Adventures in Text Adventure Game writing Part 1

It has been a write since I tried my hand at Text Adventure writing, so I thought I’d have a bash.

Because I’m a creature of habit (even if that habit hasn’t bitten me since the early ’90s), I decided you use the Professional Adventure Writer software by Graeme Yeandle (available from http://graemeyeandle.atwebpages.com/advent/). This is the PC version of the CP/M version I used back in the long, long ago, the before time (circa 1989-1991). This was originally released for the Amstrad (and other machines), and was an updated successor to the highly popular Quill software for the 8-Bit computers of the ’80s.

So, armed with a compiler and interpreter, what else would I need? Well, for a start, some mapping software. I chose Trizbort, as it is easy to use.

I’d also need some ideas. But what sort of lunatic keeps old scraps of paper and exercise books containing puzzle ideas for games dating back to the ’80s? Well, me for a start.

So, armed with the right software, and a stack of puzzles, I set off on my long adventure to create an adventure.

Having no idea what the overall plot would be, I started by setting these rules:

  1. No sudden deaths. Nothing is more annoying that dying for no reason.
  2. At least two ways to solve any puzzle. Although I messed this up on the very first one. But it didn’t matter as I wrote myself out of it.
  3. No mazes that aren’t logical!
  4. A way out of every seemingly impossible trap.
  5. No pointless in-jokes that have a reference pool of 5 people I went to college with.

So, setting off, I decided on a vague fantasy setting (just so I could use my hanging dwarf puzzle from an old WFRG scenario, along with the Troll Booth bit from an old TinyMUD).

So, being a big fan of AberMUD, we’ll start with at Temple and a Pit. But not the sacrficial pit of AberMUD, as that would be too much of a cliche. It’s just a good starting point.

So now we need a plot…

Enumerating The Doctor (Updated)

Since the recent goings on with which Doctor is which, and all the complications, I’ve put together a table to try to explain it. It might be wrong, but it is more for me than for anyone else.

And I think, as I’ve stumbled through this, I’ve finally got a handle on The Valeyard (more later).

And then the “Ruth Doctor” shows up and creates more confusion! And then The Timeless Children storyline messes everything up and I have to start again…

Incarnation
Regeneration
Looks like
Doctor #
Known as
Played by
Notes

The Timeless Children

1 n/a n/a Timeless Child 1 Unknown Seven pre-Timelord incarnations known collectively as “The Timeless Children”.
2 n/a n/a Timeless Child 2 Unknown
3 n/a n/a Timeless Child 3 Grace Nettle
4 n/a n/a Timeless Child 4 Leo Tang
5 n/a n/a Timeless Child 5 Unknown
6 n/a n/a Timeless Child 6 Unknown
7 n/a n/a Timeless Child 7 Jesse Deyi

The “Morbius” Doctors

Incarnation
Regeneration
Looks like
Doctor #
Known as
Played by
Notes
? n/a n/a A Morbius Doctor Douglas Camfield Eight incarnations from “The Brain of Morbius” which were theorised to be past Doctors. Seemingly ruted out by the 12 Regenerations rul established in “The Deadly Assassin”, these were brought back into Canon in “The Timeless Children”.
? n/a n/a A Morbius Doctor Robert Holmes
? n/a n/a A Morbius Doctor Philip Hinchcliffe
? n/a n/a A Morbius Doctor Christopher Barry
? n/a n/a A Morbius Doctor Graeme Harper
? n/a n/a A Morbius Doctor Christopher Baker
? n/a n/a A Morbius Doctor George Gallaccio
? n/a n/a A Morbius Doctor Robert Banks Stewart

The Original Series Doctors

Incarnation
Regeneration
Looks like
Doctor #
Known as
Played by
Notes
1 n/a 1 The First Doctor William Hartnell
also Richard Hurndall and later Michael Jones and David Bradley
William Hartnell played the main character with Richard Hurndall filling in after his death for “The Five Doctors”

Michael Jones played The Doctor as a child, and David Bradley played the role in the revived series episodes “The Doctor Falls”, and “Time and Again”

2 1 2 The Second Doctor Patrick Troughton
3 2 3 The Third Doctor Jon Pertwee
4 3 4 The Fourth Doctor Tom Baker
(A wax dummy)
5 4 5 The Fifth Doctor Peter Davison
6 5 6 The Sixth Doctor Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy
7 6 7 The Seventh Doctor Sylveter McCoy
8 7 8 The Eighth Doctor Paul McGann

Alternate Time-line Doctors

Incarnation
Regeneration
Looks like
Doctor #
Known as
Played by
Notes
9 8 9 (alt) “The Shalka Doctor” Richard E. Grant (Animated version)
9 8 9 (alt) “The Nineth Doctor” Rowan Atkinson
10 9 10 (alt) “The Tenth Doctor” Richard E. Grant “The Conceited Doctor”
11 10 11 (alt) “The Eleventh Doctor” Jim Broadbent “The Shy Doctor”
12 11 12 (alt) “The Twelfth Doctor” Hugh Grant “The Quite Handsome Doctor”
13 12 13 (alt) “The Thirteenth Doctor” Joanna Lumley “The Female Doctor”

Original Time-line, Revived Series

Incarnation
Regeneration
Looks like
Doctor #
Known as
Played by
Notes
9 8 n/a The War Doctor John Hurt (Not actually The Doctor)
10 9 9 The Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston
11 10 10 The Tenth Doctor David Tennant
11 11 10 The Tenth Doctor David Tennant Vanity Regeneration
n/a n/a n/a Handy/John Smith David Tennant Human Meta-Crisis Doctor
12 12 11 The Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith

“New Regeneration Cycle”

Incarnation
Regeneration
Looks like
Doctor #
Known as
Played by
Notes
13 13 12 The Twelveth Doctor Peter Capaldi
14 14 13 The Thirteenth Doctor Jodie Whittaker

Unknown “Doctors”

Incarnation
Regeneration
Looks like
Doctor #
Known as
Played by
Notes
n/a n/a n/a Doctor Who Peter Cushing A human who created a time travel device called TARDIS. Non-canon, so I don’t even know why he’s listed here.
n/a n/a n/a The Watcher Adrian Gibbs Facilitated the Regeneration between #4 and #5
n/a n/a n/a The Valeyard Michael Jaystone an amalgamation of the Doctor’s darker sides from between his twelfth and final incarnations
n/a n/a n/a The Curator Tom Baker Strongly implied to be the final incarnation of The Doctor, well into his retirement.
n/a n/a n/a The “Ruth Doctor” Jo Martin See below…

 

The Valeyard

Now, after all that number counting and trying to work out which numbers apply to which Doctors, if you go by my reckoning then the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) was still only the 12th incarnation, even though he was also the 12 regeneration. To quote The Master from “The Trial of a Time Lord: The Ultimate Foe“:

“There is some evil in all of us, Doctor – even you. The Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say you do not improve with age.”

As the “final incarnation” is far off in The Doctor’s personal timeline, the Valeyard problem has been untangled for now, but could surface in the future as a plot point.

The “Ruth Doctor”

And the cat is well and truly amongst the pigeons now. Who is The Ruth Doctor (ha ha)?

From what we can gather, she is a past incarnation of The Doctor, somewhere between Hartnell and Whitaker’s portryals.

We know she’s post-Hartnell, as the TARDIS only adopted the Police Box shape in his first episode. Where she fits in is a bit sticky though. Sticky, but not ungluable…

Doc13 and RuthDoc don’t remember each other, indicating a mindwipe somewhere…

All the regenerations between Docs have been show on screen now, except the one between the Clown and the Dandy (Doc2 and Doc3). The regeneration was forced by the Timelords, at the same time that Zoe and Jamie had their minds wiped…

RuthDoc is apparently working for the Timelords… so is this the Series 6B theory at work? Only time will tell!

The Curse of Peter Kay’s Charity Singles

The is a theory out there, that if you are famous and mentioned in a Half Man Half Biscuit song, then you will die. There is (as ever) a web page devoted to it:  http://halfmanhalfbiscuit.uk/because-i-aint-got-a-job/those-no-longer-in-need-of-season-tickets/

Peter Kay, long time annoyer of taxi staff everywhere, former booze advertiser, comedy genius, and reportedly “nice guy”,  cursed more entertainers in the space of two charity single videos than Half Man Half Biscuit could manage in such a short space of time.

Here we shall consider each hexing separately.

Case 1:  (It This The Way) To Amarillo


Released March 14, 2005.
Length: 3:33, Death Toll: 6

0:29 Anne Kirkbride, known for playing Deirdre Barlow in Coronation Street, died 19 January 2015
0:37 Keith Harris, known for having his hand up Orville’s rectal cavity, died 28 April 2015
1:06 Jimmie Saville, known for historic sex offences, died 29 October 2011
1:33 Jim Bowen, known for Bullseye, died 14 March 2018
1:56 Geoffrey Hayes, known for Rainbow, died 30 September 2018
2:03 Robbie Corbett, known for being about a third of The Two Ronnies by volume, died 31 March 2016

Case 2: (I’m Gonna Be) 500 Miles 2009


Released 17 March 2007
Length 5:27, Death Toll: 9

0:37 June Whitfield, known for Carry On Films and Terry & June, died 29 December 2018
1:16 Kathy Staff, known best for being Nora Batty, died 13 December 2008
1:23 Frank Sidebottom (Chris Sievey), died 21 June 2010
1:32 Burt Kwouk, (not now, Kato!), died 24 May 2016
1:48 Kenny Lynch, singer and commedian 18 December 2019
2:42 David Bellamy, noted Charles Darwin and orangutan look-a-like naturalist, died 11 December 2019
2:50 Keith Chegwin, former stooge of The Edmonds, died 11 December 2017
3:00 Rick Parfitt, Status Quo guitar hero,died 24 December 2016
3:18 Terry Nutkins, had his fingers repeatedly bit off by otters, died 6 September 2012

To sum up then, 2 songs, 9 minutes, 15 deaths. And remember, this is only the death toll so far.

A lot of moaning old shite