ACNews #61
21 января 2016

News - I wish all the Spectrum people to make even more for the sake of our beloved platform!

<b>News</b> - 
I wish all the Spectrum people to make even more for the sake of
our beloved platform!
                        by Alone Coder

Happy New Year!

I wish all the Spectrum people to make even more for the sake of
our beloved platform!

For example, in the year passed, we witnessed the long-awaited
return of CODE in some demos, an adaptation of OS MSX-DOS 2 for
ATMЗ(Savelij), new version of OS TASiS for ATM2 (Maksagor), 
continued development of OS PQ-DOS for Profi(Vadim), and new
cross development environments: with Pascal language -
ZX Like Pascal(Andrew771), and with Oberon language - ZXDev 
(Oleg N. Cher). This year a really large game was released for
Spectrum - SpaceMerc: Liberation(Hippiman), whose demo version
was presented back in 2014 at "Your Game 5" competition, and the
prologue was released for the former New Year.
Hardware emulation for disk controller chip 1818VG93 (without
hooking the CPU) was finished byKing of Evil. And with common
effort the Info Guide e-zine was revived.

Living with a little daughter is very joyful! I haven't made a
new workplace yet, so I write sometimes while staying,
sometimes horizontally. I bought an apartment in a house under
construction close to my job - but this will be a long time
until everything will be finished.

1Зth of December was my birthday.Lord Vader came from Moscow,
and we met atJohn Silver's. John Silver showed us how he
skyjumped (he is a paratrooper) and how he tries to write music
with a MIDI keyboard and some software synthesizer.Lord Vader
wrote a gift "Alone 34" together withSand (graphics), nq
(music), and a secret well-wisher (text). We know who :)
Lord Vader also presented me a smartphone thatLouisa is now 
trying to borrow :) And my sister brought me a jigsaw puzzle of
3000 parts - is that a kind of very sophisticated torture? :)

King of Evil couldn't come because of an urgent business trip to
Komsomolsk-on-Amur because of his satellite apparatus.
There are rumors that he bought one more Land Rover Defender -
that's interesting, why have two? :)LVD has just one and that's
OK for him :)

Arwald finally got a task for the diploma project / magister
thesis in RTRGU, so his game Rusted Souls is postponed.

KSA-7G appeared. He was a hardware man once, and lately he wrote
BASIC games for teaching the neighbour children. But now he only
has a smartphone that broke (a power supply burned the input).
And he still avoids seeking a job.

DimkaM found a video of his entering the pioneer movement in
1988! I wasn't a pioneer - first because of my age (I was two
years younger than my classmates), then it became out of
fashion. It appeared that their school in 1994 provided
certificates of an operator of IBM PC. And at the mentioned
young pioneer initiation, the children were given a book byKir
Bulychev about Alice, girl from the communist future.DimkaM 
kept all of this.

I also continue to sort my old papers (photographed byLouisa ).
Apart from the methods of dating mentioned in#59, I could date
one piece of paper by the names of tennis players written on it!
Kafelnikov, Chesnokov, Agassi, Courier, Sampras, Stich - these
names were at semifinal of Davis Cup, 22-24 of September, 1995.
Those times I still watched TV. Authors of a show of classical
music jokes "От форте до пьяно" (1995-1997) were also written
down. Sadly the composerAlexey Zalivalov has passed away in

My old multicolor experiments were timed for screen start at
tick 1439x. 14395 is ATM Turbo timing.
However I had Pentagon 48, not ATM Turbo. Why such a timing?
I don't remember. Maybe my father fixed the timing (that's
inverting one signal) to remove sprite flickering in games? That
was a popular topic then. Or was it a feature of that specific
board? We can't know this today, the board has gone.
I made the same fix at Pentagon 128 to remove the parasite
double INT. Then (in 1998?) I fixed it back, with a capacitor
that removed the parasite pulse. This resulted in one of two
variants of a "standard Pentagon" INT, they differ by one tick
and are supported one in the first screen of PSG-Wins, another
in the second. Later (in 2000?)T(c)S found a defective chip and
removed the capacitor, so the INT moved to the position of
another "standard Pentagon" INT, used more commonly because of
Rage demo (btw written on a patched Scorpion ). 

nitrofurano has made a truetype font (that can help for cartoons
we draw atRGRTU-Film studio) from my old drawings. Now we test
spacings. How it was:

what i'm sending on the attachment is just a pixel trace - a svg 
file (that you can open easily on inkscape, for example).  my 
idea is to work on that somehow. 


>How will you convert svg to ttf?
>I remember I tried some font editor at the time but I was bored
>after one letter :)
>Some of the lines have wrong thickness compared to same elements
>in other letters (this was not intended).
>I used "Irina CTT" font in my comics
>but this font will be more usable.

as it is, with some small arrangements for easing the process, 
it can be imported on fontforge - but that svg i sent is still 
plenty of redundant nodes and pixelated, was just for you having 
the idea of the process - the idea was to firstly get that svg 
advanced enough for an easier import from fontforge, like having 
the characters ordered in ascii sequence (like the Cyrillic 
sequence used on unicode), align on a baseline and define the 
body area (ascent and descent ), etc. 


i'm now polygonizing the glyphs (this step is still incomplete, 
only sending you for showing some idea of it) - then i'll have 
it sequenced (unicode), and then a kind of template (svg and 
sfd) that we would work over. 


i'm still on the svg file - completed the polygonized version. 


and this attachment is an example of how i use to have the svg 
file ready to be imported from fontforge - i guess i have the 
baseline and the ascent/descent in the correct places as 
expected for this experience. 


>Some of the letters seem bolder than others, this needs to be

yes, i saw that (i needed to resize all of that to that x-height 
related guides i placed there on the last svg). 

sending now an embryonic fontforge file (where i imported the 
last svg i sent), and the resulting otf/ttf from that - the 
spacing isn't adjusted yet, and neither in their each character 

i guess that the both uppercase and lowercase versions from 
what you sent would be like: 

btw, the idea of that svg file was, not only for this typeface 
experience, as a template for others that anyone could create 
over that (or not necessarily). 


>Sadly I haven't drawn the uppercase characters yet.
>You can test the font against a page of Russian text, like:

С другой стороны начало повседневной работы по формированию
позиции позволяет выполнять важные задания по разработке новых
предложений. Разнообразный и богатый опыт реализация намеченных
плановых заданий влечет за собой процесс внедрения и
модернизации соответствующий условий активизации.

Таким образом дальнейшее развитие различных форм деятельности
требуют определения и уточнения существенных финансовых и
административных условий. Равным образом укрепление и развитие
структуры обеспечивает широкому кругу (специалистов) участие в
формировании новых предложений. Значимость этих проблем
настолько очевидна, что постоянный количественный рост и сфера
нашей активности требуют определения и уточнения форм развития.

Товарищи! рамки и место обучения кадров позволяет выполнять
важные задания по разработке новых предложений. Не следует,
однако забывать, что сложившаяся структура организации позволяет
оценить значение модели развития.

Значимость этих проблем настолько очевидна, что рамки и место
обучения кадров позволяет выполнять важные задания по разработке
систем массового участия. Не следует, однако забывать, что
постоянный количественный рост и сфера нашей активности требуют
определения и уточнения существенных финансовых и
административных условий. Идейные соображения высшего порядка, а
также сложившаяся структура организации требуют определения и
уточнения системы обучения кадров, соответствует насущным

Таким образом консультация с широким активом играет важную роль
в формировании модели развития. Значимость этих проблем
настолько очевидна, что дальнейшее развитие различных форм
деятельности обеспечивает широкому кругу (специалистов) участие
в формировании системы обучения кадров, соответствует насущным

>I'd like to publish a note about your experience in ACNews!

be welcome! 

thanks for this lorem ipsum in Russian, ill surely use it! ;) 


>You are right, this is in fact "lorem ipsum", and it's
>auto-generated :)
>I found a pen of the same type and drew the rest of the

just a test i the attachment - still a lot to be done (still 
"pixelated" and plenty of redundant nodes, not tested, etc.), 
and i didn't add the previous glyphs yet. 


>I tested the font with all capitals.
>Cyrillic letters: "Я" and "Д" need to be moved slightly to the
>left, space after "З" must be larger, space after "Т" must be
>little smaller. "Ш" and "Щ" must be a little higher and moved
>down a little.
>Latin letters: "T" must be slightly moved to the right, "L"
>scaled a little horizontally (to make it narrower).
>Digits: space after "1" must be larger.

thanks for the feedback - the typeface version i sent i didn't 
test yet, asap i'll fix that based on your instructions, and 
send it back to you (i hope still in this or next week). 

Hippiman wrote a New Year part of SpaceMerc with an improved
engine (with weapon generation, dynamic maze, and even
something like an autopilot). Let him say:

I just made the current build to the state of a tech demo that 
can be shown to the people. It can have bugs and old gfx from 
Liberation etc. To make it more interesting, I made a New Year 

1. Little introduction to make the following text more clear.
Damage from a weapon is defined by 4 parameters: Dices, Edges, 
Fade, and No fade distance. That's clear for those who know DND 
system. Dices and Edges are parameters of a virtual dice that is 
thrown to generate a basic value of weapon damage. 
Fade and No fade distance define the damage fade depending on 
the distance. That's a counterpart for spread in the real 

Now the weapon is generated the following way. Each of the 
weapons has two additional parameters: "material" and "state". 
These two are generated randomly, depending on "luck" parameter 
of the player. 

"Material" defines the modifiers for parameters of "distance 
fine". "State" defines the modifiers for damage parameters. And 
here is the question. Is this system OK for gamers? Or we better 
generate all the four modifiers independently? 

Pluses of these two methods: 

The current method is visible. Each of the parameters has a 
name, and after some time a player won't look at numeric 
parameters when picking up a new weapon. Everything will be 
clear just by looking at the name. 

The method with separate generation is more versatile. For 
example, we can obtain a weapon with damage 1d10 and fine-less 
distance +6, with fine as high as 15. Extremes. Sadly this 
system is not that visual. Every time you must look at all the 
numerical parameters. 

There is no inventory in the game. To make it, I should either 
add a lot of hacks or change a lot of code. Either way, it's not 
that needed. There are no items in the game apart from the main 

I made a sort of a hybrid scheme between shooter mechanics 
with slots and RPG mechanics with many kinds of weapon. There 
are only 4 types of weapon, each has its own slot. The same as 
in the previous parts. However in this part the weapon in the 
slots can change. You can find new guns during the game. They 
will have random parameters. A player must choose: either he 
takes the new weapon or he keeps the old one. Anyway, one of the 
weapons will disappear. You can press W to view the parameters 
of the weapon (separate screen). 

Generally in games the coolness of an item depends on a level of 
the monster that left it. I don't have levels for monsters. So a 
player has a parameter of "luck". The more the "luck", the 
cooler the weapon that will drop from monsters. 

2. Should we add the possibility to restore the health for
To be clear: now the game has only one type of ammo named 
energy. It looks like blue spheres. We can let the player to 
spend some of the energy (that can be scarce) to add health 

3. The same about armour.

4. If yes, can we remove health packs and armour
plates/bulletproof vests? 

5. Can we add wearout for weapons? What kind of it?
Full destruction after a number of shots, of gradual 
deterioration to initial parameters? 

6. Should we make some kinds of weapons stronger or weaker?

7. Should we remove the money? According to the plot, we are at
a wild planet inhabited by peaceful natives. Jungle, then cave, 
then pirate base. It seems there is no use for money. If we must 
obtain something we can spend energy as currency. 

8. Maybe the game will be more clear without "distance fine"

9. Maybe we better use "intellect" parameter for defining the
number of resources (health, energy, armour) we obtain from 

The tech demo can be downloaded there:

Arrows - move, turn, navigate menus
Space - fire, select from menu
Enter - read text, interact with objects
1,2,3,4 - select weapon
Q - leveling menu
W - list of weapons with all the parameters
Z - save
X - load

You can sent your opinions directly to
or,privately forHippiman.

Другие статьи номера:

Новости - в прошедшем году, мы увидели адаптацию операционной системы MSX-DOS 2 для ATM3, был возрождён электронный журнал Info Guide.

News - I wish all the Spectrum people to make even more for the sake of our beloved platform!

Как конвертировать графику под цвет на точку - как конвертировать графику в "EGA"-режим ATM Turbo.

How to convert gfx for colour-per-pixel mode - how to convert gfx to "EGA" mode of ATM Turbo.

Замечания по ходу чтения статьи "Red Clones" - Некоторые комментарии по её поводу.

Comments on "Red Clones" article - Few comments on it.

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