Steve W. Lucas games

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Strident
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Steve W. Lucas games

#1 Post by Strident » Thu Dec 10, 2020 12:04 pm

I've just randomly disappeared down the Steve Lucas rabbit hole... There seems to be a lot of similarities between his games on different platforms which aren't currently noted in the database...

For examples...

Pharoah's Curse
http://solutionarchive.com/game/id%2C21 ... Curse.html
and
The Pyramid
http://solutionarchive.com/game/id%2C49 ... C+The.html
and
The Golden Ikon of Ramisis
http://solutionarchive.com/game/id%2C71 ... misis.html

...appear the same game on different platforms, with minor changes to the plot etc. The solutions match up exactly.

It seems likely, given the "Typed in by David Antrobus" on the C64 version, that the C64 version is an (unofficial?) port of the original BBC type-in. Or, like some of Steve's other games (e.g. Buttons/Cinderella) perhaps the listing ended up being published in a Commodore magazine that we don't yet have the reference for?

Probably need these to be combined into a single entry? Or perhaps just link between the games if that's going to be less confusing?

Other almost identical games, going on the solutions...

The Curse of Borgan Castle
http://solutionarchive.com/game/id%2C39 ... C+The.html
and
The Castle of Desolation
http://solutionarchive.com/game/id%2C71 ... C+The.html

These games also seem to share a lot of the same DNA and I'll probably add notes to cross-reference them on their entries...

Jack and the Beanstalk
http://solutionarchive.com/game/id%2C71 ... stalk.html
and
A Fairy Tale Adventure
http://solutionarchive.com/game/id%2C53 ... %2C+A.html

The Treasure of Middle Earth
http://solutionarchive.com/game/id%2C71 ... C+The.html
and
The Forest of Evil
http://solutionarchive.com/game/id%2C49 ... C+The.html

Might possibly be the same/similar...

Red Alert
http://solutionarchive.com/game/id%2C82 ... Alert.html
and
Passport to Death
http://solutionarchive.com/game/id%2C20 ... Death.html

Already linked...

Journey of a Space Traveller
http://solutionarchive.com/game/id%2C70 ... eller.html
and
A Visitor from Space
http://solutionarchive.com/game/id%2C13 ... %2C+A.html

I think there may be quite a few more! My head started going a little fuzzy looking at them, so I will return to it at some point! I think Garry has played a lot of these so he might find them easier to spot.

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Garry
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Re: Steve W. Lucas games

#2 Post by Garry » Thu Dec 10, 2020 1:39 pm

Yes, you're right. I have played a lot of Steve Lucas games and I have more info to contribute when time permits. The trouble with Steve Lucas games (apart from the fact that they're always buggy) is that even though they may appear to be the same based on the initial screen grab, there are sometimes differences in the map, the room descriptions, the objects and even the solution. They are typically subtle differences, but differences just the same. The magazines that they were published in seemed to write their own intro and these are often considerably different, hence the description provided in the database for (say) an Oric game may be completely different to the BBC game.

You really need to play the games through to determine if they're the same. You can't really judge it based on the title alone. This sounds like a project that I must return to in the new year.

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Strident
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Re: Steve W. Lucas games

#3 Post by Strident » Thu Dec 10, 2020 2:25 pm

Garry wrote:
Thu Dec 10, 2020 1:39 pm
You really need to play the games through to determine if they're the same. You can't really judge it based on the title alone. This sounds like a project that I must return to in the new year.
Some of the solutions are identical, apart from one or two changes in names.

Can't fault the guy for getting good value out of his designs.

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Strident
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Re: Steve W. Lucas games

#4 Post by Strident » Thu Dec 10, 2020 2:39 pm

Example...
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Garry
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Re: Steve W. Lucas games

#5 Post by Garry » Fri Dec 11, 2020 2:21 am

Yep, that's definitely the same. When merging them, the primary source should be the first one that was published.

Note that there is also a C64 game called 'The Pyramid'. I was never able to find the source of that one. Now that we can see the three solutions, it looks like the C64 version is an unofficial port of the same game. This presumption is reinforced by the extra credits on the title screen.

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Garry
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Re: Steve W. Lucas games

#6 Post by Garry » Fri Dec 11, 2020 2:28 am

When I embarked on the collection of type-in adventures from books and magazines, it quickly became evident that Steve Lucas was the most prolific author in the English-speaking adventure community. He did the community a great service in the early days. It's just a pity that his parser and his testing weren't more rigorous. He wrote adventures for numerous magazines targetting numerous platforms.

I'm still looking for his books, in case anyone has them.
Last edited by Garry on Sun Jan 24, 2021 8:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Strident
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Re: Steve W. Lucas games

#7 Post by Strident » Sun Jan 24, 2021 12:41 am

I see that Alex has found another version of "Pharaoh's Curse", this time for the MSX...
http://solutionarchive.com/game/id%2C9019/Pyramid.html

It's very similar to the C64 version, with the minor changes such as the same plaque/scroll swap.

The usual procedure would be to combine all these different versions into one entry, with detailed clarification in the notes section.

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Garry
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Re: Steve W. Lucas games

#8 Post by Garry » Sun Jan 24, 2021 9:18 am

I have the Electric Adventures 'Pyramid' credited to Tony Cruise. It's quite likely that he ported one of the other Steve Lucas versions and released it, possibly commercially.

I have another Electric Dreams game called 'Escape from Planet Beta' (not in the CASA database), also credited to Tony Cruise. This one looks like a port of the Steve Lucas game 'Escape from Alpha Centuri'. I haven't played either of these games, so couldn't say so for sure.

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Re: Steve W. Lucas games

#9 Post by Strident » Sun Jan 24, 2021 11:13 am

Ah yes, the code for both are on Tony's website...

https://www.electricadventures.net/Pages/Article/58
https://www.electricadventures.net/Pages/Article/40

They were originally Spectravideo games, before making their way to the MSX.

Tony seems to still be active on both Twitter and You Tube, where he makes several comments about Pyramid and Escape...

On Escape from Planet Beta: "The story is not original, I am sure the genesis of this game was from a list for another computer, but I enhanced the command parser and it was the start of my text adventure engine that I would use a few more times with some other titles."

On Pyramid: "This one enhances my text adventure engine I wrote for Escape From Planet Beta, but this time the adventure and story itself is completely original."

In the commentary on his You Tube playthrough of Pyramid he also says that it was inspired by the Doctor Who episode the Pyramid of Mars. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQ_-a1KofFA

Very, very strange, especially when you compare the walkthroughs for the Pharoah/Pyramid adventures... These are not unconnected games...

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iamaran
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Re: Steve W. Lucas games

#10 Post by iamaran » Wed Jan 27, 2021 5:52 pm

Garry wrote:
Fri Dec 11, 2020 2:28 am
I'm still looking for his books, in case anyone has them.
I've just been emailed a pdf of MSX Adventure Programming if you'd like to see it. There are listings for Wizard's Quest, Snow White and A Journey Through Space.

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Alex
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Re: Steve W. Lucas games

#11 Post by Alex » Wed Jan 27, 2021 9:11 pm

With the MSX version you do not start at the pyramid, but in a village and you first have to go through a desert maze to reach the entrance. See my map.

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Strident
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Re: Steve W. Lucas games

#12 Post by Strident » Wed Jan 27, 2021 10:33 pm

Alex wrote:
Wed Jan 27, 2021 9:11 pm
With the MSX version you do not start at the pyramid, but in a village and you first have to go through a desert maze to reach the entrance. See my map.
Yeah, it still seems to be the same basic game, though. Definitely seems like a stretch for Tony to claim it as original! Mind you, as Steve Lucas pulled the same trick copying John Olsen's Frankenstein Adventure, I guess it's a case of what goes around, come around. ;)

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Re: Steve W. Lucas games

#13 Post by Garry » Thu Jan 28, 2021 12:49 am

iamaran wrote:
Wed Jan 27, 2021 5:52 pm
I've just been emailed a pdf of MSX Adventure Programming if you'd like to see it. There are listings for Wizard's Quest, Snow White and A Journey Through Space.
Of course I'd like to see it. I've sent you a PM. I'll type in the listings as soon as time permits.

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Re: Steve W. Lucas games

#14 Post by iamaran » Thu Jan 28, 2021 1:09 am

Garry wrote:
Thu Jan 28, 2021 12:49 am
iamaran wrote:
Wed Jan 27, 2021 5:52 pm
I've just been emailed a pdf of MSX Adventure Programming if you'd like to see it. There are listings for Wizard's Quest, Snow White and A Journey Through Space.
Of course I'd like to see it. I've sent you a PM. I'll type in the listings as soon as time permits.
I wasn't sure whether you wanted to collect the actual physical books. PM received and replied to.

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Re: Steve W. Lucas games

#15 Post by Garry » Thu Jan 28, 2021 3:43 pm

No room in my house for physical books any more. PDFs are better. I'll type in the listings as soon as I can and make them available to others.

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