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Writing a Tetris clone in GW-BASIC -- Tandy 1000 programming example

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Published on Jul 8, 2010

In this tool-assisted education video I demonstrate how to create a Tetris clone in GW-BASIC, a programming language tool written by Microsoft. You see me type every line.

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Homepage: http://iki.fi/bisqwit/

Microsoft GW-BASIC and Basica are the predecessors to QBasic, which was a popular programming tool shipped without extra charge with MS-DOS versions 4 through 5.
In those days, it was de-facto standard to provide a computer with a BASIC interpreter. Those days are no longer, but in my opinion, even today, BASIC remains one of the easiest platforms to start programming something visual.

In this video, I also demonstrate the multi-channel PC speaker of Tandy 1000 to play some music tunes.

The source code (and the script I used for reference when creating this video) can be found at:
http://bisqwit.iki.fi/jutut/kuvat/pro...
You can download this video in HD (better HD than Youtube's, and A/V sync fixed) at:
http://bisqwit.iki.fi/jutut/kuvat/pro... (14 MB)

If you cannot bother typing the source code yourself, you can download a pre-prepared floppy disk image here. It comes with OpenDOS and GWBASIC preinstalled: http://bisqwit.iki.fi/jutut/kuvat/pro...

To better understand how this program works, you can read this flowgraph. http://bisqwit.iki.fi/jutut/kuvat/pro...

The syntax highlighting in the video is generated by a TSR that I launch in the beginning of the video. It scans and recolors the VRAM continually. I created that tool for the making of this video.

Note: The audio in this video is slightly badly timed. It is difficult to sync those properly in Youtube when you use nonstandard FPS. Apologies. At least I tried.

The whole video series:
-- http://youtu.be/JDnypVoQcPw -- Creating a rudimentary TETRIS clone in GW-BASIC
-- http://youtu.be/V65mtR08fH0 -- Improving the game by rewriting from scratch C++, added AI
-- http://youtu.be/-j9AG2I0f3Y -- Illustrating the AI's power with tetrominos and pentominos
-- http://youtu.be/ukXDCBewnsg -- Illustrating the AI's power with only tetrominos
-- http://youtu.be/zQZLK8r1NFs -- Illustrating the AI's power with tetrominos, pentominos and hexominos
-- http://youtu.be/7kHnnkVlBKI -- Testing the AI at tackling octominos. Not good.
-- http://youtu.be/Yw02EkQE3Cw -- Illustrating the AI's power with tetrominos on a half-width field.

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