Posts Tagged ‘basic’


This is not little Paulo

You are already weeping and grinding your teeth only reading this title, I know. Maybe you think that a guy talking about Commodore 64 programming couldn’t say anything different from that, or even you are laughing at my stupidity because BASIC with its line numbers and goto’s is often seen as ugly and disorganized, grows without control and it is a nightmare to maintain.

But my point comes from my experience as a  13 years old boy who doesn’t know better and were amazed about that little ZX-81 clone with 2 Kbytes of memory. When you are 13 you don’t plan, you are usually very disorganized and when you want something you want it right way – the results have to be there as soon as you finish typing the commands.

So let’s take a look at two different scenarios:

Modern Languages

“It is 2013 and little Paulo decided to make a simple game on his Windows 888 machine so he gets started altavistaing for how to do it – remember he’s young and foul!. After typing “How to Make a game” on AltaVista using Netscape, he gets back 5,430,000,000 different answers. He doesn’t even know how to pronounce that number so he closes the window, turn off the computer and go back to play with his brand new Falcon.

Few days later, after his Falcon had lost all his fingers during a zipline operation, Paulo decides to go back and make a computer game. Few days before at school, his friend gave him few tips and a step-by-step “how to” about where to start so he doesn’t need to rely on Altavista or Lycos anymore. His friend told him to make a game using HTML5/CSS/JavaScript or Unity 3D with C# scripts, pretty safe choices, he said!

So he decides to use HTML5, following his friend’s notes. He opens Notepad and start typing the HTML code that according to his friend, doesn’t do anything other than display a page where your game will be placed. After he types everything, he saves it and open another text file to type the Javascript code. After a while, he also finishes it. His friend said that he needs some images to represent the player and the enemies, and that has to be created by himself using Paint or he can grab some from the Internet BBS. He chooses the latter of course. He grabs the images, rename them accordingly to his friends indications and …. and what? Oh yes, to run the game, he has to open the browser and then the html file he created minutes (hours) ago. The game loads, but nothing happens so he decide to open the html file to see what is wrong – oh wait, the html file has nothing useful, it must be the JS file! He closes the html file, opens the JS and start proof-read it. He finds some typos and fix them, saves the file, opens the browser and now the game does something, but the images are all in the wrong size, or cropped. He goes back to the Internet BBS and finds new images, downloads them and changes the names. Now he knows he has to adjust/scale the images, so he realizes he couldn’t avoid Paint anyways. After the images are fixed, he repeats the whole cycle until he gets some sort of game done.

All happy he saves the game on a pen drive, goes to his friend house to show him. When he opens the game, everything is messed up and doesn’t work properly. His friend then says: “oh! You wrote it and tested only on Netscape, but I’m using Chrome! You know, you have to get it working on Opera, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari as well!”. Little Paulo stares at his friend for few seconds, than he turns back and leave without saying a word. At home, he takes his fingertips Falcon and start playing with it again.” (more…)