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ballyalley

Best Plain Old TI BASIC Games (w/MP3)

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@WhataKowinkydink recently watched one of my Amiga videos and commented about the TI-99/4a.  I have one, so I dug it out.  I just have a unit with TI BASIC (I don't have the Extended BASIC cart).  What are some fun games that will load from a tape (WAV file) that will work without buying additional hardware other than than the tape interface cable, which I already have.  TI BASIC doesn't support sprites, but there are probably still some fun games available.  Any links to downloadable TI BASIC software would be useful too.

 

Oh, and if there are older threads of this nature, then they would be handy to check out.

 

Thanks in advance for all your help.

 

Adam

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2 hours ago, WhataKowinkydink said:

Not sure about older threads here on the forums, but here is the Game Shelf's TI BASIC section:
http://tigameshelf.net/tibasic.htm

Some of those old TI-BASIC games were pretty good, albeit slow, which surprises me that more of them have not been compiled and made into cartridge .BIN's for the FlashROM or FinalGROM.

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3 minutes ago, Omega-TI said:

Some of those old TI-BASIC games were pretty good, albeit slow, which surprises me that more of them have not been compiled and made into cartridge .BIN's for the FlashROM or FinalGROM.

Compiling is not always practical.  There are some constructs the compiler cannot handle, and then instead of running on a stock console the user is required to have the 32k expansion.

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3 minutes ago, pixelpedant said:

... TI-Trek is a classic in the tradition of the Star Trek games of its era. 

 

image.png.d03de46e8548d924bc3391e764a9dc41.png

 

That was one of the first games I had on cassette!  I spent many hours with that game BITD!  

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19 minutes ago, Omega-TI said:

That was one of the first games I had on cassette!  I spent many hours with that game BITD! 

Same - only first games on disk  :)


First game on cassette was the Market Simulation.

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41 minutes ago, OLD CS1 said:

Compiling is not always practical.  There are some constructs the compiler cannot handle

Indeed like floating point math.  You pretty much have to start from scratch with the express purpose of coding for the compiler in all its nuances. 

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Boa Alley

The Last Robot

Nerm (as stated above)

TImagination software. 
Lots of good console basic games out there. 

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2 hours ago, pixelpedant said:

If you've only got cassette and Console BASIC, TI-Trek is a classic in the tradition of the Star Trek games of its era.

Is this the same game as the disk TI Trek?  The disk version uses speech, too, which is cool (obviously not bare console, but a nice gateway drug or carrot :))

 

1 hour ago, WhataKowinkydink said:

Indeed like floating point math.  You pretty much have to start from scratch with the express purpose of coding for the compiler in all its nuances.

I started Tiles with the intention of compiling.  I had to redo some of the XB program flow for some limitations at the time (cannot recall OTTOMH,) change some loops for timing, and add a routine to ensure that a single key-press was not detected multiple times.  For the marquee tones I wanted originally to just calculate the new tone using 21/12, but since the compiler cannot handle floating point I set up an array to hold all of the note frequencies.

 

It was difficult enough maintaining two similar code bases (BASIC and XB,) but adding a third was just frustrating.  I decided against a compiled release of Laser Strike partly for that reason. Both games run in XB without 32k, too, which benefits console-only users.

 

 

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Hey, this forum is nice and active.  That's good to know.  It's around 8pm here in the SW U.S. and I'm gonna play around with my TI for a bit.  I won't have time to try to figure out how to load any BASIC games tonight, but you all have really put some thought into your suggestions.  Thanks!

 

My agenda for tonight: get my '99 setup for use and hook it up to a 14" Toshiba CRT TV via, first the modulator, then a composite cable (I think it uses the same one as my Atari 130XE).  I haven't used a TI much since the 1990s, and even back then, although I had a large collection, I mostly just used "Command Modules" (it sounds very Star Wars-ie).  My experience with BASIC is near-nill-- which is a shame since I love BASIC.

 

I'm just dipping my toes into the shallow end of the TI pool for now, but let's see where this takes me over the next few months.  If I can find some video art for TI BASIC, then that would win over my heart.

 

Adam

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40 minutes ago, ballyalley said:

My agenda for tonight: get my '99 setup

 

Excellent!  If you can, please upload a photo of your setup, this way we can get a "before" and an "after" view a few years down the line after you've maxed it out. 

We have a photos thread << HERE >>

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1 hour ago, Omega-TI said:

 

please upload a photo of your setup, this way we can get a "before" and an "after" view a few years down the line after you've maxed it out.

 

I took a video of me getting the system up and running.  Everything worked a-okay.  I didn't try to load any BASIC programs; I was just testing the system out.  I plan to upload a video of the beginning of my TI experience sometime early next week.  First, though, I'll take a still from the video and upload it.  There's a 100% possibility that I'll never max out the system-- unless you mean with points.  I had so many points in my one game of Munchman this evening that the digits were sliding off and down the side of the screen.

 

Adam

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3 hours ago, OLD CS1 said:

Is this the same game as the disk TI Trek?  The disk version uses speech, too, which is cool (obviously not bare console, but a nice gateway drug or carrot :))

 

Yes, it is the same.  For this reason, speech won't actually work under any circumstance, via cassette alone, as it uses a second file (TREKSAY) for speech.  But it'll work fine otherwise. 

 

Otherwise of interest is a version branded "TI Trek II" by Tex-Comp, which uses TE2 speech instead:

 

TITREKII

 

 

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I've recently created this thread with some of the TI BASIC/XB games that I've compiled (Nerm of Bemer is one of these) :

 

I'm preparing another lot that will be posted soon. ;-)

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13 hours ago, jrhodes said:

Worm of Bemer / Nerm of Bemer.

nermofbemer.png

I remember that one! It was a Compute magazine type in. Played it quite a bit :)

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Remember that both RXB and XB 2.8 G.E.M. can run any TI BASIC programs from Extended BASIC, usually with a noticeable boost in performance.

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15 hours ago, Omega-TI said:

Excellent!  If you can, please upload a photo of your setup, this way we can get a "before" and an "after" view a few years down the line after you've maxed it out. 

We have a photos thread << HERE >>

 

I've uploaded the picture here:

 

https://atariage.com/forums/topic/218727-ti-99-photos-thread-post-your-systems-here/?do=findComment&comment=4635317

 

Thanks for the suggestion.

 

Adam

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Thanks again for the game recommendations.  So far, I have loaded a three TI BASIC games from "tape" (WAV files).  I played:

 

Boa Alley
Goblin
Nerm of Bemer

 

The games all loaded fine.  I have mostly played games from cart on the TI.  Of course, I know those are written in machine language, but I have plenty of experience playing BASIC games.  And yet, I was surprised at the slow speed of TI BASIC.

 

The two Worm-type games all played so slow that they didn't feel like games at all.  Boa Alley takes about 20 seconds just to get your guy drawn on the screen.  Goblin, one of my favorite BASIC games of all time on the Atari and C64 computers, plays kind of at an acceptable speed, but it's still quite slow-- but fun once you get used to it.

 

Do games play faster in Extended BASIC (not that I have that cart)?  If so, then if you play a TI BASIC game under EB, then does it play faster?

 

I'm curious, did most people just use Extended BASIC?  Did pretty-much everyone have that cartridge back in the 1980s?  I'm discovering that most of the BASIC software that I find requires that Extended BASIC.

 

Now I see why the Star Trek game was recommended right away.  I haven't tried it, but its non-arcade game feel seem more likely to fit into the way games might play well using TI BASIC.

 

Adam

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I believe Goblin is BASIC, unless you got a compiled copy.  If you get a chance, check out Robochase.  It comes from 99er and its pretty good for BASIC.  I was looking at the code the other day and found a number of places it could be optimized.  Nonetheless, it was a staple among several user groups I knew of at the time, including some high score contests.

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1 hour ago, ballyalley said:

Do games play faster in Extended BASIC (not that I have that cart)?  If so, then if you play a TI BASIC game under EB, then does it play faster?

Technically. XB is faster, but over an entire game loop you really barely notice. ;)

 

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There are compound reasons why both BASIC and Extended BASIC are slow on the TI.  For example, although a bit more involved than what I'm about to say, your program is being interpreted twice before it is actually executed at the machine level.

What Extended BASIC does though, is give you access to far more of the machine itself.  Prime example is sprites, which can be set into motion and not have to be constantly updated by your program.  XB is a must have, it's an essential cartridge.

 

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14 hours ago, OLD CS1 said:

I believe Goblin is BASIC, unless you got a compiled copy.

 

Yes, I played the BASIC version of Goblin using TI BASIC.  Back in the mid-80s I typed this one into BASIC for my Commodore 64.  For such a VERY simple game, I played it very often.  I was happy to see that it was made for the TI.

 

I'll give RoboChase a chance too.

 

If people can link me to already-made WAV files of these games (or, possibly even attach the file here), then that would be very helpful to me, as I have been finding disk images, which I can't use on my real hardware.

 

It's been fun digging into the TI, but I am surprised at TI BASIC's lack of speed.  It's helpful to know that there is a TI BASIC compiler.

 

Adam

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1 hour ago, jstimson said:

XB is a must have, it's an essential cartridge.

 

I'm debating if I should get the FinalGROM, which I think will allow me to use Extended BASIC.  For now, I'm trying to just use what I have already in my collection.  In a way, this makes it more fun and kind of shows me how the average TI user would have used the computer in, say, 1983.  I expect that most people just had TI BASIC and a tape recorder.  In effect, that's what I have now.  The fastest loading game yesterday was Goblin, which took about 1 minute to load.  The slowest game to load was Dragon, which took about 2 1/2 minutes to load.  That's all very acceptable to me, as I browse Compute! "books" (pdfs) while a game loads.  It was also fun to read the original "Nerm of Bemer" article in the Compute! magazine on Archive.org.

 

Hey, what's the baud rate for the tape recorder?  On the Astrocade, it was originally 300-baud, then it got bumped up to 2000-baud.  For a machine with just 1.8K of BASIC RAM available, this was fine.

 

Adam

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