Adventure Construction Set

Chris H.'s Ultima / ACS-style game development system!

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Ice Cream Jonsey
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Adventure Construction Set

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:43 am

This was a great game. Er, tool. We only got four colors on the PC though. That sucked just as much as you suspect it would suck.

I heard rumors that the Amiga version had like 32 colors. That's more than enough for any thing ACS could create. It made nice little roguelikes, kind of. The only problem was that you could ruin all your work by playing on your development disk (at least for the PC).

Man, I miss that game. Err, tool.

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Post by saintlupus » Wed Mar 21, 2007 5:57 am

I remember spending hours playing through the Ali Baba game that was done by the same people. It was probably even made with the ACS program.

Sort of like Wasteland, an entire universe in top-down view with four bad colors.

--Matt

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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Thu Mar 22, 2007 8:37 pm

saintlupus wrote:I remember spending hours playing through the Ali Baba game that was done by the same people. It was probably even made with the ACS program.

Sort of like Wasteland, an entire universe in top-down view with four bad colors.

--Matt
You're the only one that understands me. Nobody else around here does. Why can't we get some Adventure Construction Set lurkers to chime in? Guys who go from website to website, eyeing key conversations that *might* take a left turn into ACS territory. Where are THOSE guys? I'm going to put out an ad on alt.bbs.ads for Adventure Construction Set fans.
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Post by bruce » Fri Mar 23, 2007 5:30 pm

Ice Cream Jonsey wrote:You're the only one that understands me. Nobody else around here does. Why can't we get some Adventure Construction Set lurkers to chime in?
Oh, fuck you.

Yes, I own ACS. I even fucking *bought* it.

Yes, I made some games with it.

Yes, it was pretty goddamn cool.

Yes, I am fighting the urge to bust it out on the Apple II even now.

Bruce

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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Sun Mar 25, 2007 3:53 am

bruce wrote:Yes, I own ACS. I even fucking *bought* it.
Whoa, I bought it! Is that a shot? What is that based on? I buy software, d00der!

Yes, I made some games with it. Yes, it was pretty goddamn cool. Yes, I am fighting the urge to bust it out on the Apple II even now.
I would actually drop everything and play one of your ACS games if it is somehow technologically possible.

Actually, if not for Gerrit sending over pictures for the next text game, I'd probably pause everything for a week and get an ACS game going of my very own. GOD that thing was awesome. It is very difficult to not want to pick the thing up when I see that screenshot. It just looks so.... deliciously gamey....
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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Sun Mar 25, 2007 3:55 am

Dosbox ACS update!
The game seems to run flawlessly, and even too fast (had to reduce my CPU cycles to 250). However, it is unplayable on a machine that does not have a physical floppy (i.e. a laptop). The game needs the user to swap disks and there is not (to my knowledge) a mechanism in DOSBOX to do this with a mounted directory. Thus, since you can't create "adventure disks", you can't play the game.
Hey yeah? Cos I have a floppy disk right here, a five and a quarter, that I have been looking to install on my main gaming PC for a while now. Hmm. Hmm!
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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Sun Mar 25, 2007 3:58 am

And, of course, there exists the possibility that I should just get the Amiga version running and get access to 32 colors.
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Post by AArdvark » Sun Mar 25, 2007 1:08 pm

installing a 5-1/4 floppy into a modern PC is akin to putting wooden wagon wheels on your Subaru, is it not?

If there is no other earthly way to make the thing go then go for it. Please post a picture so I can remember what a floppy drive looks like.


THE
WHAZZAT DING?
AARDVARK

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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Sun Mar 25, 2007 3:27 pm

Yeah, I think I am going to go the Amiga emulator route instead, then. Although doing some Tass Times on the 5.25" drive would be tone.
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Post by bruce » Sun Mar 25, 2007 9:00 pm

Ice Cream Jonsey wrote:
bruce wrote:Yes, I own ACS. I even fucking *bought* it.
Whoa, I bought it! Is that a shot? What is that based on? I buy software, d00der!
No.

Just that there wasn't much software I *bought* when I was 13 or 14. But ACS and some of the Infocom games, I did.

Bruce

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Post by saintlupus » Mon Mar 26, 2007 8:56 am

AArdvark wrote:installing a 5-1/4 floppy into a modern PC is akin to putting wooden wagon wheels on your Subaru, is it not?
Atarax has one. He's the only person I know with a "B:" drive on his Windows box. I'm pretty sure that's why he keeps it around.

--Matt

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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Wed Mar 28, 2007 11:46 pm

BREAKING NEWS!

o I found the WinUAE disc for Adventure Construction Set.

o I have a kick.rom that Roody gave me years ago.

o I found out that you can make an infinite number of blank disks through WinUAE.

o I just formatted a blank disk for the Amiga (emulated!) version of Adventure Construction Set. I picked the "Science Fiction" motif.

I know this means I might even post less around here than normal, but this is huge. This is big. This is at least thirty minutes of killer gaming coming directly towards you all!
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ags guy

Post by ags guy » Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:33 am

you guys what bout ags?

Nihil Vulture

Ummmm, ACK!

Post by Nihil Vulture » Sat Mar 31, 2007 5:02 pm

ACS WAS the coolest kid n the block... Until I came across a better Ultima clone in the spirit of ACS.... Adventure Creation Kit by Chris Hopkins... Google the words Alpha Omega Systems, and if you find the QBasuck ran company website, click on it, and click on MS-DOS files... You will see the ACK if you scroll down some, and the registration code that came with it... Is it compatible with WinXP? Damn sure is! It's compadible down to the core! But no music or sound.... which is still oki with me! It's got great scripting nad 16bit graphics! Just like Ultima and ACS!

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Re: Ummmm, ACK!

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Sun Apr 01, 2007 4:41 am

Nihil Vulture wrote:ACS WAS the coolest kid n the block... Until I came across a better Ultima clone in the spirit of ACS.... Adventure Creation Kit by Chris Hopkins... Google the words Alpha Omega Systems, and if you find the QBasuck ran company website, click on it, and click on MS-DOS files... You will see the ACK if you scroll down some, and the registration code that came with it... Is it compatible with WinXP? Damn sure is! It's compadible down to the core! But no music or sound.... which is still oki with me! It's got great scripting nad 16bit graphics! Just like Ultima and ACS!
Nihil, thank you. This is excellent information. I had never heard of this game. I recall there being something called "Adventure Master" for the PC that was a competitor to Adventure Construction Set, but AM was basically just a text game editor that let you drop a couple giant, full-screen pictures into your game. Not very impressive. ACK seems like exactly the sort of thing I am looking for here. You rock!
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Nihil Vulture

Yup yup... ACK is pretty damn cool

Post by Nihil Vulture » Sun Apr 01, 2007 4:33 pm

If you cannot seem to get into the ACK website, I will try to use Z-Share and petition to Ambrosine (haven't heard them in months, for Ambrosine does a whole Resources site on Game Making: http://www.ambrosine.com/) to bring it on their webserver, or they can enter my future Z-Share site. Not only am I making a RPG Adventure Game from ACK, I am also trying to write a good Interactive Fiction game from ALAN. Which more powerful then Adventure Game Toolkit 1.7...

Check yall later
NV

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Post by Roody_Yogurt » Mon Apr 09, 2007 7:47 pm

Unfortunately, I have no first hand experience with this ACS thing. We had Garry Kitchen's Gamemaker and never really got farther than designing our moving sprites.

Just wanted to say about that DOSbox comment up there, though, that I believe there's a hot key for switching between mounted images. Not sure if it would work with however ACS is setup; I haven't yet had the opportunity to try the feature myself.

Also, way to go me with that kick.rom. Good things coming out of stuff you don't remember doing is always the best.

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Re: Yup yup... ACK is pretty damn cool

Post by jjsonick » Tue Apr 10, 2007 3:04 pm

Nihil Vulture wrote:If you cannot seem to get into the ACK website, I will try to use Z-Share and petition to Ambrosine (haven't heard them in months, for Ambrosine does a whole Resources site on Game Making: http://www.ambrosine.com/) to bring it on their webserver, or they can enter my future Z-Share site.
I've never posted in this forum before, but now that I see all this ACS love I must chime in. Yes, I still think ACS was one of the best programs ever created. I even transferred some of my woefully incomplete adventures from Apple II disks to disk image files to play them with AppleWin several years back (that was when I still had a working Apple IIe to transfer from - not my original teenage Apple II, but a nice Goodwill find). Every once in a while I scour the web for any information on what Stuart Smith did after ACS (or even info about his Electronic Arts heyday), always to no avail.

I can also attest to the coolness of ACK, which truly is the (semi) modern descendant of ACS. It does run very nicely in XP with no DOSBox needs as mentioned, though without sound (don't know if it runs as well in Vista). But I even got mp3s to play in game by using ACK's ability to run external MS-DOS programs via its rudimentary but useful scripting language. At one point I considered putting up a page about ACK (and tricks like playing mp3s with it) to see if other people would be interested in using/resurrecting it. At the very least, I can upload a copy you folks can download -- I can do that tonight.

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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Tue Apr 10, 2007 8:44 pm

jjsonick, you are the freaking man. It is nice to have you here, and I hope you enjoy your stay.

This is the only piece of information I can find on what became of Stuart Smith:
In the late 1980s Smith elected to provide more stability for his family and took a position as a programmer outside the industy.
And that's too bad. Billions of lines of software gets written in this country every day for applications other than games and the work requires someone putting in 9-5 hours so they can raise their children. It's preposterous to think that computer games are unique, in this regard. The people that manage these products, in large, haven't been competent enough to join the rest of the software engineering world and according to that snippet of text ("the late 1980s") it's been that way for twenty years. That's horrible. Well, it's horrible because Smith had a lot of talent and could have done a lot of great things in the field of entertainment in that time. He definitely had a gift.
At one point I considered putting up a page about ACK (and tricks like playing mp3s with it) to see if other people would be interested in using/resurrecting it.
Something like that would be very cool -- I'm in favor of anything to promite these little systems!
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Post by jjsonick » Tue Apr 10, 2007 10:07 pm

Ice Cream Jonsey wrote:jjsonick, you are the freaking man. It is nice to have you here, and I hope you enjoy your stay.
Thank you, Ice Cream Jonsey. :smile:

I've discovered ACK's still available on this page (here's the direct download and the registration code). Dig in and enjoy!
This is the only piece of information I can find on what became of Stuart Smith....That's horrible. Well, it's horrible because Smith had a lot of talent and could have done a lot of great things in the field of entertainment in that time. He definitely had a gift.
Yeah, I totally agree, he had major skills and imagination and could've continued producing great things in the game world if he'd been able to stay.
At one point I considered putting up a page about ACK (and tricks like playing mp3s with it) to see if other people would be interested in using/resurrecting it.
Something like that would be very cool -- I'm in favor of anything to promite these little systems!


OK, the ACS/ACK enthusiasm here has convinced me to do it. I'll put something up this weekend (I'm lazy so I might use iWeb to make it -- I'm on a Mac now, but using Boot Camp and/or DOSBox for non-IF gaming goodness). I'd be glad to host any games people create with ACK as well.

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