intfiction.org

The Interactive Fiction Community Forum
It is currently Tue Sep 23, 2014 7:17 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 12:18 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:39 am
Posts: 47
Hello there.

Now that I am reasonably happy with the newly released Visionary v1.00, I will, over Christmas, turn my attention to building a Scott Adams Format Text Adventure Player (SAFTAP) for WIndows in readiness for the future Scott Adams Format Text Adventure Challenge (SAFTAC) (I say 'C'hallenge, not 'C'omp because it will be "just for fun" until such time as anything takes off with lots of interest - does that sound fair?). I think interest will remain small and "fun" as previously mentioned, perhaps to introduce people into writing text adventures before further steps into language based adventure making such as Inform.

I have the code already in Basic4PPC format (from AdvPDA) which plays SAF files and I will be chopping up and reforming it into VB6 to make a Windows executable in the next few weeks. I was tempted to code SAFTAP in Java but I'm still a noob with Java so VB6 first then might port to Java later.

My thoughts turn to what SAFTAC will look like and what options it will have.

Given that I have about three weeks on and off to knock it up before Uni starts, it will be pretty basic, so for those who are interested, what 'basic' look and feel options would you be looking for if you were to play Scott Adams games through a GUI?

Many thanks.

Itchy coding fingers at the ready ...

Steve.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:12 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:14 am
Posts: 109
Location: Madrid, Spain
Great news! :D

I'm currently using under Windows something called "ADVINT" made by Hein Pragt in 1997. It surely looked nicely back then, but it starts as a default in an fixed maximized window with no options at all for resizing either the windows or the fonts... which is both ridiculous and uncomfortable to play nowadays in current panoramic HD screens. So flexibility for handling the window would be very wellcome!

_________________
English posts in my blog!


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:41 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:39 am
Posts: 47
Thank you for your comments Rockersuke.

Yes, I have come across and used ADVINT previously. Hein's website is http://www.heinpragt.nl/start/index.php

I agree that flexibility of sizing both screen and font is required and will build in these features, as well as letting you choose the colour of background / foreground and font typeface. :)


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 8:26 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 1:50 am
Posts: 954
Location: Sydney, Australia
A couple more things - make sure the user can highlight any text in the window, and that Copy and Paste work. Not particularly important for playing games this non-verbose, but always useful. And it's always aggravating if you ever want these commands to work and they don't.

Jumping ahead a bit (cos I'm going offline from Dec 20 to New Year, so I'll talk now :)) - I was wondering if people have made Transcript commands in other Scott Adams interpreters, and how they worked? Maybe it would output all player commands, all game responses, but only output the room description again if you move, or if the room description changes. I'm not sure how easy it is to tell when such things happen. Games like The Count and Strange Odyssey have those screen flickering effects and I don't know how compatible they are with any kind of transcripting.

Anyway that's my 2 cents for now. I like the idea of calling it a challenge, too.

Good luck with the coding.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 9:01 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:39 am
Posts: 47
severedhand wrote:
A couple more things - make sure the user can highlight any text in the window, and that Copy and Paste work. Not particularly important for playing games this non-verbose, but always useful. And it's always aggravating if you ever want these commands to work and they don't.


Okey dokey, copy / paste facilities will build in. :)

I will also build in "up arrow" functionality on the command line to recall previous commands (you know, like when you are at the DOS prompt).

severedhand wrote:
I was wondering if people have made Transcript commands in other Scott Adams interpreters, and how they worked? Maybe it would output all player commands, all game responses, but only output the room description again if you move, or if the room description changes. I'm not sure how easy it is to tell when such things happen. Games like The Count and Strange Odyssey have those screen flickering effects and I don't know how compatible they are with any kind of transcripting.


Good point, thanks. I know I discovered bugs in other engines - it may have been ASFDDOS or Scottfree but forgive me if it was other engines - that did not cater properly or at all for pause / refresh for responses which did a kind of "response / pause / clear screen / response / pause / clear screen / response" before giving control back to the user - these functions were needed in Ghost Town (lighting a match in a cave you see a flash of the cave before match goes out) and one Adventure by Brian Howarth in the SAF format (boat voyage somewhere) that I recall.

I will trawl through ither SAF engines to see what they offer for transcripting.

Perhaps build in some control codes such as:

*RDOFF - turn off room descriptions in game temporarily, just show room desc and items?
*RDON - turn on room descriptions again

... stuff like that ... similar to ingame console commands in Quake etc ... but just basic stuff, not cheatcodes like *GIVEALLTREASURES :)

severedhand wrote:
Anyway that's my 2 cents for now. I like the idea of calling it a challenge, too.

Good luck with the coding.


Thanks for the info and luck message, it will help me - have a nice break.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:09 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:14 am
Posts: 109
Location: Madrid, Spain
Pragt's windows interpreter had a 2005 version (just found it at his personal web following realeasterbunny's link, here) which used just one window and a single flow of text. It was rather confusing as it didn't include the player's commands.

On other subject, I would suggest an option to display game header info. I've just seen it in the Amiga port of Scottfree (here) and it looks handy to check on the fly game version. It uses a trick with ripped graphics to show the pics, but I can live without that! :)

Some pics:

Image Image

_________________
English posts in my blog!


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 4:27 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:39 am
Posts: 47
Thanks for the info and link Rockersuke.

I will build this in somehow.

Perhaps:

*SHOWGAMEINFO

... or a menu option - but it will be in as its a 2 minute job to do :)

Its all good :)


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 6:10 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:39 am
Posts: 47
Quick update.

The port from AdvPDA (Basic4PPC) to SAFTAP (VB6) is going well.

TIP: If you ever want to check your code for stuff even when you think its good, try porting it!

I found unused variables in my code left over from the very early testing days of AdvPDA as well as recapping how bad my programming indentation was (even after I thought I tidied it up). Other stuff from the AdvPDA code seems pretty solid though :)
Code:
[Technical programming psychobabble alert]
The "Return {value}" function of Basic4PPC was very useful but in VB6, you cannot simply Return {value}. Initially I got lazy on the port and started putting "...: GOTO"s in after setting the functions value to return, but I convinced myself that of course this is bad form so instead replaced it with ever so slightly less bad form of "...: Exit Function" after setting the variable against the function name. I might go back to these in the future sometime to do some proper recoding, but for now I am just itching to see SAFTAP run.

I am however happily removing all the StrIndexOf's, SubString's and StrCompare's etc of Basic4PPC and replacing them with good old fashioned Instr's, Mid's, and the good old fashioned "="'s for string comparison.  :D
[/Technical programming psychobabble alert]


In the next couple of days I should have something shabby to show which we can then beef up with sexy stuff but for now, back to the port...


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 6:42 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:39 am
Posts: 47
OK, a couple of days turned into four to accomodate a back problem and unexpected new years eve jollies.

I now have a running SAFTAP engine and am currently running a few games through to ensure all the cogs of the engine are well oiled. (I think) I have a problem at the moment trying to pull the nails from the rug in a certain 'flat in London' and from here I need to test one or two other bits.

Once I'm done, probably tomorrow, I will upload SAFTAP (as a setup kit) to my website for download so anyone wishing to do so can have a play.

A couple of screenshots of it in action so far:

Image
In play with Pirate Adventure.

Image
Inital opening screen and me asking for '/Help'

Colours can be changed by hex values in the INI file.

Sample INI file:

' --------------
' --- SAFTAP ---
' --------------


[GENERAL]



[PRESENTATION]
FontName=Arial
FontSize=14
FontBold=Y
FontItalic=N
FontUnderline=N

Background=FFFF80
MesgText=008000
RoomText=000000
ExitText=800000
LookText=000080

InputBackground=006000
InputText=00ff00

-----------------------------------------

More soon !


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:05 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:39 am
Posts: 47
Engine now fully tested on Pirate Adventure and works completely. Also tested on the light-match-in-mine on Ghost Town and the sleep routine works great too. Fixed the issue with the nailed down rug in Pirate Adventure. Just one more thing to do now which is very minor and it will be up on my website for you all hopefully tomorrow depending on how work is tomorrow. Its looking good even though I say so myself :)


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group