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A Map-based TI-81 RPG: Illusiat TI-81 Remake
Posted by Travis on 30 May 2010, 20:16 GMT

Illusiat TI-81 Remake screenshot

Created before the TI-81 ASM exploit became public, Kevin Ouellet's remake of Illusiat for the TI-81 is an RPG that pushes the TI-81's incredibly limited TI-BASIC programming capabilities beyond anything I've seen for that calculator. Using every one of the 37 available subprograms to save every last byte of space, it just manages to fit inside the TI-81's 2400 bytes of program memory and takes advantage of the matrix variables to store map data without counting against the program/statistics storage limitation. The game is necessarily input-based (enter a number followed by Enter for every input) since the TI-81's only input instruction is Input, but for this platform's extreme limitations, it is nonetheless impressive.

Because the long-discontinued TI-81 is becoming increasingly rare and entering the game into an actual TI-81 involves a great deal of typing due to the lack of a link port, ports of the game are available for the TI-73, TI-82, TI-83, TI-83+/84+, TI-85, and TI-86 to give a wide audience a chance to see what the game would be like on the original calculator.

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Re: A Map-based TI-81 RPG: Illusiat TI-81 Remake
Kevin Ouellet Account Info
(Web Page)

18 years! That's all it took! (for a ticalc.org TI-81 RPG download to feature actual maps)

Seriously, though, the sad thing about the game is that when it first came out, a TI-Nspire port that keeps the interface/controls intact would have been impossible, because TI-Nspire OS 1.7 and lower lacks the Input function. Also the game would have been much slower, display-wise (see link)

Reply to this comment    31 May 2010, 02:45 GMT

Re: A Map-based TI-81 RPG: Illusiat TI-81 Remake
schoolhacker hacker  Account Info
(Web Page)

this is too old...

plus the TI-81 really isn't meant to do anything...

Reply to this comment    31 May 2010, 20:23 GMT

Re: Re: A Map-based TI-81 RPG: Illusiat TI-81 Remake
Someone Someone  Account Info

Oh god, these out of date calculators are making me appreciate technology.. OCD is kicking in...my god, 2400 bytes? WTF.

Reply to this comment    31 May 2010, 21:05 GMT


Re: Re: Re: A Map-based TI-81 RPG: Illusiat TI-81 Remake
Compynerd255 Account Info
(Web Page)

It makes me think of this old contest for IBM PCs. It was the 256 byte game. You would write it in assembly code, and be really really clever. Kevin here was really clever with his use of the program memory (unless that 2400 was a typo and it was really 24000 bytes).

Reply to this comment    1 June 2010, 14:25 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: A Map-based TI-81 RPG: Illusiat TI-81 Remake
Travis Evans  Account Info

Nope, it was literally 2400, though only programs and statistical data shared it. Everything else (home screen, Y= vars, matrices, etc.) just had a fixed (and quite small) maximum size that didn't count against the 2400 bytes of program/statistics memory. It wasn't until the next calculator to be introduced, the TI-85, that TI implemented the VAT model we're familiar with, where all data shares a common pool of RAM.

Reply to this comment    1 June 2010, 21:33 GMT

Re: Re: A Map-based TI-81 RPG: Illusiat TI-81 Remake
Travis Evans  Account Info

That doesn't make it any less impressive. The game itself wasn't created all that long ago, and the main goal was just to see if it would be possible at all, not necessarily because the 81 was a viable platform. I never considered a game of that type or relative size to even be possible on the TI-81. Doing things that weren't considered possible or practical is one of the things we look for when considering whether to feature something, and seems to be a common theme in this community.

By the way, I don't recall you having a problem with the two news articles I posted about TI-81 ASM support tools a while back, which also aren't totally immune to the heavy limitations the calc's hardware imposes on them, practicality- and usability-wise. ;-)

Reply to this comment    31 May 2010, 23:34 GMT

Re: Re: Re: A Map-based TI-81 RPG: Illusiat TI-81 Remake
schoolhacker hacker  Account Info
(Web Page)

mehh lol

Reply to this comment    1 June 2010, 02:34 GMT


Re: Re: Re: A Map-based TI-81 RPG: Illusiat TI-81 Remake
Kevin Ouellet Account Info
(Web Page)

The trick is to ignore those kind of comments. Maybe not as much the ones from people who contributed a lot to the TI community with featured programs (Kerm, tr1p1ea, BrandonW, etc) or by working on this site or others, because those people have been around for ages and might have a point, but usually, I don't take bad comments from people who barely contributed anything relevant seriously.

Besides, we can be nostalgic sometimes, right? :D

Reply to this comment    1 June 2010, 02:51 GMT


Re: Re: A Map-based TI-81 RPG: Illusiat TI-81 Remake
Kevin Kofler Account Info
(Web Page)

"Messages containing "first comment" boasts, requests for game ports, or criticisms of "newsworthiness" will generally be deleted."

IMHO the parent post is a "criticism of newsworthiness".

Reply to this comment    1 June 2010, 15:28 GMT


Re: Re: Re: A Map-based TI-81 RPG: Illusiat TI-81 Remake
Kevin Ouellet Account Info
(Web Page)

Wow I still remember when every news article had the first comment say "First post! YAY!" x.x

Reply to this comment    1 June 2010, 18:31 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: A Map-based TI-81 RPG: Illusiat TI-81 Remake
Duncan Smith Account Info
(Web Page)

Do you remember when the comment form was right under the parent comment, without the mass of red text?

Reply to this comment    2 June 2010, 00:48 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A Map-based TI-81 RPG: Illusiat TI-81 Remake
Kevin Ouellet Account Info
(Web Page)

Nope, not that one. That must have been before my time or back then I did not pay attention to comment pages

Reply to this comment    2 June 2010, 00:53 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: A Map-based TI-81 RPG: Illusiat TI-81 Remake
Compynerd255 Account Info
(Web Page)

Well a "first comment" post is allowed when a person actually says something in the post. I myself have a post like this on the "new server" survey. However, we need to stay on topic here and talk about Illusiat on the 81, not off topic news comments like the one we're labeling.

Reply to this comment    2 June 2010, 14:11 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A Map-based TI-81 RPG: Illusiat TI-81 Remake
Kevin Kofler Account Info
(Web Page)

"First comment" boasts used to be so common and annoying that the editors zapped any post even vaguely mentioning anything resembling "first comment", even if it contained several paragraphs full of useful information as well. People just wouldn't understand without such draconian measures. :-(

Reply to this comment    2 June 2010, 15:54 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A Map-based TI-81 RPG: Illusiat TI-81 Remake
Kevin Ouellet Account Info
(Web Page)

I'm somewhat happy it didn't spread on other forums at least

On Youtube it seems to be on a decline, too, finally, altough it still happens a lot

Reply to this comment    2 June 2010, 16:10 GMT

Re: A Map-based TI-81 RPG: Illusiat TI-81 Remake
Compynerd255 Account Info
(Web Page)

This is kinda cool, actually. It's interesting that he took this time to show that Illusiat could be programmed on a TI-81, which didn't even have a link port. However, because it doesn't have one, entering in the game probably spoils the story for you. Also, it seems like heck to have to enter [2] [ENTER] [2] [ENTER] [2] [ENTER] over and over again, just to move across the screen. What I would have liked to do is have the player take the shortest path to coordinates entered by the player, or enter a string of movements if the 81 supported strings, which I don't believe it did.

What's nice about this being in the news is that it will be a POTY candidate. We'll actually have a vote for the 81 this year! :)

Reply to this comment    1 June 2010, 14:30 GMT

Re: Re: A Map-based TI-81 RPG: Illusiat TI-81 Remake
Kevin Ouellet Account Info
(Web Page)

Actually, I thought about that idea a year after making the game. Unfortunately the 81 doesn't support strings, though. It seems to support "Input" with no arguments, though.

Also last year there was also a TI-81 POTY. However this year there are two entries (so far). I have a feeling the ASM exploit will have a big chance to win considering the achievement. I wish it was compatible with ROM 1.1K, though.

Reply to this comment    1 June 2010, 18:36 GMT

Re: Re: Re: A Map-based TI-81 RPG: Illusiat TI-81 Remake
Travis Evans  Account Info

I forgot about the Input statement with no arguments (I never really used it myself). IIRC, I think it displayed the graph screen and let you move the cursor to any location and press Enter, and the cursor's location would be stored to the X and Y variables.

Reply to this comment    1 June 2010, 21:39 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: A Map-based TI-81 RPG: Illusiat TI-81 Remake
Kevin Ouellet Account Info
(Web Page)

Yup. I used it once on the 83+, but I did not realize it was present on the 81 too.

Reply to this comment    2 June 2010, 00:00 GMT


Re: Re: Re: A Map-based TI-81 RPG: Illusiat TI-81 Remake
Benjamin Moody  Account Info

Funny you should mention that - I've just uploaded a new version of Unity with 1.1K support, so it ought to work now. (Well, actually, it worked before, you just would have had to be some kind of wizard to be able to use it without knowing the ROM and RAM addresses. Also, the older version of the installer would trash your matrices on 1.1K.)

It might be interesting to see what kind of game you could come up with using mixed BASIC and assembly. (For instance, you could easily use assembly to do proper keypad input!) Unfortunately, the assembly loader is a significant overhead (442 bytes, though it might be possible to store some of it in equation or matrix memory instead, depending on how dangerously you want to live.) And assembly can't compete with BASIC for code density.

Reply to this comment    2 June 2010, 01:35 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: A Map-based TI-81 RPG: Illusiat TI-81 Remake
Kevin Ouellet Account Info
(Web Page)

Oooh nice, when I have some time I'll be sure to try this.

Reply to this comment    2 June 2010, 01:40 GMT


Re: Re: A Map-based TI-81 RPG: Illusiat TI-81 Remake
Mr.Z  Account Info
(Web Page)

Aside from the message text (which must be readable since the TI-81 has no string processing), typing something like this would not tell you too much, at least if done quickly enough, because your brain would probably not retain too much of the information.

I typed in my assembly hack several times (typos in machine code make you appreciate the flexibility of natural language like nothing else), & I remember almost none of the code except for a vague familiarity of certain segments (despite having written it originally).

Reply to this comment    5 June 2010, 01:53 GMT

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