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Call for Blogs: The 50th anniversary of BASIC
Call for Blogs: The 50th anniversary of BASIC
April 28, 2014 | By Staff

April 28, 2014 | By Staff
More: Console/PC, Programming

The 1980s was the era of BASIC. The personal computer took off, and many of them came with the language built-in. Consequently, many developers of the era got their start in making games by using BASIC -- which persisted as a popular programming language well into the 1990s and beyond.

Were you one of them?

The language has older roots, and this week -- Thursday, May 1, 2014 -- marks its 50th anniversary. To celebrate, Gamasutra is hoping to get blogs from game developers about developing in BASIC.

Whether you want to write about a game you made in your youth or talk about the usefulness of the language itself -- or anything else that you think of when you hear the word "BASIC" -- you can do it on Gamasutra this week. You can share your story anytime; Gamasutra editors comb the blog section every day to find the best posts. Your blog could be promoted on our front page.

You can submit your stories directly to Gamasutra's blog section. Not sure what to write? Need to brainstorm? Just email blog director Christian Nutt and he'll help you with any questions.

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Ian Morrison
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I got my start programming games in QBASIC back in elementary school. All things considered, that was a pretty good introductory language.

the Mole
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I still use QBasic in the high school IT classes I teach. We currently need to run it through D-fend Reloaded. I almost exclusively use screen 12 mode or graphics mode running 16 colours in VGA.
We draw with circle and line then add subroutines sending parameters and advance to do loops and while loops. In the end an animated image is drawn. Oddly enough this is usually around halloween so we end up with some sort of haunted house. I use about every 3 years or so.

a picture!

Many years ago (1987 ish) I worked on a cargo carrier ship that traveled from the West Coast to Japan. My job was to launch weather balloons. The program that ran the system was written in BASIC. I realized after a pair of launches that the program asked YES or NO answers and the answer was always YES. I rewrote the code so it could answer it's own questions. I stream-lined a government job task.

Kale Menges
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Taught myself QBASIC one summer, when I was about twelve years old, as a dare from my grandfather (I still have the manual he gave me to use). Won't say I mastered it, but it was a great introduction to a lot of core concepts of programming and software development.

David Pittman
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I got my start on GW-BASIC, required line numbers and all, mostly by copying program listings out of a children's science magazine (3-2-1 Contact).

QBASIC was my stomping ground for years. At the time, I couldn't really appreciate the sophistication of its IDE, debugger, and built-in help system; but it was a great environment in which to learn to program. I still occasionally think of loading it up in DOSBox for kicks. QBASIC game jam, anyone?

Sean Gailey
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I just finished porting Richard Garriott's first game, DnD#1, from BASIC to Unity for the contest they are running. What a blast from the past, digging through that syntax. I spent so many hours staring at BASIC on my Commodore 64, it put me right back to that age. Good times :)

Alex Nautilus
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I was a very skilled BASIC programmer (love the versatility and fun of MSX2-BASIC) and no programming language was so fun to develop with. It's simple and direct, kids love it. We all had to be more creative and competent because of BASIC limitations. These days I use PHP for the servers, Javascript for the browsers, and still use Visual Basic 6 Portable for quick little desktop apps.