News: Podcast + Hitchhiker’s Guide Updates   10 comments

Image from Wikipedia.

I have a few bits of news to share:

1.) Would you like to listen to me talk about text adventures (and interactive fiction in general) for an hour and a half? A new episode of The Memory Machine Podcast just dropped, as hosted by Nathaniel Lockhart.

Link here

For this episode of the podcast, Nate has on Jason Dyer to talk about the wide and wonderful world of interactive fiction, from its nascent period with “game books” all the way up to present day interactive fiction competitions.

2.) There was an early prototype of Infocom’s follow-up to Hitchhiker’s Guide, The Restaurant at the End of the World, with work by Stu Gallery. It was a very early prototype without much available if you just compiled the code.

Adam Sommerfield has gone and made the game slightly more playable, taking some of the partial-code bits and filling them in:

Also partly coded was the restaurant itself (Milliways); referred to as the Pub (likely just a partial copy and paste from the first game). You can access this room by typing “pub” and pressing Enter, you will jump to the Pub but it is a one-way trip and you will need to restart to get back to the ship.

I want to stress that this remains 80% Stu Galleys original code, it’s just been connected up and i’ve added a more fleshed out ship as originally intended (based on available plot descriptions).

You can find a link to the demo here.

3.) Speaking of Hitchhiker’s, long-time readers may remember my write-up of the knock-off game Galactic Hitchhiker from 1980, written for the rather obscure UK101 system. The game holds the current record for first newly-written commercially published text adventure game in the UK.

Jim Gerrie later did a “fixed” port which is playable online, and smooths over some of the rough edges in terms of interaction.

However, if you’d like to play online but still want complete authenticity, Anthony Hope now has the version for you: Link here. He ported it to BBC Micro, which has the same machine language (6502) as the original machine, so managed to make it more or less a one-to-one conversion.

Posted April 27, 2022 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction, Video Games

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10 responses to “News: Podcast + Hitchhiker’s Guide Updates

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  1. Jason, Thanks for the mention of my G-Hitchhiker recode. I have a suggestion of a game to add to your list (if you haven’t already done so). “The High Mountains” (based on some British SciFi TV show) by Paul Braithwaite (1984)
    is supposed to be one of only a few two-player text adventure games from the early 8-bit era. Players take turns. One plays the side of the humans, the other the side of the alien invaders. Pretty strange idea really. I made a port to MC-10 (of course) from BASIC source from the Dick Smith VZ-200. Remember getting rid of lots of bugs, but I think there might be good versions out there for the Speccy. Anyway, just a thought.

    • While you’re here, I wanted to ask — there are a number of 1982 games that aren’t listed anywhere else other than on your page. Do you have details on where you found them? For example

      The Caverns in My Pocket/
      Des Cavernes dans le poquette
      by Charles Feydy
      (English translation Jim Gerrie)
      1982
      CAVERNES

      I can’t find mention of anywhere, and it is extremely early for a French game (I’ve got one from 81-82 I still need to play, and there’s Bilingual Adventure from 1979, but that’s it).

      • Jason,
        I’ve made some improvements to my text adventures page. Significantly, the online emulator now supports file load and save. So I’ve put CastAdv1 up in a new way that uses this function and made some fixes to Dr. Who Adventure and Dog Star. If you can let me know which of the games from 1982 besides CAVERNES that you are interested in, I can try to dig up more info from my notes. Gary and I are also working on converting some Italian adventures from the mid 80’s over on the CASA forum.
        http://faculty.cbu.ca/jgerrie/Home/jgames_TextAdventures.html

      • Terrific, thank you!

      • I just tested on DRWHO and had an issue — I’m using the SAVE button there below the emulator screen.

        Runtime Error
        Description: An application error occurred on the server. The current custom error settings for this application prevent the details of the application error from being viewed remotely (for security reasons). It could, however, be viewed by browsers running on the local server machine.

        Details: To enable the details of this specific error message to be viewable on remote machines, please create a tag within a “web.config” configuration file located in the root directory of the current web application. This tag should then have its “mode” attribute set to “Off”.

        Notes: The current error page you are seeing can be replaced by a custom error page by modifying the “defaultRedirect” attribute of the application’s configuration tag to point to a custom error page URL.

      • Sorry, I wasn’t clear about that. the Dr. Who Adventure doesn’t have a save game feature. So the new Javascript Mc-10 emulator won’t be of any use for that specific game. And none of the other MC-10 emulators has “save state” feature that I am aware of. There is a version of “Dr. Who Adventure” for the TRS-80 Model 1/3 out there somewhere (There’s a screen shot on CASA), but I worked from a scan for my version, I think.

  2. Thanks Strident for being more on top of things.

    Jason, not sure which other 1982 games you were wondering about. Perhaps “Basement and Beasties,” which was a from How-to-program book by Frank Da Costa, which I typed in from a scan. Might be the only working copy out there. Others are likely from magazine scans, and might also be unique. Just let me know which you’re interested in, and I’ll dig up where I scrounged the code. For Da Costa’s book here are some blog posts:
    https://jimgerrie.blogspot.com/search?q=Da+Costa

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