Visionary: A Scott Adams Classic Adventure Format Creator

The most recent release of Gargoyle includes Chris Spiegel’s port of ScottFree to Glk, which can run R.

You might want to give the games a less generic extension; I can’t associate something as generic as .dat with Gargoyle. I picked .saga out of a hat but I am open to other suggestions.

Oh neat. Well, that solves most of what I spake of. I’m guessing ScottFree was probably what I ran on the Amiga.

Thanks for the hints and tips chaps. This is good feedback. I was just about to say … “please look here … … for Scott Adams Interpreters - some of which are PC based - my favourite being ASFDDOS (Another Scott Free Driver for DOS) which is some of what I referenced in helping me when creating AdvPDA (and subsequently Visionary’” but I see bcressey has just replied with some useful info I did not know.

I did note that ASFDDOS (and ScottFree) as a minimum did have some bugs in which I subsequently ironed out in my code when playtesting some of Scott’s later releases. I’m sure these were documented in my version history.

I’m getting all tingly with excitement - I have Christmas off from work so I think the next steps are:

  1. I will zap Scott a message to see if he is OK with what we are planning - A Scott Adams Format Text Adventure Comp (just for fun at this point)
  2. Over Christmas, have a tinker converting AdvPDA to a Windows program (probably using VB6 will be the easiest port path) with the ability for font resizing etc.
  3. A quick chat to the moderators for this forum to see if the have no objection to anything / check the forum rules etc
  4. Create a new Topic post for suggestions of how the SAFTAC should proceed (such as release dates / voting types etc)
  5. etc from here - watch this space!

As for the extension, I will have a search on to see whats what and whats not - yes, perhaps .saga as mentioned (but this could affect olde wurlde DOS players?), .SAG? .SAA?, .SAF?

Back soon! Need to go to work now :slight_smile:

Sure, as I use it both in my emulated and real miggys. I have also the windows port (it must also be in the archive, where therealeasterbunny has linked) installed in my PC. I haven’t used it for long, and I remember it wasn’t exactly pleasant to the eye, anyway.

I would love to enter a comp like this. I’m not 100% sure I would find the time (too many simultaneous projects ^^’) but I would surely try!

Re: suffixes… Yeah, SAG had popped in my mind, but let’s face it, it just sounds too sad :wink:

I think ‘SCA’ might be cool. Sounds good, looks good. Has good connotations in what it sounds like (people think scars are cool.)

Haven’t thought on this topic super extensively yet, but that’s my best obvious idea to date.

People in the States might associate ‘SCA’ with the Society for Creative Anachronism. I know I do, to the point of giggling a little bit when I see SCA-brand toilet paper (what, is it made from leaves?). It’s probably not a problem for file extensions, though, because of the lowercase.

Hm, ok. How about SAF? (sounds reassuring)
SAA? (utilitarian)
SCT? (cute)

After ggogling for a while I’m getting to see what my troubles running Visionary exactly were. It seems it wasn’t actually related to the VB6 runtime, which is, as mentioned, included by default in Windows 7. Program will refuse to run claiming it needs some MSSTDFMT.DLL file, which doesn’t form part if this runtime, but is suppossed to be distributed with the application… but it isn’t!

Details here. As stated in that page, MSSTDFMT.DLL is meant to be distributed with your program.

My guess is the file would be automatically included if the application was properly compiled and packaged in an installer file instead of just distributing the .exe file and the Visual Basic sources, but that’s just a quick guess!

As an alternative, I could download and register manually that dll file, but I can’t find it as a separate download in any official Microsoft site, and I would prefer not to get it at some of the available third party dll repositories, which, call me paranoid, but I personally don’t trust.

Suggestions are wellcome! ^^’

I’ve had a quick rummage on my system here and on installation media for MSSTDFMT.DLL and it exists in:

Office 2003 with SP3 installation CD under \FILES\SYSTEM (118,784 bytes v6.00.8450)

VB6 installation CD under \OS\SYSTEM (118,784 bytes v6.00.8450)

C:\WINDOWS\system32 (119,808 bytes v6.01.9782)

In File, Properties, its description is: ‘Microsoft Standard Data Formating Object DLL’

From this, as I write, I am assuming it is also in the VB6SP6 service pack due to the file size differences — time passes — just checked and yes, it is in a sub package in VB6SP6 called MSSTDFMT.CAB and sure enough the DLL is 119808 bytes and v6.01.9782.

I didn’t know about this file requirement as I always have MS Office on my PCs I use so the issue would have been masked for me. Thanks for pointing this out.

I have always been one to prefer programs that do not install but just run (such as ‘FileZillas’ ZIP file download offered over the ‘Setup’ package download) but I will now offer both (and also pop in the additional DLL in the ZIP version).

I will package Visionary up tonight into a setup kit using the VB Package and Deploy Wizard to see what additional files it puts in. I am guessing like you that it will pop this file in. From this, I will pop it on my site for download.

In the mean time, if anyone wishes it, I have extracted the MSSTDFMT.CAB from Microsoft’s official VB6SP6 setup package and popped it on my website. The direct link is:

Simply download and use a zip extraction utility to get the DLL - it may just work by copying the DLL straight into the folder containing the Visionary EXE file - if not, it will need to go into your system 32 folder within your Windows folder and then register it by running


(Precede the dll filename with the path if you are not in a DOS box in the folder where the DLL is when executing the last command) - but as I say, I will get a setup kit done tonight also.

I also got a reply from Scott saying he’s good with our recent thoughts of having a ‘Scott Adams Format Text Adventure Comp’. He has no issues with it.

I did invite him along to enter a game himself but he’s a busy bunny at the moment (I guess as always for him) and he also needs to finish off another project he is working on called ‘The Inheritance’.

I think .SAF is nice, short, sweet, simple and, like comments above, sounds nice :slight_smile:

Unless anyone has any objections can we agree on .SAF (Scott Adams Format)?

.SACA would have been cool but am thinking back to people still running DOS 2.11 with the old FAT 8.3 filename/extension limitations? … mmmm… DOS 2…

Anyway …

I will publish more tonight on stuff as well as setting up some new topics for suggestions on stuff I will knock up soon on how we should progress.

Am thinking currently of three main things:

  1. Creating a Windows app from AdvPDA code to play SAF games (so will need ‘basic’ suggestions of how it should look / feel with basic options it should have.
  2. Rejigging (and renaming Visionary) to cater for multiple screen / font sizes as currently it is fixed at 1024x768 (which suited me back in the day but if everyone is using it (as I have just tried on my new 1920 monitor) it needs changing.
  3. Rig up some new topics to discuss the above as well as next years SAFTAC :slight_smile:

Yay! registering the dll from your cab file (anyone in the same case, remember to run the command line as an administrator to avoid more troubleshooting than needed!) has done the job. Thanks a lot! :smiley:

Cool, thanks for the report back. Glad it works!

Official setup kit now available at: :slight_smile:

Back soon after much thought on all things SAFTAC / software jigging etc …

By the way, the VB Package Wizard did include automatically:

MSSTDFMT.DLL !!! Aha — confirmed this was the missing bit needed !!!
SETUP.EXE !!! VB stuff
SETUP1.EXE !!! VB stuff
ST6UNST.EXE !!! VB unistall stuff
VB6 Runtime and OLE Automation !!! Extra bits which I thought everything was in
VB6STKIT.DLL !!! VB stuff
Visionary.EXE !!! The EXE :slight_smile:

Then I manually added the following into the package:


Thanks again for your feedback!