Create Spectrum Text Adventures with Adventuron Classroom

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ainslec
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Create Spectrum Text Adventures with Adventuron Classroom

Post by ainslec » Mon Aug 05, 2019 12:25 am

Hi, I'm the author of Adventuron Classroom and I am making this post (my first post) to let you know that Adventuron can now be used to author ZX Spectrum text adventure games ( via a source code translator ).

PROOFS OF CONCEPT

There have been two "proof of concept" ports to come out of this development recently:

1 - Escape From Dinosaur Island DX - https://adventuron.itch.io/dinoisland

Escape from Dinosaur Island DX is set on an island, where your balloon has crash landed, and there are some dinosaurs in various places. There is also soup. It's a beginner level text adventure, not too small, not too large.

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2 - The Cave of Magic - https://adventuron.itch.io/cave

The cave of magic is a single puzzle text adventure game which is there to serve as a basic tutorial on how to build text adventure games with Adventuron.

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HOW TO MAKE AN ADVENTURE WITH ADVENTURON - TUTORIAL

A tutorial on how the cave of magic was written is available here :



https://medium.com/@model_train/video-t ... a194aeab44

POSITIVES

* Well, you can write Adventuron games in a browser window, and it has a very rapid development procedure.
* It is also unencumbered by 8-bit memory limitations, so if you are writing your magnum opus, and suddenly run out of kilobytes on the PAW port, then you can continue onward with your game, and possibly drop your 8-bit plans (not ideal).
* Adventuron has a few features that PAW doesn't have an in converting the source code, it essentially implements code patterns in PAW source code to emulate the adventuron features.
* Adventuron has many documentation resources, and is a very fast system for building adventure games. John Wilson regularly writes (albeit mini) games in a morning. It's possible to put together quite well designed games in a small time-frame. Not every adventure has to be mammoth, and given modern attention spans, more smaller adventures can be fun.
* Adventuron 2 PAW is very well documented (click the documentation button at the bottom to read the PDF documentation.
* Adventuron 2 DAAD is coming soon (target lesser 8-bit and 16-bit micros with the same sourcecode).

NEGATIVES

* This tool can generally be used for a QUILL++ set of features. Even though Adventuron has many powerful features, obviously not every feature can map, and even features that approximately map to PAW might not map well enough to be compatible. For that reason, where there are incompatible features, the feature is simply not allowed.
* It's not (yet) a turnkey solution. You have to copy the code out of the adventuron window, into another window (adventuron 2 paw), then copy the result into a textfile on the local filesystem, then run the inpaws compiler, then take that tapfile and load it into PAW.
* If you are going to be distributing games that use the PAW interpreter, a PAW license is still required. This is documented at the bottom of the page here.
* Adventuron's graphics are not passed through. It certainly is something I'll be looking at, with externs and the like, but for now, it's text only. It's possible to use the PAW editor and overlay graphics atop of the exported source, but it's not the cleanest solution, so you are better waiting off for a better solution (which will come).
* There is a danger that if a lot of lazy text adventures appear that these adventures will start to look and feel a bit samey. I think a well written adventure, that has it's own colour scheme, own font, and own personality can feel distinct but perhaps the default settings will be used too much?

MORE ABOUT ADVENTURON CLASSROOM

Adventuron Classroom is targeted at education, and its integrated tutorial, which may be especially interesting to Speccy lovers, is to remake Excalibur: Sword of Kings, from beginning to end.

Games made with Adventuron can be packaged as standalone HTML with the Adventuron interpreter, but now, with the "Adventuron 2 PAW" source code converter, Adventuron games can also be targeted at the Spectrum by leveraging the PAW interpreter.

If you have an 8+ year old child why not partner up and make a text adventure game together? Or simply go through the tutorial together. The tutorial also includes an introductory adventure game to play through in order to learn the basic concepts of text adventure gaming.

Anyway, here is a little screenshot of the code editor, because animated gifs don't seem to work in the forum.

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More links:

More information about Adventuron Classroom (including sample games) + links to documentation.

Adventuron Classroom's Editor (which requires a NON MOBILE BROWSER).
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Morkin
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Re: Create Spectrum Text Adventures with Adventuron Classroom

Post by Morkin » Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:53 pm

Looks interesting.

Used to dabble with the Quill back in the day, would have been nice to have easy reference objects, locations etc. in this way rather than having to remember or keep referring to numbers..!
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ainslec
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Re: Create Spectrum Text Adventures with Adventuron Classroom

Post by ainslec » Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:17 pm

There is always a need for good adventure games out there.

My own bias for adventure games, are games in which there are a lot of puzzles and object interactions. I also like graphics too, but right now, any graphics you create will only be shown on the adventuron version, not the ported spectrum version.

If you create your graphics in Multipaint, to be ZX compliant, there is every intention of being able to integrate your graphics into the game in a later version of the converter.

I'm also looking for adventure games that are suitable for absolute beginners, and teach the player the mechanics of playing adventure games in the pre-game.

The beginning of Dinosaur Island or Excalibur both try to educate new players (especially children) in how to play this genre of game.

Adventuron 2 PAW automatically chooses a legible font too (will be configurable in the future).

At the end of the day, just play with it, and if you don't have fun, or if you feel frustrated, I haven't done my job.
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8BitAG
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Re: Create Spectrum Text Adventures with Adventuron Classroom

Post by 8BitAG » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:40 am

Having coded an full-length adventure from scratch in a few evenings this week, with Adventuron, I can confirm it's the quickest and easiest tool for coding an adventure I've ever used. :)
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Ralf
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Re: Create Spectrum Text Adventures with Adventuron Classroom

Post by Ralf » Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:39 am

Definitely an interesting project.

I agree with the others - the first new feature you should do before anything else is graphics import.
It's quite hard to find people who would enjoy text games in 2019 and it's even harder if the games are text only.
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8BitAG
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Re: Create Spectrum Text Adventures with Adventuron Classroom

Post by 8BitAG » Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:08 am

Ralf wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:39 am
I agree with the others - the first new feature you should do before anything else is graphics import.
It's quite hard to find people who would enjoy text games in 2019 and it's even harder if the games are text only.
I'd say that was bollocks. Graphics add very little to a text adventure for me. But I've been playing text adventures for thirty-odd years. :) I always feel that people who moan about the lack of graphics aren't people that play text adventures anyway.

The graphics import isn't anything to do with Adventuron, but a limitation of PAWs. That's for someone else to address. Most of the people writing text adventures these days tend to write pure text adventures anyway.
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Re: Create Spectrum Text Adventures with Adventuron Classroom

Post by llewelyn » Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:06 pm

I agree with you 8bitAG about the graphics. Lets face it even at their best they're nowhere near as good as ones own imagination.
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Joefish
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Re: Create Spectrum Text Adventures with Adventuron Classroom

Post by Joefish » Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:19 pm

It's great to have more game dev tools. I've never tried to write an adventure myself, although I think I'd rather have something visual done in Windows rather than write scripts.

However, if 'Cave of Magic' is supposed to be a tutorial, I don't think it sets a very good example. It has some pretty major flaws for something so simple. It's neat that it supports shortcuts like I and X, but it falls over when you type 'EXAMINE (singular thing)' and it says 'You see nothing special', but 'EXAMINE (plural things)' gives a big clue. Then you type 'GET (item)' and it says 'You see (item)' but you then have to type 'GET (item)' again to pick it up.
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ainslec
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Re: Create Spectrum Text Adventures with Adventuron Classroom

Post by ainslec » Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:46 pm

Hi Joe,

Thanks for the feedback.

You are right about tree / trees, and about get apple being required to be entered twice. It was bothering me too, but a bit of public shaming is good for the soul.

The Adventuron version, the ZX version, and the source code has been updated to address the criticisms.

I also added a new loading screen to the game, but I'm not an artist.

The updated version is named "ZX-Spectrum--The-Cave-Of-Magic-V101.tap".

With regards to graphics, yes, I also personally prefer adventure games with graphics, but many people don't care or in fact prefer games without graphics. The tool is what it is.

The Spectrum ports currently do not carry across graphics, but as said previously, it probably will in time, via the Adventuron 2 DAAD tool and the maluva plugin.

The cave of magic isn't a dog whistle for one puzzle adventure games, it's a minimum viable product demonstration of the technology. I do hope people put together games much better than the cave of magic, which is objectively, rubbish.

Chris
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Ralf
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Re: Create Spectrum Text Adventures with Adventuron Classroom

Post by Ralf » Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:30 pm

I'd say that was bollocks. Graphics add very little to a text adventure for me. But I've been playing text adventures for thirty-odd years.
I agree with you 8bitAG about the graphics. Lets face it even at their best they're nowhere near as good as ones own imagination.
All right, I suppose we differ here.

First I'm not any kind of big fan of text games. I play some from time to time, even created a few walkthroughs for Rzx Archive but it's not my favourite genre.

For me pictures were always some kind of reward in a text game. When you finally managed to open some door or escape from some hole and you could see a new location. A great feeling.

And another thing. I like games for Zx Spectrum. I like this distinct look, clever taking attributes into account.
But a text game without graphics looks and feel exactly the same on all systems. It doesn't matter if it's Speccy, C64 or modern PC.
So even if you play it on Spectrum, it's exactly the same experience as you'd play it anywhere. And it makes a lot of charm go away for me.

Just my personal opinion.
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