Consumer Programming on consoles

Family Basic (Famicom)
Petit Computer/smilebasic (DS, later 3DS, now Switch)
Basic Studio (PS2)

Are there any other instances of consumer-facing programming software for consoles? I feel like there should be something on Dreamcast…

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WonderWitch for the WonderSwan!

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Word! I feel like net yarouze on psx is in the same vein of “pc software based dev kit for all” - which differs a bit from the first three which are run strictly on the console itself.

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Well on Dreamcast there is Dreamstudio, which looks to be more along the lines of a RPG Tsukuuru than programming, but hey, new to me.

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Would Warioware DIY on DS count? As basic as it was, that was my first time doing any sort of programming.

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I’d say its pretty close, more of like a creativity suite or something rather than full on coding, but still dope. I’ve been on the lookout for that version because of that. Seems great.

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My personal favorite is the Petit Computer series – SmileBASIC, as it’s known in the West nowadays. Five releases so far – DS cartridge, DSiWare, 3DS, Wii U, and Switch. I started with the DSiWare edition, and although it wasn’t my first experience with BASIC, it’s the first time I made something substantial! Immensely charming platform, with an incredible indie scene that no one ever talks about.

A couple of years ago, I localized a SmileBASIC game by a Japanese dōjin game developerBabyoon Flight, a cross between Getting Over It and Balloon Fight. Turned out to be about 20% translation; 80% programming. Rarely if ever have I had such an idyllic development experience. I did put it on my résumé, so I can’t entirely rule out that it might’ve helped me land my first professional game localization job the following year.


Edit: Since 3DS online services went down just the other day, here’s a zip of the game – you can install it using CFW plus the SmileBASIC File Manager, installable with Universal-Updater. Extract the folder to your SD card, navigate to it in SmileBASIC File Manager, select “copy”, and press Y to copy it without modifications.

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@Obskyr I was downloading a grip of games on the switch version just the other day. The 3DS host is fully toast now, right? Bummer. I have not built up the courage to spend any time on any of the ds versions trying to create anything for want of a keyboard - or at least an XL on a stand with a fat stylus. How did you go about your input?

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Also we r like videogame lost siblings or some sht. What I’d give to have someone to help me out in my futzing around in basic…

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It is sort of remarkable at this point, isn’t it!? Hahahah, I love that we keep running into each other in relation to the most obscure games. We’re up to, what, three? Panekit, Sōten Shiroki Kami no Kura, and now SmileBASIC? I never knew I wanted a video game sibling. I’m into it, though.

I didn’t mind using the 3DS XL’s touch screen (nor the DSi’s, back in the day with Petit Computer) – not that I have particularly minuscule hands, but I suppose I’m just not the most ergonomically fussy. I’m also one of those apparent weirdoes that didn’t mind the controls in Kid Icarus: Uprising in the slightest. My office chair is some true garbàge, as well.

Are you hopin’ to do some BASIC development of your own? (๑•̀ㅂ•́)و✧

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I’m just now messing around with BASIC Studio on ps2, last night figured out a bit more how I might break apart one of the preset crane models and create appropriate joints so I can make some sorta manipulable too-many-buttons-and-excessive-pressure-sensitivity crane ‘sim’ a-la Crane Master ni Narou. Had done some bare minimum stuff however many months ago but was spinning it up to show some of the demos to my friends the other day and got some more fuel in the tank.

Unlike SmileBASIC, this thing doesn’t have a separate edit and execute mode, so it took me quite a bit to work out how exactly it functioned, as you can input a line (10 PRINT 5) hit enter, type RUN, then move the cursor up to your written code and edit that line, as long as you hit enter at its end again. My brain expects anything but the tail end of the stuff onscreen to be in the past and static but this is not quite that way and was a new way of thinking. It makes LIST able to pull up sections of code to then be futzed with. This is likely just the way BASIC and other older programming languages worked without separate text editors, but it was a brain bender for my learning. I think its pretty neat. You should take a look at BASIC Studio sometime, it feels pretty darn robust and the 3D functionality is easy to access.

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This counts.

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There’s game basic on Saturn!

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this would go hard as a username

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and an even better pfp!

126-2487323343

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That trailer got me hyped!

Edit: this is one of the main English intros to Game Basic I came across.

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tell me about it

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more recently, there’s Nintendo’s Game Builder Garage, which seems to have been one of their most fart-in-the-wind releases on Switch. It doesn’t use or teach any actual programming languages, but it does – by all accounts – do a pretty neat job of teaching beginners the fundamentals of how game programming operates, as well as offering some gentle design guidance via a really well-done visual/interactive/expressive format

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I learned of the Saturn’s BASIC suite via a 1997 issue of Game Hihyō, in which they published a(n ahistorical) “lineage of quirky games” – here’s how it described the road to Saturn BASIC:

As an aside, it also mentions the “Sega BASIC cartridge series”, part of which is the SG-1000 (and SG-3000) BASIC Level Ⅱ and Home BASIC – another two examples for this thread. (Of course, it’s not the case in the slightest that it spawned out of Family BASIC – the first SG-1000 BASIC release was in 1983, while Family BASIC was in 1984.)

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there’s fuze4 for the switch. i bought it, years ago now, to tempt my kids into programming, but to no avail.

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