'Arcade' - Sinclair Spectrum White Lightning Feature - Part 1

9 March 2018
2 minute read
Matthew French

This is part one an a series of Spectrum White Lightning articles originally written in the late 1980s (when I was a teenager) for inclusion in our ZX Spectrum fanzine, ‘Arcade’. Having re-read my scribblings almost 30 years later, I don’t pretend to understand any of it. It might be useful. It might not. If you do find it useful or, at least, interesting, please leave a comment below.

From the User Manual

“White Lightning is a high level development system for the Spectrum 48K. It is aimed primarily at the user who has commercial games writing in mind and has the patience to learn a sizeable new language. It is not a games designer and stunning results probably won’t be produced overnight, but it does have the power and flexibility to produce software of a commercial standard (with a little perseverance!). "

For some further context for this article, please see ‘Arcade’ - A Sinclair ZX Spectrum Fanzine.

White Lightning Feature

This feature is to help owners of White Lightning to get good, fast results from the package and to produce small routines to incorporate into larger Forth/BASIC programs to create ‘arcade’ quality games. I have included notes on the programs to help Laser BASIC owners convert to their language.

The first routine you may recognise as a part of the demonstration.

2: SET1 45 10 10 SET;
3: SET2 46 10 10 SET;
4: SET3 47 10 10 SET;
5: SET4 48 10 10 SET;

After that, type 6 LOAD and then GO.

Notes on conversion:

Line 0: defines a word called DELAY which does a no-operation (does nothing) (NOOP) loop 0 - 500 to act as a pause.

Line 1: sets up the parameters of the column, row, and sprite number. It also includes PUTBLS which block-moves sprite data from sprite to screen, and the pause in DELAY. This line saves typing because you can now enter the values as in lines 2, 3, 4, and 5.

Lines 2 - 5: puts column, row, and sprite number values into line 1 parameters and also executes PUTBLS and DELAY.

Line 6: executes all definitions 40 times.

The routine can be sped up or slowed down by changing the value of DELAY in line 0.

The routine can be lengthened or shortened by changing the value of the loop in line 6.

Next month: improvements on this routine and something new (I hope!).

Send any routines to me at my usual place of residence (not Adam’s!)

Matthew F.

The Originals


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