Over on the links page I’ve highlighted some of the tools I’m using. However, when I started my original project to port Ultima IV to the Chloe 280SE, many of these tools didn’t exist. So I wrote my own, or adapted what I could find.
Written in 1996, TrueFONT was my first foray into assembly language. Most of it was written in compiled BASIC, but I didn’t want to drop back to BASIC to handle loading and saving, so I wrote some code to do that directly. I still use it from time to time, but now I mostly use Klaus Jahn’s FZX font editor. FZX is a proportional font format for 8-bits that I came up with. Unlike most 8-bit font systems, it supports kerning. But it was overkill for the ZXodus][Engine.
For Spectrum graphics I’ve been using The Artist 2 since I got it in the 1980s. However, I ended up hacking it to suit my needs and eventually released my patched version as The Artist 3.
Before I wrote the tile engine, I needed some tiles, so I wrote a tile editor, again in compiled BASIC. It’s slow and clunky, and only runs on the Timex TC2048 (using hardware 8×1 attribute mode). But it does let you see the bitmap without the color, which you can’t currently do with ZX Paintbrush. The ColorTILE format that I created for ZXU4 has now been used in several other engines.