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Old 02-20-2013, 06:34 AM   #1
BFG10K
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Default Classic Adventure Games



Iím feeling nostalgic today. Who remembers the classic text (and graphic) adventures from the 1980s (e.g. Zork, Adventure, etc.)?

I used to play them a lot on the Apple IIe.

Many of them were ball-busting as some puzzles were almost impossible to solve. Also you could miss or lose a mission-critical item, saving the game into a state where it was impossible to win.

But they were still fun.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:57 AM   #2
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They were fun.
I still have a Zork II manual and hint book and software in my classic games box.
With that said, they were fun because that's all we had.
I've tried to play games like it recently and was bored out of my mind.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:09 AM   #3
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I hated those games. Didnt start appreciating them until the NES.







As I recall the first two could get you stuck, if you ran out of torches, or quarters.
Quarters are easy cuz you can win more in the hidden casino.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:56 AM   #4
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I've tried to play games like it recently and was bored out of my mind.
It's funny you mention this because I'm writing a text adventure engine as a hobby, with a complete game. I might release it for free when I'm done.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:10 AM   #5
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It's funny you mention this because I'm writing a text adventure engine as a hobby, with a complete game. I might release it for free when I'm done.
Just a note, not meant to discourage that - I talked with one of the authors of Zork, and asked him if he though text adventures could be viable again. He said 'no', clearly.

I'm not sure I agree with him, but I'd think his view deserves consideration - he knows the market.

But clearly they're not going to have the demand they did earlier.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:15 AM   #6
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Text based adventure games could definitely still work today, they just need to go away from text only to incorporating visual and perhaps audio aids as well. They'd be great on phones and tablets. Things like clashing colors and 8-bit graphics need to go however.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:30 AM   #7
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I'm not quite old enough to have been into Zork and other text adventure games, but I remember the best of the EGA/VGA era games. Those were great! Especially the ones that took advantage of early CD-ROM drives.
Star Trek 25th Anniversary was by far my favorite.


Plus if you dove into the .voc files on the CD you could find bloopers and other unused audio recorded for the game.
Stuff like DeForrest Kelly saying; "I haven't had lines like that since Star Trek 1!" and Leonard Nimoy laughing.
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:24 AM   #8
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It's funny you mention this because I'm writing a text adventure engine as a hobby, with a complete game. I might release it for free when I'm done.
I wrote 2 text adventure games when I was 11 or so, and wrote half of a third. It was a lot of fun, and as long as you make them humorous, most people seemed to like them.
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:29 AM   #9
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I remember playing Adventure on the original IBM PC.

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twisty maze all alike

What was the max score then? like 350?
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:41 AM   #10
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Text based adventure games could definitely still work today, they just need to go away from text only to incorporating visual and perhaps audio aids as well. They'd be great on phones and tablets. Things like clashing colors and 8-bit graphics need to go however.
Text Based? I don't think so. The audience would be tiny. My partner's 17 year old daughter thinks Plants Vs. Zombies requires too much reading, and the 10 year old just impatiently clicks past any text with out even looking at it. At 10 years old I was playing (and losing at) Zork. Neither of them can understand why I would even have wanted to play such a game. Both would rather watch TV.

The world simply is not the same place is was 30 years ago.
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:45 AM   #11
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I used to play them a lot on the Apple IIe.
I had an Apple II+ and played at least half of the Infocom text adventure games. Fond memories of all the Zorks, Planetfall, Leather Goddesses of Phobos, Hitchhikers Guide, the Enchanter series, The Lurking Horror, etc. Amazing how much fun gameplay could be found on one side of a 5 1/4" floppy.
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:26 PM   #12
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You can download copies of Zork et al from Good Ol Games (www.gog.com)

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Old 02-20-2013, 02:41 PM   #13
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The earliest one I remember was Full Throttle, but shortly after my babysitter decided I wasn't allowed to watch her husband play it lol.
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:03 PM   #14
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Text Based? I don't think so. The audience would be tiny. My partner's 17 year old daughter thinks Plants Vs. Zombies requires too much reading, and the 10 year old just impatiently clicks past any text with out even looking at it. At 10 years old I was playing (and losing at) Zork. Neither of them can understand why I would even have wanted to play such a game. Both would rather watch TV.

The world simply is not the same place is was 30 years ago.
I disagree. We're thinking of text based games as in the ones we had years and years ago. A modern looking text adventure game, with a great story and nice visuals could do well, especially on mobile devices because it's not a twitch based game and can be picked up and put down whenever.

I'm sorry but anyone who thinks Plants vs Zombies has too much reading is an idiot. I don't even remember what little reading there is in that game.
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:16 PM   #15
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I'm not quite old enough to have played these. My uncle had one of the early Commodores or Tandys and I remember playing some version of Ultima on it when I was a kid, my introduction to gaming. I started with the original Sierra adventure games; LSL, SC & PQ. Those were a lot of fun.

I'm sure a lot of people remember Grim Fandango, The Dig and Legend of Kyrandia as well.. all awesome.
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:29 PM   #16
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Text Based? I don't think so. The audience would be tiny. My partner's 17 year old daughter thinks Plants Vs. Zombies requires too much reading, and the 10 year old just impatiently clicks past any text with out even looking at it. At 10 years old I was playing (and losing at) Zork. Neither of them can understand why I would even have wanted to play such a game. Both would rather watch TV.

The world simply is not the same place is was 30 years ago.
Damn, this makes me sad. Although I've personally seen it happen with a couple of my friends.

When I was playing Super Mario 64 at seven years old, I didn't bother reading any of the on-screen text. I skipped right past it, and understandably so; I was goddamn seven. I didn't care. It wasn't until about ten years old when I made a conscious effort to read all the dialog and text presented to me in a video game. Of course, I've grown up considerably since, and I've matured enough to actually read everything.

For one of my buddies, this wasn't the case. Well into high school (and beyond), he would habitually skip over every piece of text, and every piece of dialog in games. He didn't even bother to read the included manual or documentation. Whenever he got a new game, he'd usually get angry and complain "I don't understand what I'm supposed to be doing! This game sucks," because he couldn't be assed to read the damn instructions. Sometimes I wanted to smack him.

Of course, most games nowadays have tutorials built in that teach you how to play, so it's becoming more of a non-issue. But it bothers me that this is how our younger generation is being raised.
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:52 PM   #17
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Two games from my childhood will always stand out. Amnesia and Rogue. Especially Amnesia...loved it. These are the first things that got me interested in PCs & gaming.




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Old 02-20-2013, 03:58 PM   #18
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Of course, most games nowadays have tutorials built in that teach you how to play, so it's becoming more of a non-issue. But it bothers me that this is how our younger generation is being raised.
And fifty years ago people were bothered by the younger generation's interest of rock and roll and TV. It's just how culture evolves, and it's never nearly as bad as anyone thinks.
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:10 PM   #19
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:40 PM   #20
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I've still got a copy of Zork for the PC from Interplay (I think) in original packaging, with manual and 5.25" floppy .

The idea of text adventures for phones is intriguing.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:28 PM   #21
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alot of memories of zork , then there was loderunner . i feel very old now


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Old 02-21-2013, 03:23 AM   #22
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Just a note, not meant to discourage that - I talked with one of the authors of Zork, and asked him if he though text adventures could be viable again. He said 'no', clearly.

I'm not sure I agree with him, but I'd think his view deserves consideration - he knows the market.

But clearly they're not going to have the demand they did earlier.
Interesting, but it definitely doesnít discourage me in any way. Iím doing this for myself as I enjoy designing them even more than playing them. If someone else likes what Iíve done then thatís just icing on the cake.

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I wrote 2 text adventure games when I was 11 or so, and wrote half of a third. It was a lot of fun, and as long as you make them humorous, most people seemed to like them.
Yep, Iíve actually written quite a few engines and games over the years, starting on the Apple IIe and then on classic MacOS. I actually revisit the programming aspect every decade or so. Now I have a complete vision of what I want, and I plan on making a few Windows games.

I donít go for humour but rather for puzzles that are intuitive and arenít excessively difficult or obscure to solve. Iíve also thought of a few things to modernize them while still maintaining the classic feel.
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:49 AM   #23
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Wow, when you mean classic you mean CLASSIC. I was going to post Myst.
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:10 AM   #24
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oubliette FTW.

Oh and Telenguard, that was a blast on my C64, i recoded it to save to disc as it was only setup to save to tape and i didnt have a tape drive, was impressed i could pull that off when i was so young.
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:58 AM   #25
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Grew up playing several Scott Adams adventures on my TI 99/4A. Was blown away when I saw Zork on my friend's C64 and the parser that allowed complete sentences to be used-- Scott Adams games were 2 word commands only. IIRC Pirate Adventure came with the computer ('SAY YOHO').

I believe you can even play the Scott Adams games for free now.

Played a couple of other infocom games: Ballyhoo (almost completed it), Hitchhiker's Guide (which was damned hard), Zork I (I bought the Zork Anthology, which I still have from the 90's).

Also played Transylvania on my C64 and was damned close to finishing it I think. It would seem my pattern with this genre is never being able to finish them
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