Reid's For Fun


My personal blog for what interests this computer guy. Web development, LEGO ray tracing, ZX81 retro computing, writing and photography.

Having Fun Learning How to Draw Lines on My ZX81

Picture Asm, by Steven Reid, 2021

When Simeon Dwyer shared his machine language line drawing routine, I immediately thought of redoing ďThe Picture.Ē Most of my z80 assembly has been with my Gem Quest game. I decided it would be a nice diversion to work on something else, even if a quick one. Picture Asm is the result of that diversion.


Not My Best Try at Programming an Ultima Clone

ZX-Ultima, by Steven Reid, 2012

Iíve talked about ZX-Ultima before. It was first attempt at building an Ultima like game on the ZX81 using BASIC. Written in 2012, it was a pretty ambitious project for me. I really enjoyed playing Ultima III on my C64 as a teenager. I always wondered what it would look like on my ZX81. It was bad. Yet, at the same time you could see the seeds of what would come later.


A Developer Diary in Pictures for Gem Quest, a ZX81 RPG

Gem Quest, Darkness Screenshot by Steven Reid, 3/07/2021

If youíve been following me the last couple of months, you know Iíve been revisiting Gem Quest. Intended to be an Ultima style game for the ZX81, outside of a few demoís I really hadnít gotten far. That isnít the case now. Iíve spent the last month learning z80 assembly code and hacking my way through the game. Tracking my progress, Iíve been capturing that journey in pictures and movies, which Iíve uploaded into a Flickr album.


How to Build a ZX81 Ultima Game Part 2: Gem Quest

Gem Quest, ZX81 screenshot, Steven Reid, 2016

After sharing Tiles, I started to dig into my previous attempts at building an adventure game. Digging through my past research, I thought about encoding the world differently. Sadly, my experiments using MCODER failed. This spurred me to try assembler again and, to my surprise, build a good start to my game. But first, a trip down memory lane and review my first attempt at building Gem Quest.


How to Build a ZX81 Ultima Game

Tiles, Creating World ZX81 screenshot, Steven Reid, 2013

In 2012 I wanted to see if I could make an Ultima style game on the ZX81. I had an ambitious plan centered on the tile based graphics. After a few months of testing, I was able to create a working prototype called Tiles. Although the game isnít done, the idea behind it shows promise. You can move around the map using the standard ASDW movements. Other commands are placeholders for what could be. This article explores how Tiles came to be.


My Adventure with Appleís M1 and Blender

497 Galaxy Explorer by Steven Reid, on Flickr

Although my late 2013 MacBook Pro still works well, it was showing itís age. Sadly, I found it freezing from time to time and generally not running like it used to. Given that my Windowís laptops lasted only a few years, Iíve been very happy with longevity my mac. Yet, this was going to be the last year it received an OS update. With the release of the M1, I took the opportunity to upgrade and try it out. That means it was time to render some LEGO bricks!


How I Used My ZX81 to Draw the Iconic OP Logo

OP, ZX81 Screenshot by Steven Reid, 2020

As 2020 wound down, I had a couple of different ideas for new ZX81 programs. Most of them were graphic programs of various sorts. Themes ranged from dumpster fire pictures, an advent calendar, a virus action game, to a solo RPG. Although they were all great ideas, I didn’t think I’d get any complete enough to publish. In the end, I decided to enter in one of my old graphic programs of the Ocean Pacific logo.


Happy Holidays! Here Is a Fun Render to Close out the Year.

1628 Santa with Reindeer and Sleigh by Steven Reid, on Flickr

Tis the season to render Santa. Well that wasnít really my plan, but it worked out that way. I was browsing around Bricklinks, mostly trying to update some of the recent sets. Searching for a small reindeer figure, I ran across LEGO set 1628 Santa with Reindeer and Sleigh. A great set from 1989, it looked like it would be a fun set to render.


Creating Charts on Your ZX81 Couldnít Be More Simple

Charts, ZX81 Screenshot of iPhone Data by Steven Reid, 2020

As usual, I procrastinated a bit in finishing my ZX81 program for November. Between holidays, work, and NaNoWriMo, I didnít get around to it until this last weekend. I decided to try something a little different for this monthís program. The program itself, Charts, is a simple line graph plotteróspelling and bugs galore. As interesting as that program is, the real story is how I entered it.


Entering a Program Shouldn't Be This Frustrating

Star Probe Redo, ZX81 Screenshot by Steven Reid, 2020

Back in July, I made a mistake and entered in Star Probe again. I had forgotten that Iíd already shared it. But, unlike my first attempt, I had taken a different approach which made it a much different game. Jumping ahead, I decided to finish what I started. Here is Star Probe Redo, an updated version as Octoberís program.