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"Tiles" for TI-99/4A, COMPUTE! Magazine conversion

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I am happy to announce the final release of the re-work of my 1988 conversion of Tiles.

 

Tiles is a one- or two-player memory game which appeared in COMPUTE! Magazine, Volume 10, Number 2, Issue 93, February 1988, Pages 30-46. The program was originally written by Rick Harrison, with versions for the Commodore 64, Apple ][, Atari 8-bit, IBM PCjr, Amiga, and Atari ST. The Texas Instruments conversion is based upon the game description in the article. The graphics are based upon the Atari ST version, with the screen layout matched as closely to the original versions as possible.

 

After COMPUTE! dropped the TI-99/4A I obtained permission from ABC Publications and COMPUTE! Magazine to produce and distribute my TI-99 conversions of programs which appeared in the magazine. "Tiles" is one of these conversions I worked on as a budding young programmer.

 

Like many home-produced programs, this game was originally hand-written then typed into TI BASIC. The final product presented here used much of that original code, imported from a tape to Notepad++, re-written to use @matthew180's TIdBiT TI BASIC translator, and tested with @Tursi's Classic99 emulator.

 

Included in the attachment are the TIdBiT source files for both TI BASIC and TI Extended BASIC, a worksheet of notes about the rationing of variables (though I am missing another worksheet which broke down each subroutine and my original graphics,) a 90k SSSD disk image with the two language versions, a tape output file of each program in wav format created with Dean Corcoran's CS1er, as well as my permission documentation obtained from COMPUTE! Magazine.

 

The two files on the disk are:

 

TILES TI BASIC and Extended BASIC

TILESXB TI Extended BASIC

 

Quick instructions

Tiles is a memory game. You will be presented with an increasing number of tiles to find in a pattern up to 30 tiles. Use the keyboard or joystick to play. Standard key scan 1 and 2 for player one and two, respectively: ESDXQ and IJKMY for up, left, right, down, "fire". Joystick 1 left answers "1" or "Y" and right answers "2" or "N" for appropriate questions. Space bar and fire are interchangeable.

Press any key to end the attract mode and select number of players to begin the game. Number of player selection, play again inquiry, and surrender inquiry have time-outs which will return to the previous action.

Each player starts with 500 points. You will be shown the tiles for that round then asked to hide them. Roughly every second you will hear a tick with which you lose points: 60 points if your score is 5000 or over, 40 points for 2000 and over, and 20 points for under 2000. If your score falls to 400 points a second tone is added, especially helpful as the TI BASIC version does not update the score board during this phase.

Once hidden you have to find all of the tiles. In TI BASIC an arrow will appear under, and in TI Extended BASIC a box will surround, the currently selected tile space. There is no time limit nor order in which the tiles must be found. You score 100 points for each find and are penalized 100 points for each miss. The game ends if you run out of points. If one player bankrupts the other player continues. The game proceeds until both players have completed the last round with 30 tiles, both players lose all points, or one player surrenders. Your prowess is gauged by the high score you rack up.

FCTN-7 (AID) will bring up a short informational line to remind you of your keyboard and joysticks options. At the end of the game FCTN-8 (REDO) will start a new game and FCTN-9 (BACK) will start the attract mode, the same as answering Y or N, respectively.

A player may surrender his or her game while hunting for hidden tiles by pressing FCTN-9 (BACK.) After surrendering, any tiles not yet found will be exposed. The surrendering player's high score is not penalized but the score is wiped. The game ends when a player surrenders.

To leave the game use FCTN-4 (BREAK) in TI BASIC or FCTN-= (QUIT) in TI BASIC or Extended BASIC.

 

While I have given this release as thorough a test as I can I expect there will be a quirk or two which will need fixing. Please feel free to post in this thread if you find any, and if you enjoy the game please post screen shots with your high scores. Both BASIC versions operate identically so feel free to get competitive with either rendition.

 

I give more information on the genesis, recovery, and development of this game in this development thread.

 

My conversion of Tiles is not permitted to be sold as part of any collection or compendium of games for which a charge is made above the costs of media or distribution, and may be distributed as part of free public domain collections whether in on-line or media form, including not-for-charge BBSes and forums with options for free membership. I request that information included with any such distribution point to https://locu.li/tiles99 and said link is not required to be the exclusive means of description.

TILES-2018.zip

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I am happy to announce the final release of the re-work of my 1988 conversion of Tiles.

 

Tiles is a one- or two-player memory game which appeared in COMPUTE! Magazine, Volume 10, Number 2, Issue 93, February 1988, Pages 30-46. The program was originally written by Rick Harrison, with versions for the Commodore 64, Apple ][, Atari 8-bit, IBM PCjr, Amiga, and Atari ST. The Texas Instruments conversion is based upon the game description in the article. The graphics are based upon the Atari ST version, with the screen layout matched as closely to the original versions as possible.

 

After COMPUTE! dropped the TI-99/4A I obtained permission from ABC Publications and COMPUTE! Magazine to produce and distribute my TI-99 conversions of programs which appeared in the magazine. "Tiles" is one of these conversions I worked on as a budding young programmer.

 

Like many home-produced programs, this game was originally hand-written then typed into TI BASIC. The final product presented here used much of that original code, imported from a tape to Notepad++, re-written to use @matthew180's TIdBiT TI BASIC translator, and tested with @Tursi's Classic99 emulator.

 

Included in the attachment are the TIdBiT source files for both TI BASIC and TI Extended BASIC, a worksheet of notes about the rationing of variables (though I am missing another worksheet which broke down each subroutine and my original graphics,) a 90k SSSD disk image with the two language versions, a tape output file of each program in wav format created with Dean Corcoran's CS1er, as well as my permission documentation obtained from COMPUTE! Magazine.

 

The two files on the disk are:

 

TILES TI BASIC and Extended BASIC

TILESXB TI Extended BASIC

 

Quick instructions

Tiles is a memory game. You will be presented with an increasing number of tiles to find in a pattern up to 30 tiles. Use the keyboard or joystick to play. Standard key scan 1 and 2 for player one and two, respectively: ESDXQ and IJKMY for up, left, right, down, "fire". Joystick 1 left answers "1" or "Y" and right answers "2" or "N" for appropriate questions. Space bar and fire are interchangeable.

Press any key to end the attract mode and select number of players to begin the game. Number of player selection, play again inquiry, and surrender inquiry have time-outs which will return to the previous action.

Each player starts with 500 points. You will be shown the tiles for that round then asked to hide them. Roughly every second you will hear a tick with which you lose points: 60 points if your score is 5000 or over, 40 points for 2000 and over, and 20 points for under 2000. If your score falls to 400 points a second tone is added, especially helpful as the TI BASIC version does not update the score board during this phase.

Once hidden you have to find all of the tiles. In TI BASIC an arrow will appear under, and in TI Extended BASIC a box will surround, the currently selected tile space. There is no time limit nor order in which the tiles must be found. You score 100 points for each find and are penalized 100 points for each miss. The game ends if you run out of points. If one player bankrupts the other player continues. The game proceeds until both players have completed the last round with 30 tiles, both players lose all points, or one player surrenders. Your prowess is gauged by the high score you rack up.

FCTN-7 (AID) will bring up a short informational line to remind you of your keyboard and joysticks options. At the end of the game FCTN-8 (REDO) will start a new game and FCTN-9 (BACK) will start the attract mode, the same as answering Y or N, respectively.

A player may surrender his or her game while hunting for hidden tiles by pressing FCTN-9 (BACK.) After surrendering, any tiles not yet found will be exposed. The surrendering player's high score is not penalized but the score is wiped. The game ends when a player surrenders.

To leave the game use FCTN-4 (BREAK) in TI BASIC or FCTN-= (QUIT) in TI BASIC or Extended BASIC.

 

While I have given this release as thorough a test as I can I expect there will be a quirk or two which will need fixing. Please feel free to post in this thread if you find any, and if you enjoy the game please post screen shots with your high scores. Both BASIC versions operate identically so feel free to get competitive with either rendition.

 

I give more information on the genesis, recovery, and development of this game in this development thread.

 

My conversion of Tiles is not permitted to be sold as part of any collection or compendium of games for which a charge is made above the costs of media or distribution, and may be distributed as part of free public domain collections whether in on-line or media form, including not-for-charge BBSes and forums with options for free membership. I request that information included with any such distribution point to https://locu.li/tiles99 and said link is not required to be the exclusive means of description.

 

ok to repost this on the facebook group? this is a great version of the game :) well done!

 

Greg

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ok to repost this on the facebook group? this is a great version of the game :) well done!

 

Greg

 

Sure, give 'em the link here. I am glad you enjoy the game, thank you.

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I found the scans of my original graphics sheets and the typed instructions I did for submission to wherever I would submit it.

 

I have updated the archive in the first post.

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I probably should have done this during testing, but I played tonight on real hardware. The TI BASIC version runs a little faster than in Classic99, which would normally be a good thing except that you lose points more quickly while memorizing tiles. I will play with the loop a little bit and see what needs to be done to slow it to approximate a one-second interval.

 

The TI Extended BASIC version runs as expected, with maybe just a little longer than a one-second delay between ticks.

 

I am really happy to see the joystick detection is a lot more responsive than I thought it would be.

 

This has inspired me to re-work a few other conversions I had finished and finish others which have languished all these years. Most will be re-worked in BASIC but I think I will do some in assembly. One of the easier BASIC ones just might also qualify for the 4k contest.

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Very nice conversion! The TI BASIC version is pretty responsive with so many different elements on the screen. COMPUTE published some great games back in the day.

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Very nice conversion! The TI BASIC version is pretty responsive with so many different elements on the screen. COMPUTE published some great games back in the day.

 

Thank you.

 

Very true about COMPUTE! and I remember getting so excited every month when the magazine would land in our mailbox. 99er Magazine was another good source for TI programs at the time, but I got my fill from my school library. Nothing like it today... these kids are missing out.

 

One of my favorite COMPUTE! programs is The Witching Hour which worked very well in TI BASIC. I made some modifications for myself: animation of the winning characters, making movements sprite based for TI Extended BASIC, and conversion into checkers. They are all on tape and if I find the tape which has these and can recover them I will post them up sometime.

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One of my favorite COMPUTE! games was released after they stopped covering the TI, called High Rise. It was one of their MLX entry games for the Commodore 64 and a couple others. Great game play - one that I think could be translated to the TI with some work, but definitely would need to be assembly I think.

 

I tell some of the younger people that i work with that the first word processor I used, all through high school, was SpeedScript for Commodore 64, typed in from the magazine. For $3, it was a very useful program - but took days to type in! They can't even fathom what that experience was like.

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Up until I got GEOS around 1990 or so my word processor was my dad's electric typewriter :) I used Print Shop to print headers and what-not to jazz them up. Although, to be fair, I also used the Atari 1200XLs in my first junior high's computer lab (AtariWriter?) then some Apple ProDOS-based one at my next junior high. High school was my break-out time for home word processing, and between GeoWrite and WordWriter (4?) I was big-time, baby!

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I forgot about Word Writer! I bought that also (5!). The spelling checker only took like 10 minutes to check a document, but that was a big improvement over no spelling checker at all! By the time I was a senior in high school, I had finally gotten a PC (Tandy 1000 RL, then RLX, then RSX) and used DeskMate's integrated word processor. Good times!

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I used my first computerized word processor in 1974 – 1975 to write and print my PhD dissertation. My access to it was via terminal to a mainframe computer, however. It was IBM’s Administrative Terminal System (ATS/360). It was definitely not the easiest system to bend to my will. Among other drawbacks, I could only get printouts overnight because that was the only time of day the computer center would honor a request to change a printer drum to full upper/lower case. But—it was the first computer-generated dissertation accepted by the University of Cincinnati.

 

Now, back to your regularly scheduled program... :grin:

 

...lee

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Cassette tape release now available at Arcade Shopper.

 

C-10 tapes and cases are at least NOS (not re-used,) made directly from a real TI-99/4A (not master-dubbed,) laser printed labels and cassette inserts with instructions on the inside.

 

I will also have a handful of tapes available, possibly floppies, at my table at VCF-SE in April for anyone who will be attending.

 

Thanks to Greg for hosting and selling for me!

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It is a beautiful cassette release. Well done, my friend. I know first-hand how tough cassettes are to produce with graphics, text, and hand-made packaging. Hat's off

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Somehow I had missed that release. It's now up on the TI Gameshelf.

I checked out the original article in Compute! (I have PDF scans of every single issue) and frankly the TI version is absolutely the best, even better looking than the ST version. The Apple II and Atari 400/800/XL versions are miserable with clearly little effort put into them, almost like an afterthought. But then this was typical of multi-platform magazines where the original game was best on the original computer it was created for and the conversions were frequently of lower quality...

 

Nice work OLD CS1!

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I appreciate that, thank you.

 

Sad that it was so hit-and-miss with some of the games. This one in particular it seems like the alternate conversions were just the original programmer just learning the bare minimum to do the alternate versions. But the there were other programs which the conversions were done by different people who obviously specialized in the alternate platforms. The Witching Hour I think is a good demonstration of the latter.

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I just played TILESXB and it's pretty good! Are there any plans for a compiled version to be made into a cartridge BIN for the FR/FG99?

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I just played TILESXB and it's pretty good! Are there any plans for a compiled version to be made into a cartridge BIN for the FR/FG99?

 

Glad you like it. Games like this are often fun but not always popular.

 

I had no plans for doing so myself. The original intent of the project back in 1988 was to produce a conversion of the game in the same vein as the original: to run on unexpanded console and could be printed in a magazine for type-in. As such I focused very narrowly on performance and operation in console BASIC, trying to use as many tricks as possible to waste as little running time as possible. The Extended BASIC version was only just realized in the recent rework as I never had XB back then.

 

When I did the XB version, though, I tried to avoid constructs illegal in the compiler so it should compile just fine with adjustments for the one second timing loop for hiding the tiles. No promises but I may get a round tuit sometime in the near future.

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I appreciate that, thank you.

 

Sad that it was so hit-and-miss with some of the games. This one in particular it seems like the alternate conversions were just the original programmer just learning the bare minimum to do the alternate versions. But the there were other programs which the conversions were done by different people who obviously specialized in the alternate platforms. The Witching Hour I think is a good demonstration of the latter.

Yes The Witching Hour is good, but the AI sucks. I might have to take a look at that ;)

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Yes The Witching Hour is good, but the AI sucks. I might have to take a look at that ;)

 

True, it is not as aggressive as it could be, but it can win against a youngin' but still lose enough to meet the 25% threshold to keep interest.

 

Okay, I just took a quick break from KiCad tutorials and ran a test compile. There are a couple more timing loops than I considered: the introductory copyright disclaimer and the attract marquee. But that is just off the bat, as I now think about the time-outs for number of players, surrender, and play again prompt.

 

And more, input detection is extremely overly sensitive. This will take more work than I originally expected. We shall see.

 

I will have to start a new source file for a compiled version. I would have used more XB tricks had I realized this would be the case.

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Announcing Release 2 of Tiles, which includes compiled Extended BASIC in EA5 and cartridge binaries. This archive also includes more notes, photos, labels, some other stuff, and the original 1988 release. I am disappointed I still cannot find my original graphics sheets. Otherwise, this should be the end of working on this game. It is done. Concluded. Terminado. Fertig. Kansei. Finitaj. Aloha.

 

UPDATE: I made an error in naming of the cassette wav files and an important omission in the introduction. Both have been corrected. Also, the TI BASIC and Extended BASIC versions in R2 do not differ from the original 2018 release in the first post, nor the official cassette release.

TILES-2018R2.zip

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