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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 6:24 am 
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tokumaru wrote:
I always wanted to make a point-and-click adventure for the NES... The only game of that kind I'm aware of is Manic Mansion, which can actually be seen as 2 games, considering how different the japanese version is, but in both games the graphics are very primitive, and I believe the NES can do better.


I was thinking about this the other day and there are actually quite a few adventure games on the NES, in the general style of look at/pick up/use item on item, etc.

There's Shadowgate, Deja Vu, and Uninvited, the MacVenture series originally written for Macs and ported to NES.

There's Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom, which is similar to the MacVenture series in that it is first person and also not quite logical in its execution at times. I remember a lot of randomness, like you have to look under a specific table and find nothing there to spawn a guy at the other end of town you can talk to to proceed, things of that nature.

There's Maniac Mansion, which is probably the highest quality adventure game on the NES and the launch of the famous engine that gave us Monkey Island and others.

There's also King's Quest V, a port of the PC game by Roberta Williams. The KQ series is famous for being unforgiving, difficult and obtuse. It's another "walk around" game like Maniac Mansion. The graphics are really complicated and messy, in my opinion. They tried hard to port over the realistic graphics and didn't succeed very well.

Then there's Linus Spacehead's Cosmic Crusade by Codemasters. It's about a spacefaring boy who needs to prove he discovered the planet earth by returning there and getting photographic evidence. I played this on Genesis and enjoyed it a lot, but the NES version's music suffers. It's sort of a side scrolling adventure game, with all the item collecting and puzzles, mixed with platforming segments that have terrible physics. It's a neat game though, well worth looking at for adventure game inspiration.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYTKHQd4Q_w

Tombs & Treasure by Infocom is another neat adventure game with some RPG and light combat elements. It has a few different viewpoints including first person and top down (RPG style).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82nhMaZytH8

Lastly there's Nightshade which is a really cool game marred by some goofy issues like awful combat. It's got a great art style and actually has a sense of humor, and all the classic adventure game elements are there, but it's tough. Still well worth checking out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7x3LO8rRAks

Most other adventurey games on the NES are more RPG than anything else, but the above games have a solid focus on point and click. Maniac Mansion, KQV, Princess Tomato and the MacVenture games are the most pure, but the rest are interesting to look at.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:09 am 
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Thanks for all the game suggestions UncleSporky! I never gave Princess Tomato a second look. I'll have to pick that up the next time I see a cart.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:26 am 
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I forgot another possible example: Dizzy the Adventurer, by Codemasters.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOHa1jIUkrE

(awful music in this recording)

It's got platforming elements but no combat and still retains the use-object-with-object gameplay of other adventure games. Lots of talking to people and examining things.

The Fantastic Adventures of Dizzy sort of has that adventure game stuff but it's much more of a standard platformer. If you were to include it in the genre you'd also have to include a Boy and his Blob, and that's getting a little out there. I think Dizzy the Adventurer qualifies though.

As a side note, I just discovered that the music from the final castle of Fantastic Adventures of Dizzy is from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. :)

Dizzy

Monty Python


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:40 pm 
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Wow, Mr. Dizzy has some really nice grqphics! Thanks for the link.

I have been working on the desing doc and realized that a scripting engine would be perfect for this type of game. To my suprise I was able to implement a C-like script compliler in under two days :) I am working on the NES-side VM now as a feasability test.

There is one more detail to work out on the design doc before it is complete, but when it is ready I will post it.

I also took a crack at some test graphics and found out that I am not half bad :)


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:09 pm 
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qbradq wrote:
I have been working on the desing doc and realized that a scripting engine would be perfect for this type of game. To my suprise I was able to implement a C-like script compliler in under two days :) I am working on the NES-side VM now as a feasability test.

CC65 could also be used. I figure it should perform faster than a VM.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:27 pm 
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I had not thought of using CC65, but I like the idea of a non-Turing complete virtual machine. There are specific limitations that make the language and machine easier to implement, serialize and resume.

Performance is not a big concern for me. The engine itself will be implemented in assembly. Only event response will be handled by the script, and the execution can be made to extend over several frames.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 5:40 am 
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thefox wrote:
CC65 could also be used.

In other words, the Koei route. This was done at the expense of a lot of PRG RAM.

qbradq wrote:
I had not thought of using CC65, but I like the idea of a non-Turing complete virtual machine.

No implemented programming language is Turing complete because no computer has unbounded memory. At beast, computers are linear bounded automata. Did you mean "verifiably type-safe"?

Quote:
Performance is not a big concern for me. The engine itself will be implemented in assembly. Only event response will be handled by the script, and the execution can be made to extend over several frames.

The player presses a button, and it takes "several frames" for Mario to jump. Mario collects a coin, and it takes "several frames" for the coin to disappear and for the player's score to get credited. Mario hits a block, and it takes "several frames" for it to hop and start to sprout a mushroom.

Perhaps you just figured out why Micronics games run at 12 to 20 fps.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:41 am 
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Mario don't jump in point and click games. You can use a lot of frames to handle an event.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:55 am 
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Mario Is Missing (PC version)? No wait, that's Luigi, and all the characters' voices are [censored] up.

Mario & Wario (J)?

OK then, Missile Command. Point somewhere and click to go boom.

But I think I understand your point: "the kind of point and click games I'm talking about are completely turn-based". Sometimes when it looks like I'm deliberately misinterpreting a post, I'm just trying to rule things out so that further conversation can be more focused.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:05 am 
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By non-Turing complete I did not mean "Not a Universal Turing Machine" As you point out that can be said of every machine. I meant that the machine is not able to represent a complete system. Branches may only go forward and calls may only go backward. This prevents recursion and looping, making the worst-case behavior of the software predictable at compile time. It also allows much simpler VM implementations.

It sounds rough when yoi read about such a machine. We as software developers rarely have occasion to "not implement a system" while we are coding. However in the case the script machine is not implementing a system. Its only role is to describe the rules by which objects interact.

Wow, this has been quit a discussion :) Thanks for all of your input!


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