Quick BASIC/QBASIC newsletter

Unfinished RPG's and how to avoid them.
By Jeremy Hammond (xec96)
No one finishes RPGs anymore except the elite. Why?
Many people make a horrible engine, and the next week they give it up.
The graphics turn out cruddy and it takes an hour to load. Most people
make a RPGs with one guy facing one direction and no animation. Then
a gfight screen is snapped together that says "You have encountered an
enemy! Do you kill him? Press y for yes!".
Now the best-of-the-best make the game real time, like Zelda.
I, for one, am sick of people claiming to have made "the best
rpg ever!" and when you download it, it is just a game with a crappy
engine and three tiles and no enemies. All you have to do is move
the guy across the screen. Great.
We all agree the best kind of Qbasic game is a finished RPG.
Those aren't found every day.  What I did for Quelda is I made about
a hundred graphic files and compiled them into one big file. It loaded in
half a second and looked great. I used the DRAW(ick) command for the
guys and enemies.
I wish there were more finished RPGs.

The Magic of Music
By Lord Jasonius!
Have you ever played and RPG? NO? And you're reading this?
Well, come here so I can beat you, smart ass. Picture this: You're sitting
there with the giant 3 megabyte QBRPG (WITH the token bad JSprite
graphics, text that's a little off, spelling error, crappy story etc.) and you
type RUN.BAT. Now you're either greeted by silence (and an equally
bad looking title screen) or SBMIDI loading, not having enough memory,
you three-finger-saluting the program and removing TSRs grumbling so
you can run it to hear....TIRED OLD FF3 MUSIC! Oh, boy, never
heard that esper song before.
Well, since most critics of QBRPS are artists they don't seem to
mind all that much. But gosh darn it, MUSIC IS IMPORTANT! It sets
the mood for the game before anything even appears on the screen. Music
is the language of emotion (along with alcohol) and can evoke so much
MORE than just those pretty Super Nintendo graphics you stole. Think
of how much less you would have cared about the boy in SoM had there
been no sad music whenever there was a cinema scene.  Think of how
open and magic the city in the sky was because of those chimes in the
background. And when you have 16x16 tile, it's kind of hard to show
facial expressions.
That's where music comes in.
I believe that the music should fit the mood of the game.
If your game is a comedy, put some 'zany' music in there. If your game
is really action-packed, something with a strong beat you can dance to
(well, as danceable as MIDI or MOD permits :). If you're doing a cliché
of a game, well, I guess you COULD use the easy way out and paste in some
ripped Zelda MIDIs, or you could ASK A MUSICIAN to make some songs
of that genre. It's not hard.
As a matter of fact, WRITING songs for your own RPG isn't
hard, if you have a grasp of basic musical concepts. It took me about three
minutes to write 'scary.mid' and all I did was a chord progression I made up
just now without having tried before pressing 'play'. I used a common rhythmic
device for the bass part that just plays the I note of each chord.
MIDI editors? MIDI EDITORS? You can find tonsa freeware ones
online. I use Midisoft Recording Session, a ten year old win 3.1 program that
does the job quite nicely, even if I DON'T have a MIDI keyboard (scientists
call this condition "lack of money")
Er...I think that's helpful. Or something similar to 'helpful'.
Well, anyways, you've got my opinion now.
Just please, for the love of god, no more out of tune
marimba/flute/gunshot MIDI interpretations of Spice Girls songs, whatever
you do.