Why Code in Basic?

Basic Language History

Basic stands for Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code. It is in fact a programming language family that shares high-level programming features and simplicity, ease of use.

First version of Basic has been design at Darmouth College (New Hampshire) back in 1964 by Thomas E. Kurtz and John G. Kemeny. To give to their non-scientist students the ability to learn programming.

Basic is probably still nowadays the most widely known programming language. It was at fist an interpreted language (i.e. translation into object code made during execution) but can also be compiled for very fast execution, which is the case of Sprite Basic.

Basic Interpreter
Basic Code Editor

Advent of Basic Language

Basic languages started to be widely available in the end of 1970s/early 1980s, with the advent of home microcomputers. Its advantage was the fact that BASIC was quite well-know by hobbyists, providing high-level enough commands for giving ability to beginners to learn the language without having to attend specialized university lectures.

Its small-size allow to ship it in any microcomputers of that era. Examples of microcomputers that shipped with a BASIC ROM (read-only-memory, long term memory that record the programs and Operating System shipped with the computer) were like : Tandy TRS-80, APPLE II, PET 2001, Commodore Vic 20/64, the Atari 8-bit family, and in Europe Sinclair ZX 81/Spectrum, Amstrad 464/664, BBC Accorn or Thomson TO-7.

Sprite Basic History

In 1992, Benoit Varasse, founder and main developer of Sprite Basic, launched Acid Software's Blitz Basic, by Mark Sibly in Europe. The program gained a very nice popularity, allowing to design smash hits games like Skidmarks on Commodore Amiga. Prior to that, he has developed many games using STOS and AMOS Basic By François Lionnet on Atari ST and Commodore Amiga such as world-wide published Cool Croc Twins.

After working as a software consultant/developer for French IT companies, along with writing about 20 games in 2D/3D for J2ME/IOS/ANDROID/WP8, Benoit released a first Basic Interpreter on Android called Light Basic Interpreter in 2009. In 2015 he also wrote the older version Sprite Basic Game Programming that had many feature of this actual release but was interpreted and couldn't package applications for publishing.

This third version of Basic language dedicated to video-games is now compiled and offer the ability to package and publish apps on all formats. While taking benefits from experienced gained with the two prior versions, Sprite Basic Compiler has been rewritten from scratch and offers, we think, a very effective approach to game development and publishing.

Basic IDE
Basic Compiler

Sprite Basic Advantages

The advantage to propose a game authoring system based on BASIC Language is obvious : if you already know any programming language, you know how to program in BASIC. If you're a beginner will to learn coding, BASIC is the ideal entry point to coding from an ease of use point of view.

Where standards basic were interpreted and thus tended to be a bit slow, Sprite Basic is compiled before running so code execution is extremely fast.

Sprite Basic offers all standards commands plus special data types like boolean, object list and object map, along with functions to easily manipulate them. It will keep being improved in the following months/years and of course you have access to a full library of functions to manipulate sprites, physical bodies, sounds and much more, indeed everything you need to write top-rated videos-games.


Technologies