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Re: I just wrote "The Hobbit" in C#
Home away from home
2008/8/10 2:07
From Queenstown, New Zealand
Posts: 747

Urulöké wrote:
Cool! Sounds like that NPC algorithm was (a) advanced and (b) broken.

Yeah, I think they wanted to leave things quite "open" so that the game would be a little different every time and have repeat playability once finished -- which was different from text adventure games of the period. There are several different ways of solving the game, which is also unusual. Unfortunately, some permutations of the "random" behaviour can result in situations where the game can't be finished. For example, if the wood elf captures a warg and throws it into into the Elven king's dungeon and the butler unlocks the door between the dungeon and the wine cellar, the warg is likely to kill the butler -- and then you have no one to throw the barrel through the trapdoor (which you need to be in -- or jump on top of as it goes through, in order to get to the second half of the game).

One fun bug is that you can pick up Elrond (because his weight is obviously not defined correctly) and if you throw Elrond at a Goblin it will permanently kill the Goblin without it respawning (otherwise you see a little debug message about the respawn :))

To be fair to Megler and Mitchell (at Beam Software), they had only 48K to play with and it was 100% written in Z80 Assembler. Having only done simple stuff in Z80A when I was a kid, I can't imagine how much of a pain that would have been. They had to write their own text compression scheme to fit the game in (which is probably why some of the grammar in the textual descriptions is a bit "off"). The simple graphics are a restriction of size as there was only space to store the points for simple vector graphics (and then flood fill).

But like I say, they created something very strange and special back in '82.

Posted on: 2014/6/9 20:23

Re: I just wrote "The Hobbit" in C#
Home away from home
2008/8/10 2:07
From Queenstown, New Zealand
Posts: 747
Not one to shirk from pointless tasks, I have just about finished porting my C# Hobbit to Mac OSX (Swift / Cocoa). I hadn't ever written any native Mac or iOS stuff, and I figured I probably ought to learn (Apple's new language) Swift. On the windows version, I completed developing the game, but I didn't bother implementing load/save, and there were some parser/engine limitations that impacted the authenticity (I hadn't fully implemented "AnimTalk", which allow you to ask other characters to do essentially anything on your behalf).

This one ended up being pretty much a re-write to allow the parser to properly shift context between player and characters (and in fact there is basically no technical distinction between them).

I modified the C# version to export all its basic game data as XML into the Mac version, as I think re-creating the objects, locations, behaviours, timers, exits, statuses, rules, etc, would have driven me (more) insane. A couple of hundred lines of C# code certainly beat hand-cranking several thousand lines of XML or Swift...

10 hours on iDraw (cheap, but really good vector imaging software) to create a ZX Spectrum and game cassette for the title screen.

A bit more tidying and some play-testing, and I can file this one in the hard-drive of stuff I don't look at again.

I may, however, try and use the skills-learned to actually create something useful this time... Maybe.

Attach file:

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jpg  game_shot.jpg (463.91 KB)
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Posted on: 6/7 1:23:42

Edited by Stu on 2015/6/7 3:47:21
Edited by Stu on 2015/6/7 3:48:19
Edited by Stu on 2015/6/7 3:49:23
Edited by Stu on 2015/6/9 22:52:54
Edited by Stu on 2015/6/9 22:58:20

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