Unfinished Text Adventures

discuss classic text/graphic adventures for the bbc micro & electron
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8bitAG
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Re: Unfinished Text Adventures

Post by 8bitAG » Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:16 am

fuzzel wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:02 am
Looks like you've beaten me to it lurkio! This unquilling business is interesting, I'll have to have a close look at the text files created to see exactly what it gives you. I presume it would provide a full list of all possible inputs which have been anticipated by the author and their consequences via messages.
Unquill basically extracts the Quill database from a game. This is the exact information that an author will have entered into the main Quill program.

You get the vocabulary list. The location descriptions and connections. A list of the objects and their corresponding vocabulary. The response table, which matches the input the player types in. And also the status table (which basically is an additional table for the computer's turn at the game).

When it runs the adventure, the Quill interpreter works through the database. When it finds a match it continues on with the entry. If things don't match then it moves on to the next entry in the database, until it is told otherwise.

In the response table, the interpreter compares the two words its parsed from the player's input, with the entries in the response table in order. If it matches then it checks the conditions that are included as part of the entry. If they *all* match then the corresponding actions are carried out. Unless the interpreter is told otherwise (by a condact such as DONE or OK) it will then proceed to the next entry.

One of the nice things that Unquill can do is annotate the code, expanding and printing any associated text. So where the code says MESSAGE 16, it'll print alongside the contents of that message. Where it says GOTO 20, it'll print the location description of location number 20. That makes the code easier to follow.

The BBC version of the Quill is probably the easiest to understand, as it doesn't have some of the complexities of the other versions. Should you ever want to explore the differences between the Quill on other platforms, then I've produced this document... http://8bitag.com/info/documents/Quill- ... erence.pdf
One game which I believe was quilled is Twin Orbs of Aalinor by Potter Programs.
The version I've just looked at a screenshot for definitely wasn't Quilled. It think only one of the Potter programs was Quilled, from the CASA records.

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Re: Unfinished Text Adventures

Post by fuzzel » Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:36 am

Many thanks for the quick response and the guidance. I'm looking forward to reading through some of these unquilled text files when I get some time. A shame about the Potter game not being quilled, I'll have to see if I can find the routine within the main program that prints the messages.

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Re: Unfinished Text Adventures

Post by ghosty » Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:01 pm

PJ-1978 wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 11:08 am
After giving up on 'Gnome Adventure', at least until it's proven not to be buggy as I suspect it is (see relevant thread), I'm now having a bash at 'The Sea Queen', an interesting commercial-level-but-originally-unreleased pirate fare.

I've become quite motivated to try and crack a couple of the as-yet-unsolved text adventures*, and confess I do enjoy ones that are a break from the typical aliens or dungeons fare occasionally, and this one is currently holding my attention even though I can't get much to actually happen as yet. Might be worth a look for you, Fuzzel and Lurkio.

(* - I completed 'The Lost Frog' last year, not tough as it's basically for young players... I should probably write a walk-through for it through!)
Hi,

I'm the author of The Sea Queen. I transferred it from a tape I found in my parents attic many, many moons ago..
Unfortunately, it appears to be an earlier version - The fight sequence in the tavern isn't properly implemented & there's some small bugs in part 2 (Both parts are in the same file) which I know I fixed in the final version. It's still possible to complete though, but I wouldn't bother :)

I remember designing it when I was around 14 and trying to program it in basic, but never managed to finish it. Then a couple of years later I bought The Quill & used that instead.

Some embarrassing things in there when I look back (I mean, a press gang for a pirate ship?!) Nice memories though.

Jonathan.
Last edited by ghosty on Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Unfinished Text Adventures

Post by 8bitAG » Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:28 pm

ghosty wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:01 pm
Hi,

I'm the author of The Sea Queen. I transferred it from a tape I found in my parents attic many, many moons ago..
Unfortunately, it appears to be an earlier version - The fight sequence in the tavern isn't properly implemented & there's some bugs in part 2 (Both parts are in the same file) which I know I fixed in the final version. It's still possible to complete though, but I wouldn't bother :)

I remember designing it when I was around 14 and trying to program it in basic, but never managed to finish it. Then a couple of years later I bought The Quill & used that instead.

Some embarrassing things in there when I look back (I mean, a press gang for a pirate ship?!) Nice memories though.
Always nice to hear from a "homegrown" adventure author. Quilled adventures are often little time capsules filled with memories.

It wasn't unheard of for pirate or merchant ships to operate their own unofficial press-gangs. :)

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Re: Unfinished Text Adventures

Post by lurkio » Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:54 pm

ghosty wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:01 pm
I'm the author of The Sea Queen. I transferred it from a tape I found in my parents attic many, many moons ago.. Unfortunately, it appears to be an earlier version - The fight sequence in the tavern isn't properly implemented & there's some small bugs in part 2 (Both parts are in the same file)
Nice to hear from you, Jonathan. Thanks for the info.

I don't suppose you happen to remember the details of the bugs you mention?

:?:

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Re: Unfinished Text Adventures

Post by lurkio » Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:58 pm

8bitAG wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:16 am
The BBC version of the Quill is probably the easiest to understand, as it doesn't have some of the complexities of the other versions. Should you ever want to explore the differences between the Quill on other platforms, then I've produced this document... http://8bitag.com/info/documents/Quill- ... erence.pdf
Do you happen to have any insight into whether there's a typo in this extract from the Beeb Quill manual downloaded from 8-bit.info (emphasis mine)?:
Values of 253, 254 and 255 have special meanings. 252 means that an object is carried. 253 means that an object is worn and 255 means that an object is not created (the default value). If there is no response when the RETURN key is pressed then the number either contains a letter, is not 253, 254, 255 or is greater than the number of locations inserted so far.
:?:

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Re: Unfinished Text Adventures

Post by 8bitAG » Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:19 am

lurkio wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:58 pm
Do you happen to have any insight into whether there's a typo in this extract from the Beeb Quill manual downloaded from 8-bit.info (emphasis mine)?:
Values of 253, 254 and 255 have special meanings. 252 means that an object is carried. 253 means that an object is worn and 255 means that an object is not created (the default value). If there is no response when the RETURN key is pressed then the number either contains a letter, is not 253, 254, 255 or is greater than the number of locations inserted so far.
Yeah, that 252 will be wrong, I think. Should be 253 (worn), 254 (carried) and 255 (current location) if it matches all other versions of the Quill. 252 was not-created in the PAWs. I can't recall of the top of my head whether that exists in Quill.

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Re: Unfinished Text Adventures

Post by 8bitAG » Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:27 am

We probably need a new Quill discussion thread. :)
Values of 253, 254 and 255 have special meanings. 252 means that an object is carried. 253 means that an object is worn and 255 means that an object is not created (the default value). If there is no response when the RETURN key is pressed then the number either contains a letter, is not 253, 254, 255 or is greater than the number of locations inserted so far.
Actually, just looking at my Spectrum Quill manual I'm confused by that whole paragraph. It wouldn't be a surprised if the BBC Quill's programmer had changed some of these values compared to standard Quill. Might just need a quick bit of investigation to check. If they do differ from standard Quill then that definitely needs to be flagged up.

Here's a corresponding section from the Speccy manual...
252, 253, & 254 are some special locnos which mean not created, worn & carried respectively...
Which is in line with PAW's 252 (not-created), 253 (worn), 254 (carried), 255 (current location)

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Re: Unfinished Text Adventures

Post by lurkio » Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:03 am

8bitAG wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:27 am
We probably need a new Quill discussion thread.
Maybe use this one:
:?:

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Re: Unfinished Text Adventures

Post by 8bitAG » Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:02 am

lurkio wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:03 am
Maybe use this one:
Have added to that topic, as suggested, thanks. viewtopic.php?p=275558#p275558

Leaving this one free to talk about the games themselves.

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Re: Unfinished Text Adventures

Post by ghosty » Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:19 pm

lurkio wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:54 pm
ghosty wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:01 pm
I'm the author of The Sea Queen. I transferred it from a tape I found in my parents attic many, many moons ago.. Unfortunately, it appears to be an earlier version - The fight sequence in the tavern isn't properly implemented & there's some small bugs in part 2 (Both parts are in the same file)
Nice to hear from you, Jonathan. Thanks for the info.

I don't suppose you happen to remember the details of the bugs you mention?

:?:
Hi Lurkio,

Well I remember a small bug where a certain location description doesn't provide the correct exit to proceed further in one location. But that's just a minor problem..
The main bug (I'm not sure if it's intermittent) is the timer that's activated in part 1 doesn't clear for part 2, so after x amount of turns, it ends the game. This is the horrid bug that I know I fixed in the final release. But as I mentioned previously, it's still possible to complete if you're careful.

I've been looking at the disassembly recently and have been thinking about recreating the game in The Quill from scratch, just for the hell of it. Despite the silly warning in the intro, it's only a simple introductory-level fare after the issues with it have been removed, so shouldn't take too long to do..

Thanks for the interest anyway.

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Re: Unfinished Text Adventures

Post by ghosty » Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:21 pm

Deleted.
Last edited by ghosty on Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Unfinished Text Adventures

Post by ghosty » Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:21 pm

Deleted.

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Re: Unfinished Text Adventures

Post by 8bitAG » Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:31 pm

ghosty wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:19 pm
I've been looking at the disassembly recently and have been thinking about recreating the game in The Quill from scratch, just for the hell of it. Despite the silly warning in the intro, it's only a simple introductory-level fare after the issues with it have been removed, so shouldn't take too long to do..
Lurkio had a clever way of getting an exported game back into the Quill's database that will save you a lot of time; should you wish to fix the bugs.*

*although it may depend on which version was used to make the game.

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Re: Unfinished Text Adventures

Post by ghosty » Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:47 pm

Hey, thanks for this 8bitAG. Being able to convert BBC/Elk Quill games back into a data file was something I was searching for, for a long time.
However, I think i'd prefer to redo the bloody thing from scratch now i've managed to 'disassemble' my original beta with uqbbc.

Presumably you're the same guy who posted on the English Amiga Board recently (Regarding Jim MacBrayne - Thanks for that, fondly remember Jim's adventures on the Amiga :))

Regards,
Jonathan.

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Re: Unfinished Text Adventures

Post by lurkio » Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:08 pm

8bitAG wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:31 pm
Lurkio had a clever way of getting an exported game back into the Quill's database that will save you a lot of time; should you wish to fix the bugs.
Here's the Sea Queen game database, filename SQ, ready for loading into the Quill editor. The editor is included on the disc-image:
This time, I took the disc-image of the game from bbcmicro.co.uk and hacked the game database out of the runnable game file, TSQdata, which I first extracted to the desktop. I used a hex-editor to hack the game database out of the runnable game file and then I imported the database file onto a blank .SSD disc-image. I also had to run the database through the QCDT program to convert it from tape-Quill format to disc-Quill format.

:idea:

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Re: Unfinished Text Adventures

Post by ghosty » Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:23 pm

It's absolutely unbelievable you've managed to this lurkio. I'd actually given up on aquiring the data file again and had consigned myself to the idea that it was lost forever. What can I say? Thank you very much! :)

Seriously, thank you! I'm definitely going to redo this now. You are a God amongst men :)

Best regards,
Jonathan.

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Re: Unfinished Text Adventures

Post by PJ-1978 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:56 am

ghosty wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:01 pm
Hi,

I'm the author of The Sea Queen. I transferred it from a tape I found in my parents attic many, many moons ago..
Unfortunately, it appears to be an earlier version - The fight sequence in the tavern isn't properly implemented & there's some small bugs in part 2 (Both parts are in the same file) which I know I fixed in the final version. It's still possible to complete though, but I wouldn't bother :)

I remember designing it when I was around 14 and trying to program it in basic, but never managed to finish it. Then a couple of years later I bought The Quill & used that instead.

Some embarrassing things in there when I look back (I mean, a press gang for a pirate ship?!) Nice memories though.

Jonathan.
I'm bit late to the party on this one by a few days, but nice to make your acquaintance Jonathan and I'm enjoying playing The Sea Queen. Haven't progressed far past the bar fight as yet, I need to sit down and put a couple more hours into it.

I'll still bother completing it as I'm enjoying the setting, and anything that isn't standard 'dungeons' or 'aliens' text adventure setting is of interest to me.
In what way isn't the tavern fight implemented properly; is it just buggy or did you add to it later?
I've only progressed mid-way through the fight at the moment - either keep knocking people out or getting killed, I'll try and get past that this evening.

Did you write any other games, out of interest?
...Should have put more thought into thinking of a clever user name!!

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Re: Unfinished Text Adventures

Post by ghosty » Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:14 pm

Hi PJ-1978,

Thanks for your interest. I really wouldn't try to complete it in its current form - It'll only serve to annoy you ;)

Basically, I tried to implement the fight sequence similar to the combat in Twin Kingdom Valley, but this version it doesn't work correctly.
Also you're supposed to examine each character in the tavern and the ones you're meant to knock out give a hint, such as "This person would make a good deckhand" etc, but these descriptions are missing from this version, so it's pure guesswork. I'm sure in the final release you could make a cudgel from a few items scattered about, which made it a lot easier (I can't remember if I implemented that or not..)

Sorry for multiple posts the other day, I blame this crappy Black Widow keyboard and I think i'd had a few drinkies..

Anyway, when I get a bit more time i'm going to fix this one up & remaster the final release (In the near future)

I did a couple of other adventures before this, one I submitted to Potter Programs "The Hotter Programs" that was going to appear on a compilation, but they went out of business before it got published (It was crap anyway :))

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Re: Unfinished Text Adventures

Post by fuzzel » Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:03 pm

Street Patroller 2 Remix - Congratulations (?) message below:
SP2 End2.jpg

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Re: Unfinished Text Adventures

Post by ghosty » Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:43 pm

Just a quick update on The Sea Queen version 2 .. I haven't forgotten about it for those interested, it's just that i'm working from home atm.. I'm discovering that after lots of laptopy stuff all day, i'm finding it a bit difficult to sit down & concentrate getting this done after hours, so to speak (Square eyes and all that..) Plus i'm getting jobs to do around the house :) I've mapped out where I want this to go (Where it should have gone) so hopefully i'll begin banging this b*****d together in the near. Actually, even if no-ones interested, i'd like to "tie up some loose ends with this" .. For what it's worth.. :)

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Re: Unfinished Text Adventures

Post by lurkio » Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:47 pm

ghosty wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:43 pm
even if no-ones interested, i'd like to "tie up some loose ends with this" .. For what it's worth..
For what it's worth, I heartily approve of this!

:)

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Re: Unfinished Text Adventures

Post by ghosty » Thu Jul 09, 2020 8:09 pm

lurkio wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:47 pm
ghosty wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:43 pm
even if no-ones interested, i'd like to "tie up some loose ends with this" .. For what it's worth..
For what it's worth, I heartily approve of this!

:)
Thanks lurkio, it means a lot. Good night! :)

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Re: Unfinished Text Adventures

Post by Chuckie » Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:34 pm

I wrote a text adventure for my O level Computer project on electron/bbc mciro. electron had no mode 7 so limited space. Its text so why have graphics. Get Lamp Go North .Happy days. Also it features wizard so pre dates Harry Potter!

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Re: Unfinished Text Adventures

Post by fuzzel » Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:39 pm

Can I have a go? I’ll mark you out of 10

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Re: Unfinished Text Adventures

Post by ash73 » Mon Oct 05, 2020 5:22 pm

Hi, I added a solution to the Anion 3 text adventure thread, in case anyone got stuck on it. Sorry the mazes were a bit of a nightmare. All the best.

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Re: Unfinished Text Adventures

Post by ghosty » Wed Oct 07, 2020 8:19 pm

Hi,
A little update to me revising The Sea Queen - I'm sorry, i've just had too much **** going on in my personal life to sit down & look at this properly.
Taking this into account and outstanding professional work, i'm hoping to have it out by Christmas.

Regards,
Jonathan.

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Re: Unfinished Text Adventures

Post by iamaran » Wed Oct 21, 2020 7:33 pm

Just finished Quest for the Gobal. Didn't really enjoy it and so I'm doubly annoyed that I didn't get a perfect score!
I'm not even sure it is possible to score 100% as I have to drop one of the three keys in order to pick up the Gobal, losing 10 points.
If anyone fancies having a quick look to see whether I am missing something I can provide a map and walkthrough.
It is an AC (not GAC) game that is too large to load into GAC (not that I'm sure how compatible they are) and Grackle can't help. Is there a disk version of AC?
Thanks.

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Re: Unfinished Text Adventures

Post by lurkio » Wed Oct 21, 2020 8:13 pm

iamaran wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 7:33 pm
It is an AC (not GAC) game that is too large to load into GAC (not that I'm sure how compatible they are) and Grackle can't help. Is there a disk version of AC?
There isn't a disc version of AC as far as I'm aware. [EDIT: There is now! See EDIT4, below.]

Gobal is weird. The game data file G.DATA is so big that if you transfer it to tape and then load it into AC on a standard Model B, it corrupts.

You have to switch to Master mode in BeebEm and then load G.DATA into AC, off tape. [EDIT: Even then it seems to corrupt: the screen gets overwritten with data as you load. Plus, see the EDITs below.] [EDIT: Problem solved! See EDIT3, below.]

Here's a BeebEm savestate created in Mac BeebEm, but it should work in Windows BeebEm too. It gives you Gobal pre-loaded into AC on a BBC Master, ready for you to lift the bonnet and poke around:

gobal_AC_Master_SHADOW0_savestate.uef
(141.15 KiB) Downloaded 2 times

:idea:

EDIT: Ah. I see that my savestate freezes up if you go into the Printer menu and try to print all the Messages to screen! It also corrupts if you try to test the game while in the AC editor: try pressing Return from the main menu to "enter" the adventure, and then type in the HELP command twice.

EDIT2: How was this game created? It seems to be too big to edit in any known variant of GAC or AC!

EDIT3: Aha! I think I've cracked it! You have to be in Master mode and then issue the command *SHADOW 0 which forces the ordinary screen modes (zero to seven) to use Shadow RAM, which raises HIMEM to &8000 and creates enough room to load the Gobal game data file G.DATA into AC! I've updated the savestate attached to this post. See above. (Is this really how this game was created? It's devious as heck! I wonder if the author also had to patch the GAC/AC runtime so that you could SAVE and LOAD (i.e. RESTORE) to and from disc rather than tape..? Or perhaps he exported the game as a runnable game from AC, and then used the conversion utility in GAC to transfer the runnable game from tape to disc..?)

EDIT4: Oh, look -- I seem to have created a disc version of AC! It's Master-only (won't run on a Model B). I had to do a minor hack on some of the loader machine-code, but apart from that it was a fairly straightforward tape-to-disc transfer. I reckon this is what the author of Gobal did in order to create the game originally. The attached .SSD disc-image contains the AC editor, compatible with a Master only, and also the game data file, GOBAL, which you can load into AC and view and edit. The .SSD also contains an exported runnable version of the game, which you can run if you type *RUN GRUN or */GRUN or just *GRUN at the BASIC prompt when in Master mode in BeebEm:

Download the .SSD disc-image:
Master AC.ssd
(200 KiB) Downloaded 2 times

Boot the .SSD disc-image in JSBeeb in your web-browser:
http://bbcmicro.co.uk//jsbeeb/play.php? ... del=Master

:!:
Last edited by lurkio on Thu Oct 22, 2020 11:53 am, edited 8 times in total.

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Re: Unfinished Text Adventures

Post by iamaran » Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:56 pm

Thanks Lurkio. I'll have a look tomorrow.

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