View Full Version : The big games-you've-programmed-yourselves thread!

August 10th, 2009, 02:45 PM
I just thougth it would be interesting to see what games you have written, if you like programming of course.

Since this is a forum about vintage computers, the game should be able to run on at least one vintage system. Any programming language is accepted, and you may provide a link/upload the game if you like to. A little piece of information is also prefered.


I have written some games over the time. Almost two years ago, I wrote some small games in BASIC. The games was simply "Snake" and some kind of 4-pegs-in-a-row game (drop version). Writing them went fast, but I experienced the (usual) issues with lack-of-speed, and had problems getting the games to run fast enough. In addition, the "Snake" game had some glitches when entering "Pause" mode.

Then I went over to assembly programming, but writing a game in assembly language can get a little complex. However, it is possible, and I just ported the "Snake" game to assembly. The reason I did this is because I wanted something to show off my NES-to-XT adapter with, so this game has suppot for both the usual keyboard interface (int 16h), and the adapter. The game engine itself is finished, but the program is far from. It lacks a proper start-up menu, it lacks different levels, even adding some is fairly easy (I got all variables I need, but I'm just too lazy to do it), it lacks a proper game-over routine with hi-score (currently, it just resets the game), and it lacks a PROPER random-number generator (the current one is just almost random, I fear. see my "The Matrix" program for more info). It's by the way supposed to be a collection of small games when finished.

The engine I made for my version of "Snake" usually had some lacks in most programming languages I've tried to port it to (like limited size on arrays or general input timing), but I didn't see anything like that when porting it to Assembly. It actually works exelent, and it runs on any IBM compatible of any age.

Here is the game, use /A to use it with my adapter (if you've mannaged to clone it), and use /D to enter the debug mode (see my first video about the adapter).

Use arrow keys to controll, enter to pause, and escape to exit. In adapter-mode, the only way to exit is by a cold-boot, and make sure to re-insert your keyboard before doing that.

August 10th, 2009, 03:23 PM
Poker Square for DOS (CGA + VGA graphics) ~1992 Published by Softdisk.
Relix! for DOS (CGA + VGA graphics) ~1992 Published by Softdisk.
Sum-It Squares for DOS (CGA 640x200) ~1992 Published by Softdisk.
7 Different Solitaire Games published individually on Softdisk from 1992-1995 then republished into DOS Solitaire pack.

I wrote several Windows 3.1 games (including a port of Relix!) for Softdisk also. In all I think I wrote about 25 titles.


PS. I recall redoing many of my Windows games with European languages (there where many I can't recall them all) for an educational company. Some of you younger Europeans may have played Relix! and a few others in school. ;)

August 11th, 2009, 06:04 AM
Wow, a games author who actually had things published! awesome!
I'm embarrassed to go next here.

In 1989 after graduating high school, I wrote a game about my home town, partially in honor of saying goodbye to it because I was to move away that same year.

It's interactive fiction, although not very interactive (2 word parser) and barely fiction, since it is inspired by real people and events. It's full of sophomoric humor and inside jokes that I have long since forgotten.

This was my first and only completed game, and it is absolutely a wreck both in programming style, gameplay, plot, graphics and actual entertainment value. It was however a lot of fun to work on, and I still remember the moment when I was able to play the game all the way through for the first time, and programming is something that I am now paid to do, so I think the experience was worth it.

Written entirely in BASIC on my PCjr, I wrote my own graphics drawing program that used the joystick to create images with, which then get BLOADED onto the screen. I'm no artist, so the graphics are basically black and white etch-a-sketch looking. I realized early on that the game was going to be entirely stupid and amateur, so I rather embraced the "so bad it's good" concept early on to not disappoint myself.

A few years later I converted it into QBASIC and compiled it into an .exe so it could be enjoyed for years to come, and here we are.


gawd, I can't believe I'm sharing this with people. forgive me if you try it.

August 11th, 2009, 06:27 AM
In recent years, I made a couple of VIC-20 games (http://www.cbm.sfks.se/cbm-software.php). Apart from those, I haven't really made anything notable although I have dabbled here and there.

August 11th, 2009, 08:35 AM
Hm. I wrote a few toy apps in QB but never released them mostly since they weren't up to par or had small issues still, plus I mostly wrote them out of boredom or proof of concept just to myself or friends.

I can look around the for the code it's probably lingering somewhere as an embarrassment to my ability to whip out spaghetti code. If I do find it you'll all feel much better about your own games ;-)

I wrote a game I called tag which was you're a probably chr$(02) and the bad guy/computer is chr$(01) and you run around the blank screen trying to tag each other. Once you're touched your it and you have to chase him or vice versa. The problem was qbasic isn't very good/timely at checking for keyboard input, and it seems to miss higher values more often so my code to input the keypad characters (1234,6789) for direction misses the top keys more often making it a bit more annoying. I later added someone elses assembly code to add a keyboard interrupt upon keypress then run the move you code but that of course ended up making you run circles around him for a change. It got to be more work than play so I stopped on that one although it was still fun to play.

I wrote a dos screensaver that I called Paint. This was something out of boredom but it almost felt like it allowed the computer to take a break and have fun. So it was just letting the computer randomly draw on the screen (circle) and change the paint brush size and color once and a while. At first it was random just letting it do what it wanted but it changed colors and brush size so often it wasn't very human appealing so I added a variable check just in my own mind of what percent of the time an artist would change his brush size and color of paint, then of course added the barrier factor so it wouldn't go painting off screen, and finally after a certain time to blank the screen again so it wasn't an anti-screen saver lol.

Also wrote a memory editor which was more for fun than practical. It started off as a hex editor for files but I ran into a bug in QB that it detects false end of files (edit.com also had the problem) and MS never fixed it so that botched my hex editor. So I went and played with peek and started dumping out memory and used the VGA template to represent the byte (00=black - FF=white) and dump it out in color on the screen and just loop until you tell it to go up or down in memory. It was VERY slow and wasn't as cool as I thought so I wrote a zoom in/out and goto feature so you could find more interesting spots to watch or show a person their computer is working on stuff even while idle. Zoomed in (bigger circles) refresh rate is much more blinken light cool, and you could find your keyboard buffer, clock and a few other things that were easily recognizable which was fun.

All crap code but I thought about releasing it just for someone else to see or maybe a kid would like it and improve it, etc. I'll see if I can track it down and maybe upload it somewhere and add the links. Most other projects I started but never finished so friends and I dabbled in Allegro/C moving a sprite around and looping background pictures but we never finished it beyond me walking around (way too quickly) the NES Kung-Fu background (we were going to rewrite it with ourselves in there) and a little anime dude with a sword running around a multi-layer background ready to fight a villain we never added.

August 11th, 2009, 10:49 AM
i haven't really made any games, except for one failed thing. i was trying to make a mario type game using a program called gamemaker, and all i managed to do was get the main person moving (though if you pressed one button, he kept moving no matter what) and get an enemy moving. i'm not much of a programmer yet, so :/

August 11th, 2009, 11:44 AM
I made my own knock off of breakout that was lost over the years. Kinda wish I still had it.

August 12th, 2009, 06:53 AM
well i just created a game using the game maker program. not vintage by any means but i think it's fun.


October 11th, 2009, 08:36 AM
I used to be a master at GameMaker, and made all kinds of stuff, even full-3d games. All the 5.3a version files wouldn't work with version 6, which made me start a bunch of new projects, and then ALL the games made with 5.3a or 6 wouldn't work with 7, and pre-7 games wouldn't run on Vista+.. Between that and Mark Overmars selling GameMaker to YoYoGames I was done with it. It was great while it lasted. :/

My older stuff ran on Win95.. Unfortunately I lost it all in a 500GB hdd death (only hdd I ever lost).

October 11th, 2009, 11:03 AM
I used to be a master at GameMaker, and made all kinds of stuff, even full-3d games. All the 5.3a version files wouldn't work with version 6, which made me start a bunch of new projects, and then ALL the games made with 5.3a or 6 wouldn't work with 7, and pre-7 games wouldn't run on Vista+.. Between that and Mark Overmars selling GameMaker to YoYoGames I was done with it. It was great while it lasted. :/

My older stuff ran on Win95.. Unfortunately I lost it all in a 500GB hdd death (only hdd I ever lost).

I tried GameMaker in the past, but I really didn't manage to create any good results with it. I want to learn C# or something like that if I am going to make more games for Windows.

I currently lost all my BASIC games too, when I accidentally reformatted that floppy.

If I am going to get me a backup disk, it will be a SSD (Solid-State Disk). I know it may be a while before it happens (as the price for SSD's are quite high rigth now), but unless something new comes, I am sure we are going to see a lot more SSD's in the future.

October 11th, 2009, 08:28 PM
This is a simple States & Capitals game in GWBASIC.
It certainly isn't much, but I always find simple 'educational' games rather fun - so I wrote this a couple months ago, just to keep my old mind active in my retirement. I could never learn stuff like C++ or Assembly, but I do enjoy toying with BASIC once in a while.

October 14th, 2009, 12:29 PM
While working for a job that "rented services like HBO ect.." TV's in a hospital, I wrote a program that keeped track of who's in which room and what service they wanted. About 3 weeks of writing and debugging, it ran the whole system with no problems like the old program did. The fun part was figuring out how the data porter communicated to the addressable taps(via cable line),the company(of the hardware) would not give info out at all, but it was all RS232 commands to the head unit. Simple port scanner/logger took care of that. I had the program running 3 months before, that company found out about it(my boss loved that program). There was 3 companies involved, one I worked for,sub contracted to the hospital the other was the hardware company and the hospital.

Was in talks with that company when the hospital finaly removed the rental services and I lost the job , never did hear back from that company untill that copy running on the system self destructed(by design of me), They would not come to terms with me and that was that. I bet they had a fun time trying to figure out how it was wrote and compiled(quick basic 4,with a internal code modifier as to keep prying eyes) as they always asked how and what programming I used. I told them it was all assembly compiled! hehe. I still have that program too but with out the code modifier my friend wrote up, that was a work of art!

I also wrote and Trade wars knock off and a BBS system to run it. I never finished the game but the BBS was fully operational doorway system for door games(I think its out there now on the internet but I bever found it). And it all ran on a floppy disks on my Tandy 1000TL before I had a HDD. It booted off A drive(720k 3.5 disk) and held the BBS and data files for the games, the B drive (360k 5.25 disk) held the exe files.

October 17th, 2009, 12:56 PM
I've written a lot of demos (some with 3-D, custom sound engines, etc.) but no strict "game" per se. If anyone is interested I can link to the stuff I've done.

I've always had a hankering to write a high-performance CGA shooting game, but doing so would take me about a year of dedicated time I don't have. But I will definitely write a CGA (probably PCjr) demo in the next year.

November 9th, 2009, 09:38 AM
The biggest game I've programmed?
Meh, that was a badly functional Pong game with 2 different, individually moveable paddles with Basic-256...
I'm not really into programming, it's just not something I can do for a long period of time. Usually, when I try to program something difficult (like a routine that shows you the differences between numbers graphically - and yeah, I call that difficult :P), when problems come up, I try to deal with them, but I almost always create even more problems by destroying one.

Also, it's nothing to keep me hooked, I like writing alot more. ^^

Mike Chambers
November 10th, 2009, 05:31 PM
i wrote a 3d raycaster engine but never turned it into a full game. here is the demo video of "escape from pedobear 3d"


the engine i wrote totally from scratch using FreeBASIC a few months ago. a few graphical glitches. it's not too bad though.

November 12th, 2009, 05:25 AM
Back in high school I wrote an ASCII adventure game in GW-BASIC that I actually compiled using the GW-BASIC compiler and distributed. The best part of the game is the highly error-prone wall detection routines due to the use of "ON KEY ?? GOSUB ??" statements. The program uses CGA graphics just to display a logo at startup, which seems pretty silly. If anyone would like to try:

http://jba.freeshell.org/files/!CASTLE1.EXE (http://jba.freeshell.org/files/%21CASTLE1.EXE)

A word of warning: the program uses the PC Speaker at startup, so it might be loud.

In these modern times, I've participated in PyWeek (http://pyweek.org/) a few times now, so I have a couple more modern games that were thrown together pretty quickly.