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V Planet (
The first 100% QuickBasic game Review magazine

Excuse The Grammar

(1/20/2001) The world is your oyster. Don't let your pursuit of website perfectionism get in the way of downloading great QB games.

I remember when I first logged onto the QB community back in August 1998. I was making a search on Yahoo! for "Quickbasic", expecting to find two or three joke tutorial sites and one QBasic game page like the skeptic that I was. Instead, I was greeted by a multitude of sites from QB gamers, developers, and fans of the language. I didn't know there were so many kinds of QB sites, too. There were QB tutorial sites, QB discussion boards, QB Links pages and even QB download pages with games and utilities as far as the eye can see. I had found virtual heaven.

Like a kid in a candy store, I started browsing through QB Links pages, downloading left and right any title I could find. But in hindsight, for every good title I downloaded, I must have missed two or three QB classics that QBShire and I would find much later. Part of it is that a lot of the QB classics of today weren't made back in 1998. But a greater reason was my dependency to download QB games exclusively from the "quality QB sites"; that is, I would skip a download site if the downloads list was too small or if the grammar of the site looked like it came from a fifth grader.

Now I know how much of a mistake I've made. Ever since inheriting V Planet!, I've realized that checking for grammar in the website can be a timely chore by itself. Then there's the added pressure of downloads that are over 1 MB, which require a link instead of a direct download. If the site carrying the program goes down, then there's a frantic search to replace the link or upload the correct file in the V Planet directory.

Also, the size of a download list has nothing to do with the quality of the downloads inside. One QB game in any list can be special because it's very revolutionary, addictive, or fun. But another precious type of downloads is the rare download, the QB game that has been retired by its developers and is now hidden somewhere in some old QB download site. And with the first major QB program review site Pete's QBasic Site (they used to review games, demos, and even QB applications) on it's heels, it's getting harder and harder to find some of these QB classics. 

It's going to be quite the adventure searching for these lost treasures and bringing them back to the harbor, but in the meantime, we can't afford to make the same mistake during this 2nd generation of QB games. I urge you all not to be so critical if a QB site has a few broken links, or a few misplaced vowels here and there... believe it or not this is actually a sign of heart in part of the QB webmaster, who is so determined to bring you the news as quickly as he or she possibly can. But more importantly, many of today's QB webmasters are trying to budget time between website work, designing their own QB games, and organizing their social lives. If there are a few broken links, it's certainly forgivable (in fact, they'll probably appreciate some feedback).

QB programmers come from around the world. I've seen QB sites and games from the U.S., Germany, Sweden, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Japan, China, and the Phillippines (just to name a few). Not every country has English as the official language or even as a second language. But if I download a game and it kicks ass, that's a universal language I'll always understand.

Vance Velez 

Editor, V Planet! QuickBasic Magazine

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