Bell v0.2 manual

Binary data Exchange Link Library

Writing a simple game

Okay, maybe it's not really a game, but you should keep in mind that I'm not a game programmer. I don't know much about efficient tilemapping and the lot, but I do know how to put a sprite on the screen and move it around using the arrow keys ;-) This little "game" will enable two players to move their own sprite and watch the other's sprite move as well:

First I'll initiate some variables for the player's positions. Notice how they follow the same order and are grouped per player.

my_x = savesscreen my_y = savesscreen+1 his_x = savesscreen+2 his_y = savesscreen+3 program_start: ld a,25 ld (my_x),a ld (my_y),a ld (his_x),a ld (his_y),a

This is our "model" of the game, in it's most low-level form. Next, we're going to try to connect the calculators. Notice I use the API for outputting to the display; otherwise the demo will be less readable and much longer :-).

; Try to connect to an opponent home.clear() home.output("Waiting for opponent...") call bell_connect jp nz,connect_error ; If we get through, connection is established

Okay, we've got a connection! Otherwise, we would have jumped to connect_error, which you can find at the bottom of the program. Now we move on to the main program loop.

game_loop: call checkKeys ; Update the model on keypress call swapData ; Swap part of the model call updateScreen ; Redraw the screen jp game_loop ; Loop!

As you can see, we just check for keypresses on the local calculator and update our model if we've tried to move our own sprite. Then we reload the part of our model that the other calculator is responsible for, and we call the routine that knows what to display depending on the model. As I said; I don't know much about game programming, but I'd say this seems the "proper" way to do it.

Next up; check if a key was pressed, and if so; update the model or quit the program.

checkKeys: ld a,$FF out (1),a ld a,$FE ; Check for all cursor keys out (1),a in a,(1) cp 254 jp z,move_down cp 253 jp z,move_left cp 251 jp z,move_right cp 247 jp z,move_up ld a,$FF ; Check for Clear out (1),a ld a,$FD out (1),a in a,(1) cp 191 jr z,exit_from_keys ret exit_from_keys: pop hl ; Pop return address; we want to exit the jp exit ; program, not return to the game loop move_down: ld a,(my_y) ; Pretty self-explainatory inc a ld (my_y),a ret move_up: ld a,(my_y) dec a ld (my_y),a ret move_left: ld a,(my_x) dec a ld (my_x),a ret move_right: ld a,(my_x) inc a ld (my_x),a ret

That was pretty simple, right? I could have used the API a bit more for that, but it's readable enough to anyone who's ever read keys from the port before. Now comes the interesting part, the swapping of data, and because Bell makes it so damned simple it's kinda disappointing:

swapData: ld hl,my_x ld de,his_x ld b,2 call bell_swapBlock jp nz,error ret

"Is that all?!" - I hear you ask. Yes, that's all. We tell Bell to swap two bytes (in b), we want to send our own coordinates (my_x in hl) and overwrite the other player's coordinates with what we receive (his_x in de). It's almost as simple as ldir :-). This will update the model on both calculators with the coordinates from their opponents. So if the other player has moved, our model gets updated with his new coordinates, and our drawing routine will show him in the right spot. If the transfer screws up (you've pulled out the cable or the other player quits the program for example) we jump to error.

The next routine is pretty boring too, but it's got to be done:

updateScreen: ; Clear the screen ld hl,plotsscreen ld de,plotsscreen+1 ld bc,767 xor a ld (hl),aThe basics ldir ; I want to use the OR sprite routine from the API #define api_use_sprite_drawOr ; Draw my sprite ld hl,sprite ld a,(my_x) ld d,a ld a,(my_y) ld e,a call api_sprite_drawOr ; Draw his sprite ld hl,sprite ld a,(his_x) ld d,a ld a,(his_y) ld e,a call api_sprite_drawOr call ionFastCopy ret

Okay, we're pretty much done now. Only a few more things to do: first we need a few error routines that give a nice error to the user when something goes wrong.

connect_error: ei home.clear() home.output("Could not connect :-(") jr error_done error: pop hl ei home.clear() home.output("Connection lost") error_done: kbd.waitkey() exit: ei ret

I re-enable interrupts before calling Ti-OS routines (through the API) because bell_connect disables them and Ti-83+ and Ti-82 don't like running Ti-OS routines with interrupts disabled. In fact; it crashes them :-)

Now, the most important thing: include the Bell library ;-). Notice that I left the API inclusion out of this demo. See the API website about information on how to do that.

.include ""

And finally: our data. It isn't much, but it should be placed after the Bell include nevertheless for the sake of the example :-)

sprite: .db 7 .db %00011000 .db %00011000 .db %00111100 .db %01011010 .db %00011010 .db %00101000 .db %00101000

That's all! I hope you enjoyed this little demonstration, and I hope I've explained enough about the use of the Bell library in this manual. Good luck with it!

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