Shredz64 – Loading Screen

I’m tired so excuse this entry if its choppy. Finished up the final loading screen (well, final for now, I like it and I’m done spending time on it right now). Here it is:

The very first thing Shredz64 does after reconfiguring RAM and copying the kernel is loading this screen. While this screen is being shown, the floppy is scanned for all sid files, the filenames are cached, each file is scanned for its title and author and scores, which are all cached. The screen is then blanked out, and custom character sets are loaded in. Allowing this is the character set loader I wrote – quick and easy. I found some nice character sets on the web and loaded in one that looks a bit better than the default C64 charrom. Then I found this great windows program called Cuniform by Kevin Schuetz. I booted it up in Wine, its basically a C64 character set editor, but its got lots of features, and most importantly imports BMP files, which is great. I did a quick “MAIN MENU” kind of thing in GIMP in a nice looking font, popped it into Cuniform, pasted it onto the edge of the character set I’m using for the menu system, and voila, great looking fonts at no cost.

Speaking of graphics, I’m loading the multicolored hires bitmap into Bank 0 in the same area that I later load SID files into. The first 16K of memory now is pretty much reserved for SIDs and graphics. However, I don’t think I’ll be using bitmaps for the main game screen, as one I would be sacrificing a lot of SID space which could keep a lot of cool songs from being played. Also, they’re just too slow to work with. But I will be implementing a more 3d-ish board using a custom character set – while the menu charset resides at the 12K mark, I still have 2K left before the end of Bank 0 at the 14K mark, where I can put a gameplay character set. All will be good.

Anyway – reiterating whats left to do – I’m done playing around with graphics until the end, I got my fix for now. Next is the Win/Fail screens and score entering/saving functionality.

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