Author Topic: Port of text adventure games to SCI  (Read 10284 times)

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Offline gumby

Port of text adventure games to SCI
« on: June 13, 2010, 04:30:24 PM »
I've been working on a project for about the last month or so on porting text adventure games (specifically z-machine games - more specifically, Infocom games) to SCI.   

My approach is to take a compiled z-machine game, decompile it, parse it and generate all the bits and pieces needed for an SCI game - all programatically.  I'm starting with Zork and so far I've created all the rooms and have the 'cardinal' navigation worked out (N S E W directions) & preserved all the original room descriptions.

So the gist of the project is that I'm creating a tool that one could point any z-machine game at and out pops a usable SCI game with all the game logic.  Obviously, there are some things that cannot be generated automatically - namely the artwork.

I'm doing this for the programming challenge - I don't believe that these games will in any way be superior to their originals.  I grew up with Infocom & Sierra games and they stand on their own merits - I just want to see if this is possible.

I figured I'd reach out to the SCI community and see if there would be interest in this.  If there is enough interest, I'd probably create a website for tracking the current status of the project, etc.

-Gumby


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Offline Cloudee1

Re: Port of text adventure games to SCI
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2010, 04:49:08 PM »
That is quite possibly the coolest idea I have heard in a while. If we could get Troflip to swing by then maybe he could bmp conversion stuff. Sounds like a real challenge. Good luck.
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Offline Cloudee1

Re: Port of text adventure games to SCI
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2010, 08:42:49 PM »
But then again I don't know if his converter is up to text description conversion quite yet. You say Zork I hear Loom.
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Offline Collector

Re: Port of text adventure games to SCI
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2010, 12:05:02 AM »
Nice idea, but it would be far more complex than that. You would have to also add in everything that the sprites interact with, walk paths, hotspots or any event that would be triggered by proximity. It might be nice to automate the conversion of what it can, like dialog trees, etc.
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Offline Cloudee1

Re: Port of text adventure games to SCI
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2010, 11:29:01 AM »
Not really, since you are starting with a text adventure, a text adventure would hopefully pop out.  Especially if one room is equivalent to one roo. It would be up to someone rewriting a game to convert the text room to one with images. but a working game "map" and the text descriptions and commands already in place would be pretty cool.
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Offline gumby

Re: Port of text adventure games to SCI
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2010, 09:04:56 PM »
Exactly, all the game logic would hopefully be ported and complete.  Rooms map one-to-one between the original and the new game. 

I'm actually hopeful that if a large enough library of views for props (a sword, lantern, sack lunch, etc) were created, these could also be 'injected' into the correct holding room.  These same objects could be used between games.  Of course, the end-game developer would probably want to make their own pics, but it would be a great starting point.

I've put in 108 'stub' rooms (the # of rooms in Zork) and when you enter the room and type 'Look', it will give you the original description from the game (pretty cool).  That's the meat of what I've completed so far.

I'm currently working on the 'oddball' room navigations (north-east, north-west, south-east, southwest).  I've settled on utilizing autodoors in the corresponding corner of the room and then editing the room's control view (not manually of course).  I've been getting quite chummy with my favorite hex editor & picture resources...




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Offline gumby

Re: Port of text adventure games to SCI
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2010, 04:31:42 PM »
Figured it was about time for a progress update:

Game: The game I'm using to develop my tool is Zork.  So I'll probably see complete development of a Zork port to the bitter end.

Rooms: Rooms currently consist of a common background (I chose the boxart from the original game) & directional arrows to aid in navigating the ego.  All rooms are in & can be navigated with the ego with 'simple' directions (N/S/E/W NE/NW/SE/SW).  Up, down, enter, exist still need to be handled (as well as any code-based navs).  Room descriptions from the original game are displayed in the background of each room, and are also printed to the screen when player types 'look'.

Objects:  Top level objects are in place (no nested objects yet - no 'items contained in other items').  Objects cannot currently be interacted with, I'm still working on the take/drop functionality.  Objects are kept track of globally & added dynamically upon entry of a room (to support movement of objects between rooms via take/drop).

I'm currently working on putting in the Said statements for single-word sentences (single verb).  Then I'll move on to the verb/prep/adj/noun sentences.

When I get to a good stopping point, I'll upload the Zork game that I've created thus far so those interested can better relate to all the questions & gibbering I've been doing...
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Offline MusicallyInspired

Re: Port of text adventure games to SCI
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2010, 01:49:28 AM »
Oooo. That is interesting. I've never played a Zork game before (other than Return).
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Offline Cloudee1

Re: Port of text adventure games to SCI
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2010, 01:59:02 AM »
Really it sounds like things are progressing pretty well.
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Offline gumby

Re: Port of text adventure games to SCI
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2010, 07:27:20 PM »
Update:

Not much has changed since my last update, except I've just tidied up a bit with the code generation.  For those interested in giving it a whirl, I've uploaded a demo to the 'fan games' page.  

At this point, all you can do is navigate the ego between rooms and see some objects & room descriptions.  To get to all the rooms, teleporting will be necessary.  Some single-verb words work ('look', 'scream', 'back', 'barf', 'say', a few others) - but they really don't do much.  Oh, and all resources are currently 'external' to the game (pics, texts, views, etc) - not embedded into the resource.001 file.

I'm glad this is to a point where the community can have a look at what I've been putting together - I'd appreciate any feedback!
« Last Edit: October 25, 2010, 09:30:31 PM by gumby »
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Offline Cloudee1

Re: Port of text adventure games to SCI
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2010, 07:58:16 PM »
Alright, the game has been approved and is now available for download. I still need a screenshot, but I can't do that where I am at right now so I will take care of that tomorow hopefully. I can't even try it out yet, but I will when I can.
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Offline Cloudee1

Re: Port of text adventure games to SCI
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2010, 02:00:46 PM »
Uh oh, out of heap in the clearing. So I've played through it a little and are you sure you need an ego to move around. with the text descriptions and the arrows, It seems to make more sense just to let me click on arrows to travel. maybe a nice gui, I'll try to sketch something up, that would be easier than describing it.
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Offline gumby

Re: Port of text adventure games to SCI
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2010, 03:43:35 PM »
Out of heap already?  Damn.  That'll be fun to fix...  You are right, you don't necessarily need the ego to move around - I was thinking about going with a 'traditional' SCI game.  However, in many respects it would be easier just to use a PNC 'compass' on the screen.

You are making me totally rethink this.  It would be tons easier if I didn't incorporate an ego & went 'first person'.  Similar to the game '7th Guest' maybe.
In the Great Underground Empire (Zork port in development)
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Offline Cloudee1

Re: Port of text adventure games to SCI
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2010, 11:32:57 PM »
I'm actually in the middle of a first person project myself. Given the source of your game, I would think first person would be ideal. Also all these pic resources. Reallistically, is there going to be a different image created for a room, if not why not just use pic001 and hardcode that into every room instead of a seperate pic for each script.
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Offline gumby

Re: Port of text adventure games to SCI
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2010, 11:50:47 PM »
Pic resources:  Didn't know I could use a single pic for all rooms.  However, I was thinking that every room would have it's own pic (this would be one of the responsibilities of the final game designer).  I figured that putting in the stubs & referencing them in each corresponding room script would be easier in the end.

Speaking of the end-game designer - making this first person really makes it easy.  All that would be needed from a development perspective would be pics & props, that's it.  Not only that, I'd bet it's just the 'visual' screen that would be necessary; I'm hoping that I could put in enough smarts so that control/priority could be handled automatically.

I should also add that *nothing* of what you see would be there in the final game (with the exception of the status line).  Everything visually there is to aid in the development of the artwork in the game (the room pic, the room description, the arrows).  Obviously, the props are just stubs as well, awaiting artwork.  I was thinking of preserving the room descriptions when the 'look' verb was called...
In the Great Underground Empire (Zork port in development)
Winter Break 2012 Rope Prop Competition


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