The hobbit: developing the parser

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MrPixel
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The hobbit: developing the parser

Post by MrPixel » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:15 pm

what program did Veronika Megler use to the the parser. also, how were the graphics created? Assembly? each area takes a bit to load but i'm curious nonetheless. hoping to make a version for the atari 800 some day (the lack of an IF- Then command notwithstanding)
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Einar Saukas
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Re: The hobbit: developing the parser

Post by Einar Saukas » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:19 pm

Everything coded in Assembly. The parser was implemented from scratch.
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Nomad
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Re: The hobbit: developing the parser

Post by Nomad » Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:01 pm

She was an expert in database design on early micros. This is reflected in the overall design of the parser/tokenizer & how the text printing is handled. That is why you don't see any fan translations of the hobbit. It's not just a case of swapping out strings.

Like Einar says the Hobbit is assembly programming. You take a look at the disassembly. It is quite hard to understand even when its annotated. To port that to 6502 would be quite a task. I figure you would need to be very good at Atari programming to pull it off.

There was a guy who asked about doing exactly this thing on the atari forums and the consensus view was it was going to be an insanely difficult task. Especially if you are new to Atari 800 programming. (Actually if I remember they flat out told the guy he would never be able to do it)

Go for a simple program first. Starting with the Hobbit is got to be one of the hardest things you could attempt to port. Aside from a 3d engine.

Why not have a go at porting Gossip to the ZX Spectrum. That was a great little game for the Atari.



I am guessing you want to look at the dissasembly of the Hobbit.

http://opensourcezx.untergrund.net/file ... hobbit.txt

It does have some annotation, check it out for yourself.
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MrPixel
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Re: The hobbit: developing the parser

Post by MrPixel » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:35 pm

just one question: how would i change 6502 to z80 code? and vice versa?

also, i can't find the disassembly
Last edited by MrPixel on Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The hobbit: developing the parser

Post by Sokurah » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:40 pm

Nomad wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:01 pm
Like Einar says the Hobbit is assembly programming. You take a look at the disassembly. It is quite hard to understand even when its annotated. To port that to 6502 would be quite a task. I figure you would need to be very good at Atari programming to pull it off.

There was a guy who asked about doing exactly this thing on the atari forums and the consensus view was it was going to be an insanely difficult task. Especially if you are new to Atari 800 programming. (Actually if I remember they flat out told the guy he would never be able to do it)

Go for a simple program first. Starting with the Hobbit is got to be one of the hardest things you could attempt to port. Aside from a 3d engine.
MrPixel wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:35 pm
just one question: how would i change 6502 to z80 code? and vice versa?
That is not something you "just do". If you have to ask then you don't have what it takes to do it. Didn't you read above?
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Re: The hobbit: developing the parser

Post by MrPixel » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:52 pm

i meant for Gossip.
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Nomad
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Re: The hobbit: developing the parser

Post by Nomad » Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:15 pm

Chris Crawford is the author. I *think* he released the source to Gossip. Like he did with Eastern Front.

The Game and instructions

https://www.atariarchives.org/APX/showi ... nknown_gos

I know he talked about Gossip in his book, he also talked about it in his discussions at conferences and seminars.
SpoilerShow
Chris Crawford on game design - Chapter 19: Gossip
Source code: Crawford also uploaded his design diaries for Gossip - you get a good insight into his thought process and how he tackled writing the game/problems.
Now you look at the code and start the port to z80 from 6502. Good luck.

Read the book, play the game, look at the documentation, examine the Atari source.

Bonus Round:

Here is his Get Lamp interview.



Talks about 'interpersonal games' (inc. Gossip), IF, Graphics vs Text in text adventures, parser frustration and crap puzzles. So its pretty reliant to the topic :lol:
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Re: The hobbit: developing the parser

Post by Bizzley » Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:52 am

MrPixel wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:35 pm
just one question: how would i change 6502 to z80 code? and vice versa?
also, i can't find the disassembly
To be honest I think the best way for you to produce a viable Spectrum game with your current knowledge is to use a program like Jonathan Cauldwell's Arcade Game Designer - though I'm sure other similar all-in-one packages are available. This seems quite capable of producing good quality results without you having to go anywhere near Z80 or BASIC.

I'm sure there are people on here who can help you get to grips with this kind of software but you have to remember it's just a tool - the same as a Z80 assembler or a copy of The Quill is just a tool. You have to learn how to use any tool and that takes time and effort, plenty of practice and making mistakes before you can produce anything you feel capable of sharing with others.

If however you really want to learn Z80 then it's time to knuckle down and put in the effort. Unless you are one of those gifted people who can pick up a language - spoken or computer - in a matter of weeks then it's time to hit the books; Z80 programming, the Zaks book, assembler instruction manuals, Spectrum manuals, on-line guides etc. After that it gets harder, you have to take all that knowledge and do something constructive with it. If you want to write a game then you might get lucky and find someone who will do graphics and sound for you otherwise you better learn to do them yourself which means more reading, learning and experimenting (and of course having some talent in those areas to begin with.)

Some people find the whole procedure worth the effort, others just give up. Some people 'get it' right away while for others it can take years before anything even starts to make sense. Like it did for me. So it's time to take an honest appraisal of what you want to achieve and how you want to go about it and decide the path you want to take. You've been given plenty of pointers by others on how to get started, have you actually taken any of these suggestions on board, followed them up and come to any conclusions about what you feel you're capable of doing?
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Re: The hobbit: developing the parser

Post by Ralf » Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:52 am

If you want to write a Spectrum game with minimal effort and acceptable result, use AGD.

Assembler is hard, especially at beginning. Later it becomes easier but you have to get some practice.

And porting a game from Atari to Spectrum is even harder in my opinion that writing a completely new game on Spectrum.

In case of new game you need to know:
-Z80 assembler
-architecture of Zx Spectrum

In case of game port you need to know:
-Z80 assembler
-6502 assembler
-architecture of Zx Spectrum
-architecture of 8-bit Atari
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Nomad
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Re: The hobbit: developing the parser

Post by Nomad » Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:15 pm

Agree with the guys here Senor Pixel.

Whatever you decide to do, Game editor, Basic, or Assembly. Think about doing a development log - that way you can write about your progress and questions on a regular basis. It will help you stick to your stated goals and keep you motivated.

No shame in using the editor - you will be able to get a working program much faster that way but you still have to learn the tool. When you get enough confidence, get a few projects under your belt move on to Assembly. Or do some hybrid Basic/Assembly monster. :lol:

The Main thing is to start the journey, document your progress. Set targets/goals/milestones.

With Atari 800 you also are going to be spoiled with the amount of cool hardware support you have for creating graphics and sound. A lot of what you need to do on the Z80 is handled by dedicated chips on the Atari.

That would have some headaches for doing a port, because some stuff you can do on the Atari that is a pita or impossible on the Spectrum.





Most programmers would have killed for this kind of hardware support on the spectrum :lol:
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