Adventure Construction Set

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

Moderators: Ice Cream Jonsey, Chris H

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foody
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Post by foody » Tue Dec 11, 2007 2:43 pm

Why can't we make ANOTHER Adventure construction set , but it will be Adventure Construction Set 3 using Windows GUI interface!!? it will have more features, blah blah blah! Oh that would rule..if only!
I WANT ULTIMA 7 OR ULTMIA 6 CONSTRUCTION SET! I WILL DO ANYTHING! PAY ANYTHING! GIVE ANYTHING !

Chris H.

ACK

Post by Chris H. » Tue Dec 11, 2007 9:51 pm

Yes, ACK is not ACS, but it's similar in concept -- similar enough that if you're familiar with ACS concepts (spaces, obstacles, custom spaces, etc.) you'll know your way pretty well around ACK.

Imagine if you were to cross ACS and Ultima V, and you have a good idea of what ACK is.

It's not new software -- it was written back in the early 90's.
The version that's been floating around for the last 10 years or so is 2.2.

A new version, 2.3, will be released any day now; I'm doing a small update to it to fix a few bugs and improve the sound support. It's still absolutely a DOS program, though, and DOSBox is highly, highly recommended (and in fact is required for sound to work.)

Chris H.

a modern ACS

Post by Chris H. » Tue Dec 11, 2007 10:01 pm

foody: Why can't we make ANOTHER Adventure construction set , but it will be Adventure Construction Set 3 using Windows GUI interface!!? it will have more features, blah blah blah!

Neverwinter Nights? :)

jjsonick
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Post by jjsonick » Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:10 am

ACK site is now updated with the new 2.3 release!
http://www.mozomedia.com/ack/download.html

Tons of thanks to Chris!

I also added a link to Dan's Adventure Construction Set website on the main ACK page.

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Ice Cream Jonsey
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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Wed Dec 12, 2007 10:18 pm

Hey, congrats on the new version, Chris!
the dark and gritty...Ice Cream Jonsey!

Jack Straw
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Post by Jack Straw » Thu Dec 13, 2007 10:55 am

i miss chris :(

Chris H.

Ack 2.4

Post by Chris H. » Sat Dec 15, 2007 6:40 pm

Hi everyone,

For those of you who are following the recent resurrection of ACK, I'm working on a v2.4 that adds the ability to run different editing modules simultaneously in separate windows.

This should make game editing much easier. Currently, if you are at the map editor and realize you needed a new terrain type, you have to exit the map editor, open the graphic tile editor, make a graphic tile, exit that, open the object editor, make a new type of object for it, exit that, and go back to the map editor. With 2.4 you'll be able to run all three editors in different windows.

Chris H.

ACK v2.4 is up

Post by Chris H. » Wed Dec 26, 2007 2:25 am

Hi all,

Adventure Creation Kit v2.4 is done! It's still a DOS program, but the ability to run multiple editor modules at once make it the closest thing to a Windows version of ACS that I know of. Documentation has also been rewritten, expanded, etc.

It doesn't strictly 'require' DosBox but it's highly, highly recommended for best results.

And if not mentioned already: it's free. :)

Enjoy!

http://home.san.rr.com/divingpictures/ACK.zip

jjsonick
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Post by jjsonick » Wed Dec 26, 2007 10:40 pm

ACK site updated, too. The manual is really thorough now, so take a look if you've been intrigued but haven't downloaded before.

Guest

Post by Guest » Thu Dec 27, 2007 11:33 am

Is there a specific why RPG Maker is being discarded in favor of the Adventure Construction Set?

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Ice Cream Jonsey
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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Thu Dec 27, 2007 1:43 pm

RPG Maker seems like a perfectly fine program, but it is (last I checked) not freeware, and there seems to be more of an investment required on the part of the developer to make games in that system.

(Don't get me wrong - all the games I have played in that system look rgreat.)

Plus, there's definitely a nostalgia thing going on with ACK. I imagine many of us spent a lot of time with Adventure Construction Set adventures, and re-creating that feeling has its upside.
the dark and gritty...Ice Cream Jonsey!

jjsonick
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Post by jjsonick » Thu Dec 27, 2007 5:15 pm

Anonymous wrote:Is there a specific why RPG Maker is being discarded in favor of the Adventure Construction Set?
Yeah, I think the PC RPG Maker series is great, and will probably buy RMVX when its English version comes out in Feb, but Robb's point about time investment is true - when I mess with one of the RPG Makers, I always get the urge to replace all the graphics with equally high-quality but custom stuff, which is not practical outside of forming a team or having the free time of the unemployed. The appeal of ACK is ACS/Ultima nostalgia + ease of re-doing everything custom.

Chris H
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Batch file for running the PC version of ACS

Post by Chris H » Fri Feb 08, 2008 1:26 am

Hi all,

I had a need to run the PC version of ACS (in DosBox, of course) and found it to be a bit tricky, given that ACS is expecting to run off floppy and have you change disks. However, I found a reasonably simple way to trick it into working, and thought I'd share it here.

Create this batch file, make sure to customize the 3rd and 4th lines to match where you want to keep your copy of ACS and your ACS games (the latter being an empty folder you create somewhere)

Code: Select all

@echo off
set /p gamedisk=Enter a label for your game disk:
set acsprogram="c:\dosgames\acs"
set acsgames="c:\dosgames\acsgames"
:start
cls
if exist x:\ subst x: /d
subst x: %acsprogram%
echo ACS program disk is now in the X: drive.
subst
pause
cls
subst x: /d
if not exist %acsgames%\%gamedisk% md %acsgames%\%gamedisk%
subst x: %acsgames%\%gamedisk%
echo ACS game disk %gamedisk% is now in the X: drive.
subst
pause
goto start
Then, run that batch file (from Windows) before you run DosBox. It will create a fake X: drive, prompt you for a label for the game disk you'll be making (for example, "rivers") and then mount the ACS disk in the X: drive.

Now, load DosBox, and do "mount a x:\" -- now DosBox will see your fake X-drive as a fake floppy. Go to A: and load ACS as you normally would.

Whenever ACS tells you to switch between the program disk and your game disk, just switch over to the batch file (still running) and press a key.

This is a bit crude, and someone will no doubt improve on it, but I was able to play ACS just fine this way. :)

Oldschoolgamer

Post by Oldschoolgamer » Mon Sep 01, 2008 2:52 am

Hi,

I was able to get adventure construction set to work without any sort of drive mounting or emulation tricks. I remembered that back when I used to play it, the game would store the adventure file as "adven.hrd". I remember because we used to copy and rename this file back and forth to allow for multiple adventures.

It seems that when you try to create a new adventure disk, the game looks for a floppy drive. Without some sort of emulation (or an actual physical device) it doesnt work. I have discovered however that if there is a pre-existing file in the game directory it will use that.

Hence I was able to get it to work very simply. All I did was to create a blank text file in the same directory as the game and rename it to "adven.hrd" and then I was able to create a game disk normally.

If you try to construct or play before creating the game disk it will tell you that this is not an ACS adventure disk (Obviously because its a blank file you just created), but the existance of the file gives the game something to point to and allows the creation of the game disk.

After that it should just work. I hope this helps you all to get it working as easily as I did.

SaxxonPike

Post by SaxxonPike » Tue Sep 30, 2008 2:12 pm

I've been trying to break open the internals of the ACS adventure file format. I like doing this just for something I enjoy doing on free time - and the old formats tend to be a lot more intricate. This is no exception!

My main goal is to write an editor for Windows that operates exactly like the game, and even offers the option to import old worlds. Working on the import feature first has taught me a lot about how the game works on the inside.

It's not a serious project, rather just one for the love of the nostalgia surrounding the game. :) Most of it is finished, but there are a few odd quirks...

jjsonick
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Post by jjsonick » Thu Oct 02, 2008 8:26 pm

Interesting, SaxxonPike! Let us know how that goes.

Chris H
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Location: California, USA

Post by Chris H » Thu Oct 02, 2008 8:51 pm

This is very cool! I'd be very interested to hear how the data is structured for ACS, if you'd care to share any details?

8bitweapon

ACS

Post by 8bitweapon » Mon Oct 20, 2008 2:39 pm

WOw!

Others like me! Perhaps I'll dust off my ACS and make my adventure I've been dreaming up for 10 years. I wanna get the Amiga version to play the ken st andre game!

Hi everybody! Im actually friends with Dave Warhol who did the music for the c64 version. He is the whole reason I do music in gen. :)

-Seth
www.8bitweapon.com

Myrmidon

it is totally possible to play it on pc.

Post by Myrmidon » Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:34 pm

Ice Cream Jonsey wrote: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.
You totally can. I downloaded the hoxsc64 emulator and it has ran perfectly on my laptop. I have been playing about a week now with no issues. If you download the.d64 rom files for acs you'll be playing just as you did in 1985!

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!

Chris H
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Location: California, USA

Post by Chris H » Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:12 am

SaxxonPike wrote:I've been trying to break open the internals of the ACS adventure file format. ...
Hey SaxxonPike, I don't know if you're still lurking here, but have you made any progress with this? I'm thinking about trying to port the ACS game "Rivers of Light" to ACK, and being able to see exports of the data would of course help greatly. :)

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