Basic4GL on Android – Text and Sprites

Things are starting to take shape with the Android version of Basic4GL mobile.

basic4glmobile(You can download an apk of the above demo here)

Implemented so far are:

  • Standard BASIC functions (string, maths functions etc)
  • Vector and matrix algebra
  • Text input/output
  • Sprite routines
  • Touch input
  • Texture loading (png only for now)

It’s enough to write some 2D games with, albeit without sound yet.

I’d like to release a development version for people to play around with. However I don’t want to give away the source code at this stage, so people won’t be able to create their own Android apps just yet.

Instead my plan is to add logic to synchronise a folder over the network. This folder will contain the compiled Basic4GL op-codes, plus any assets it might use (graphics files etc). The idea is you create something in Basic4GL. When you’re ready to try it on your Android phone/tablet, you run the Basic4GL mobile app, then run a little sync program on your computer and point it to the folder where you’ve saved your Basic4GL program. The folder is synchronised over to a folder on your device, the Basic4GL app detects this, loads and runs your compiled Basic4GL program with all the asset files available.

This would have the added advantage that you don’t need to install the Android SDK, USB driver, NDK or even Java. All you need is your PC and Android device on the same network.

To (eventually) create your own apk that you could upload to the app store would require the Android SDK (& NDK etc), plus the compiled Basic4GL Android engine, which I’ll probably eventually release as libraries and header files. This would be the bit that I’m planning to sell. So essentially you can develop a game/program in Basic4GL for free, even test it on your Android device(s) for free. But to create an apk that you’ll need to buy something. I think that’s pretty fair…

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One Response to Basic4GL on Android – Text and Sprites

  1. I think it’s an excellent idea to try to monetize the release of standalone games for Android. It would create an avenue to further develop B4gel and make it worthwhile for you, Tom. And it won’t cripple the community’s ability to play with it.

    I don’t know this far in advance what the architecture will be but further functionality expansions (say pathfinder, collision detection, etc) could be paid upgrades as well as in Unity. Priced right, I think it would work.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Cheers!

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