Source code alongside your feature articles

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Source code alongside your feature articles

Post by damianoslebo » Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:19 pm

Been a subscriber for a little over a year, and just read through Issue 183 with Tetris as the feature. Being a programming enthusiast (I am sure a lot of your audience is), I thought this was a missed opportunity to post some of the original source code for Tetris. The source does not have to be in its entirety, but it could provide insights on what restrictions old timey programmers were working with for the respective platforms. And it would similar to how early videogame magazines would post source to write into the Commodore in the 80s. Just a suggestion thanks for the devotion to retro!

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Re: Source code alongside your feature articles

Post by Antiriad2097 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:19 am

I see three problems with this.

1 - Most of the writers aren't coders, so it would be gibberish to them. Those that do, don't have detailed knowledge of every system.
2 - For most old games, its hard enough to track down an author and get an interview. Getting source code would be near impossible.
3 - It doesn't generally give much insight. It might show a clever trick or two, but readers need to understamd both the code and the hardware to get that.
4 - Most readers don't care about the code, just the game (based on past reactions here to printing listings, or technically oriented features).
5 - Tetris is a bad example. It's such a simple game, it could be badly written in Basic and still play a decent game. The concept is the great thing with Tetris, the underlying code isn't of great significance.

Ok, that's five reasons, but once I started thinking about it I kept finding reasons you're not likely to see it. There are more. Nice idea, but reality indicates it won't happen.
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Re: Source code alongside your feature articles

Post by psj3809 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:46 am

Please no no no to this idea. Perhaps a feature on source code in games but to see lines of machine code/gibberish or worse would be a nightmare. I like Retro Gamer as its about 'gaming' (surprisingly) but if it turns into some geeky code manual then noooooooooooo

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Re: Source code alongside your feature articles

Post by Matt_B » Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:13 am

Yeah, there's a time and a place for such discussions and it's usually a section of an online forum dedicated to the discussion of that particular piece of hardware. You might not get to choose which original programmers turn up, but a few usually do and are often surprisingly willing to have their work from decades ago picked over. Mainly though, that's about the only place where you'll find the right audience and can keep all the resources together that interested newcomers would need to get up to speed for the given system.

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Re: Source code alongside your feature articles

Post by RetroBob » Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:39 am

Welcome to the forum!

I'd be interested on a single article on the topic of programming but other than that it seems an odd thing to do.
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Re: Source code alongside your feature articles

Post by damianoslebo » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:44 pm

Lol, never thought I would be out-geeking the geeks! I guess I might be outcast from even this community. Criticism for my own feedback topic taken! Personally would still like to see this even if it is only relegated to a single article as RetroBob suggests.

I think I might be too comfortable and eager to seeing machine code/assembly. I do have a comp architecture masters under my belt from one of the universities that do it well.

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