Author Topic: Port of text adventure games to SCI  (Read 10858 times)

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Offline Collector

Re: Port of text adventure games to SCI
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2010, 01:55:52 PM »
Keep in mind that 1st person adventures are generally disliked among adventure gamers. Yes, I know that there are some well known examples of 1st person games, but from several adventure forums where the subject has come up the overwhelming consensus has been in favor of 3rd over 1st.
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Offline gumby

Re: Port of text adventure games to SCI
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2010, 04:05:19 PM »
Good point Collector.  Probably many gamers just write off 1st person gameplay for the shooters.  Which I get to some degree.

Here is my (new) current plan:

1.  Parser-only game.  No graphics (yeah, this means taking a slight step back from what is already done).
2.  First person implementation.
3.  3rd person implementation.

In my mind this goes from lowest-to-highest difficultly of completion.  I intend to keep each previous implementation when a new one is introduced (which I think is very feasible).  So in the end, all 3 options would be available for gameplay.

This helps me better define the requirements at each step & keeps me more focused (which I definitely need).
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Offline gumby

Re: Port of text adventure games to SCI
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2011, 09:03:04 AM »
Update: I've abandoned/scrapped the majority of what I put together so far for Zork. I'm going to take the approach of completely recreating a text adventure 'as-is' in SCI - then move on to making it a graphically-oriented game.

I've been translating the Zork decompiled z-machine source code to SCI over the past few months. Things are progressing, and I can *almost* compile everything (SCI code is nearly syntactically correct - then the bug hunt begins).

I've abandoned the z-machine parser & command loop code, as well as a dozen or so functions that can be replaced with builtin SCI logic. I still have to split the code out into multiple files. Right now all the code is in a single room script (about 280K) - I know that will choke the interpreter.

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Offline gumby

Re: Port of text adventure games to SCI
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2011, 03:58:06 PM »
Yes!  I have compilation (sort of)!  Just the port of the existing game logic (no room scripts yet).  I've got just over 400 'procedural' scripts, a single procedure in each.  Was able to choke Studio a few times with some really bad code - it just got hung up and never completed during a compile.

I've mapped each room to a room script (similar to what I had before - a little over 100 rooms) - but they are all boilerplate rooms, the only reason I need them is to keep the memory under control.

Found some new bugs, but should be able to squash them over the next few weeks.  Then I need to figure out how to get the whole thing 'fully integrated' into the game, basically the tie-in to getting the parser hand-off to the procedural code (if that makes sense).
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Offline gumby

Re: Port of text adventure games to SCI
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2012, 11:11:31 AM »
Update:  Zork I and Zork II are compiling within Studio!  Just the procedural scripts, but it's quite a milestone.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2012, 11:14:16 AM by gumby »
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Offline MusicallyInspired

Re: Port of text adventure games to SCI
« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2012, 12:34:32 PM »
Nice! That's quite a feat!
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Offline JRedant

Re: Port of text adventure games to SCI
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2012, 07:24:51 PM »
I'll add in my two cents, since I'm doing the same thing myself.

I think it all has to do with balance. It's good to stay faithful and true to the game. However, you should give yourself some allowance and creative freedom. For me the programmers for "Island of Secrets" probably has a far different version than me. If all you are given for a room description is "You are at the southern edge of the forest", that could mean just about anything.

At some point you are going to have to break away from the original game and give it your own element.

Think of it this way: There are two Spiderman stories...one by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, and one by Sam Raimi.

In the same way, there are two "Island of Secrets"...one by Usborne Publications, and one by me.

That's what keeps it fun and interesting!

Offline Collector

Re: Port of text adventure games to SCI
« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2012, 09:05:54 PM »
It seems like that compiling those scripts has been hanging you for a while.
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Offline Cloudee1

Re: Port of text adventure games to SCI
« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2012, 09:35:56 PM »
That's true, there's always room for another interpretation... But in this instance, correct me if I'm wrong, Gumby isn't doing a room by room recreation, he is taking the original games and basicly dumping them through a code converter that creates an sci game from the original text game. Granted it might have been quicker to do a room by room remake lol, but wouldn't have been near the programming challenge which is half the fun
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Offline gumby

Re: Port of text adventure games to SCI
« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2012, 11:59:49 PM »
you are going to have to break away from the original game and give it your own element.
I agree - but from my standpoint its a genre-change that is the element.  Converting a text game to a graphical one.  That is the creative element I am hoping to eventually get to.  Keep all the original text descriptions & augment them with graphics & animation.  There are a lot of opportunities for innovation - combat scenes especially come to mind.  Also the 'avoiding' the enemy technique by quickly exiting the current screen.

Also, I'm not just porting a single game - ultimately, I'm hoping to create a framework where any Infocom (or Inform) game skeleton would be created in SCI.  It very well might take me forever but it sure is fun :).

It seems like that compiling those scripts has been hanging you for a while.
Yeah, took me a year (with time off) to finally get to the point where it's nearly fully automated - just need to compile Main.sc & one other script then I can do a 'Compile All'.

Granted it might have been quicker to do a room by room remake lol
Too true.  I now know that I could be so much further along if I took the 'traditional' approach. 

JRedant, I'm truly envious of your rapid progress - I can't wait until I'm actually at the creative stage.
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Offline JRedant

Re: Port of text adventure games to SCI
« Reply #25 on: February 12, 2012, 01:17:25 PM »
Don't be too envious, gumby, my friend.

[Edit: With "Island of Secrets", I actually happen to have the book in PDF format. The creative work has already been done. The monsters, places, map, quest, clues and information has already been laid out. The illustrations have been done. You're actually doing a lot more creative work and research than me]

As it happens, I work in medical research and am facing a huge bunch of paid downtime. Not the one to lay down and vacation or whatever, I decided to put a lot of my creative energy into this. But that's a different topic altogether.

Point is, in the five days of work, I put together five rooms. That's about seven hours on a room. That is a lot of work. I still have to work with script files. This is a big undertaking. It's huge. And not everyone is in my position.

All this needs is dedication! Make the Zork happen! I want to see the fruits of that undertaking!
« Last Edit: February 12, 2012, 01:20:58 PM by JRedant »

Offline gumby

Re: Port of text adventure games to SCI
« Reply #26 on: February 12, 2012, 08:52:14 PM »
All this needs is dedication! Make the Zork happen! I want to see the fruits of that undertaking!
Agreed, it does take dedication.  For me, the only way to stay on track is to keep at it, every day.  Even if it's only for twenty minutes or so.  If I put my script down for too long, it becomes harder and harder to return to.

Speaking of 'the script', it's pretty much one single monstrous Perl script, currently just under 3500 lines long, and keeps growing.  It's laced with comments & debug commands, probably making up half the file content.

My goal is to make sure the script works with *all* the Z-machine Infocom games (that's 34 games by my count, from Zork I in 1980 to Sherlock: Riddle of the Crown Jewles in 1988).  Working through Zork III now.  With each game, I'm finding it's taking less and less time to get compilation.  I'm really hoping that things 'level off' and after the first 5 or 6 games, the rest will 'just work' without any additional coding.
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Offline Collector

Re: Port of text adventure games to SCI
« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2012, 02:28:08 AM »
For me, the only way to stay on track is to keep at it, every day.  Even if it's only for twenty minutes or so.  If I put my script down for too long, it becomes harder and harder to return to.

When you've been away from a script for too long, it can be almost as hard to pick up as someone else's script. You have to read through it to figure out what you were trying to do and how you were doing it. You might recognize your style and personal shortcuts, but you still have to wrap your head around it. I usually try to comment my scripts as if I expect someone else to pick it up, even if it is not likely.
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Offline JRedant

Re: Port of text adventure games to SCI
« Reply #28 on: February 13, 2012, 03:50:35 PM »
The old rule of computer programming still rings true....document, document, document. (I should be doing that, actually)

Offline gumby

Re: Port of text adventure games to SCI
« Reply #29 on: February 15, 2012, 11:04:36 PM »
Update.  Zork 3 complete plus recompilation of Zork 1 & 2 to make sure that I didn't break anything.  Now moving on to the Enchanter series.
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