Lost Apple II commercial text adventure game

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webowl
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Lost Apple II commercial text adventure game

#1 Post by webowl » Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:06 pm

Probably the rarest commercially released (e.g. retail stores) text adventure game for the Apple II was Powersoft's 1979 release on diskette of "World of Odyssey" by Mark Capella. This game is not listed on any website or index of Apple II games, but it did come out because I bought it in 1981 and played it. The only published reference to this game is an advertisement in Popular Mechanics (or such) which can be found as a pdf file on one website if you do a thorough google search for this game. There is no other mention of the game on google. You will also not find it in any biography or game list for Mark Capella. World of Odyssey is also not an earlier version of Odyssey: The Compleat Adventure because I tried comparing them back in the 1980s.

This game probably did not sell many copies, and perhaps I may be the only one who ever bought it. Another reason for its obscurity is that the original diskette did not play to the conclusion because of text file typos. Another Apple II game that did not work when released was Fantasyland 2041, but the Atari version of that game did work (which is why Fantasyland 2041 is not forgotten). World of Odyssey had 2 bugs in the text data files on side 2 that caused the game to stop. I corrected them back in 1981 on a new diskette and finished the game.

Capella's game was actually very good, and It would be nice if World of Odyssey could ever be converted to an emulated disk image, but it would have to be from a corrected text file copy. The game was sold in a clear plastic bag with no labels. The diskette came in a generic disk sleeve and only had a typed label giving the title, a brief sentence describing it and the machine requirements. There was a one page insert of instructions of how to run the game in the Apple II. There were no known walkthroughs or hints for this game.

I have a pdf file of the instruction insert which I will try to upload to CASA.

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Garry
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Re: Lost Apple II commercial text adventure game

#2 Post by Garry » Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:49 am

This is great information. It sounds like you've already done a thorough search, so it's unlikely to be found unless someone on one of the Apple forums has a copy.

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Strident
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Re: Lost Apple II commercial text adventure game

#3 Post by Strident » Sat Feb 22, 2020 11:18 am

webowl wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:06 pm
The only published reference to this game is an advertisement in Popular Mechanics (or such) which can be found as a pdf file on one website if you do a thorough google search for this game.
Actually, there are quite a lot of references to World of Odyssey... but they are mostly advertisements. It's listed in Powersoft adverts in multiple issues of Micro/Micro 6502, Creative Computing, Compute Magazine, Apple Orchard etc. It's mentioned in Softalk (Dec 1980), BASUG's Hard Core fanzine, and various other places. But nothing more detailed than advertising blurb, as far as I can see so far.

See... https://archive.org/search.php?query=%2 ... 22&sin=TXT

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Strident
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Re: Lost Apple II commercial text adventure game

#4 Post by Strident » Sat Feb 22, 2020 11:32 am

There is a brief mention in Space Gamer (#31/September 1980), but it merely says:
Unfortunately, Powersoft's adventure game, World of Odyssey, is slow and does not recommend itself.

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Re: Lost Apple II commercial text adventure game

#5 Post by Strident » Sat Feb 22, 2020 11:45 am

I presume Mark Capella is listed on the instructions you have as the author, as he's not mentioned in any of the adverts?

We have him in the database for his Will o' the Wisp game... but I see our information on that is actually incomplete as, as Jason Dyer of Renga in Blue, points out that game actually was originally published as a type-in in Nibble magazine in August 1980... https://bluerenga.blog/2019/08/24/will-o-the-wisp-1980/

(I will update the listing accordingly)

Edit: As an aside, the whole collection of programs that were printed in Nibble over the years are available on the magazine's "archive" website... http://www.nibblemagazine.com/nibble_disks.htm

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Garry
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Re: Lost Apple II commercial text adventure game

#6 Post by Garry » Sat Feb 22, 2020 12:50 pm

'Will 'o the Wisp' was published in Nibble, vol. 1, no. 8, December 1980, pp. ?–? and reprinted in Nibble Express, vol. 1, pp. 151–158. It was ported to the TI-99/4A by Barry T Boland and to the TRS-80 by an unknown author.

Does anyone know where I can get copies of Nibble so that I can check the listings?

webowl
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Re: Lost Apple II commercial text adventure game

#7 Post by webowl » Sat Feb 22, 2020 12:58 pm

Mark Capella is indeed listed at the top of the instructions page. I only used google to search for this game. I never used the archive for searches. Thanks for showing that to me. Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be any real reviews of this game. The game disappeared from the computer market shortly after I bought the game two months after I got an Apple II in 1981. This would account for the lack of published references because the computer game fan base, retail stores and reference books, etc. exploded after that starting in 1982.

I uploaded the instruction page pdf to CASA last night, but I am not sure if it was actually received. There doesn't appear to be a way to post it here in this forum.

I don't know about the availability of "Nibble" on the internet, but I do know they once (or still do) had copies of those issues at the University of Washington in the U.S. Perhaps Call A.P.P.P.L.E. also has copies to examine. Other libraries around the world may have copies.

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Strident
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Re: Lost Apple II commercial text adventure game

#8 Post by Strident » Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:00 pm

Garry wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 12:50 pm
'Will 'o the Wisp' was published in Nibble, vol. 1, no. 8, December 1980, pp. ?–? and reprinted in Nibble Express, vol. 1, pp. 151–158. It was ported to the TI-99/4A by Barry T Boland and to the TRS-80 by an unknown author.

Does anyone know where I can get copies of Nibble so that I can check the listings?
There are a few on the Internet Archive, but not many, probably because they were commercially available through the Nibble website (linked to above) but I'm not sure if that site is still active. Do you want to submit that info, Garry? I can manually add it to the Wisp page (I'd already put in some basic detail) but I don't think I have the admin rights to tag your username onto the submission.

Just looking at the PDF file you sent in, webowl, and it's clear that Mark Capella is the author of the Odyssey game... I'll post a comment on Jason's blog that Mark had indeed written an earlier game and will try and get some word to some Apple folks that it's MIA... It's well out of my area, but I know that there are teams of people imaging some very interesting (previously lost) disks at the moment, so it's still possible the game might turn up.

webowl
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Re: Lost Apple II commercial text adventure game

#9 Post by webowl » Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:10 pm

Regarding the comment in one of the mentioned magazines about the slowness of World of Odyssey: When I played the game on the Apple II, it was much faster than Lords of Karma (on disk). Also, I could not get World of Odyssey to run years later on the Apple IIe, but that may be because of the hardware chip upgrades that I had like 80 columns, wildcard, snapshot, etc. (and I had also misplaced for years the instruction page which would have helped to run it circa 1990).

From my perspective, the Softside disk adventures are the only other remaining Apple II text adventures still MIA (not available on other computer platforms). For example, except for Mystery Mansion, all of the Greg Hassett adventures are currently available for TRS-80 emulation, but only Journey to the Center of the Earth has an Apple II image (there were originally 8 Greg Hassett Apple II disks). Inferno finally became available last year.

Also, thanks for mentioning that you did get the pdf upload.

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Garry
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Re: Lost Apple II commercial text adventure game

#10 Post by Garry » Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:18 pm

You're welcome to add any new info. I'm not concerned about credits.

This is just a hunch, but I reckon the C64 version probably came from the PET version, as the PET was around when the Apple II was around. We're talking 1980. The C64 came much later.

The Nibble magazines on CD cost money. I might sound like a tight arse, but I don't really want to spend money just to check the accuracy of a type-in listing.

My records indicate that there are a few other adventures in Nibble. I've got a few of them, but there's one called 'Pico Adventure' by Lee Mickelson from Nibble, vol. 2, no. 1 that I haven't found yet. I haven't added it to the database because I don't know for sure that it's a text adventure. If I could get a scan or pdf of that issue of Nibble, I could confirm whether or not it's a text adventure and type it in if it is.

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Strident
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Re: Lost Apple II commercial text adventure game

#11 Post by Strident » Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:28 pm

Garry wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:18 pm
You're welcome to add any new info. I'm not concerned about credits.

This is just a hunch, but I reckon the C64 version probably came from the PET version, as the PET was around when the Apple II was around. We're talking 1980. The C64 came much later.

The Nibble magazines on CD cost money. I might sound like a tight arse, but I don't really want to spend money just to check the accuracy of a type-in listing.

My records indicate that there are a few other adventures in Nibble. I've got a few of them, but there's one called 'Pico Adventure' by Lee Mickelson from Nibble, vol. 2, no. 1 that I haven't found yet. I haven't added it to the database because I don't know for sure that it's a text adventure. If I could get a scan or pdf of that issue of Nibble, I could confirm whether or not it's a text adventure and type it in if it is.
I'll paste your (more accurate) references into the Wisp entry. It's listed as being in a Duckworth book too, presumably in its C64 form. I'll see if I can find any additional references for the PET version, and when that appeared.

Mark Capella has various non-adventure credits, including a mainframe (and later home computer) text game called Twonky. Outside of CASA's remit, I think.

I spotted the text adventure Castle Riche, on the Nibble site. It's playable on the disks that are held on the Internet Archive and I can confirm that that one is a "proper" text adventure, containing enough adventure game elements to be included on CASA. Pico Adventure should already be typed-in and on one of those disks too, so I'll track it down and see what it plays like. [Edit: Annoyingly, it doesn't seem to be on Nibble disk 3]

I totally agree with regards to the Nibble CDs... At this point in time, I don't think accessing them would really add much. (Edit: I'm not sure if this CD image contains scans of the magazines... https://archive.org/details/Nibble_Maga ... arvey_2005 )

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Garry
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Re: Lost Apple II commercial text adventure game

#12 Post by Garry » Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:51 pm

The C64 version is in CBM 64 programs - Volume 1, Duckworth Home Computing, 1984, pp. 169–189. It is credited to Mark Capella, but I don't know whether he actually ported it.

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Strident
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Re: Lost Apple II commercial text adventure game

#13 Post by Strident » Sat Feb 22, 2020 2:07 pm

Garry wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:51 pm
The C64 version is in CBM 64 programs - Volume 1, Duckworth Home Computing, 1984, pp. 169–189. It is credited to Mark Capella, but I don't know whether he actually ported it.
He seems to have some C64 credits but, again, it's hard to tell how many of those were just ports of his work on other platforms. Certainly, the C64 version can be listed as an official platform for Wisp. Like you say, it seems likely there was a PET version that bridges the gap between the two.

webowl
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Re: Lost Apple II commercial text adventure game

#14 Post by webowl » Sat Feb 22, 2020 2:32 pm

I don't know if you can get a printed listing of 'Will 'o the Wisp' from Nibble, but the actual executable game that can be run in Applewin is available in the disk library at the Nibble website (disk 2 of the complete set or the 1980 disk of the Stoddard collection). All of the Nibble programs on disk are now free to download. I got these program disks an hour ago and loaded the game disk in Applewin -- the game is credited to Mark Capella.

The C64 emulator disk image available now (I got it a half-hour ago) from several websites credits the game to D.J. Veldman on the screen image in the C64 emulator, but the text of the game is identical or near-so to the Nibble version by Capella in Applewin.

Alastair
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Re: Lost Apple II commercial text adventure game

#15 Post by Alastair » Sat Feb 22, 2020 10:11 pm

webowl wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 12:58 pm
I uploaded the instruction page pdf to CASA last night, but I am not sure if it was actually received.
It was successfully uploaded and is now available at CASA.


A note to everyone else reading this thread, webowl posted several times to this thread during the time when his (or her) posts required authorisation. All posts have been accepted so please make sure that you have read all of his/her contributions.

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