Text Adventure Creator Program - was there one?

Looking for a Dragon or CoCo game not already in the archive - Then request it here and hopefully it will either be uploaded to the archive or another member can upload it to this forum.
Commodore
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Text Adventure Creator Program - was there one?

Post by Commodore »

Other systems had things like Graphic Adventure Creator or Quill, was our green scaly beast ever blessed with such a program?
It would be a shame if not as it does seem to have its fair share of text adventures.
Alastair
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Re: Text Adventure Creator Program - was there one?

Post by Alastair »

There was Adventure Writer originally by Twom Software and later by Cowen Software, which Cowen used to create their version of Colossal Cave Adventure.

I suspect that it requires a manual to get the most out of it but I cannot find one.
Commodore
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Re: Text Adventure Creator Program - was there one?

Post by Commodore »

Thanks Alastair. I thought there must be one. Yes, a manual would definitely be a good thing to have.
The only other way of doing it would be to break into Colossal Cave Adventure and get a glimpse of the listing, that woud involve more knowledge than I have though.
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snarkhunter
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Re: Text Adventure Creator Program - was there one?

Post by snarkhunter »

Commodore wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 11:07 pm The only other way of doing it would be to break into Colossal Cave Adventure and get a glimpse of the listing, that woud involve more knowledge than I have though.
… And that would only be possible if the game was written in BASIC. But I Believe such tools generate kind of assembly code (or pseudo-assembly code), which would make the resulting executable "unreadable".

Basically, an adventure game is all arrays and variables. Arrays to store the "map" (including location descriptions) or the state of available "objects", and many variables for the condition of local switches, position of the characters involved, etc.

I thought it was an impossible task until I decided to tackle the problem and found out writing an adventure game in BASIC was not so difficut after all. It only requires careful planning. And a lot of testing!
Last edited by snarkhunter on Mon Nov 23, 2020 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Commodore
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Re: Text Adventure Creator Program - was there one?

Post by Commodore »

OK, thanks Snarkhunter, I didn't realise. I think you can look at the code for GAC on the Beeb, so I thought this may be the same.
Maybe I'll have to think about BASIC one day then.

I have seen in the archive there are various "Adventures" A, B, C etc. Were they written in basic I wonder?
If so, how can one break into a program on the Dragon? Is it as simple as pressing Break and typing list?
Yes, I should just try it, but my Dragon is curled up back in its box now.
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snarkhunter
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Re: Text Adventure Creator Program - was there one?

Post by snarkhunter »

The early adventure games from Dragon Data were written in BASIC, as were the Salamander Software ones.
Some were generated as machine-code files, such as Adventure International's/Scott Adams'.

Many BASIC adventure games were created in "tokenised" BASIC and might be not so easy to read because a lot of BASIC keywords will be displayed as semi-graphic characters.

Moreover, you may find that the <Break> key was disabled sometimes, and the <Reset> button will merely warm or cold-reset the computer!

For instance, try this on one of the m/c adventures from Dragon Data, then try to "LIST" the content of the memory and you will see a lot of difficult to read garbage! This is usually because the code is stored at some memory dedicated to BASIC, so the OS will try to interpret any data as BASIC and will fail to make sense of what it finds!

For unprotected BASIC programs (such as Dragon Data's "Mansion of Doom"), it is as easy as pressing the <BREAK> key and LISTing the code. It might take a while to understand what is going on, though, since variable names are usually limited to 2 characters in order to save memory and there's plenty of calls to subroutines.

A map may be managed as an n-dimensional array. For instance, 6 dimensions allow one to use N/E/S/W/Up/Down directions. And special moves will be managed through specific coding. For instance, "GO DOOR" will take you from location X to location Y without the need for any physical connection on the map! This makes creating mazes or weird places easy.

I've never used any game-creating package. I started on my own studying the way some games seemed to work and quickly understood the basic principles behind adventure games. This was quite rewarding, actually!

Creating the "map" for a game is incredibly easy. Say you have a 50-location map and 6 possible directions, all of it will be stored in a 6 X 50 matrix. But you may add more if you also use direct commands without (such as "GO DOOR", etc).

For instance, say you are at location 20 and one may only go N, S, Up from there, the map could look something like:

… (49 similar lines of data)
21, 22, 0, 0, 101, 0

Going North would take you to Location 21
Going East would take you to Location 22
Going Up would take you to Location 101
Going South, West or Down would be impossible ("I'm afraid you can't go that way"): Location 0 is for directions that one may not use.

Locations 21 & 22 would be on the main map (or the map for this story), and Location 101 would be on another level. Or it could be another space-time Location if "Up" was through some portal! Etc, etc. Very easy to manage. I made it many years ago, so it has to be easy to manage!

Then you would need another array with as many entries as you have Locations to store the description for each. Or it could even be a multi-dimensional array if you want to store different descriptions for a given Location (day/night, or on/off description, etc).

You also need another one-dimensional array (or a long text string) to store all existing verbs, one for words, etc. Each Verb and Noun will have a unique number, each Verb+Noun combination will be unique. You can use "ON GOSUB" to branch to the processing of each verb. Each routine will then have to check which Noun was used - if any - and determine the resulting "state" of the game (change Location, change the state of a given object, etc).

For instance, if at Location 20 (room) and Verb+Noun is found to be "Open Door", then activate access to Location 30 (which might be some closet), which means some value in the map might change, or you would use another dimension from the array.

… and so on, and so forth! (easier said than done, I reckon).
Last edited by snarkhunter on Mon Dec 07, 2020 7:35 am, edited 4 times in total.
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robcfg
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Re: Text Adventure Creator Program - was there one?

Post by robcfg »

If there’s interest, I can extract files from cas images and detokenise them.
Alastair
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Re: Text Adventure Creator Program - was there one?

Post by Alastair »

Commodore wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:24 pm I have seen in the archive there are various "Adventures" A, B, C etc. Were they written in basic I wonder?
For a (sadly not yet comprehensive) list of Dragon programs written in BASIC see https://solutionarchive.com/list/platfo ... ystem%2C1/ - though ignore Adventureland as the original TRS-80 version was written in BASIC but not most of the other versions, including that for the Dragon.
Commodore
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Re: Text Adventure Creator Program - was there one?

Post by Commodore »

robcfg wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 7:23 pm If there’s interest, I can extract files from cas images and detokenise them.
Hi robcfg, many thanks for the offer, but don't worry on my account. The results would be way beyond my ability!
Commodore
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Re: Text Adventure Creator Program - was there one?

Post by Commodore »

Alastair wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:54 pm
Commodore wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:24 pm I have seen in the archive there are various "Adventures" A, B, C etc. Were they written in basic I wonder?
For a (sadly not yet comprehensive) list of Dragon programs written in BASIC see https://solutionarchive.com/list/platfo ... ystem%2C1/ - though ignore Adventureland as the original TRS-80 version was written in BASIC but not most of the other versions, including that for the Dragon.
I'll take a look, thanks Alastair.
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