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.
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snarkhunter
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Re: Text Adventure Creator Program - was there one?

Post by snarkhunter »

johnha wrote: Mon Dec 07, 2020 3:04 pm Fascinating insight (and so obvious one you've thought about it).
Yes, I can say I really spent a lot of time considering things before tackling the actual programming.
But the strangest thing here is… that this was about 36 years ago and I still remember it! I guess it is because I spent so much time thinking about it then. Designing it is the real hard part of the work. Getting to program it afterwards is quite "mechanical by nature". Then debugging because of the many errors, inconsistencies and "plot holes" one always leaves when working alone.

Nowadays, games are written by comprehensive teams. But back in the 70's and 80's, many so called "software houses" were just one person actually!

But I guess I might be able to write another adventure game nowadays. I still know how it works. And, to be honest, it is not so technically difficult: One mostly needs to be able to juggle with dozens of variables without getting lost. But once everything gets put down on paper, it becomes much easier.

"Those were the days…" :mrgreen:
Last edited by snarkhunter on Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Commodore
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Re: Text Adventure Creator Program - was there one?

Post by Commodore »

Snarkhunter, that was fascinating reading, and even made some sense to a programming dullard lke me.

I may not be able to put any of it to use on the Dragon (I have no means of saving programs), but I'm sure I can put it to use on one of my other 8 bit machines.
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snarkhunter
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Re: Text Adventure Creator Program - was there one?

Post by snarkhunter »

When I can access my personal computer (I'm currently working from home, so I have both PCs trade places and I usually do so on week-ends), I will be able to retrieve the ".vdk" that holds the source code for the adventure game I had written, back in 1986 (… I even think there was a short note about it from Mike Gerrard in a Dragon User issue!), I will post it here, so you are free to check it out. But there were some tricks involved in the programming that were meant to make the code difficult to "peep through", so that listing the program would not give away too much about the game's solution.

That game was definitely not a good one, but it was more a personal project. I remember including a bit of machine-code to achieve some "nice features" (at least they looked so to me!), such as location descriptions being displayed in reverse video (green text against a black background, and maybe even no scrolling of those descriptions), and make all the in-game text undecipherable (all the text descriptions were coded, converted to readable text before display, then coded back afterwards: This was quite a weird scheme since it also means the actual program code kept changing before and after each "PRINT" command!). And I might even have tokenised BASIC commands to save a few bytes, made all variable names 2 chars long, etc. With only 32 K-bytes of RAM available, you really had to be "creative" in order to cram everything in!

My next attempt was going to be a disk-based graphic adventure, but then I ended up writing "Pixie!" instead. And I just suck at drawing, so maybe this was fortunate after all!
Last edited by snarkhunter on Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Alastair
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Re: Text Adventure Creator Program - was there one?

Post by Alastair »

Just a note that the Usborne books I mentioned now have a separate page entry at https://usborne.com/gb/books/computer-and-coding-books (the Google drive locations for the actual PDFs probably remain the same).
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