Before you start writing a ZX Spectrum game, it’s important to understand the platform. The ZX Spectrum is an 8-bit home computer released by Sinclair Research in 1982. Its processor is a Zilog Z80A running at 3.5 MHz, with 16 KB of RAM and up to 48 KB of ROM. It contains a range of graphics modes, sound capabilities and input/output ports.
If you want to write a game for the ZX Spectrum, you’ll need an emulator and a programming language. A good emulator to start with is Fuse, which is free and open-source. It supports all the major ZX Spectrum models. You’ll also need to learn a programming language such as BASIC, Z80 assembly or C++.
Developing the Game
Once you have the tools and knowledge necessary, you can begin developing your ZX Spectrum game. Start by coming up with a concept and game mechanics. Then, create a design document that outlines the game’s features. This will help you stay organized and prevent you from getting lost in the development process.
From here, you can begin writing the code for the game. The code should be divided into modules, with each module responsible for different parts of the game. For example, the graphics module handles the display of graphics on the screen, while the sound module handles the playing of sound effects.
Testing and Debugging
As you write the code, you should test it to ensure that it works as expected. This can be done using an emulator, by running the game and checking for any errors or bugs. If you find any, you’ll need to debug the code to fix the issue.
Debugging can be a time-consuming process, as you’ll need to trace the code to find the source of the problem. Once it’s fixed, you can move on to the next bug or feature.
Distributing Your Game
Once your game is complete, you’ll need to decide how to distribute it. You can make it available as a free download on your website, or you can sell it as a physical cartridge or as a download. If you choose to sell it, you’ll need to create a product page and take payments via PayPal or other payment methods.
You can also distribute your game through the RZX archive, a repository of classic ZX Spectrum games. This is a good way to ensure that your game is preserved for future generations.
Writing a ZX Spectrum game can be a rewarding experience. With the right tools and knowledge, you can create something unique that can be enjoyed by others. Good luck!