The comment about “what you are aiming for” pretty much hits the nail on the head for the entire Interactive Fiction effort. If all you want to do is run off a quick, ultra-simple game then “TextWorld” (White Divine’s version) would be good enough, and quite frankly even it is capable of doing more than one might think.
In my case, and at my age, AGT probably fits the bill. It is easy to pick up on, and even though I do not know Turbo PASCAL I’ve already made a number of alterations which are good for what I’m working on. They include:
AGT can make color changes in-program. If you have a black screen with green text then run into a skeleton that keyboard-drawn image can be grey- with say red text describing it and what it does; yours can be green. In a forest the text can be green, on the rocky mountainside grey, inside the mountain in volcanic caverns red. Colors can be horizontally layered. Any such color changes can be temporary or permanent. “SanctuaryRPG Black” inspired that. Note that the player does NOT have to do this, AGT itself does.
A new verb, SITUATE, is hardwired in. This costs two extra turns to use, and is only to be used with the preposition ON. It is for specific instances, like puzzles.
AGT can now not only check to see if something is ON or OFF, but it can do so itself. There is no need to switch nouns with lit/unlit lanterns, for example.
Creatures can act as light sources. They are neither carried nor of a room, so this expands game possibilities considerably- a pesky flame elemental might make sneaking away at night rather difficult, and increase enemy chances of hitting you.
Worn items can act as light sources. If you wear a tunic defined as a light source and light it AGT says it’s lit, but normally this has no effect on anything. Well, now it does. Thus a worn crown of illumination can in fact do so.
AGT asks which item you mean if you want to do something with one of two or more nouns of the same kind (like GEM). If you enter a dark room and try to drop a RED GEM while there was a GREEN GEM in there you will get that message even though you shouldn’t know about the GREEN GEM. Well, no longer.
AGT can now put something ON, BEHIND, BESIDE, UNDER…normally only you can. But now, if you SEARCH a bookcase you can be told
THERE IS A BRASS KEY HERE. (behind the bookcase)
This also allows same-nouns to actually be placed ON, UNDER, etc. each other.
Numerous text changes to cover more bases in a generic way. Melody Grandy in her “Zim Greenleaf’s Laboratory” (play it!) points out that even if something is mentioned in a room description the game may disavow knowledge of it- my messages imply that it may be there but is of no use to you.
Along the way I also figured out how to give AGT the ability to remove or give an item light source ability. My next goal is to specify prepositions- right now if you want to PUT LUNCHBOX UNDER BRASS BLOCK and it is a five-ton block on a perfectly smooth marble floor the best you can do is a generic “The best you can do is put the lunchbox ON the block. So there it is. Nothing happens.” (or does if you want). The new commands would bar certain actions- you can put that lunchbox ON, BESIDE, NEAR, etc. the block but NOT under or behind.
Serendipity abounds with AGT. The very same changes I’ve made can lock or unlock doors so in fact just one is needed, among other features. This frees up nouns for even larger games.
The problem is this- with my previous compiler you couldn’t even compile the unaltered PA3 (for COMPILE.EXE) files! Thanks to the TPC.EXE compiler and associated files (that took some doing) now all of the original meta-commands plus TEN more can be compiled in the COMMAND.PA3 file, but no more. Absolutely nothing I’ve tried with switches, memory numbers, even using DOSBox-X, has had any effect whatsoever with the problem. After ten new meta-commands for every new one you must remove another. If anyone can help me with this it would be appreciated- if going from the first compiler to the second allows all+ten commands then logically there might be a way for even more. The error is ERROR 71 STACK OVERFLOW in the COMMAND.PA3 file.
It is plain to see that AGT is capable of creating complex, sophisticated, and enjoyable games. It’s overall ability and learning curve is just right for me, and with some more practice the end results would be quite impressive indeed. As mentioned above I know how to have monster encounters without AGT imitations and that didn’t even involve source code alterations- and yes there can be hit points, special abilities, weapon enhancements, etc. There can be various games of chance, including a version of Blackjack, roulette, slot machines, etc.
Joey Cramsey said:
“I once made an environment that is simulated with 3D cellular automata, and the player swims through it with a ship to hunt down traces of their enemy. You could also do vehicle combat, with full component simulation and everything.”
Tell me more about that- and can you post any images of that? It sounds very impressive, very impressive. If you mean Rubik’s Cube-style environment in a text game I’ve also done that with TextWorld, although you are limited to only two layers. An AGT maze of mine is as if you ARE trapped in a sort of Rubik’s Cube.
But from what you say it sounds as if you accomplished something more than that. Do you use keyboard-created images too?
AGT modifications allow:
(I cannot upload images- just get that miserable spinning circle)
Let’s try this: