I’m happy to announce that Dumb Frotz 2.51 in the
tops20 branch now compiles and works on TOPS20. I added some stuff to
INSTALL_PDP10 to provide some assistance. There are still some warts, but it’s working!
From here, the plan is to clean up and minimize TOPS20-specific
ifdefs, get full-screen handling working (that is, what you get from regular curses Frotz), create a disk-paging scheme so that the entire game doesn’t need to be pulled into memory, and look into porting to other PDP10 operating systems.
On disk-paging, most if not all of Infocom’s own interpreters would load game code from disk as needed so memory usage is minimized. One exception to this was the tape-based Mini-Zork for the Commodore 64. Zip did this too. Frotz did, at first, but then went to loading it all into memory. Unfortunately, those early versions of Frotz are lost, so I’ll be rediscovering how to do this. Disk paging will also be of great help to the DOS port because it will run out of memory when trying to load some larger V8 games.