Showing posts with label apple ii. Show all posts
Showing posts with label apple ii. Show all posts

Saturday, 8 July 2017

La Crapule (The Villain) detective adventure game – new on the Apple II

French parser-driven detective adventure game The Villain (La Crapule) was originally published on the Macintosh by Froggy Software in 1987. Thanks to Brutal Deluxe Software, it's just been released commercially for the Apple II in both English and French versions.

La Crapule Apple II title page
La Crapule Apple II title page
I haven't played The Villain yet. I'm very likely to, being both an Apple II head and an IF head, but Brutal Deluxe are mostly publicising the game in Apple II circles. That's why I figured I'd share its PR info here in my IF blog.

First, here come the press release and purchase links. For now, the game is being sold only on physical Apple II media. I asked Antoine of Brutal Deluxe if a digital (disk image) will be sold and he said probably, but that there is no definite plan. You'll also note that the press release promises that the game engine will soon be available separately:

"You sip your daily Kir in the dilapidated place that serves as your detective's office when the phone starts to ring. Your reputation as a detective has already crossed the boundaries of the Republic district, yet a little work would not harm your bank account.

The anxious voice of an elderly woman echoed in the handset: "Sir, I need your help, I am the Countess of La Fêlure, and my husband and I live in a manor house at the end of the town. We live there with our servants and our cousins, the Dumoulin de La Fêlure. I am really worried because my husband has disappeared for two days...

Would you like to go to investigate, please? As soon as you find my husband, wait for me in the living room and try to solve that mystery. I will be able to show myself generous!"

Of course you accept and you are on the way to the manor of La Fêlure to elucidate the mystery of the disappearance of the Count..."

La Crapule was writen by Jean-Louis Le Breton for the Macintosh only in 1987. It was released by Froggy Software, owned by Jean-Louis Le Breton. Jean-Louis is the author of the first Apple II adventure games in French and has released more than ten games through Froggy Software.

Brutal Deluxe Software is proud to make it available for the Apple II computer line in French or English with the agreement (blessing ;-)) of Jean-Louis. The first three signed copies by Jean-Louis will be auctioned on eBay. We have special offers for the KansasFest and Apple II Festival France attendees.

The game engine is powerful, you can enter a full sentence, eg. "I go north", "I talk to the Countess". There are more than ten rooms, plenty of characters, the dictionary is huge and the number of play hours is high.

The game engine development kit will soon be available through the same channel. Let your imagination wander to create your adventure games in text only or with pictures: from 40-col text, 80-col, GR, DGR, HGR (mono/color where supported), DHGR (mono/color where supported) to SHR pictures.

Get your own copy at http://www.brutaldeluxe.fr/store/

Jean-Louis Le Breton
Antoine Vignau & Olivier Zardini

The Google English translation of Froggy software's French wikipedia page says that their goal was to 'sell French, amusing, and out-of-the-ordinary games at a price of about FRF 150', and that the company's choice of Froggy as a name (an English word connoting Frenchness) was a deliberate one in the context of how Apple II software was sold and perceived in France in its day.

There are two YouTube videos showing the game starting up in the Sweet16 Apple IIGS emulator and a few commands being entered. One video is for the French version and the other for the English version. The game looks attractive but in terms of showing the quality of the parser or much gameplay, these 60 seconds videos are not very helpful. I figure their main purpose is just to show the tech of this Apple II version of the game:

Link to the French version video
Link to the English version video

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Leadlight and a new OS for the Apple II

John Brooks, best known in Apple circles for programming the amazing Apple IIGS version of fantasy platformer Rastan in 1990, recently released an unnofficial update to ProDOS 8, the OS used by 8-bit Apple II computers. The last official version was 2.0.3, released by Apple in 1993, so that's 23 years between lunches. Brooks's 2.0.4 release includes improvements for almost the whole range of Apple IIs, both the 8-bit ones and the 16-bit Apple IIGS.

One thing about ProDOS 2.x in general is that it never ran on the oldest Apple II models: the original Apple II, the Apple II+ and the unenhanced Apple IIe. You needed an enhanced Apple IIe, an Apple IIC or an Apple IIGS. Until now, anyway. Brooks's 2.0.4 lets you run ProDOS 2.x on the earlier IIs.

When I programmed Leadlight back in 2009–2010, I had to assess what the minimum hardware requirement for it would be. The game uses ProDOS 2.0.3 and lowercase characters, so I stated that the minimum would be an enhanced Apple IIe. Now the game could potentially run on older machines under ProDOS 2.0.4, so long as they've been upgraded to 64KB of RAM and have 80-column cards in them (giving lowercase capability).

I don't think I'll be racing to implement this possible OS change. Leadlight is at a very stable place now and content-synced between the Apple II and Inform versions, but there is a glimmer of appeal in the idea of tweaking it to try to get it to work on even more limited hardware without taking anything out of it.

* You can buy Leadlight Gamma for modern devices or get the original Apple II version for free at http://heiresssoftware.com/leadlightgamma/

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Tunnel Runner on Wade-Memoir

I lost June to what doctors think was viral meningitis. It wasn't easy to diagnose, but I had two overnight stays in hospital and have been spending the rest of the time at home. I also developed double vision. The vision is expected to self-correct over time and it does seem to be improving a little each day. Today I tested my computing abilities (with a patch over one eye) by writing this and updating one of my websites, Wade-Memoir, with a parser/shoot-em-up (?!) bit of game, Tunnel Runner, from when I was ten. You can go to the Tunnel Runner post by clicking this sentence.


Why I thought of Tunnel Runner today: While my vision was really messed up, I couldn't read and I couldn't watch anything, so I listened to a lot of podcasts. One of them, No Quarter (about classic coin-ops) mentioned that the hosts were supporting the crowdfunding for some turn-based shoot-em-up. This sent my mind back – way back – to Tunnel Runner. It was meant to be a sideways shooter like Star Blazer or Scramble. How it came out is that you use a parser to enter commands to move your ship. Today I wrote this game up in my blog Wade-Memoir, making it my first post there in half a year.

I was having motivation troubles writing the last example for my WIP Inform CYOA extension before I got sick, probably because I've already written a good number of examples that interest me more. This last one needs to be the most fundamental, in a way, and is intended to be the first one for a user.

Soon I hope to be reconstituted enough that I should be able to recommence using my will to force myself to do certain things. Or a day may come when the sun is especially bright (it's winter here) and a particular shaft will hit me in a particular way and inspire me to do it without me having to kick myself.

Friday, 26 February 2016

wadeclarke.com rebuilt and Time Warp extension for Inform 7

I just completed a new look renovation of my website and added an interactive fiction page while I was at it. The IF page is a simple hub of my games, tools, sites and blogs.

If you've not had a look over my creative projects before, I'd welcome your visit to my new site:

wadeclarke.com

Time Warp

In IF-dom, I am making available an Inform 7 extension called Time Warp. What it does: It puts a whole CYOA game I wrote on the Apple II+ when I was 12 or 13 into your game. Time Warp has lots of great endings like – 'YOU'VE GOT A LIFE-TIME AHEAD OF YOU...IN GAOL!' – all in the CYOA / Fighting Fantasy / Be An Interplanetary Spy vein.

It's all caps because the text was retrieved verbatim from the Apple II+ game, where all the text was all caps. Not a word, typo, punctuation or 40-character line justification has been revised.

Why would you want Time Warp in your game? Well, if it fits the aesthetic, why not? This would be a move in the tradition of Call of Duty: Black Ops, which had the whole of Zork in it as an easter egg, introduced by you interacting with an old computer in the game world. So in that case, your character was playing Zork.

I ported Time Warp to Inform 7 so I could make it an easter egg in Leadlight Gamma. I put an unlockable Apple II+ in the game's school.

Time Warp won't interfere with your game code. Just include the extension, then, at the point you want Time Warp to start, use the phrase 'run time warp'. I've put a demo online showing how you could embed it in an in-game computer prop:

wadeclarke.com/ifdemos/time_warp/

That site also has the link to the extension. You can right-click it and save as Time Warp.i7x

I'd enjoy seeing Time Warp show up as a diversion in an I7 game, or as a diversion in a bunch of games. In any case, this extension may just give you the idea for writing your own self-contained, reusable extension game. Or, if you want to write a really simple keypress CYOA by somewhat hacky means, look at the Time Warp code.

(You might be aware that I will be releasing a full-featured and non-hacky CYOA extension for Inform 7 in the not-too-distant future. The Time Warp way of doing things isn't suitable for anything robust or complex.)

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Something new, something old, something blue, something blorrowed

The something new is that adventuregamers.com reviewed Leadlight Gamma.

Collectively, the something old, blue and blorrowed is that I've gathered up the first five proper text adventures I made (about 25 years ago), and the design notes I found for three of them, for my site Wade-Memoir. In chronological order they are:

Dungeon Of Death (1988)
Complex (1988)
The Sword Of Evil (1988) (with original notes)
Dark Arts (1990) (with original notes)
Demon's Keep (1990) (with original notes)

The book that got a 13-year-old me from approximating adventure games on the Apple II with a bunch of hectic GOTO statements to building BASIC programs that had real databases of verbs and nouns in them was Usborne's Write your own Adventure Programs for your Microcomputer; you can download a PDF of it from the linked page. The engine for the demo game in that book, Haunted House, became the starting engine for my games. I wrote five games with it, making things a bit better each time.

Today, I don't think Dungeon of Death or Complex are much good. They're just what got me started.

The Sword Of Evil is starting to get decent, though it still has no save/restore features.

Dark Arts and Demon's Keep are sufficiently respectable fantasy games of the two-word parser variety. Though Dark Arts still has too many empty rooms in it.

Today we have a wide variety of sophisticated and flexible systems available to help us make these games. We also have effectively unlimited RAM. While revisiting my old games is of personal interest for me, what I think may be of particular interest to folks who weren't around in that era is the demonstration of the amount of planning required to write games like this back then. The Usborne book told me to plan and list everything on paper before even touching the computer, so that's what I did. Have a look at my design notes for Dark Arts or Demon's Keep to see what I mean.

Demon's Keep was the last adventure I wrote from scratch for the Apple II. After that I switched to using the Eamon system, and went in for more RPG content and fewer puzzles.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Presenting Leadlight Gamma



Last week I released Leadlight Gamma, a new Glulx incarnation of my 2010 Apple II-coded interactive fiction-survival horror-CRPG hybrid, Leadlight (here's Leadlight on IFDB). You can buy Leadlight Gamma for MacOS, Windows, Linux or iOS at itch.io for US$4. The game file is cross platform compatible and I offer various configurations of installer or interpreter+game bundles on the itch.io site:

http://wade-clarke.itch.io/leadlight-gamma

15-year-old Belinda Nettle is studying at Linville Girls High School in Australia's Blue Mountains. After falling asleep in the library one afternoon, she wakes from her mundane existence into a nightmare. Her classmates are transformed, nameless terrors seek her out across the schoolgrounds, and traps and tricks threaten her life at every turn. 
Can you help Belinda survive this terror-filled night and solve its mysteries? And will there be a new day?
The game also has a standalone site at http://leadlightgamma.heiresssoftware.com/

At the core of Leadlight Gamma is a faithful port of the original game, now enhanced for modern platforms with graphic automap, tutorial mode, unlockable extra content, behind-the-scenes tour mode and easter eggs, original soundtrack, artwork gallery and an accessibility mode for vision-impaired players.

Unfortunately the accessibility mode isn't a go on Macs yet because the only Mac interpreter that can run LLG is Gargoyle, and Gargoyle doesn't work with screen readers. I plan to talk about this and the various other technical challenges to accessibility programming I've been running into and learning about in another post in the near future.

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You might wonder what motivates someone to spend a long time remaking one of their games instead of moving onto the next one. I can summarise what happened like this:

A few years ago I was tossing about ideas for a sequel to the original Leadlight. It would have been all modern. No two-word parser, no Apple IIs in sight – just a brand new game. While these ideas weren't coalescing, I opened Inform up one evening and copy-pasted the description of Leadlight's first room into it to see how it looked. Before long I'd pasted some more rooms in, and I was experiencing a degree of pleasure and narcissism in being able to walk around in this world again in a new context. I got hooked on building the whole thing anew after overcoming the first engineering challenge I encountered (though I don't remember exactly what it was, now). I also realised the port would bring the game to more players, and just make it easier to get at.

So I've ended up doing a 180 on the idea I previously expressed that I had no interest in porting the game to Inform. I'd thought the 'building a ship in a bottle' feel of the original 8-bit project (for me) might be rendered invisible or pointless-feeling by taking it to a platform which could, relatively speaking, do anything. I didn't realise it would end up being another interesting permutation of the same experience. It was like building a scale model of the ship in the bottle, partly by squinting through the glass at the original ship, and partly by studying the microscopically scaled plans used to build the original ship.