Flavors of Geekspeek

You know now that computers only speak one language - machine language (binary code). However, the languages programmers use to write programs and games with is a completely different story. It's true, all programming languages used by programmers and game designers wind up, in the end, as machine language. But before then, sometimes they are as different as night and day.

Out of all the programming languages in the world, the majority of them fall into two flavors. C syntax or BASIC syntax. Which you choose is up to you. Your final decision will depend on which you like the best and the game making package you choose. A few of them, like Game Maker and Brutus2D, let you use both to some extent.

Advanced game designers tend to get the hang of both, even if they only use one. There's not really that much difference between them when you really look at them.

Blowin' Your Freekin' Mind

Calm down. DON'T PANIC. I'm about to give you some code. Raw (sometimes scary) code. You might not know the details of what's going on, but will let you see the difference between C syntax and BASIC syntax. These two examples will also give you some idea of what the hell syntax is in the first place.

Ready? Here we go.

C Syntax

if ( nuclear_war ) {
    kiss_your( butt );

BASIC Syntax

if nuclear war then
    kissYour butt

As you can see by these less than true to life examples, C syntax is the anal retentive brother to BASIC. You can immediately tell C syntax by three features.

  1. The use of a semicolon ( ; ) at the end of a statement.
  2. The use of curly braces ( {} ) to enclose blocks of code.
  3. The use of parenthesis ( ( ) ) in places where they don't hold anything.

BASIC, the sloppy part of the odd couple, it's not as structured or neat as C. It doesn't require you to use any of the features above. BASIC is reviled and loathed by a large number of people because it is so sloppy. But then again, BASIC was originally invented for beginners, not super-clean neat freaks.

Parting the Waters

If you've been on the internet for any amount of time, you've probably heard about quite a few of the programming languages below. Here I pull a magic trick by grouping them by their base syntax, be it C or BASIC. Some programmers have never recovered from the shock of seeing programming languages grouped like this.

C Syntax Languages

C, C++, C#, PHP, Perl, JavaScript, Java, Brutus2D, Game Maker.

BASIC Syntax Languages

Dartmouth BASIC, QBasic, FreeBASIC, Visual BASIC, PlayBasic, CoolBASIC, EthosBASIC, Pure BASIC, Liberty BASIC, Brutus2D, Game Maker.

You'll notice here that there are clearly two camps. C syntax languages with varied names, and BASIC syntax languages who are darn proud they are freekin' BASIC. And so it goes. 99% of the time you will know a language will use BASIC syntax because the development team couldn't resist putting BASIC in the name.

Brutus2D and Game Maker

Brutus2D and Game Maker are included in both lists because they both allow you to use both syntaxes to some extent. It should be noted, however, that most code you come across in Brutus2D will be in BASIC syntax. For Game Maker, it will be in C syntax.

In Future Chapters

In future chapters you will learn the ins and outs of both BASIC and C syntax and how when you get down to it, they are not much different, except in neatness. For now, go on to the next chapter where I reveal to you the secret messages that have been written in source code for generations.

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