IntyBASIC: a BASIC compiler for Intellivision
I was working in Space Raid
for Intellivision when I wondered about possibilities to make easier the
development of games for Intellivision.
There is a full set of tools for emulation (jzintv
programming in assembler (as1600) created by Joseph Zbiciak (intvnut).
But in every program you need to start almost from zero
and there are few libraries.
The Intellivision console
The Intellivision being created in 1979 just around the same
time BASIC exploded as a general purpose microcomputer language, what would be
more natural than a BASIC compiler? ;)
I started working in October 2013 in my ultrasecret project
and the version 0.1 got published in January 28, 2014 with versions for
Windows, Mac and Linux.
Following the intvnut's toolset style, IntyBASIC is a cross
compiler that takes BASIC source code and translates it to CP1610 assembler
code. You only have to enter this to test your game:
intybasic game.bas game.asm
as1600 game.asm -o game
IntyBASIC includes support for all the Intellivision video
and sound features in form of commands like SPRITE and SOUND,
trying to be close to the hardware but so easy as possible to user.
I've keeping it updated as users and myself find bugs
or request new useful features for the compiler.
It includes also the IntyColor utility for converting BMP
images to the video format used by the Intellivision.
IntyBASIC has been pretty successful in its purpose because
the enthusiast AtariAge
and it has conducted to an explosion of new games and homebrews in the
Intellivision world and even the
IntyBASIC programming contest
I suggest you to download the most recent version (v1.4.2)
from the AtariAge forums.
The Windows version of IntyBASIC works since XP, but if
your version doesn't have service packs it could need the
Visual C++ 2008 runtime
If you're using Mac, you need Mac OS X v10.6 or better. In
case of Linux, any recent version should work.
The user's manual is included inside the ZIP file.
I suggest strongly to register in AtariAge where you can
get help on using IntyBASIC just by reading the
forum or posting your questions.
The success of IntyBASIC inspired me to write a book called "Programming Games for Intellivision".
It follows the learning technique that was so useful for me when starting in the BASIC language: Games published in parts,
required to be typed by hand, and detailed explanation of each part.
The book has 192 pages, and is available both in paperback and hardcover:
Check the reviews by The No Swear Gamer
and a cool hands-on review by Gray Defender
Advanced Game Programming for Intellivision
Inspired by the success of my first book, I went to write another book including more advanced techniques of programming. In particular I wanted to explore the development of games looking more professional both on terms of title screens, gameplay, sound, and music.
The complete source code for Oh Mummy! Pumpkin Master, Meteor Storm, and Dungeon Warrior is included. Each of these games includes a particular technique that I wanted to comment: Oh Mummy! movement of the player on a maze, and how enemies pursue the player. Pumpkin Master, shooters techniques to create tons of bullets without exceeding total sprites. Meteor Storm, techniques for pseudo-3D scaling of sprites, animation of screen zones with multiple images. Dungeon Warrior, techniques for drawing pseudo-3D mazes on screen, including scaling of enemies per depth, and of course algorithms for Role Playing Games.
A full chapter dedicated to the creation of sound effects and converting music sheets to IntyBASIC is included, furthermore tips for converting pictures to Intellivision graphics.
The book has 294 pages, and is available in paperback: (Soon in hardcover)
Last modified: Mar/31/2021