Learn to Program BASIC
Learn to Program BASIC is an edutainment software title released for the PC and Macintosh by Interplay. Learn to Program BASIC (or LTPB) uses ten interactive tutorials to teach the BASIC programming language. The tutorials are given by an animated character named "the Mediaman". Once users feel they have mastered the language, they can enter the "freestyle" programming area to code whatever they wish. The theme of the program leans heavily towards the creation of games, although in freestyle mode, there is no restriction on what can be created and theoretically any program (within the limitations of the language) could be made.
Learn to Program BASIC includes a library of sprites, backgrounds, and sound effects for the creation of games. It also includes a small number of pre-made games, with heavily commented code for reference, and numerous reference programs to illustrate the functions of various commands in the language. The software also includes a program for importing user-made sprites. Custom backgrounds in Windows bitmap (.BMP) format and sound effects in AIFF format can also be used.
The version of BASIC featured in Learn to Program BASIC is tailored for the creation of 2D games, and includes several custom commands to simplify the creation of such games. These include commands for displaying and animating sprites, as well as for playing sound effects and inserting 2D backgrounds. Commands also exist for reading from and writing to text files to read or save data. The language is not object-oriented and is not powerful enough for the creation of 3D applications or games, though there are examples of raycaster programs written with LTPB.
An application known as the "packager" was formerly available for packaging user-made applications (including all coding, graphics, and sound) into a single .PKG file. These programs could then be run on any computer by an application known as the "runner". These files were offered on the official Learn to Program BASIC page on Interplay's website, along with user-made applications and games for download. The official page no longer exists and these files are not readily available for download. However, the page and some of the downloads on that page are archived on the Wayback Machine website.