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Guide on playing Infocom and Inform games on the QL

Posted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:39 pm
by vanpeebles
Just thought I'd post a bit of a guide on how to play Infocom and Inform games on the QL.

A quick cobbled up introduction for you all first. Infocom was a large US company back in the 80's who made some of the finest text based adventure games ever made covering a wide range of genres. Everything from wizards, murder mysteries, film noirs, to Sherlock Holmes and even a version of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy which was done with Douglas Adams.

The games had their own virtual program language format which meant they were easily portable across different platforms. All you need is the interpreter for your system to play the data file.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infocom

The Infocom format was later drawn up as a standard called Inform so people could create and play their own adventures. Which basically leaves us with a massive archive of top quality games to enjoy.

First up you need the following Infocom Routines for Qdos file from Dilwyn's excellent resource site:

http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/games/index.html

This needs to be unzipped on a QL to preserve the file headers, unzipped you will have some program files and some adventures with a _dat extension. First up I enable toolkit 2 commands with tk2_ext, then I set the prog_use flp1_ and data_use flp1_ system values to use flp1_ floppy drive.

Next to run the program type ex zip, con_512x256a0x0;"busted_dat" this will load the game busted in full monitor mode. With the zip program being multi tasking use ctrl + c to change the input to the adventure.

ex zip;"busted_dat" will start the game in normal tv mode. If you are lucky enough to own one of the infocom collections (either via ebay or elsewhere :o ) you can copy out the _dat file of the game folder to run instead. The QL version of the zip interpreter by Luke Roberts supports versions 1 to 5 of the infocom/inform adventures, usually stated as z1 to z5.

Loads of free adventures can be found here:

http://www.ifarchive.org/indexes/if-arc ... zcode.html

Re: Guide on playing Infocom and Inform games on the QL

Posted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:26 pm
by vanpeebles
Image

A screenshot of minizork downloaded from the if-archive.

I've found it works better if you set the data_use to flp2_ and that way you can keep your dat file games on the 2nd drive and your zip interpreter on the 1st drive. This way you don't strip the file headers everytime you copy on some game dats via the pc. :oops:

Re: Guide on playing Infocom and Inform games on the QL

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:34 pm
by Derek_Stewart
Hi,

I have downloaded all the Infocom games that will run under the QL Infocom ZIP interpreter.

The games all run perfectly on the Q68, I was trying write a simple SBASIC index programme to load the games, with descriptions of each game.

Is this something that would of interest?

Re: Guide on playing Infocom and Inform games on the QL

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:04 pm
by vanpeebles
Yes, I tried to do this, but my super basic skills were none exsistant so I gave up. I couldn't get it to execute the game with all the parameters. Can you execute strings that you read in?

Re: Guide on playing Infocom and Inform games on the QL

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:13 pm
by Derek_Stewart
Hi,

I have written a simple SBASIC programme to read the diectory of the Ingovom games directory, then execute the selected game with the Infocom Zip interpreter.

I have renamed to "INFOCOM-ZIP_EXE" avoid confusion with the ZIP archiver programme.

There are 933 games in a selectable screen, with the game description.

Not too hard, but requires a little time.

Re: Guide on playing Infocom and Inform games on the QL

Posted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:46 am
by Derek_Stewart
Hi,

I just had another thought, maybe use of Qmenu to perform a LIST_SELECT on an array that holds the Infocom Games files or a FILE_SELECT to select the games files.

The problem with using Qmenu is that it must be used in the Extended Environment, which exclude use on Classic QL systems.

Re: Guide on playing Infocom and Inform games on the QL

Posted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:51 am
by vanpeebles
Hehe, it’s easier said than done :)

Re: Guide on playing Infocom and Inform games on the QL

Posted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:32 pm
by Derek_Stewart
I quoted over 900 infocom games, but I gave removed the games that will not run on the QL implementation of infocom. Still lots of games to play.

I have written a basic programme to select the game or there is a Qmenu game selector.

Which is the best?