LAND - A Multi-User Dungeon (well almost)

development and releases of new/rewritten text adventures
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Re: LAND - A Multi-User Dungeon (well almost)

Post by fuzzel » Thu Feb 27, 2020 6:52 pm

Blimey, it's a bloodbath, can anyone help me (quick!)...
LAND BLOODBATH.jpg

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Re: LAND - A Multi-User Dungeon (well almost)

Post by JohnH » Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:39 am

"Throw hand grenade"

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Re: LAND - A Multi-User Dungeon (well almost)

Post by WrightStuff » Fri Feb 28, 2020 6:43 pm

Do the monsters attack you in real-time or do they wait until you enter your next command ?

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Re: LAND - A Multi-User Dungeon (well almost)

Post by Lardo Boffin » Fri Feb 28, 2020 7:50 pm

That is one dangerous rabbit - it did more damage than the elf with the bow!
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Re: LAND - A Multi-User Dungeon (well almost)

Post by fuzzel » Fri Feb 28, 2020 8:14 pm

Lardo Boffin wrote:
That is one dangerous rabbit - it did more damage than the elf with the bow!
Funny you should say that:
LAND rabbit.jpg
WrightStuff wrote:
Do the monsters attack you in real-time or do they wait until you enter your next command ?
At the moment it's strictly turn by turn, no going for a coffee and coming back to find you're in the morgue.
Your suggestion using interrupts and possibly an econet true MUD version will be a future project.

The observant of you will notice I have a slight issue with the combat text with no <CR> before "What now?". I'll fix that.

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Re: LAND - A Multi-User Dungeon (well almost)

Post by fuzzel » Sun Mar 01, 2020 2:15 pm

I've now almost completed the combat module. I've included 12 creatures from LAND as well as another 15 fellow players of various ranks from novice to wizard who wander around doing their own thing. They have various indivdual attributes such as health scores and damage which can be inflicted per turn on you. Your own health can be increased by consuming food items (to be added) and the damage you can do is influenced by the weapon you're carrying (the program will check which is the best weapon and use that accordingly) and also the level you've reached.The biggest problem I had to overcome was how the fight plays out. For instance, the convention is that if a mobile starts a fight with you then they hit you first then you hit them back (and vice-versa if you start the fight). But in subsequent rounds, you fight them first. However, you might be already fighting several creatures but be attacked by someone new. This resulted in a creature starting a fight, you fighting them back then them getting another shot in before the next round. After another one of my flowcharts I've managed to correct this. I've also fixed the inevitable wordwrap error which seems to creep in from time to time when I do something new. The way the wordwrap routine works is to print location text, objects, weather and combat as a series of messages, each time I record the horizontal position of the cursor so I get a seamless narrative. However, when printing numbers such as you get in combat this could be between 1 and 3 digits and these meant the wordwrap lost its way. The way I got around this was to create a message for the number to be printed which seems to work fine so far. Further testing is of course required. As an example of a combat situation along the lines of what I've described above, here's one where I've been manfully defending myself against the elf and the bumpkin but that nuisance Toodleoo the arch-wizard has just entered the fray....
Attacked by Toodleoo and two other ongoing attacks.jpg

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Re: LAND - A Multi-User Dungeon (well almost)

Post by fuzzel » Sat May 09, 2020 4:30 pm

It's been a while since I last posted so here's a quick update. I've not been an idle so-and-so, I've pretty much completed the game, performed several walkthroughs and bug fixes, then more walkthroughs, further bug fixes, then recruited a tester (you may have heard of him...), got a further substantial list of bugs, typos etc, fixed them, then sent out another copy for more (hopefully final) testing. As I see it, the final problem is the combat element, to reach the exalted rank of wizard you need not only to bank all the treasures but also to kill a number of the mobiles (game creatures eg elves or simulated fellow players eg Hobnob the wizard) to make up the shortfall. I'm currently working out various scenarios to ensure that the game is fair in that by using the correct weapon and restoring ones health in an appropriate way you can achieve the requisite score (or I may list the combat variables so those of you interested in spreadsheets or programming can work out the solution for yourselves). So over the next few days I'll be making a few posts along the lines of a bit of the background to the game, a listing of the game commands (rather than include them in a help file on the disc) and add some combat tips. Last but not least of course, I must remember to give credit where credit's due!! One apology I'd like to make in advance is there'll be no enticing colourful loader screen (ref: Dethmunk) - I'm hopeless with pens and pencils and even more hopeless with beeb graphics (although an idea I had would have been to show a picture of an old DEC-10 terminal screen with a login to the game).

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Re: LAND - A Multi-User Dungeon (well almost)

Post by fuzzel » Sat May 23, 2020 5:39 pm

Ok, here's the start of the history of the development of the game as far as my dodgy memory is concerned. Ever since I got my hands on Colossal Adventure and Snowball by Level 9 I was hooked on text adventure games. By around 1987 I'd pretty much exhausted all the best games that the beeb had to offer so when my brother got a Commodore 64 with disc drive for Christmas I badgered him to let me play some Infocom games on it. I was also an avid reader of The Micro User magazine's adventure column and perhaps it was just a coincidence but I noticed recently that there was an article in there about Essex University's MUD at around the same time that I was sending out applications to universities. Anyway I did end up at Essex and I remember going down to the Computer labs with a friend (suggestively neither of us were studying Computer Science) to see if we could have a go at MUD. I remember the lab was virtually deserted it being the evening, but I noticed that on one of the terminals someone had been playing a text adventure and had logged off. I asked a student in there about the game and he introduced himself as one of the programmers of a spin-off called MIST and suggested that I could play the game on a guest log-in which I think had a limited amount of access time,restricted to out of office hours. Needless to say my friend and I were very quickly hooked. I learned that MUD, which we'd wanted to play, had been shut down as the author, Richard Bartle had set up a commercial version with BT ,a condition being that the free Essex version had to be taken offline. It still existed though in a directory on the server somewhere...

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Re: LAND - A Multi-User Dungeon (well almost)

Post by fuzzel » Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:31 pm

I now have a full test version of LAND produced. Firstly I'll be posting a list of game commands rather than include them on the disc. Each command is given a type to help the program process the noun element. It's useful when, for instance, there is more than one of a particular object such as the brands, the gnomes and the wood elves. If you were to try to take the brand and you already had one, without this it might say you already had it. Of course you aren't even aware of the verb type when you're playing the game, it's just doing its job in the background.

Type 1: Object is in location or is being worn eg GET
Type 2: Object is in location only eg MOVE
Type 3: Object is in location or is being carried eg WEAR
Type 4: Object is being carried or worn eg DROP
Type 5: Object is being carried only eg WAVE
Type 6: Object is being worn only eg REMOVE
Type 7: Object is not required eg NORTH
Type 8: Object is in location, being carried or worn eg EXAM

Here are a couple of game screens, many thanks to Lurkio for the loading screen.
LAND Loader Screen.jpg
LAND Opening Screen.jpg

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Re: LAND - A Multi-User Dungeon (well almost)

Post by fuzzel » Sat Jun 06, 2020 5:08 pm

Here's a list of commands. They are of the form: <VERB> <NOUN1> + optional <PREPOSITION> <NOUN2>
They can be abbreviated to the first four letters. One of the first things I do when committing to playing a new adventure game is to obtain the list of commands (the assembly language ones are normally the easiest to find because they're often in a block somewhere in the main file). I don't regard this as cheating, if you're faced with an opponent you need to know their language if you're to understand them and ultimately beat them.

DIRECTIONS:
N, S, E, W, NE, NW, SE, SW, U, D, IN, OUT (SYNONYMS: NORTH, SOUTH, EAST, WEST, UP, CLIMB, DOWN)

GET (SYNONYM: TAKE)
PULL, PUSH, MOVE <OBJECT>
LOCK, UNLOCK, OPEN, CLOSE <OBJECT>
FIGHT (SYNONYMS: KILL, RETALIATE) <OBJECT>
CHOP (SYNONYM: CUT) <OBJECT>
VALUE <OBJECT>
BREAK (SYNONYM: SMASH) <OBJECT>
CLEAN (SYNONYMS: RUB, WIPE, ERASE) <OBJECT>
SWING <OBJECT>
SWEEP <OBJECT>
DIG
STAND <OBJECT>
DROP <OBJECT>
GIVE <OBJECT>
EAT <OBJECT>
WAVE <OBJECT>
DRINK <OBJECT>
THROW <OBJECT>
WEAR <OBJECT>
REMOVE <OBJECT>
LIGHT <OBJECT>
EXTINGUISH <OBJECT>
BOWL <OBJECT>
PLANT <OBJECT>
FLY <OBJECT>
FILL <OBJECT>
EMPTY <OBJECT>
SHAKE <OBJECT>
SHOOT <OBJECT>
BLOW <OBJECT>
WAVE (SYNONYM: SHOW) <OBJECT>
READ <OBJECT>
X (SYNONYM: EXAM) <OBJECT>
L (SYNONYM: LOOK)
I (SYNONYM: INV)
PRAY
JUMP
SAVE (save game)
RESTORE (restore game, same as load)
SING <OBJECT>
WAKE <OBJECT>
COPYRIGHT (SYNONYM: WRITERS)
FLEE (if in a fight you look like losing)
WAIT (waste a turn)
HELP
SCORE
YOWSER (only because it was in the original!)
Some commands have to be guessed at, the puzzle essentially involves you working out the command given the predicament you find yourself in.
There are also several magic words which can either be used on their own or require a focus (object), I'm not telling you what they are though, you'll find them as you play the game.
Some commands can only be used by wizards, again once you reach the rank of wizard these commands will be revealed.
Some commands require a verb and two nouns, eg, THROW EMERALD AT GIANT

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Re: LAND - A Multi-User Dungeon (well almost)

Post by fuzzel » Sun Jun 07, 2020 10:12 am

The object of the game is to reach the rank of wizard by collecting 4,500 points. There are two ways of doing this, one is by collecting the treasures and depositing them in the lake to the south of the start. The second, for the bloodthirsty among you, is by combat. There are various creatures dotted about the game, some friendly and some not so, as well as a multitude of simulated fellow players. The general rule is that the harder they are to kill, the more points you get for dispatching them. To aid you in combat there are several objects you can eat to replenish your health as well as a number of weapons which will inflict more damage on your opponent than using your bare hands. You don't have to choose a weapon when you fight, the game will automatically select the best weapon you have, provided you have earned the right to use it of course... Fortunately, for those of you who find combat either distasteful or outside the remit of a pure text adventure, you don't need to engage in that many bouts to gain the requisite points and by and large most creatures will go about their business without bothering you (in my walkthrough version I managed to achieve wizard each time without being killed in combat).

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Re: LAND - A Multi-User Dungeon (well almost)

Post by fuzzel » Sat Jun 13, 2020 10:29 am

I'm still on with the final testing. The last area I need to cover is the map and the directions when moving around. I've so far uncovered a few bugs because of the way the program handles movement for each direction. There are lots of tests going on, for example:
If you're in a certain room and you try to go east you get the message: "You're too large to fit in that tiny passage."
If you're out at sea or on the lake and you aren't carrying a boat you get the message: "You need a boat to travel on water."
If you're at sea in certain edge of map locations you get the message "No way, the sea's too rough."
If you're travelling from one sideways ram bank location to another, the program has to recognise this and switch sideways ram bank as well as location. However, some locations have the same number due to the 256 room 8-bit restriction so I need to ensure there are no glitches when you're moving between these bridging locations or when you're moving from locations which have the same location number as the bridging locations.
There are also various other movement tests associated with puzzles.
The only way to be sure it works ok is to test each location in turn (groan) which is what I'll be doing in the next few days (6 done, only 340 to go...)

Further to above post, I've checked all 12 directions for each of the first 121 locations and found four bugs so a very useful exercise. Testing continues in earnest...

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Re: LAND - A Multi-User Dungeon (well almost)

Post by fuzzel » Sat Jun 13, 2020 7:13 pm

Well, I'm finally done. After almost 12 months the game is complete and the file is available here to download. Just boot the disc and provided you have sideways ram banks 0 to 6 free, the game should work ok. If not a message will appear informing you which sideways ram bank is causing the issue. It's been a great way for me to learn assembly language from knowing virtually nothing when I started. I never thought I'd be able to get my head round things like word-wrap, text compression and utilising several sideways ram banks to create a pretty big adventure. Because it uses ram rather than disc it should appear quite quick to play (although I always play at x2 speed because the keyboard isn't affected). I'd like to say many, many thanks to Bret(t) Giddings and Richard Thombs for the original ideas about Land and to Jon Cornell for sacrificing as much of his degree time as me. I'd also like to thank Richard Bartle and Roy Trubshaw for their original MUD concept, and thanks to the guys who created MIST at Essex which is the game that inspired me to write my own game: David Barham, Paul Goodjohn, Jon Medhurst, Dave Morris, Shaun Plumb, Paul Friday, Bret(t) Giddings and Richard Thombs again and Lorry (Michael Lawrie) with a special thanks to Orc (Adam Bird). For the 8-bit BBC version I'd like to thank everyone on the stardot forum for taking an interest and offering such useful advice, particularly lurkio for all the bug testing and, in particular, because he's extremely pernickety about this (and rightly so), the word-wrap finessing. If you happen to come across any bugs, just mention them in this forum and I'll get onto it. If you SAVE your position then you should be able to load up the fixed version alongside your previous disc and copy your saved game file over so you can continue where you left off (hopefully the save game file itself won't need to change - that would be a right nuisance).
Right, better get on with MIST...
Land Final Version.ssd
(182.5 KiB) Downloaded 24 times
Last edited by fuzzel on Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LAND - A Multi-User Dungeon (well almost)

Post by Arcadian » Sat Jun 13, 2020 7:57 pm

Congrats on getting it over the line! :)

If you'd be interested in taking a little slot to demo LAND at the next all-day Virtual ABug meeting on Sat 4th July, please let me know! :)
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk

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Re: LAND - A Multi-User Dungeon (well almost)

Post by lurkio » Sat Jun 13, 2020 8:05 pm

fuzzel wrote:
Sat Jun 13, 2020 7:13 pm
Well, I'm finally done.
Congratulations!

=D> =D> =D>

This is a remarkable game with a fascinating and storied history, which you can read about in this thread. I highly recommend that everybody give it a go.

Play the game online at bbcmicro.co.uk (or download it):
:idea:

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Re: LAND - A Multi-User Dungeon (well almost)

Post by Dave Footitt » Wed Jun 17, 2020 9:27 pm

Hi - Great job, thought I'd have a crack as I have a bit of a soft spot for these sort of games (although I'm not very good at them)

Confused by all the "brand" stuff though!

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Re: LAND - A Multi-User Dungeon (well almost)

Post by lurkio » Wed Jun 17, 2020 9:39 pm

Dave Footitt wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 9:27 pm
Confused by all the "brand" stuff though!
I believe that's a legacy of the game's origins as a MUD -- a multi-player game, in which there had to be more than one brand because there was more than one player!

To solve all the puzzles in the single-player Beeb version of LAND, you only need to use two brands, I think.

A walkthrough is available. Let me know if you want to see it, Dave. Oh, but actually I'm not sure if fuzzel will permit me to share it..? Let me know, please, fuzzel!

:?:
Last edited by lurkio on Wed Jun 17, 2020 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LAND - A Multi-User Dungeon (well almost)

Post by fuzzel » Wed Jun 17, 2020 9:43 pm

Thanks for playing Dave, I hope you like it. I've just spotted lurkio's entry, he's correct in that a feature of the original MUDs was that with several players playing the game at any one time it would be a bit mean to only have one brand (illumination item). It would have doubtless led to a bloodbath, although they seemed to happen anyway without too much encouragement!
Regarding the walkthrough, maybe hang-fire for a short while, we don't want to make it too easy.

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Re: LAND - A Multi-User Dungeon (well almost)

Post by Dave Footitt » Wed Jun 17, 2020 9:58 pm

Cheers - ah is the brand required for light? I didn't realise that, I've been trying to get the "stump of an old candle" from the store room without much success!

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Re: LAND - A Multi-User Dungeon (well almost)

Post by Chuckie » Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:04 pm

There is cough cough a version of BBC Basic for Windows which doesn't put so much restrictions on memory and would actually allow for a multiplayer environment.

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Re: LAND - A Multi-User Dungeon (well almost)

Post by 8bitAG » Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:45 pm

Very much brings back memories of logging in to Elemud on my university's computer system. :)

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Re: LAND - A Multi-User Dungeon (well almost)

Post by Canalboy » Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:24 pm

fuzzel wrote:
Sat Jun 13, 2020 7:13 pm
Well, I'm finally done. After almost 12 months the game is complete and the file is available here to download. Just boot the disc and provided you have sideways ram banks 0 to 6 free, the game should work ok. If not a message will appear informing you which sideways ram bank is causing the issue. It's been a great way for me to learn assembly language from knowing virtually nothing when I started. I never thought I'd be able to get my head round things like word-wrap, text compression and utilising several sideways ram banks to create a pretty big adventure. Because it uses ram rather than disc it should appear quite quick to play (although I always play at x2 speed because the keyboard isn't affected). I'd like to say many, many thanks to Bret(t) Giddings and Richard Thombs for the original ideas about Land and to Jon Cornell for sacrificing as much of his degree time as me. I'd also like to thank Richard Bartle and Roy Trubshaw for their original MUD concept, and thanks to the guys who created MIST at Essex which is the game that inspired me to write my own game: David Barham, Paul Goodjohn, Jon Medhurst, Dave Morris, Shaun Plumb, Paul Friday, Bret(t) Giddings and Richard Thombs again and Lorry (Michael Lawrie) with a special thanks to Orc (Adam Bird). For the 8-bit BBC version I'd like to thank everyone on the stardot forum for taking an interest and offering such useful advice, particularly lurkio for all the bug testing and, in particular, because he's extremely pernickety about this (and rightly so), the word-wrap finessing. If you happen to come across any bugs, just mention them in this forum and I'll get onto it. If you SAVE your position then you should be able to load up the fixed version alongside your previous disc and copy your saved game file over so you can continue where you left off (hopefully the save game file itself won't need to change - that would be a right nuisance).
Right, better get on with MIST...Land Final Version.ssd
Many thanks for all your hard work;I am about to give it a go now. Can you confirm if it is possible to attain maximum points without the killing of any NPCs?
Regards
Roger Durrant

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Re: LAND - A Multi-User Dungeon (well almost)

Post by fuzzel » Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:47 pm

Hi Canalboy, you need to kill a few mobiles to achieve the maximum score. However, its not too difficult. You just need sustenance and a decent weapon like the cricket bat. Also, it's not something you need to do straightaway. Let me know if you need any help with this later on.

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Re: LAND - A Multi-User Dungeon (well almost)

Post by fuzzel » Thu Jun 25, 2020 1:53 pm

Lurkio wrote:
A walkthrough is available. Let me know if you want to see it, Dave. Oh, but actually I'm not sure if fuzzel will permit me to share it..? Let me know, please, fuzzel!
I'll post a walkthrough shortly, either my verbose version or lurkio's long list of commands. I've been tempted to do a Level 9 and produce a hint sheet but that would take a bit of time. They look good though if done to L9's standard - see below for example for Colossal Adventure.
Colossal Adventure Hint Sheet.txt
(18.73 KiB) Downloaded 22 times

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Re: LAND - A Multi-User Dungeon (well almost)

Post by Canalboy » Thu Jun 25, 2020 5:59 pm

fuzzel wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:47 pm
Hi Canalboy, you need to kill a few mobiles to achieve the maximum score. However, its not too difficult. You just need sustenance and a decent weapon like the cricket bat. Also, it's not something you need to do straightaway. Let me know if you need any help with this later on.
Thanks very much. I did try killing the bumpkin as an experiment and succeeded with just the brass dagger.

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Re: LAND - A Multi-User Dungeon (well almost)

Post by Canalboy » Fri Jun 26, 2020 1:24 pm

fuzzel wrote:
Sat Jun 13, 2020 7:13 pm
Well, I'm finally done. After almost 12 months the game is complete and the file is available here to download. Just boot the disc and provided you have sideways ram banks 0 to 6 free, the game should work ok. If not a message will appear informing you which sideways ram bank is causing the issue. It's been a great way for me to learn assembly language from knowing virtually nothing when I started. I never thought I'd be able to get my head round things like word-wrap, text compression and utilising several sideways ram banks to create a pretty big adventure. Because it uses ram rather than disc it should appear quite quick to play (although I always play at x2 speed because the keyboard isn't affected). I'd like to say many, many thanks to Bret(t) Giddings and Richard Thombs for the original ideas about Land and to Jon Cornell for sacrificing as much of his degree time as me. I'd also like to thank Richard Bartle and Roy Trubshaw for their original MUD concept, and thanks to the guys who created MIST at Essex which is the game that inspired me to write my own game: David Barham, Paul Goodjohn, Jon Medhurst, Dave Morris, Shaun Plumb, Paul Friday, Bret(t) Giddings and Richard Thombs again and Lorry (Michael Lawrie) with a special thanks to Orc (Adam Bird). For the 8-bit BBC version I'd like to thank everyone on the stardot forum for taking an interest and offering such useful advice, particularly lurkio for all the bug testing and, in particular, because he's extremely pernickety about this (and rightly so), the word-wrap finessing. If you happen to come across any bugs, just mention them in this forum and I'll get onto it. If you SAVE your position then you should be able to load up the fixed version alongside your previous disc and copy your saved game file over so you can continue where you left off (hopefully the save game file itself won't need to change - that would be a right nuisance).
Right, better get on with MIST...Land Final Version.ssd
One small typo Fuzzel and one which will have eluded any spell checker; the location Bedside (sic) Forest Wall.

Regards

Canalboy

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Re: LAND - A Multi-User Dungeon (well almost)

Post by fuzzel » Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:12 pm

Ouch! Lurkio, how did you miss that?

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Re: LAND - A Multi-User Dungeon (well almost)

Post by lurkio » Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:23 pm

fuzzel wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:12 pm
Ouch! Lurkio, how did you miss that?
:lol: ... Oh, come on! I'm allowed at least one slip-up, surely?!

Think of the thousands of errors I did spot!

:wink:

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Re: LAND - A Multi-User Dungeon (well almost)

Post by fuzzel » Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:49 pm

lurkio wrote:
... Oh, come on! I'm allowed at least one slip-up, surely?!
I'm pleased you said "at least" to cover yourself or canalboy would most likely have accepted the challenge. :D

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Re: LAND - A Multi-User Dungeon (well almost)

Post by Canalboy » Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:30 pm

fuzzel wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:49 pm
lurkio wrote:
... Oh, come on! I'm allowed at least one slip-up, surely?!
I'm pleased you said "at least" to cover yourself or canalboy would most likely have accepted the challenge. :D
I am poised and ready with my magnifying glass and deerstalker. I did formally test games for the likes of Larry Horsfield, Jim MacBrayne, Bill Lindsay etc.

Regards

Canalboy

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