ROM Computer Magazine Archive ROM MAGAZINE ISSUE 1 — AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 1983 / PAGE 20

Adventure Games
What makes them Tick?
By Peter Ellison
    An adventure game is a game that may take you to outer space, back into time, or in search of a magical amulet. For an adventure game to be good it must have good imaginative characters, mysteries, and a goal. Without a goal the game becomes quite boring. If all your doing is going out and killing dragons and monsters, its not much of an adventure. The goal is a very important part of the game. Whether it be to find the Holy Grail or save the Princess, there has to be some purpose in spending your time in this imaginative world.

    In the first part of this three part series I'm going to try and give a basic outline on how to write a good adventure game in basic with machine language subroutines to speed up play. The first thing that must be done is the declaring of variables.
DIM NAME$(20),STRENGTH$(l8),DEX$(18)
    These string variables will be used throughout the running of the adventure to keep track of what is happening. Some people may like text adventures, but I feel the Atari's superb graphics and sound shouldn't be left out. That is why in this tutorial I will be including sound, graphics, joystick control, and keyboard input in the adventure that we construct. At the end of this three part tutorial you will have yourself an adventure game called 'BLACK KNIGHT'S CASTLE'.


    Find the Black Knight and kill him without being killed by one of the many dragons lurking inside the castle.
    Find treasure and take it to different blacksmiths to buy armour and weapons.
    Build life points and strength points by killing dragons or other monsters so that you can slay the Black Knight.

Black Knight

_____           _            _____
|   |          |E|           |   |
| 1 |__________|_|___________| 6 |
|   *  *    *       *        *   |
|__**  *    *   4   *  5     **__|
   |    *  3 *********          |
   |  2 *    *    *  ***********|
   |    *    *    *    *        |
   |**********    *    *        |
   |      *    8  *    *   10   |
   | 7    *       *    *        |
   |      *       * 9  *        |
   |      *  ******    *        |
   |**********    *    *********|
   |    *    *    *        *    |
   |    * 13 * 14 *        * 11 |
   | 12 *    *    *        *    |
   |    *    *    **************|
   |    ********  *             |
  __**  *      *  *           **__
|   *  *  16  *  *    17     *   |
|   *__*_________*__*________*   |
|15 |                        |18 |
|   |                        |   |
_____                        _____

    Below is a short explanation of each number in the castle.
1-Trading Post(Random-Armour or Weapons)
2-Treasure Room and from 1-5 monsters.
3-Sitting room with crude looking benches around the room. On the wall is different sizes of armour. 25% chance the armour may fit the adventurer.
4-The opening hallway with two guards that pace up and down the hallway. The guards may be friendly or enemies.(50% chance of either way)
5-Bedroom of the Black Knight. This room has a large bed in the center and on the walls are different types of crests from other warriors. There may be a young szuire inside with a magical sword.(75% chance. He will attack if in the room)
6-Trading Post (Random-Armour or Weapons)
7-Bathhouse. A large bath which is heated with wood takes up most of the room, From 1-5 Vampire bats will attack.
8-Dancing hall. This room features a platform where musicians play for the Black Knight and his guests. There is a 50% chance a thief will be in this room and another 50% chance he may either attack or befriend the player.
9-Banquet hall. This is where great feasts and meals are eaten. There is a 5% chance a meal is taking place and if one is taking place there will be twenty warriors eating their supper. If there isn't there will be three servants that will attack with nothing but their bare hands.
10-Kitchen. There will be a large stove with pots and pans hanging from the wall. The cook will be inside and will attack with a butcher knife.
11-This small room contains two wild boars that eat the scraps from the great feasts. These two swines will attack if they haven't eaten in a few days(30% chance).
12-Sleeping Quarters for Black Knight's savage apprentices. There will be from 1-5 apprentices either resting or sleeping. They will be suprised.
13-Garnes Room. This room is designated to the apprentices for their entertainment. There are dart boards over the walls. A 40% chance there will be from 1-5 apprentices playing darts. The apprentices if in the room will attack with darts, The apprentices if in the room will attack by hurtling darts at the player.
14-Bar. This room is just off the games room that is only seperated by a curtain. There is a 35% chance 1-8 apprentices will be having some ale. They will attack with daggers.
15-Trading Post (Random-Armour or Weapons)
16-Washing facilities and bathroom. This has a few wash basins and some outhouses against the wall. There will be from 1-4 apprentices that will attack when door open.
17-Storage Room. This room contains old weapons, armour, sheets, towels, blankets and alot of other, miscellaneous equipment. Only random monsters inside.
18-Trading Post(Random-Armour or Weapons)
    Above was just a brief explanation of what the inside of the castle is like. It is best when making an adventure game to have some type of outline made up before you just start programming. Without an outline the adventure program can become very mixed up.
    You probably realized that the Black Knight wasn't in any of the rooms. That is so the game won't become boring in that you always know in which room the Black Knight is located. The way the Black Knight is found, is the longer that you're in the castle the higher the percentage increases in meeting the Black Knight. This is done by using the variable TIME as a counter. Even if you find the Black Knight you may escape him but you will meet up with him again.
    In the next issue the castle will be constructed in the the program and also the movement of the player. And in the final installment will be the combat tables, monsters and the rest of the program. Until next issue, Happy adventuring!