Another useful source of code to port to the MC-10 can be found in the world of the mother of all TRS-80s, the Model One. The 128X48 set/reset graphics of that machine can often simply be converted to the MC-10s 64X32 set graphics by multiplying any X coordinates by .5 and any Y coordinates by .66 to adjust to the MC-10's smaller screen size. So a game like Softside magazine's famous "Engineer" simulation by David Bohlke (thanks to Neil Morrison on Yahoo for bringing it to my attention), which looks like this
I have found that even with the added overhead of adjusting X and Y coordinates on the fly, the MC-10 versions of TRS-80 programs are often faster than the originals. This is especially the case if some of my speedup techniques are added. This can sometimes make lack-luster games into truly challenging arcade action games. The following are some of the other programs from the TRS-80 world that I have ported to the MC-10:
|ABM Command||Quest 1||Maze Race|
|Santa Paravia and Fiumaccio||Rescue||Adventure in the Near Tholian Sector|
Plowing through all the Softside and other magazines you can find on-line would have been a terribly arduous process (although perhaps a wonderfully nostalgiac one). However, I was able to avoid much of this work because of the help of a very valuable resource on the Net called the Giant List of Classic Game programmers by James Hague. It can be found at: http://www.dadgum.com/giantlist/
As he describes his list:
This is a Who's Who of classic game designers and programmers, where "classic" generally refers to pre-NES 8-bit home computers (like the Atari 800 and Apple II), consoles (like the Atari 2600 and Intellivision), and arcade coin-ops. Why the pre-NES distinction? Because prior to that there was a closer connection between the creator of a game and the finished project. That's an oversimplification, because there were 8-bit computer games developed by teams, but single-person, single-vision games became rarer once the Nintendo-era of consoles took off.This is great resource because it not only lists the programmers, but also their programs, which system they were programmed on, and whether they were "type-in" Basic programs. Using the Giant List I was able to quickly zero in on some of the big favorites of the 8-bit era and find TRS-80 versions. Programs that had versions created for the other 8-bit machines tended to be the best programs for conversion because, if they had been ported multiple times already, this was usually a good indication that the program was amenable to conversion. Sometimes I have even found "commercial" Basic programs in this way. For example my port of "Andromeda Conquest" by Avalon Hill was a result of noticing that it was a Basic program that had versions for TRS-80, Atari, IBM, Apple and Commodore.
|Atari Version||MC-10 Version|
So, who says new "commercial software" is no longer coming out for computers like the MC-10 and Coco. You just have to know where to look!