Games And Graphics Programming On The Amstrad Computers (Micro Press) Review | Computer Gamer - Everygamegoing

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Games And Graphics Programming On The Amstrad Computers
By Micro Press
Amstrad CPC464/664

 
Published in Computer Gamer #11

Games And Graphics Programming On The Amstrad Computers

This book is aimed at all the Amstrad owners who have worked their way through several books like the one just described, and who want to try something a bit more ambitious in the way of games programming.

The author is a journalist who writes for computer magazines and his experience has enabled him to produce a very practical, readable book.

The aim is to introduce and describe the graphics facilities available on these Amstrad machines, and then show how they can be applied to games programming to produce good visual effects.

The author begins by considering the essentials of good Basic programming and showing how to structure your program well so that you don't just understand it the moment after you have written it, but also when you come back to it next week or next month. The second chapter looks at the screen display and goes through the different modes available, selecting colours, positioning characters and using windows.

Then he moves on to discuss user-defined characters, how to achieve animation effects and controlling characters using either the keyboard or a joystick. The explanation of the graphics screen and pixels is one of the clearest I've read and is typical of the down-to-earth style that goes all through the book.

The next chapter covers high-resolution graphics and some quite advanced topics such as rotating figures, 3D effects and mixing text and graphics on the screen. Each explanation is accompanied all through the book by short listings that you can key in to demonstrate the effects described. In addition, each chapter contains 'part' of a full games program (listed fully at the back) which can be keyed in and checked section by section. This is a good way of learning-as-you-go, and as it means you end up with a fully working program it makes the book particularly good value for money.

The remaining chapters, all along the same lines, cover interrupts, sound effects, control characters and programming hints and tips. There are a couple of appendices giving, as well as the full game listing, the INKEY key numbers and the Basic error messages.

I like this book. It is well written and well produced, clearly laid out with helpful diagrams and distinct listings that don't make keying in more of a headache that it need be. If you want to take your Basic a bit further, you should find this well worth the money.