Sunburst is a science fiction text adventure game first implemented in
Commodore 64 Basic. It was ported to Inform using the bas2inf compiler
(also in the archive). Enjoy!
Splendid. I would like to play this game, but it turns out that
Spatterlight does not play .z6 files (I didn't know that previously,
but now I think about it, it doesn't surprise me). Is there any
fundamental reason why it is a .z6 file? Could it, in principle at
least, be a .z5 or a .z8 file?
The game is compiled as a z6-game since it uses a custom-made input
routine and needs to be able to handle backspace characters. This is
not possible with the limited screen model for z5/z8 games. However,
if you can accept some limitations in the input (characters are not
deleted on the screen when pressing backspace, the input string works
as expected), then you can compile from the source in the bas2inf
package (in if-archive, infocom/tools). Just replace -z6 to -z5 in the
I tried the game (very briefly) on the OS X version of Zoom
(1.1.0beta3) and it seems to work; you might try that
I wonder: what exactly made you decide not to implement, say, 90% of the
nouns mentioned in room descriptions? It even appears - rather bizarly,
if you ask me - to be the case that there are objects I can do things
with even though when I try to examine them, the game tells me it
doesn't know what I mean.
Were the restrictions of programming on the Commodore 64 that heavy?
I know that the text adventures I wrote (and played) on the CoCo (comparable
to the C64, I guess) in BASIC were just poorly designed. It wasn't that you
*couldn't* implement nouns. It's just that the games weren't constructed
that way. Descriptions were pretty static, and instead of using objects (or
something similar) to represent "things" in the game, everything was just
parsed based on keywords in the command. So, "gate" would only work in
whatever contexts the programmer anticipated -- maybe "open gate" and "look
gate" -- but for any other purpose, there *was* no gate. It all has to do
with how parsing was done (that being *very* crudely).
Might be true for this one too. Dunno.
No, even at that time I wrote games that had much better parsers on 8-
bit computers. But this particular game was a spoof of Scott Adams
adventures. We wanted to see if we could write a decent game even with
an awful parser and I don't think it is a complete failure. Try to
get inside the ship to see the best parts.
If I were to do a rewrite, rather than a port, then of course I would
provide a richer world model. But then it wouldn't be the same game.
> No, even at that time I wrote games that had much better parsers on 8-
> bit computers. But this particular game was a spoof of Scott Adams
> adventures. We wanted to see if we could write a decent game even with
> an awful parser and I don't think it is a complete failure. Try to
> get inside the ship to see the best parts.
I got inside the ship (and even managed to die in different ways, get
into the fuel tank and be irritated by the carrying capacity. ;) ). I do
guess that since I never played a Scott Adams game, I might not be the
Interesting point. Now all of a sudden you've got me imagining what it
would be like if somebody did a rewrite of an old Scott Adams game.
Richly nuanced room descriptions, a whole new conversation system, and
carefully dropped details about the PC's motivations. And just for
good measure, this time give the PC a dog who responds to simple
commands and provides alternate solutions to a couple of puzzles. A
whole new game indeed.
Scott Adams Comp, anybody?
I tried that too. Zoom's typography sucks. Thank goodness for
Spatterlight. Er, except for this case.
HEY, not a bad idea at all :) If you ever organize that, I promise
I'll send something.
Why not THE SAME Scott Adams game? (But, well, that would be too
similar to MHTO)
> > Scott Adams Comp, anybody?
> > Greg
Fantastic idea - Scott Adams' games had great concepts and puzzles.
But we'd need Scott's permission first; the games are not public
It must have been wonderful writing adventure games in a period when
nobody had done Dracula or the Wild West before! It has crossed my
mind before to write a remake or sequel to Voodoo Castle.
It's not like he's tough to track down, or anything less than friendly.
That sounds like fun. I suppose it wouldn't matter if different
people decided to update the same one, although it would be
nice to get the whole set of twelve. (Twelve? I think it was
Dibs on... oh, hmm. I think the only ones I ever played through
were the ghost town one, the pirate adventure, and the one in
the pyramid. Hmm.
I was actually joking when I said that... but if three people say they
want it to happen, then maybe somebody should make it happen. And
since I wasn't planning on writing a Scott Adams remake myself, I'm as
good a candidate to organize the thing as anybody. Hmm.
Well, let's say I write to Scott Adams. I'd have to be careful how I
phrased the request, as it sounds a little dicey to say to someone
"I'd like blanket permission for an unknown number of people who I
don't even know to do new versions of your games in an unspecified
way." But let's say Scott Adams agrees to some sort of arrangement.
In that case, how does this sound to everybody:
-- the deadline to submit your game would be sometime in July.
-- Any Scott Adams game is eligible for redoing (unless Scott Adams
himself restricts this)
-- I say we don't need voting and scores. Anybody is eligible to judge
the games, but judging consists of posting the best damn reviews you
can write. There are no winners/losers, unless that's how you regard
those who get the best/worst reviews.
-- No prizes either.
I'm not really committing to anything here, but I'll wait for any
discussion on this, then write to Scott Adams, and then we'll see what
When you are talking about "any" Scott Adams adventure, are you
meaning "just" Scott Adams adventures? I mean, there were some of
Adventure International adventures who were just co-authored by Scott
Adams, or even written by a completely different person. Also, it
could be interesting to have permission to rewrite Brian Howarth's
adventures also (I always found something pretty creepy in "Circus")
I know I'm just asking for too much :) If you need some help... I'll
July is right for me.
There may be a problem with that. I wouldn't have considered doing a
comp like this unless I was certain who to ask for permission and how
to contact that person. With Scott Adams, that's pretty clear. He has
a web site, and [if-archive/scott-adams/Copyright.txt] makes it clear
what the copyright status is.
With Brian Howarth -- well, so far I haven't even been able to figure
out who owns his games. Nor do I know how to contact Brian Howarth to
find out. I can ask Scott Adams about it, and I will probably do so
within a few days. No promises as to Howarth games being part of the
That all sounds great to me, Greg. Now we just have to wait and see
what Scott says. I imagine that there would be licensing issues with
the Questprobe games and Buckaroo Banzai but for all the others it
would be up to him.
> Scott Adams Comp, anybody?
Just so long as no one is allowed to change the spelling of "dubloons".
After spending an hour or so drafting an email to Scott Adams, I grew
more and more convinced that this was a bad idea.
The reason: I would have had to ask permission for any number of
people to write new versions of Scott Adams' games in an unspecified
way. Previously I described such a request as "a little dicey." Now I
think of it as next-door to impossible without the mere request
offending the man. So I decided not to go through with it.
It would be entirely different if an individual game author(s) wrote
to him and said, "I'd like to do a freeware remake of your game, in
this way." I suggest individual game authors do that if they want to.
Scott Adams' web site is not hard to find, and he says he welcomes
And good luck to those who want to do that. I'd certainly play any
games that got released as a result.
But still, I won't be organizing any comp for that. Sorry.
OK, full disclosure time for me.
When the original message was posted, I forwarded it to Scott with a
note that said "Dude, if this happens, you *totally* ought to write an
entry, because it'd be really funny, especially if you, like, came in
He agreed that it would be very funny.
I'm on one of his mailing lists. He knows who I am. I'm happy to ask
permission if you'd like, but I have no time to, or, particularly,
interest in hosting the competition.
But if the actual problem is that you feel it would be rude to *ask* him
for permission for a bunch of remixes of his games, well, I am happy to
ask that, and to let him know that "no" is an OK answer.
I don't think he's going to be offended at all, and if he is, then I can
let him be offended at me. Would you like me to do so?
Okay, well, that certainly changes things, having a better idea of
Scott's attitude beforehand.
In that case, I don't mind asking him myself. Give me until the end of
the week, and I'll do so. If he replies with any speed, I'll post
about this again by next weekend.
Well, at least this time my waffling was justified by a change in the
facts... and hey, if I hadn't been waffling-prone before, I probably
wouldn't have agreed to do this in the first place. So I guess it's
all for the good.
> Commodore 64 BASIC... ported to Inform using the bas2inf compiler
> (also in the archive)...
Oooooo!!!! Exact URL of "Bas2Inf", PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!
-- _____ %%%%%%%% "Glenn P.," <C128UserD...@FVI.Net> %%%%%%%
_( Y )_ "Never try to teach a pig to sing. It doesn't work, and
(:_~*~_:) it annoys the pig."
(_)-(_) --Attributed to a "Hallmark"(R) greeting card,
========= By: The Honorable Judith ("Judge Judy") Scheindlin.
:: Take Note Of The Spam Block On My E-Mail Address! ::
Straight from Google, honest...
"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the borogoves..."
It's a nice distinction to tell American soldiers (and Iraqis) to die in
Iraq for the sake of democracy (ignoring the question of whether it's
*working*) and then whine that "The Constitution is not a suicide pact."
:> Here, Glenn P., <C128UserD...@fvi.net> wrote:
> Commodore 64 BASIC... ported to Inform using the bas2inf compiler
> (also in the archive)...
>> Oooooo!!!! Exact URL of "Bas2Inf", PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks!!! (You'll see why I wanted it below.) :)
: ___ : "Glenn P.," <C128UserD...@FVI.Net> :
: / __|__ : ------------------------------------------- :
: / / |_/ : User And BASIC Programmer Of Commodore-64 :
: \ \__|_\ : And Commodore-128 Computers Since 1982, And :
: \___| : Continuing On Into The Third Millennium! :
: : --= Commodore Lives! =-- :