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pixelpedant

What are the largest and most ambitious Extended BASIC games or projects in TI-99 history?

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As I pore over old manuals while working on my manual archive site, I'm being reminded of various relatively ambitious Extended BASIC games there were published especially in the TI-99's first few years.  Simultaneously, I'm playing Legends, which while it does use various assembly support routines, uses Extended BASIC for all its essential game logic.  And in that regard, it's really several fairly large Extended BASIC programs which are passing control back and forth. 

 

So what are some of the biggest and most ambitious pure XB (or even mostly XB) projects of all time, that you're aware of?  The ones that make you say "holy shit - they did all that in XB?"

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32 minutes ago, pixelpedant said:

As I pore over old manuals while working on my manual archive site, I'm being reminded of various relatively ambitious Extended BASIC games there were published especially in the TI-99's first few years.  Simultaneously, I'm playing Legends, which while it does use various assembly support routines, uses Extended BASIC for all its essential game logic.  And in that regard, it's really several fairly large Extended BASIC programs which are passing control back and forth. 

 

So what are some of the biggest and most ambitious pure XB (or even mostly XB) projects of all time, that you're aware of?  The ones that make you say "holy shit - they did all that in XB?"

CSGD was quite impressive in its time back around 1985.

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I made a complete 1ST Edition AD&D character generation program that filled most of a DSDD disk. At some point, I think I may have even converted it to Myarc Advanced BASIC. I used it for my own gaming for a few years, but it was never out in the wild and I haven't seen my copy of it in a long time.

 

I would still list Legends and Legends II as some of the most ambitious Extended BASIC programs out there though.

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RXB game IN THE DARK is by far the largest XB game ever created that I know of: 535 K for a single game using a 1 Meg SAMS.

I do have a non released version using 885 K of the SAMS.

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my modified ti-net BBS filled all available ram, every byte (thanks Eric!)

mousedesk was pretty ambitious

i was gonna say in the dark but rxb beat me to it

 

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Posted (edited)

I would say Clear for Action (naval warfare in the age of sail) which is huge with 4 linked programs, followed by Stratego (2 linked programs), then Panzer Strike (WWII armored warfare). All can be found on the tigameshelf.net site.

 

Note: it looks like you are looking for early TI programs (I assume in the 80's and maybe 90's?), so the programs above won't qualify...

Edited by Vorticon

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I guess Old Dark Caves in its various iterations is also up there among the most complex and ambitious XB programs of all time. 

 

image.png.2594b8a61e2426ce7c3f5d7d764118f3.png

 

Given it is, like Legends, a pile of XB programs strung together to make a game, with a collection of assembly subroutines making the fancy graphics possible. 

 

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Putting some numbers to it:

 

Where the following is counted as three lines

 

55 S=2 :: GOSUB 1865 :: IF B<30 THEN 50

 

Old Dark Caves 2 appears to contain 3362 lines of XB (spread across various files)

 

Legends 1.1 appears to contain 4351 lines of XB (spread across various files)

 

By my count, anyway. 

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I actually came here tonight to ask what people's thoughts were on a Legends-style game with multiple modules, written in XB.  I was trying to cram a game into one BASIC program so I could compile it, but I am debating expanding each piece of it and creating 4-5 separate programs that share data files.  Since 99% of gameplay would not be on real floppies, disk access speed is not really a practical issue.  It's not an action game, though if I expand each aspect of it I could add an action sequence I had considered.

 

To get back on topic, I would definitely cast my vote for Legends.  I would also mention the multi-part TI BASIC games from TImagination (Zombie Mambo and Psyborg) - though they were more self-contained games with a common theme, the idea was the same, even if its implementation on cassette was necessarily primitive.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

My largest program for the TI 99/4A is a bit over 4000 source lines. But that's written in UCSD Pascal. A friend, Sven Lundgren, tried to implement it in Extended BASIC first, but eventually gave up. I found Pascal to be a better environment to use, so I did finish it in that way instead. The program uses quite a lot of overlays, where different functions (data entry, result display, printout, disk storage of data etc.) are in different modules, which are loaded into memory on demand.

It's of course pretty easy to make a program which uses all memory, if it also handles a substantial amount of data. Especially if the data can grow unlimited, like with a word processor. The word processor me and Lennart Thelander wrote in Extended BASIC with assembly support used all 48 K RAM and used overlays to load the program from cassette.

 

These were created when there were no RAMdisks or other memory expansion, outside of the standard 32 K RAM, available.

Edited by apersson850
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6 hours ago, InfernalKeith said:

 I was trying to cram a game into one BASIC program so I could compile it

You can compile multi-module XB programs. I did that with Stratego.

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On 5/15/2021 at 4:14 AM, InfernalKeith said:

I actually came here tonight to ask what people's thoughts were on a Legends-style game with multiple modules, written in XB.  I was trying to cram a game into one BASIC program so I could compile it, but I am debating expanding each piece of it and creating 4-5 separate programs that share data files.  Since 99% of gameplay would not be on real floppies, disk access speed is not really a practical issue.  It's not an action game, though if I expand each aspect of it I could add an action sequence I had considered.

 

 

With XB 2.8 G.E.M. you can use an XB program to run another XB program. Big deal, standard XB can do the same. Yes, but with GEM you can run the second program instantly with no prescan, and retain all the variables.

If XB speed is adequate this might work for you.

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On 5/15/2021 at 10:16 AM, Vorticon said:

You can compile multi-module XB programs. I did that with Stratego.

The problem with dipping out of the forums for long periods of time and then coming back, is that you tend to entirely miss some developments.  I'm not sure how I missed one as big as Isabella, but I was pretty scarce for a while.

 

I've got some catching up to do (and some code to revise)!

 

 

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4 minutes ago, InfernalKeith said:

The problem with dipping out of the forums for long periods of time and then coming back, is that you tend to entirely miss some developments.  I'm not sure how I missed one as big as Isabella, but I was pretty scarce for a while.

 

I've got some catching up to do (and some code to revise)!

 

 

The latest is "Juwel" which adds assembly support. XXB, The Missing Link, T40XB, T80XB can be used, or roll your own.

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For further comparison, looks like Legends 2 contains 4648 Extended BASIC statements, spread across various program files on its three disks.  That's including the disk with the import utilities for Legends characters. 

 

So I'm thinking that's got a good chance of being the biggest single product, in terms of XB. 

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, InsaneMultitasker said:

What is the 'easiest' method to count XB statements? 

 

If you mean the amount of lines, if on the PC maybe paste it into MS-Word to let it count for you

 

forget about this  🙄  :grin:

 

Edited by Schmitzi
Reason for edit : -> ​🚾

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36 minutes ago, InsaneMultitasker said:

What is the 'easiest' method to count XB statements? 

 

Easiest and coolest are definitely different things, I figure.  I mean, a native systematic method based on the tokenisation scheme would be cool to cook up, but would probably just take more time than counting more indirectly.  I really do need to get a better handle on working directly with BASIC/XB tokens at some point though. 


I just opened the disks in TI Image Tool, dumped the (detokenised) BASIC text for all program files, and did a regex count of instances of "\:\:|\r\n" + 1 externally (i.e., statement separators + line breaks + 1).

 

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On 5/16/2021 at 8:12 PM, senior_falcon said:

The latest is "Juwel" which adds assembly support. XXB, The Missing Link, T40XB, T80XB can be used, or roll your own.

a lot array GIF by Quinta B

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On 5/12/2021 at 12:41 AM, RXB said:

RXB game IN THE DARK is by far the largest XB game ever created that I know of: 535 K for a single game using a 1 Meg SAMS.

I do have a non released version using 885 K of the SAMS.

Where can that be downloaded?

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For anyone who hasn't played Legends 1 and 2 incidentally, I've recorded a complete narrated playthrough of both games.  So if you'd like to see what they manage to do in terms of world and story and system and can't be bothered with the slog (and they are a bit of a slog at times), here they both are from start to finish, compressed into about 20 and 30 minutes respectively.  The first one deals with all the background first.  The second is really just a playthrough of Legends 2.

 

 

Legends 1.0 and 1.1:

 

 

 

 

Legends 2: The Sequel:

 

 

 

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