A reminder of the days when you wrote your own games

Creating Adventures on your Commodore 64 - Clive Gifford, Robert Young

This is a pretty good book as it not only goes through a number of adventure games, it also has some other easy games to type in, including a graphical arcade game where you get to shoot aliens. The authors also break up the program with text explaining what the various parts of the programs do, which means that not only are you typing out the game, you are getting an idea of what the sections of code are instructing the computer. As such it is one of those great books that help you learn how to program.

Anyway, why is it that there seems to be a lot of books dedicated to writing adventure games and not arcade games? Well, it is probably because adventure games are one of the easiest types of games to write because they each have a basic structure that means that once you are familiar with that structure you can then produce similar games, or even work on the structure further to make the next game you write better. With other games you generally have to start off with a blank slate and work through until you have completed it, and then it is difficult for you to use that structure as a basis for another game (though it can be done, which is why you have Doom, Doom II, Doom III etc).

Basically an adventure game, these days referred to as Interactive Fiction, is a text based game which gives you a description of where you are and the items in that location. You then instruct the computer, usually with two word verb - noun sentences, though more advanced games enable you to use full sentences (and I did end up working out how to use full sentences when programming adventure games), to interact with the virtual word.

Basically an adventure game looks like this:

The Count Screen Shot

Later adventure games had a graphical representation of your location, such as this:

Colossal Adventure Screen Shot

However as computing power developed the need for text became less and adventure games thus began to look like this:

Maniac Mansion Screen Shot

These days though, as computing power has vastly exceeded that of the 80s and 90s the good old text adventure game went the way of the horse and cart, and games these days look like this:

Assassins Creed Screen Shot

or this:

Neverwinter Nights Screen Shot

Games these days, such as Neverwinter Nights pictured above (I haven't played Assassins Creed, so I can't say anything about it) have taken the place of the old adventure game, and have become a mix of the old CRPG (Computer Roleplaying Game) and adventure game in that we find elements of both games in them. I noticed this when I was going through my Neverwinter Nights phase, namely because of the inbuilt construction kit, that you could actually do things with the modern CRPG that was in the past limited to the adventure game and the old CRPG was simply wondering through a dungeon killing creatures and collecting treasures. However, as for me, I still look back on the early days of the Commodore 64 with fondness.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/767777383