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The first 100% QuickBasic game Review magazine
A Tale of Two Industries
(4/11/2000) The worry over the future of QB doesn't have anything to do with QB at all. Confused? Read on.
Hello again, QB Gamers. QBShire here, with another insight into the world of QuickBasic. Now lately, I've been hearing a lot of people talk about the "future of QB". No matter what discussion board or site I visit, the credibility of QuickBasic as a language and a gaming compiler are questioned, despite games recently created by QB proggers that have pushed QB to another level. (I'm talking about Shell Shock or Project Zeta or Super Stack.) Lately, QB games are simply getting better and better. All this, and the number of QB sites and magazines are still increasing!
The new wave of Operating Systems don't seem to be the cause of the problem either. Windows 2000 has been reported to handle QB games with nearly no hitches, and QB games have even expanded to the Macintosh with the help of software like Virtual PC, provided by Connectix. The way I see it, there is no compatibility issue between the QB games of today and the systems of tomorrow.
So why all the fuss?
Well, I have a theory that explains why people are so worried about the future of QuickBasic. While QB games are getting better and better, video game consoles and commercial PC games have been suffering. The video game industry is at a serious transitional phase. Sega has re-entered the video game world with the Dreamcast while Sony's Playstation 2 made its debut in Japan. Within the next two years, Nintendo will join the 128-bit warfare with their new system, Project Dolphin. And finally, the fallen giant Microsoft has a video game system of their own, the X-Box.
So what does this have to with QB? Well, in the old Sega Genesis vs. Super Nintendo days, developers wanted to make creative games. These old-school console games are a source of inspiration for QB proggers. During the Sega/Nintendo era, classics like Lianne in the Dark Crown, MiniRPG 2, and Monospace began to surface. Suddenly the Internet was riddled with a new and exciting library of video games as only QB could offer.
But in the next-gen wars, the creative juices of the console giants have been improvised by multi-million dollar ad campaigns and unoriginal ideas. Just about every major title in the video game market this year is either a Final-Fantasy ripoff (often from Square themselves), a sub-par racing game, an RTS wannabe, or a clone of a successful formula from videogames past. The only exception is the Pokémon craze, which has been such a creative burst that it has become the life-saver for Nintendo 64.
While there are no short-term defects from the lack of creativity that has haunted the console and PC wars, this is a tremendous blow for QB gamers because there are no more video games that inspire them. Games like Zelda 3, Super Mario World, and Sonic 2 are the same hi-quality games that inspired QB classics like Shadow of Power, Around the World, and Spinball. It's almost impossible to get the same inspiration from 2nd-rate clones like Syphon Filter 2 (Goldeneye clone), Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation (yet another Lara Croft game with little or no change), and Sonic Adventure (which is Sonic without any character, in full 3D glory).
The fact is, living in a world where there are no new videogames to idolize is a new idea for most of us. If you aren't insired by the current wave of console games, there are other ways to fuel your creative spirit. You can walk around in the park and enjoy the benefits of green grass, blue skies, and clean oxygen. Maybe you can listen to the radio, play some Monopoly, or get a girlfriend. There are so many things in this world that can make you happy. Then maybe you wouldn't be so worried about the future anymore.
Editior, V Planet! QuickBasic Magazine