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DarkBASIC Professional Discussion / Just for fun - Let's remake some old BASIC type-ins!

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Kafoolwho
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Posted: 13th Oct 2017 22:09 Edited at: 13th Oct 2017 22:34
Those who were around during the age of microcomputers should remember the good old little type-in BASIC games from various magazines and other publications.

Just for fun, I went through some old books and thought it would be interesting to revamp some of these old games in DBPro, instead of just porting them directly.

Anyone here interested in joining in with this little challenge? Just for fun, practice or just because you can.

Many of the old books and magazines are still available for free online.
The Usborne books can be downloaded for free from their site at https://usborne.com/browse-books/features/computer-and-coding-books/ (scroll to the bottom of the page for the free PDFs).

My contribution is a little game called Iceberg, originally published in the 1982 book Computer Battle Games by Usborne Publishing Ltd.


The original game had a randomly generated 8x8 grid filled with icebergs (*), and randomly placed your ship (Y) and an enemy ship (Z) on the screen. You could move either North, East, South or West to try to lure the enemy into an iceberg. The enemy ship, however, could move North, South, East, West, as well as diagonally. If you hit an iceberg, or got caught by the enemy ship, you lost.


I decided to revamp it in DBP with graphics, sound, music and mouse support. I also enlarged the grid to 10x10. Since the game still uses the original randomisation algorithm, it is horribly unbalanced, though. A game can be won in a single move, while another makes it impossible to win. Overall, though, it's a nice little diversion. I had a heck of a lot of fun converting it to its current state.


The attached zip file contains the remake, as well as an implementation of the original code in DBP.

I hope some of you join in on this little challenge, since I would love to see what you all come up with!

QBasic, Microsoft BASIC and GWBasic type-ins might also be an option.

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Sedit
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Joined: 3rd Sep 2017
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Posted: 14th Oct 2017 08:06
I like the idea personally, If I were not so involved in getting my sea legs in programming back while attempting to take on a project on the more difficult end of the programming spectrum(Artificial Neural Networks + Genetic Algorithms) in an attempt to not only simulate evolution but to turn it into a game in which the user inadvertently(but knowingly) donates processor space to generate an AI from a large conglomerate of Neural networks to learn with hopefully billions of Neurons, I would love to do something of this nature. I may just pick a small project to toy around with in order to give my brain a break from the abuse I am currently giving it in an attempt to absorb and execute everything that I have learned recently.

Love the program man, keep at it. I think stuff like this is great if it can be kept small and relatively easy to follow because it will encourage new programmers to make a game because all to often newbies do exactly what I am doing and dive in headfirst in an attempt to make a game thinking that they are going to make the next Final Fantasy or Halo and quickly get discouraged when they realize that pong is out of their reach if they don't study more.

Tell ya what, Name a game for me that would involve making creatures randomly move while it performs the 3 F's.... feeds, fights and um.... Fornicates. Got anything like that in which working on this small program may help me on my larger project?
Kafoolwho
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Posted: 14th Oct 2017 08:56
Completely understandable.
I actually did this to take a break from a much larger project I have been working on for around three years now.
Also, since the DBPro boards have become relatively quiet compared to a few years ago, I decided to post this mini challenge as a fun diversion, and hopefully get some of the DBPro coders active again.
I'll have a look through all my books and see if I can find something for you that meets your requirements.
Kafoolwho
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Posted: 20th Oct 2017 13:06
@Sedit:
I'm sorry it took me so long to get back to you on this one. I have gone through all the old type-in books and magazines I have, and sadly have not found a single game with your requirements. It may have something to do with the fact that most of these were written for hobbyists using BASIC on systems with only 16kb - 48kb worth of memory. Most of the more complex bits were usually done in Machine Code.

As for this thread, even though there doesn't seem to be much interest in it at the moment, I have decided to continue with it just for kicks. The next project I'm taking on is a compilation of selected games from Usborne's Computer Space Games.
Sedit
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Posted: 20th Oct 2017 17:06 Edited at: 20th Oct 2017 17:15
All good, I remember using Machine code in BASIC when I was a kid in order to create and control the mouse. You had to use the DATA command then input the HEX value of the ASM you wanted to use then push that to an area of memory and point to it to be called. LOL Prob one of the most dangerous things BASIC allowed you to do back in the day. IDK If DARKBASIC has anything of that nature. Its been sometimes since I coded.

My little project is going well. Last night I left my AI that I designed running over night and it taught itself to spin in circles as it moved in order to compensate for the fact that it can only see forward. May not sounds like much but when you didn't tell it to do any sort of thing that kind of stuff is sort of impressive. I eliminated all the need for Fitness code and stuff like that by the fact that the creatures breed and spread their DNA. Those that don't breed or act right Die. Saves me a ton of work lol. I have a network of my own design setup that is working but I can't get my typical Artificial Neural net to work correctly which sucks because I have plans on connecting it to my design and using the Neural net to alter the weights in my design to continue learning after creation.
Kafoolwho
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Posted: 20th Oct 2017 17:33
I'm glad to hear your project is going well.
The fact that your AI taught itself that little trick is quite impressive, really.
It reminds me of a little anecdote about the AI testing phase of the original Black & White. They had left it running overnight and when they returned the next day, the creature was sitting on a hill contemplating the sunrise, seemingly in deep thought.
It is quite interesting to see these types of things happen.
Sedit
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Posted: 20th Oct 2017 18:30
Yeah mine is simple as can be, just 5 inputs .. what it sees, (wall,enemy,mate,food,nothing) interconnected to its 5 outputs(forward,backwards, turn left, turn right, do nothing). It breeds when it finds a mate and gets hurt when it touches a creature of the same sex. Food lets it live longer. Simple rules... Complex output. I will make it available soon enough when I get a UI developed enough for people to toy around with it. I also want to increase the sensitivity of the trigger on the output since its outputting floating points but only utilizing integers.



I do think I can help your projects by giving a primative AI like what I am making to some of the creatures in your games. My AI basically trains itself to hate enemies and love healthy things. It wouldnt be hard to alter the code a little to suit any game.
Green Gandalf
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Posted: 9th Nov 2017 13:20
Kafoolwho

Nicely implemented. I hope a few more people make a few suggestions. I'll try to remember to dig out my old Atari 800XL Compute! demos.

Ah!, Life used to be so simple ...

I like the balance between the two different advantages that the two players have: i.e. the diagonal movement of one player set against the ability to see icebergs for the other. Works well for such a simple idea.
Kafoolwho
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Posted: 9th Nov 2017 16:31
Thank you, Green Gandalf.

Yes, I used to love doing these type-ins on my ZX Spectrum, and later on the Spectravideo. It was like opening a lucky packet sometimes, because you weren't always sure of the end result.

I really do hope some more people get in on this and make their own versions of type-in games from way back when, because it is a nice, fun diversion, and I would love to see what people come up with.

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