Calls this month have seemed to centre
around Domark's Eureka!. For this reason, we've enlisted the aid of Eureka!
wizard, Steve Dale ... and you can write to
him for hints and tips on this adventure
c/o Your Spectrum, 14 Rathbone Place, London W1P 1DE (please enclose an
SAE for Steve's reply). But don't ask him
about other adventures - he's still busy
trying to fathom out the final clue in Eureka!. All other queries should be
directed to Peter Marment, Gary Smart
and Neil Mackintosh as usual.|
Valhalla is still proving popular with callers, though some purists may argue that it's more of an arcade game than adventure. A fair proportion of the questions asked about Valhalla refer to problems in finding Drapnir. No problem - Drapnir is located north of Despair. Something else that seems to be hampering apprentice adventurers is that, having come across a chest or cupboard containing a quest object, there's no way to get the blasted lock open. No offence, but you're just too puny to attempt such heavyweight tasks on your own - try enlisting the help of a friendly God, such as Bodir, to help you.
Moving on, the Green Goblin, Peter Shaw (still trapped in the bowels of Castle Rathbone, stapled to the YS Helpline) has some hints and tips for those still floundering around with Ram Jam's Valkyrie 17.
According to ol' Green Fingers, the woman in the bar of the hotel is not actually a woman at all, but a male agent in drag! This may suggest the idea of stealing his wig, etc, and making an escape from the hotel in disguise ... but, unfortunately, this just won't work. What you have to do instead is collect the sheets from the laundry room on the first floor and move down to the window at the end of the corridor. Here, you have to open the window and climb out on to the ledge. Make a rope out of the sheets you have and move around the ledge until you can find something to tie the sheets on to. Then, you can climb down and wander around the town.
But what's the use of hitting the town without any money? Luckily, there's a safe in one of the rooms, which you'll need to prise open with the object inside the glass case in the infirmary. Of course, you'll have to break the case, but if you look around the room under construction you should find the odd piece of rubble. Need I say more!
ROUTINE ADVENTURESStarting this month, we're going to be presenting a number of routines that can be incorporated in your own programs. It may seem an arduous task to write a full- blown adventure, but you'll find that
F R O M T H E
C A S T L E
Clive Gifford, the Black Baron of Castle Rathbone, gets on-line with Peter Marment, Gary Smart and Neil Mackintosh to check out your adventure problems this month. Also enlisted are Hairy Hacker Dave Nicholls and Green Goblin Peter Shaw.
IN A COMMANDING ROLE ...The routine given assumes that any command input will be stored in the string a$; the punctuation is then removed and the input is checked against the words held in the string c$. Type the routine in and RUN it; try replacing the words in quotes in the IF ... THEN statements in lines 1070-1080 to customise the routine for your own adventures.
When you input a word, it's stored in string c$ and that's then checked against the words stored in the IF ... THEN statements. Of course, there's more than one way of checking the words input - for example, for a one-word command like 'QUIT', you could include line:
IF c$="QUIT" THEN STOP
Of course, if you're offering the player the choice of a number of words, the program will have to be programmed to accept them. Try using a line like the following:
IF c$="KILL" OR c$="SLAY" THEN GO SUB ...
Certain words, such as 'NORTH' will always be used in adventure programs - but it soon becomes tedious to have to
most of the individual routines are no
bigger than the one given here. Perhaps
the most difficult aspect of adventure
programming is making sure that all the
component parts of the program fit
together in full working order. Of course,
you'll need to get your imagination in
gear - but that's up to you!|
Moving on to specifics, your first task is to give the computer the ability to recognize commands entered by the players.
'VENTURING OUT ...
It's rather sad that certain adventure
games on the market find it necessary to
hide their origins. I refer, of course, to
those written using Gilsoft's Quill utility. I
assume the reasoning is that the buying
public are prejudiced into thinking they're
in some way inferior. True, there are some
awful adventures, but most are quite good
and often very competitively priced. Just
because someone is the best machine-
codist in the world doesn't mean they have
the ability to write good adventures -
Quill simply gave people with adventure
ideas an easy way to try them out without
the hassle of machine crashes; in fact, software houses have been using utilities like
it for years! In Ghoulies, the code has
been changed and graphics added, but the
basic adventure was obviously written
using Quill. Come on IMS Software, it's a
good adventure, so why not show your
appreciation by giving Gilsoft a mention!
expect from a Quilled adventure - two
word commands, instant responses, and
save and load facilities - but there are
extras. The screen is the standard Quill
format, but there's a small graphics section at the top illustrating the current
location. Also, when you enter a building, the
first letter of the location's description is
enlarged (like an old fashioned scroll) to
match the special typeface used throughout the game.|
The first thing that'll strike you when you begin playing Ghoulies is the way in which the graphics, typeface and descriptions together produce a superb Gothic atmosphere. Another surprise is that there's so much going on - fat men with cheeses wander about, and ghouls steal corpses from gibbets, to name but a few. Ghoulies has so much atmosphere, it's difficult to get around to solving any of the problems (that's my excuse anyway!)
It's a shame IMS Software haven't admitted using Quill, but, all in all, Ghoulies deserves 10 out of 10 - but don't play it in the dark!
Although it's a Quill-ed adventure (on the quiet!), Ghoulies still rivals most of its adventurous competitors.
When Lords of Midnight appeared on the
software scene, it immediately carved
itself a place in adventuring history -
nothing like it had been seen before and
many adventurers turned into tacticians
overnight in their attempts to defeat the
Witchking. Now, with debates about the
best way to succeed at LOM still raging,
the sequel has arrived and Luxor the
Moonprince's problems are far from over!
to perform the functions that the 'THINK' key
did in LOM so that the progress of battles
and states of health can be checked without
reading through all the other
information. Movement controls haven't changed
with keys '1' to '8' heading you in a certain
direction and the 'Q' key actually making
the move. The playing area has been
expanded and now offers some 48,000
different views to be examined. There are
also underground tunnels crossing the
land which you can enter via pits and
The object of the game is twofold - firstly, Morkin must be rescued, and, secondly, Shareth must be destroyed. It's possible to gain a 'minor' victory by just rescuing Morkin but to find out the 'Watchwords of Midnight' and win the prize of a model of Icemark with figures of the major characters, both parts must be completed.
Doomdark's Revenge is a much more difficult and, in a lot of ways, more interesting than Lords of Midnight - save up those pennies and buy it!
The long awaited followup to The Lords of Midnight has finally arrived ... but is it different enough to be a hit?
type the word in each time. Thus, you
IF LEN c$>0 AND LEN c$<=5 THEN IF cS="NORTH" (TO LEN c$) THEN GO SUB ...
The above sorts out how many characters you've input and then, using string slicing techniques, compares them to those already stored in c$. For example, if all you'd typed was 'N', the routine assumes you've entered the command 'NORTH'.
You'll probably find that you will need to have two routines like this in your adventure program - one to check the verb and one for the noun. Be here next month and we'll look at numeric arrays and their role in structuring an adventure game.