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Game Design Theory / 2008 Text Adventure Competition

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Matt Rock
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Posted: 17th Jun 2008 00:45 Edited at: 23rd Jun 2008 01:13
Welcome to the official thread of the third annual text adventure competition!


Updated June 22: New Prize!

It's that time of the year again... welcome to the third-ever Text Adventure Competition on TGC! Recognizing that last year's rules were a minefield of confusion and complexity, this year's competition is going to have the "lightest" rules we've ever had. As always, please keep an eye on this very first post for updates along the way, as we hope to keep adding prizes until the competition ends in October! Also, please read this thread thoroughly before posting a question, as it may have already been answered... competition threads have a habit of getting particularly lengthy! Thank you for participating in this year's Text Adventure Competition (TAC). I think I can safely speak for myself and the other judges when I say that we can't wait to play everyone's entries this year!

In this competition, you'll be tasked to create the best text adventure your brain can muster, and you'll be pitting it against other aspiring game designers who are vying for the same great prizes. Along the way, we're hoping your project will help you learn new things about writing great stories, and push you to develop your good ideas into fantastic ones.

What is a "Text Adventure?"
A text adventure is a game wherein the player navigates through a world by reading segments of a story, and then selecting a path or action from a list of options supplied by the software. Rather than seeing your environment, as you would in most modern games, you read descriptive text that explains what the character is seeing and doing.

Most text adventures fall into one of two technical categories: The option list adventure, and the parser adventure. "Option list" adventures have a menu of options wherein a player can select an action from a list of choices (such as, "1. go east, 2. go west" and the player presses one or two, or presses the corresponding number and then presses enter). "Parser" adventures allow the player to type in commands, such as "open door," "go north," "eat apple," etc., and the software can detect specific commands that are entered into its entry line.

What could I win?

GRAND PRIZE
The grand prize package will be awarded to the entrant who scores the highest overall score in four distinct categories: Originality, Story Development, Writing Ability, and Technical Design. The game's scores in each of these categories will be averaged to figure out its overall score. Each category can earn a maximum of 10.0 points. For more about each of these categories and how they are defined, please read the "Kudos Awards" category below.

4,000 Game Creator Store Points, supplied by The Game Creators

One (1) free copy of PlayBASIC, supplied by Underware Design. Play Basic is a Game Programming language designed to take the learning curve out of 2D game making. Allowing users to bring their game ideas to life in a fraction of the time of other basic languages.

One (1) free copy of the game Eternal Equinox, supplied by MISoft Studios. In this commercial text adventure, you assume the role of a tropical islander whose village is threatened by an incoming tsunami. To save your people, you'll need to track down a magic artifact, known as the Hoto, before your people are completely annihilated by the coming disaster.

KUDOS AWARDS
The recipient of each Kudos award will be given one (1) free copy of Eternal Equinox (see above), and some of the other Kudos awards have other great prizes, too! Here's a full list of the Kudos awards we're handing out this year:

The 2008 TGC Poet Laureate: The most coveted Kudos award, and new for this year's competition. This is awarded to the game that displays the most distinguished writing and mastery of the English language. And with it comes the best Kudos award prize: The 2008 TGC Poet Laureate will recieve 2,000 Game Creator Store points!

Originality: Depicts the overall originality of your game's concept, including (but not limited to) the uniqueness of the game's plot, characters, locations/ environments, etc. The winner of this Kudos award will also recieve 1,000 Game Creator Store points!

Story Development: How well your story is developed from beginning to end. This covers your ability to provide detailed descriptions of the events, characters, locations/ environments, and plot (and sub-plots) of your story, and otherwise your ability to present said story in a fluid and consistent manner. The winner of this Kudos award will also recieve 750 Game Creator Store points!

Writing Ability: Rates your mastery of the English language. Avoid spelling and grammar errors, typos, and the like if you want to score well in this category. The winner of this Kudos award will also recieve 500 Game Creator Store points!

Technical Design: Rates the game's functionality, control layout/ design, and general playability. Keep your entry glitch- and bug- free, simple to understand, and easy to command to score highly

Best Media: The game that contains the best media, from the front-end to in-game media. Media includes imagery, music, and sound effects. Please be sure to read the rules (posted below) to make sure your media isn't infringing on how this game is classified!

Most Addictive Game: The game that the judges simply can't stop playing will earn this kudos award.

Best GUI: The game that has the most interesting and aesthetically-appealing interface/ HUD/ GUI.

Retail Award: The game that the judges would be most willing to pay money for.

Best Soundtrack: The game that features the best music and sound effects. All audible sounds count toward this award.

Best Protagonist(s): The game that features the coolest "good guy(s)" will win this kudos award.

Best Antagonist(s): Awarded to the game that features the "bad guy(s)" that we love to hate.

Best Environment The most highly detailed, expansive, and well-planned world will win this kudos award.

RULES

NOTE: The judges have the final say in how each rule is interpreted. Attempts to deviate from these rules will result in disqualification. The competition's judges reserve the right to disqualify entries if they feel the need, and will present a written statement as to why these entries have been disqualified so as to avoid confusion or unfairness. The judges have been selected because they are mature, trustworthy, contributing members of the TGC community, so don't worry about any judges treating you and/ or your entry unjustly! This year's judges include myself, Jeku, and Dazzag. More judges will be added should the need arise.

Judges playing your game will have the final say in whether your game classifies as a text adventure or not, and will disqualify games that they do not think are legitimate text adventures. The legitimacy of entrants is based on the judges' interpretations of what a text adventure is, NOT what you think a text adventure could be/ what the phrase might mean.

Your entry's text must be presented in English. US, UK, and other well-known interpretations of English are acceptable (so the word "color" can also be spelled "colour" with no effect on scoring either way).

You must use fonts that are included standard with Windows 2000 and XP machines. Alternatively you can use bitmap fonts or a 2D image of the pre-written text. Judges will not install custom fonts to see them in your game.

Some portion of your game, large or small, must be made using TGC software of some sort. Please list the development tools you've used to create your game when you post your entry, including the language(s), IDE(s), DLL(s), applications used for media, etc.

The use of Text Adventure/ "IF" Engines, Editors, etc. is strictly prohibited.

You must include some small portion of your source code, regardless of the language used to make the game, to validate that you've coded the game yourself.

All games submitted to this competition must be fully compiled. Submitted source code that is not compiled will not be judged. Your entry must come in the form of an executable file. You can include additional files and folders, but one executable (EXE) file should run the game.

Copyright Law: Any and all media used in this contest must be made by you. Otherwise, proof of permission to use said media must be presented (even for freeware games), including the author of the images/ music and some form of contact information, albeit a website address or e-mail address. Any entry that does not meet this standard will be void from participation.

There is no length requirement for this contest, although you should try to keep your game relatively short to play so that it can be judged fully and fairly. Try to introduce the judges to your best features early because they may not have time to play through the entire game if we receive a large number of entries.

Judges and/ or their families may not enter the competition.

Submissions: You may submit your entry via e-mail (e-mail the game to me) or via these forums. To submit, you can include a compressed file (zip, rar, etc.) or a direct download link. By "direct link," we mean said link should open a download window immediately once clicked. All entries must be recieved no later than 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time on Friday, October 17th 2008. No exceptions!

Winners will be announced in this thread as soon as all entries have been judged.


Seppuku Arts
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Posted: 17th Jun 2008 01:02
Excellent!

Good time have the rules there and finalised, it's a good guideline.

"Experience never provides its judgments with true or strict universality; but only (through induction) with assumed and comparative universality." - Immanuel Kant
tha_rami
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Posted: 17th Jun 2008 01:07
Woot, I can enter. Kudo Awards 2008, here I come!


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Matt Rock
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Posted: 17th Jun 2008 03:14
Yeah, the way I see it, it shouldn't ban MISoft employees. Two of the judges aren't affiliated with us in any way, and besides, you guys get free copies of all of our games anyway . If anyone is really opposed to it we can change it, but as it stands I don't see any particular reason to not allow anyone from entering, other than judges of course.

BMacZero
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Posted: 17th Jun 2008 06:53
Goodgoodgood <checks mailback>

Los Mineros are back in progress!
Dazzag
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Posted: 17th Jun 2008 09:15
Cool. Matt, don't forget to get a mod to unsticky the old 2007 thread and sticky this one.

Cheers

I am 99% probably lying in bed right now... so don't blame me for crappy typing
Current fave quote : "She was like a candle in the wind.... unreliable...."
dark donkey
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Posted: 17th Jun 2008 10:35
Can i start making it know?. Damn just as im going away for a week you start it
Dazzag
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Posted: 17th Jun 2008 12:20
Quote: "Can i start making it know?"
Yep. Matt already said so, and I was going to possibly dig up DarkMUD for entry before I became a judge (all bribes welcome ). Might still do as a non-competing tech demo type entry.

Not only that, but it's a bit difficult to control how you know when they started programming it. Just think yourself lucky that you may have started something that fits the bill of a competition to the letter. Not always the case. Also quite like the idea that this basically means you can keep it till next year if you don't quite make the time limit. Just don't post an obvious WIP.

Cheers

I am 99% probably lying in bed right now... so don't blame me for crappy typing
Current fave quote : "She was like a candle in the wind.... unreliable...."
Darth Kiwi
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Posted: 17th Jun 2008 13:16 Edited at: 17th Jun 2008 13:18
Excellent! Now I really do have to start working on it properly
Just a thought, though - isn't the Poet Laureate prize essentially the same as the Writing prize? Or is Laureate more about the evocation of atmosphere and emotion and writing more about spell-checking?

EDIT: Also, my game will (hopefully!) have two "modes": one in the real world which is written as a "pick an option from 0 to 9" text adventure, and one as a kind of hacking game which uses a parser. Later on, could I post a WIP or something and then link to it to make sure this will be okay as an entry?

I'm not actually a Kiwi, I just randomly thought it up one day.
tha_rami
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Posted: 17th Jun 2008 13:47
If that isn't allowed, something fishy is going on. Probably, someone bribed Dazzag in that case. In my opinion, it's text-controlled thus allowed. Keep to the rules and you should be okay . Just like last year .


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dark donkey
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Posted: 17th Jun 2008 14:25
When does it end?. I might not be able to compete i just ran into a big bug and im off for a week tomorow(Ten days but allmost a week)
Dazzag
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Posted: 17th Jun 2008 16:15 Edited at: 17th Jun 2008 16:17
Quote: "When does it end?"
It ends 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time on Friday, October 17th 2008. It's on the first post by Matt. I don't blame you though, I think Matt was trying to break Raven's effort of the longest post and some info is hard to find.

Anyone fancy setting up a Facebook group for this? Always like to have as much stuff as possible on my Facebook page for conveniece. Plus I have to get my mate tally up just to attempt to keep up with my ever popular bird

Cheers

Ps. Oh, and you probably all know what currency I accept for bribery

I am 99% probably lying in bed right now... so don't blame me for crappy typing
Current fave quote : "She was like a candle in the wind.... unreliable...."
dark donkey
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Posted: 17th Jun 2008 16:21
Quote: "It ends 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time on Friday, October 17th 2008. It's on the first post by Matt"


It does?. I quickly ran through it all i saw was that is ends in october
Tom J
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Posted: 17th Jun 2008 17:11
Im curious about the Game creator store points, what is the exchange rate for those (4000 points = £?), also isn't the TGC store for FPSC products only? I don't care too much though, I'll still have a go at entering.

Dazzag
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Posted: 17th Jun 2008 20:10
Quote: "It does?. I quickly ran through it all i saw was that is ends in october"
Thats why you not be a judge. I quickly ran through and spotted quickly using uber-judge skills. You fail! Now I'm running out of my bribe currency of choice, so sort it out sharpish...

Cheers

I am 99% probably lying in bed right now... so don't blame me for crappy typing
Current fave quote : "She was like a candle in the wind.... unreliable...."
Jaeg
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Posted: 17th Jun 2008 21:42
Yah, I plan to enter. I have a story all set up. Its not to long but it is not bad for my first text adventure and 2nd DBP project. The engine is all done and the items enter all there is left to do is enter the text.



If you get mad and want to type something nasty about another person do this-Type what you want to say in the box then press ctrl-a and hit delete then type what you should say.
Matt Rock
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Posted: 17th Jun 2008 23:13
LOL yes, bribes to Dazzag must be in GBP . In all seriousness though, and I don't mean any disrespect to past judges, but Dazzag has done more than most judges ever have, hehe.

I'm going to email Bat in a short while and ask him to put this in the July newsletter, and to see if he could help us sort the adhesiveness of this thread. Unless Jeku gets to it first .

Quote: "Im curious about the Game creator store points, what is the exchange rate for those (4000 points = £?), also isn't the TGC store for FPSC products only? I don't care too much though, I'll still have a go at entering."

I'm not entirely sure actually... I'll email in and ask

Quote: "isn't the Poet Laureate prize essentially the same as the Writing prize? Or is Laureate more about the evocation of atmosphere and emotion and writing more about spell-checking?"

Spot on. Writing ability is all about grammar and technical skill, whereas Poet Laureate is more about the "brilliance" of the writing. If you replace your text with literature, figuratively speaking.

Boe
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Posted: 18th Jun 2008 00:50
I'm planning to enter this competition, and I have a question.

Without going into too much detail, my first idea involves the player in the role of a general and the commands/choices are orders that you give, which advances the battle/plot.

Would this count as text adventure or not?
Jaeg
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Posted: 18th Jun 2008 01:01
4000 points
$40.00
€25
£20

Are we allowed to post are entries in the WIP Forum?

If you get mad and want to type something nasty about another person do this-Type what you want to say in the box then press ctrl-a and hit delete then type what you should say.
Seppuku Arts
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Posted: 18th Jun 2008 02:16
Quote: "Yeah, the way I see it, it shouldn't ban MISoft employees. Two of the judges aren't affiliated with us in any way, and besides, you guys get free copies of all of our games anyway"


Hence if I win I'll give away the EE prize, as I already have it and am a member of MISoft, but I'm really only entering it for the challenge/competition and pleasing the ego.

Quote: "Are we allowed to post are entries in the WIP Forum?"


They did last year.




Also, I've finalised what I'm going for - needs tweaks, but a modern sci-fi fantasy adventure sets in a dystopiate world based, with religious undertones...not strictly anti or pro, but it will become clearer when I explain it properly.

And my final engine system (which I've now coded) is basically the old Use/Talk selection. I've found my music too, I just need to get permission and the art is pretty easy to do. So, this officially is the furthest I've got on any game project, I've never got out of the engine stage.

"Experience never provides its judgments with true or strict universality; but only (through induction) with assumed and comparative universality." - Immanuel Kant
tha_rami
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Posted: 18th Jun 2008 03:33
My entry will be based on another one of my projects - and that's all I've got to say for now.


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Destrugter 1
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Posted: 18th Jun 2008 09:19
Hey, would it be considered a text adventure if it was like the chose your own adventure books...you know you don't get items and stats....you get like 1 to 4 choices depending on the situation and if you die you can go back and rechose?

http://www.runenerds.com - a RuneScape community that is growing. (New community)
Darth Kiwi
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Posted: 18th Jun 2008 12:41
Quote: "If that isn't allowed, something fishy is going on. Probably, someone bribed Dazzag in that case. In my opinion, it's text-controlled thus allowed."

Thanks, I was just checking - I had a brief moment of "omigod it's not a text adventure!"

Quote: "Without going into too much detail, my first idea involves the player in the role of a general and the commands/choices are orders that you give, which advances the battle/plot.

Would this count as text adventure or not?"

As long as you use text to present your world (ie. "The tanks obey your orders and blow the heck out of the enemy") and you use text for your choices (ie. "1) Use tanks 2) Use marines 3) Use airstrike " etc.) then I don't see a problem. I think Rami did something similar last year (simulated a battlefield and had you fight in it to try and sway the conflict).

I'm not actually a Kiwi, I just randomly thought it up one day.
Dazzag
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Posted: 18th Jun 2008 19:36 Edited at: 18th Jun 2008 19:40
Quote: "would it be considered a text adventure if it was like the chose your own adventure books"
Last year's winner was pretty much like that. Can't think of any off the top of my head that used a parser. Is a tough choice between time to program and how complicated you want the end game to be. A pretty good parser should take a multiple choice game in the tech stakes. On the other hand the game won't play well if you keep typing "pick up spoon", "take spoon", "get spoon" etc etc and it turns out "get the spoon" was the answer. So basically I would say if you are going to do a parser then make it half decent or prepare to lose out a bit...

Since I'm such a nice guy here is some functions I bunged into a strings.dba file for helping out with parsing stuff with DarkMUD. Most comes from what I found here. Hopefully it helps.


Quote: "LOL yes, bribes to Dazzag must be in GBP"
If that means Great British Pint, then yes you are completely correct

Cheers

I am 99% probably lying in bed right now... so don't blame me for crappy typing
Current fave quote : "She was like a candle in the wind.... unreliable...."
Destrugter 1
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Posted: 18th Jun 2008 23:16
Hey thanks a ton for the code. Here is what mine will be like (this isnt in the game at all just an example)
I am just putting this without the code stufff just for an example.

Quote: "
You walk into the bar.
Your choices are:
[1]Buy a drink
[2]Ask around for recent rumors
[3]Start a bar fight

What is your decision?>
"


Now what I am doing, is I will allow the user to type the number or the words, but now since you gave me that code...I can just have them type in the key words. Would that be an acceptable text adventure?

http://www.runenerds.com - a RuneScape community that is growing. (New community)
tha_rami
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Posted: 18th Jun 2008 23:54
Well, I have a pretty good parser system going, based on the idea that the verb is the first word and the last word is the noun. Plus, ooscripting is working pretty good. The only thing left is level-switching, triggers and the actual scripting.


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flashing snall
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Posted: 19th Jun 2008 00:24
hmm. With only a few hours of fidaling, i have a decent text adventure engine up and running. Do we get extra points if we include an editor?


This is my WIP, not even ready for a WIP thread yet though.http://smallgroupproductions.com/
Darth Kiwi
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Posted: 19th Jun 2008 00:59
Quote: "Plus, ooscripting is working pretty good."

What is this ooscripting? Or was that a typo?

I'm not actually a Kiwi, I just randomly thought it up one day.
tha_rami
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Posted: 19th Jun 2008 01:32 Edited at: 19th Jun 2008 01:32
Typo, should be scripting .

I call the scripting language SDS, which stands for... well, no, that would give it away. Started work on the editor yesterday.


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BMacZero
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Posted: 19th Jun 2008 06:54
Heh, I know what you're doing

Los Mineros are back in progress!
Dazzag
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Posted: 19th Jun 2008 09:28 Edited at: 19th Jun 2008 09:29
Quote: "Do we get extra points if we include an editor?"
I would deffo add technical points. Was one of the things I was hoping to do with DarkMUD. Basically when you register with the MUD you get your own "country" that you (and only you) can do with what you will. Set up locations, objects, NPCs, puzzles etc etc. Then when people log in they can see a list of these MUD adventures they can play (and how many people are playing them currently). Seriously don't have the time though. If I get the time and inclination I may get the battle system going, a rudimentary parser and editing system, then submit it as a non-prize entry (I'm a judge). Would be a shame to let it just die completely as I could post a WIP demo now where loads of people can wander around a simple land yapping to each other.

Cheers

I am 99% probably lying in bed right now... so don't blame me for crappy typing
Current fave quote : "She was like a candle in the wind.... unreliable...."
dark coder
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Posted: 19th Jun 2008 12:34
Well if you plan to make an Interactive Fiction game, i.e. what is required by this compo then no you cannot make an editor for it. In fact going by what the rules state you can't even write an engine so you can't really enter as stated here:

Quote: "The use of Text Adventure/ "IF" Engines, Editors, etc. is strictly prohibited."
.

tha_rami
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Posted: 19th Jun 2008 13:43
rofl @ dark odeur


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Dazzag
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Posted: 19th Jun 2008 14:04
Quote: "then no you cannot make an editor for it"
Don't think it was really meant that way. I mean obviously everyone should use datafiles for this (even if only to finally hide it away inside the exe like media). Putting it all into DB using data and variables would be a bit naff. Which means technically using Notepad to edit the datafiles is against the rules. Don't think was really meant that way. Matt means Editors designed to write adventure games (pretty much covers IF engines) I would imagine. If I'm wrong then that would suck big style for coding it. Programming an editor within your game (ie. in a TGC product) to allow expansion of the game world is rock on if you ask me.

Obviously the game(s) you submit must have text written by yourself otherwise it would defeat the point of this competition as far as I can see (otherwise just copy an old game book word for word). My DarkMUD would have been a grey area (final idea was to allow everyone who logged on the ability to create a game world that anyone else could play), but then I cannot submit a competitive entry being a judge, so we all win! Except me... doh...

Wheres those beer bribes BTW?

Cheers

I am 99% probably lying in bed right now... so don't blame me for crappy typing
Current fave quote : "She was like a candle in the wind.... unreliable...."
Seppuku Arts
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Posted: 19th Jun 2008 16:41
I think it means you aren't meant to use IF engines etc. built by other people - otherwise coding my own IF engine in DBP for this comp wouldn't be allowed.

"Experience never provides its judgments with true or strict universality; but only (through induction) with assumed and comparative universality." - Immanuel Kant
Dazzag
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Posted: 19th Jun 2008 16:52
Quote: "otherwise coding my own IF engine in DBP for this comp wouldn't be allowed"
Thats a good one. I used to love PAW and that other one (starts with a G...). My final year CS project was basically a graphical IF engine on the Mac. Was the only thing I could come up with that they let me do that was to do with games. Essentially it had to be for business (argument that games were a business didn't hold water with them), so I comprimised and said it would a cool tool for non-IT primary school teachers to make little games for their kids. Worked pretty well. Excellent language I used too (HyperCard) although massive learning curve as I had never really programmed on Macs before. Who knew you could have spaces in variable names for example?

Cheers

I am 99% probably lying in bed right now... so don't blame me for crappy typing
Current fave quote : "She was like a candle in the wind.... unreliable...."
Destrugter 1
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Posted: 19th Jun 2008 17:23
Umm...that's a problem then because I was storing everything in the DBP project. I'm still a noob, so could you please explain Dazzag how I would go about storing information in data files properly I know how to do it my level editor uses data files but this is a text adventure so I don't really see the point...could you please explain for the noob?

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Dazzag
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Posted: 19th Jun 2008 17:31
Quote: "Umm...that's a problem then because I was storing everything in the DBP project"
Well obviously you can do that. No reason why not. But the advantage of external datafiles are massive. Much the same reason why people use scripting tools. If you think a typical text adventure may have 100 locations with a page of text for it's long description (you see this on first entering and also looking around the location again) and a small paragraph for it's short location, then you are talking about a lot of text within a program which will have to be compiled every single time. Make it more of a scripted effort and once the main program is done you can type away in your editor with no worries about re-compiling. Hell, you could even die and someone else could finish creating the game with no further compiling assuming the main program is complete. And compiling 20000 lines of code (that could easily be around a 1000 instead) every time you want to test some new functionality doesn't seem like fun...

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Destrugter 1
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Posted: 19th Jun 2008 18:14
Well my text adventure wasn't going to have descriptions and stuff...like I stated it would be more of a "Choose your own adventure" book styles...would this still be the best choice for me (to use data files)?

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Dazzag
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Posted: 19th Jun 2008 18:42 Edited at: 19th Jun 2008 18:43
Quote: "would this still be the best choice for me (to use data files)?"
Overall, yes. I have loads of those books (about 30) and they are full of text for each location. I mean they are literally books with several hundred pages. Each location will require some (maybe lengthy) text. Everything within the program when it's compiled will have a hit (just include it as media on a final compile), plus it's not the best way to write and format what basically is a book. If anything "Choose your own adventure" books had more text per location than standard adventure games.

Oh, and that reminds me, this code may help wordwrap text onto the screen nicely. I hadn't finished it completely (hadn't coded a scroll function yet), but it should give people a good idea.



Cheers

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Current fave quote : "She was like a candle in the wind.... unreliable...."
Destrugter 1
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Posted: 19th Jun 2008 18:47
Ok, I will start getting into data files. Thanks for the help, and I'll take a look at the code in a bit, sounds very helpful. Thanks a ton!

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Dazzag
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Posted: 19th Jun 2008 18:52
No worries. The code is ripped out of DarkMUD and is not 100% (no scrolling back up to see history for example). So if you need a hand then just ask. It's not the greatest code in the world (my game stuff never is) but it should do the job at least to get people going. Main reason I posted it along with the text stuff (which mainly exists here on the forums already) is there is no point reinventing the wheel if you don't have/want to (of course super bitmapped font engine would be great, but balance it with the time required to write the game and more importantly the story itself).

Cheers

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Current fave quote : "She was like a candle in the wind.... unreliable...."
Destrugter 1
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Posted: 19th Jun 2008 21:38
Hmm...I may as well not enter then because I have a habit of wanting to explain everything in great detail. My language arts teachers love it, but I guess if it isn't what people one here want for this competition then I wonder what the point is...and I still am making my text adventure like this(very short version of my oldest one):



I've read the text adventure tutorial by bmaczero, It's just that his code doesn't allow for multiple lines of description (again, thats who I am) and I've tried a few things to edit it to do so, because I like the layout and structure of his.

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Dazzag
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Posted: 19th Jun 2008 23:52
I think you have got me the wrong way round. If anything more detail is far better. Single line descriptions don't really draw you in to an IF game. You really need to write it more like a book to get people's attention.

See my code I posted earlier for wordwrapping lines. Not the best I'm sure, but works fine for me. Just keep using the addaline function to add lines to the screen. I didn't get round to adding a scroll or pause option (if more than one page of text), but that is probably overkill anyways.

Yeah, you see the code you just posted basically means you need code like that for every single location. So 100 locations, even with 1 line of text for a description and 2 options per locations, would take 700 lines of code. A more realistic 10 lines of description per location with say 5 changeable options per location would give you something like 2500 lines of code for 100 locations. Using datafiles, datatypes, and arrays will vastly reduce that size. Ok, so the one routine will be more complicated, but we are talking one datafile, a possible editor (even notepad would do to get the data loaded) and at a guess those 2500 lines come down to probably only a few dozen lines to do the same thing but with almost an infinite supply of locations.

Cheers

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Destrugter 1
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Posted: 20th Jun 2008 00:13
Ah ok, so tell me if I get this now.

I'll have a "strings.dat" file and have all of my stuff in it like this:

Quote: "
-Text to print
-Options
-What to do for each option
"


Then I would call the file in DBP and read it, then store the information in the proper variables. I realize that for each different option I have to have a seperate line (to make loading faster) for each one. So does that sound about right? IDK maybe I'll take bmaczero's idea and for each option give it a number and do stuff depending on that number.

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Dazzag
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Posted: 20th Jun 2008 09:46
Yeah, basically. Instead of writing an editor then can just use notepad and parse something that looks like an ini file. Easiest method would be to have a seperate file per location (1.dat, 2.dat etc), although a single file is cleaner. Then on final compile make sure project is media type and include the data file(s) as media so files are not external when you release it.

For the single file version for a game book idea you could go with something like:-
ID=Outside_Cave
TEXT=You stubmle upon a cave. Your options are:
OPT1=Go in>>Go_In_Cave
OPT2=Forget it>>Forget_Cave
ID=Forget_Cave>>DEATH
TEXT=You forget the cave. Unfortuantly a large eagle kills you...
ID=Go_In_Cave
TEXT=You go in the cave. You see a torch and a skull. What will you do?
OPT1=Get torch>>Get_Torch
OPT2=Get skull>>Get_Skull
ID=Get_Torch>>DEATH
TEXT=>>get_torch.txt
ID=Get_Skull>>WINGAME
TEXT=You have the skull of the ancients! Well Done!

I think that is pretty straightforward for a gamebook type idea. If I had the time I would knock up a simple demo. Couple of points from the above are the ">>" chars imply something happens. Note I used TEXT=>>get_torch.txt at one point. Is easier to use external text file if want to write decent amount of text. So best to have option to sort it out.

Oh, and yes, loading into an array (setup using datatype) is the way linking to a number. Personally I would scan the file and assign numbers to each ID (easier for you to remember if not a number in the file) and substitute the IDs against the options. So all your word ID's (eg. get_torch) become numbers. If I have the time I may knock something up for a simple game book based on the above datafile.

Cheers

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Current fave quote : "She was like a candle in the wind.... unreliable...."
Seppuku Arts
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Posted: 20th Jun 2008 15:29
Quote: "My final year CS project was basically a graphical IF engine on the Mac. Was the only thing I could come up with that they let me do that was to do with games."


Hehe, one of my assignments next year is going to be write a non-linear IF in HTML...it's going to be really easy compared to doing it in DBP...though downside is, I'll probably get all the questions directed at me, especially from technophobes. I'm going to see how creative I can make it in terms of gaming, heck I'll probably get started on it once I've finished this IF.


As for the game book stuff, that's a little similar to my system, except different and using LUA, and it's more on a 'use' command basis, so it could be Use->Bag->Skull in the win conditions (in the script it'd look like: win = { command = "use", use_1 = "bag", use_2 = "Skull" } ), so if the player puts the Skull in the bag they can progress. Of course in the Lose condition, you might have Use->Lighter->Torch, which will result in game over.

Just as another possible way, plus if you're scripting, LUA cuts out some of the effort.

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BMacZero
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Posted: 20th Jun 2008 16:10
For multiple lines of text printing in my code, just modify the TextStorage type like so...

And have it print each PrintStatement one after the other in the main loop.

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Dazzag
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Posted: 20th Jun 2008 16:11
Quote: "If I have the time I may knock something up for a simple game book based on the above datafile"
I had a couple of hours to kill, so I have put together a quick rough program. Nothing great, and uses a slightly adapted text file, but you will get the idea. Again, was chucked together hastily, but you should see what I am getting at.

Here is the code:-


Here is the datafile (data.txt):-


And here is an external text file for one of the location's text (get_torch.txt):-


A couple of points to notice is you can have upto 1000 locations, with 5 options at each (couldn't be bothered making it more complicated), each location can be a normal option location, death (many), or finish of game (many). You can link to another file for the location description (easier for writing stuff) although currently you will have to put "¬" at the end of any line for the program to realise you need a new line rather than trying to wordwrap.

Hope that helps.

Cheers

I am 99% probably lying in bed right now... so don't blame me for crappy typing
Current fave quote : "She was like a candle in the wind.... unreliable...."
Dazzag
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Posted: 20th Jun 2008 16:17
Quote: "Hehe, one of my assignments next year is going to be write a non-linear IF in HTML"
Cool, you can't really beat writing games for assignments and projects in Uni Even my computer GCSE (on BBC micros) was a computer game. Heh, it was called RAFT (Romp Around Fantasy Terrain - I love acronyms me) and had something like 50 billion unique but very similar locations Loads of fun.

Cheers

I am 99% probably lying in bed right now... so don't blame me for crappy typing
Current fave quote : "She was like a candle in the wind.... unreliable...."

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