Jingle Bells, Batman Smells,
Robin flew away...
At this time of year, we should all remember the true
meaning of Christmas. Which is of course, getting as many presents as you can
force into your cupboards, stuffing yourself full of chocolate until you're
sick, watching reruns of Escape to Victory, and visiting websites
featuring cheap festive clipart like this one.. (did someone mention a manger?
Anyway have a good one folks :)
*Cough*Squealer will be delayed *cough*
Look what Santa's got this year!
Forget your PS2s, GameCubes and XBoxes.. this year Santa's bringing you a copy
of Squealer TNT, and if you don't like it, you'll have Wesley and Winston
to answer to!
I'm hoping to have this game out before the end
of the year.. (but knowing me, maybe you'll get it for next Christmas instead ;)
This update: Gaming Gold Awards now up
(yeah!) & new file: UGL
Toonski joins Kingdoms
Freelancer Toonski, best known for his work at VPlanet, and an
entertainer at most QB forums has decided to pitch in with the Kingdoms 2
project. A natural artist, he is greatly valued for his creative input and
gameplay suggestions. So far he has completely redesigned the map tile set to
the point where the screenshots in the project section are obsolete.. keep an
eye out in future updates for new screenies!
Thrice gold for Piptol
Productions at the 2002 Gaming Gold Awards !
A triple gold success at the 2002 QB Gaming Gold Awards! Piptol Productions
scooped a hat-trick of awards in the following categories:
Arcade Game of the Year - Ghini Run
Strategy Game of the Year - Kingdoms
Best Sound Effects/Editing - Ghini Run
Thanks to everybody who voted for me, it really
means a lot :) That brings Ghini Run's award total 5 so far, and the
surprise success of Kingdoms (a game I almost didn't release) wins it's
first accolade. Princess Krystal sends her love to you all :)
New Awards section up!
Although the 2002 QB Gaming Gold Awards have yet to distribute plaques
to this years winners, our trophy cabinet was already starting to creak
following the Cms Technologies
Graphics Award earlier this month for 'outstanding gaming, and website graphic quality'.
You can visit CT's site at http://cmstechnologies.ath.cx
So, check out the new section
which also includes awards from this summers' QBasicNews Awards, and
hopefully we'll also have the latest Gaming Golds there next update.
Project section updated
News of my latest project, Squealer TNT finally makes the project page,
as I figured you'd all been hanging long enough ;) Here's the basic premise:
There's pigs. And there's bombs. You play Wesley (also a pig). Pick up bombs and
hurl them at your enemies! Each bomb has a timer, which counts down from
the moment the bomb is first thrown.. (no prizes for guessing what happens when
it reaches zero). Bombs can be bounced off walls, and the last pig standing
wins. It's as simple as that! It's about 85% complete already.
On another project-related note, the Kingdoms
2 page now has a tag-board for any ideas you might have for the game. So
feel free to scribble away :)
Piptol's new project!
Here's a sneak peek of my next (as yet unnamed) project! I've had loads of fun
making this arcade game involving pigs, bombs, and frantic action.. yet another
original QB game from the Piptol Productions workshop :)
The inspiration comes from a little known game
called 'Pigs and Bombers', released on 8-bit home computers as 'Psycho Pigs' .
But this version will have more depth, and maybe even a storyline ;)
Ghini Run source online
Over 2 years of blood, sweat and tears have been compressed into this teeny zip
file containing the source code to Ghini Run.. now that's what I call
Lots of people have been interested in how it all
works, I hope you can now see for yourselves.. and I look forward to the next
generation of QB driving games!
Also: Links updated
Kingdoms 2 Project Page
With 'Ghini Run safely out the way, I can now start to think about what
to tackle next. A strong contender for my time is Kingdoms 2, a game I first
started a looong time ago. Just as you've come to expect from Piptol
Productions, this is another completely original game never seen before in
I would really love to finish this someday, and
with the surprise success of Kingdoms, I have an added incentive! Visit
the new project page here
Voting commences for the 2002 QB
Gaming Gold Awards!
It's finally here! Now's your chance to vote your favourite QB games, characters, and programmers of the year for the 2002 QB Gaming Gold Awards.
I've already done the Piptol Productions
sales pitch, so if you haven't done so already vote now at V-Planet!
Ghini Run Update
Before you get too excited, this update has only one improvement over v1.1. Many
people have complained that the time limit for the pursuit game was too tight,
so now you have up to an extra 30 seconds to do some damage! If you already have
Ghini Run v1.1, you can download the patch here
No More Fun in the Sun :-(
You may have noticed that this site hadn't updated for a while. Regular forum
visitors will know that this is because I spent the whole summer in Spain,
generally having a fantastic time where updating Piptol Productions was
the last thing on my mind, even if it had been possible. Well, I'm back in sunny
*cough* England now, and with only rain clouds for company it's time to get back
to business here.
In the mean time, visit Terry
of Utopia. It updates frequently, and really deserves much more
publicity. And random site of the month is here...
just if you needed more convincing that NASA faked the first moon landing ;)
Gaming Gold Awards 2002 Gets
Underway at V-Planet
It's that time of year once again were QB Coders from all around the world don
their finest formal wear for the most prestigious QB event of the year; The
Gaming Gold Awards!
Last year, Ghini Run XPO Edition
scooped the Generations award for "a QB demo or on-going project that has been the most inspiration to QB gamers"
and this was truly a great honour! This time, Piptol Productions has been
nominated for no less than 6 different categories! Competition is tough this
year, so if you love us, please let us know when voting starts!
for the full list of nominees, and read the Piptol Productions official
PR release here
QB Worlds Web Ring launch
QB Worlds is a new web ring service I've been working on for all QB sites.
Web rings are great ways to increase traffic to your site, and provide more cohesion for
a community. With QB, this is doubly important now that many of the 'Old Guard'
sites have been abandoned.
Already many QB sites from across the spectrum have joined QB Worlds, and
this is very encouraging. For it to be an even greater success we need as many
people as possible to sign up.. let's build it up to a great site network so we can all
You can check out the new QB Worlds portal
at the foot of this page. If you have a QB site and would like to join, visit http://qbwebring.cjb.net
It's back up! We may have lost all the messages from the old forum, but this new
one is better that ever before! For a start, it's now actually hosted on the
same server as Piptol Productions, and I also have access to the
scripts. Previously the forum yo-yoed in and out of existence beyond my control,
as first ProggerX decided to pull them down, and recently Marcade
during a clear-out.
Huge thanks to wildcard for helping me out
with this.. not only did he hunt down and set up the scripts, he now also hosts
the forum along with this site and QB Worlds. Cheers :)
So get posting again, your forum needs you!
Ghini Run Update
Version 1.1 of this game is now out. It came to my attention that the
first release was virtually impossible.. even I couldn't finish the previous one
on Pro difficulty! As well as making the CPU cars fairer, time limits
have been increased along with a number of other minor improvements. Look for
the full source code coming soon!
Older articles have been moved to new archive section as page loading
time was getting a bit slow. Shrunk the font, as I didn't realise just how bad
it looked in 800x600, and I've also ditched the top frame too to give more
space on the page, and new logo is my favourite yet :) Links section updated
I hope you realise how hard it was to drag myself away from Dungeon Siege
(right) to do all this.. what with that and the World Cup, it's been slow going ;)
Updated files: Ghini Run, DS4QB++
Regulars will notice that the forum has been down for a couple of days,
and the bad news is that that particular one won't be coming back. The board has
been hosted on Marcade's server for the past couple of years, and during a clear
out he pulled down the board site believing it was no longer used. Well, it was
;) and whilst I hope to have a new forum up within a couple of days, it could
spell the end for GB Games who also used Marcade's forums... because
after previous server problems, there's not much left of his QB site :(
Let's hope GB manages to update soon.
Big Sites Bounce Back!
I'm sure you all know by now that the excellent V-Planet
has returned from the ashes, and as part of their continuing improvement are
looking to hire a couple of extra staff. Take a look for more info.
Also, the renovation of QB45.com
is now complete, and it's all looking pretty impressive. I have to
confess though, it no longer feels like 'home' for me anymore (partly
because I hardly recognise anyone there), but it's great to see the major
QB archive making good progress under the new management. Top stuff :)
Ghini Run RELEASED!!
No, you didn't read that wrong. QB's super fast, super cool race game is finally
released, and not before time. Play it, enjoy it, and let me have your thoughts.
It's been one hell-of-a slog getting this finished, but I've been determined to
see it through to completion and I hope you'll find it's been worth the wait!
Right, I'm off to take a short break from programming while my keyboard cools
off, so I can catch up with some sleep, rediscover my social life, and find a
new job (oops) ;)
It's rainy season over QB Land
What's happened recently? Many of the larger QB sites are either down
(including one of my faves, V-Planet) or haven't updated for a looong
time. This time 2 years ago, people were gearing up for the Qlympics and
the QB Expo... whereas right now we're just trying to find an active
Things should be better when QB45.COM completes it's sever
switch and new face lift. And of course, Piptol Productions loves ya all
Anyway.. new files: FarQB, NewQLB, Zephyr SVGA (updated)
Pip back on track
It's been a hectic couple of months, what with losing the contents of my
HD and then losing my job :( But what is has meant is that I've have loads of
free time to catch up with my coding, and the Ghini Run code is complete!
All that remains is the sound engine, and I'll be using DS4QB++ for that.
Anyway, I thought you'd find this interesting; The main
pic on the left is stage 1 of Outrun, and the inset is Ghini Run's
Bluewater Bay course. Notice any similarities? ;)
Kingdoms source online
Well you asked for it and here it is; the kingdoms source code. Be warned
that, this is a piece of spaghetti coding I started several years ago, with lots
of obscure variable names and uncommented routines. You can only download this
if you promise not to pick up my bad habits ;)
Other new files: FastQLB, RelLib
Welcome to www.piptol.net !
Well what can I say!? Piptol Productions has just becaome a
'proper' website! Bobby of Cosmosoft has very generously bought piptol.net
and set it up to redirect here! Why he did it, I'm not really sure,
but he is a damn nice guy! Thanks dude ;)
You can visit Bobby's site here
and download his excellent Silver QB Star winning
Thanks to everyone who offered to help test out Ghini Run. I've had a
huge response, but in the end I just picked the first 5 people. Apologies to
everybody else, but you've got something to look forward to instead!
The official Ghini Run testers are: Plasma357,
Dav, DanCo, Ashley Oliver and Blitz.
And thanking you..
Thanks to Bradley, who posted a load of info on the message board
for me to investigate for potential QB Stars winners. When I get some
free time, I'll definitely check it out.
These days, I'm used to Ghini Run
getting a fair bit of attention in the QB press (which is great :) But I've also
been surprised how popular Kingdoms has turned out to be, and the amount
of interest it's generated in the sequel, Kingdoms 2! Quite a few people
have been asked when K2 will be completed. The short answer is 'after
I've finished Ghini Run' (which is progressing nicely). That means it
will still be some time yet.. but as people are interested, I'll give Kingdoms
2 it's one project page soon, like I have done with Ghini Run.
In the meantime, don't forget that voting for the 2001
Gaming Gold Awards will soon start at VPlanet. If you think Kingdoms
deserves nominating for a category, please go ahead, and I would be chuffed to
QB into 2002
Who would have thought 10 years ago that a few years into the 2nd millennium,
there would still be a group of people still using, and enjoying QB coding?
People try to tell us it's a dead language, and that we're wasting our time.
Depends what you mean by dead I guess.. every time I load up the IDE it
looks very much alive and well to me. Ok, so it might not get you a job alone..
But I am a professional programmer for a large telecom company, and I was
employed for the fact that I could program, and they didn't care so much
about which languages I knew. I don't use QB at work, but still love to use it,
and have learnt loads from it. Certainly a lot more than playing on a PS2 all
'So what's your point, Piptol!?' I hear you say.
Well, if there's one thing I've learnt in 2001, then it's this;
Do whatever makes you happy, and don't let anybody tell
you what you should think, or what you should do, unless it's right for you.
Find your own answers, discover your own truths, and you'll find life can be a
whole lot more fun.
Here endeth the lesson.. Happy 2002 folks :)
Piptol Productions moves home!
This site has been hosted by Geocities for over 3 years, first
masquerading as The Kingdoms 2 Homepage, before the radical
transformation into Piptol Productions we all know and love! But as the Geocities
pop-ups became increasingly irritating, the terms of service became increasingly
restrictive. The final straw was when the site got pulled down after the release
of Kingdoms for exceeding the bandwidth limit. So I'd like to say a big
thanks to wildcard for offering us a new home on the QBasicnews
Cheers, here's to the next 3 years of QB quality!
QB Stars update
With the QB boundaries being pushed back all the time, I thought it was
time to devise some more measurable guidelines for the hallowed QB Star
awards. The awards have become highly prized due to the standard of excellence
required to earn them. This has been demonstrated by the fact that, to date,
only 2 Gold QB Stars have ever been awarded.
There are a few more souls deserving of Blue and
Silver stars, and I add more as I come across them.
The criteria are as follows:
Blue QB Star - Freshness and
innovation, an attempt to take QB in a new direction, and to do so in style. Or,
improve vastly on what has already been done. I believe that introducing
something new to the scene counts for a lot.
Sliver QB Star -
Brilliance and innovation are rewarded with a Silver QB Star for a new level of
excellence rarely seen. The final word in a given genre, taking QB to dizzy new
Gold QB Star - Typically awarded
for an outstanding contribution to QB, destined to change the face of the language
forever. Sheer genius, unmatched brilliance; there is no higher QB accolade!
Thanks to everyone who's reported bugs in Kingdoms. Version 1.1
is online, and the main difference is the ability to set the difficulty. The
first version had a bug that made it damn near impossible! Hopefully, it should
all be ok now... but if you find anymore bugs, let me know. Now time for me to get
back to Ghini Run..
At last I can reveal the 'secret' project to be 'Kingdoms'! Don't get
this confused with 'Kingdoms 2: High Magic' that I've been working on for some
time.. this is a much simpler game and was originally only intended to take a
weekend to complete. Needless to say, problems arose... but now you can get it
in Files. I'd be interested to know what you think of this, as I
almost didn't release it..
'Secret' project gets held up
Those of you who regularly visit the PP Forum will be
aware of a secret project I've been working on. It's a small, fairly simple game
that I was hoping to upload today. It hasn't taken long to code, and I suppose
it's more of a nostalgia exercise for me. I just thought it was time I had at
least 1 completed game out :)
New Look at V-Planet
V-Planet, the QB game reviews magazine updated in the past week
with a whole new look.
It's still undergoing a few tweaks, but check it out, along with the usual
informative mix of news and reviews at:
The QB Sound Revolution
Lithium has been working on DS4QB++, a radical remake of the award
winning library. The first 2 versions have been superb, and the final release
(v1.2) due out soon promises to be the final word in QB audio!
I have always thought that presentation counts for a lot in games, and
sound and music even more so. A number of QB libraries (eg Future and CosmoX)
have pretty much stitched things up on the graphics front, but music has
always been a problem, until the appearance of DS4QB. But even that wasn't
perfect... until now.
As QB programmers, we now have the tools. We have the capability. The last
barrier has been removed, and anything is possible!
There are certain drawbacks to having a high profile game like Ghini
Run on your books. Mainly, people will expect everything I do hereafter to
be as equally ground breaking!
Let me say now that I will never take on a
project of that scale single handed ever again!! Over a year in
development; it's a long time to stay motivated. But at least the end is in
"So when will Ghini Run be released?", I hear you cry! Well I keep
thinking of new stuff to add, pushing the date back even further. I've now
decided to stop adding new features, or I'll never get it done! I'm *determined*
to have it out before the end of the year. I'll recommence work after the
'secret' project is released next week.
Wake-up Call for Piptol !
Contrary to what you may have thought, this site is still alive and well!
I've been offline for a while as I've not had 'Net access for a couple of
months. Been using the time productively though, and Ghini Run is close
And remember, it's all done in QuickBASIC!
End of an era for Future Software
Today, Jorden Chamid, webmaster of the largest QB archive on the Internet
QB45.COM announced he would be selling the site. After 5 years, this is sad news
and Jorden will be sorely missed. However, the site will continue under
the guidance of a new QB supremo, yet to be decided. Check out the progress at http://www.qb45.com
Neozones back from the ashes
Neozones was once one of the great QB empires, until several
months ago the site was hacked. In response, the webmaster Tek pulled the
site down indefinitely. But now it's back, albeit under the management of Pasco
and co. Well worth a look!
'Ghini Run News
Not made too much progress on Ghini Run this month. So I thought I'd give
you a shot of Sunset Lagoon (above), which potentially has the best
graphics ever seen in a QB game. You decide...
QB Community game underway
A project is currently underway to create the first decent QB
fighting game.. hopefully there'll be some more info about this soon.
Update (26-Jul-01): The site and project
seem to have disappeared with trace!
Regular visitors will notice that this site is undergoing improvement. This
is mainly to give me more flexibility when adding new articles.. no longer am I
limited by the number of pictures I have!
New Blue QB Star Award unveiled
The new Blue Star is introduced for outstanding achievement, just
below the Silver Star. So who's won the first ever awarded? Check out QB
Stars to find out..
'Ghini Run News
You've played Bluewater Bay and Castle Fields, but what other
courses can you look forward to in the final game? How about these: Bow Falls
(left), Sunset Lagoon, Capital Nights and Ice Mountain Road.
The game engine is now mainly complete, with just the courses left to design.
I may do some more on opponent car AI, but we'll see.
Can you complete the Labyrinth?
A few people have asked me about the ill-fated Labyrinth 2 project,
which was scrapped by the Eversoft team. I won't be finishing it myself, but the
source is now available for download in the Files section. If you feel
you can make something of this game, feel free. If you do, make sure you send me
copy so I can see how it's turned out!