Best Type-In Progs by Machine

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Gary Plowman
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Best Type-In Progs by Machine

Post by Gary Plowman » Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:33 pm

Recall the best magazine type-ins you spent hours lovingly typing in...

Then recall :

a) did it work?
b) was it any good?
c) did you want to hit your keyboard!?
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4am
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Re: Best Type-In Progs by Machine

Post by 4am » Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:38 am

After 30+ years? Your memory is better than mine...

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Matt_B
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Re: Best Type-In Progs by Machine

Post by Matt_B » Thu Mar 20, 2014 5:53 am

The best ones were always the 1K ZX81 games as they usually only took a few minutes and were sufficiently short that you were unlikely to make a mistake.

Anything that involved hundreds of DATA statements for machine code or graphical data was rarely worth the effort. Chances are that one small error would make the whole thing crash so you had to reset the machine, and that's assuming that they didn't misprint anything.

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necronom
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Re: Best Type-In Progs by Machine

Post by necronom » Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:03 am

I remember typing several listing in, but I have no idea what they were, or if they were any good. I think they all worked.
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slacey1070
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Re: Best Type-In Progs by Machine

Post by slacey1070 » Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:15 am

Nibblers on the Vic 20 in C&VG. I spent ages typing it in. Didn't work. Went back to it a while later and sorted it out and it was a fantastic, simple, playable game, that in the days of only limited pocket money, kept me amused.

You only used one key, the space bar, to launch a "thing" and pressed it again to drop a bomb of "things" attacking your damn, which then burst.

Great fun.
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Re: Best Type-In Progs by Machine

Post by Scratch_Porkings » Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:18 am

I remember typing in a ST basic demo program, it was to show how easy ST basic was. I made scrolling text with (I think) rasterbars?. It wasn't easy it took days! I never tried anything like that again.
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Re: Best Type-In Progs by Machine

Post by Antiriad2097 » Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:22 pm

I tried several times to type in a text adventure game featuring a spaceman stuck on a planet that was in an issue of Oric Owner. Every time I tried, the electric meter ran out as I neared the end. Some would say that was coincidence, but I have still not played it, it felt like I was destined not to.

I did type in one of the many Bomber clones. Had fun with that, tweaked things to make it harder/easier, edited the graphics and stuff.

There was also a Pac Man clone, since they're fairly easy in BASIC as long as you don't mind a character based movement. I played with that one for a considerable time, changing the maze for variety.

There were plenty of others I typed in, some good, many bad. Most worked, and generally I was able to fix the ones that didn't due to typos or printing errors. I learned quite a lot from that.

I very rarely ventured into machine code though. Did it once or twice to see fancy routines, but it was so dull to do and unintelligible to debug at the time.
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joefish
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Re: Best Type-In Progs by Machine

Post by joefish » Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:28 pm

I remember dozens of type-ins for the 1K ZX81 which were basically all the same - random characters were printed half-way up the screen and scrolled upwards from there; you had a character at the top of the screen and either had to dodge them or stay between two rows.

Spectrum ones usually took too long to type in and were prone to printing errors. Even when they worked they were slow. About the only playable ones were Snake / Tron variants from a book I had. Apart perhaps from text adventures (which didn't interest me) or one database utility that we tried to use for my Mum's budgie breeding. But being cassette-based, it ended up quicker to just write things down.

I had loads of issues of Sinclair Programs, but generally just skimmed them for ideas rather than type anything in. It was kind of a 'holding-subscription' to get my pocket money's worth from my parents after I cancelled a weekly comic and was looking for a monthly computer magazine! Eventually I tried to switch to ordering Your Spectrum via the paper shop the very month it changed its name to Your Sinclair.

They also bought us all 52 issues of the programming course INPUT. My brother read some of it but it didn't really interest me and I don't think I ever typed any of it in.

I did type in some machine-code utilities from Your Sinclair which were mostly all numbers, which taught me a bit of machine code and about multicolour effects. There was one epic load of hex data that was supposed to be a functioning editor for isometric 3D game Sweevo's World, but after spending days typing it in and checking checksums it refused to work (apparently they were errors in printing it) which was a colossal disappointment. Which just rubbed in the massive delay in the release of CRL's promised 3D Game Maker.

I've played some pretty good type-in games on the BBC-B (someone else typed them in) as it's BASIC really was fast enough to do some decent games.

When it came to 16-bit BASICs like STOS, magazines and the like gave you copies on Disk anyway.

Gary Plowman
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Re: Best Type-In Progs by Machine

Post by Gary Plowman » Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:07 pm

I can recall some basic racer and shooters, plus a great strategy title called Shadows of Long Forest. For spectrum 48k.

The screens has good use of UDGs and fair amount of dreaded data statements!

The graphics windows where well designed and I think u can download it still from world of spectrum.
The Micro Kids: An 80s Adventure with ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 and more
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0993474462/

ZX Spectrum Games Code Club
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0993474403/

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yakmag
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Re: Best Type-In Progs by Machine

Post by yakmag » Tue Apr 08, 2014 5:06 am

There was one called Trona (yes, lightcycles) that was in Commodore User.

A very short listing, but a great 2 player (keyboard only) lightcycle game, me and my mate played this for hours!!

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Re: Best Type-In Progs by Machine

Post by NorthWay » Tue Apr 08, 2014 5:16 am

Can't really remember any working much.

But CU had a supplemental type-in issue where only famous programmers gave away a game. I'm pretty sure I got Jeff Minter's "ROX"(?) to work.

Someone should make a web site where they take all the magazine listings in the world and supply them as binary files. Make a youtube video of them running as well!

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joefish
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Re: Best Type-In Progs by Machine

Post by joefish » Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:13 am

The World of Spectrum archive has loads of type-in games from books and amagazines amongst its download library, but hardly anyone uses them. The only type-ins I look for are the machine code examples, demos and utilities.

As I said, I think the best type-ins were for the BBC or Electron as they were most efficient; you could make sense of the BASIC and learn from it as you typed it, and BBC BASIC ran fast enough to provide you with a satisfying game at the end of it. But try finding any examples nowadays? Forget it.

Most other 8-bit machines' type-ins either ended up with a disappointingly slow and simple game, or consisted of miles and miles of hex code which was just far too tedious to plough through.

Funnily enough, all too many type-ins were just about negotiating randomly swerving courses or randomly scattered obstacles; today they'd be branded an 'infinite runner'; basically someone re-skinning the same game over and over with slightly different graphics but zero actual level design.

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Re: Best Type-In Progs by Machine

Post by Antiriad2097 » Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:23 am

Oric.org also carries type ins.

The Spectrum Show has started carrying a regular Type In Corner segment too.
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ncf1
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Re: Best Type-In Progs by Machine

Post by ncf1 » Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:20 pm

Just thinking about it now, I spent more time than perhaps I might have imagined typing in games on the Apple II as a kid. We were one of the first to get an Apple II here in '79 and as my dad could care less for games and nobody had any it was left up to good ol' type-ins to satisfy me. And by and large satisfy me they didn't... doesn't hold a kid back though does it? Its kind of like a drug, the NEXT game will be the best one ever, just like Space Invaders in the arcade... never eventuates.

There were a few good ones, in a book called Apple Graphics Games, a couple of them were really pretty good - Spider and Pairs, as decent games as you would get outside of official releases anyway. But it took a long time and typing in many games before getting to those ones.

I probably should have enjoyed the sunshine a bit more in retrospect.
Last edited by ncf1 on Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Scratch_Porkings
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Re: Best Type-In Progs by Machine

Post by Scratch_Porkings » Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:38 am

I've got a type in book for the c64. Great another trip to the loft...
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