Convert Acorn text adventure?

discuss text & graphic adventures for Acorns. level 9, robico & epic led this field
catventure
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Convert Acorn text adventure?

Postby catventure » Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:32 pm

Hi to Acorn Electron text adventure players and adventure writers,

To those old-school and retro text adventure program fans and/or authors who used 80's adventure utilities to play and write adventures on different platforms such as ZXSpectrum, BBC, Commodore64, Acorn Electron etc.

The "ThinBASIC Adventure Builder" (aka T.A.B.) is my retro text adventure creator for the PC.
It works on Windows XP/Vista/7/8 and above.

http://tab.thinbasic.com/

TAB is a kind of Quill/PAW replicant or variant, works on similar principles, and runs on WINDOWS only.
Some info here:
http://www.ifwiki.org/index.php/ThinBAS ... re_Builder

TAB might be useful for adventure creators who may want to remake an existing non-PC PAW or Quill'ed game.

I know this can be done without much difficulty for most ZXSpectrum adventures by transferring or "converting" the existing adventure program database list (extracting the .z80 or .sna files with the unpaws211 utility)
The game can then be expanded, embellished or extended if desired. (eg: to add more text/puzzles ; to be more user friendly ) in TAB.
The resultant remake would work as a standalone Windows executable - thus avoiding the necessity of running the original game through a PC emulator...

Or, of course you can build a whole new game from scratch as well. :)

Here is a playlist I recently updated:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... nXjQ4zD5DG

Regards,
catventure.
Catventure.

( Author of TAB for Windows: Retro text adventure creator similar to QUILL/PAW/GAC. Visit http://tab.thinbasic.com )

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Wookie
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Re: Convert Acorn text adventure?

Postby Wookie » Wed Jan 27, 2016 8:08 pm

I think you'll find the people on here are more interested in using the old original hardware or running an emulator of the old machines rather than converting old software to run on Windows.
cheers Wookie
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AndyF
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Re: Convert Acorn text adventure?

Postby AndyF » Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:02 pm

Having converted a few adventure games from the Sinclair platform to Acorn, it is quite fiddly to do I can tell you. To be fair the only tools I used were a disassembler to pull the original game apart and ZXSpin (To view the Spectrum version) and BeebEm (to view the 'converted' version) as I built it via Quill, manually. :)

Its not a simple copy/paste operation as words have different ID's as well as variations in the flags between the systems too.

Takes about 2 weeks (spare time on and off) per 'game' to do typically.

catventure
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Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:26 pm
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Re: Convert Acorn text adventure?

Postby catventure » Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:51 pm

Hi Andy,

I looked at your pages regarding the ports you did and your experiences and the problems you met during these conversions. Very Interesting :)
I've converted a couple of Spectrum Paw'ed games myself in TAB in the past so can quite understand.
Whilst a lot can be done quite easily in TAB such as the copy/paste of locations, connections, words, objects and characters, messages and text etc. the actual "tricky" (but also fun) part is finding the equivalent conditions and action commands for the Responses and Process tables.
TAB has slightly different names for them - but they will essentially do the same thing.

The 'adventure language' is not precisely the same - but there are corresponding conditions and actions that do the EXACT same thing - whilst in addition there are MANY, MANY other helpful new ones that were not present in the original PAW or Quill.

In TAB you have the RESPONSE, SCRIPT 1 and SCRIPT 2 coding editors.
There is also "or_checking", "else if" and the ability to switch between conditions and actions using the "CALL_action" and "CALL_condition" commands in a coding entry.

Coding syntax example entry. Uses "[start]", "[acts]" and "[end]" tags:

[start]or_room=1#or_room=52#flag1=0[acts]cmessYou are in either room 1 or room 52 and flag 1 holds a value of zero!![end]


For instance:
PAW/QUILL CONDITIONS
====================
AT locno

NOTAT locno

ATGT locno

ATLT locno

PRESENT objno

ABSENT objno


TAB EQUIVALENTS
===============
room=X
room<>x
room<X
room>X
room<=X
room>=X

hereX
objlocn1=here
objlocn2=here

absentX
objlocn1=absent
objlocn2=absent

I've had no problems at all with the flags.

Strangely enough, I looked at SUBSUNK recenty and concluded it would be a relatively easy one to "transfer" and today even thought of doing a remake of THE HERMITAGE...

catventure.
Catventure.

( Author of TAB for Windows: Retro text adventure creator similar to QUILL/PAW/GAC. Visit http://tab.thinbasic.com )

catventure
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:26 pm
Contact:

Re: Convert Acorn text adventure?

Postby catventure » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:19 am

Hi,

A minor update to the program was released on 2 Feb 2016:
http://tab.thinbasic.com/

Regards,
catventure
Catventure.

( Author of TAB for Windows: Retro text adventure creator similar to QUILL/PAW/GAC. Visit http://tab.thinbasic.com )


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