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With ChessCE, will you beat your CE at chess?
Posted by Xavier on 9 October 2016, 19:36 GMT


Just a few days ago, Matt "MateoConLechuga" Waltz, very active community member, especially on the TI-eZ80 series, recently uploaded a beautiful chess game for your TI-84 Plus CE / 83 Premium CE, aptly named ChessCE.

Now, chess games on TI calculators aren't as common as your typical quadratic solvers, but they certainly are popular - the most famous of all probably being the TI-68k/AMS TI-Chess, by Thomas Nussbaumer and Marcos Lopez, with more than a quarter million downloads so far! Will ChessCE be that successful?
Well, like TI-Chess, in addition to being able to play with two people on the calculator, you can play against ChessCE's built-in AI, which makes it quite an interesting game duringbetween class or whenever else. In fact, you can even let it play against itself and just watch.
Oh, and of course, games can be saved and loaded back :)

As usual with Mateo's programs, the C source code is available so that everyone can learn from it!
Enjoy, and may the best player win!

  Discuss (3 comments)  

A special pong and a splash screen maker for your color 84 calculators
Posted by Xavier on 9 September 2016, 14:01 GMT

Pong, with sound!

Recently, Amelia "amihart" Hartman uploaded not one, but two, interesting programs: a pong game for the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition, and a splash screen maker/displayer for the TI-84 Plus CE.

Now, PongWS is your "standard" pong game, featuring both single-player (against the calculator) and two-player (different sets of keys on the same calculator) modes. But there's a twist: the "WS" in its name stands for "with sound" - yes, Amelia is now among the few who created a calculator game with sound output as you play.
Just plug some appropriate headphones, usually through an adapter, into the I/O port of the 84+CSE, and you're all set :)

SpashCE in all its glory

Next, SplashCE: as mentioned above, it's a launch/splash screen displaying program for the CE, with an open-source converter tool on the computer. Each generated appvar contains a 320x240 image, displayed on screen using the full 65536-color palette, so that users of your programs can be amazed as soon as the reader starts ;) Some free RAM is required at launch time, but the images themselves can be stored in archive, which is a relief for some of you that were probably starting to wonder about that.

So, if you have an 84+CSE, plug in your headphones and enjoy a good old pong battle, and if you're the proud owner of an 84+CE/83PCE and happen to create games, be sure to take a look at SplashCE!


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 (4 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 (4 comments)  

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