This project is effectively finished: only the 'grab' animation is missing, and I'm thinking of adding some more debugging tools. If you have any ideas, thoughts, feedback - it would be much appreciated.
After many years, Doug and Mike are writing a new version of ChipWits! Yes, the classic reference site http://www.ChipWits.com has been awoken (it had been unchanged since 1999), and you can follow their process there - and, of course, get yourself some clothing with a ChipWit on it :-D
Great fun playing around with this!
ChipWits was written in 1984 for the Macintosh: teach a robot to navigate various environments using an iconic programming language. A very nice game, teaching kids and adults logic and programming - as well as being quite a lot of fun.
It as written by Doug Sharp and Mike Johnston - and all of this is, of course, theirs: game, graphics, concept... everything.
I merely wrote the Windows version of a game I've been wanting to port for a long, long time.
Way back in 1985, I found a nice review of this amazing game in the very last edition of my favourite magazine, Creative Computing. I immediately liked the concept and the graphics, and decided that I'd port it (to DOS) at some stage.
I carried the review with me for 15 years before I finally lost it... (the review, that is ;)
Recently, I found an original ChipWits on eBay. Complete with disc, handbook and all. I also found an old Mac (for about the same price) where it actually runs on.
Thus I could finally, finally start writing a nice, exact copy of the original. In Delphi (on Windows), of all things.
See, once it’s neatly done (and I will release the source), I’ll use it to learn new languages - by re-writing it. I mean, I’ve been doing computers now since ‘81, but you can never really stop learning new languages…
The current version has all the original graphics, which I carefully photographed off the screen to create pixel-exact copies. When I was done, I found an emulator capable of running ChipWits on a Windows box... screen copy allowed me final corrections on the graphics ;)
I want to make it easy for people to add things, so it’s pretty configurable.
My final aim is to have ChipWits in several languages, ported to several systems: Windows, Linux, Macs, PDAs, maybe even telephones…
So, anybody have ideas on what to add, please email me them. Yes, they’ll all be configurable so we’ll never loose the basic, clean, beautiful original :)
If you can't see my email above (had to disguise it for the cursed spammers), either enable Java, check the page source, or see the About Box at the top.
Current ChipWits Status (v0.9b) (26th June 2008):
|Changes since last version:||
* Charset in the language file is now used.
* Debug menu in Info created - it can check LNG files. Only shows up if the first parameter is DEBUG.
* Some untranslated texts fixed, some hints added.
* Minor interface bugs removed (for example, the hints for Rotate Left/Rotate Right were mixed up).
* Added Menu option: New ChipWit.
* RClick on status gives detailed information.
* New text only translated for German and English - Polish, Spanish (and possibly Chinese) coming up...
* Currently, none known. However, they seem to like my code; they breed in it...
|To do until v1.0:||
* File compatibility with new ChipWits program as soon as it's implemented.
* Possible debug functionality: run program backwards from breakpoint.
* Find people who can translate this into other languages, like Italien, Portugese, Chinese...
* Add more links to the website (reviews, discussions)
|Changes to the original:||
* Easy to design your own graphics.
* Entire brain panel is shown, instead of only a quarter at a time.
* Unlimited number of ChipWits.
* Unlimited number of Environments.
* Unlimited stack size.
* More detailed statistics.
* Slightly different KEYPRESS handling - no need to hold the key down.
* Windows-typical hints on the controls.
* Easily user-translated into any language; currently in English, German, French, Polish and Spanish :)
* Easily add any environment yourself (data format: commented text files).
* Right-Click in map or brain shows some info - useful for beginners.
* Shift-Click onto the [Walk] or [Run] buttons makes it run forever.
* Optionally see how much each chip is used by the ChipWit - useful in debugging your IBOL code.
* You can insert/delete lines and columns (RClick).
* You can set breakpoints (RClick).