December 1999

Well, we're a bit late, but we're still alive and kicking butt. We've got a new subtitle..."The zine other zines rip off!". After all the BS we recently endured, it was questioned as to whether or not we should shut down, but then our senses came to us and we realized that if we have the news first, and others rip US off, then readers will just come here first, knowing full well that other zines will just have the same news WE had WEEKS BEFORE THEM. Of course I'm not going to mention any Razor Diskmags (oops) but I certainly hope more zines rip us off!

Anyways, to this month's content (yes we have content here! yay!)...


Quickbasic.Net...ripoff artists?

It was recently brought to our attention by a source who wishes to remain silent that is apparently stealing software and claiming it as their own. Upon investigation of their site, at first it does appear true! However, only upon closer examination does one spot that they ARE in fact crediting people with their very small print, however. The ironic part of the site was at the bottom of the first page where they claim that the site's code is original and you cannot copy it...funny guys, considering you ripped off for most of your HTML...

Speaking of ripping off...

The recent release of Cadarn has sparked our interest. Apparently the creator, Polfalk, ripped off most of the graphics from DarkDread's Secret Of Cooey 2 without permission. We downloaded Cadarn to see for ourselves...and it was confirmed. However, he tried to justify his actions by explaining himself in a text file that comes with the game. Sorry, but that is not enough! He did not ask permission to use the graphics, therefore, he is a thief. Nowhere on his website does it say that he's used them, so one only finds out upon downloading the game, which in itself is questionable, since it is of quite poor quality and is quite an insult to DarkDread's name. However, he apparently redeemed himself as he released a version with his own graphics in it. Since it was so close to this release of QBOA, we have not been able to verify this yet, but we'll let you know what happens.

New diskmag revealed!

As a response to Razor's delay, several Efnet people had decided to create their own diskmag. It's apparently still in the early stages as of now, but it shows promise. QBoA was able to obtain an early copy of this new diskmag, and it looks pretty impressive, but looks are one thing, and content is another...we'll see what develops.

Back 2 Top


Robert Lee vs. Lord QBASIC

Our sources were not 100% correct...apparently it was LordQBASIC who made the official challenge. This was confirmed by LordQBASIC himself.

Back 2 Top


From Kevin Bryan

Heya, ya print an article about the K man, and I'll reply for ya =).

Last issue (nicely done on the whole, I thought, that Master Creating game looks yummy; they're definitely one of the top dev teams in qbasic these days) Big Nose wrote about me not doin' a preview of Kids of Karendow. I've talked to him a bunch about why I didn't do this, and I'll re-explain them for ya here.

Firstly, in my opinion, Kids of Karendow just didn't look like a good game. It was sort of...juvenile. But that's a different style that I'm used to playing, and can of course be done to good effect; look at Leisure Suit Larry!

Secondly, I've done previews of only 3 games in 12 issues of Qb:tm. Those were Dark Ages 2, Project RT, and Eternal Frost. All three were from people who already had experience making a qbasic game, and all were games which I heard a lot of email about asking for more information.

That's right, the people had experience! This is important! It's not because I don't like the little guy, it's just because there's only so much space in a magazine every month, I don't like doin' game previews in the first place, and 99% of games from "the little guy" don't ever get finished.

It doesn't mean a game is BAD if I didn't want to do a preview on it! Look at Space-a-Roo2, Freelancer, Shadow of Power, and the umpteen other kickin' games which I didn't devote a lot of magazine space to! The surveys I took every issue told me what people wanted to see covered in the magazine, and you could vote on the survey simply by clicking on a button on the website!

I suggest to anyone who wanted to be in a feature for qb:tm (or, I assume, Razor) to spend less time complaining about not getting "promoted" and spend more time writin' some kick-ass games! Put your money where your mouth is! And if you don't like how the qbmags are treatin' ya, start your own, like my man Nek. T'aint as easy as ya think.

The last thing I'll comment on, though, is Big Nose's comment that only "big names" wrote for the Mag (such as Darkdread, etc.). Anyone could write for the mag back in the day! All you had to do was send me an article and if it was a good quality, whoop, in it went. The people I sought out to write (such as Darkdread, Petter, etc.) were the ones who were not "big names", but were EXPERIENCED. Would you rather read an article on game design from Shigeru Miyamoto or Joe from San Francisco?


Editor's comments: Hrm..."juvenile" was the idea with KOK, it was meant to be "funny" and "non-serious", a sort of break from the norm. However, that stuff about "only so much space" is just wrong. Since when do these magazines have a size limit? The only thing wrong with this mag is we generally don't have ENOUGH stuff to print! There is no such thing as "too much", that was an excuse. Anyways, it is good to see people defending their point of view.

From Majiko the Evil

I just read the newest issue of QB on ACID

I am impressed.

Can I join the team???

There is going to be BIG competiton between dull Razor and QB on Acid...hehhe

I want to create a Badmouthing section where I complain about things in QB like libraries, and trash dumbass QB members like myself! Except I'm the worst of em all! hahaha! I'm the perfect person to do it, with my evil rep and all... It will surely attract FLIES! I mean... nice QB Programmers! Those are very insightful articles too! hehehe better than QB:The Shit could produce, see, you tell the truth and I likes that! :)

Can I join???

--Majiko, the evil!

Editor's Note: One of the biggest rules here at QBoA is that ANYONE can write for the zine, not just the "cool people", so yes, you can write for the zine, Majiko =)

Back 2 Top

Adventure Game Making : Episode 1

**Part 0: Intro

Ok, so you're making an Adventure or an RPG which requires a puzzle for the player to solve, just to add some brain to the whole shebang. No prob.

**Part 1: What is a Puzzle:

What is a puzzle? (For those who are new to the Adventure biz) A puzzle is when you come to a situation in which you must get past an NPC, or some other obstacle that prevents you from continuing, and eventually ending the game. Usually, you'll find items by buying, trading, finding, stealing, whatever, somehow AQUIRING an item, and:

-Using it in an area, which will alter it somehow
-Giving it to somebody, who may give you something in return, be it info or another item.
-Altering it, either by combining it with another (Or several) other items, or screwing with the insides or whatnot, and somehow changing the item to use in a different way.

And then ya use this new item to accomplish the puzzle, and usually another puzzle presents itself and the whole process starts again.

**Part 2: Why is it so hard?

Why is it so hard? Sometimes they aren't. But usually, it requires great thought to relate the items to be used together. That's what makes a good puzzle, if it's creative. So, instead of USING the Pencil with the Pencil Sharpener (Which isn't original at all), you could use a small tree in the Pencil Sharpener and somehow end up with a pencil. =) Understand? Yes or no, read on.

**Part 3: How do I create a Puzzle?

Ok, no prob. All you've gotta do is wait 'til Saturday, grab the remote, and watch some cartoons on TV. Don't have cable? Splice your neighbours line, believe me, it's worth it.

Now, let's see what we've got. Ah yes, the infamous RoadRunner and Coyote cartoon. Now, everybody loves it when you bring in a puzzle that people will recognize when they see the pieces come together. Say you have a ROCKET and a GIANT SPRING, and are near a ROCK FACE. Come on now, we all know what we should do, so why bother explaining it? =)

A word of caution though, some puzzles are overused. Avoid these, or lose respect in the gaming world. Although, if you take an overused one, twist it and make fun of it's overusedness, THEN it'll be cool! =)

**Part 4: Conclusion

That's basically it, I've probably left something out. Oh well.

Complaints? Don't bother. =) j/k

That's it. Tut's over.

By The Specialist

Back 2 Top

Plots, characters, and bears Oh My!

99.99% of RPG's out there have a stupid-ass "Do this. Do that." interface. Some culprits are Dark Ages, The Mystical Journey, anything by Majiko, Diablo (yes even professional games do this), and Final Fantasy Mystic Quest. These are foolish games where the character is obviously not human, because he gets up to do EVERYTHING he is told no matter what it is. The best way to make an RPG, is to have a progressive plot, and give the character some options. For instance, the Fallout series allows a broad range of movement, where you decide where you go and what you do, not some king or lame plot-line.

9 tips for making a non-cliched game and making it FUN:

1) Play your damned game and work on it until you actually like it. Seriously. If you don't have fun playing it, nobody will. That's a fact.

2) If your program crashes a lot, or has a bug every so often that causes things to screw up, your users WILL find out about this and will be very pissed. Please fix all of your bugs for a more enjoyable experience for you and your players.

3) Add in some extra stuff. Things like codes at the title screen, or hidden rooms. Possibly even some fun mini-games. Final Fantasy 3 had the Coliseum, for example, where you could bet items and win better items. The same Coliseum could be used to find a character as well.

4) Try something other than "treasure chests" or "swords". How about backpacks, lockers, dressers, something like that? Also, swords are horrible to put in your game. Put something in like a lance, a baseball bat, brass knuckles, or something along the lines of that =].

5) If your plot involves saving someone from something evil, scrap it. It'll go nowhere.

6) Add some humour! I loved Kids of Karendow because it had humour, not because it was an ultra serious story. Also, know what parts are supposed to be serious, and what are supposed to have humour. If a character dies, don't make your other characters laugh, make them disturbed, or make them have emotional problems later on in the game. These details add depth to your story.

7) Weird does NOT equal original. Just because your character is a ChiChi Warrior! does not make him any less cliched. Also, don't copy the Chrono Trigger characters, and don't copy anything basically. If you can't come up with your own plot, make a parody on your own life story. After all, the easiest character to come up with is yourself =].

8) Don't be afraid to add some love! For instance, if there's a guy and a girl and they're travelling together, there's bound to be some attraction going on.

9) Don't get too wordy with your story. Let the player take it as he/she goes. For instance, don't make your characters have 10 minute long conversations unless it's a major part in the story. 80% of time spent playing an RPG is manueuvering through the world created by the game, so why not spend some time making it enjoyable? Add some things like places to explore, caves to spelunk, oceans to walk on, etc. Just because it's not relevent to the plot doesn't it mean it shouldn't be there for the enjoyment of the player.

After you've taken a look at your RPG, does it really qualify as a fun game, or some shoddy product you've shoved out in order to get your name out there? Is it really an RPG, or is it a hard-plot-lined story where there's not much imagination? Take a look at your game before you go around spreading the word of the "BEST RPG EVER!" ok? I've seen way too many people arrogantly proclaim their game as fun or a great RPG, when it is total crap (I myself did this a while back, but I have spent my time building good engines so I can someday make a good game =)). Don't worry too much about my article though, just keep the entertainment of the player in mind.

By QbProgger

Back 2 Top

RPGs in QB: The NEW Tutorials.

Issue 3, Volume 2: 3D RPG Engine


Welcome to the third installment of my new RPG tutorials. If you're just joining us, the past issues can be found on the Darkness Ethereal website. The address to the page is at the end of this tutorial.

This time around... The major chunk of the tutorial is in the 3drpg.bas file. But, I still reccommend that you read this, so that you may familiarize yourself with what we'll be disscussing.

1. A 3D Engine?

Well, not a TRUE 3D engine. If you've ever played Legend of Lith II, or any of the AD&D Eye of the Beholder games, then you'll know what this is about.

This engine allows you to create a first person 3D view, where moving is a character is limited to cell-by-cell movement. What do I mean when I say cell-by-cell? Picture a normal 2d tile engine, moving tile-by-tile, only in a first person perspective.

Don't let that fool you though. With this kind of an engine, it is possible to create a very nice game. Just take a look at Shining the Holy Ark for the Sega Saturn system if you don't belive me.

2. The code

The Qbasic code is fairly simple to learn. Not as easy as a tile engine, mind you, but I've kept it as simple as possible. If you wish, you can fire up QB and run the code now. Take a look at it, and play around with it. I've added a lot of comments into the code, especially in the important parts. The main thing that you may wish to look at, is the DrawLocation sub. This is the meat of the code, and the part that is used to determine what to draw on the screen.

Okay... That's enough chatter here. Go look at the code!

3. Final words

Well... These tutorials are written for YOU. So tell me what you want to read about next. I'm almost out of ideas here, so I need YOU to tell me what you want to know. How about an explanation of shops and inns? Does that sound good? Or maybe something else... Let me know!

E-mail me and let me know what you want!

Visit the Darkness Ethereal site, for more tutorials and some freeware RPGs:



4. Licence


By DarkDread

Back 2 Top

Libs Good or Evil?

Many of you have probably seen the good, and bad effects of libs, here's a small list:


1 - Programs seem to be better, faster, and break more limits
2 - Programs are completed faster
3 - Programs require less work
4 - Programs are easy to update, by converting to the newest lib, instead of re-coding the whole program


1 - Programmers skip the learning process
2 - Harder to debug, and potential computer crashes
3 - Programmer's can't call the code their own

So, the real problem is...are the Good things REALLY Good, and do the Good things outweigh the Bad things?

Programs seem better, faster, and break limits - a plus, but since the code isn't all the programmers, he really doesn't deserve all the credit. And he doesn't know how to do it on his own.

Programs are completed faster - a plus, but they'll learn to give up easily, when they try to code it on they're own.

Programs require less work - same as above.

Okay, so are the Good's really better than the Bads?

Well, you've probably noticed the new programmers, who have a LOT of problems coding their own stuff, and get discouraged when it's not as easy as playwavfile. So, they get stuck to the libs, and never leave, and never learn to do it on their own. Meaning the future of qb will be somewhat non-existant without the lib writers to do the work after the 160000X100024 screens come out.

So, should we stop using libs? Of course not! The main damage caused, is when the programmer who is not ready, gets into libs anyway. Pure qbasic, can still do TONZ more than we've seen. There is no reason to jump to asm. But, converting the qbasic code, to assembly code, will most likely provide speed ups. As soon as a person can code in asm, and has the knowledge to code his own library, I see no harm in him using someone elses lib. But, when someone who is still mastering pset, jumps to loadjpeg, he is skipping a huge step, and his learning will decrease rapidly.

If lib writers keep their code to themselves, their programs will still be awesome, in fact, they'll look amazing because no one will steal their ideas. Amazing programs will inspire others, and programmers will decide to learn it, and Qbasic will move on.

But, the lib writers MUST write tutorials, or programmers will not learn their secrets, and will resort to ripping their code, which is even worse than using their libs. Programmers will continue to make libraries, but they must restrict other's use, to ensure Qbasic goes on, and programmers remain working.

By Speige

Back 2 Top


I rarely go on rants like these, but this is a serious issue which needs to be addressed. It appears that the ripping-off of other's work is getting out of hand.

This little trend in the QB community seems to have started back a couple of years, when TheGame was the talk of the town. Several people saw the work of Tsugumo, and decided to steal his graphics without permission and use them in their own little excuse for an RPG, and went as far as to call them their own. I talked with Tsugumo himself about this, and his general thought was that if they had asked first, he may have granted permission...however, the fact that they had stolen them outright was kind of ridiculous. Needless to say, Tsugumo sorta disappeared from the QB scene not too long afterwards.

Ripping off commercial software is bad enough...but to rip off a fellow QB coder's work? Now that's just idiotic. I have more respect for people who draw their own graphics, no matter how lame they are. Ripping off another QB coder's work is disgraceful. There are some who rip off others and give credit...this isn't such a bad crime, but it's still bad. It's still stuff you didn't do...remember the great library war and code you didn't write? Same idea here folks.

Now, I'm not immune to this. I used ripped graphics in my latest game, Killers Remix. I took the graphics from commercial games, and I did give credit to the games, and described where each character came from, and who they were in their original games. However, I'm a thief nonetheless. Since I don't have the final graphics in my game yet, I needed some to fill the gaps for now, and these worked. This is a common explaination for ripping; temporary graphics until the real thing is done. In my eyes, this is almost acceptable, however, it's still sorta wrong. In my case however, I know that I will eventually replace the graphics with the real ones we're working on, and I don't claim the current graphics to be original. Master Creating is a coding group that is becoming very well-known for their cheating ways, ripping graphics without credit from commercial games and QB coders alike...Shadow of Power contains mostly ripped graphics from games like Zelda 3, and contains a few graphics ripped from Syraphage. Their newest game (portrayed in last issue's Gallery) contains a sprite ripped from Quake.

It goes beyond artwork however, code ripping is even more common than artwork ripping. It's called ripping when the original coder is not credited. This is an area in which I have NEVER been guilty, since it is only fair to the original coder to have credit. However, I have seen way too many times where a coder was denied credit for their hard work. Case in point was very recent, when I visited the homepage of Dmitri Bryant, noted for his work with SVGA and file formats. After downloading some of his work, a terrible thought hit me...he'd been ripping off Aaron Severn for quite some time now without credit. This was gross. The recent work I've done with SVGA was derived from Aaron, and I've given full credit to him for his work (I even listed his name in every SUB in my libs that use his code). This denial of credit by Mr. Bryant thoroughly disgusted me.

It goes into QB web site design as well! A recent discovery was made on a newer QB site, known as QNN. Apparently, a lot of their content was ripped directly from the old QB:TM, including their projects page and a couple of other sections. According to my sources, other sections of the site were ripped from NeoZones and a couple other sites. What the hell is this all about?

The ripping...will it ever stop? Has modern-day technology made us all too lazy to do our own work? I don't know. I do know however that although I am guilty of these crimes, I can at least accept responsibility for that, and I don't try to take credit away from the original creators. Others are not so kind. Maybe someday, when they are sitting in a jail cell somewhere, or are forced to work four jobs to pay off a steep fine, then they might learn...or not.

By Nekrophidius

Back 2 Top

Nexus 13

Product Review

Well, I received an email from the creator of this library, Eclipzer, wanting me to review his great new Nexus 13 library, programmed in 100% QB. So I did, and here's what I saw...

Well, it's all QB code, I guess that could be counted as a plus. For something like this to be done in QB code is quite rare, and for what it does, it's got pretty good speed. The potential is there.

The library is horribly inefficient with its sprite routines, requiring twice as much memory than usual. The guess is that this speeds up blitting, since no bitshifting is required, but this is very inefficient. The supplied demos were very jittery. Not to mention not all that impressive. DEMO003.BAS was probably the most impressive...however, it was also the slowest. And what the hell is the point of auto-masking? This seems stupid as hell, but it is always possible that he used the term wrong, since his code was so damned cryptic that even I couldn't figure out what the purpose was.

THE SKINNY works...that's about all I can say for this. It certainly doesn't even compare in speed to Dash or DirectQB. Not even close. The functions are wasteful and the library is larger than it needs to be, so if you use this, expect some unneccessary overhead. What really kills it for me is the total overhyping of this thing. This guy acts as if his library owns all else. Which couldn't be further from the truth. Although this shows talent and hard work, that is quickly erased by this guy's large ego problem. A message to Eclipzer...respect is earned by deeds done, not by hyping yourself up. Ego trips will make you lose respect, not earn it. Get off your high horse and realize that you're certainly not the best coder in the world (QBV is pure QB code and is MUCH faster than your lib) so please stop trying to act like you are, it is quite insulting to the rest of us.

Anyways, I do recommend you check out this lib, whether or not you take this guy seriously or not is your decision. But like we always say, we tell it how it is here, and if anyone has a problem with that, then oh well, because honesty is what we base our zine on, not hype and buttkissing. You can find this file here, along with all kinds of other hype and rhetoric about how great this guy is.

By Nekrophidius

Back 2 Top


This issue's Quote Of The Month goes to, of all people,

Robert Lee

This little gem was spotted very recently on NeoZones' WWW board. The story behind this is sort of long, but here's the quote, then the story...

Haven't you heard of PCOPY?

Okay, this may make no sense at first. However, this is based on a recent post made by Wafn. He was trying to make a mode 13h buffer-to-buffer copying routine. And Robert spurts out the quote of the month. Now, Robert Lee thinks he's a great coder. However, if he had been so great, he would have noticed that the example code that Wafn had written is set to move exactly 64000 bytes from a linear buffer to a linear screen array, and the only standard screen mode capable of an arrangement like this is 13h, which just so happens to be incapable of PCOPY (which pretty much everyone knows), which is what makes this funny as hell...

Back 2 Top


Well, that's it for this issue. Sorry it's late, but at least we didn't put it out over a month and a half late (heheh like some diskmag I know about...oops) but it was late, but mainly due to lack of material. So, to prevent lateness next time, we need your stuff! Send us your letters, reviews of QB stuff or QB related stuff, screenshots of upcoming games/projects, news, anything! We're open-format, so anyone has the right to be heard here. There is no set release date for the next issue, but it will be out before Y2K. Be warned...the world's gunna blow up! MWUAHAHAH! So get QBoA while it's hot! You won't have time to read it when you're hurtling through space! Cya next time!

Send us Email