What did you do at 12 years old? I remember playing a lot of 8-Bit Nintendo, doing some type-in programs from Compute! and Compute!’s Gazette, and generally skipping school whenever I could. The programmer behind Stranger Things Retro Game is a 12-year-old girl whose father wanted her to have opportunities opened to her via S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics). The result was a 2D overhead puzzle based role playing game, like the mobile game I recently covered. The kicker here is, Stranger Things Retro Game is programmed in QBASIC.
The inspiration for Stranger Things Retro Game was obviously the Netflix original series but why QBASIC? In honor of Bob Newby from season two who successfully made use of BASIC as a major plot point in the show. Containing just under 2,500 lines of code and almost two months of coding, this game is not just a homage to how games were made 30+ years ago but promoting women in professions often dominated by men.
Completely programmed in using BASIC, using their own sprite editor created by the father and daughter team, limited to a resolution of 320×200 with 16×16 sprites and other details that programmers today would starve trying to make use of, Stranger Things Retro Game is a great homage to the show.
Beginning not with a spread sheet or even a computer, the father and daughter team used graph paper to layout levels, characters, and art assets. Then they went to work on figuring out what code needs to be written to make the action happen. This is old school programming.
The game is freely available for anyone that wishes to try it out thanks to the use of QB64, a modern 64-bit backwards compatible version of QBASIC. The minimum system requirements are unknown but for all intents and purposes, Stranger Things Retro Game will run on authentically old hardware. Anyone have a 286/386 with DOS laying around?
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