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Updated November 20, 2004

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The New Future Of QB?
(11/12/2004) New compiler may change the face of QB game development forever.

Could this be the future?

Over the past few years, there have been many claims of new QB-compatible compilers being developed. BASM286. QBCC. QuickPower. All promises of a new BASIC compiler, but none were completed or were able to reach the level expected by QB developers. Even with rivals like PowerBASIC, QB developers clung to their terribly outdated but still fun MSDOS QuickBASIC. And now with Windows XP being the dominant operating system on modern computers, our little workhorse is in desperate need of help.

Without warning or hoopla comes what could quickly become the savior of our language of choice. Dubbed "freeBASIC" by its primary developer v1ctor, who was a major contributor to UGL (developed by Blitz and v1ctor), this new compiler not only promises a Windows-based QB solution, but it delivers it as well. V1ctor is promising 100% QB compatability of syntax, and thus far is living up to those claims. There have already been a number of applications developed either in or for freeBASIC despite its beta condition, with many contributions by the talented marzec including an SDL demo and a freeBASIC preprocessor.

The compiler itself is written in VBDOS. Says its developer: "it's being done in VBDOS because it's the closest to the compiler's syntax". V1ctor is hoping to have the compiler self-compiling soon, which would remove all its limitations and allow it to grow to great proportions. It already has support for Windows DLLs, making it infinitely expandable and finally allowing QB developers to natively harness the power of such great libraries as Allegro, FMOD, OpenGL, even DirectX itself. But of course, under the hood is the same syntax we've come to know and love over the years.

Will this be the future of game development in QB? Will we finally see the ascendence into the Windows world after so many years in MSDOS? The possibilities seem limitless at this point. All eyes are now on this project and where it's going. Let's hope that this is the "injection" the QB game development community has needed for so long.

The freeBASIC website (under development)

You can get a demo of freeBASIC's power here (note: you need the latest WinRAR to extract the files).

Article written by V Planet Editor, Nekrophidius

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