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HuC

Presentation

Now you know what is the pc engine, (if not yet, check the Hu-Go! feature page on the left), you already guess that there's very few new games on this console. The last series of games appeared around 1995 with an exception in June 1999 with dead of the brain 1 & 2.

Since then, you can guess that no more commercial games appeared. Fortunately, some fans have brought home made games recently. This tendancy began with the arrival of Magic Kit, the assembler for pc engine, made by David Michel.

Since then, a few demos appeared, generally to show how to code a bit, well, demos :) , not really games. The demos only trend began to change with the arrival of Jamanoid, an arkanoid clone made by the hu6280 team (formely on www.hu6280.com). It was around ... 1998 I think.

Until middle 2000, nothing really new in this domain, until I decided to give an hand in this domain trying to make a C compiler for pc engine. I asked around to see if a similar program were existing for a console the architecture of which is near of the pc engine (the NES e.g.) and doing this, I learned that David Michel had already intended a pc engine C compiler but had abandonned seen the lack of interest from public. He gladly gave me his source at the point where he stopped and I saw that it was already quite advanced. I began to learn how it was working and finally, only a few function were needed in the libc (the library which implement common operations [+, *, <, ..., even switch/case ]) in order to began producing working roms. What happened after a few weeks of developpement.

I released it under the name of HuC (once more, check the Hu-Go!'s feature page to understand why 'Hu' :) and seeing that, David Michel resumed working on it ^^. From this moment, David Michel, David Shadoff and I are working together to improve HuC as much as possible.

From the beginning, where you could only output black and white text, use short and basic C algorithm (apart using inlined assembler), you can now handle sprites, tiles, palettes, all C instructions (with the ol' 83 standard, very very near of the modern one, don't worry) without having to think about bank limitation (well, almost, you don't have to worry about function repartition into the various available bank, but you can't make a function the code of which is more than 8 kb, it's very rare and easy to handle, don't worry), make scrolling, shorter and faster program (with builtin optimizer). Now, HuC is still under developpement (with the addition of sound or improved video handling) and the number of games made with it begins to be considerable.

Using HuC


As for the knowledge needed by the HuC coder, hardly more than the 'usual' knowledge of C coding is needed. Indeed, in HuC doc, you won't find a C tutorial, just what's needed to use the HuC API, which as you may guess is quite different from the usual PC one. As for input, instead of keyboard, mouse and various joypad, you simply have up to 5 joypads, with 6 buttons. Thanks to the recent addition made by david shadoff, the pc engine mouse is also exploited, thought not many commercial games use it. For outputing results, a little library have been implemented in order to print text and numbers. Furthermore, you can now use the video power of pc engine, with the hardware support of up to 64 sprites up to 32x64 pixels , 8x8 pixels tiles, scrolling, 16 palettes of 16 colors coded on 9 bits each (RRRGGGBBB).

Installation


Installation is quite simple. Obviously, for confort purposes, you'll have to put the binary directory in your path (or any environnement variable used to search for binaries). Then, since HuC relies on the Magic Kit (a compiler only produces assembler code, not directly bytecode), you must also define the environnement variable pointing toward the directory in which the library files are present. This variable is called PCE_INCLUDE and can be set with SET PCE_INCLUDE=c:\huc\include\pce under DOS for example or $PCE_INCLUDE=/usr/local/huc/include/pce; export $PCE_INCLUDE under certain un*x shells and so on...

 



 

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