Alien Jailbreak: a new Beeb text adventure (GAC)

discuss text & graphic adventures for Acorns. level 9, robico & epic led this field
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lurkio
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Alien Jailbreak: a new Beeb text adventure (GAC)

Postby lurkio » Mon May 26, 2014 3:23 pm

Alien Jailbreak by Hiatal Software is a text adventure game for the Beeb that was written in the 1980s with The Adventure Creator. It's a sci-fi caper set in the Stellafed universe. A disc image is attached below.

As far as I know, the game was never released in any form. In fact, it was probably never finished. (But please tell me if you know otherwise!) I recently found a copy on an old floppy disc and, although I've lost touch with the original author, I cheekily went and ported it to Graphic Adventure Creator, debugged it, completed it, and added some intro screens -- mainly so that I could amuse myself by writing silly programs in BASIC, but also because I realised I could now play around in GAC without having to come up with story- and puzzle-ideas of my own! (Lazy, I know.) :oops:

Alien Jailbreak isn't a very big game. (Mind you, it'd be even smaller if it weren't for that dratted maze, and if it weren't so "Nasty". (Look, it was the 80s... and anyway, I've included a full spoilery map in the zip file with the disc image.) Also, I think the game's short because it was originally intended to be Part 1 of a series -- ambitious!)

Nor is Alien Jailbreak the most ingenious or exciting text adventure in the world, but I thought that the original author's design was good enough to be worth finishing. The game is now complete and winnable. Please let me know if you try it and have any comments.

(Btw, grackle dumps were a great help when I started debugging the original Alien Jailbreak game data file. Thanks, tautology.)
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Re: Alien Jailbreak: a new Beeb text adventure (GAC)

Postby aerworuld » Mon May 26, 2014 3:43 pm

will have a look at this when i get a mo! the title of the game is intriguing in itself...

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Re: Alien Jailbreak: a new Beeb text adventure (GAC)

Postby lurkio » Mon May 26, 2014 4:18 pm

aerworuld wrote:will have a look at this when i get a mo! the title of the game is intriguing in itself...
Thanks, Stuart. TBH, the name might be the best thing about it..! :?

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Re: Alien Jailbreak: a new Beeb text adventure (GAC)

Postby Dave Footitt » Sat May 31, 2014 8:31 am

Had a quick go, looks pretty polished, nice job!

Died instantly, of course :lol:

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Re: Alien Jailbreak: a new Beeb text adventure (GAC)

Postby aerworuld » Sun Jun 01, 2014 6:56 am

lovely touches in this game! ive only just started exploring but couldnt resist putting this up; love it!

Alien_shot.jpg

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Re: Alien Jailbreak: a new Beeb text adventure (GAC)

Postby lurkio » Sun Jun 01, 2014 1:24 pm

aerworuld wrote:lovely touches in this game! ive only just started exploring but couldnt resist putting this up; love it! [plaque]

Thanks, Stu!

Well done on finding the plaque. Achievement unlocked!

Image

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Re: Alien Jailbreak: a new Beeb text adventure (GAC)

Postby lurkio » Sun Jun 01, 2014 1:30 pm

Dave Footitt wrote:Had a quick go, looks pretty polished, nice job!

Died instantly, of course :lol:

Thanks, Dave! Yes, I'm afraid it probably won't be the last time you'll die in Alien Jailbreak. :cry:

Still, achievement unlocked!

Image

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Re: Alien Jailbreak: a new Beeb text adventure (GAC)

Postby Dave Footitt » Mon Jun 02, 2014 8:45 pm

Finished it, and I was all set for dome 2 :lol:

Nice work.. Reminds me, I must dust off my ideas book and make an adventure with GAC.. What's it like to use?

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Re: Alien Jailbreak: a new Beeb text adventure (GAC)

Postby lurkio » Tue Jun 03, 2014 12:00 am

Dave Footitt wrote:Finished it

Congratulations, Dave!

    Image

Dave Footitt wrote:and I was all set for dome 2 :lol:

Ah, maybe one day... but that would require me to come up with ideas of my own, wouldn't it? That's the hitch!

Dave Footitt wrote:Nice work.. Reminds me, I must dust off my ideas book and make an adventure with GAC.. What's it like to use?

I came to the conclusion that GAC is pretty good. Some nice features, like adverbs, which are a definite advantage over The Quill, as is GAC's UI, which I found quite a bit easier to use (although I admit I've barely dabbled with The Quill). You do seem to start getting low-memory warnings all too soon, though, especially, I suspect, if you've written a lot of long messages -- although that's probably more a limitation of the Beeb than of GAC.

There are a couple of gotchas with GAC, like the order of evaluation of conditions, which I think is mentioned in the manual, and the weird quirk of Test Mode in the GAC editor, which the manual doesn't mention: if your game changes the light/dark setting, it'll play differently in Test Mode than it will in the exported executable, with the result that you might think that GAC's broken, though it actually isn't! That had me foxed for a while! (I was using the StairwayToHell disc image.)

I found grackle really useful for debugging, but maybe that was just because I wasn't starting from scratch.

Here's some interesting info on the internals of GAC (vs. The Quill vs. Adventurescape).

On the whole, GAC is really quite fun to use, which is why I guess so many GAC games were created and released for the Speccy. Typically, hardly any seem to have been released for the Beeb. (Yes, I'm still bitter.)

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Re: Alien Jailbreak: a new Beeb text adventure (GAC)

Postby Dave Footitt » Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:42 pm

lurkio wrote:Ah, maybe one day... but that would require me to come up with ideas of my own, wouldn't it? That's the hitch!

Ah, that's the easy bit, the hardest thing is seeing it all through!

GAC sounds decent. Actually I intended to write Calypso using it, and bought a copy off eBay so I could use the thing.

Originally I intended on having graphics with it, but when I saw the graphics editor on GAC I came to the conclusion I couldn't inflict that on anyone! So I looked at making an Infocom one with graphics, but found support for the graphics patchy at best. Ultimately I just ended up with a simple Infocom v5 adventure.

But I have more ideas, which I may try and implement on GAC just for fun :)

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Re: Alien Jailbreak: a new Beeb text adventure (GAC)

Postby lurkio » Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:01 pm

Dave Footitt wrote:when I saw the graphics editor on GAC I came to the conclusion I couldn't inflict that on anyone!

I had the same thought (about myself, not about you!). I'm a rubbish artist to begin with (not even good enough to play noughts and crosses), and the GAC graphics editor wouldn't solve that problem!

Dave Footitt wrote:But I have more ideas, which I may try and implement on GAC just for fun :)

You should definitely do that!

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Re: Alien Jailbreak: a new Beeb text adventure (GAC)

Postby Dave Footitt » Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:08 pm

lurkio wrote:You should definitely do that!

Haha, I've just loaded my old GAC disc, and found the first 3 locations of Calypso on it, ace!

But onto pastures new, I feel.. :-k

edit: I've just had a stab and got it all working, fairly frustrating compared to modern tools but might be something worth investigating.

adventure.png

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Re: Alien Jailbreak: a new Beeb text adventure (GAC)

Postby lurkio » Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:46 am

Dave Footitt wrote:But onto pastures new, I feel.. :-k

Intriguing!

Dave Footitt wrote:Image

"Ah, now this is a fine example of a Footitt, from the artist's late period, when he was beginning his experiments with pointilism."

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Re: Alien Jailbreak: a new Beeb text adventure (GAC)

Postby Dave Footitt » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:48 pm

lurkio wrote:"Ah, now this is a fine example of a Footitt, from the artist's late period, when he was beginning his experiments with pointilism."

Cheeky git, I'm only just getting going ;)


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