Visionary: A Scott Adams Classic Adventure Format Creator

Hi All,

The above is what I used to create R (Pron: Arrr…). It only runs on MS Windows so apologies to all LINUX etc users. Coded in VB6. Source code also included if you wish to have a rummage. - Should open in Notepad if you dont have VB6.

Free to use if you also wish to create old school two word parser adventures with relative ease :slight_smile:

Its v0.00 alpha at the moment and is pretty stable apart from introducing a LOOK / EXAMINE / X bug for my IFCOMP entry which has now been fixed.



I’d like to check it out, but Google Chrome is reporting that the page contains Malware.

Sometimes this is as innocent as linking to executables instead of zip files in your code.

Your site contains malware in the embedded ads on the coffee table page. One of them appears to deploy a Java exploit.

I have edited your original post to remove the hyperlink.

Javacsript Malware removed from Coffee Table page. Thank you for the heads up warning.

This is a screenshot of Visionary with R (Pron: Arrr…) loaded.

Apologies to all. Now rectified.

I’ve had to edit your second post where you embedded an image from your site, to stop Google from saying was hosting malware.

You may have to set up Google Webmaster Tools on your site and submit it for a new crawl, so Google knows the infected files are gone.

Once you do, you can resubmit your original links, but please don’t link to or embed content from your site until it shows up clean.

OK, thank you.

If its safer for the site, you can remove this topic if you wish and I will republish once Google is happy.


Looks like your site checks out clean now, so you can feel free to edit back in your links. :slight_smile:

Thank you. Yes, I can also confirm Google giving it a clean bill of health. Links and posts updated.

On a side issue, I am studying Java at the Open University at the moment and along side this (and to help with Java hands-on study) am looking into developing both a new adventure creator (which will be an extension of the current SACA format) (but will still only be a two word parser) and text adventures for the Kindle (probably freeware games :wink: ).

I believe there is a market (a free one albeit) out there for text adventures for mobile devices (which is why I made AdvPDA).

My reasoning behind this is Interactive fiction with full sentences is good for desktops or laptops (full size keyboards) but would anyone play Interactive fiction that uses full sentences on tiny mobile keyboards? … but this is my reasoning behind two word parser ‘text adventures’ coming back - simple quick play but with better descriptions of rooms and items instead of “LOOK BED” - “OK”. :astonished:



Lots of people are already working on stuff for mobiles. Rather than invent a new system which, realistically, no one will use, why not help with twisty for example.

As to having to type too much, the solution isn’t to make the parsers bad, but to have other tools, like tapping to copy a word, hyperlinks, or keyword extensions.

Thanks for the link, I will take a look.

I implemented hyperlinks on AdvPDA a few years ago which worked well for picking up and dropping items and also for moving in directions as well as a few commonly used buttons for Windows mobiles allowing for quick gameplay with a stylus.

Predictive typing mechs may also work if implemented properly I guess but if not implemented properly could be a barrier to switch people off.

I disagree with your comment about people realistically not using new systems. Perhaps with a two word parser arguably, some may agree, but if someone invents a radical new system which is easy to develop for and great to interface with from a hci point of view, then why not?

“If you build it, they will come”. Or not, as the case may be :slight_smile:

I don’t think this is a realistic assumption. When you go to mobiles, you’re almost reinventing what can be done and what people will accept. They don’t have all these preconceptions.

If the parser is suitable for the game content, it’s a good parser. If you’re looking at Scott Adams style adventures , which is what is being discussed here, a two word parser is probably good, and an inform parser could be overkill, and therefore bad. The idea of a parser which is inherently ‘good’ isn’t really relevant. There’s as much controversy about the wisdom of lit up keywords as there may be about two-word parsers. The parser is merely a tool to enable interaction with the game system, and it is the game system for each game which will determine what is good or bad.

The point here seems to be that a classic adventure game delivery platform (and creative tools for it) are being delivered for a new and accessible platform, which is all good news to me.

Spot on severedhand. Thank you. This has spurred me on.

I indeed think there is a need/space for old-school two-word parsers on mobile platforms with subtle enhancements here and there from the old days such as catering for more descriptive content of rooms and items but yes, two word parsers to allow interactivity with the game to progress through the old school type text Adventures.

I think modern day Interactive Fiction has gone too far down the road of modernisation, catering for full sentences which in my opinion has made it prohibitive in mobile device gameplay and furthermore removes some of the ‘romance’ and ‘speed Adventuring’ of the good old days.

Mobile devices small chicklet keyboards / stylus etc (and the Kindle) are crying out for two word parsers in my opinion (but with more descriptive text for rooms and objects if authors wish).

Also the complexity of the modern day Adventure game generators such as Inform may put off would be authors from making games whereas two word parser games are, as you may see with Visionary, relatively easy to contruct.

Don’t get me wrong. Modern day authoring tools like Inform are excellent and a lot of hard work has been put into their being, but in doing so, has removed the position further away from old school text Adventures and conditioned players into their expectations of how to play modern IF.

A few of the responses to my entry (“R”) into the IFCOMP 2010 have made me realise the vast expectations (conditioning) of players nowadays playing ‘Interactive Fiction’ vs the ‘text adventure’ era.

I guess there is a clear divide between old school text Adventures and modern day Interactive Fiction. The two are most definately different beasts.

My entry into IFCOMP bore this out.

People seem to have been ‘conditioned’ into certain ways of playing IF such as being surprised that my game did not have the option of “X” (object) but instead you had to type EXAMine (object) or LOOK (object) to learn something and also why you had to type ‘GO CAVE’ instead of just “West”. Also the ability to ‘ASK Bob ABOUT Fred’ and other such options, although good in modern day progression again removes romance and speed adventuring, conditioning again into new Adventuring.

The results for the IFCOMP are now out and 24th out of 26th place isn’t that bad :mrgreen: - I’m quite happy really - I put it down to:

  • a bug about examining objects in the game
  • the expectations of conditioned players to modern day IF
  • the lack of descriptive text for locations and objects
  • “FEED SHARks” :slight_smile:
  • Screen size by AdvPDA when playing on the PC.
  • My theory of my “Text Adventure” not being modern “Interactive Fiction”

There may be other stuff why people didn’t like it but I also got some nice comments to suggest two word parser text Adventures are not stone cold dead although they do need a defibrillator.

Two word parsers with better descriptions designed for browsers for mobile play may be the electrical charge for old school text Adventure rebirth.

I am just rambling at this point. I’ll sum up…

I have stuff floating around in my head which will be realised eventually for the rebirth of old school text Adventures using two word parsers (yay!) and the games would be playable from the net or on a Kindle or downloadable to mobiles devices (and desktops for that matter!).

I am currently studying at uni as well as having a full time job, wife and kids and cat to juggle but I’ll get there. :slight_smile:

It may be ‘another engine to make adventures’ but I believe it will fill a market where I believe there is a hole at the moment both in gameplay type (two word parsers for mobile play) and ease of use to create new old school text Adventure games.

I disagree, as you can probably guess from my current business plan. :slight_smile:

“Catering for full sentences” does not require increased typing overall. It is still the case in modern IF that 80% of commands are single words (if not single letters), and 80% of the rest are two-word command phrases. The added expressivity of a modern parser is there when the player wants to use it, for additional disambiguation or multi-object manipulations. Extra typing isn’t a UI drag if the user actually wants to type the extra words.

(After all, the Scott Adams solution to multi-object commands was “>PUT ROCK” “Where?” “>IN BOX” – and that doesn’t actually save the user any typing.)

It will be important to support shortcuts, and I certainly expect to do a lot of work making the mobile interface as smooth as possible.

As for romance, the players will have to judge.

Your reply is appreciated zarf, thank you.

Is there a further breakdown of these stats I can find somewhere such as %moves, %get/drop, vs %3_word_or_more_sentences? I guess it all depends on different games for these but if there is a place where a good chunk of games stats are analysed and output as results I would love to see them to get a better feel.

Yes indeed. :slight_smile:

I have an uberlove of all things retro :slight_smile:



I have just seen your page and wish you the sincerest of best wishes in this new (ad)venture :slight_smile:

I find that lack of communication is antithetical to romance. :wink:

I don’t know where zarf gets his stats, but if you look at a bunch of walkthroughs you can see the commands stories need these days. I would have guessed it would’ve been closer to 50% 1 word 50% multi word.

That’s a good idea, but there might be a bit of bias in the method; walkthroughs probably skip a fair number of l’s and i’s, as well as possibly some directional commands due to not realizing which location you need to be in.

Oh I don’t know… “I LOVE YOU” surely is the most romantic of short phrases to use…

Damn! Thats three words! Bang goes the two word parser theory :mrgreen:

btw I Googled antithetical :blush: :wink:

Maybe the Parchment developers have put something in their code to track number of words per lines input in all the online games it caters for and saves it back end somewhere for stats purposes. It would be an interesting set of stats to analyze. Not that I’m a stats fanatic or anything, but just to guage the scene at the moment when planning new projects. I guess Andrew has done this already in some respects if targetting new mobile platforms such as the iphone as part of his business plan.

I did see at one point - not sure where it was - it was a couple of years ago when I was researching the SACA format - that someone developed a voice recognition system for the Scott Adams format.

It may have been this …

This audio clip is also linked on the page but highlighted here because I think its cool