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Justin Karneges (Joltima author) releases unfinished Game Boy Color game from 2001 with full source code
Posted by Xavier on 18 August 2016, 21:38 GMT

Infinity screenshot

Do the names Justin Karneges and Hideaki "crashman" Omuro ring a bell?
They don't? Okay, it's been a while since we've heard about them - maybe this will refresh your memory: Joltima (classic TI-Z80 RPG by Justin), Telnet83 (VT100 on your calculator, by Justin), or CrASH (TI-82 shell, by Hideaki).

Well, in 2000, those two TI-Z80 veterans and programming wizards went ahead and jumped from their beloved TI's Z80 CPU to the popular Game Boy Color's Z80 where they would create a game called "Infinity" (also known as "Joltima II" initially), which even got to be featured at an E3 booth in 2001. Unfortunately, they weren't able to find a publisher for the game, despite being 90% done.
Now, around 15 years later, they've decided to release it on their own, making it open-source!

Feel free to browse their website, affinix.com, for more information, downloads etc. And while we're at it, here's a direct link to the game's source code on GitHub, and a Reddit AMA.

(Thanks for the heads up, Dan!)

  Discuss (2 comments)  

ICE: A new BASIC-like programming language for the CE calculators
Posted by Xavier on 19 July 2016, 20:53 GMT


Recently, Peter "PT_" Tillema uploaded an interesting program: ICE Compiler.
It has nothing to do with the TI-83/83+ shell.

ICE compiles a TI-BASIC-like language into eZ80 binary, the native machine code of the CE calculators. Because it's not interpreting TI-BASIC like the OS does, execution is generally much faster. This makes us think about Axe Parser, for the monochrome TI-Z80 series, which needs no introduction.

So far, there have been two versions. Version 1.0 provided primitive syntax like variables, If, loops, operators, etc. Version 1.1 added essential features like string displaying, label/goto, getkey, input, and brought other improvements... The set of features should make you comfortable for writing all sorts of utilities, games, etc. in a higher-level language. The .zip file you can download also includes a list of commands and additional technical information.
The roadmap for v1.2, expected within the next few months, contains For loops, sprite-related commands, Text(, simple list support, and several other nice features making ICE even more powerful.

Wondering what ICE code looks like ? Well, it's pretty much your standard TI-BASIC code, and Peter has provided an example of the good old number guessing game in the archive. We can see the inline hex ASM snippet feature in action towards the end, too, which is pretty fancy (and something only the 68k calculators are able to do by default)

We can't wait to see how ICE evolves over time and what people make with it !
Oh and by the way, Peter has made ICE open-source on GitHub, so happy bug-hunting and contributions for those interested to lend a hand !

  Discuss (2 comments)  

ticalc.org is 20 years old!
Posted by the ticalc.org staff on 21 June 2016, 21:42 GMT

ticalc.org is 20 years old today! All of us involved with the site would like to thank all of you for creating and sharing and learning with us.

Several of us involved with the site over the years have shared their own reflections on ticalc.org below including (in alphabetical order):

Help us celebrate by sharing what ticalc.org has meant to you in the comments!

  Read More and Discuss (24 comments)  

Posted by Xavier on 19 June 2016, 20:51 GMT


Today, let's talk about a game recently made by Kevin "DJ Omnimaga" Ouellet, for TI-84 Plus CE / TI-83 Premium CE calculators. Its name is GalagACE, it's a fancy color Shoot-em-up remake of the B&W version (also by DJ) from... 2002 (!), then called "Space Invaders".

DJ has cleverly used one of the "hybrid BASIC" libraries available on the CE, this time an ASM sprites library by "grosged", which does the heavy lifting for the graphical operations happening in the game.
(We shall remind, like DJ did, that there are also some pretty awesome ASM shoot-em-up games for the CE, harnessing the full power of the device)

In addition to fancy sprite graphics, you'll be able to fight your way through 18 stages, 6 bosses, with your ship firing up to 3 bullets at once on the screen. The game is clearly playable, and makes for a rather cool showcase for hybrid BASIC ;)

A detailed readme file is available, and explains controls, gameplay, and more. DJ has also uploaded a video of the gameplay on YouTube if you want to see for yourself before playing.

  Discuss (2 comments)  

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