn the bloody    
word wrap off too. Save your textfile as 'TEXT' (it's only a    
suggestion, you could call it TwatBandit for all I care). Do    
remember to make a note of the text length. In the example      
program it's important not to make it longer than 9999 bytes,   
otherwise you'll over-write your music code in memory. Or rather
your text will stop dead at address 60000 in our example.       
                                                                
You will be using Visions Uniscroll to control things which is a
very nice bit of scroll code. The helpfile that comes with it   
has loads of info on text effects but let's keep it simple.     
The code is located at address 33280 or something. To keep it   
even more simple, you'll be loading each bit of your demo in    
seperate blocks. Your second demo could be planned with each bit
of code following the next so you can save the whole lot off as 
one huge chunk of sexy byte action.                             
                                                                
Right, you've now got three bits of code; screen, music and text
file, plus the Uniscroll code - that's four. Now you need to    
load each bit into your Speccy with simple load commands. Do    
this in direct command style (i.e. don't use fucking line       
numbers you daft cunts)                                         
                                                                
The Code you want from the Uniscroll utility should be called   
"uniscr2.1" or something. Make sure you load the correct bit of 
code to the correct addresses or you'll be up shit street.      
                                                                
CLEAR 33279: LOAD "" CODE 33280                                 
                                                                
LOAD "SCREEN" CODE 40000                                        
                                                                
LOAD "TEXT" CODE 50000                                          
                                                                
LOAD "MUSIC" CODE 60000                                         
                                                                
Now for the bit that makes it all work; the BASIC listing. Yes, 
not all PD demos are slick machine coded instant orgasms:       
                                                                
 10 REM your crap demo name                                     
 20 CLEAR 33279: LOAD""CODE 33280                               
 30 LOAD "" CODE 40000: LOAD "" CODE 50000: LOAD "" CODE 60000  
 40 REM Uniscroll pokes                                         
 50 POKE 33280,pixels from top of screen (0-175)                
 60 POKE 33281,0: POKE 33282,60: REM points to standard font    
 70 POKE 33283,80: POKE 33284,195: REM points to TEXT at 50000  
 80 POKE 33285,1: REM split text option. 1 = normal 2-4 = split 
 90 POKE 33286,speed (values of 1-4)                            
100 POKE 33287,8: REM width of each character                   
110 POKE 33291,30: REM width of scrolling 'box'. Use even no's  
120 POKE 33292,1: REM x position of squares in scrolling 'box'  
130 POKE 33293,8: REM height of character                       
140 REM Display screen picture                                  
150 RANDOMIZE USR 40000                                         
160 REM Scroll/Music interupt routine                           
170 RANDOMIZE USR 33297: RANDOMIZE USR 60000                    
180 RANDOMIZE USR 33402: RANDOMIZE USR 60006: PAUSE 1: GOTO 180 
200 SAVE "Demo name" LINE 10: SAVE "SCREEN" CODE 40000,len:     
    SAVE "TEXT" CODE 50000,len: SAVE "MUSIC" CODE 60000,len     
                                                                
Owners of Popsnog and Vaseline can see this working in action!  
Pretty crap eh? but it works and it feels good to make demos.   
To save your demo just type GOTO 200 and press those keys when  
instructed you lucky people. Just remember to enter your own    
lengths of Code where it says len, ok? Now fuck off and do it.  
Remember kids, it's all in BASIC so anyone can do the above!!   
                                                                
NEXT ISSUE: Adding a custom font                                
            Adding a loading screen                             
            Keypresses to other parts                           
            Code splicing                                       
                                                                
END                                                              



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