ADVEN-80

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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Strident
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ADVEN-80

#1 Post by Strident » Wed Sep 21, 2022 6:40 pm

After reading Jason's recent blog post on one of the very early Japanese text-adventures (written in English, using a British-authored system)...
https://bluerenga.blog/2022/09/16/omote ... ture-1982/

I've been doing a bit of research into the author of the ADVEN-80 system, Peter D. Scargill, in order to add some of the games & details to the database.

As Jason links to in his blog post, this is the original article about ADVEN-80...
https://archive.org/details/dr_dobbs_jo ... ew=theater
...where Peter references his inspirations as the Scott Adams games and the famous Ken Reed Practical Computing article.

He mentions his own BASIC adventure system, from Creative Computing in 1981, called Fantasia, which I've yet to track down.

Peter has a website, and talks about the ADVEN-80 system on some of the pages, such as...
https://www.scargill.net/everything/early-interests/
Two days before Christmas 1980 I received a cheque for $150 from the U.S. publisher of “Creative Computing” and my article entitled “Fantasia” appeared shortly thereafter. As you can imagine at that time, at that age, I was utterly delighted! All that is left of this is a reference to “Fantasia by P Scargill”.

Spurred on by this success, I developed a complete system for creating Crowther-like adventures for the Z80 Microprocessor and was rewarded by the publication of the (large) article, covering many pages, in the prestigious “Dr Dobbs Journal of Computer Calisthenics and Orthodontia”. Many years later the magazine survived as “Dr Dobbs Journal” and is now I believe it is just called “Dr Dobbs“.

Peter D. Scargill : Adven-80, An Advanced Adventure Development System; Dr. Dobb’s Journal, Number 61 (November 1981).
His site has two archives of material, including a demonstration game by him and also one by Robert W. Rasch. As yet, I have not investigated these archives fully... I doubt I have the expertise to compile and get the system running myself! :)

I see that Robert W. Rasch is associated with a Colecovision title "General Hospital". No idea what type of game that is. One to add to my research list...

Here is another page where Peter talks about Fantasia and ADVEN-80...
https://tech.scargill.net/a-trip-down-memory-lane/

He obviously mentioned Fantasia & ADVEN-80 back in the day to the people at Personal Computer World, see his letter here...
https://archive.org/details/PersonalCom ... 4/page/94/
Last edited by Strident on Wed Sep 21, 2022 11:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Strident
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Re: ADVEN-80

#2 Post by Strident » Wed Sep 21, 2022 9:29 pm

Strident wrote:
Wed Sep 21, 2022 6:40 pm
His site has two archives of material, including a demonstration game by him and also one by Robert W. Rasch.
I see that Robert W. Rasch is associated with a Colecovision title "General Hospital". No idea what type of game that is. One to add to my research list...
As an aside, there's a Robert W. Rasch contributing various articles and programs to Sextant magazine, the magazine for "users of Heath and Zenith Computers", which is suitably niche to guess that's the same guy. --> "Robert W. Rasch chairs the Physiology Department at the Quillen-Dishner College of Medicine of Easter Tennessee State University." I guess his "General Hospital" might be pretty accurate, whatever type of game or program it is, then. :)

(He's also got articles and programs in REMark, the official Heath Zenith magazine)

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Re: ADVEN-80

#3 Post by Strident » Wed Sep 21, 2022 9:41 pm

According to this review in Crash magazine...
https://archive.org/details/Crash_No._0 ... page/n101/

Castle Blackstar
http://solutionarchive.com/game/id%2C69 ... kstar.html

...is based extensively on the ADVEN-80 system. Indeed, Peter Scargill is credited both in-game and in the documentation.

(Pasting a link to this article, as it features the SCR team behind Castle Blackstar as well as a whole host of other British names...
https://spectrumcomputing.co.uk/page.ph ... 88&page=36 )

Some more ADVEN-80 stuff...

An old comp-os-cpm discussion, in which Peter pops up...
https://groups.google.com/g/comp.os.cpm/c/iJitvlAjPnU

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Re: ADVEN-80

#4 Post by Garry » Thu Sep 22, 2022 2:48 am

Thank you for the great research.

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Strident
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Re: ADVEN-80

#5 Post by Strident » Thu Sep 22, 2022 7:14 am

Just posting some extra references.

Mentions in groups...

A cross-posting of the groups post previously mentioned:
https://groups.google.com/g/rec.arts.in ... 1fYI4H1C8J

Mitch Mliner wrote a game for his daughter using Adven-80, c.1989
https://groups.google.com/g/comp.os.cpm ... nWhwpMDesJ

Easy way to view the ADVEN-80 code, without downloading the zip etc.
https://cdn.preterhuman.net/texts/compu ... AMPADV.ADV
https://cdn.preterhuman.net/texts/compu ... AMPADV.MAC
https://cdn.preterhuman.net/texts/compu ... AKEADV.BAS

I don't currently have an easy way to look inside the ADVEN80.ARK file, but these are the contents apparently, going on a CP/M repository filelist...
CPM/BASIC/ADVEN-80.ARK:$/ADVEN-80.BAS
CPM/BASIC/ADVEN-80.ARK:$/ADVEN-80.DOC
CPM/BASIC/ADVEN-80.ARK:$/ADVEN80.REL
CPM/BASIC/ADVEN-80.ARK:$/GENHOSP.COM
CPM/BASIC/ADVEN-80.ARK:$/GENHOSP.DAT
CPM/BASIC/ADVEN-80.ARK:$/PLAN.PIC
So it seems like the demonstration adventure by Robert W. Rasch *is* actually General Hospital.

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Re: ADVEN-80

#6 Post by Strident » Thu Sep 22, 2022 8:20 am

I've found a nice post by Andrew Cummins, one of the team that used ADVEN-80 for the ZX Spectrum game Castle Blackstar; which they originally self-published, but was then taken on by a larger publisher.
As a user of Interactive Fiction my experience started with (as for
so many others) Colossal Caves,followed swiftly by the Zork series
on microcomputers...was I ever hooked...and then on into the wonders
of multi-user dial-up adventures, mainly Mud II the UK commercial
version of the original Essex Mud.

I became involved with building games through an article in Dr Dobbs
which gave a listing for a program 'Adven-80' which provided the spark
for a home brew text-adventure builder running on CP/M micro's.

At the time in the UK the Sinclair Spectrum, a Z80 based colour computer
with a massive 40K of useable ram :-), was in its first year and selling
like hot cakes at ~$400.

With a couple of friends we started a little adventure building group.
The port to the Spectrum was diabolical, without any real debugging tools,
a two hour build-link-download over wet string cycle and bugs in the
interpreter masking/generating bugs in the game itself; but eventually
'Castle Blackstar' our opus worked, got some pleasant reviews and even
sold a few hundred copies.

Buoyed up with enthusiasm we embarked on our second game, improved the
compression, tweaked the interpreter and then discovered that the golden
age of text games was over -- 'everyone' (at least on the marketing side)
wanted graphics based games. In the UK retailers had caught a cold with
some very poor quality games and commercially, pure text games were dead.
from: https://groups.google.com/g/rec.arts.in ... M6feZYriUJ

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Re: ADVEN-80

#7 Post by Strident » Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:27 am

Yes, General Hospital is a text adventure... dates from at least as early as 1983, from the version in the .ark file...
GENERAL HOSPITAL version 1.3 September 7, 1983
I will be your eyes and ears as we visit a General Hospital with YOU as the DOCTOR.
It's interesting as it seems, after a very quick examination, to be almost an educational game, requiring actual medical knowledge to progress.

robert-rasch.PNG
robert-rasch.PNG (171.11 KiB) Viewed 227 times
It's based in the real-life hospital that Robert worked at.
Last edited by Strident on Thu Sep 22, 2022 11:03 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: ADVEN-80

#8 Post by Strident » Thu Sep 22, 2022 10:03 am

general-hosp1.PNG
general-hosp1.PNG (27.2 KiB) Viewed 231 times
general-hosp2.PNG
general-hosp2.PNG (18.7 KiB) Viewed 231 times
general-hosp3.PNG
general-hosp3.PNG (19.88 KiB) Viewed 231 times

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auraes
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Re: ADVEN-80

#9 Post by auraes » Sun Sep 25, 2022 6:06 pm

Strident wrote:
Wed Sep 21, 2022 6:40 pm
As Jason links to in his blog post, this is the original article about ADVEN-80...
Hurry! Hurry! An article I want to read.

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