• Bruce

How to add a loading screen to your MPAGD game

A few people have asked for help with adding a loading screen to their MPAGD ZX Spectrum Games, now, my go to tool for this is MPAGD Musicizer by the most excellent human that is David Saphier. But, that assumes you also want to add music and make it a 128K game. If you are just targeting a 48K game there's a little more work.

I'm not going to cover the creation of an actual loading screen (I use ZX Paintbrush to save a .scr file) - so I'll assume you've already done that.


First off, you'll need to get yourself copies of:


ZX-BlockEditor

ZX-Editor



  1. Export your game from MPAGD:

From the File Menu > Export


Create a TAP file

Create a BASIC loader



2. Open up ZX BlockEditor

Open up the TAP file you created in step 1



Click the Red Cube icon to Add/inster a new datablock

Click the TAP tab

in the Select Block: drop down, select Screen Header


Click the Insert Button at the bottom of the window


This has now added a screen header to your TAP file.



Next, we need to add your loading screen file (.scr)

From the Tools menu select 'Insert File'

Then navigate to your screen file - you'll then see this: untick the FILE TYPE & FILE INFO

Click OK



Now you'll have the screen header and screen file, but they may be in the wrong place...we need to move them up so that:


Screen Header is directly Beneath the Program Data

And Screen Data is directly Beneath the Screen Header.


Select one and use the GREEN UP arrow to move it up, it should end up looking like:



next we need to edit the BASIC program.


Click the row with the Program Data to highlight it

Right click and select Edit datablock with ZX Editor:


Edit your basic program as follows:


In Line 20 Change the INK VAL to 0, add a : CLS after it

Position your cursor at the end of Line 30 and hit enter

Add a new line 40:

LOAD""SCREEN$ : POKE 23739,111

The POKE will prevent any info overwriting your beautiful loading screen when loading)


Click OK


Then Click RUN (click yes to anything it asks you to confirm)


...and you are done:)








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aboutME

Hello, I'm Bruce and I write games for old 8bit computers using Jonathan Cauldwell's excellent Multi-Platform Arcade Games Designer (MPAGD)

I've written a few successful* games for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum and MSX platforms that have been (largely) well received with my most recent game - Twenty Four Hour Parsley People scoring a 10 out of 10 on Planeta Sinclair.

In my blog I am sharing lots of the code that I wrote for my games, in a way that you can use in your own games.   I've commented it so that you'll learn some of the techniques I use to create interesting new mechanics and help your games stand out from the pack.

MPAGD includes lots of standard scripts, they're great to get you started, but if you're new (or just rusty) when it comes to writing code, hopefully my tutorials will help you get started and  turn your imagination into awesome 8 bit games!

All my code is free to use and do with as you please, but if you find them useful please feel free to buy me a coffee ...or better still - buy or download my games :)

*successful is a very relative term in 8bit computer games