Tools for a beginner?

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By EdOscuro

Rookie (20)

EdOscuro's picture

05-11-2006, 04:45

Hey everybody. After having some dismissive thoughts about the MSX series recently I recieved part of a lot of X68000 stuff I've been waiting for. Didn't recieve the X68000 machine yet, but one of the boxes had the nice F1-XDJ system I bought (this exact machine). I've been having a lot of fun with Undead Line but want to do something more serious with it.

I've been able to find http://www.robsy.net/ but haven't been able to find any manual of BASIC commands (I did figure out the basic command for setting foreground/background, but that's all so far). The site which I've seen mentioned a few times which had manuals has been replaced by a portal, sadly.

I want to get some resources for assembly (although I am a programming novice, this seems best to me) as well as get an idea what people are using for transferring data from PC to MSX2. I'm using a Win32 tool right now to transfer disk images from my computer to the machine. I have found ExecROM though (thanks to the sprite multiplexing demo topic).

Also, my computer's always available for testing code, so long as I can get it onto a floppy disk.

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By EdOscuro

Rookie (20)

EdOscuro's picture

05-11-2006, 10:23

Also, I'm checking out various Z80 assembly/general programming books. Anybody have one they swear by, a book that's a must-get?

In the meantime, this looks pretty good.

By mars2000you

Enlighted (6346)

mars2000you's picture

05-11-2006, 10:25

For a very complete MSX-BASIC manual, see the RuMSX help files :

http://www.lexlechz.at/

For developing programs, this page is a must :

http://map.tni.nl/

By EdOscuro

Rookie (20)

EdOscuro's picture

05-11-2006, 10:27

Thanks! Mr. Lechleitner's page is where I got the nice disk writing program Disk-Manager from. No idea how I missed the BASIC reference. I'll bookmark that on this PC since I have it up though Smile The second I hadn't seen before, so I will read that as well.

By Sonic_aka_T

Enlighted (4130)

Sonic_aka_T's picture

05-11-2006, 10:29

Hey there... Welcome to the world of MSX! Smile

There's no reason to be dismissive about MSX computers indeed; especially the model you have, which is particularly nice. Sure, it's no X68K, but it's still a very cool platform for games, and probably the coolest platform if you feel like programming a little yourself. There's no telling why, but MSX computers somehow invite you to be creative. They're also very easy computers to program.

Starting in MSX-BASIC is probably a good idea indeed. It'll help you get an idea of how MSX computers work. After that switching to assembly is even easier, and that's when you can really get creative. There's lots of documentation on the web too. The MSX Assembly Pages contain lots of information, tho as the name suggests it's mainly focussed on assembly. The MSX Archive has an extensive documents section, albeit less organised than MAP is. You may also want to download the RuMSX emulator. As an emulator it's slightly outdated compared to openMSX and blueMSX, but it does have great documentation, including an overview of all MSX Basic commands.

To start developing, just use the built-in BASIC interpreter of your MSX. I'm sure you already found out how LOAD and SAVE work, but for other stuff be sure to check the RuMSX documentation. You might find SCREEN 5 and COPY (X1,Y1)-(EX2,Y2),P TO (DX, DY),P interesting commands. To draw graphics, either use an MSX program, or use your PC to make a bitmap which you can convert to MSX uding the BMP2MSX program. When you're ready to start with assembly, check SjASM or TNIASM, which are both very powerful cross-assemblers for Windows.

To move stuff from your PC to your MSX use your floppy drive indeed. I found DiskManager to be the easiest solution, especially when updating groups of files. Once you really get into MSX you can always decide to buy a Surise IDE Compact Flash interface which should make things even easier.

Hope that answers most of your questions, and don't hesitate to ask anything else. :)

By Sonic_aka_T

Enlighted (4130)

Sonic_aka_T's picture

05-11-2006, 10:30

For a very complete MSX-BASIC manual, see the RuMSX help files :

http://www.lexlechz.at/

For developping programs, this page is a must :

http://map.tni.nl/ You cheat! Short answers don't count! :P

By EdOscuro

Rookie (20)

EdOscuro's picture

05-11-2006, 10:33

Oh yeah, the machine definitely turned me around even though I'm not getting stereo sound out of it. Or who knows, maybe it was finally being able to play that copy of Undead Line that's been sitting around for some years in my house Smile

As for LOAD and SAVE, yes, I know they exist in Basic, but hadn't had any luck with that. I'll go with RuMSX's documentation, sounds like the easiest way to get that into my head.

By mars2000you

Enlighted (6346)

mars2000you's picture

05-11-2006, 10:34

For a very complete MSX-BASIC manual, see the RuMSX help files :

http://www.lexlechz.at/

For developping programs, this page is a must :

http://map.tni.nl/ You cheat! Short answers don't count! :P

LOL! Because I'm a Cheat Master (and Vampier is another one) :P

I guess I'm helping you to come to 2049 messages posted on the forum ;)

By Sonic_aka_T

Enlighted (4130)

Sonic_aka_T's picture

05-11-2006, 10:36

Also, I'm checking out various Z80 assembly/general programming books. Anybody have one they swear by, a book that's a must-get?

In the meantime, this looks pretty good.Don't worry, the Z80 user manual and these forums should be enough! :P

By Sonic_aka_T

Enlighted (4130)

Sonic_aka_T's picture

05-11-2006, 10:37

For a very complete MSX-BASIC manual, see the RuMSX help files :

http://www.lexlechz.at/

For developping programs, this page is a must :

http://map.tni.nl/ You cheat! Short answers don't count! :P

LOL! Because I'm a Cheat Master (and Vampier is another one) :P

I guess I'm helping you to come to 2049 messages posted on the forum ;)Good idea, next time I'll post my answers one by one! :P

By pitpan

Prophet (3153)

pitpan's picture

05-11-2006, 11:32

EdOscuro:

I'm the one behind http://www.robsy.net , so thanks for your comments. There're different resources around, most of them pointed out in this thread. But I also recommend you to visit development fora and real-time chats:

- Karoshi forum http://forum.karoshicorp.com - mainly focused on MSX(1) game development, most of the topics discussed in Spanish.
- #msxdev at rizon.org - a very active chat where you can always ask for help.

Of course, I did not mention this forum because obviously you know about it ;)

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