(DSiWare)

Petit Computer (DSiWare)

Game Review

Petit Computer Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Jon Wahlgren

Massive potential, minor headache

There are few better places to learn programming than within the BASIC family — heck, it's in the name — which offers general-purpose, relatively simple environments in which to learn the ropes and concepts of coding. Petit Computer is a powerful BASIC coding environment, a type of homebrew application seldom seen on the commercial side of software available for modern consoles, which allows users to craft all sorts of programs and games and share them with friends and the community. With a few caveats; Petit Computer is an interesting place to learn, hone or challenge programming abilities, but the software itself isn't quite as newbie-friendly as one may hope.

Petit Computer channels old hardware like the Commodore 64 and MSX to allow for an open environment in which users can make their own programs using the BASIC language. Or a variant thereof, at least: the general functionality of the language is the same, if not expanded, and some of the more archaic syntax gets a 2012 update, so plugging in the untouched source code for Gorillas sadly won't get you very far. These changes ultimately make the coding process a bit cleaner, and it won't take long for BASIC veterans to get up to speed on the tweaks and adapt a playable game of simian warfare — in fact, experienced coders may welcome the challenge of bending the simple language for ridiculously complicated tasks. Taking a look at what the Japanese community has managed, it's impressive to see just how far Petit Computer can be pushed.

Like all programming languages, doing so is no walk in the park. Unlike WarioWare D.I.Y. or other visually oriented environments, BASIC requires a line of code for every single command. At your study disposal are over a dozen bundled sample programs, ranging from a simple number guessing game to a far more elaborate graphical space shooter, which can be loaded through a command line to tinker with the source code. This environment isn't all just text commands, though. Powerful but dense graphics utilities make it easier to create sprites and backgrounds by way of being able to actually draw them on the touch screen, and the copious sample graphics ensure that even the absolute worst artists have a range of pretty sprites to use.

Seasoned programmers will be able to decipher these source codes no sweat thanks to BASIC's fairly straightforward commands and extensive comments, although rookies may take a lot longer to chip away at the use of certain functions. The help manual aims to alleviate and educate by packing in definitions and samples of essentially every function and command that BASIC has to offer, but it is presented as reference and not as instruction; it feels a bit dense and presumes a lot of prior knowledge in its users. Unfortunately the manual is clumsy to continue accessing as a reference, which is really a problem born from the DSi itself — not only can you not have it open side-by-side with the software, but closing the manual doesn't keep the page you were referencing.

Nor is the heavy emphasis on studying sample code all that helpful at explaining how to program; knowledge can, of course, be gleamed from studying other people's code, but without proper context it may as well all be in Wingdings. Granted, maybe it's asking a bit much to expect Petit Computer to properly teach something as complex as BASIC in the way a textbook or instructor could, but guided tutorials on IF statements, variables or graphics implementation would have gone a long way towards easing rookies into the often intimidating environment. This could have very well been the Art Academy of programming, but instead Petit Computer is all too content with appealing to an already educated audience.

Then there is the matter of text entry, made difficult by the need to type with the stylus. While the handheld's physical buttons make navigation less of a chore, the brunt of coding is done by arduously pecking away at the touch screen. A shortcut where, after typing a couple of characters, a list of commands pops up saves some time tapping, but it doesn't get around the fact that anything more ambitious than an elaborate "hello world!" takes a great deal longer to type than with a conventional keyboard. Managing line numbers can be difficult as well because of this — while users are spared the trouble of having to type them at the beginning of each line, it would be nice to be able to manually assign them in order to keep track of certain functions like subroutines without having to scroll all the way to the desired number.

The community has already created a workaround to avoid typing on the touch screen with software that allows you to program Petit Computer software on a PC or Mac, essentially cutting out the DSi from the equation. This "solution" raises the question of what business Petit Computer even has on DSi when it is so clearly not the ideal environment for any sort of heavy lifting. Although, we must admit, having a full programming environment on a portable is a neat fit, allowing one to indulge in whatever coding whims may strike on the bus or at a café.

Software can be exchanged locally over Wi-Fi or by QR codes generated on the Petit Computer Web site by uploading a file off the SD card, which is a fantastic way to foster community and collaborate with others. The QR code generating process is a bit cumbersome, and depending on program length can yield dozens of codes to scan, but less-than-ideal sharing sure beats none at all.

Conclusion

Despite some interface woes, Petit Computer is a crazy powerful sandbox if you know what you're doing — evident in the included sample programs and incredible feats that the Japanese community has managed in the time since its overseas release — and has the potential to be a great gateway into coding. Don't look at Petit Computer as an easy way for a non-coder to jump head-first into development and with ease create dynamic programs and games — unlike WarioWare D.I.Y., this is a straight-up programming language that will take a lot of work to achieve results. If you're willing to educate yourself in BASIC and stick with it then you'll find yourself with one of the most interesting and educational pieces of software on the handheld. Else, there are always the community's sterling efforts to enjoy.

More Stories

User Comments (107)

Gridatttack

#1

Gridatttack said:

Even if I don't know nothing about BASIC, I might get it. Looks awesome. And its never to late to learn something new.

Maskeraid

#2

Maskeraid said:

... So, exactly how difficult to learn are we talking? Like, learning Japanese difficult?

TheDreamingHawk

#3

TheDreamingHawk said:

To learn simple stuff like text printing and BGM placement, probably a week.

A arcade game? A month if you aren't determined. But still, it's a great app, and I really recommend it.

Moorpheel

#5

Moorpheel said:

I love this, the little Harvest Moon clone I'm working on with this is already 700 lines long and I haven't had problems at all with the touch screen keyboard. There are several button shortcuts too:
(R can be used as L too)
L+Up=Page up
L+Down=Page down
L+Left=Start of Line
L+Right=Line End
L+Y=Line delete
You can also copy and paste lines by using buttons on the touch screen.

it would be nice to be able to manually assign them in order to keep track of certain functions like subroutines without having to scroll all the way to the desired number.

That's what labels and the search function are for :D The numbers are pretty much useless.

armoredghor

#7

armoredghor said:

I have 3 semesters of programming C++, half a semester in java and BASIC (survey course) and 3 semesters of japanese. They're both pretty hard and take some studying but you can play with coding much easier no matter how much you know. go for it.

JonWahlgrenAdmin

#9

JonWahlgren said:

I would encourage those who are serious about learning how to program to give this a close look. Even if you don't manage to program Doom (although I am eager to see the inevitable port) you can still gain a lot of valuable knowledge by studying code.

@Morphtroid: Search and sort are different things! Say I wanted to keep certain subs in the 600s and others in the 800s just to keep things tidy and organized. No can do without massive scrolling! It's a minor headache but noteworthy.

theblackdragonAdmin

#10

theblackdragon said:

the program itself is solid, it's the programming language that's been giving me a headache — BASIC is a pretty tough language to search for via Google sometimes. i've found a few good resources for what i want to do, though, so now it's just a matter of getting it all put together.

i really do love stuff like this, and i don't know why. perhaps it's my insane love for most things tedious and time-consuming D:

iphys

#11

iphys said:

I always found it funny that for some university degrees you need to know a second language, but sometimes they will count a computer programming language for that. I've got to say it's much easier to learn programming languages than spoken ones. I did a lot of programming in C/C++, and I don't even remember how I learned it, because I've definitely never taken a programming course.

Collision_Cat

#12

Collision_Cat said:

I really, really want this! It's been my lifelong dream to make video games, and I know I have the motivation to learn how to with this program! European release, please... it'll be an instant buy for me!

DrKarl

#13

DrKarl said:

Great title. I am having a fun time getting up to speed on the available commands. The built in commands for handling background and sprites is truly draw dropping.

If you have never dabbled with games programming when BASIC was king (C64/Apple era), you may fail to realize the power that sprite scaling and especially ROTATION give you. Good stuff!

RaylaxStaff

#14

Raylax said:

I'd be in interested in getting this if it makes its way to Europe.

grumblegrumble

#16

grumblegrumble said:

This isn't the T.I. Basic that I grew up with and made programs back in the day on my Texas Instruments computer, I'm sure. And even if it was, no thanks.

coolvw93

#18

coolvw93 said:

looks interesting... maybe ill get it, would be a nice thing to have for the long car rides. though learning the language is going to be the interesting part...

BulbasaurusRex

#19

BulbasaurusRex said:

@JonWalgren Who cares about using the line numbers to keep things organized? Nobody's done that since the '80s. Just use a label to name and reference your subroutine, and then just put a blank line before the subroutine starts and after it ends.

As a veteran BASIC programmer, I'll definitely be picking this up, although I'll be using that PC workaround, as I find typing with the touchscreen to be an immense pain in the butt.

Ispheria

#20

Ispheria said:

@Happy_Mask learning Japanese is way easier than learning how to use this lol i thought that it would be fairly simple cause i'm a pretty smart guy but i was totally lost looking at the samples and stuff until i read and explanation with a sample explaining why they were doing what they were doing

ejamer

#21

ejamer said:

Such a hard app to give a score to.

Petit Computer is fun and does a great job of providing a simple dev tool while on the go. Some useful graphical tools are included that make it easier to get started with game development. But you really need to have some programming experience before starting if you want to see results.

I wish there was a better reference available and/or training manual to help people who haven't tried programming before understand what BASIC is all about and how to get a program up and running. (Japan got a full book that could be purchased separately, and has a handful of introductory tutorials online to boot.) Looking over the code that others have created is helpful... just not as good as a proper "how to" guide.

iphys

#22

iphys said:

Yeah, they should have commented the sample programs fairly extensively at the very least, because I'm sure they must be difficult to understand if you've never programmed before.

Bassman_Q

#24

Bassman_Q said:

Well... I myself don't know how to properly type on a keyboard, so I'd be fine using a hunt-and-peck style on the DSi touchscreen. :)

That said, this seems like a very interesting app. I'd say if I could make a decent and simple arcade game, it would be well worth the purchase (and time). :)

iphys

#25

iphys said:

I was expecting 8/10, but 7 is still good for NL.
So far I've done all my programming on the DSi, because I like being able to test my code right away. If I were writing up a text adventure or something, I'd definitely use the PTCUtilities though.

Gioku

#29

Gioku said:

I must get this! I'm a whiz at coding; as long as there is a reference guide and some examples to look at, I'll be fine. I don't mind typing on a touchscreen anyways. Looks great!

SomeBitTripFan

#30

SomeBitTripFan said:

I have a few questions about this title:

Does this "game" include any explanation of how to program using the BASIC language or will I have to learn how online?

If this game has no tutorials/explanations for coding in BASIC language where can I find some thing to teach me.

How much does this cost?

Using this would some form of RPG, platformer or other style of game be possible is someone was committed enough?

kyuubikid213

#32

kyuubikid213 said:

I'm probably going to stay away. No point in spending $8 on something I won't ever get the time to get the hang of. And if I can't make a Mario stage, forget it.

WesFX

#33

WesFX said:

Well, you can make a Mario stage. The problem is, you won't.

Thought this was going to get a higher score. Oh well, loving it.

chiefeagle02

#34

chiefeagle02 said:

A few questions: I know you can save games to an SD Card, but is it possible to build a program which actively uses it? Say, for example, if someone built an eReader program, they could load .epub files on an SD card and essentially have their digital library...or build an MP3 player, solving the DSi's AAC-only issue.

Basically, what hardware can and can't Petit Computer use?

MotorTCD

#35

MotorTCD said:

i kinda regret getting this before i saw a review sure the program does teach you how to use it in the manual but the manual is written with computer lingo describing how to do many things. i don't think this program is meant for people who don't have at least some programming knowledge. If the sample games were more fun i suppose it would be worth something to me,but there not so i don't like this.

ramstrong

#36

ramstrong said:

I guess this is the difference between lazy Americans and go-getter Japanese. Given a tremendous power for the platform, Japanese get all excited. "Let's all learn how to do this! We'll make some really cool stuff!"
Whereas Americans would go "Great potential, but do I have to learn anything new? And how about that pecking in that little thing? Line numbers? Phht! I'll just wait until something better comes along."

Learning this won't be easy. But that's no reason not to try. I just got it, and perusing the reference, I got half-confused. But there's always trial-and-error learning technique. So what if I need a notebook beside? Have you never heard the word "research" before?

I just hope that there'll be good community around it. YouTube isn't good for discussions.

WiiLovePeace

#37

WiiLovePeace said:

Man this sounds totally awesome, I'm greatly awaiting a European/Australian release :D

All I'd have to do is learn BASIC over the internets, easy solution if the program doesn't teach BASIC.

theblackdragonAdmin

#38

theblackdragon said:

@ramstrong: now that's not fair at all — we've got a few people here right now who are doing their best to put bring the awesome with this app (Morphtroid's little HM clone is freakin' adorable), and for everyone who's said they're not getting it or they don't like it, there's another who purchased it and more who said they'll be picking it up. this isn't really the most beginner-friendly application on the face of the planet, after all; it's a shame that apparently some people took the plunge a bit early, but I certainly hope they'll get their money's worth through playing other people's programs eventually :3

Ispheria

#39

Ispheria said:

yeah man, like, i bought this thinking the manual would actually help explain how to do stuff to noobs at programming like myself, so i really can't do anything yet with this app, but i still going to try to learn how to do this man.

grumblegrumble

#40

grumblegrumble said:

OK. I am eating my words up above. I took the plunge... as an old Basic programmer (as a kid in the 90s) I made several programs... like Mr. Bojangles on my TI Home Computer (haha, anyone remember those? Probably not many do here.) Anyways, I downloaded Petit and I am actually enjoying it. I'm enjoying other user creations, actually. There are many many websites (mostly Japanese) with QR codes and such. For instance, i just played the best DS version of Missile Command I've ever played on a Nintendo handheld! haha. I would love to dabble in programming again. So just maybe, one of these days, when I have the time... hrm...

Radixxs

#41

Radixxs said:

@ramstrong I resent that generalization. It isn't based on any facts. It is based on some sort of pre-established idea in your mind.

I would love to be able to take the time to learn this. But I'm not going to spend my money on it when I know after this month I will have 0 free time. I guess I am just another "lazy American." Give me a break.

And Like tbd said, there are plenty who are using this and making great things. Most of which probably don't even visit this site.

kurtasbestos

#42

kurtasbestos said:

I taught myself BASIC as a kid by looking at other peoples' code. A B.S. in Computer Science basically made me hate programming (or rather, I think I just couldn't stand being around other programmers) and basically give up on my dream of making games. But then a few years ago the only other technically-minded person at my company got fired and I suddenly found myself needing to learn a programming language I had never even heard of (and I also hadn't looked at code in who knows how many years), and it was super fun. I'm probably the target audience for this software, and even though I don't know that I'll find the time or patience to really start making games again, I'm sure going to try. Then try to get SmileBoom to give me a job because they live near me.

Victoria

#45

Victoria said:

I would have loved this back in the mid-80s when I got into computing and programming. I used to spend days trying to do the simplist of drawings, and writing apps to do tasks for me. There was no-one to share my work with because I didn't know anyone else who had a computer. But I don't know if I'd have the time to do it now. I would really love to see what you guys could do though. And since software can be shared with QR codes, if this comes to the UK I might just get it to see what my friends have done with it.

RetrogamerFan

#46

RetrogamerFan said:

Would be interested in getting this if it came out in Europe.

Should be a lot easier to use than my old Spectrum +, when i first started using that it was difficult to even type in the commands because it relied on keywords (e.g. G- Goto, H - Gosub, J - Load, K- List, etc.) and each key had about four different commands, so you also had to work out the correct combinations of shift and caps-shift to get the keyword you wanted - took me hours to type-in a listing, and it was usually rubbish (if it worked at all!)

Demonic_St33V

#47

Demonic_St33V said:

I have experience in programming in Java, C++ and Basic. So of course I snagged this little app! Although I snagged more because I want to be able to experience whatever awesome things the community puts out than because I wanted to do any programming myself.

ejamer

#48

ejamer said:

@WesFX
"Well, you can make a Mario stage. The problem is, you won't."

Well said. The app is awesome and gives people a ton of flexibilty, but programming high quality games is much much harder than most amateurs think. Creating something as Super Mario Bros (the NES original) from scratch would likely take weeks or months for most people. Frankly, most people don't have that much dedication when they can spend a buck or two and take advantage of other people's work instead.

The good news is that the longer you stick with programming, the quicker and easier it becomes to create good content. You end up building not only knowledge, but a useful code-base that makes it much easier to find solutions to similar problems in the future. Also, with Petit Computer you can also just play the games that other people make thanks to QR code sharing if you are too busy/lazy to program content for yourself.

bezerker99

#50

bezerker99 said:

I like playing games, not programing them. I'll courteously abstain..............................

ejamer

#51

ejamer said:

@Halo_MASTER
Realistically, if you are asking if it's possible to make movie clips then this probably isn't the tool for you. You can make animated movies if you really want to and have the time/skill, but the effort to reward ratio isn't very good.

This isn't LittleBigPlanet where you use visual tools to create a playable level. It's a simple programming interface where you have to tell the computer what to do from (almost) the lowest level possible. If you are interested in Petit Computer, try going through an "introduction to programming tutorial" online - probably for QBASIC or something similar - so that you know what you are getting into.

Squashie

#53

Squashie said:

I have a little experience of programming, so therefore this looks quite interesting. When / if this reaches Europe I will pick it up and have a fiddle with it!

Squashie

#54

Squashie said:

@Halo_MASTER Whilst WarioWare DIY is an absolutely brilliant game in it's own self. It is very much different to this application.

I would recommend playing WarioWare DIY but this is an all together different ball game!

Maskeraid

#55

Maskeraid said:

Thanks to anyone who answered my question! :) I think I'll give it a shot.

Edit: Ok, so after a bit more than an hour, I still don't really understand this in the slightest... But I won't give up! Is there another program that would make this easier (hopefully for free on the PC) so that I can understand what to do? If not, then I shall continue to attempt to learn BASIC off petit computer :P

KDR_11k

#56

KDR_11k said:

I used to write games in QBASIC but I think for portable development I'd rather use my phone, there's a full Java IDE available on Android.

DrKarl

#57

DrKarl said:

@ejamer "It's a simple programming interface where you have to tell the computer what to do from (almost) the lowest level possible."

Not quite.

I suggest reading up on developing for the Atari if you want to get LOW level. BASIC is a HIGH level language, and this throws in a ton of extra support to make audio and graphics very, very easy (relatively speaking).

Some examples of Low level languages are machine code and assembly. Now those are a chore.

ramstrong

#58

ramstrong said:

@Halo_MASTER i bought this game... now i have a headache... MUST... LEARN... PROGRAMMING... LANGUAGE...

Haha. I got the exact same thing! Fortunately, it happened way back when I was young. I don't have those headaches anymore. :)

ejamer

#59

ejamer said:

@DrKarl
Fair enough. My statement about being "low level" isn't exactly true... but it's true enough for most people in this audience that I'm going to stand by it.

If you know enough about computers and programming to understand how low level things can get, then you know what you are getting into with this dev tool and can make a safe choice. If you don't have any idea about actual computer programming, then you should really do some investigation before buying.
" />

ShawnWilson

#60

ShawnWilson said:

I picked this game up with no prior knowledge of any programming but I figure I can give it a try. As for the review I have to agree it would of been nice if they could of offered more tutorials and better language for beginners but I guess people like me will have to deal with it. As for the score I have to disagree because anything that gives you a creative outlet on dsiware is and instant 9. This is a gift that keeps on giving because I am sure I will play a lot of other peoples programs and that will offer endless hours of entertainment. Those are my thoughts.

ramstrong

#62

ramstrong said:

@ShawnWilson Well said! You give me hope yet. Thank you.

I am active with Microsoft Small Basic. It's different, though. So, now I have to learn 2 different BASICs. Ah, well. One step at a time will get me somewhere...eventually.

I agree that there should be more tutorial for Petit Computer. If anybody knows of one, please share!

warioswoods

#65

warioswoods said:

I'd prefer to see more of a hybrid of "pure" code writing and the more rapid management of triggers and actions that you can get out of something like WarioWare DIY. I'd love a game that functions like DIY on the user end but also lets you drop into code in order to script your own custom events, actions, etc.

MrBabySpencer

#68

MrBabySpencer said:

I Was Waiting For A Review Of This, Glad To See It Got A 7/10, The Problem Is I'm American/German, So It's Obivous I'm Gonna Have To Learn A Bit Of Japenese!!

spamineggs

#69

spamineggs said:

want!
I love anything that allows for creativity.
this and inchworm animation are just teaming with possibility!

Demonic_St33V

#70

Demonic_St33V said:

OK..... Points that need to be made....
1) There's already a huge online community backing this.
2) Just having it on your 3DS or DSi leaves you open to a massive list of "home brew" indie games and content that is otherwise completely out of reach.

Seriously.... one of my favorite games to play on my 3DS right now is a Mario-themed puzzle platformer that's only available if you have THIS app. I used PTCUtilities to "decompile" the game from it's QR codes, and massive props go out to whoever it was in Japan that made the game: 3795 lines of code.

LittleKing

#72

LittleKing said:

@Halo_MASTER Thanks for the link. Read it over quickly and I'm curious about a few things. (Not expecting you to answer the below stuff, just kind of thinking out loud.) :)

I've never used BASIC before, and the first thing I noticed was that the only numeric data type available appears to be the integer. What does one do if they find they need a float/double, or anything with a fractional part?

I also noticed that GO SUB/RETURN cannot return a value. Is it not possible to create any sort of subroutine that would take arguments and return a value in Petit Computer's version of BASIC?

Are all variables global in scope, then?

Also, am I correct in assuming that IF and FOR control flow statements can only be paired off with a single statement; I sure didn't see any curly braces in any of the source code. I guess writing IF...ELSE statements with multiple line statements would be really tiring. In fact, how would you even do so? Use another IF with the same conditional every line, and then use a negated version for the ELSE part on every line? O_O

It's weird, because in some ways it seems relatively high-level, as well as low-level at the same time. I'm amazed at what some people are putting out using BASIC! Seriously. How do some of these people do it.


Also, as a side note, someone in another article (can't remember who) called "whoever thought it'd be a good idea to make arrays start at zero" an "idiot" in regards to C/C++. I'd like to point out that, IIRC, a symbol used to identify an array in C is a pointer to the first element of the array in memory where the index serves as an offset. For example, where "arr" is the name of an array:

arr[i]

is a reference to the element i-th elements away from the first element. At compile time it's essentially turned into *(a+i). Hopefully that will shed some light on why the "idiots" decided it should be that way (to obtain the first element, you'd need the offset to be zero). :p In fact, that's why you can write 1[arr] instead of arr[1] in C; *(1 + arr) and *(arr + 1) are equivalent.

ramstrong

#73

ramstrong said:

@Metabble_King Welcome to BASIC! Although this one looks so low-level for something that is supposed to be high level. The answers to your questions:

1. Float? Use Fixed Integer notation.
2. All values are global. GOSUB-RETURN does not return a value.
3. Statements can be contained within FOR-NEXT loop.
4. Lacking ENDIF, IF-THEN-ELSE can only contain 1 line.

This is an extremely simplistic version of BASIC. It lacks WHILE-WEND, REPEAT-UNTIL, SWITCH-CASE, and other structural niceties that higher level language has. How would you do these? Use GOTO!

ON var GOTO, IF-GOTO, GOTO, GOSUB-RETURN.

I hope you learn how to use GOTO properly, because with this BASIC, you're going to need those!

PS: Your discussion about C arrays is correct. Most of my array manipulation now has "-1" at the end, just to shift 1-based array to 0-based array. :P

LittleKing

#74

LittleKing said:

@ramstrong I had completely forgotten about fixed notation as apposed to floating. xD Also, since IF-THEN-ELSE can only contain one line, I guess you could wrap multiple lines in a subroutine and just use that. Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. :)

PS: I, too, have gotten used to zero-based arrays. :p

LittleKing

#76

LittleKing said:

@amjh Do you mean negating the conditional so that if it's "true" (aka your intended conditional was false) you skip past multiple lines, otherwise if it's "false" (aka your intended conditional was true) continue? If so, then, yeah, that should be possible. :p

RATJUICE

#78

RATJUICE said:

Also #75 THANK YOU FOR THE WONDERFUL LINK OF ATARI BOOKS! WOW! And #79 can you link us to the game you are talking about? I would like to get it also and give it a try.Would be much appreciated! :)

SyFyTy

#79

SyFyTy said:

I enrolled in a college level class of Visual Basic and by the end of the term when everyone else seem to know what they were doing, I felt sure to fail, I was totally lost. For our finals, we had to create a program (that did anything) that worked on all computers: '92, 3.1 Dos etc... it would be testsed.... Long story short... I was the ONLY one who PASSED with an A- One of my finer achievements in life... and I did it by writing the code not even usuing the visuals... once I grasped the concept, of line structure, and If, else, then statements and such I found it easy.

SyFyTy

#80

SyFyTy said:

@ramstrong I too am an American and I could not agree more with that statement about the average American being Lazy and giving excuses. Humility is a dying and rare gift here in the US, that is to say that there is more money than humility and there is very little money (work) , so say many people, except myself. I know 10,000 people who want a free ride on disability, and only 1 that is on it and wants to go back to work desperately. Fat lazy and generally stupid. PS if it don't apply, let it fly.

SyFyTy

#81

SyFyTy said:

To be fair and leave one last statement, I believe the reason is because a standard was started here that money and power is more important than what we create in this world, more important than our productivity. Money is thier end rather than a reward for thier creative productivity.That is sad indeed. Many would gladly accept money and sit around getting fat, rather than choose a way to find thier personal g-d given talent and be productive for the good of all. That does not make them bad people, just people making bad choices.

SyFyTy

#82

SyFyTy said:

Not sure how many know this, but there is a BASIC program included in Atari Classics for the DS, I believe it is Atari Classic #2, double check it, it may be #1 instead... for the DS, which is similar, and is 'for making games'. They might have a better help guide with it, I'm not sure....

Joygame51

#83

Joygame51 said:

Does anyone know how to get a copy of the Japanese SMILEBASIC manual in English??? I need a bit of help brushing up on Basic programming too.

ramstrong

#84

ramstrong said:

@SyFyTy Atari's Greatest Hits Vol. 2 for Nintendo DS. Load/Save is rigged to game cart, I believe. I have it. It's nice, but extremely slow. Machine Language is required to make anything acceptably speedy.

mr_nihilism

#85

mr_nihilism said:

I suppose I could just get a "For Dummies" book on programming, but then I read how there are updated variants on how Petit Computer accepts code. Why not just keep the Basic language universal? Anyhow, I think because of the clumsy interface on the DS, it might be better to try and learn on an actual computer...with an actual keyboard, etc.

RATJUICE

#86

RATJUICE said:

I think a good idea would be to make a tutorial for beginners (like me) who really don't have much idea at all what is going on or what they are doing passed PRINT lol, If someone could make a good basic tutorial teaching stuff that would be good to help beginners learn and post a QR code for the tutorial that would be VERY helpful for us newbs. I think it's a really good idea and I think a lot of newbies that don't know what they are doing would agree.

atariman

#87

atariman said:

I really wanted to make an Atari based game, but I can't do that! because there's no tutorial, waste of money! :(

ramstrong

#88

ramstrong said:

Tutorial is coming. Please be patient. Here is something to whet your appetite: http://youtu.be/qDpTUK6waZI
It's rather easy to do. I did the early version (minus color, snake, wall, music) in a couple hours. What kind of game do you have in mind?

Poketendo

#89

Poketendo said:

BRING THIS TO EUROPE!!! PLEASE BRING THIS TO EUROPE!!! FOR THE LOVE OF ARCEUS PLEASE BRING THIS TO EUROPE!!! I WANT THIS!!! PLEEEEEAAASSE BRING THIS TO EUROPE I'M BEGGING YOU!!!

DemonnPrincess

#92

DemonnPrincess said:

Aw I really think this deserves a 10, though 7 is good too! :) I speak THREE languages: English, Japanese, and CODES! XD I had to download this, I love programming things! Javascript is actually my favorite(yes, I know Petit Computer is not Javascript, I was just saying lol) But this coding is not so bad. It's pretty easy, give or take a few things I didn't know before downloading that I now know no thanks to the user manual >.> No, kidding. Almost everything you need to know is in the manual, you just have to know how to read it, and I didn't know how to read it at first but now I understand it pretty clearly.

blahyourmamafoo

#93

blahyourmamafoo said:

It is kinda late, but if anyone is interested in this DSiWare, there is an awesome tool to help you code!
You can type your code on a computer, have it generate the QR images, and then scan them into your DSi/3DS Petit Computer! I usually write down ideas of things to program, then rough them out on the computer and send it over. Then make changes when I am on the go.
PTC Utilities
http://micutil.com/ptcutilities/top_e.html

Poketendo

#94

Poketendo said:

I mailed them about a European release. I think it said something like ''We are working on it.'' Looks like it'll never come to Europe. :'-(

Gridatttack

#96

Gridatttack said:

@agentep2jb Thanks :)
But after posting that I tried to learn some BASIC and I didnt understand a single thing lol. (also I dont think I would have the patience to endure what a programmer must endure :S )

ejamer

#100

ejamer said:

@BlackSpy @Joygame51
Worth noting that you can buy the English versions of Petit Computer's guide book (in PC, iOS, or Android versions) from the official website.

It costs another $10, isn't really an in-depth guide, and doesn't offer much that you couldn't find on the web for free with a bit of effort... but it's an interesting read about the background of the program, offers nicely organized content, and includes a bunch of extra games/programs that you can try out.

I don't think it's a "must have", but am happy enough with my purchase that I think it's worth recommending as a convenient entry point to using Petit Computer.

http://www.petitcomputer.com/

Slayer

#101

Slayer said:

@ejamer Are you serious? This is perfect who don't see coding in them and just want to play people's games AND programmers who are either learning or have skill.

Slayer

#102

Slayer said:

@BlackSpy Well, depends on what path you choose... Do you want to program things or just play people's games?
Either way.

Slayer

#104

Slayer said:

@atariman I have never seen anyone say that! I thought it was a waste of money until I FIRST STARTED to use it, which was a year! You need skill, but if you want to make games, come to the forums and we'll help you learn. Look at me. I was inexperienced before but now I'm pretty skilled. I still have much to learn but this title was all worth it.

atariman

#105

atariman said:

@slayer
That was a long time ago when I said that, now I know how to program on the petit computer, and computers in general...
not a worry! I use an Atari 800 to program my games, I even made a basic snake and Dots game on computers. I made a basic centipede game on petit! So I learned how to do it :D

Gogata

#107

Gogata said:

I just remembered about this game and as a professional game developer and programmer I think I should pinch in...

I doubt you can start from scratch and learn programming well easily if you start with this app.

Becoming an advanced programmer takes years of experience.

Maybe you could learn some basic stuff, but you would just be doing lots of things by-heart and not really understanding it.

I haven't tried this app, but would love to some day.
I don't really use Basic anymore but it's the first language I learned(In the form of Visual Basic).

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...