« Home | Finals iMix » | Bananaphone » | DWebb plays ISTUD and SMASGF (and some CC) in MN » | The big 2-1 » | Restroom Soteriology » | Restroom Sociology » | Reformed Baptist? » | Free Music » | What's for dinner? » | Spurgeon on Nature's Refreshment »

Thatched-Roof Cottages

This semester I've been writing a text-based computer game for my Arthurian Legend class. It's been quite a process, because I started out with no programming experience. After way too many hours, I have almost completed "Sir Galahad and the Quest for the Holy Grail: A Text-Based Adventure."

Let's have a look at a sample from the game:

You stand in the kitchen of Camelot. At the south end of the room, a large boar roasts on a spit over a fire enclosed by only a few stones on the floor. Streams of light pour through windows in the stone wall high above your head, landing on long table that's assumedly used for food preparation. The table is cluttered with plates, knives, and other various utensils.
At the north end of the room, a passage leads to the castle's armory. The great hall lies through the west passage.
Sitting on the table is a flagon.

>get flagon

>look at boar
A large boar, probably killed yesterday in the hunt. You look closely into his (mostly dried-up) eyes, trying to sympathize with his misfortune. However, the delicious smell of roasting pork prevents you from feeling TOO sorry for the thing.

>look at fire
As the flames heat the boar, juices drip into flames and sizzle.

>get boar
And how do you expect to that? It's a 150 lb boar, not a packet of peanuts.

>look at table
The table is a rough, wooden table strewn with various kitchen implements. Dirt, food, and dried blood and ale stain the table's surface and are ground into the nicks and cracks in the wood. The sanitation leaves something to be desired, in your opinion.

>get implements
You don't really want those. What are you going to do, use them as weapons? Besides the cook would kill you if he found you stealing his stuff.

Here's another sample (albeit a gorier one) from the game:

You follow the path to the east, and enter the hut.
Hermit's Hut.
You are in a small thatched-roof cottage. There are no windows, so it takes a few moments for your eyes to adjust. When they do, you notice that the hut is smaller than most of Camelot's bedrooms and there's no windows. The only real furniture in the room is a small table sitting in the center of the room, with a few books sitting on top of it. The floors are made of dirt and small pallet of hay sits in the corner, apparently serving as the hermit's bed. The whole place smells a bit like manure.
Out the door, to the west, lie the crossroads in front of Camelot.
You see a shovel here.
A very old man sits at the table in the middle of the room. You assume he's the hermit who owns the cottage.

>get shovel

>smite hermit with sword
With a quick blow, you strike down the hermit. He lays motionless on the ground. What have you done?!

>look at hermit
He's a bloody mess. He won't be healing knights any longer.

>dig dirt with shovel
You begin digging. Soon you unearth a small box of Cracker Jacks. Good job. You've slain a hermit and destroyed his cottage all for a box of Cracker Jacks.

>get box

>look at box
It's empty. There's not even a prize in it.

So those are some examples from the game. Yes, it takes quite a bit of imagination to enjoy, but it's been quite fun writing it.

If anyone is interested in playing it, let me know by leaving a comment or emailing me. I can post a link to download a TADS (the language its written in) interpreter and I can email you the game file when I get it completely polished within the next week.

Labels: ,

That's so great. I remember playing text-based games like that online when I was about 8. I actually convinced another kid that Ghostwriter (of the PBS children's show) lived in my computer). Good times.

I'd love to play when it's finished.

>throw baby

What exactly was Ghostwriter about? I was always intrigued about it, but I just never got around watching it. I was more of a "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" and "Square 1" sort of person myself. Top those off with a radio episode of everyone's favorite "Adventures in Odyssey," and you had a afternoon of wonderful, educational entertainment.

Ghostwriter was the BEST show. This group of kids went around solving mysteries (sans Scooby and the Mystery Machine). They had this friendly, animated ...circle-looking thing called Ghostwriter (or GW) that could go anywhere. GW couldn't talk or hear, but it could read and spell. It would help them solve the cases by finding key words and showing the kids where they were.

Man, I haven't thought about that show in a long time. It basically ruled. But then my little brother got scared by one of the episodes (the one with Gooey Gus - "You laughin' at me!?" - for all of you Ghostwriter fans), and my mom wouldn't let us watch it anymore.

Ghostwriter ruled, Carmen Sandiego was awesome, Bill Nye the Science Guy was my favorite... man. PBS had some awesome shows. What happened?

Apparently Jacob and I had nearly identical childhood afternoons. If it hadn't been for Mathnet, I might have started my lifelong hatred of mathematics that much sooner. Truth be told, my friend Emily and I still listen to Adventures in Odyssey when we're on long roadtrips.

So, Andrew, if the only computer/video games I have ever played in my life are Duckhunt and that one instance with Wolfenstein, can I play yours? Because I'd love to try.

Here's a few assorted facts based off the previous posts:

FACT: One of the kids from Ghostwriter was on a season of The Real World a year or so ago. He was the token gay guy.

FACT: My grandmother played Wolfenstein. Apparently, it was one of the only programs she could find that ran on her 286...and this was only two years ago. Once she was showing it to my brother and she ran out of ammo and said, "We're on the knife!" True story.

Lindsey, you need no prior gaming experience to play the game. As you can see from the post, it's all very basic commands. The real trick I suppose is guessing the bizarre way my mind works in order to figure out how to solve the puzzles in the game.

FACT: There is nothing wrong with still listening to Adventures in Odyssey.

FACT: I tried to start my own group of "Israelites" when I was in the fourth grade (if you don't know what the Israelites are, you need to listen to more Odyssey). We had a clubhouse underneath bushes at the local utilities place that no one from the outside could see. We never actually did any good deeds in bedsheets, though--we were just flippin' sweet in our clubhouse.

"We never actually did any good deeds in bedsheets, though--"

I don't even want this explained.

No, no, no, no, no!!!!!!

The Israelites ran around in bedsheets (that's a line from one of the episodes) and did good deeds around Odyssey, but they refused to have their identities known.

I hate it when I'm ambiguous.

I never listened to Adventures in Odyssey...I don't think I'd even heard of it until I went to LCS in 6th grade, and frankly, I don't understand the appeal.

Square 1 and Ghostwriter on the other hand...quality.

Did anyone ever see "Tomes and Talismans"? I'm not sure it was PBS, but it was a series that I've never forgotten.

If no one has seen it, I really can't explain it.

I found a preview for "Tomes and Talismans," AKA the most freaking outlandish way EVER to teach kids how to use the library:

Click here (Requires RealPlayer)

Jacob, I once was at a friend's house and she pulled out "Castles and Cauldrons" to which I immediately freaked out due to the dire warning given by Dr. Dobson himself prior to the episodes on "role-playing games." I also asked about the existence of the Q Document in my Dead Sea Scrolls class this semester and still get scared by "The Secret Room." Oh the great lessons to be learned from Adventures in Odyssey.

Bethany, I'm sad for the loss you don't realize you've had.

I loved the RPG episode! I remember listening to it in my room and having it give me the creeps.

As for the Q Document series: How I do is nothing great.

Was the Secret Room episode where they found a dead body from a several-decades-old unsolved murder mystery?

Besides, all of this doesn't even get close to the great love story that was Eugene's and Katrina's! I never heard an episode where they got married, though--did it ever happen? I know I heard episodes where they were engaged, but I'm not sure about anything else.

Also, I was a huge Timmy's Cabin fan.

Adventures in Odyssey = white-washed soap operas designed for Christian homeschoolers

no offense, or anything...

">throw baby"

and yes, anne, I appreciated that!

my parents didn't allow me to listen to 'adventures in odyssey.'

square one, though---now that's a piece of common grace. excellent show.

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Here's a logic problem for you.

Let's start by assigning the statement "Adventures in Odyssey = white-washed soap operas designed for Christian homeschoolers" the variable Q. Let's also assign "Adventures in Odyssey" the variable O.

Could you translate the following into all the logic symbols?

Since O = Undeniably Awesome
Therefore, Q = Ridiculous Load of Trash

Just curious...


Here's some exegesis for you.

My original claim: Adventures in Odyssey = white-washed soap operas designed for Christian homeschoolers.

"[In imitation of Adventures in Odyssey] We never actually did any good deeds in bedsheets, though--we were just flippin' sweet in our clubhouse."

White-washed, yet racy.

"Besides, all of this doesn't even get close to the great love story that was Eugene's and Katrina's! I never heard an episode where they got married, though--did it ever happen? I know I heard episodes where they were engaged, but I'm not sure about anything else."

This one doesn't even need explanation.

Thank you for proving my points.

I actually don't know any homeschoolers who listened to AIO. And I know a lot of homeschoolers. Maybe they were too busy with FFA.

Yes, that is The Secret Room! It was one of their very first episodes--"it was an inside job."

I'm trying to remember, but I think Eugene and Katrina did eventually get married, after a lot of drama. Timmy's Cabin was a classic, though the "Darkness Before Dawn" series has got to be my all-time favorite.

I'll have you know that it was Adventures in Odyssey that taught me the meaning of the word exegesis!!! Or maybe O taught me the meaning of "hermeneutic"--I can't really remember.

Although I wanted to be homeschooled at a point in my life, my parents refused. Besides, I don't think that there are any homeschooled characters (or even characters who attend a Christian school) in Odyssey.

By the way, is the whole bedsheets thing going to be another "serve them as ladies" comment that I'll never live down? It's fine if it is--I just appreciate fair warning.

P.S. - Tom Riley for mayor!


Actually love soap opera stuff consists of maybe 8-10% of all AIO's. Having no interest in the "mushy love stuff" until I was a lot older, AIO is like any book on tape: if it has a good plot and and engaging content, you'll be sucked in. AIO and the Harry Potter books on CD have revolutionized my roadtrips. YOU should try it.

Oh, I'm drawing a blank about "Darkness Before Dawn." Can you give me another hint or two? Don't tell me straight out--I want to see if I can guess.

My personal favorite is the one where Mr. Whitaker is a heroin addict. Or the town drunk. Oh wait, that was The "Andy Griffith Show."

They should have called it "Odyssey in Odyssey." Then maybe I would have listened. Cause...come on, two odysseys in one name? Or maybe even "Odysseus' Odyssey in Odyssey." Heck yes.

We named one of our dogs after Otis (the town drunk on the Andy Griffith Show who later became Whit), whom you so callously deride. I loved that dog, but he bit me so my parents had to put him to sleep. They told me the dog was on a farm. They lied. The truth came out five years later at a Thanksgiving dinner. I wasn't very thankful on that particular holiday.

But he was on a farm. A death farm.

Or rather he bought the farm.

Or became the (worm) farm.

Yes I am particularly callous today. I'm sorry.

On another note, we had a viscious rat named Moses that we put to sleep using exhaust fumes from the car. People always seem to get offended when I tell that story...

I at least wasn't offended--instead I just let out one of those loud embarrassing giggles in the middle of the computer lab.

Jacob, all I can give you as a hint for DBD is that it is a series--all the episodes are connected. And it has to do with the final return of a certain villain ...

Dr. Blackgard!!!!! (Blackard? I never knew how to spell his stupid name.)

Whit was in Chicago during this, wasn't he? Richard saves them, I think? Yes???

Whit was at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968? That explains a lot...

I know a lot of homeschoolers who listen to Adventures in Odyssey. I really don't get the appeal at all, but whatever.

As far as Christian subculture children indoctrination goes, I was more of a McGee & Me books kind of a kid.

I was a big fan of Frank Peretti's "Cooper Kids Adventures" series. "The Tombs of Anak," etc.

Mix adventure, biblical history, archaeology, a hefty dose of suspense and you get...well...The Cooper Kids Advenures.

An on unrelated note: What's this I hear about the Cookie Monster now saying, "Cookies are a sometimes food!" What the crap?!!

(OK now I'm just needlessly prolonging this thread.)

Yes, because apparently the Cookie Monster is promoting obesity. I think Anne posted something about this.

And Andrew, if you mix all those things together, you can also get the Buttercream Gang: the Hunt for Spanish Treasure.

Jacob, you're right! It was Dr. Blackgaard! Richard is involved too, and becomes a good guy. All this talk about AIO makes me want to go dig them out of a nearby box and listen ... REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT I'M PUT IN THE SAME CATAGORY AS HOMESCHOOLERS. AIO is officially awesome.

" Yes, because apparently the Cookie Monster is promoting obesity. I think Anne posted something about this."

Aha, I knew I had read it somewhere!

Andrew, I loved the Cooper Kids Adventure books! They were great. The Door in the Dragon's Throat seriously creeped the hell out of me though. I probably should not have been reading it in the wee hours of the night.

he he..."creeped the hell out of you." because. it. was. the. door. of. hell. um, yes.
that one kept me up at night.

(what was the frank peretti book w/ the six fingered lady? that was creepy, too.)

Wasn't that The Oath?

>smite priest with fists
>smite priest with vicious rhetoric
>bite priest

i'm not doing too well.

Post a Comment