Monday, 11 January 2016

January 2016 Retrochallenge 3: Square Force

I had thought that for this Retrochallenge I would stick to cleaning up some recent programming projects and porting those projects to Coco and Dragon. However I couldn't resist the temptation to make a new game after I saw a video on Rudi Horne's Youtube channel "Let's Compile." I really like Rudi's channel. He gets his hands on some really nice source code. He compiled a game called "Square Force" made in Quick Basic, which is a variation on the classic arcade game "Targ." Thanks to Allen Huffman for pointing out this connection and also for his OS9 utility "Towel" which helped me do some work recently on cleaning up my OS-9 files for the Coco!  Anyway, here's a video from Rudi's site:

In addition to making "Square Force" I completely reorganized my mess of source files for my Basic, Basic09, QuickBasic and C programs using Github. Now whenever I change the source code, my files are kept up to date in my Github repositories for the MC-10, Coco and Dragon (and old DOS programs). My Github can be found here:
Part of doing this clean-up involved digging into OS9 (a unix like operating system for the Coco 2 and 3) in order to get some of my old source files un-archived from the Coco's version of LZH zipped files using the archiver utility LHA.

This is a screen capture of the VCC Coco emulator running OS-9 level 2 and its Multivue GUI. Here you see my "Sources" directory with a bunch of directories with some of the programs I have written for that operating system. I had all these files on my website in .lzh archives which 7zip can't deal with, so I had to head back into the land of OS-9 in order to break them out again and put them up on Github. Lots of fiddly command line work, which is something I have't done in a while since I have been mostly focussed on 8-bit Basic programming on the MC-10. 

So this weekend I was able to accomplish a bunch of things:
  • Github setup to be a repository for all my source files
  • Dug up most of my old OS9 source code (some is still AWOL though)
  • Made a new Basic game "Square Force" for the TRS-80
  • Ported "Square Force" to Coco and Dragon
Here's a video of the game:


  1. Hi Jim. Square Force works well on the MC-10. Thanks for sharing your process. -Rudi

  2. Hello. Wondering where you found that particular version of Multi-Vue? I remember this one specifically, but not sure where to find it. It looks quite a bit different from stock.