This all started in 1981, when a friend of mine typed “Super Star Trek” into his Apple IIe. In those days you could not buy computer games, there weren’t any, you had to type the code into your machine yourself, to play. Nevertheless I was amazed and a few months later I bought my own machine, a SHARP MZ-80K.
It did not take too long until I started to apply my new knowledge of coding to RPG’s, Traveller being the game of choice, but I also wrote for HarnMaster, Space:1889, Battletech or GURPS. Some of the APPs you will find here are actually going back to those days, Explanator is one of them. It started as a simple program to read and explain the planetary UPP (hence the name) and grew in leaps and bounds, especially when Digest Group published Grand Survey and Grand Census.
In the late 80ies I switched to an Atari ST 1024, and in the early 90ies to PC. Since I had always used BASIC variants I switched to QBASIC and did stay with it. With each new Traveller variant I coded the sequences I thought interesting, but after GURPS Traveller I lost interest, especially since the limits on QBASIC (especially the memory limit of 128KB) became annoying.
Thanks to the nice guys at QB64.ORG who ported the language into the new century, it suddenly became an option to improve on my old projects.
If you have any wishes or ideas, you can contact me at peter.kreft(@)web.de
My stuff is free, will stay free, and should you ever pay for it – you were suckered…
In the 80ies I learned Basic on a SHARP MZ-80K. Later I switched to Omicron Basic on the Atari 1040 STE which was way better than anything available on the SHARP. Sadly Atari folded and I switched to DOS and QBasic.
I wrote a lot of stuff for myself, but with each new Windows version the support for QBasic was scaled down. Then, a few years ago, I discovered QB64, an Emulator for Windows 7+, that allowed me to transfer my old work to a new dimension.
So, what will you get if you use my Apps?
Very fast and very deep software interpretations of my favorite RPG rules, mostly all Traveller variants including AD:2300 and HARNMASTER from Columbia Games.
What you will not get, is any flashy User Interface, it just does not come with ancient BASIC versions. But under the hood, these new compilers really have some serious power.
These are the files downloaded most:
My best APP is no doubt Explanator. It takes the info enshrined in Travellermap.com and builds on it. What was once a line of numbers and letters is changed into at least four pages of text, telling you everything you might like to know about a world, its population, how many ships are going to leave to other worlds and what cargo they carry.
This, ever growing, app does what Explanator does to worlds, on characters. You get a vivid description of any character, a in depth evaluation of the skills, and all this combined with an animal feature that gives you detailed stats, a fitting description of the body and a comparison to real animals with a similar size.
These are weapon diagrams for several RPG systems. I try to capture all needed information in as compact an information as possible. All calculations are already done, so you get the final values you need for any character.
My APPS are meant to be used with WORD or any other word processing software. If the generated document is text only, you will have no problems and can use any Font you like.
With anything that contains graphic elements (like the weapon cards) there will be problems:
Everything QBasic generates are monospace fonts. This means that any character has the same size as any other. If you use other fonts like Arial or Times New Roman, the graphic elements will be distorted.
So, to get the best results I recommend the following fonts already included in WORD.
Or, from the web, my personal favourite is
When you open any of the .DOCs in WORD, it will not recognize the format and you will get a window looking like this:
Just choose “other coding” and hit “P” and ENTER. Then the output should be to your liking.
I do not have a message tab here, since WordPress charges for that convenience, the hosting of the apps costs enough – so if you want to contact me, I (Peter Kreft) am a member in all the Traveller and Harnmaster pages on Facebook and I answer any question. I also have my own Facebook group
The codeword is “Strephon” but as a Traveller player you might already know that.