What PC counterpart is STOS the most compatible with? QBASIC etc... Thanks
The problems come with the graphics and sound side of things as there is no
way of using Images as backgrounds, although this may not be the case with
the latest version of Visual Basic of Windows. Also there is no Sprite
Designer facillities and so you will probably have to code all you sprites
and background images using thousands of draw commands. Finally, there is
also no Music Definer, therefore you will have to use a plain "sound"
command specifing IIRC frequency, volume and duration, again the latest
version of VB for Windows might allow samples to be used as it can be used
to write web applications.
VB has or at least had a decent manual, although I have only uses a early
DOS version software written on it can be used under windows, as I said its
good for Text only programs. The only design facility the DOS version has is
a Form Designer that allows you to create forms containg some predesigned
objects such as Text (Lables), Picture Boxes (mainly used for grouping
objects together), Menus, Command Buttons, Option Buttons and Text Boxes for
user input, again the latest version might have more design facilities.
Goto the Microsoft web site to find out more about VB, I'm sure this it will
have several images of what is capable or send me a mail and I could e-mail
you either a program or screen shot as examples of the type of thing that
can be produced.
SM> As far as I know there is no compiler for QBASIC and
> so you can only run your programs from within QBASIC,
> however Microsoft Visual Basic (VB) does come with a
I seem to remember that QBASIC was a cut-down, interpreted
version of Microsoft QuickBASIC (which was a compiler). I
have never used that though, so I don't know what it's
SM> The problems come with the graphics and sound side of
> things as there is no way of using Images as
> backgrounds, although this may not be the case with
> the latest version of Visual Basic of Windows.
Even if there were no routine provided that can do that for
you, it should be possible to write one. There's a good
chance routines exist to read and display PCX or GIF files
for example. GIF would probably be more compact, I have a
vague recollection that PCX files were very closely related
to the PC's frame buffer layout, so should be easy to load.
PCX would probably be slightly faster, neither would be
great in an interpreted environment. Perhaps QuickBASIC
came with low-level routines to speed things up though.
SM> Also there is no Sprite Designer facillities and so
> you will probably have to code all you sprites and
> background images using thousands of draw commands.
Ouch! ;-) I would be more inclined to either use an existing
image format and image editor, or a simple proprietary image
format and write my own sprite editor. I guess you could
write something with a 'retro' vector-graphics feel using
draw commands though.
SM> Finally, there is also no Music Definer, therefore you
> will have to use a plain "sound" command specifing
> IIRC frequency, volume and duration...
* commandstring$ A string expression that contains one or more of
the following PLAY commands:
Octave and tone commands:
Ooctave Sets the current octave (0 - 6).
< or > Moves up or down one octave.
A - G Plays the specified note in the current octave.
Nnote Plays a specified note (0 - 84) in the seven-octave
range (0 is a rest).
Duration and tempo commands:
Llength Sets the length of each note (1 - 64). L1 is whole note,
L2 is a half note, etc.
ML Sets music legato.
MN Sets music normal.
MS Sets music staccato.
Ppause Specifies a pause (1 - 64). P1 is a whole-note pause,
P2 is a half-note pause, etc.
Ttempo Sets the tempo in quarter notes per minute (32 - 255).
MF Plays music in foreground.
MB Plays music in background.
# or + Turns preceding note into a sharp.
- Turns preceding note into a flat.
. Plays the preceding note 3/2 as long as specified.
* To execute a PLAY command substring from a PLAY command string,
use the "X" command:
PLAY "X"+ VARPTR$(commandstring$)
'Play scale in 7 different octaves
scale$ = "CDEFGAB"
FOR i% = 0 TO 6
PLAY "O" + STR$(i%)
PLAY "X" + VARPTR$(scale$)
...not a module player by any stretch of the imagination
(but then the PC /did/ come with a $0.25 speaker ;-)
SM> ...again the latest version of VB for Windows might
> allow samples to be used as it can be used to write
> web applications.
Visual Basic (they don't call it BASIC, I don't know why)
probably does let you play sampled sound on a machine that
I'm suspicious of VB. It ties you to one platform, and
depends on libraries that haven't historically been very
dependable. You're also at the mercy of Microsoft's every
(expensive) whim. There are other BASIC implementations
available, including some that are available on more than
one platform. I downloaded Yabasic ("Yet another Basic for
Unix and Windows"... looks like they don't call it BASIC
either) the other day. It supports graphics under Unix + X
and MS-Windows. I was looking for a text-based portable
BASIC so I haven't done much with it apart from play the
supplied Sokoban demo a few times.
I should probably look at Chipmunk BASIC again, I think
that is available for Mac, PC-DOS and Unix. There may even
be a port for MiNT, I don't know.
FamilyNet <> Internet Gated Mail
Sorry, that's wrong. There are a lot of game programming languages andQuote:
> I don't think there is one, those PC lot aren't into writing games and
> just playing them and so nothing as usefull as STOS was written for them.
Theres one thing I think about every time I create the STOS Corner for
the Fanzine, that is...how many people actually read and enjoy it.
The next issue sees the start of a game creating tutorial and I
wondered, with it being such hard work to create such a tutorial,
would it be worth it.
Therefore, I would apperciate it if you could post your comments
So basically I am asking.....should I keep the STOS Corner or should I
drop it? After all, if noone reads it its a waste of time.
Also, if I wrote a manual like the Games Maker Manual by Stephen Hill
which showed in detail how to write various programs like games,
databases, art packages etc and sold it at a reasonable price would
anyone be interested. If so, please send me an email with New STOS
Manual as the subject, and if enough people show interest in
purchasing such a manual then I will write it.
Yours Faithfully (In a very Silly way)
Deano (Silly Software Programmer)
3. STOS users