Articles by Steven


Steven has written 465 articles.
Building a Better ZX81 Digital Rain using Z80 Assembler
My original plan was to create an z80 assembler version of Moon Lander. But with the trailer release for the next Matrix movie, I found myself revisiting another program. Built entirely in machine language, Z80 Digital Rain expands on my previous version with a splash of color…
Posted Sep 25 8 min read

Amping up the Visuals and Gameplay in Moon Lander V2
Last month, I shared an old moon landing program I wrote back in the early 80s. Right after that, I decided to give it a bit of a face lift, updating the visuals without changing the game play. Moon Lander v2 is my updated game, yet still the same BASIC code under hood. A fun new look. As I noted…
Posted Aug 21 8 min read

Try Not to Crash the Moon Lander in This ZX81 Game
When I first started programming, one of the games we would play on the old teletype machines was a simple moon lander game. The premise is you would use your thrusters to softly land on the moon. Moon Lander was my take of that program a few years later. A trip down memory lane. I actually enjoy…
Posted Jul 31 6 min read

Your Imagination Is Required With Comp Control for the ZX81
As a young teenager, I often wrote programs that I would integrate into other play. In this case, I had probably watched War Games again. The idea of a computer talking to you made for some fun fantasy play…
Posted Jun 24 7 min read

Revisiting Running Blender in Apple Silicon Using a MacBook Pro M1
While watching a review for the new M1 iMac, they ran the typical Blender test as a benchmark. That wasnít overly surprising, but the reviewer did say something that peaked my interest. Apparently, the latest version of Blender now supported Apple Silicon…
Posted Jun 20 3 min read

Trying My Hand at Animation by Moving a Sailboat on My ZX81
I was hoping to have finished Gem Quest by now, but May didnít afford much time. With Summer arriving and the pandemic seeming to be winding down, at least in Boise, my attention is elsewhere. With a short list of ideas, I decided to play off last month's theme…
Posted May 31 5 min read

Having Fun Learning How to Draw Lines on My ZX81
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…
Posted Apr 30 6 min read

Not My Best Try at Programming an Ultima Clone
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…
Posted Mar 31 5 min read

A Developer Diary in Pictures for Gem Quest, a ZX81 RPG
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…
Posted Mar 07 8 min read

How to Build a ZX81 Ultima Game Part 2: Gem Quest
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…
Posted Feb 25 6 min read

How to Build a ZX81 Ultima Game
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…
Posted Jan 31 10 min read

My Adventure with Appleís M1 and Blender
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…
Posted Jan 01 4 min read

How I Used My ZX81 to Draw the Iconic OP Logo
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…
Posted Dec 27, 2020 4 min read

Happy Holidays! Here Is a Fun Render to Close out the Year.
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…
Posted Dec 24, 2020 7 min read

Creating Charts on Your ZX81 Couldnít Be More Simple
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…
Posted Nov 30, 2020 7 min read

Entering a Program Shouldn't Be This Frustrating
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…
Posted Oct 25, 2020 12 min read

Here Is a Silly Test Program for the ZX81
September proved to be a rather busy month, at work and home. It isnít unusual for me, and I usually find time to throw a render or program together. As this month closed, I found myself in need of a program to share and not a lot of time…
Posted Sep 29, 2020 3 min read