Monday, 24 August 2015

Glutton for punishment

Back onto the subject of my new port - I've been toying with the idea of (also) porting it to the TRS-80 Model 4 (with hires board). Avid followers of this blog may recall that I originally attempted to port Lode Runner from the Apple II to both the TRS-80 Model 4 and the Coco in parallel. I gave it a good go but not long after rendering the title and level graphics I decided to discontinue the Model 4 port; 6502 to both Z80 and 6809 proved to be too much work.

I will reveal that this time around, the original game is actually written in Z80 (hint #1). The two main issues with a Model 4 port are the limitation of monochrome graphics, and the graphics bandwidth required for the animation in the game.

The original game doesn't make much use of colour at all - in fact it has even seen monochrome ports to other platforms in the past (hint #2). And the animation is quite modest for the most part, and arguably some slow-down wouldn't completely break the game. In any case, given the relatively little amount of work required, it may even be worth it even if it only ran 'properly' in an emulator, or on an enhanced (no wait state) graphics board which, BTW, is also on my to-do list.

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