A Game That I’ve Always Wanted to Create…

The computer games that have given me best gaming experiences ever, are Commodore 64’s Ultima IV and Ultima V. In my youth I always wanted to create a game like these. Many, many years ago I even started making some kind of Ultima like game on Amiga in assembly and C, but I never got that project finished. I made everything myself, the code, graphics and musics.

Here’s a screenshot from work in progress from WinUAE (Amiga emulator):


The screenshot is from a demo written in assembly where there is jumping scrolltext (in Finnish) with the three bitplanes jumping separately. In the demo there’s a little world where the boy in the picture wanders, destroys ghosts and in the end finds his love…

Both demo and the unfinished game that is written in C use Amiga’s system routines. The unfinished game doesn’t have (of course) a scrolltext. The graphics that are made with Amiga’s Deluxe Paint II, are only experimental…

Hopefully I will sometime in the future find time to make this kind of a game for PC, probably in BlitzMax. Because of lack of time, I prefer nowadays to use a programming language, that makes it possible to get something done pretty quickly. And for the sake of nostalgia, the game would have 2D graphics like the original Ultima IV and Ultima V of Commodre 64 (and Amiga).

In the scrolltext it says: ”[Ja he] elivät onnellisina jne…” That’s in English: ”[And they] lived happily etc…”

Hex 2 Dec

In many programming languages there is built-in command or function to convert a decimal value to a hex value. But at least in BlitzMax there isn’t a command or function to convert a hex value to a dec value. In this post I present my little function to convert a hex value to dec value in BlitzMax and in C.

The BlitzMax function:

First, put somewhere in the beginning of your program line

The function itself:

The C version is a complete program that uses its functions:

Be careful with the C version: It doesn’t check if the input is correct. As you can see from the code the letters in the hex number should be given in capital letters. Feel free to use and improve these codes!

How to make an installer

How to make an installer with NSIS

Code updated to work on Windows 10 properly.


Many people may have a finished product but lacking an installer for the product. There are lots of installer creating software, but some of them are very expensive. NSIS is a free installer scripting system from Nullsoft. I use it in my products. In this blog I present my example script that gets beginners started.

At first NSIS may seem complicated, but fortunately it has many macros, that make creating an installer an easy task. The picture below shows one page of the built example script presented at the end of this blog post.


Now, let’s get on with NSIS.

An NSIS installer has one ore more pages. The pages are created with macros in the script (in our example).

Furthermore, every script is build up with sections. Each section except the uninstaller section is shown in the ”Choose Components” page as shown in the picture above.

In our example script we are using the modern user interface, MUI in short. First there’s defined some constants, that make life easier later in the script and make the script easily re-usable. The example script installs for all users. The line

SetShellVarContext all

means all the users. And in the registry key registration HKLM is related to all users.

Enough, let’s see the commented example script (name it as myscript.nsi or something):

Other environment variables that often are needed, when creating an installer are $APPDATA and $DOCUMENTS for the %AppData% folder and Documents folder respectively.