The Bianco Mansion

Games for Spectrum, C64, Amstrad, Amiga, Apple ][ and the rest of the 8-bit and 16-bit platforms. Pleas for help, puzzles, bug reports etc.

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jgerrie
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The Bianco Mansion

#1 Post by jgerrie » Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:50 am

Anyone ever play "The Bianco Mansion" by Clive Gifford? Published in More Games for Your Dragon.

Here's a link:
http://www.colorcomputerarchive.com/coc ... fford).pdf

Any idea if it is any good?

I'm working on typing it in to my MC-10 in case anyone is interested. Source will go up on github shortly.

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Garry
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Re: The Bianco Mansion

#2 Post by Garry » Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:43 pm

Great find. I've typed it in and am playing it on a CoCo emulator. There are some very frustrating features, but it seems to be a fairly classic old-school type-in. The map is really crazy, so I must have a typo somewhere. I'll need to check the room connections. It's 1:30 a.m. here, so I'll get back to it tomorrow.

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Re: The Bianco Mansion

#3 Post by Garry » Sun Feb 17, 2019 12:58 pm

Progress update. There were no typos, it was just a crazy map. If you delete all the one-way connections, it all makes sense...except for the doors. These are badly implemented. Why have doors at all when you can get to the rooms behind the doors using the many one-way exits?

It's really badly written. There are lots of bugs. There are lots of guess-the-verb scenarios, at least two situations where you have to use multi-word input with the two-word parser and at least one situation where you have to refer to an object that is not mentioned.

The game has potential, but suffers from juvenile inexperience and lack of testing. (The author was still at school when the book was written.)

Hints: There is no EXAMINE, but you can LOOK or SEARCH each room for the occasional important hint. You will need the torch to do this and to read anything. The guard is located randomly at the start of the game and again after you dispatch him. Your chance of success when fighting the guard depends on the weapon you use: wire/rope, gun, bare hands, in that order. The result of your encounter is random, so just keep trying. You can't leave the room until the guard is killed. I didn't like this. The poor guy is just doing his job. There's no need to kill him.

Solution and map will be submitted shortly.

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Re: The Bianco Mansion

#4 Post by Garry » Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:14 pm

Solution, map, screen grabs etc. have been submitted. Knowing how fast submissions get processed, it should be available in about two months. :lol:

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Re: The Bianco Mansion

#5 Post by jgerrie » Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:29 pm

Thanks Gary,

I fixed many bugs too. Hard to remember them all. There was one where if you "wore" the gloves you actually got electrocuted when you cut the fence at the end with the wire cutters. You had to be just carrying the gloves. Fixed the mult-sentence input for the entrance to the map room (critical). Now you can just type PUT or USE KNIFE and it will prompt you "IN WHAT". Then you can just type "LOCK." There was a bug in the routine that was meant to display message about locked doors in rooms that have them. Missing NEXT. So it only caught rooms with locks on North walls. There was a bug that allowed you to use the knife to gain entry to the MAP room even if you didn't have the knife. There was a bug that disallowed the ATTACK and HIT verbs when interacting with security guard. Also added the ability to ATTACK/HIT/KILL guard with GUN, so you don't have to recognize that only SHOOT or FIRE work with the gun. Minor fix on the guard random location or relocation routine. Spelling changed of "electrocuted fence" to "electrified fence." Didn't Americanize "torch" to 'flashlight" though (obviously European setting). Added movement shortcuts (N/S/E/W). Added delays where some messages flashed to quickly. Fixed a bug that if you got caught in the vault, it took you to the wrong end game routine (suggested you escaped, but just without the map). Added win and failure graphics for MC-10, and the ability to restart rather than have to hit Break and type RUN. Added basic background and objective instructions at the beginning (taken from the book). Added word wrap for long and variable messages and added words for clarity in a few instances.

Yes, bit of a crazy (non-logical) map, but it kind of adds to the challenge, and I've seen worse.
Here's my map. (Gunnar if you're reading please feel free to use):
newMap4.png
newMap4.png (107.86 KiB) Viewed 467 times
I'll upload the full image to the database in case in can be used.

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Re: The Bianco Mansion

#6 Post by jgerrie » Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:37 pm

In case your interested the MC-10 version I created (BIANCO) can be played on the MC-10 Javascript emulator here:
http://faculty.cbu.ca/jgerrie/MC10/JG_M ... tures.html

Here's a screen shot of the instructions page:
bianco.png
bianco.png (6.83 KiB) Viewed 467 times
Garry wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:14 pm
Solution, map, screen grabs etc. have been submitted. Knowing how fast submissions get processed, it should be available in about two months. :lol:

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Strident
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Re: The Bianco Mansion

#7 Post by Strident » Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:05 am

As mentioned on the 8-bit text adventures Facebook group, it's pretty similar to Clive's 'The Nielson Papers' game http://solutionarchive.com/game/id%2C52 ... C+The.html

I guess it made a lot of sense to tweak and reuse ideas for all the books he wrote for different computers.

He's still a hugely prolific writer, btw: http://www.clivegifford.co.uk/

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Re: The Bianco Mansion

#8 Post by Gunness » Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:23 pm

Garry wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:14 pm
Solution, map, screen grabs etc. have been submitted. Knowing how fast submissions get processed, it should be available in about two months. :lol:
All online now ;)

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Re: The Bianco Mansion

#9 Post by Garry » Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:31 pm

Here's what my map looked like before adding all the room names and submitting it to CASA:
bianco-mansion-before.png
bianco-mansion-before.png (14.17 KiB) Viewed 449 times

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Re: The Bianco Mansion

#10 Post by Garry » Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:32 pm

And here's what I reckon it should look like with all the illogical one-way exits removed, one unnecessary door removed and the E-E exit from rooms 5 to 6 changed to E-W:
bianco-mansion-after.png
bianco-mansion-after.png (8.83 KiB) Viewed 449 times
For those that haven't played it, I should point out that the room descriptions do not show the exits, so you have to systematically try every exit from every room and god knows where you might end up after each move. For those that have seen all my maps on CASA, you'll know that I love mapping, but this game is just a downright pain. If you use the simplified map, you can just concentrate on solving the puzzles and the game is a lot more enjoyable.

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Re: The Bianco Mansion

#11 Post by Garry » Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:02 pm

I kept the original listing as per the book, then did a bug-fixed version that I might use later. You picked up some bugs that I didn't and I picked up a few that you may have fixed but didn't mention. For example:
  • In line 750, the first "22" should be "L=22".
  • In line 270, the first "1050" should be "1040" so that CLUE is the same as HELP, rather than QUIT.
  • If you try to read the perfumed letter without picking it up, it says there's nothing to read here, then it reads it to you anyway. Whereas, the other two legible items have to be picked up before they can be read.
  • If you try to OPEN LETTER (a pretty obvious thing to do when you have a letter knife), it says "There is no door to unlock fool!" Huh? Who's the fool Mr Gifford? The same thing happens if you try to open anything other than a door.
You mentioned one problem with the vault. You can enter the vault without opening the door, but once inside, you can't open the door to escape. In addition to fixing the missing NEXT:
  • In line 720, change the test to "IF L=18 OR L=19".
  • In line 1690, change the first value from "19" to "-1".
I might submit a full list of bug fixes and/or a bug-fixed version to Jacob, but don't hold your breath waiting, as I'll need to check it carefully.

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Re: The Bianco Mansion

#12 Post by Garry » Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:06 pm

Strident wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:05 am
As mentioned on the 8-bit text adventures Facebook group...
I've avoided Facebook for years. You've just given me a reason to reconsider. I had no idea there was an 8-bit text adventures group on there.

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Re: The Bianco Mansion

#13 Post by Strident » Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:46 pm

Garry wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:06 pm
I've avoided Facebook for years. You've just given me a reason to reconsider. I had no idea there was an 8-bit text adventures group on there.
It's really the only reason I'm on there myself. Almost 1,400 members in the 8-Bit Text Adventures group (which is really a "Classic Adventures" group)... lots of interesting chat every day, loads of cool photos of software & other adventure-related finds. Plenty of old-school authors, reviewers & publishers pop in... both homegrown and professional... Even Scott Adams posts from time to time!

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Re: The Bianco Mansion

#14 Post by Gunness » Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:05 pm

... but please don't abandon us in here :D

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Re: The Bianco Mansion

#15 Post by jgerrie » Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:53 am

Garry,

Thanks for the fixes. Hadn't noticed the one about "clue" and "help."

I think the author's intention was that if you enter the vault without the key, the door shuts and you get trapped. I think this because if you type "unlock door" while in the vault without the key it displays as message that you are "trapped in the vault" and then takes you to the "failure" end routine.

I also found some other quirks. The way he did the checks, you could bring the ladder to the study, but then "climb stool" and get the map, or vice versa. Also, you could "put silencer on gun," and then drop the silencer, but the gun will still shoot in silent mode.

The item handling prevents you from picking up the stool or the ladder if you have more than two items, but doesn't prevent you from then simply picking up more items (up to the full five) after you have the stool or ladder. I fixed this: 440 IF(CT=8ORCT=13)OR(L(8)=0ORL(13)=0)ANDS>2

The "wear" command was weird. You could wear the gloves and seemed to also be able to wear the ring, but the ring didn't disappear from inventory like the gloves did once you put it on. I made it so that when you wear the ring, it is removed from inventory like the gloves. I also made it so that you could still drop either of these items when they were being worn. Similarly for the silencer, if you put it on the gun, it disappears from inventory, but you can also still drop it if you want, and then the gun goes back to no longer being silenced.

I also like that if you search in the paintings room, it says you spot a "Monet", but then if you type "get Monet" it says it isn't there. So I changed the program to sound the alarm and summon a guard if you try to "get Monet" in that room. I think this is in the spirit of the game. You're not there to be a common thief, but to seek the map that has fascinated you your whole life.
Garry wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:02 pm

You mentioned one problem with the vault. You can enter the vault without opening the door, but once inside, you can't open the door to escape. In addition to fixing the missing NEXT:
  • In line 720, change the test to "IF L=18 OR L=19".
  • In line 1690, change the first value from "19" to "-1".
I might submit a full list of bug fixes and/or a bug-fixed version to Jacob, but don't hold your breath waiting, as I'll need to check it carefully.

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