Loaders

From CPCWiki - THE Amstrad CPC encyclopedia!
Jump to: navigation, search

A loader is a program that loads in new data for a game or program. This section covers various types of loaders seen on the Amstrad.

Cassette

This list is not complete:

Known protection schemes  :

Disc

This list is not complete:


Specific loaders worth looking at

This list is not complete:

  • Deflektor had a loader which showed instructions while loading
  • Zynaps had a loader which had a countdown while loading
  • Speedlock had colourful stripes in the border, some versions loaded the screen from top-to-bottom line by line
  • Some firebird games had music while loading from tape (see below).

Loading music

Cassette

Loading from cassette effectively uses all the CPU's time because it must poll the cassette input in order to convert the sound into data. So to do music and other things during loading requires precise timing.

The C64 effectively had interrupt driven loading music and the serial chip handled clocking in of the data bits and signalled an interrupt when the byte of data was ready. This meant music during loading was much easier to achieve.

I think only Firebird games had loading music on cassette. The music was composed by Melvyn Wright (www.melright.com). The music data was embeded into the data on cassette. The data was read as a group of 3 bits and 8 data bits. The 3 bits determined if the 8 data bits were for data or for music.

This list is not complete, please add more. Will upload YM of the loading music soon.

Game Loading music
Booty
Comet Game (The) Media:Comet_game_(the)-loader.ym
Harvey Headbanger Media:Harvey_headbanger-loader.ym‎
Thrust Media:Thrust.ym
Spiky Harold Media:Spiky_harold-loader.ym

Disc

The disc system on the Amstrad (and Spectrum +3) is "polled" which means the CPU has to keep checking if the FDC (NEC765) has more data to read/write. On the C64 the disc system is interrupt driven.

So to do music while loading requires careful timing and often the use of very small sectors (128bytes).

ZapTBalls 
The Demo 
5KB Demo 3 
Midline Process 
Orion Prime
Batman Forever