Anyone remember Scott Adams details?

Daft as it may seem at this point in history, I’m trying to learn about how the S.A. games work. Having found some good sources, I still have somee simple queries…

  1. What is the Route Back facility?
  2. What does “automatic get/drop” mean, as opposed to a normal get/drop? (when “/XXXX/” is added to an item definition).
  3. Why in the S.A games does location 0 (“not in game”) have some exits set to non zero? It’s not a place I would have thought you could get to.


1 I don’t know.
2. Nouns defined with /XXX/ automatically work with get and drop. They don’t have to have individual actions for these verbs defined but instead use a generic get/drop routine. If you want something special to happen when you get or drop the noun you need to write a unique action for that.
3. I’m not sure, but in some games there’s a “limbo”. When you die that you can return to the game from here (Adventureland have it, for example). I have a vague recollection that this “limbo” is room 0.

Earlier this year (spring and early summer) there was some discussion about the SA-format in a couple of threads that, if you not already read them, you could find interesting.

For example:




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Thanks for that Henrik.

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  1. That’s not a term that I’ve seen used in any Scott Adams programs or documents that I’ve encountered. Is this something in the Visionary tool? Maybe some screenshots could give us more info.
  2. This has already been answered to perfection.
  3. Speculating here. Possibly this was done in case there were bugs in the interpreter or game files. In my early teenage years of trying to write text adventure games in Basic, I would often find myself inside my own inventory (which was room 0 in my own games).

It’s a fun little engine, and it’s possible to learn how it all works. When I was trying to figure it out, I was leaning heavily on these two old comprehensive documents by Alan Moluf and Bruce Hansen that I later converted to slightly more readable Markdown format:

Also, as a shameless plug, the source code for PerlScott and the graphical editor adventshark may also give additional perspectives on what you’re trying to do.

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Ta for all that.

Yes that’s where I saw the phrase.