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Cart #30819 | 2016-10-13 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

Welcome to another useful utility from the lab of dw817. (ME !)

This particular one is a full UPPERCASE and lowercase keyboard. that's right, your strings are indeed saved in lowercase if you select that from the keyboard.

You can use the mouse, touch-screen, or even the arrow keys and (z) (x) to add and remove letters.

What is especially useful about this particular keyboard is that it saves everything prior to being called. And that includes the graphic area it appears at. Any sound effects as it has its own. And even a custom sprite mouse cursor.

All your files are saved in memory first before the keyboard is available (and it's really fast so you won't notice it doing it). :)

In exiting, all your data, screen area, SFX, and sprites are returned back to you.


This program is not yet done. Not for me anyways. I am posting it though now cause it is fully functional and working and likely more than enough for your input needs.

But there are several things yet I still want to add to it.

I want to have a dictionary for single or two keystroke verbs and nouns for text adventures. Clean up the code - it's =really= messy right now, and add some cool keyboard animation so the key actually
looks like it's being pushed down.

. . .

I wrote this utility in seeing PICOBOARD, a good high-score name input program with marvelously small coding size - but it is not as thorough as this utility. (which in deference is quite a bit bigger).


As with all my tools, feel free to suggest items or extra abilities you would like to see in them.

If it's within my power, it just might happen ! :)

. . .

Should ZEP wish to use my code and/or method as the primary input model for PICO-8, I will certainly relinquish all code and property rights in order to provide him and all users with a good input base for this programming language.

The usefulness of my program and motive becoming clear in the absence of any completely thorough libraries and routines providing both uppercase, lowercase, and in fact all keystrokes from a standard if somewhat miniaturized IBM-keyboard - previously existing for PICO-8.

UPDATE 10-13-16:

Now you can click your mouse, touch the screen, or press (Z) to move along the instructions. The editor is still the same, you can use arrow keys and (Z) and (X) to navigate, or use the mouse, or use the touch-screen to make your entry for INPUT.

P#30679 2016-10-11 16:13 ( Edited 2016-10-24 22:14)

This is great. Not sure if full keyboard input will ever hit Pico-8, but it's great to have more libraries for handling text. And the UI you put together here is very clean and easy to use.

What would be really useful would be a library for hypertext -- i.e. printing text to the screen, but with certain words tagged as links which you could select with the gamepad. You could definitely put together a decent text adventure that way.

P#30712 2016-10-11 20:28 ( Edited 2016-10-12 00:28)

Thank you, Geist. Hopefully it will get more than just a thumbs up - it will actually get some intended use.

That is until ZEP truly adds a proper INPUT for complex strings, I think this will suffice nicely.

P#30713 2016-10-11 20:28 ( Edited 2016-10-12 00:28)

Hi Musurca. The very item.

When I wrote my text adventures years ago, while Scott Adams required full VERB/NOUN entries, I configured mine for single keystrokes.

For instance, in input: you would hit "T" and the word TAKE would appear. You hit "B" and from the dictionary of NOUNS, "Brass-Key" would appear.

So you only needed to type two-characters for all my adventure games, or one if it was "NSEWUD" for North, South, East, West, Up, Down. I had it all worked out long ago. This could definitely be incorporated into my INPUT routine.

Right now I'm working on finishing up a compressor utility (so you can have multiple splash pages as part of your source). I finish that, I'll take a look at what I've already done.

I know I wanted to do more HERE:


Kind of a fussy logo. (I had fun). Just hit or hold (Z) to bypass it.

P#30716 2016-10-11 20:39 ( Edited 2016-10-12 00:39)

My friend, Chris, could not get this to work for him. I had forgotten that only (Z) key could move along the introductory text. Now this program (and the one I'm still working on), can continue text by touching the screen or clicking the mouse in addition to the (Z) key.

P#30817 2016-10-13 00:49 ( Edited 2016-10-13 04:49)

Very nice! And I have to say - I think you have managed to keep it rather small still, considering all the features! Looks great - well done

P#30913 2016-10-14 07:55 ( Edited 2016-10-14 11:55)

Thanks ! Coming from you that means a lot ! :D You are the first one to write a usable input engine - and I want to give you credit for that.

I can see myself the code I wrote is rather large and convoluted. I'm still working on a data compressor ATM, but want to get back to this to clean it up, optimize it, and shrink the main size.

What I need to realize and remember is - people who have touch screen telephones do not have access to (Z) or (X), so for any software I write, I will always need to make it so that it works with the mouse to cover all bases.

Afburgess, didn't you write a mouse-input routine at one point ? I seem to remember it ...

P#30918 2016-10-14 10:43 ( Edited 2016-10-14 17:57)

I made a touch/mouse driven keyboard (https://www.lexaloffle.com/bbs/?tid=27608). However, you couldn't use z+x etc.

Just had another look through - I'm baffled of how you managed to draw the keyboard without any sprites whatsoever!

P#30929 2016-10-14 12:34 ( Edited 2016-10-14 16:34)

I like your mouse program with the shaped keyboard. Mine turned out really Chiclet more than I expected.

As for drawing without sprites, it's not that difficult. I'm currently finishing (Yay !) a routine that takes ALL 256-sprites from the screen and converts it to program data.

I will definitely post that for you when it is complete. And then you can carefully see what is being done there. :)

P#30939 2016-10-14 14:00 ( Edited 2016-10-14 18:00)

While you guys may find my keyboard useful, I went to see my friend, Bill, and - while I watched him do it, he brought up this APP and could not type with it.

It recognized the "hit any key" to continue to show and flow through the instructions and information, but it did not actually show the pointer nor "hit" any keys when you used your finger.

Do you get the same results with your own cellphone - and if so, what could be causing this - and does it occur in other similar apps you've seen that use the mouse ?

Additionally a ZOOM button (Zep) would be helpful as when you run a PICO app, half the "fun" is getting it scaled by pinching and zooming your fingers so it fits the screen where you can see all 128-pixels entirely.

P#31357 2016-10-20 22:39 ( Edited 2016-10-21 02:41)

Yeah when I went to use it the mouse was always ~50px above where I clicked. In mobile devices you are never going to get true mouse behaviour unless you have something like a blackberry with mouse trackpad. But how many people use a BB device these days (I miss my Q10).

However this is really interesting. I can imagine a text adventure running off this.

P#31378 2016-10-21 08:44 ( Edited 2016-10-21 12:44)

Hi Sudoradish. The very item, I wanted to use this for Text Adventures, but with a dictionary, so if you type out 1- or 2-letters, it would automatically type the command.

Verb Dictionary, "1North,1South,1East,1West,2Get"
Noun Dictionary, "1Key,2Bottle,2Beard"

So if you typed N S E W your player would go in that direction. But you would have to type "G" and "E" to have GET appear.

Same thing with the nouns. You would hit "K" by itself to get key, but need to type "B" "O" for Bottle, and "B" "E" for Beard.

So, you're answering my question then. Pico DOES NOT run well on cellphones.

P#31382 2016-10-21 10:44 ( Edited 2016-10-21 14:44)

It does run. but unless you can solve that mouse issue then it is not usable. But I do stress that is probably more to do with modern smartphones not been designed for mouse input.

P#31387 2016-10-21 11:13 ( Edited 2016-10-21 15:13)

Well now, Sudoradish. I am understanding you can't have arrow keys or buttons (A) and (B) register in cellphones as well. I'm - trying to figure out what input is left that will register in a cellphone from PICO.

P#31395 2016-10-21 13:04 ( Edited 2016-10-21 17:04)

That mouse position comes from pico-8, dw just turned on a switch.

I'd suggest bugging Zep about it, but mouse functionality (so far) isn't intended to be normal game input.

P#31397 2016-10-21 13:48 ( Edited 2016-10-21 17:48)

Well now, Tyroney, I couldn't get (O) or (X) to work either on Chris's cellphone. Just how DO you get input from a cellphone to a PICO app ?

Now, I know the reading of the left mouse button works as reading a tap on the screen with a finger - but that's as far as I know.

P#31442 2016-10-22 00:58 ( Edited 2016-10-22 04:58)

Who knows?

The only thing I've seen is the hacky control overlay, which only works sometimes for me only for slow presses. (sometimes it gets highlighted and stuck, sometimes I trigger a zoom...)

P#31686 2016-10-24 17:37 ( Edited 2016-10-24 21:37)

Tyroney, I think if you make your PICO APP go full-screen, it won't trigger a zoom ?

And for those curious, yes, I'm working on Haunted House right now, adding some levels of difficulty. :)

P#31690 2016-10-24 18:14 ( Edited 2016-10-24 22:15)

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