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Crap Programs You Made Yourself


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I pretty much spent any lesson at school I didn't enjoy trying to make stuff on my TI83 graphic calculator.

I spent ages trying to get a working version of Tetris on that before I got bored. A mate tried to make Draughts on it, but in a bizarre twist forgot to incorporate the rules, so you could move your pieces anywhere. Including on the white squares. From anywhere on the board.

I specialised in making short films with it made up of stills. I recreated Terminator 2, replacing John Connor with a rather violent version of a friend of mine who wanted nothing more than to see Arnie kill as many as possible. In the Minigun scene in the Cyberdyne building, it was my mate who picked up the gun to kill everyone. Quite fun.

I did manage to get a fantastic likeness of Arnie onto it by drawing out the image from the cover of Total Recall. Made for a great credits sequence.

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I eventually learned how to hand assemble on the Spectrum and convert it to hex, no fancy assemblers for me. I wrote down all the commands and stuff - too me fucking ages, but I was determined to do it. After weeks of learning I got bored and eventually just stuck to graphics.

I did the reverse. I used a disassembly program to find out all the assembly language instructions, as I didn't have a manual or a list of them. Typing in single byte and double byte codes into the program to find out what it produced was pretty soul destroying.

I gave up after a while, but I think I got most of the commands.

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This has managed to bring up memories that have stayed repressed for some reason.

On my 48k speccy I tried programming an Olymics style game - y'know, the press the keys fast to get it to run. I liked my little character, but I had no idea about sprites so could only move him one character block at a time. I also had no idea about how to stop the key repeating. So what I was left with was the ability to hold a key down and have a little man shoot accross the screen.

Also on the Speccy I tried to write an adventure game. Actually based on something I'd played on the Commodore PET. I can't remember the name, but anyone who's played it will regonise it for the combat, which required you to occasionally hit space quickly. This didn't get very far. I managed to make a Scroll like screen at the top, and a second Scroll like thing at the bottom where I'd write the text. Then I came up with a nice thing that made the text write out slowly rather than just printing, and then fade away (kind of), but that was it.

On the Amiga. I had Amos as well, I tried to write a game where you fly an asteroids style ship around a map without bumping into the walls. Based on something already on the Amiga, that I can't remember the name of. Got the gravity of the ship working, but that was it.

On the PC, my DX2-66 working in DOS, I actually had a vaguely working game. It was my interpretation of an Aimga game called Tanx. You have 2 tanks on a randomly generated landscape whcih have limited forwards/backwards movement. You then adjust your angle of fire and power to try and hit the other person. I was quite proud of this, scrolling randomly generated landscape, working mouse pointer. But then I got bogged down in trying to program the soundblaster card and didn't progress.

Back to my current PC, I have Blitzbasic with the idea of rescurrenting that little asteroid flying ships that I started on the Amiga, that I've done some stuff on - but it's all about finding the time.

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On the Amiga.  I had Amos as well, I tried to write a game where you fly an asteroids style ship around a map without bumping into the walls.  Based on something already on the Amiga, that I can't remember the name of.  Got the gravity of the ship working, but that was it.

Gravity Force/Gravity Power.

http://www.amiga-online-games.de/games/Gra.../pic_02_big.jpg

On the PC, my DX2-66 working in DOS, I actually had a vaguely working game.  It was my interpretation of an Aimga game called Tanx.  You have 2 tanks on a randomly generated landscape whcih have limited forwards/backwards movement.  You then adjust your angle of fire and power to try and hit the other person.  I was quite proud of this, scrolling randomly generated landscape, working mouse pointer.  But then I got bogged down in trying to program the soundblaster card and didn't progress.

Tanx! That's what I was aiming for on my calculator :unsure:

http://www.thewarpzone.co.uk/reviews/tanx/

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Gravity Force/Gravity Power.

http://www.amiga-online-games.de/games/Gra.../pic_02_big.jpg

Tanx! That's what I was aiming for on my calculator :unsure:

http://www.thewarpzone.co.uk/reviews/tanx/

There's a very similar one - it was gravity something. Is Gravity Force/Power the one where you can do checkpoint races - one of the best bits of the game.

I hadn't actually seen a graphi of Tanxs for ages - I'm amazed at how close my landscape looked to the original - in fact mine had more shades of green :)

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I had the 3D construction kit on the Speccy, man it was slow.

It was incredibly sluggish on the Amiga too. And just generally Not Very Good At All. Then again, Freescape was old hat by 1991.
My brother and I designed some extra levels for GF2/GP, which the programmers hosted on their own website a decade ago. Admittedly, they weren't very good levels.
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There's a very similar one - it was gravity something.  Is Gravity Force/Power the one where you can do checkpoint races - one of the best bits of the game.

Yup, that's the fella. Multiple modes. Give it a go - that image is shite, so i'm not surprised you don't recognise it. (Plus GF looks a bit older and crappier too).

I hadn't actually seen a graphi of Tanxs for ages - I'm amazed at how close my landscape looked to the original - in fact mine had more shades of green  :)

Great, great game. I can still remember the wonderful meaty sound you made as you moved your tank; you could fire with 1 power and dig tunnels for yourself, making it almost impossible for the other player to get to you!

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I taught myself QBasic using the help files. (they were very detailed actually)

My first game was rather simple text adventure, with crude graphics and randomisation (this was a dangerous thing to learn early, as it became a crutch for quite a while). It was ok, for a couple of minutes during computer class at school. My friend went nuts about it though, managing to get some kind of record by completing it in 26 seconds.... Ahh, good times.

I went on to attempt several other retro themed games, which would have probably turned out quite good, except I got lazy. An to cut corners, instead of actually designing levels I simply used randomisation to create stuff. Including a rather awful maze game and Metal Gear clone.

My most ambitious project was an Akira game, in the style of Spyhunter. It started rather well, but my ambitions eventually killed it off. Enemy biker AI was excellent, and their own fire could kill each other. Meaning you could line enemies up, wait for them to fire, and then pull back. Resulting in them killing their own guys. There was also road blocks to jump and other neat stuff. Before finishing off with a space invaders style battle with Tetsuo in stadium form. I even went as far as to use GIF and WAV loading routines. Meaning it had screenshots and audio tracks from the film in it. Unfortunately, these two were incompatible, resulting in the game crashing A LOT. Plus, it would only ever work on my PC. The graphics would glitch on other computers, and it would run too slowly. At this point, frustration mounted, and after a lot of shouting one afternoon I simply deleted all copies of the game I had. Sadly, it now no longer exists anywhere, except in my head.

I did eventually go on to make something worthwhile, in the form of the Trampoline Gunmen series, the DOS version can be found here:

http://gpf.dcemu.co.uk/files/PCoriginal.zip

http://gpf.dcemu.co.uk/files/TrampMini.zip

I recomend the Minigame$ version. Top fun!

The DC page, run by the lazy-assed programmer who bailed on me and the whole project, is here:

http://gpf.dcemu.co.uk/TrampalienGunmenDC.shtml

I am currently in the process of porting it to the Atari 2600, utlising Batari BASIC. You can put together a fully functioning Atari 2600 game in a matter of hours, since it uses BASIC.

Found here:

http://alienbill.com/2600/basic/

Maybe RLLMUK should have some kind of mini-coding compo thing, just for laughs. How much can you do with only 4k of memory?

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Ok going back a few years at college not prgramming as such..

We used micro professors (souped up calculators) that used z80 processors.Programmed eproms and then put them into PCB's Made a dice/random number genarator box. Hacked it so every 6/12/18 goes it would always come up a 6 :D Made a few bob :)

We had these huge hard drives which had 2 surfaces top and bottom. 3 of each in these cabinet sized trolleys. They made a huge clunking noise when reading. Linked to RM reserach machines with what I recall was cp/m o/s ?

By accessing differnt sectors of the drive you could create fantastic noises. By the end of the term we were able to play the william tell overture on them :P

On my faithfull speccy. Around the time wheelie was out I nicked that idea and turned it into a judge dredd lawmaster bike. Game was fine but I could never work out out to change direction due to the collision detection.As soon as you stopped pressing the accelerate button you crashed into yourself.

I went and worked in financial accounting as a career :(

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I also coded a two-player version of scorched tanks for my graphing calculator.

Graphing calculator? You were lucky.

I managed to get a Lunar Lander game into my early 80s Casio programmable calculator in exactly 28 steps. As that was all it had.

No, it didn't have any graphics.

Other than that I have bought and then ignored all sorts of programming systems as I *&^%ing hate programming. Well, no, programming's fine; it's debugging I hate. I mean, I *know* I could do it if I had to, but life's too short.

White Lighting on the speccy (Forth!); STOS; VB, C, DarkBasic have all been dabbled with and dropped in favour of actually playing games made by professionals.

And I put my knowledge of how not to program to good use in managing software developers . . . :-)

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"You are 2.56 miles from the ground. You are 0.17 miles from the ground. You turn on full thrust. YOU HAVE CRASHED, GAME OVER."

Only without any of the text either. As in:

2.56

75 <Enter> (that's you entering the % thrust)

0.17

100 <Enter>

- 1231 (that's you ploughing into the Moon).

That was real entertainment . . .

Actually, I think it was a bit more sophisticated than that, as in it displayed height and speed before you entered the thrust. Not sure if I managed to get a fuel load into 28 steps as well. I was well chuffed that I managed it, including conditional branching for success or failure.

All on an early model programmable Casio.

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I wrote an "Etch-a-Sketch" thing on my Speccy and once made a multicoloured sprite (shaped like a steam train) move across the screen on my C64.

My best effort in Blitz is available in my sig. (I also did a lot of work on a vertical shooter called Alpha Wars but never finished it - I was really proud of the sprites I did though :( )

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"You are 2.56 miles from the ground. You are 0.17 miles from the ground. You turn on full thrust. YOU HAVE CRASHED, GAME OVER."

Actually, you're probably thinking of this really, really swish version from the world's first retail games compilation: David Ahl's "Basic Computer Games".

Multi-format, too, once you'd translated the various dialogs of Basic.

Ah, type-in listings . . .

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I couldn't work out how to get a screen shot from a DOS program, but if anyone is interested in my crappy Tanx thingy, I found a 10 year old floppy disk and only one file was duff.

If you want to play Tanx... and you'll need a friend to play with. Download the binary Here then stick it in a directory along with the graphics that you cn get Here

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Oooh, I thought of another I did when I was messing around at uni. There was some fractal thing in one of the PC mags at the time and me being a student was fairly interested in it. They were doing stuff in Delphi or something, I don't remember. Me being the student I was couldn't afford the mag but ported the code from the mag (coding from memory, missing bits from the Internet) and had an application that displayed the stuff in DOS, let you zoom in and stuff like that.

Heh, sad ;)

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Due to a complete inability to program (not bad with batch files though), the nearest I ever got to a not copied out of a magazine game, was this on the BBC:-

10 CLS

20 PRINT"WHAT IS YOUR NAME ?";

30 INPUT A$

40 IF A$="TOM" THEN GOTO 90

50 T=INKEY(6)

60 PRINT"HELLO "A$

70 T=INKEY(10)

80 GOTO 10

90 PRINT"SOD OFF TOM, YOU WANKER!"

100 T=INKEY(10)

110 GOTO 10

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I wrote an "Etch-a-Sketch" thing on my Speccy...

I forgot about doing one of these myself.

There was a real simple version of this in the programming guide that came with the Spectrum + (my old man sent off for the upgrade pack which enabled you to upgrade your rubber-keyed 48k into a +).

I typed this in and then made a few additions to it so you could draw diagonally, and much quicker than the original version.

I was planning to turn it into a basic (quite literally) Spectrum Art package, but never got round to progressing further with it. I did actually managed to produce some quite funky Etch-a-Sketch style pictures with it.

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The only thing I can remember is some sort of vertical scrolling shoot em up on the Amiga. It was very similar to the games mentioned on that "advert" in GTA 3 where "You play the red square that has to shoot the green squares".

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I had some good reviews of my PD software for the BBC Micro back in the day. Wrote a number of educational programs (Sumvaders being the only one I can remember) and a few maze/key/door type games (Attack of the Space Monster from Planet X was one, and Bug-Eyed Monster versus the Killer Tomatoes was another). Mostly I wrote text adventures, though. The Bazzasoft Adventure Programming System (BAPS) was a DIY text adventure programming kit, and there were a few adventures released using it (one or two made the hallowed Acorn User cover disc) - House, All the Colours of Darkness and one or two others.

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I wrote an absolutely shocking bugged-to-hell remake of Chaos for the Amiga, using AMOS. Then I wrote a slightly better version using C++.

Then I wrote an emulator during the emulator "boom". And since then I've written sod all, cos I do way too much coding at work to be bothered with it at home anymore.

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When I was a nipper with a C64 I used to try and create my own Fighting Fantasy style adventure games via the wonderful GOTO command. 

I never got very far with them, but I kept trying.

I used to try that on our Amstrad PCW, using - I think - Logo(?). Anyway, every single time the stupid thing ran out of memory before I could finish it.

"recycle nodes"

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I can remember writing various gambling games on my ZX81 usually based on higher/lower turning cards over, pontoon and the odd very basic text adventure. Used to adapt the games I typed in from C&VG also.

Next got a TI994A with extended basic which seemed really powerful at the time, it made sprites a doddle but I never really put a complete game together. The built in version of basic must surely be the slowest ever programming language, it was hopeless.

Got STOS for my Atari St but like the TI994A I never really put a complete game together, just experimented with it. At this time I came to the conclusion that I didnt have the time or patience to write my own games and never bothered again.

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Spectrum: Made a 'game' based upon code from a magazine that animated a stick man bouncing on a trampoline. Changed the beep command so that instead of a bleep sounding for each jump, a rasping farting noise sounded instead. And thus, Johnny Fartpants The Game was born.

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