What is the best C64 BASIC base to use?

Hi all,
I’m trying to develop a text adventure in Commodore 64 BASIC. Is there a good base engine I could use? I already tried How to Create Adventure Games (Christopher Lampton, 1986) and ran into a parser bug where ‘GO’ was nonfunctional.


I also like usborne text adventure. The one with the knight fighting a dragon.


Yeah. He means this one:



Hope this not is too off topic: I guess most BASIC engines could be good enough if you just understand the basics. Then you can adjust it to your needs.
Some things to consider:

  1. Is speed important? If yes, consider compiling the BASIC code (Dorothy Millard did that with her BASIC games and they ran very fast) - or tell the player to set their emulator to warp speed (VICE emulator), which increases even more if they disable “sound playback”. However, you should apply:
    POKE 650,127 to disable repeating keys, otherwise it will be unplayable at such emulator speeds.
  2. Is RAM an issue? If so, consider putting long chunks of text on the disk image (e.g. location descriptions) so you don’t have it in RAM. However, this will also slow down the game so an emulator may be required for decent speed.
  3. You can extend to more than two words, at least for special verbs such as PUT TIE IN BOX etc. Will also give a slower parser.

There’s no shortage of “engines” in the ones published in books and magazine articles at the time; such as the Pete Gerrard & Usborne books; such as Adventures on the C64, Castles & Kingdoms, etc.

I guess it depends what features you’re looking for? And, I guess, what the aim of the project is… e.g. is coding and adapting the game engine important or are you just looking for an editable framework that doesn’t involve other changes?

(This is a list of C64 text adventures written in BASIC, many came from books or magazine type-ins at the time and could be fairly easily adapted for your own purposes. http://solutionarchive.com/list/platform%2C1/system%2C1/ )

A lot of the “new” C64 text adventures that are produced these days are written in machine code-powered systems like the Quill, DAAD, PunyInform etc. but I can certainly understand the attracting of doing things in BASIC. As Denk says, compiling the game once it’s finished would help speed things up.