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Plug and Play TI

Posted on 2 September 1998

The following text was written by Kyle Everett:

A while back Maxis (makers of Sim City) released a program called plug and play. Basically what it allowed gamers to do was make their own video games using their own graphics, sounds, etc. What I believe we need is a plug and play program for TI calculators. We already have many great level editors for the PC why not take it one step further and create a program that allows gamers to home brew games on their PC or MAC. This is basically one step in the evolution of Alan Wong's idea of skeleton games, a program with the skeletons already built in among other things. Due to the requirements of this program it would probably have to be made to run in Windows 95/98 or Mac OS 8, not DOS. This would also allow for the viewing of multiple parts of the program at once.

The basic structure of how the program could work and the parts of the program:

  • Sprite editor: Make sprites in mono or greyscale, along with built in clipping.
  • Map/Level editor: A way to make maps and levels for the characters to travel on in either overhead or side scroll view.
  • Event editor: Certain spots in the map are chosen as "hotspots" where events will occur or where enemies will appear, this could also be expanded to include options where your character must have a certain item or fullfill a certain task for the event to occur.
  • Gameplay editor: How will the game play i.e. picking up items, attacking, jumping, collision detection and the such.
  • Path editor: Choose a path in relation, either in relation to the map or at random, that an enemy or other character will follow, even your character in cut scenes.
  • Animation editor: For creating "special effects in the game".
  • Built in library splitting: For use especially on the TI-86 this would allow graphics etc. to be stored in libraries as in SimCommunity and Joltima.
  • ASM editor: For hard core programmers who want to add something special to their games that is not available in the other options.
  • And finally Expansion Support: Support for applets that can be downloaded and added to the main program in order to add new options and newer or updated code.

This program would be the ultimate in game making technology with possible support for all calculator models. This program could virtually eliminate bugs, since there is no chance for human error because the computer is doing all the work.

Please someone consider making this program, if you have any questions about my ideas email me and I will give you an answer.

In closing I am begging someone out there to make a River City ransom or Harvest Moon Clone for the TI-86.

  Reply to this item

Re: Plug and Play TI
asdf asdf  Account Info

This is a cool idea, and I like it a lot. But I also see problems with it. The main one is it would take up way too much memory. I have two suggestions to solve this:

1: Just get someone to make the game you want. Get a good programmer to make the game straight-up. Many would probably love to get the experience.

2: Put it on the computer. Make this thing a computer program. Most computers have way more than enough memory to hold something like this (if yours doesn't GET A NEW COMPUTER!!!). Then you can just transfer the program to your calc and everyones happy. :)

Reply to this comment    17 October 2006, 02:28 GMT

Re: Article: "Plug and Play TI"
(Web Page)

I think thats an awsome idea but its gonna take an excellent programmer to do it.

Reply to this comment    3 September 1998, 01:59 GMT

Re: Re: Article: "Plug and Play TI"
Sung Bae

These kinds of moves into the calculator programming revolution that's taking place is absurd. Why start automating writing code when we, the programmers, want to experience first-hand the programming experience. I personally don't want to just go through some plug and play program where I plug in my values and "Poof!" a program pops out. That ain't no fun.

Reply to this comment    4 September 1998, 01:42 GMT

Re: Re: Article: "Plug and Play TI"
Alan Johnson
(Web Page)

I'll try to put this in a way that everybody can understand. This idea can't work on a calculator with 32 or even 96 kilobytes of memory. A "Klik 'n Play" program would create many programs that use the exact same code. The logical thing to do about this is make a program containing all of the routines possible in Klick 'n' Play (library). This in andof itself would take up too much memory because you would have many routines on your calc that aren't used. Also, the programs would be completely unoptimized for speed or space. Optimization is the slow process of improving the efficiency of your code. This would prove impossible.

Bottom line: I'm barely 14 years old, I'm no boy genius, but I learned how toprogram ASM the hard way. Here's a tip to all of the wanabe game makers. ASM is easy to learn, but programming games isn't. This sounds like a good idea, but there's not enough memory on a calc (even a 89 or 92) for ALL of the game making features people want, let alone expandability. I'm not saying its not not possible, I'm just saying hat its a calculator, its for math. It's not a Klik 'n' Play machine. Don't flameme for this; it's justmy opinion. I'm just statingit from the point of view of someone whose made multiple ASM programs and knows all of the little pitfalls of it.

Besides, you'll never find a skilled enough programmer who will believe it will work.

Reply to this comment    6 September 1998, 06:56 GMT

Re: Re: Article: "Plug and Play TI"
(Web Page)

I don't know why you guys are so hyped up about this whole thing. I don't mean to be a downer, but with all the features mentioned above, the thing would take up all the calculator's memory. Thereby not leaving any room for the actual games. If you want a toned down version of that, I could make it. It would be for the 83 and the 85 (I'm getting a 92 soon).

Reply to this comment    16 May 1999, 06:43 GMT

Re: Article: "Plug and Play TI"
(Web Page)

I don't like that idea, personally I always loved writing in the code, it's a better way to learn, and it's more expandable, you can only do so much with a program, of course with an ASM editor built in I guess you could program code, but many programmers that already know the language would rather code it themselves, I know HTML, and I hate programs like Dreamweaver, and FrontPage and stuff, you can't make as good of web pages with them as you can by hand.....

Reply to this comment    3 September 1998, 02:00 GMT

Re: Re: Article: "Plug and Play TI"
Max Ricketts

What about people who have no idea how to write assembly, but would like to make a game in asm? Obviously a game written all by itself would by far exceed the quality of a game made by another program. Still, a program like this could introduce newcomers to the code and how it works, and would give them the chance to write higher quality games than basic. I think if a program like this were made then the outcome would be more good than bad, even though most of the games would be alike in a distinct way.

Reply to this comment    3 September 1998, 05:17 GMT

Re: Re: Article: Plug and Play TI
Nathan Ladwig  Account Info
(Web Page)

You want a simple program so that newbies like me who don't know asm can make a game. Like a level editor for a game like mario, he is talking about a game editor for the TI-OS that anyone(even the igonarant people like me can program with ease. I know how to do Visual Basic, and that is basically a shell for C++. It is easy and to the point.

Reply to this comment    1 February 2005, 02:31 GMT

Re: Article: "Plug and Play TI"
Chris VanderKnyff
(Web Page)

1) It was called "KLIK & Play." Plug & Play is a hardware spec where one plugs in a new board and the BIOS detects and configures it automatically. Honest mistake.
2) Some people tried making various gaming languages for the HP (yes, I KNOW this is a TI site, but bear with me here) but they in general required (relatively) large runtime libraries. While this would make it more space-efficient if someone were to put 6 or 7 K&P-style games on his/her TI, it has a drawback. Since most K&P games I've found have been pretty lame, I've only kept 1 or 2. The same thing would probably happen on the TI version, so the resulting horde-o'-routines-which-the-one-game-that-you-keep-doesn't-use would be a gigantic waste of space. Besides, when I send 1 game to another 92, I don't wanna have to keep sending libraries and data files, I want 1 file! If a good compromise between engine quality, speed, and runtimes can be found, I'd use it, but until then...

Reply to this comment    3 September 1998, 02:17 GMT

Re: Article: "Plug and Play TI"
Jolly Llama

It's actually called "Klik & Play"... The problem with it is that, unless it is programmed really well, there would be a large overhead... There have also been some other version Europress's The Games Factory and Corel's Click & Create.

Reply to this comment    3 September 1998, 02:20 GMT

Re: Article: "Plug and Play TI"

Some people might not like this idea because it limits the variety of the games, but I think it's a good idea for those who would like to be able to make good games for their calcs, and don't know ASM. This would not replace how other games are made, it would merely give non-programmers a cool tool to play around with, and who knows, some of the games I'm sure would be quite good. More experienced programmers probably would not use this to make their games. It would be sort of like Kai's Power Goo: it's meant for novices, and let's them have fun, but it doesn't by any means replace Photoshop for experienced graphics artists.

Reply to this comment    3 September 1998, 02:25 GMT

Re: Re: Article: "Plug and Play TI"
Glen Solsberry

OK, think about it this way. These kids program the greatest game that the 86 world has ever seen. Then, in college or some other place of learning, they decide that they want to learn the right way to program in ASM. The are going to be confused as hell, all because they used a machine. But other than that, I like the idea....

Reply to this comment    3 September 1998, 22:56 GMT

Re: Article: "Plug and Play TI"
Dan E
(Web Page)

click & play = poopy
click & play on a calc = supremely poopy
'nuff said.
Well, actually, I'll keep going. Click and Play promotes lots of games that are mostly the same, mostly boring, and mostly big. The advantages over a basic program would be what? greyscale? In any case, games written in pure assembly are faster, smaller and while perhaps slightly harder (okay, more than slightly) to write, they are more enjoyable (in general) and can be refined exactly how the author wants. When you're bound by an editor like that to do you work, you often find that you can't make the program work quite how you want it to.

-Dan E

Reply to this comment    3 September 1998, 03:16 GMT

Re: Re: Article: "Plug and Play TI"
trip n'' save

ok nobodies gonna see this but i agree with this guy

Reply to this comment    20 January 1999, 23:54 GMT

Re: Article: "Plug and Play TI"
David Phillips

I am not being pessimistic, but it will not work. The calc is way too slow and too small (memory-wise) for such a "game maker". If you want to write a game, learn asm, don't beg someone to make it easy for you, because making a game isn't easy.

It takes alot of time and patience to write a game. You can't just point-and-click to write a game like sqrxz. It just isn't possible on a 6 Mhz Z80 calc.

Learn asm and write a game yourself, or stick to basic!

Reply to this comment    3 September 1998, 03:38 GMT

Re: Re: Article: "Plug and Play TI"

Good point, making games in ASM isn't a 1-2-3 process, it requires lots and lots of time to learn how to program and then to learn all of the fundamentals of the game. Using some program to make stuff in ASM can only lead you so far because you will eventually need to know ASM. Even if you wanted a simple program, like something for math, you'd still need to figure out that aligorithm and program it yourself!

Reply to this comment    3 September 1998, 06:09 GMT

Re: Article: "Plug and Play TI"

I think most of these people have misunderstood the above article. What the writer is proposing is that some software be written for PCs which allows you to design sprites, levels, etc. and then creates a corresponding asm file to compile. In which case there would be no "overhead" (as long as its written properly), and the games would run just like any asm game written "by hand". What's wrong with this? Such a program would create well commented, generic code which would be relatively easy to add to or improve for the average asm programmer.
Personally I think it is a better idea than churning out a few engines and seeing who can crash their calc. the most times trying to work around unfamiliar code.

Reply to this comment    3 September 1998, 05:24 GMT

Re: Re: Article: "Plug and Play TI"

I like your comment. I'm sick of critics who condemn ideas without giving them a chance.

Reply to this comment    4 September 1998, 19:59 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Article: "Plug and Play TI"

I agree. I thought I was the only one that new that he was talking about a computer program, it seems instead that most people just didn't think about what they read before shooting it down. Kinda sad really

Reply to this comment    30 July 1999, 18:29 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Article: "Plug and Play TI"
frodaddy  Account Info
(Web Page)

I thought the author meant for the calc, but also thought it would be possible on the pc. We could have some hacker decompile "Klik 'n Play"(i own it and thats its name, not plug and play, an auto hardware detection thingy only avalible in windows95 osr2(i thinkb thats what its called, i always said win95 v2)) and then use the interface and redo everything but the look of the program. I admit that klik n play sucks kinda(cause no sidescrolling unlike my pirated version of click n create which is much better)but it would be difrent so quit flaming the author. Visit my site if u have an 86 and if not i feel sorry for you (cause 89's are too complex for me and tha 85,83,82,81,80,and 73's kinda arent that great although the 83+ is kinda kewl. Ti shuld make an 86+ with flash. That'd be kewl.)sorry about me rambling on and on and and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on. And on and on and on and on and on and on and on.

Reply to this comment    4 January 2001, 06:25 GMT

Re: Article: "Plug and Play TI"
(Web Page)

Personally, I think that making this work on any TI calculator would be extremely difficult, and using it to create working games would be even harder than doing the asm. Also, I'm sure you would waste a ton of memory by using this entire process.. you're only working with about 30k on most calcs!

Reply to this comment    3 September 1998, 06:03 GMT

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