Friday, 30 December 2011

Possible New Game


Back in the 80’s I wrote a lot of adventure games, none of them written in a form that would allow publication. Mostly they were in BASIC, a few of them used graphics using a non-standard method to hold four sets of UDGs in memory and flip between them, some were just downright too rude (like the one based on Derek and Clive!).

When I began recently to make games with AGD, I have always looked out for ways to re-produce my old games in a professional manner. I stayed clear of utilities like the Quill or PAW, instead wanting more freedom.

I looked briefly at BASIC compilers, but they fell short, especially when using the non-standard graphics, GOSUB and GOTO plus other oddities. Another major stumbling block was the LOAD/SAVE of game data.

I have for a few months, been looking at Boriel’s Compiler, and liking what it does. As a test project I have taken one of my old text adventures and attempted to re-create it in fully compiled, 42 character machine code.

So far things are going well despite early problems with GOSUB and GOTO, but I just had to re-think how things work in this environment. I also needed to work out how many locations I could squeeze in, as well as all the interaction, parser and object manipulation.

As things stand I have nearly all locations in, most of the object and puzzles, most of the interaction (with just the last and most complex puzzle/interaction to do) and most of the parser. It is 90% playable, up to the point of the final locations and puzzle.

My plan is to finish the game and then look at how I can make LOAD/SAVE work. I think, looking at Boriel’s documentation, it can be done easily by building an array of values and then saving as data. If this works then I will release the game and look at the rest of my old adventures with a new enthusiasm.

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