Multi-Platform Arcade Game Designer

A new distraction suddenly appears and WauloK takes it onto his load of “Stuff to do” along with developing Foxglovz and a game or two. 😀
I have so many game ideas in my head I’d love to port or create new on the VZ200 platform that I’m wearing myself thin on all my projects! Oh yes! I’m also still trying to port ZX 1bit audio engines to VZ. I’ve been getting some help for information from the guys at RandomFlux and will keep trying now and then when I have time.

Pacman written in MPAGD on VZ200 emulator

What exactly is the Multi-Platform Arcade Game Designer (MPAGD)? Well, I’ll let them explain with a snippet from the website created by Jonathan Cauldwell (a Spectrum ZX developer who has made 50 games since he started developing for the ZX):

Simply put, the most powerful user-friendly tool there is for creating games for 8-bit computers.  Supported formats include the ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, BBC Model B, Dragon 32/64 and Acorn Atom, with more on the way.  Create blocks, sprites and screens, knock out a few lines of code in AGD’s simple scripting language (inspired by BASIC) or get the tool to create the code for you and create an 8-bit game that would have graced any software house’s catalogue back in the day.  Far more powerful than the original AGD with new commands and extra functionality, MPAGD comes complete with comprehensive documentation and example code templates.  Includes tools to convert graphics between 8-bit formats, generating placeholders that can then be edited.  MPAGD will even import 48K snapshots of games written using AGD 4.0 to 4.7 or AGDX and allow you to change or expand them.  Free to download with no obligations, I don’t expect anything in return.

I’ve been working with a guy called Kees van Oss. He’s done a lot of videos for developing on MPAGD and has ported it to quite a few platforms. Check out his videos for an explanation.

So, once we have this coded correctly you will be able to use the MPAGD application to create a game for a VZ200 or VZ300 computer and run it on a real machine. MPAGD exports out a .vz file — most of which is coded in Z80. MPAGD has a BASIC-style language but this calls out to Z80 code so runs quite fast and efficiently. A demo below:

MPAGD running on the VZEm emulator

Currently, we are working on getting the VZ joysticks to work. Sound will probably be the last thing and I may need to code some routines myself as trying to use the 1bit audio from ZX code probably won’t work on the VZ, as evidenced by my attempts to port the music engines.

An MPAGD game on MSX
MPAGD Tutorial part 1

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