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Posting Tips for New bB Users


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#1 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 26, 2011 3:55 PM

Here are a few general posting tips for new bB users that might be helpful:
  • A good attitude is important. If a guy storms into the bB forum demanding instant answers, people will be less likely to help him. Nobody has to help, so we might want to be thankful when they do. When somebody can find the time to help, it's a good idea to reply so they can tell if their help was useful or not. It will also help other bB users with a similar problem or question.
    _
  • Please do not post the same question in multiple threads or forums. Give people a chance to reply and be sure to look back for a reply. While you're off posting the same question in 20 different threads, a reply to your first post could be sitting there waiting for you to read it.
    _
  • Be sure to name your program files something other than 'default' in case you need to post them in the future. Even if you don't know the name of the game yet, you can always use your username mixed with the type of project. For example, if your username is Mr. Giggle Snort and you're working on an unnamed maze game, you could call it "giggle_snort_maze_game_2011y_04m_28d_1002t.bas". For more about naming your files, see Easy Software Versioning.
    _
  • If you are having problems with your code, the more information you supply about the problem, the easier it will be for others to help. Attach your .bas file and if your program is generating compile-time errors, post a copy of the errors too. When you want people to see some odd behavior on the screen, be sure to attach the .bin file too (instead of expecting them to compile your code).
    _
  • Having a sense of humor and trying not to be too touchy is always beneficial. If the slightest hint of criticism has a guy running for the razorblades, it might be time for him to think about getting a new hobby such as stamp collecting or gardening. Or he could grow a fuzzy pair, get motivated, and make some high-quality games that are so fun it will make rainbows cry. If we can learn to appreciate criticism instead of running away from it, we'll be a lot better off.
    _
  • No matter how tempting it might be when you're stuffed full of pizza and high on caffeine, you might want to avoid making any grand proclamations about the earth-shattering games you're going to create. People aren't impressed with chest-beating. They'd rather have a .bin file to try, so it might be a good idea to wait and let your work speak for itself. (If your work actually starts speaking to you, back away from the caffeine. You've had one Mountain Dew too many.)
    _
  • It's easy to get results with batari Basic. It's also easy to forget that our favorite classic games needed months of work to accomplish. Fellow enthusiasts can tell if you're in it for the long haul. Expect support to be in proportion to your commitment and willingness to accept critique.

Related Links:

How to Attach Files and Images

Easy Software Versioning

Keeping Track of the Scanline Count with Stella

#2 GroovyBee OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:17 PM

I'd also add :-

Post your source code that you having problems with. If its generating compile time errors post a copy of the errors too. The more information you supply about the problem the easier it is for others to help.

#3 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:23 PM

I'd also add :-

Post your source code that you having problems with. If its generating compile time errors post a copy of the errors too. The more information you supply about the problem the easier it is for others to help.

Thanks. I'll add it right now.

#4 theloon ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:20 AM

The last bullet point can lose all but the last two sentences. It really sounds like a rant until those lines.

#5 GroovyBee OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:25 AM

Adding a few screenshots and a back story will tempt more players to try out your game out too.

#6 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:47 AM

The last bullet point can lose all but the last two sentences. It really sounds like a rant until those lines.

Maybe you can help me reword it. The point of it is to get the message across that if you show up just to get a quick game 'under your belt' without caring about quality, don't expect other bB users to trip over themselves trying to help you in the future.

Any ideas on how to mix that concept in with the last two sentences without sounding 'ranty'?

Edited by Random Terrain, Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:16 PM.


#7 theloon ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:45 PM


The last bullet point can lose all but the last two sentences. It really sounds like a rant until those lines.

Maybe you can help me reword it. The point of it is to get the message across that if you show up just to get a quick game 'under your belt' without caring about quality, don't expect other bB users to trip over themselves trying to help you in the future.

Any ideas on how to mix that concept in with the last two sentences without sounding 'ranty'?


* It's easy to get results with BatariBASIC - it's also easy to forget our favorite games needed months of work to accomplish. Fellow enthusiasts can tell if you're in it for the long haul. Expect support to be in proportion to your commitment and willingness to accept critique.

#8 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:58 PM

* It's easy to get results with BatariBASIC - it's also easy to forget our favorite games needed months of work to accomplish. Fellow enthusiasts can tell if you're in it for the long haul. Expect support to be in proportion to your commitment and willingness to accept critique.

Thanks. I'm a little sleepy, so my brain isn't working that great right now. To be clear, when I switch to what you posted, I don't need the last two sentence anymore, right?

#9 theloon ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:29 PM


* It's easy to get results with BatariBASIC - it's also easy to forget our favorite games needed months of work to accomplish. Fellow enthusiasts can tell if you're in it for the long haul. Expect support to be in proportion to your commitment and willingness to accept critique.

Thanks. I'm a little sleepy, so my brain isn't working that great right now. To be clear, when I switch to what you posted, I don't need the last two sentence anymore, right?


Bullet points 3 and 4 seem to embody the spirit of those last two sentences. I'd leave them out for fear of sounding redundant.

Carry on my wayward son
It'll compile when you're done
Lay your keyboard to rest
Don't you type no more

#10 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:44 PM

Bullet points 3 and 4 seem to embody the spirit of those last two sentences. I'd leave them out for fear of sounding redundant.

Thanks. I switched it with what you posted and made a couple of minor changes to match how I usually type things.

#11 SeaGtGruff OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 27, 2011 5:07 PM

I've got a suggestion. Please do *not* post your batari Basic programs as "default.bas.bin," because that means if I save it to my computer it's going to overwrite all the other "default.bas.bin" files I previously downloaded from other people. So unless you want your game to eventually get overwritten by someone else's "default.bas.bin" file, you'd better it call it something else-- even if it's just "no0bie no0bie no0's first batari Basic game.bas.bin." Believe it or not, when I take the time to download your game or demo and try it out-- no matter how simplistic it may be-- I actually *want* to keep it from eventually getting overwritten by someone else's game or demo. So I have to come up with my own name for your game or demo-- um, like "no0bie no0bie no0's first bB demo.bas.bin" (or whatever your user name happens to be).

Michael




#12 diogoandrei OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:55 AM

I've got a suggestion. Please do *not* post your batari Basic programs as "default.bas.bin," because that means if I save it to my computer it's going to overwrite all the other "default.bas.bin" files I previously downloaded from other people. So unless you want your game to eventually get overwritten by someone else's "default.bas.bin" file, you'd better it call it something else-- even if it's just "no0bie no0bie no0's first batari Basic game.bas.bin." Believe it or not, when I take the time to download your game or demo and try it out-- no matter how simplistic it may be-- I actually *want* to keep it from eventually getting overwritten by someone else's game or demo. So I have to come up with my own name for your game or demo-- um, like "no0bie no0bie no0's first bB demo.bas.bin" (or whatever your user name happens to be).

Michael


Nice one! It gets really quite messy with tons of default.bas.bin.

OFF TOPIC: by the way, hello AA, it's been a while since the last time I had actually spare time to come in here. AA rocks :thumbsup:

#13 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:06 AM

I've got a suggestion. Please do *not* post your batari Basic programs as "default.bas.bin," because that means if I save it to my computer it's going to overwrite all the other "default.bas.bin" files I previously downloaded from other people. So unless you want your game to eventually get overwritten by someone else's "default.bas.bin" file, you'd better it call it something else-- even if it's just "no0bie no0bie no0's first batari Basic game.bas.bin." Believe it or not, when I take the time to download your game or demo and try it out-- no matter how simplistic it may be-- I actually *want* to keep it from eventually getting overwritten by someone else's game or demo. So I have to come up with my own name for your game or demo-- um, like "no0bie no0bie no0's first bB demo.bas.bin" (or whatever your user name happens to be).

Michael

Thanks. See if the second item in the first post is good enough or if it needs to be adjusted.

#14 PAC-MAN-RED OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:07 PM

Where's the one about reading RT's entire page at LEAST 3 times before posting ANYTHING? :D heh

Illya

#15 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:34 PM

Where's the one about reading RT's entire page at LEAST 3 times before posting ANYTHING? :D heh

Albert has already fixed that. If you try to post in the bB forum, a pop-up will ask three random questions based on information from the bB page. If you can't answer, you can't post. :D

#16 gjc082071 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 6, 2011 10:25 PM

Hello. I just started learning how to program. I found on Youtube a VbB tutorial "How to make your own Atari 2600 games". I followed it step by step, but I keep getting the following error: "Could not locate default.bas.bin and could not recompile. Please check to make sure it was compiled correctly". It happened right after I made the playf ield (same as in the video), hit COMPILE & then RUN. It worked in the video, but not for me. I can't find any documentation regarding how to fix this problem. If you know how, could you please help me/tell me what to do, please?

#17 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 6, 2011 10:42 PM

Hello. I just started learning how to program. I found on Youtube a VbB tutorial "How to make your own Atari 2600 games". I followed it step by step, but I keep getting the following error: "Could not locate default.bas.bin and could not recompile. Please check to make sure it was compiled correctly". It happened right after I made the playf ield (same as in the video), hit COMPILE & then RUN. It worked in the video, but not for me. I can't find any documentation regarding how to fix this problem. If you know how, could you please help me/tell me what to do, please?

I guess there is a posting tip I need to add. When you post a question, look for a reply instead of posting the same question in other threads:

http://www.atariage....33#entry2296633

http://www.atariage....22#entry2296822

#18 ScumSoft OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 7, 2011 5:50 AM

Those new to programming should follow these steps for completing a game:

1) Write down a complete outline of what you want your game to do
[example]
* Donkey kong:
* A gorilla stands at the top of the screen tossing barrels down sloped ramps and ladders
* The player must jump over barrels and climb ladders in order to rescue the fair maiden penelope
* The player can gain the use of a hammer which allows the destruction of barrels, however the player cannot jump while using it
* Once the player reaches penelope, Kong will then kidnap her once again progressing the game to the next level
* The player will gain score for jumping over the barrels and destroying them with the hammer
* The player can lose a life by touching either barrels, kong, or falling from the ramps
* A timer will be counting down and will represent the bonus points awarded after reaching penelope
* After a few levels have progressed, the player will then rescue penelope and win the game

Note that this is just a general outline of what you would like the game to do. This should only represent the goals of the game, and a brief outline of the game mechanics. Nothing to in depth or thorough about it. This will be a reference while your coding the game to ensure what your designing meets the initial goals and ideas set forth. Do not keep changing this as you think of new ideas, only change it if you've come up with something completely different, or if the initial premise has changed.

2)Start SMALL! since you're new to coding don't start on the full fledged project from the get go! Since you need to learn the basics of the language, and about game design in general, I suggest starting by tinkering around with basic functionality. Making a player jump across the screen sounds easy right?! but did you know that loops and slight physics are required for this? Also do you understand how the screen is even prepared to draw your player let alone animating him? You will once you go through a few of these tutorials. They show how a basic kernal is created and looped through. Use those tutorials as a base to ensure your compiler and IDE is setup correctly. If those do not compile and run then you have some issues that need fixed before proceeding.

3) Once you understand the basics of entering your main loop, and then gosub out to desired functions, you can start building a prototyped framework for your game. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO GET EVERYTHING RIGHT THE FIRST TIME! Very important! I've seen many people get burnt out before anything really was done simply because they kept tweaking their code over and over, yet made no real progress at all! Write down everything you want the game to do, down to the smallest detail and keep it on hand, you'll be referring to this allot during your coding. Also be sure to comment plenty while you're writing your code, this will come in handy later. (just trust me on this one)
[example]
 rem set batari kernel options
 set tv ntsc
 set romsize 4k
 set kernel_options playercolors player1colors pfcolors

 rem Variables, we have 26 of them for general usage
 rem Setting a variable to something.something uses fixed point math, or in other words floating mathematics for decimal movement
 rem Set players Y position to decimal
 dim P0posY = player0y.a
 dim Gravity = b.c

 rem set players initial position
 player0y = 50
 player0x = 20

 rem Give gravity an initial value
 Gravity = 1

 rem Our main game loop for a simple jumping test
MAIN_LOOP
 gosub get_input
 gosub do_physics
 gosub level_data
 drawscreen
 goto MAIN_LOOP

get_input
 rem if we press the fire button the player will move up on the screen
 if joy0fire then P0posY = P0posY - 1.99
 if joy0left then player0x = player0x - 1
 if joy0right then player0x = player0x + 1
 return

do_physics
 rem Apply gravity on players position, also make sure player cannot fall off the screen
 P0posY = P0posY + Gravity
 if P0posY >= 81 then P0posY = P0posY - 1
 return

level_data
 rem this holds current level and player graphics 
 rem has to be read before drawscreen each loop
 pfcolors:
 $08
 $08
 $08
 $08
 $08
 $08
 $08
 $08
 $08
 $08
 $C4
end
 playfield:
 ................................
 ................................
 ................................
 ................................
 ................................
 ................................
 ................................
 ................................
 ................................
 ................................
 XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
end
 player0color:
 $1E
 $1E
 $1E
 $1E
 $1E
 $1E
 $1E
 $1E
end
 player0:
 %11111111
 %10000001
 %10011001
 %10100101
 %10000001
 %10100101
 %10000001
 %11111111
end
 return

This is a basic program with calls to subroutines which perform a simple task. When you hold the fire button your player moves up, and when you let go gravity gets added to your current position causing you to fall until you hit the ground. This isn't how you wan't your game to react, so you have to think now how you will make your player jump movement work like it should. How do you set a value by tapping the fire button and have him launch into the air a certain height, then fall back down. I would suggest thinking this out logically, and then write some test code using this template and see how it works out. If you simply cannot figure it out, then you can get the answers and cheat in this example by RT. Start small like this, use it to test different functions your game will have, and save out the working code! You'll reuse it later, so keep what works on hand.

4) Start migrating your working test code into your main project and start working in all your desired functionality.
5) A few months later you'll have a decent looking title (hopefully)
6) If you have ANY issues, be sure to keep in contact with us here, I'm sure we'll be more than happy to assist where we can. Use our knowledge as a valuable resource and you'll make much faster progression.

7) Don't give up when something stumps you! See suggestion #6, it's easy to get overwhelmed when your new at something, but given some time, things have a way of going click! and making sense.

Aside from the afore mentioned, I can't think of anything else to suggest at this hour.

Hope to see a working title from you in the near future. There are plenty of code examples here, but you might have to go looking for em'

#19 grafixbmp OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 8, 2011 1:33 PM

Might I suggest this thread be a sticky. Very handy info for all so shouldn't it be made easy to find?

#20 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 8, 2011 2:19 PM

Might I suggest this thread be a sticky. Very handy info for all so shouldn't it be made easy to find?

They may not want to do that. When you have more than 3 or 4 pinned topics at the top of a forum, they go from being handy to being an annoyance that are usually ignored.

You gave me an idea, though. I just put the links to these threads near the top of the bB page:

http://www.randomter...c-commands.html

Edited by Random Terrain, Wed Jun 8, 2011 2:29 PM.





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