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? Oops ;)

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 2 project!

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 compression ;)

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 Up!

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 QB ;-)

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 Cavangh's Tales 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!

Click here 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 benefit!

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


Forum Update

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!


Site News

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 too.

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++


Forum Downtime

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 site!

Things should be better when QB45.COM completes it's sever switch and new face lift. And of course, Piptol Productions loves ya all too ;)

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 library, CosmoX.


Thanking you... 

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.


Kingdoms Krazy! 

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 bits :)



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 day :)

'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 server!

 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 heights.

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!

Kingdoms Update 

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..


Kingdoms Released!! 

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..


This screenshot is deliberately uninspiring :)

'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 

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.

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!

As QB programmers, we now have the tools. We have the capability. The last barrier has been removed, and anything is possible!

Ghini Moan 

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 sight now.

"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 to completion!

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! 

Site redesign!

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!