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Text adventure on NES ?

Text adventure on NES ?
by on (#71820)
Has anyone ever tried/throught to do a NES game completely based on text ?
OK this might not sounds too exciting at first, but there is several advantages : It might be easier to design entierely on paper, and you don't have to spend time doing graphics.

I'm pretty sure such games were common in the early 80's, but I think none was made for the NES, because back then it would have been crazy not to use it's graphical possibilities. Today it's different since both text adventures and NES games are retro anyways.

It could also be a way to test the CC65 compiler for the NES, as it would probably work very well written in C since this game would just perform logic and print text/menus on the screen, and possibly play music.

I guess the closer it got was Portopia, an menu-based investigation game, that recently got an english translation. It has static graphics, and I really liked the game.

by on (#71822)
I'm a big fan of the ICOM games that Kemco ported to NES (Shadowgate, Deja Vu, Uninvited). There were plenty of graphics in those of course, but between the 'look' feature and all the text in those games, it almost could have worked as a text adventure. (with just a list of objects to interact with, instead of graphics)

Actually at one point I did start writing a text adventure. It was really funny looking, I made the font as 11 (I forget) segment LED characters. The 'spaces' in the text were the same things, with 'unlit' LEDs, heh. This display part was working, but I didn't write nearly enough text to make it interesting. I almost forgot about that project. I think maybe I started it for the Minigame compo, but I'm not sure.

by on (#71824)
Classic text adventures requires text input, you wouldn't want to do it using gamepad. You can easily make an IF game, though.

If you going away from text input and just provide set of commands, it is a step to graphical adventure, only without graphics - does not make much sense.

by on (#71830)
I made a Russian roulette game for NES as a Zapper tech demo, and people were disappointed that it was text-based.

But as for a game in the style of Infocom's text adventures, a pure text game wouldn't work because the 72-pin NES has no keyboard, as Shiru pointed out. You could have it use the Family Basic keyboard, but then you'd have to make the text in Japanese for the players to understand it. It took a tweak of the format to make it work on the NES; Memblers mentioned the MacVenture games developed by ICOM and Kemco. And does Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom count?

If you're looking for a genre to make in C for the NES, look no further than Koei's war sims. NovaYoshi has uncovered evidence in the games' strings that they use the C standard library.

And cc65 isn't the only C compiler; there's also Quetzalcoatl, which unlike cc65 is actually free software and suitable for use in commercial projects. There's OSDK, a compiler based on LCC, but based on the description on the web site, it appears to be hardcoded for the Oric computers and difficult to adapt to other 6502 machines.

by on (#71833)
Actually, a simple flick-screen platformer with few moving objects per location (like 5) should be doable with C on NES. Main problem would be memory, not speed. At least it was made for C16 and Plus/4, a simple homebrew platformer Uwol by MojonTwins was ported there, originally it was written in C for ZX Spectrum, and then ported (using the original source code) by fans to few other platforms. A slow paced non-action game like Dizzy is doable for sure.

by on (#71836)
Shiru wrote:
Actually, a simple flick-screen platformer with few moving objects per location (like 5) should be doable with C on NES.

So in other words, Battle Kid might be doable in C, possibly at a slower Micronics-style frame rate with some asm subroutines to load screens.

by on (#71853)
Quote:
If you're looking for a genre to make in C for the NES, look no further than Koei's war sims. NovaYoshi has uncovered evidence in the games' strings that they use the C standard library.

Interesting too. I never got much into the genre, though.

Quote:
Actually at one point I did start writing a text adventure. It was really funny looking, I made the font as 11 (I forget) segment LED characters. The 'spaces' in the text were the same things, with 'unlit' LEDs, heh. This display part was working, but I didn't write nearly enough text to make it interesting. I almost forgot about that project. I think maybe I started it for the Minigame compo, but I'm not sure.

Sounds cool, maybe you should finish it someday ?
Of couse if there is no graphics, the story HAS to be very intriguing (and possibly with cool music) to have an interesting game, otherwise everyone will think it's boring and bland.

Quote:
Classic text adventures requires text input, you wouldn't want to do it using gamepad. You can easily make an IF game, though.

If you going away from text input and just provide set of commands, it is a step to graphical adventure, only without graphics - does not make much sense.

I guess you are right... then you'd better program an adventure game with graphics, like Shadowgate etc...

However, I think even if this is "hidden" games with text parser just have a limited set of commands, just that they're available only though the parser.

A problem with parsers (aside of the lack of keyboard) is the trouble that comes when they should be translated into different languages.

by on (#71863)
Another format of text adventure I recall a few SNES games using is like that of those old "Choose Your own Adventure" books; When faced with an important decision, a list of possible choices is presented and the player selects one.

This avoids the need for things like text input with keyboards or parsers, but of course all the games had music and graphics to back it up.

by on (#71865)
Wasn't 0xABAD1DEA working on a Text Adventure Game for the NES? It's supposed to use the Famicom Keyboard, and be played on emulators like FCEU.

by on (#71868)
Tosi wrote:
Another format of text adventure I recall a few SNES games using is like that of those old "Choose Your own Adventure" books; When faced with an important decision, a list of possible choices is presented and the player selects one.

This avoids the need for things like text input with keyboards or parsers, but of course all the games had music and graphics to back it up.

It is that I've meant under an IF game.

by on (#71936)
Earlier this year bunnyboy made a simple Choose Your Own Adventure engine and posted the source code: http://www.nintendoage.com/forum/messageview.cfm?catid=22&threadid=32545

by on (#71962)
I think that another advantage is that it would be very easy to make a "generator" that can build the roms given an script, so almost anyone that wants to write a story can make the games.

However, given that this same thing exists for more "adequated" devices, I think that it will only hold the "novelty" value.

by on (#71987)
OH,I was thinking about making one(text adventure) for NES.
Well...while DRD is waiting for grafics,at least...I started to think that I still have a lot of space in PRG,so why don't make "a_e Adventure3"?
Hmm..A_e adventure is alittle series of text adventures made by me.
First one is for C64,second one is for NDS(It's demo only for now,Maybe I'll port it to DOS,as I was asked for it)
Sorry,but it's pointless to post link here-game is in Polish Language only.
The games like ine this "Choose Your Own Adventure" thing(never even heard about it)give player a few options to choose,and dependly on answer it gives you result(like,for example,using a tank to broke wall).
About bunnyboy's engine-It looks a little unfriendly to play,I mean...There's a little to many text at top,but It's just me,I hope.

by on (#72155)
I wonder if the z-machine has the faintest possibility of working on the NES. I don't know a lot about it - if someone is interested enough to take a look, here's the specification. I imagine space would be a big issue, due to the sheer number of strings and opcodes, running a virtual machine on top of NES assembly.

Still, Zork 1 came out in 1980, and didn't exactly push the envelope even then. I know I've run a z-code interpreter on my TI-89, but that's got a lot more memory than the NES too. :)

Quote:
To give some idea of the sizes found in typical story files, here are a few statistics, mostly gathered by Paul David Doherty, whose "Infocom fact sheet" file is the definitive reference.


(i) Length

The shortest files are those dating from the time of the 'Zork' trilogy, at about 85K; middle-period Version 3 games are typically 105K, and only the latest use the full memory map. In Versions 4 and 5, only 'Trinity', 'A Mind Forever Voyaging' and 'Beyond Zork' use the full 256K. 'Border Zone' and 'Sherlock', for instance, are about 180K. (The author's short story 'Balances' is about 50K, an edition of 'Adventure' takes 80K, and 'Curses' takes 256K (it's padded out to the maximum size with background information; the actual game comprises only about 245K). Under Inform, the library occupies about 35K regardless of the size of game.)


(ii) Code size

'Zork I' uses only about 5500 opcodes, but the number rises steeply with later games; 'Hollywood Hijinx' has 10355 and, e.g. 'Moonmist' has 15900 (both these being Version 3). Against this, 'A Mind Forever Voyaging' has only 18700, and only 'Trinity' and 'Beyond Zork' reach 32000 or so. (Inform games are more efficiently compiled and make better use of common code -- the library -- so perform much better here: the old Version 3, release 10 of 'Curses' (128K long, and a larger game than any Infocom Version 3 game) has only 6720 opcodes.)

by on (#72159)
The NES has plenty of read-only memory, of course. Looking at those specs it sounds like only the 'dynamic memory' needs to be RAM. The "small game" example shows over a little over 2kB in dynamic memory. By adding a WRAM to the cart, it theoretically should fit that example.