Tutorial: How to write games

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How to write games in Basic4GL...

-Tom Mulgrew


This is a tutorial on how to write games in Basic4GL, which is a free programming language for Windows computers.
It's aimed at the complete beginner, and takes you from the very basics of writing simple programs, right through to writing scrolling 2D sprite based games.
So if you've never programmed a line of code before, I recommend you start at the beginning. Otherwise you may want to skip a few sections and jump in at the level that suits you.

This is part 1 of the tutorial, which introduces the basics of programming by using them to write a simple text based space invaders like game. Later parts will build onto what is taught here, introducing 2D sprite based animation and finally a full parallax scrolling 2D shooter.

Why start with Basic4GL?

Once upon a time if you bought a computer, it came with a free programming language called BASIC, which stands for "Beginner's All Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code" and was invented to make programming easier to learn for beginners.
Traditionally it wasn't the most powerful language for writing complex applications, but it did make it easy to write interesting programs - often with graphics and/or sound effects - without having to write pages of program code just to get started.

Basic4GL aims to continue in this spirit, as a free, beginner friendly language, based on today's technology like OpenGL 3D graphics. It's specifically designed to make the fun stuff easily accessible, like games and animations.
And while you're doing this, you're also learning basic programming concepts and skills that you can use if you decide to move on to more powerful languages that professional programmers use.

So, in that spirit, this tutorial will teach you to program using animations, games, and basically anything that I think looks interesting or cool. We will start with text based animation (because it's easiest to start with), move into sprite based 2D animation and work our way up to a full 2D parallax scrolling platform shooter.

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