[NEW] Mini Micro, a fun new game dev environment

[NEW] Mini Micro, a fun new game dev environment

Postby JoeStrout » 22 Jun 2019, 22:55

I'm excited to announce the very first public release of Mini Micro as a stand-alone Mac and Windows app! Grab it here:

https://miniscript.org/MiniMicro/

What is Mini Micro, you ask? It's a free, neo-retro, virtual home computer that's very easy to learn and fun to use. It's built around MiniScript, a new open-source language designed from the ground up to be simple, elegant, and easy to learn — yet with seamless integration of modern features, like object-oriented programming. With Mini Micro you will have a blast making your own games and sharing them with others. Here, for example, is a game I made yesterday in a little over an hour.

Image

(If you're on a desktop or laptop, click here to try it right in your web browser!)

This is Mini Micro version 0.1. It does not yet have support for sounds or tile maps, but text, pixel graphics, and sprites are all working fine! See the development roadmap for details. And be sure to grab the Mini Micro Cheat Sheet, which gives you everything you need to know about Mini Micro and MiniScript itself in only two pages!

I'm eager to help anyone learn to code with Mini Micro, and I welcome any feedback. Thanks for giving it a try!
JoeStrout
 
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Re: [NEW] Mini Micro, a fun new game dev environment

Postby dulsi » 23 Jun 2019, 00:57

What is MiniScript? I mean I can read about the syntax from the web site. I can see you describe it as "a simple, elegant language for embedding or learning to program" but the only embedding information is a guide for Unity. Is that all you are targeting or is further information available some where? I'm left wondering why you would use MiniScript. It's not significantly different in syntax from many languages. Why should I choose this less known language over Lua, Javascript, or Python? You don't articulate a good argument for your language on the web site.

As a free software game development community, I don't know that there will be much interest in your Mini Micro. I don't see any example code for the Mini Micro.
dulsi
 
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Re: [NEW] Mini Micro, a fun new game dev environment

Postby JoeStrout » 23 Jun 2019, 04:00

dulsi {l Wrote}:What is MiniScript?


It's a relatively new language, developed over the last couple of years to avoid the deficiencies of other languages such as Lua. I won't bore you with all the details (unless you ask).

I mean I can read about the syntax from the web site. I can see you describe it as "a simple, elegant language for embedding or learning to program" but the only embedding information is a guide for Unity. Is that all you are targeting or is further information available some where?


The Unity version is older and better documented; the C++ version was just released a few weeks ago. Both are over at github and include sample code — but for now, if you want to embed the C++ version (or the C# code in something other than Unity), it'd be best to ask me directly for help.

I'm left wondering why you would use MiniScript. It's not significantly different in syntax from many languages.


Superficially, no; I didn't make anything different just for the sake of being different. And on the surface, Lua has a nice syntax. The ugliness becomes apparent only once you get beneath the surface (and then you find it runs very deep). MiniScript draws from the best of Lua, Python, Julia, and others (even including MOO script, if you happen to know that).

Why should I choose this less known language over Lua, Javascript, or Python? You don't articulate a good argument for your language on the web site.


I think such articulation is probably futile. People who come to it with an open mind will quickly see what a nice language it is. People who don't will not be convinced, no matter what I say. For what it's worth, in the games where it is already being used (e.g. GreyHack on Steam), users have reacted very positively to it.

As a free software game development community, I don't know that there will be much interest in your Mini Micro.


We'll see. Had you been present at the dawn of Python or Lua, you would have probably said the same things. These things take time. But, having used many other script-based game environments available, I believe it's already better in many respects than the alternatives.

I don't see any example code for the Mini Micro.


Then you didn't look very hard. ;) Enter cd "/sys/demo" followed by dir. There are 14 examples in the current build; there will be more in future builds, as well as whatever code people post over at the MiniScript Forums or elsewhere.

Look, I'm not saying it's for everyone. It's intended primarily for beginners. Having a REPL (read-eval-print loop) is an extremely fun and efficient way to explore and learn, and MiniScript is a great first language for learning to code. For old-timers — like most of us in this forum — there are plenty of good alternatives, though I find Mini Micro is still a fun way to putter around and bang out something just for fun, like this little game I made in about an hour yesterday.

It's quite possible that beginners aren't reading this forum, and maybe I'm wasting my time here. But, it's a free environment for game programming, so I thought folks might want to know.
JoeStrout
 
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Re: [NEW] Mini Micro, a fun new game dev environment

Postby dulsi » 23 Jun 2019, 14:06

JoeStrout {l Wrote}:It's a relatively new language, developed over the last couple of years to avoid the deficiencies of other languages such as Lua. I won't bore you with all the details (unless you ask).

The deficiencies you fixed are exactly what I'm interested in. BTW if it is used in GreyHack or other games, you should mention that on your website.

JoeStrout {l Wrote}:
As a free software game development community, I don't know that there will be much interest in your Mini Micro.


We'll see. Had you been present at the dawn of Python or Lua, you would have probably said the same things. These things take time. But, having used many other script-based game environments available, I believe it's already better in many respects than the alternatives.

My comment was specifically on Mini Micro not MiniScript. MiniScript might be used by the free software game development community. Mini Micro, however, requires Unity which is not free software.

JoeStrout {l Wrote}:Then you didn't look very hard. ;) Enter cd "/sys/demo" followed by dir. There are 14 examples in the current build; there will be more in future builds, as well as whatever code people post over at the MiniScript Forums or elsewhere.

I went into the web version, loaded some examples and ran source command. I get the bottom part of the code. How can I scroll through the code. Page up doesn't seem to work.
dulsi
 
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