News Article

DSiWare Users Going Back to BASIC with PetitComputer

Posted by Trevor Chan

INPUT "Insert subheading here:"

DSiWare releases have not only included the traditional games we expected to see, but also the growth of design-orientated applications aimed at users who enjoy creating as much as they do playing.

From music applications to animation software, DSi owners have enough creative input to work on relatively advanced projects, but it seems Japanese developer SmileBoom's upcoming DSiWare release will be going back to basics, you might say.

The Sapporo-based developer has revealed a few details on its upcoming PetitComputer via the official game website (as translated by AndriaSang), an application that lets users program their own games using the programming language of BASIC. The original BASIC was designed in 1964 to allow non-scientific users to write their own custom software, something which at the time was mainly performed by scientists and mathematicians.

With PetitComputer, users can utilise a text editor which includes an on-screen keyboard to code their own programs. With 13 built-in tools, users can create visual characters, background map data, graphics, and more. As part of the release, 7 sample programs and 3 sample games (all created using BASIC) provide a good place to gather insight and inspiration before embarking on the journey of custom programming.

User-created programs can be sent to others, although we're not sure if it will be through an online service or via a local wireless connection. PetitComputer launches in Japan on 9th March and will be priced at 800 Points. Be sure to visit the application's website for more screenshots of the user-interface.

[via andriasang.com]

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User Comments (51)

Moorpheel

#2

Moorpheel said:

Oh My Gawd.
It's like some random japanese company combined my two favourite things, DS and programming!
They better bring that here, or else...!

Should be named PetitHomebrew

Kurona

#4

Kurona said:

Interesting... I'd give it a try, even though I have practically no programming experience. But the possibilities are kinda cool. :)

Philip_J_ReedStaff

#7

Philip_J_Reed said:

Wow. I worked extensively with QBASIC when I was young, which didn't require line numbers, but was otherwise pretty similar from what I understand.

I'd...buy this.

BulbasaurusRex

#10

BulbasaurusRex said:

qbasic = 9
RANDOMIZE TIMER
petitComputer = INT(RND * 10) + 1
IF petitComputer >= qbasic THEN
PRINT "Petit Computer is just as good or even better than QBasic, so I'll have to switch to it once I get my 3DS."
ELSE
PRINT "I'd rather just continue using QBasic, which is still perfectly usable on modern PCs with DOSBox."
END IF
END

By the way, you forgot to include the variable in your subheading. It would be better as:
INPUT "Insert subheading here: "; subheading$

bboy2970

#11

bboy2970 said:

This.....intrigues me. Unfortunately I know literally nothing about coding. To anyone who has programmed in BASIC: is it easy to learn for someone with extensive experience in Game Maker (minus any actual programming in GM :3)?

kurtasbestos

#13

kurtasbestos said:

wooaaaaahhh... I spent many years making games in QBASIC, including my own sprite and font editors, and I'm moving to Sapporo in a few months. Dear SmileBoom: please give me a job, please!!!

zezhyrule

#15

zezhyrule said:

Meh I don't really want to learn BASIC... I'm working with Python right now and kinda wanna learn C♯ or C++. But I'll get it if it comes with a good tutorial.

FonistofCruxis

#17

FonistofCruxis said:

This is interesting. I might get it if it comes to the west as I'm hoping to be a game designer when I'm older and I'm hoping to do an IT course at college when I leave school at the end of this school year. I hope it has a good tutorial.

warioswoods

#18

warioswoods said:

Also: no mention of Wario Ware DIY in this new story? I'm very insulted!

Wario's DIY software can actually teach as much about coding as using BASIC on an inconvenient little touchscreen keyboard. Learning to think like a programmer is more about the principles of timing, triggers, events, and conditions--prerequisites for building a good DIY minigame--than it is about learning any particular syntax like BASIC.

pixelman

#19

pixelman said:

Can't imagine trying to write code with a stylus... I'd probably go crazy, haha. This'd be cooler if they wrote a custom scripting language instead. There are a lot more logical and easy languages out there. zez has got the right idea. :thumbsup:

shinesprite

#21

shinesprite said:

Not really my thing, I'd rather program on a computer. Zez and pix, I share your opinion. :|

Pod

#25

Pod said:

Where DSiWare has iOS Apps beaten. Nothing on iOS is allowed to run arbitrary code.

Usagi-san

#27

Usagi-san said:

This had better get released in Australia. I might just be inspired to learn some programming, I did mess around with small basic for a little while but this is probably a whole other beast. It could be fun though, making games you can play on your DS, what Nintendo fan HASN'T dreamt of doing that.

jdkipfer

#28

jdkipfer said:

My brother Is looking over my shoulder with glazed over eyes screaming "I am going to get it!". Now he is snickering. Now he is saying "OH Wow!"

SMW

#29

SMW said:

Sweet. Good to see a game for programming.

I agree with warioswoods. WarioWare: DIY does an excellent job at introducing programming ideas and concepts in a way that nonprogrammers can understand.

This game seem like it is more for people to mess around in.

Marvelousmoo

#30

Marvelousmoo said:

If I had a DS, I would definitely get this. I make programs in BASIC on my calculator, but a TI-84 just has so many limits.

the_shpydar

#31

the_shpydar said:

Awwwwwesome. My very first gaming experiences were entering lines and lines of BASIC code in order to play a simple game (and having to "save" it on cassette tape!). I also used to put far more time than one would have though possible into the Basic Programming "game" on Atari 2600. Wow, this is definitely cool.

shinesprite

#32

shinesprite said:

@30 Actually, I could program for my Ti-nspire Cas with Touchpad. But meh, I'm too lazy. I'd rather program something that has real potential (also, I need both colour and sound to hold my attention).

argus

#33

argus said:

This is awesome. I'm another geek who spent my teenage years programming quirky little games in QBASIC. Even though it will surely have its limitations, I would buy it immediately if I had a DSi instead of DS Lite.

Moorpheel

#34

Moorpheel said:

well, it's for japan, if we ever get to see it here then you will probably be able to download it on your 3DS

Marvelousmoo

#35

Marvelousmoo said:

@32 The lack of color does suck, but I don't have any creative talent to compose music, so no sound is more practical than any sound for me. I actually created an engine for an NES style top down RPG thing, but the matrices that stored the area maps took up way too much memory... and then I accidentally deleted the picture files for the tiles. I haven't touched it since.

Demonic_St33V

#37

Demonic_St33V said:

I have the odd feeling that this could result in a surge of new members in the Dark Basic community.....

Imerion

#38

Imerion said:

Cool! Interesting idea. I had something similar on my Palm many years ago and made a few programs with it just becuase I could. ;)

Also, nice to hear more people are still using/have used Qbasic! :) I used it when I learned programming many years ago. Good stuff! For those interested, I can suggest Freebasic : http://www.freebasic.net/
Its a modern basic compiler based on Qbasic. It pretty much has the same syntax.

Bassman_Q

#41

Bassman_Q said:

So... do you need to know how to code prior to using it or will there be a tutorial that teaches you? If it is the latter, then I might give it a shot.

KDR_11k

#42

KDR_11k said:

The problem with BASIC is that it's awfully slow and on embedded systems it's asking for trouble.

RisnDevil

#43

RisnDevil said:

The ONLY problem(s) with this are that it's not out NOW and it's not out EVERYWHERE!

(I do wonder how "complex" of home-made games it will support is though....I mean, could I make a TD game with RPG elements {even if it does have graphics} or what....?)

SafariSuz

#44

SafariSuz said:

|sf>This is actually a rather brilliant idea for a company to do. I recall that libraries used to subscribe to programming magazines that had all those lines of code for inputting video games. Granted, by today's gaming standards, most BASIC games of that era would be considered rather primitive.

I probably would buy this, considering I took a class on BASIC in high school. I'd be especially curious to see if the program had limitations. As I recall, there were some classic Commodore 64 titles written in BASIC that I've always wanted for WiiWare. If this program can bring the ability to have them in DSiWare instead, that would be really neat.

In any case, I hope this gets announced for US and European release.

Usagi-san

#45

Usagi-san said:

I'm just worried this will get released on 3DS and not on the DSi. I'd hate to have to upgrade just because Nintendo starts ignoring Dsi/DSi XL users, besides that I don't really have the money for a 3DS.

lOnE-WolF

#46

lOnE-WolF said:

This better be comming to the US, perfect excuse to learn some programming in BASIC. Couldn't be any much harder than java and html javascript, yea?

Seriously, such a great idea for DSiWare. I'd totally buy this.

Usagi-san

#47

Usagi-san said:

Have I said how much I'd love this to get an English release? The website has been updated since this article to include movies of the samples. I don't read Japanese but I definately like what I see. I'll be very VERY disappointed if this never makes it to an Australian release, there is so much potential for awesomeness.

HanuKwanzMasBif

#51

HanuKwanzMasBif said:

I have a 3DS so I'll be able to download this (if it comes out in the US)! This is gonna be so much better than WarioWare D.I.Y.!

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