The results of the last poll about the preferred programming languages (read the post) had an unexpected side effect. I discovered the existence of ScriptBasic, a BASIC interpreter that is easy to embed and extend.
As you may know, I designed APOCALYX to be a 3D engine that people can program without the need of a compiler. That's why all its features are accessible to Lua scripts: this is the main characteristics I was looking for in 3D engines years ago, but then I had to develop one by myself because the engines available at that time were only C or C++ based.
Lua possesses very powerful capabilities (eg. its tables and metatables) that make it a language opened to different solutions and programming styles, but also a bit particular and, probably, not easy to master for novices. Recently I succeeded in the modification of the default behavior of the Lua interpreter, so now I can control its execution instruction by instruction, also control the memory allocation (read the post) and this language became suitable for games like GUN TACTYX.
Only a thing is still missing to make the whole thing accessible to novices at a very basic level... to use BASIC as the scripting language. I don't mean that I want to drop Lua, of course; I simply realized that the BASIC language is simpler and well known by amateur programmers, so it's not a bad idea to embed it into the engine. In conclusion, I started a poll to remove languages not very useful, and now I'm back including an additional one, that I hope more useful.
The BASIC flavor that was suggested is ScriptBasic. In a few hours I have analyzed its features and realized that a programmer can easily extend and embed it in his own applications. There is also an easy way to control the memory allocated by the interpreter; moreover its bytecode can be executed instruction by instruction and then suspended. As I already told above, these are the characteristics that I was looking for and it's a real sin that I never found this interpreter years ago in my searches, on the contrary even the old GUN TACTYX could be based on it, catching much more players than the difficult to use SMALL interpreter did.
I have already successfully compiled the interpreter and linked it to the engine. The next step is to provide a sandbox similar to the one used by modified the LuaScript interpreter, so players can program the bots of SOCCER TACTYX (and the forthcoming GUN TACTYX 2) in BASIC.
A further step could be to bring ScriptBasic at the same level of the Lua language, so programmers can write directly their APOCALYX demos or games in BASIC, side by side with Lua, but this is a larger step because I should expose all the engine functions to ScriptBasic and that is a very long work. I think that a limited support, devoted to SOCCER TACTYX, is enough for the moment.