Text adventures as a category always struck me as kind of lonely. They often take place in environments where all the people have been removed, like miniature apocalypses.
It seems technically fairly obvious why this happens: other people are too hard to model. People have goals and expectations and so someone traipsing around trying random things is not generally acceptable, and creating characters that are disinterested in their environment is its own challenge. (Writing this I realize grumpy and stubborn characters are fairly common, maybe for these same reasons!)
In all these years of advancement in games the NPC still seems either lifeless or absent. I'm afraid I haven't actually played your games, so I don't know how you've tried to address it, but I'm sure you've thought about it. I'd be curious to hear any of those thoughts, but maybe specific questions:
1. Have you had any successes you could share in making a NPC seem "alive"?
2. Any ideas you were convinced were great but failed when implemented?
3. Do you think new technology can be applied to this? For instance it sounds like you are using more advanced NLP in Escape the Gloomer. (But understanding is only half, NPC motivation and goals seem equally hard.)
4. Does a strong NPC distract from the autonomy of the player? (Sometimes I wonder if people even want a strong NPC, or if players actually prefer NPCs to be background.)
5. And separately, have you tried AI Dungeon and if so what did you think?
2) That's harder to answer. I have done a lot of things that may not have panned out commericially but I enjoyed the technical challenge and was happy with the results. I never see failure, just an oppurtunity to improve something :)
3) I am sure it could be, just not an area I have been spending much time addressing!
4) Depends on the game of course. So many of my games are more puzzle based so having an strong NPC isn't really needed there. But I did have fun with both the Pirate and the Chimpanzee in Adventureland XL !
5) AI dungeon is an interesting idea. Each iteration gets more and more promising. But still has a ways to go yet.
Maybe I thought it would be more like Facade. Stuff like "Ask galatea her favorite color" and "tell galatea her dress is pretty" aren't working. It's moving really slow (minutes between attempts) as I try to guess what keywords I can use.
I can't even "examine room" like I usually do for conversation. "You can't see any such thing".
This is an exercise in NPC interactivity. There's no puzzle and no set solution, but a number of options with a number of different outcomes.
HINTS: Ask or tell her about things that you can see, that she mentions, or that you think of yourself. Interact with her physically. Pause to see if she does anything herself. Repeat actions. The order in which you do things is critical: the character's mood and the prior state of the conversation will determine how she reacts.
VERBS: Many standard verbs have been disabled. All the sensory ones (LOOK, LISTEN, SMELL, TOUCH, TASTE) remain, as do the NPC interaction verbs ASK, TELL, HELLO, GOODBYE, and SORRY; KISS, HUG, and ATTACK. You may also find useful THINK and its companion THINK ABOUT, which will remind you of the state of conversation on a given topic. The verb RECAP gives a summary list of topics that you've discussed so far; if she's told you that she's said all she knows on that topic, it appears in italics.
SHORTCUT: 'Ask her about' and 'tell her about' may be abbreviated to A and T. So >A CHEESE is the same as >ASK GALATEA ABOUT CHEESE.
There is an assortment of walkthroughs available at http://emshort.home.mindspring.com/cheats.htm, but I suggest not looking at them until you have already experimented somewhat.
For some reason I assumed she would know I was talking to her, but she then said "you might try talking to me".
But another part of games is the meta-game where you get into the game designers head, try to figure out how they would have setup the puzzle, knowing that challenges are designed to be solvable. In AI Dungeon this is also true in a sense, except you are getting in the head of an alien intelligence that has read human writing extensively.
Go Play Planetfall, Anchorhead or Curses!. Your little robotic friend will get you amazed.
AI Dungeon is not a game at all. Far from a text adventure.
Since Inform6 and Curses! text adventures are far more complex than the ones
for the 80's microcomputers which they barely could run Zork, really slow in some extreme cases.
As I said, Infocom games for DOS/Amiga (and any new Z-Machine non-alpha adventure) are much better in that regard.
You changed my life when at 12 years old I first saw a computer and the first things I saw running on it was Voodoo Castle and The Count.
Back in 1979 it was literally like I had discovered magic was real because here in Australia computers were unknown to most ordinary people.
It's hard to convey how much this blew my 12 year old mind. I don't think I stopped thinking about Scott Adams adventures for years after that.
I LOVED all your games, so much atmosphere.
Thanks for creating that magical part of my life.
Mystery Fun House
Savage Island (though it was too hard for me)_
Have you tried any of my newer ones at all? www.Clopas.net see if anything strikes your fancy now?
I am though delighted to hear that my classic games were helpful in you understanding your own gifts! I appreciate you sharing that with me!
Trying to google this is harder than it seems, and shows me graphical versions that are so different between systems that they look like they were written from scratch for each system rather than using the same data format with an engine.
The reason the later games may not be available would also be due to licensing. The licenses for the Marvel games and Buckeroo Banzai have all expired and can't be legally used anymore.
Keep searching on the internet though. There are users and user groups still playing them :)
>Most of the "later" and "Marvel" games were published in SAGA+ format (with a better parser). These versions are not included because ScottFree cannot play them yet. The following games were available in SAGA+ format:
When I searched for SAGA+, I found almost no evidence (outside that readme) that "SAGA+ format" is even a thing that really exists, let alone that any particular version of the game is in that format or that anyone has written a parser that can parse it.
Also, it lists three licensed games and Sorcerer of Claymorgue Castle in SAGA+, which sounds as though it's not licensed, and should be releaseable.
Thanks for helping to create these!
Are you aware at the moment of any interesting developments in the “text games for people with vision problems” field?
I also released Escape The Gloomer on Alexa (fully audio only)
Currently working on making AdventurelandXL (www.AdventurelandXL.com) Windows screen reader compatable as well.
How do you think Adventure games are like the Method of Loci, or Memory Palaces, in that they can help you remember and retrieve vast amounts of information geographically?
What do you think the world be like if an Adventure-like geographical Memory Palace oriented user interface had taken over the world instead of MS-DOS and Unix and Windows?
Your adventure programs and others were monumental to my development as a programmer, and define how I think about code and programming and organizing information.
By playing adventure games, I finally reverse engineered the "Adventure Algorithm" for keeping track of rooms and connections and objects and inventory.
Then I wrote my own adventures and parsers and maps in BASIC and FORTH, and my first commercial program was a Logo implementation of Adventure for C64 Terrapin Logo.
At first I played all of your adventures as well as Microsoft Adventure on my Apple ][, and mainframe Adventure on a terminal to my mom's work, and that led me to the ARPANET to play Zork at MIT, and even MUD at Essex University, then TinyMud at CMU, and MOOs, and LambdaMOO at PARC.
I keep returning to that essential idea of a map of rooms connected by doors, and I kept reimplementing it on different platforms, each time a little different and a little better, as technology advanced.
I developed a user interface technique called "pie menus", which are menus with their items arranged in a circle around the cursor, each in a different direction, so you can select them by moving in different directions, even gesturing quickly without looking at the screen.
>The Design and Implementation of Pie Menus: They’re Fast, Easy, and Self-Revealing. Don Hopkins. Originally published in Dr. Dobb’s Journal, Dec. 1991.
Eventually I realized that 4-item and 8-item pie menus are the essential elements of an Adventure map, as long as you think of "menus" as rooms in a map with two-way links that you can move back and forth through, instead of a hierarchal tree of menus with one-way exits!
So I made series of graphical Adventure map editors that were also pie menu editors if you looked at them right, because rooms behaved just like pie menus: you can move back and forth between rooms with quick pie menu gestures: up, down, left, right, diagonal.
And you can also edit the map of rooms by simply dragging the rooms around and bumping them up against each other to make and break connections.
And an editable navigable map like that is essentially a "Memory Palace" that you can build and navigate in your imagination, to help you spatially remember anything.
It's a computerized note taking application that still works when you're away from your computer and forgot your phone, since you can remember geographical relationships easily, and memorize facts and lists with the Method of Loci.
>'the method of loci', an imaginal technique known to the ancient Greeks and Romans and described by Yates (1966) in her book The Art of Memory as well as by Luria (1969). In this technique the subject memorizes the layout of some building, or the arrangement of shops on a street, or any geographical entity which is composed of a number of discrete loci. When desiring to remember a set of items the subject 'walks' through these loci in their imagination and commits an item to each one by forming an image between the item and any feature of that locus. Retrieval of items is achieved by 'walking' through the loci, allowing the latter to activate the desired items. The efficacy of this technique has been well established (Ross and Lawrence 1968, Crovitz 1969, 1971, Briggs, Hawkins and Crovitz 1970, Lea 1975), as is the minimal interference seen with its use.
Here's the first iteration called "DreamScape", which I demonstrated in 1995 at WWDC:
>1995 Apple World Wide Developers Conference Kaleida Labs ScriptX DreamScape Demo. Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. Don Hopkins, Kaleida Labs.
The second iteration was called "MediaGraph", for making and navigating maps of music, which I implemented in Unity3D:
>MediaGraph Demo. MediaGraph Music Navigation with Pie Menus. A prototype developed for Will Wright’s Stupid Fun Club.
The most recent iteration was called "iLoci", an iPhone app:
>iPhone iLoci Memory Palace App, by Don Hopkins @ Mobile Dev Camp. A talk about iLoci, an iPhone app and server based on the Method of Loci for constructing a Memory Palace, by Don Hopkins, presented at Mobile Dev Camp in Amsterdam, on November 28, 2008.
Your Adventure games inspired me, and I hope we can inspire others to build even better ways of creating and elaborating information maps, easily navigating and editing them with gestures, capturing and communicating ideas and information, writing and telling interactive stories, and generally augmenting human memory and intelligence.
Wow, I am still reading through your amazing accomplishments. I love it! Give me a few minutes to finish reading your post!
OK, I am blown away at your creativity and ideas. I am aware of Memory Palaces and you certainly make an excellent tie-in with adventure game handling.
Absolutely incredible. Thanks so much for sharing all that! It certainly helps spur my own creative juices!
The Method of Loci (aka a "Memory Palace") is not just some woo hoo pseudo-science bullshit like "Neurolinguistic Programming" or "Dianetics" -- it's the real thing, a very old, well proven idea.
It actually and measurably works, it used to be taught as a part of a classical education for thousands of years until it was banned by the Puritans in 1584 for evoking "bizarre and irrelevant" imagery, and it's still regularly and successfully used by many memory contest champions to recall faces, digits, and lists of words.
Mnemonics was seen as dangerous and magical and heretical back in the Medieval world... And they were right, fortunately: Dangerous magic that works by evoking bizarre and irrelevant imagery can be quite useful as well as entertaining!
HN discussions about it:
>juliend2 on Jan 19, 2020 | parent | context | favorite | on: Nototo – Build a unified mental map of notes
>It's called the Method of loci: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Method_of_loci
>Another term for that is the "memory palace".
>BTW, I wonder if anyone here in HN used it to learn significant things using this method?
>netsharc on Jan 19, 2020 | next [–]
>I first learned about memory palaces in the book Hannibal, named after the character in Silence of the Lambs , but the description there is of a lavish imaginary palace inside your mind you can wander in. I did use this technique to try to remember some physics formulae for an exam once, in my memory palace there was a room with giant equations.
>This website is a bit of a let-down for me since it's just a bird's eye view, it would be cool to create a palace using a 3d game engine, with signs that point to things like physics formulae, and then some Sims or Google-Sketchup-like tool to add objects that you want to remember.
> The relevant excerpt about Hannibal's memory palace: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/illusion-chasers/hannib... , it describes a painting that he uses to remember the fictional address "3327 Tindal, Arlington VA 22308".
>todd8 on Jan 19, 2020 | prev | next [–]
>Hans-Lukas Teuber was the head of the psychology department and my professor for the intro psychology class at MIT. He gave one two-hour evening lecture per week, which were delivered without notes. The lectures were riveting, they were given in MIT's largest lecture hall; it was standing room only to hear him speak--many students and faculty would attend even though not enrolled. I don't remember ever hearing a better live lecture than those that he gave (and I've heard many lectures--I spent more years at university than Belucci's character in Animal House).
He used the memory palace method to remember his lecture's organization.
>DonHopkins on Jan 19, 2020 | prev | next [–]
>I visualize and remember code that way. For me, it's hard to forget somewhere I've been, even if I only imagined being there.
>Each function is a little building like an office or a shop, which has a sign out front telling what services or products it sells, and contains everything inside you need to solve some kind of problem or produce some kind of product or service (where equipment in the room is like references to other objects and functions and imported libraries).
>You're standing behind the front counter, just about to receive a customer though the front entrance door with the parameters you need for one particular instance of that problem.
>You go into the back room, solve the problem, then deliver the results out the exit door at the back of the building (or through any of the other earlier emergency exits, if you had to exit prematurely or throw an error and run away).
>The front/back flow is a metaphor for the top/bottom flow of control through a function.
>If you squint you can see the example Nassi-Shneiderman diagram in that article as a map of a building, with its front at the top, and exit at the bottom.
>You can have internal hallways and rooms for branches and loops, like a Nassi-Shneiderman diagram. The "Sub to Determine Wiki-Article" room is like the front entrance lobby of a theater where buy your ticket. The "Select Favourite Genre" room is like the stage of The Price is Right, and you get to pick what's behind door #1 (History), #2 (Science), or # (Geography), or else choose Other. They each have one or two rooms behind them with your rewards, and then they all finally exit out to the same back stage loading dock, where you take your wonderful prize (or consolation donkey) home.
>kruasan on Jan 19, 2020 | prev [–]
>I once memorized 200 digits of pi when I had nothing more fun to do on a long boring lecture. Sherlock popped into my mind, so I imagined a journey through my house where I chunked numbers to make them represent certain things or people, and me interacting or talking with them, like in a story of some sort. But it feels like I never applied this method to anything significant, apart from memorizing a few things from my biochemistry course. Although now I remember credit card numbers, every single phone number of my friends and family (by associating numbers with particular facial features or character traits), and some other things. I would say before that day I never fully realized just how much I actually like to memorize stuff like words and numbers. Anyway, I think everyone should give it a try, this is fun.
I suppose directions would get very monotonous and negate some of the implementation. . .
Probably thing I love the share the most is how amazed I was to find out the Creator of the Universe and is real and that He actually cares about me.
A subject I am now always williing to share but not many inquire about it.
And I remember being stuck and playfully trying to jump into a certain ravine and realizing that instead I had just found out how to get across it (I guess it was a smaller ravine than I had imagined). Another poster mentioned learning "flotsam & jetsam" - I also learned calliope - though not how to pronounce it.
But I think we never completed The Golden Voyage - I should see if I can convince my children raised with Minecraft and HD games to give your adventures a shot. This is good timing, as my family often plays older games over Thanksgiving.
Will your games ever be ported directly to app stores or game stores such as XBOX Live? I think you would get thousands of new fans.
Any updates on your Lyme resources?
www.lyme-resource.com is still around but I haven't updated in some time. Most folks tend to be more focused on Covid than Lyme. Yet Lyme is still a deadly killer that is often misdiagnosed.
I came of age in the Infocom era. Do you know any of those guys? (Brian Moriarty, Steve Meretzky...)
I don't think I have never had the pleasure to interact with Brian or Steve but I greatly respect their work!
Not Dilbert, Adventure!
Say yoho and everything spins around and suddenly I'm elsewhere...
If not, then I am happy to make a new friend!
If you read the interview and come away thinking, "why didn't he ask him about X?", today's your lucky day, because Scott has graciously agreed to stop by here and answer a few questions. He's new to HN, so be sure and give him a warm welcome!
I read in your interview that you consider your company Clopas as a ‘company of Christians’, rather than a ‘Christian company’, and that you make games “[which] God can use in His glory to uplift people..”
Can you discuss more about what ‘uplift’ means to you, and how it’s reflected in your games? What’s an example of a non-uplifting game/mechanic?
I’m not a Christian, but I find this idea a fascinating one. My mind first goes to something like RDR2, which while perhaps not uplifting in the traditional sense, reminded me of the awe of natural beauty (or God’s creation, if you prefer). Or do you mean more like - the game somehow inspires the player to be a better person, for various definitions of ‘better’?
Thanks for taking the time today!
To me uplift means to leave the player in a better state than when they started.
To bring them closer to God's Glory and plan for their life. To see the Universe and as an incredible place to be and to see Life as an incredible gift from our most awesome and loving Creator.
I am looking forward to an eternity of exploration, discovery and insprired creation due to the agency of my savior and friend Jesus.
In most cases I have not played most IF that is out there. Though Myst stands out as an incredible exception to that. But it of course was mostly non-verbal and delight to eyes.
Part of the reason of not playing many is a reticence to accidentally steal a puzzle idea (via absortion as it were) and the other is simply I have way more fun writing, coding and designing :)
This was like the Infocom interpreter (e.g. "Zork") but more specialized to writing games.
If you read up Inform's Beginner Guide you'll get amazed of how the Inform6 library handles lots of stuff for you. Lots of verbs and objects types are already implemented, so you can set a game "room" for example in just four words split into two lines.
There's currently a jam going on. Three PunyInform games have been released, and anyone can play and judge them at https://itch.io/jam/punyjam-2/entries . One of the games (Opportunity) comes with source code too, so you can see how it works, if you're interested.
I am curious about Tristan Island, it looks like a decent game for an v3 Z-machine.
A link for anyone who cares: https://hlabrande.itch.io/tristam-island
When I was looking at this once, I noticed there's a lot of puzzles that are shared between recent adventure games that you can find in older adventure games too e.g. screwdriver + screws, rusty door + oil, distract an NPC so you can steal something. Instead of this being from lack of originality, I think instead there's some limits on how many puzzle like this exist because they have to be common sense + not completely obvious + involve physical object manipulation + use common objects. I think this is one of the reasons a lot of recent adventure games and escape room games devolve into doors with abstract logic problems to unlock them. Alternatively, they need to introduce new mechanics to widen the design space, like adding time travel or magic.
I would place a location, think of obvious items for the locations and then pretend I was there. What would I try to do and why? Then I would sit and think about it.
I also enjoyed putting it in front of beta testers and seeing what new and unique things they might try that I would want to incorporate into the game.
A big tip of the hat to Neil Novak one of my classic game testers from whom I got a lot of great inspiration!
As far as new puzzles go I hope you try the new section I wrote for Adventureland XL. I have a large number of new puzzles and one that I am especially happy with that went in a direction I hadn't done before.
To get into the XL section of Adventureland you do first need to complete the base game and it has changed a bit with a few new puzzles of its own. You can never loose so don't ever start over. Just keep playing and let me know what you think :)
Check out All Things Devour and Vicious Cycles, both have time travel mechanics.
I used to think this but do you think most text adventures wouldn't work as graphical adventures? Most text adventure puzzles I see are "USE X ON Y" (or the verb required is obvious), nothing complex, the same as graphical adventures. I think All Things Devours would work, except it might have to be turn based.
> Check out All Things Devour and Vicious Cycles, both have time travel mechanics.
Are there good examples without time travel, magic, cartoon logic, sci-fi etc.? My theory is something like this has to be introduced because there just aren't enough interesting "USE X ON Y" style puzzles that haven't been seen before or are too silly/obscure e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat_hair_mustache_puzzle.
The puzzle that won it the Best Individual Puzzle award in one where you need to learn enough of a foreign (invented) language to ask a person for critical information.
I know of https://ifdb.org/viewgame?id=aearuuxv83plclpl and https://ifdb.org/viewgame?id=w5s3sv43s3p98v45 that use language and wordplay as well.
I don't get what you think makes a text adventure puzzle less worthy.
A puzzle should work well in the medium that it's presented. A complicated math puzzle that you suddenly need to solve in Call of Duty is pretty useless. A puzzle where you need to recognize patterns in an image, presented in a text adventure where the image is just described in (many) words is equally bad. A puzzle in a text adventure that's about words and language seems like a great fit.
My pondering is about how far you can take text adventure design if the designer _intentionally limits themselves_ to object manipulation puzzles based in the real world. My feeling was early text adventures explored this to a limit, which is why all the interesting modern IF examples usually have some twist or layer on top. I'm not saying that's a bad thing either, I just find understanding the limits of how far you can push a certain design restriction interesting.
Specifically, I was looking into if you could get a computer to randomly generate interesting text adventure puzzles by feeding it metadata on common objects and how they interact. My feeling eventually was this was unlikely to generate something surprising as it needs more layers.
I'm really interested to see more text adventure games that push complex NPC interactions (The Edifice looks like a great example, thanks!) as most e.g. movies, TV shows and book plots are based around characters interacting and manipulating each other, over interacting with objects.
On the text adventure puzzles, most people began with Zork, so they arent used to modern IF made with Inform against the Z-Machine, were text puzzless can be far from use x on y.
Cloak of Darkness: https://samiam.org/software/parchment/Cloak-Scott.zip
Desert adventure: https://samiam.org/software/parchment/desert-scott.zip
Issuing two "go north" commands causes the page to go completely blank in mobile Safari.
Try this URL: https://samiam.org/software/parchment/desert-smartphone.html
(The version of Parchment I use is somewhat unusual because I had to be 100% GPL compliant)
I was working on a TRS-80 Level II machine (this was a model 1 before there wer models). It was my first home appliance computer, before that I had homebrews. It came with Microsoft Basic.
I had only used tiny basic up until then and wanted to play with strings. It sounded neat to be able to manipulate language with them.
I wrote a game language, a compiler for the language, and an interpreter for the language to play the game, all in BASIC.
I also wrote Adventureland (my first game) at the same time. Adding features to the tools and the game as I was inspired.
Much later I converted the BASIC interpreter into Z80 assembler to be able to give me more memory. The entire game with interpreter had to fit in 16K bytes!
I am happy you have such good memories of my classic games! Have you tried any of my new ones?
And, yes, I wrote one or two text adventures which had the split screen interface -- current room, objects, and exits on the top, while commands and their responses scrolled on the bottom -- that I'm pretty sure Scott Adams pioneered. (Mine were very bad.)
If so, I fondly remember dumpster diving into your trash dumpster w other neighborhood kids in search of games or whatever.
Yes I did! It was one of 3 in the greater orlando area. AI Computer Center.
I have since heard from other new friends that were also kids back then dumpster diving at the store. Apparently a lof treasures found new homes in the local area. Very neat!
Did you know a Brian, Jonathan, Rob or Kevin perhaps?
Sadly there were a number of typos when they transcribed it into the magazine. Yet many people were able to press through and debug it to get it work which was pretty amazing.
My thought was we are all standing on the shoulder's of those who went before us. By helping each other we build towards a better future.
I have received a load of fan mail over the years from folks who have now gone from being fans to being friends. One of the major threads in most of the emails was how my games or gaming systems made a big impact on their life.
There are literally a number of very well known gaming companies now, who's founders have written me about how my early games were an ispiration for them.
I had no idea at the time, but God was using me through the gift He gave me to inpsire others. It is wonderful to be able to see that happen!
Inspired by this comment, just wanted to share this with you:
Still in development (first time sharing the site!) — in any case, thought it might resonate!
Hey folks take a look!
My brother built a 32 bit computer from bit slice chips, my other brother made a tv typewriter IO for it. I was the one who was going to program it. So I made a game.
I had no compiler, not even an assembler or linker. I had to write it in psuedo assembler and then hand assemble and link the code.
One issue I discovered early on was I made mistakes and it made lots of branch statements invalid if things moved. Not having a linker I devised a system where i put a jump table at the top of every module and then all other modules accesed that module via it's jump table. Just an example of approaching a problem.
I had the first ever Sphere computer (look them up! Amazing machine) It was a text only screen and I wanted to write a graphic game for it. So I designed an built my own graphics card, designed and built tank controllers for 2 players and wrote a tank war game for 2 players.
I never saw problems as a wall to walk away from, I saw them as an incredible chance to do something different to be able to scale it.
So when it came to writing a text adventure on a machine with tiny memory I had to get creative. I had not done anything like this before and i was just insprired to do the game, the language, the compiler and the interpreter all at the same time. It just felt right :)
I continue to push myself over walls and today I use Unity, C# and continue to do things that aren't supposed ot be possible.
For example www.finalPilot.com has an underlying network communication package I derived because I couldnot find a current solution that would totally fit the problem domain. It had to work on both UDP and WebGL with the same code base. It was a lot of fun coming up with a working system. WE are in the process of soon starting a new game with some new challenges and its network system will be much different from what Final Pilot uses.
Sorry if I rambled a bit and happy to fill in more details if needed.
Any other info about the Sphere would be appreciated. I know BYTE magazine called it the first true personal computer.
It cost if I remember correctly $850 or so. For that it would come with cassette IO, 512 bytes of ROM, a video monitor and case. The boards were on a backplane (inside) with room for expansion. There was also of course a power supply.
This was a kit and not assembled.
At the time Mike did NOT have any inventory and was winging it! I found out later I was his very first order. Also they did a "what do you use your Sphere for" annual contest which I won with my Tank War game and my design for a graphics card. I even sent them a super 8 video of the game play. Sadly lost as I sent my only copy.
That price got you an unassmbled kit. Also at
I did the entire programming of obth of the TI cartrige games, the text adventure cartridge (read in the games from cassette) and the special made-for-TI graphical text adventure in a cartridge: Return to Pirates Island.
My game language interpreter was already separate from games written in my adventure language. So putting the interpreter on the cartridge was not very difficult. See one of the other threads on this AMA for more information about that!
I acutally have a TI/99 still today. It is the only classic machine I have. :)
Now my obligitory fanboying: Those text adventures were an important part of my formative years. They inspired me to learn how to write more advanced programs, because I desperately wanted to create my own text adventures. My first one was a gigantic, unwieldy tree of if/then/else statements, and that painful experience led me to more learn advanced data structures and concepts.
Well I am still making games and some from scratch :)
See www.FinalPilot.com it is something I did for another company who had a vision and I and my team have a had a great deal of fun creating it. Still a work in progress with a major update coming out shortly.
In terms of adventure type games I am really fond of www.EscapeTheGloomer.com it tells a parallel story to book 2 of the Redwall series Mossflower. I did a lot of new things in this game. One of which is that the player is actually writing their own story as they play. The game reads as a novel as the player explores, discovers and creates.
And lastly I am currently working on www.AdventurelandXL.com which stands for Roman numeral 40 for the 40th anniversary of Adventureland and also for Extra Large.
It includes the entire base game along with an entire new section with saluates to some of the cultural myths and fantasys that I did not get to include in Advenutreland originally. It also includes what is now one of my favorite puzzle sequences (deals with the chimp in the jungle).
It is currently in early access on Steam for Windows, everyone playing it is helping make the game better for eventual final release. It is like ET and phones home after each play sesssion with the player's trace file.
The entire game is in there except for the very final scene.
I love to hear get email from folks playing it too with their impressions.
Good question. My clasic games are available on a number of places on the web. You can find links to some of them on my personal web page at www.msadams.com
If you want to have a really fun experience check out www.AdventurelandXL.com which is the full original game and then something really special :)
Some of the games that I have greatly enjoyed are (in no particular order)
Everquest (1 and 2),
Dark Age of Camelot,
Age of Empires,
Guild Wars 2,
Valheim (currently playing),
Descent (played with two joysticks, one in each hand to give full 3D controls),
Star Wars Galaxy,
Call of Heroes,
Big congratulations on staying with it and solving that puzzle! By the way the alarm clock makes a return visit in my 2013 game The Inheritance.
Back when the internet was starting to bloom I got a nice email from Scott Adams of Dilbert.
Seems he had gotten a number of fan mails meant for me and was trying to find who to send it to. I also had a number of fan mails meant for him! We exchanged the mails and had a nice chat about it!
Especially as he seems to have kind of gone off the proverbial deep end with his political fanaticism in recent years...
Essentially, the dude is a professional troll.
And also unbelievably cynical, but looking at his work it's obvious that this is the case.
You may not feel you owe someone better, but you owe this community far better if you're participating in it. If you'd please review https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and stick to the rules in the future, we'd appreciate it.
Edit: turns out I had to warn you about posting personal attacks just a couple days ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=29311314. No more of this, please, or we'll have to ban you. Please don't post any more flamewar comments, either—for example like https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=29259077. All this is emphatically not what the site is for, and is not welcome here.
Edit 2: I've detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=29335724 and hope that Scott hasn't seen how rude you were, so we can all feel slightly less ashamed of this.