"Adventure Island" Does anyone know it??

reminisce about bbc micro & electron games like chuckie egg, repton, elite & exile

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hjalfi
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Re: "Adventure Island" Does anyone know it??

Postby hjalfi » Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:11 pm

Belatedly:

My school actually had Adventure Island, although they never actually taught with it; as the pudgy nerdy kid with run of the computer room I was probably the only one who played it.

It was great, although quite peculiar if you only knew conventional games. It was very much based around classroom activities, so you only got a fairly short play time each session before kicking you out so that the next group could have a go. But I can totally see why people remember it. It was startlingly open ended, requiring genuine research and thought at times, and had multiple win (or lose!) scenarios. I recall that one such scenario would suddenly put you in front of a timed puzzle trying to defuse a nuclear bomb... I metagamed the hell out of it, of course, rather than playing it properly, but it was still quite memorable.

It's strange that there aren't many such games these days. If you improved the graphics (i.e. add some!), with FMV so that you had, say, a fictional video link to a group of explorers stranded somewhere, where you're trying to guide them back to safety, and it would drop right in to modern classrooms. The overall principle of providing context to try and get the children interested in solving the problem, rather than treating it as an academic exercise, is still a good one.

...we also had a much lesser educational title based around pirates. There was a vaguely similar principle, where you had short play sessions exploring the ocean and assorted encounters you needed to work at, and then a single-session endgame where you found the island with the treasure(?) on it and searched it for the treasure itself. This could have been the Spanish Main mentioned in the Acornsoft article.

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Re: "Adventure Island" Does anyone know it??

Postby digitaurus » Sat Oct 07, 2017 5:28 pm

The only product still being offered from this stable (and with this philosophy) is Cars: Maths in Motion. Fortunately it is very widely used and enjoyed in UK schools. See http://www.mathschallenge.co.uk

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lurkio
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Re: "Adventure Island" Does anyone know it??

Postby lurkio » Sat Oct 07, 2017 11:27 pm

hjalfi wrote:My school actually had Adventure Island, although they never actually taught with it; as the pudgy nerdy kid with run of the computer room I was probably the only one who played it.

So it's possible to play the game as a single player then? You don't need an opponent (or a team) to "race" against on the island?

hjalfi wrote:I metagamed the hell out of it, of course, rather than playing it properly

Could you expand on this please? What exactly did you do?

digitaurus wrote:The only product still being offered from this stable (and with this philosophy) is Cars: Maths in Motion.

That's a shame. It's regrettable that Adventure Island in particular has apparently been allowed to be lost and forgotten (though not by the various people who've commented on it in this thread -- for which many thanks!).

Adventure Island seems to have enthralled the people who played it (as did Saqqara), and it seems to have made a lasting impression on them. And it was certainly pioneering because there'd been nothing like it before (and perhaps there hasn't been anything since!). It's been written about in academic journals and on the BBC website. It had a documentary film made about it. It sounds great. And there's no trace of it! I mean, the software and the documentation are nowhere to be seen. Which is a massive shame.

Let me immediately say that I'm NOT suggesting for a moment that anyone who owns a copy of the game and/or the documentation should upload it to this forum or anywhere else. Cambridgeshire Software House (CSH), the copyright-holders of Adventure Island, have made it clear that they are still actively enforcing the copyright to all their titles, past and present. That's their prerogative, and I understand that Stardot is entirely supportive of CSH in this matter and won't tolerate any violations whatsoever of their rights. Which is, of course, the only stance to take.

It does mean, though, that unless CSH themselves have taken steps to preserve the software and the documentation, then Adventure Island -- this unique, innovative and groundbreaking work -- is probably lost to posterity.

Does anyone know if CSH have indeed tried to preserve some copies of Adventure Island and/or Expedition To Saqqara and/or any of their other Beeb titles? Are they interested in doing so? Do they care? Does anyone except me think any of this is remotely important?!

:?:
Last edited by lurkio on Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:58 am, edited 2 times in total.

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davidb
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Re: "Adventure Island" Does anyone know it??

Postby davidb » Sat Oct 07, 2017 11:46 pm

lurkio wrote:Let me immediately say that I'm NOT suggesting for a moment that anyone who owns a copy of the game and/or the documentation should upload it to this forum or anywhere else. Cambridgeshire Software House (CSH), the copyright-holders of Adventure Island, have made it clear that they are still actively enforcing the copyright to all their titles, past and present. That's their prerogative, and I understand that Stardot is entirely supportive of CSH in this matter and won't tolerate any violations whatsoever of their rights. Which is, of course, the only stance to take.

Though, if someone does own a copy of the game, they should probably take steps to preserve (backup) the media and scan the documentation in the eventuality that they have the only surviving copy. At some point in the future it may be possible to revisit whether the archived materials can be shared and that will only be possible if they were preserved in the first place.

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Re: "Adventure Island" Does anyone know it??

Postby hjalfi » Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:20 am

I don't remember there being any PvP elements in the game, so any competition with the other teams would solely have been about who could escape (or die) first. It was very much PvE.

The actual game was pretty simple: there were some basic simulation mechanics for travelling and survival plus a bunch of setpiece minigames you could stumble into. It was intended to be played in ten-minute-or-so sessions on a daily basis, so each team could take turns on a single classroom computer, and then the rest of the time would be spent on related classroom activities. This meant that your time with the game itself mattered, as that was where you discovered whether your careful planning had worked or not. As I wasn't playing it 'properly', I didn't care whether I lived or not, and would just make a new set of characters if I died (I forget whether I figured out how to savescum or not); so it fairly quickly became obvious how thin the simulation layer actually was. But that was an abuse of the game, of course.

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Re: "Adventure Island" Does anyone know it??

Postby flaxcottage » Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:24 am

lurkio wrote:Does anyone know if CSH have indeed tried to preserve some copies of Adventure Island and/or Expedition To Saqqara and/or any of their other Beeb titles? Are they interested in doing so? Do they care? Does anyone except me think any of this is remotely important?!

:?:


Oh, I do. I am archiving all the titles I come across. Some are easy and some are difficult - but then that is the fun of it.

I have the Saqqara title on disc in my collection but the documentation was missing when I obtained it. :( I am still looking for Adventure Island. [-o<

The problem is that the old floppy discs are getting very fragile now, especially if they have been used a lot in schools. For some titles I will have to use multiple copies to make sure that there is one complete title saved for posterity and, as these titles are generally very rare, this is a difficult task.
- John

Currently running Level 4 Econet with BBC B, BBC B+ 128K, Master 128K, 4Mb A3000, 4Mb A3020, 4Mb A4000, 4Mb A5000 dual FDD; UK101; HP41CX setup; Psion 3a, 3mx and 5mx; Z88; TI-58c, TI-59 and printer, HP-16C programmer's calculator

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lurkio
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Re: "Adventure Island" Does anyone know it??

Postby lurkio » Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:41 am

flaxcottage wrote:
lurkio wrote:Does anyone know if CSH have indeed tried to preserve some copies of Adventure Island and/or Expedition To Saqqara and/or any of their other Beeb titles? Are they interested in doing so? Do they care? Does anyone except me think any of this is remotely important?!

Oh, I do. I am archiving all the titles I come across.

No, I know you do, John! I was being rhetorical, really. I should have been clearer. Sorry.

And, just to be absolutely clear to anyone who might be reading this, I'm sure that what's meant by "archiving", in this specific context, is making backup-copies of software that you yourself are the legal owner of, solely in order to preserve the software for your own personal use, with no intention of sharing said software (whether the originals or the copies) with any person or persons whomsoever. See also the emboldened text in my previous post.

:idea:

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Re: "Adventure Island" Does anyone know it??

Postby lurkio » Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:54 am

hjalfi wrote:I metagamed the hell out of it, of course, rather than playing it properly
hjalfi wrote:I don't remember there being any PvP elements in the game, so any competition with the other teams would solely have been about who could escape (or die) first. It was very much PvE.
hjalfi wrote:I forget whether I figured out how to savescum or not

Oh, well, I'm sure we've all metagamed a PvE without savescumming, from time to time.

:? :-k

Erm, but for anyone who might not be down with the lingo, could you give me them the ELIAHCJ* version..?

:wink:

* I'd have said "ELI5", but I suspect that today's five-year-olds would understand your original words perfectly.


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