Add loading screen to .tap file

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dwinters18
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Add loading screen to .tap file

Post by dwinters18 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 3:54 am

Hi,

I am creating a .tap file using SpecNet IDE for visual studio.

How do I add a screen$ / loading screen at 16384 to my .tap file - I have seen a few utils that say they do it but I couldn't get them to work - is there a "simple" straight-forward way to do this?

Any help appreciated - thanks!

D
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oblo
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Re: Add loading screen to .tap file

Post by oblo » Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:20 am

There are many ways to to that. Personally, I use Basin's Tape Creator utility -it's simple and gets the work done. But if you need more features to work with tape blocks, ZX Blockeditor is a good option.
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dwinters18
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Re: Add loading screen to .tap file

Post by dwinters18 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 9:33 am

Hi,

Thanks for your reply. Sadly your suggestion isn't without it's issues (for me at least).

I have tried ZX Blockeditor and just fail each and everytime to achieve adding a loading screen$ to an existiing .tap file.

Likewise, BASin once unzipped has a broken help CHM file so it is impossible to learn how the program works.

Does anyone have a working, easy for idiots like myself, step by step how to achieve adding a load "" SCREEN$ file to an existing .tap file please?

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dwinters18
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Re: Add loading screen to .tap file

Post by dwinters18 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:08 am

Hi again oblo,
Personally, I use Basin's Tape Creator utility -it's simple and gets the work done. But if you need more features to work with tape blocks, ZX Blockeditor is a good option.
Maybe a step by step of how you got the contents of the screen grab you attached please?

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oblo
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Re: Add loading screen to .tap file

Post by oblo » Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:49 am

dwinters18 wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:08 am
Hi again oblo,
Personally, I use Basin's Tape Creator utility -it's simple and gets the work done. But if you need more features to work with tape blocks, ZX Blockeditor is a good option.
Maybe a step by step of how you got the contents of the screen grab you attached please?

D
Ok, I'm assuming you have two files: a .TAP/.TZX with your code that usually contains a Basic Loader program followed by your code (the BYTES block), and another .TAP/.TZX that contains another BYTES block with your screen$. Giving that, try these steps:

1) Open Basin -> Tools -> Tape Creator
2) Click Add button -> From File and select the .TAP/.TZX with your code
3) At this point, you'll have two entries: one called PROGRAM (the BASIC loader) and another one called BYTES with your code
4) Click again the Add button -> From File and this time, select the .TAP/.TZX with your screen$
5) At this point, you'll have three entries; the previous two and a new one at the bottom, called BYTES with your screen$ name.
6) Click/select the screen$ row and click the Up Arrow button. This way, you'll rearrange the blocks the way is suppose to be:
- First, the BASIC loader block
- Second, the SCREEN$ bytes code block
- Third, the MAIN code block with your program

7) Click File -> Save Image As and save it with a new name (don't overwrite your originals CODE and SCREEN$ TAP/TZX files!)

HTH
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Einar Saukas
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Re: Add loading screen to .tap file

Post by Einar Saukas » Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:54 am

What's probably missing is, you must modify the initial loader program, to add a LOAD ""SCREEN$ somewhere.
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oblo
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Re: Add loading screen to .tap file

Post by oblo » Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:02 am

Einar Saukas wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:54 am
What's probably missing is, you must modify the initial loader program, to add a LOAD ""SCREEN$ somewhere.
Right, but the only way to know is if @dwinters18 paste here the contents of the BASIC loader.
@dwinters18, can you do that?
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Joefish
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Re: Add loading screen to .tap file

Post by Joefish » Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:12 am

Yes, I use BlockEditor.

First make a copy of your .TAP and load the copy into BlockEditor. Note that the header and data part of each file are two separate blocks that it's up to you to keep together. Delete all but the initial BASIC program and its header and save. That gives you a .TAP with just the BASIC loader. Now load that into an emulator and edit it to insert a LOAD "" SCREEN$ command after the CLEAR statement and before the LOAD "" CODE that loads the main block of code.

To do that you'll want to turn off auto-tape-loading in the emulator. Then you select the .TAP file, then type MERGE "" to load it without running it. Then when you've edited it, use the emulator's 'Tape for Saving' mode to create a new .TAP file, SAVE "Loader" LINE 10 or whatever to save your edited loader to it, then close/stop the .TAP saving file. This gives you a new .TAP file with just your new BASIC loader in it, set to auto-run.

Now load that in BlockEditor, import your SCREEN$ file at the end of it, then import your original .TAP file after that. Now that will leave you with the old BASIC loader half-way down the list, so delete that and its header. The blocks should now look like:

1. BASIC Program Header
2. New BASIC loader
3. Code (Screen$) Header
4. Screen$ Data (16384,6912)
5. Code Header
6. Main Program Code

You can edit the file names of each header too, if you want. And if your SCREEN$ was saved from high memory, you can adjust its start address down to 16384.

And save that as your final .TAP.
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R-Tape
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Re: Add loading screen to .tap file

Post by R-Tape » Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:21 am

It may not be the easiest way, but I use the new-oldschool method in an emulator. Before starting you'll need your loading screen already saved as a .TAP (ZX-Paintbrush can do this), and your game code already saved as a .TAP.

1-type in a BASIC loader. This sets things up (border colour, clear etc), loads the loading screen, then loads your own code. Mine is something like this, using a game that starts at 32768:

10 CLEAR 32767: BORDER 0: LOAD””SCREEN$:POKE 23739,111:LOAD””CODE:PAUSE 0:CLEAR:RANDOMIZE USR 32768

^this puts the stack safely below your game code; loads the loading picture; the POKE 32739 is a trick to avoid the BASIC overwriting your screen with the Bytes:xxxx message when your game code loads; the PAUSE 0 waits for a keypress after loading, that way people get to see it even with flashloaders; the final CLEAR removes your POKE 32739 from earlier (it can cause problems).

In your emulator of choice, I use SPIN, insert a tape, and type SAVE”name”LINE 1. The line 1 is important, as it makes the BASIC autorun when loaded.

2-So now your BASIC loader is commited to tape. You’ll need your loading screen already saved as a .TAP file. Go File>Load, and load your picture somewhere safe in memory (40000 will be safe at this point). SO LOAD””CODE 40000. Then type SAVE””CODE 40000,6912. You loading screen is now committed to tape.

3-I now load the game code in the same way, already saved as a .TAP to it’s correct place in memory (remember the stack needs to be safely out the way). Type SAVE”gamecode”32768,*codelength*

Eject the tape. It should work... :?

An alternative way to learn would be to download a game already done (one of mine here has a similar loader). And open the TAP in ZX-Blockeditor. You can copy cut and paste, even edit your own loading screen with it.
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hikoki
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Re: Add loading screen to .tap file

Post by hikoki » Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:54 am

tapeconv from fuse-utils
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