Adventure Creators revisited

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

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Elminster
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Adventure Creators revisited

Postby Elminster » Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:06 am

In the days post Acorn I had Professional Adventure Writer System (PAWS) (aka Quill 2) on the Spectrum, this was never ported to the BBC.

Now forward to the retro era and I am looking to write an adventure with my daughter on the BBC (she wants to write a game but I was never much of a games writer apart from PAWS).

- So I could go with Quill which is nearest to PAWS I just about remember.

- Or I could go GAC which is arguable better according to the details I have seen.

- Or i have come across Alpine's Adventure Language Programming System (ALPS) which I know little about.

- I have also come across Quest by AUCBE which might be a similar thing for the education market but not sure yet.

- Or I could just go with a modern equiv e.g. things like
Quest @ textadventures.co.uk/quest
TADS (Text Adventure Development System) @ www.tads.org

Thoughts, comments, advice, any good comparison articles?

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lurkio
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Re: Adventure Creators revisited

Postby lurkio » Sun Apr 19, 2015 1:14 pm

Well, here's my GAC-advocacy post:


As I said there, I've only briefly dabbled with the Quill but it too has its charms. The disc version's now been found, and is certainly worth a look:


You'll get many retro points for using either of those! (Although, to be honest, a modern system like the ones you mention will probably be easier to use. Depends on how patient you and/or your daughter are!)

ALPS I've never seen. It seems to be RARE and missing in action... but watch this space..! :wink: 8)


EDIT (July, 2017): See also Adventurescape:

:idea:
Last edited by lurkio on Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:16 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Elminster
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Re: Adventure Creators revisited

Postby Elminster » Sun Apr 19, 2015 1:22 pm

Thanks. I did spot you post about GAC but didn't scroll to the bottom where you mention good bits and bad bits as it seemed to be discussing a GAC created game (shame on me)

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AndyF
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Re: Adventure Creators revisited

Postby AndyF » Thu May 28, 2015 11:54 am

I've used both GAC and Quill on both the BBC and Spectrum. I've also briefly used PAWS on the Spectrum (the rare disc version)

The only issue with GAC appears to be a slight lack of memory it seemed.

I've done several conversions from Spectrum to BBC of Quill games a couple of years ago if you're interested. The image contains the source so you can load it back into Quill too:

Subsunk: viewtopic.php?f=32&t=5288

Galaxias: viewtopic.php?f=32&t=4618

Magic Castle: viewtopic.php?f=32&t=5318

Project X The Microman: http://www.stardot.org.uk/forums/viewto ... =32&t=4652

The O Zone (Microman 2): viewtopic.php?f=32&t=5274

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Elminster
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Re: Adventure Creators revisited

Postby Elminster » Thu May 28, 2015 12:38 pm

I did pickup a copy of GAC from ebay, mainly to get the manual as the online versions werent that good.

I shall probably pickup quill at some point.

I had the Tape version of PAWS but converted it to 3.5 disc from what I remember. Or maybe I had the disk version cant remember now.

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AndyF
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Re: Adventure Creators revisited

Postby AndyF » Sun May 31, 2015 1:01 pm

If you cannot find the disc version of PAWS let me know (via PM so I see it) and I'll try to find it for you. I do have it on a backup drive I know.

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Elminster
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Re: Adventure Creators revisited

Postby Elminster » Sun May 31, 2015 3:38 pm

Thanks but I got rid of all my spectrum stuff over 20 years ago.

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richardtoohey
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Re: Adventure Creators revisited

Postby richardtoohey » Sun May 31, 2015 10:01 pm

Elminster wrote:Thanks but I got rid of all my spectrum stuff over 20 years ago.
Oh, but I'm sure we can "help" here ... :twisted:

There's this little site I know, called eBay ... :twisted:

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Elminster
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Re: Adventure Creators revisited

Postby Elminster » Sun May 31, 2015 11:16 pm

richardtoohey wrote:
Elminster wrote:Thanks but I got rid of all my spectrum stuff over 20 years ago.
Oh, but I'm sure we can "help" here ... :twisted:

There's this little site I know, called eBay ... :twisted:


No. I have no temptation in that dimension.

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Re: Adventure Creators revisited

Postby nudelooney » Tue Jun 02, 2015 1:20 pm

lurkio wrote:ALPS I've never seen. It seems to be RARE and missing in action... but watch this space..! :wink: 8)


I spent a LOT of time on ALPS when I was a teenager. I suspect it contributed to my love of writing. Sadly, I sold the software years ago.

If you want to write adventures that could be played on quite a range of platforms, you could give Inform a look. That's a language that compiles into Z-code, for which there's interpreters on many modern operating systems.

http://www.brasslantern.org/writers/how ... orial.html

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lurkio
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Re: Adventure Creators revisited

Postby lurkio » Tue Jun 02, 2015 2:14 pm

nudelooney wrote:
lurkio wrote:ALPS I've never seen. It seems to be RARE and missing in action... but watch this space..!

Ah, yes. Sorry, this-space watchers! Here's what you were watching for!:

http://stardot.org.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=5594&start=2370#p111308

I'm still digesting it. I'll upload it soon. 8)

[EDIT: I've found and uploaded ALPS here: viewtopic.php?f=32&t=10578&p=128530]

nudelooney wrote:I spent a LOT of time on ALPS when I was a teenager. I suspect it contributed to my love of writing.

Interesting! There don't seem to have been too many games written with ALPS:

http://solutionarchive.com/list/system%2C22/

I don't suppose any of yours survive, nudelooney? How easy is ALPS to pick up and use? Seems more powerful than GAC, from what little I've seen of it so far.
Last edited by lurkio on Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Adventure Creators revisited

Postby nudelooney » Tue Jun 02, 2015 2:41 pm

lurkio wrote:
nudelooney wrote:
lurkio wrote:ALPS I've never seen. It seems to be RARE and missing in action... but watch this space..!

Ah, yes. Sorry, this-space watchers! Here's what you were watching for!:

http://stardot.org.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=5594&start=2370#p111308

I'm still digesting it. I'll upload it soon. 8)

nudelooney wrote:I spent a LOT of time on ALPS when I was a teenager. I suspect it contributed to my love of writing.

Interesting! There don't seem to have been too many games written with ALPS:

http://solutionarchive.com/list/system%2C22/

I don't suppose any of yours survive, nudelooney? How easy is ALPS to pick up and use? Seems more powerful than GAC, from what little I've seen of it so far.


Good heavens! I didn't know ALPS existed for the Beeb! I used the Archimedes version (which obviously had heaps more space for text).

No, mine were never finished. I just learnt a lot about maps, and descriptions, and had fun making my own world. I suspect if I ever found my old games now, I'd find them excruciatingly embarrassing. :)

Jalov
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Re: Adventure Creators revisited

Postby Jalov » Fri Jun 05, 2015 1:18 pm

AndyF wrote:If you cannot find the disc version of PAWS let me know (via PM so I see it) and I'll try to find it for you. I do have it on a backup drive I know.


Is there some difference between PAWS vs PAW? All versions of PAW can be downloaded here:
https://gilsoftpawreservoir.wordpress.com/2-paw-zero/

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Elminster
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Re: Adventure Creators revisited

Postby Elminster » Fri Jun 05, 2015 4:36 pm

It is PAWS they are just being lazy (I think, my memory a bit hazy now) and dropping the 'S'.

On that page it does say

The best. The beautiful. The one and only Professional Adventure Writing System by Gilsoft.


Edit: Sometime they say PAW and sometimes PAWS. Not sure if they are using them in the same context or different context. Slightly confusing. But yes it is the same thing. But as I only have Acorns these days I need someone to write the BBC version.

Edit2: In fact they dont even mention the BBC version of Quill.

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Re: Adventure Creators revisited

Postby lurkio » Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:01 pm

Just resurrecting this thread to mention something I discovered about Graphic Adventure Creator (GAC).

In his relentless quest to track down every Beeb game ever for bbcmicro.co.uk, Lee turned up the text adventure game Plane Crash by Michael Cowgill of Labyrinth Software in the StairwayToHell tape archive. It was originally written in GAC's little brother, Adventure Creator (AC), which can do multi-part games but only on cassette tape.*

I thought it would be interesting to see if the three-part tape game Plane Crash could be ported to the disc version of GAC for the Model B, and thus explode the myth that GAC can't do multi-part games -- which isn't really a myth at all but is in fact what the official documentation says, i.e. that only AC can do multi-part games (using the CHN command in the AC text adventure programming language), and GAC can't.

It turns out that you can take the three original data files for Plane Crash (created in AC), load them into the GAC game editor, tweak them slightly,** and then generate three separate self-contained games on disc. But how can players carry their objects and score from Part 1 to Part 2 to Part 3? Simply by saving their game after successfully completing one part and then rebooting and loading the savegame in the next part!

So it seems that with a little extra work, GAC could have natively supported multi-part disc games out of the box, with no need for inelegant workarounds like this. So why didn't it? No idea! It's baffling.

Here's the game, Plane Crash, converted with GAC to run on disc in a Model B:


A review of the original game:

    Plane Crash review.png
    Pendragon's review of Plane Crash, from Electron User magazine


* There is actually a disc version of Plane Crash on STH, but it's essentially just a straight tape-to-disc file-copy and only runs on an &E00 DFS, like the one for the Electron (or the ElectrEm emulator), or the one for the Master 128 (or BeebEm in M128 mode).

** i.e. a lot


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