ALPS Adventure Language Programming System

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lurkio
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ALPS Adventure Language Programming System

Postby lurkio » Wed Jan 06, 2016 9:48 pm

Here's ALPS, the Adventure Language Programming System from Alpine Software (formerly Summit Software).

Scan 00a.jpeg
ALPS, the Adventure Language Programming System


The copy attached here works in Model B mode and Master 128 mode in BeebEm. The software consists of a DFS .SSD disc image and a ROM image:

    ALPS_2_3_summit_5_25.zip
    ALPS 2.3, the Adventure Language Programming System
    (47.83 KiB) Downloaded 82 times

    [UPDATE: ALPS Version 2.4 has been uploaded below.]

    [UPDATE: Documentation for the Electron version of ALPS has been uploaded below.]

    [UPDATE: Software for the Electron version of ALPS has been uploaded below.]

    [UPDATE: Software and docs for the Archimedes version of ALPS have been uploaded below.]

Here's a scan of the manual:


Many thanks to the author of ALPS, Philip Hawthorne, for providing me with a copy of his text adventure game authoring software for the Beeb. (I don't think he has any copies of the Electron version.)

Here are a couple of games that I believe were written in ALPS and commercially released, Cops and Plague Planet:


And finally a couple of screenshots of the adventure editor in action (type *ALPS):

1.png
Screenshot of the ALPS adventure editor in operation

2.png
Screenshot of the ALPS adventure editor in operation

image.jpeg
ALPS Utilities Disc loading-screen

image.jpeg
ALPS Utilities Disc main menu

image.jpeg
ALPS Utilities Disc print menu
Last edited by lurkio on Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:45 pm, edited 9 times in total.

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Re: ALPS Adventure Language Programming System

Postby flaxcottage » Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:15 am

Nice one, thanks. =D>
- 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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Re: ALPS Adventure Language Programming System

Postby GuitarPhil » Wed Jan 20, 2016 8:55 pm

I'd like to say thanks to lurkio for resurrecting these old ALPS programs and I hope some of you will try out the games and maybe even have a go with ALPS and produce a wee game or two of your own.

When Alpine Software slowly sailed into the west there were a number of very good ALPS adventures being developed for the Archimedes by others which sadly never got released as far as I am aware. I'd love to know what happened to them and have a play with them if I can get an Archie emulator working on my PC.

Phil.

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Re: ALPS Adventure Language Programming System

Postby lurkio » Thu Jan 21, 2016 12:34 pm

Cheers, Phil!

CASA (the Classic Adventure Solutions Archive) has a list of ALPS games here:

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

Not sure how complete or accurate it is.

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Re: ALPS Adventure Language Programming System

Postby GuitarPhil » Thu Jan 21, 2016 2:44 pm

Thanks again lurkio =D>

I remember most of those games. Cyborg was written by me and is half-ALPS adventure and half Arcade game, the latter written with Creator II, the Alpine Software Arcade Games Designer.

I will have to get an Archie emulator running on my PC to play the others. Any recommendations on the best Archie emulator?

One of the unfinished games I recall was called Kalkazor and the author was Max Palmer. At the time circa 1994 Max was doing a PhD in X-Ray detectors at Southampton University. Kalkazor was absolutely HUGE and certainly stretched ALPS to the limit!

The other IIRC was called Survivor and was by Geoff Lynas. It was either finished or very close to finished.

Phil.

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Re: ALPS Adventure Language Programming System

Postby Jalov » Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:17 pm

Thanks for finding this one.

Well, i found an old list made by Philip Hawthorne, 21-04-98. He wrote:

As the author of ALPS (Adventure Language Programming System), for the
Acorn, I would like to create a definitive list of all examples of IF,
however small, that have been made using this system. The games I am
currently aware of are:
Title Version Author
------------------------------------------------------------------
COPS - Myself
Cyborg 1.02 Myself
Darklands ?.?? Darran Weisenborn
Dreamscape 0.21 Adam Davis
High Terror unfinished 1991 ???
Kalkazor unfinished Max Palmer
Kidnapped 2.21 Gary Wass
The Survivor ?.?? Geoff Lynas
Out For The Count unfinished 1991 Richard Forster
Plague Planet - Myself
Quest for the Pendragon demo Mike Cowgill/John Addison

Janny

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Re: ALPS Adventure Language Programming System

Postby GuitarPhil » Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:28 pm

Wow Janny! Where on earth did you dig that up?

I don't even remember writing this - but then it was nearly 18 years ago :lol: :shock:

Phil.

Jalov
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Re: ALPS Adventure Language Programming System

Postby Jalov » Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:26 am

That must have been a newsgroup. I did not post the whole message, here is the rest:

------------------------------------------------------------------

If you know of other games authored with ALPS, or more recent versions
than those I know of, or, even better, if you are the author of any of
the 'unfinished' games and have since completed them, I would appreciate
you getting in contact, either through this ng or by e-mail.

Ideally I would like to be able to acquire a copy of each released ALPS
game so if you know of a site where I can download them please pass on
the address. If you have a copy of a game that is shareware or PD that
is not available on any site perhaps you could upload it to the gmd
archive, or, if this is not convenient, forward a copy to me, either my
e-mail or snail mail (e-mail me first and I will let you have my
address) and I will do the necessary. I'll return all disks as soon as I
have copied the contents.

Many thanks.
--
Philip Hawthorne
Alpine Software


Right you are. I am surprised too when reading old messages I ever wrote down to newsgroups... :wink:

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Re: ALPS Adventure Language Programming System

Postby GuitarPhil » Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:23 pm

Thanks again. I have absolutely no recollection of writing that :? :lol:

Phil

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tautology
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Re: ALPS Adventure Language Programming System

Postby tautology » Mon Mar 21, 2016 11:09 pm

I didn't realise that you'd found here. I've been toying with writing a modern PC interpreter for ALPS for a while, but I've only had one legal game to work on (the Archimedes version of COPS).

By any chance have you got any documentation of the ALPS formats to save me some time?

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Re: ALPS Adventure Language Programming System

Postby lurkio » Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:24 pm

I've finally got a 3.5-inch disc drive (thanks, Sprow!), so I've been able to archive the contents of the 3.5-inch ADFS-format disc that came with the Master Compact version of ALPS. Because the contents include a newer version of the ROM image, which reports "ALPS 2.4" when invoked with the command *ALPS, I'm going to go ahead and call this upload ALPS Version 2.4. (I'm not exactly sure how different the Master Compact version of ALPS is from the other versions, but according to the manual one difference is that the Master Compact version can't produce tape-based games.)

Here are the contents of the original 3.5-inch ADFS-format disc for ALPS 2.4:

    ALPS24.adl.zip
    ALPS 2.4: ADFS disc image
    (49.57 KiB) Downloaded 52 times

The disc image above was constructed in BeebEm, into which I'd loaded the .DSD onto which I'd transferred the original disc's contents via my DataCentre.

Just for completeness, here's that intermediate double-sided DFS disc image (.DSD) I made while transferring the contents of the original disc to my DataCentre. This disc image might not work properly:

    ALPS24.DSD.zip
    ALPS 2.4: DSD disc image
    (328.73 KiB) Downloaded 48 times
:idea:
Last edited by lurkio on Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: ALPS Adventure Language Programming System

Postby lurkio » Thu Oct 27, 2016 7:39 pm

Documentation for the Electron version of ALPS, kindly provided by the author:


The software for the Electron version of ALPS has now been found on disc by Ian, and the data has been forensically recovered with a Kryoflux by Daniel! =D> =D>

Here are the relevant disc images and ROM images for the Acorn Electron version of ALPS:

    ALPS.zip
    ADFS disc image of the Utilities disc for ALPS for the Electron. This is the data recovered by Daniel from the ageing/damaged floppy disc found by Ian.
    (30.79 KiB) Downloaded 32 times


    ALPS3.2.ssd.zip
    DFS .SSD disc image of the Utilities disc for ALPS for the Electron. This is the same data that's on the ADFS disc image above but just transferred to a DFS disc image. I'm calling it version 3.2 because that's what the System Notes on the disc say (though the title screen says "1.2").
    (30.61 KiB) Downloaded 34 times


    ALPS3.2.rom.zip
    ALPS 3.2 ROM image. This is the ROM that came with the Electron version of ALPS.
    (10.51 KiB) Downloaded 33 times


    ALPS3.2_Electron_MEGA_disc.ssd.zip
    DFS .SSD disc image of the "MEGA" disc for the Electron version of ALPS. This disc image contains files that have been unpacked from the file named MEGA on the Electron ALPS Utilities disc. (See main menu on Utilities disc.)
    (12.96 KiB) Downloaded 32 times


    TINY.ssd.zip
    DFS .SSD disc image of a runnable game created from the data files for the game TINY on the Electron ALPS MEGA disc, above. (See main menu on Electron ALPS Utilities disc.)
    (6.04 KiB) Downloaded 35 times

:idea:

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Re: ALPS Adventure Language Programming System

Postby lurkio » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:51 pm

Here are what I believe are the last two missing pieces of the 8-bit ALPS software suite:

ALPS Extension Pack
"1988 / Electron version 1.2"
"Contains User Guide and 80 track ADFS disk for the Acorn Electron / (Requires the ALPS rom package) / 3½" /"

    ALPSEXN.SSD.zip
    DFS .SSD disc-image of the ALPS Extension Pack: contents transferred from the original ADFS floppy disc
    (145.91 KiB) Downloaded 33 times

    ALPS_Extension_manual.pdf
    Manual for the ALPS Extension Pack
    (3.6 MiB) Downloaded 34 times


ALPS Extras Pack
"1988 / Electron version 1.1"
"Contains User Guide and 3.5" ADFS disk for the Acorn Electron / (Requires the ALPS rom package)"

    ALPSEXR.SSD.zip
    DFS .SSD disc-image of the ALPS Extras Pack: contents transferred from the original ADFS floppy disc
    (137.57 KiB) Downloaded 30 times

    ALPS_Extras_manual.pdf
    Manual for the ALPS Extras Pack
    (2.59 MiB) Downloaded 32 times

Much of the ALPS software announces itself as an "Acorn Electron" version, but it all seems to run in BeebEm, so hopefully it'll all be compatible with Model Bs and/or Masters too.

:idea:

Finally got round to scanning, archiving and uploading these last two items. Many thanks again to Phil for sending them to me!

=D> =D>

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Re: ALPS Adventure Language Programming System

Postby Commodore » Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:30 pm

lurkio wrote:Here's ALPS, the Adventure Language Programming System from Alpine Software (formerly Summit Software).

Scan 00a.jpeg

The copy attached here works in Model B mode and Master 128 mode in BeebEm. The software consists of a DFS .SSD disc image and a ROM image



Hi Lurkio. I'm loving the look of this. I've never written any program ever (well Hello World and a thing that drew a wavy line for Maths about 33 years ago!), but if I did, I'd like to try an adventure program, and this could be the way to do it, or at least to start.
I already have GAC for the Spectrum and the C64, but ALPS looks better, and anyway, I think if i can't write it on the VIC 20, then I'd like to do it on the BBC.
I have ideas for a few adventures. Is all I need the .SSD image transferred over to my SD card through MMBImager?

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Re: ALPS Adventure Language Programming System

Postby lurkio » Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:03 pm

[Deleted. See next post, below, instead!]
Last edited by lurkio on Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: ALPS Adventure Language Programming System

Postby lurkio » Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:07 pm

lurkio wrote:
Commodore wrote:
lurkio wrote:Here's ALPS, the Adventure Language Programming System from Alpine Software (formerly Summit Software) ... The copy attached here works in Model B mode and Master 128 mode in BeebEm. The software consists of a DFS .SSD disc image and a ROM image

Hi Lurkio. I'm loving the look of this. I've never written any program ever (well Hello World and a thing that drew a wavy line for Maths about 33 years ago!), but if I did, I'd like to try an adventure program, and this could be the way to do it, or at least to start. I already have GAC for the Spectrum and the C64, but ALPS looks better, and anyway, I think if i can't write it on the VIC 20, then I'd like to do it on the BBC. I have ideas for a few adventures. Is all I need the .SSD image transferred over to my SD card through MMBImager?

ALPS is more sophisticated than GAC, but it comes on a ROM as well as a disc, so you'd need Sideways RAM in your Beeb, to load the ROM-image into -- or a physical EPROM to blow the ROM-image onto before inserting the EPROM into an empty ROM-socket inside your Beeb. (Or just run ALPS in an emulator.)

If you're writing a text adventure for the first time, I'd recommend starting with GAC, which is easier and quicker to get into. Or The Quill, which is simpler than GAC, and therefore possibly even easier to get going with than GAC, but then The Quill is also less flexible and possibly a bit less user-friendly than GAC.

Here's The Quill for the Beeb, with the manual:


And here's a beginner's guide to The Quill:


GAC should be on Stairway To Hell and/or here on Stardot. The manual is actually a bit harder to find online, particularly the Beeb-specfic version, but there are very similar manuals out there for other 8-bits. There's also this:


See also:

:idea:
Last edited by lurkio on Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: ALPS Adventure Language Programming System

Postby Commodore » Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:29 pm

Great, thanks Lurkio. I should have a GAC manual for C64 and Spectrum, so they may help perhaps.

I do have 32K SWRAM. I am still right at the beginning stage of understanding some of this BEEB stuff. If I did want to give ALPS a try, do I just need the .SSD as I have the SWRAM, or do I need to do something with the ROM image and the SWRAM, because if so I don't have a scooby what it is.

I'll certainly have a look on the stairway for GAC though. Cheers.

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Re: ALPS Adventure Language Programming System

Postby lurkio » Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:37 pm

Commodore wrote:Great, thanks Lurkio. I should have a GAC manual for C64 and Spectrum, so they may help perhaps.

Also see here:


Commodore wrote:I do have 32K SWRAM. I am still right at the beginning stage of understanding some of this BEEB stuff. If I did want to give ALPS a try, do I just need the .SSD as I have the SWRAM, or do I need to do something with the ROM image and the SWRAM, because if so I don't have a scooby what it is.

Download the first zip file (ALPS_2_3_summit_5_25.zip) in the first post in this thread. It should contain both the ROM-image and the .SSD disc-image. Then you'll need to find a way to load the ROM-image into Sideways RAM. (This is, sort of, a way to simulate inserting a physical ROM into the Beeb.) The way you do this will depend on what Sideways RAM utilities you've got. Unfortunately, the Model B doesn't come with any such utilities built in -- unlike the Master.

Honestly, the best way to develop a text adventure for the Beeb is to use an emulator because then you can easily add a ROM-image if you're using ALPS. Or you might be able to take advantage of text-editors on the modern OS that the emulator's running in, and copy and paste text (room descriptions, object descriptions, etc.) from the editor into the emulator, as I've done with GAC in the past.

:idea:

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Re: ALPS Adventure Language Programming System

Postby Commodore » Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:50 am

Thanks Lurkio, yes that makes more sense.

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Re: ALPS Adventure Language Programming System

Postby Commodore » Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:23 pm

Tried GAC on STH, it doesn't work. The intro screen just keeps cycling. I'll have to try it from elsewhere.

I noticed a few others as well though.

Adventure Game Writer

Adventure Game Creator

I may have got the names a bit wrong.

It doesn't seem to be on the Games Archive, probably because it's not a game! :)

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Re: ALPS Adventure Language Programming System

Postby lurkio » Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:16 pm

Commodore wrote:Tried GAC on STH, it doesn't work. The intro screen just keeps cycling.

Continuing the discussion over here:

:arrow:

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Re: ALPS Adventure Language Programming System

Postby lurkio » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:43 pm

Here's ALPS for the Archimedes, version 5.12a (August 1995):

    ALPS.zip
    Spark archive containing the ALPS 5.12a 800k disc-image
    (305.95 KiB) Downloaded 12 times

    ALPS512a,fce.zip
    Standard zip archive containing the disc-image extracted from the Spark archive above
    (207.03 KiB) Downloaded 14 times

    Introductory%20Guide.pdf
    Introductory Guide to ALPS for the Archimedes
    (2.83 MiB) Downloaded 10 times

    Reference%20Guide.pdf
    Reference Guide to ALPS for the Archimedes
    (5.84 MiB) Downloaded 11 times

Thanks to Phil and lcww1 for recovering the software and the docs.

:idea:

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Re: ALPS Adventure Language Programming System

Postby lurkio » Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:59 am

Some screenshots of Archie ALPS running in Arculator (under WINE on a Mac):

    1.png
    2.png
    3.png
    4.png
:idea:


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