User avatar
hlabrande

Posted Thu Oct 01, 2020 11:29 am

Hello everyone,

I am currently working on a new text adventure, "Tristam Island", which will be released on 34 platforms. Of course, this includes the Amiga; it is compatible with all Amiga computers (including the A500). The game aims to be similar to the games from Infocom, with a flexible and powerful parser, and using their story format (Z-Machine).

I just released a free demo of the game, and I also uploaded it on Aminet. There is about 90 minutes of gameplay (~1/4 of the game); after a plane crash in the middle of the Atlantic, you wash up on the shore of a deserted island - which, as it turns out, was inhabited decades ago, and holds many secrets...
If you like the demo, or want to support the project, you can preorder the game on itch.io ; the full game comes out on November 20th.

Let me know if you have any questions, and I hope you enjoy the game :)

User avatar
McTrinsic

Posted Thu Oct 01, 2020 12:27 pm

Awesome!
Will definitely want to look into this when / once my Amiga is back up
running.

User avatar
intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
Website

Posted Thu Oct 01, 2020 1:01 pm

Very exciting news. Thanks for letting us know!

I scanned your product page. Since you did Amiga and C64, do you plan on supporting the C128 and it's 80 column mode?

Regardless, very excited to see how this plays out.

If one buys the game now itch.io, will that unlock the full version in November?

User avatar
hlabrande

Posted Thu Oct 01, 2020 3:25 pm

Thank you for your support :D

@intric8: yes, the "buy" option right now is a pre-order - as in, you'll get it as soon as it comes out. To sweeten the deal, I've promised exclusive digital feelies to anyone preordering - there'll still be feelies in the final release, but there will be a couple of extra ones for the preorders, as a token of gratitude ;)

As for the C128, the interpreter I'm using for the C64 (Ozmoo) isn't yet compatible with C128 (though that might change). One possibility might be to use Edilbert Kirk's interpreter for the C128, which might support 80 col (I haven't checked, but the PET interpreter does support it, if I remember correctly). Another possibility is to acquire one of the 4 Infocom releases for the C128 (Trinity, Bureaucracy, Nord and Bert or Beyond Zork), and replace the game on there with my game file (downloadable on itch.io), keeping the same name. (They're not the same z-machine format, but it might still work; if it doesn't, let me know, and i can upload another version.) However a webpage I just went to says these games do not work on an emulator because they only work in 80col mode on C128, which isn't supported by VICE? In any case, let me know if you manage to get it running in 80 col, I'd gladly post a picture of it on my twitter feed :D

User avatar
dddaaannn

Posted Thu Oct 01, 2020 6:02 pm

VICE supports 80-column mode. It opens two windows, one for the 40 column display and one for the 80 column display because technically the 128 can use both displays at the same time. Type "GRAPHIC 5" to switch over. There's a simulation of the 40/80 toggle key too if you need to boot into it from a disk image, it's one of the higher function keys (F10-F12?) depending on the version.

I haven't tried an 80-column Z-machine for the 128 before, now seems like a good time. :) Congrats on the game!

User avatar
BloodyCactus
Lexington VA
Website

Posted Fri Oct 02, 2020 6:33 am

So I'ma be that guy... what makes this different from any other zmachine file on the if archive? People release inform zmachine stuff every single day.. playable on every other zmachine interpreter.. but this one I have to pay for. Why would I choose this over the free and utterly brilliant games like Curses, Jigsaw, Lost Pig, Photopia, Anchorhead, Balances etc? there is a huge list of amazing zmachine stuff. Are you releasing this for IFComp 2020?

Are you the same person who wrote Gossip? I remember playing that in like 2009 or something.?

Anyway I will check it out, I'm a big sucker for IF :)

User avatar
hlabrande

Posted Fri Oct 02, 2020 8:28 am

Hi BloodyCactus,
No worries, that's an entirely fair question :D
(And wow, someone remembers "Gossip"! That's awesome :D )

And you are absolutely right, there are thousands of IF works out there available for free on the IF Archive or on the IFDB. (Btw not many people do Z-Machine anymore, I'm afraid.) On the Amiga, you can play all those z5 and z8 files and you probably would never run out of amazing free games :)

However, the z3 format I'm using (Infocom's format) is more rare, and limited to: Infocom games, a few small games, Scott Adams demakes, etc. But it's the only format that works on older computers, like the TI-99/4A, the Oric, the Commodore 8-bit, the GameBoy, etc. (Even the C64 has its limitations; Ozmoo only supports files up to 210kb, instead of the full potential of 256kb of a z5 file.) For these platforms, you effectively had no new text adventures for years; and it's some extra work for me to manage to pack the game in the 128kb limit.

But yeah, for the Amiga, I'm competing with Spider and Web, which is free and probably better than my game :D My arguments here would be that I tried to make an adventure in the style of Infocom, including the themes and the prose, and some people might like that; there will also be feelies, just like Infocom. And there should, hopefully, be a physical release, with physical feelies and a box designed to be evocative of Infocom's boxes (some people will want that for their collection). It's also not too difficult of a game and won't block you, and it's cheap :D (And there's a free demo!) And by buying it, you're supporting my work and encouraging me to keep going, and showing there's a market for more old school parser games.

It's not released for the IFComp, since the IFComp prohibits commercial games; but if you're interested in checking out free games, check out "Life on Mars?", my 2015 entry in that Comp, and one of the few games I've written in English since "Gossip". (Another one is the short, free "Heading East", and my cheap interactive travelogue, with pictures, "Go West", both set in Canada.) They're all available on https://hlabrande.itch.io :D

User avatar
dddaaannn

Posted Fri Oct 02, 2020 11:10 pm

It's fair enough to say the world is full of no-cost high quality entertainment, more than we can possibly consume, and for-pay indie or hobbyist entertainment wouldn't survive in a "market" against those products in the strictest sense. But we shouldn't conclude that hobbyists shouldn't charge for their games. I pay for indie/hobbyist games all the time. Call it patronage if you must, but there's money in it. I regularly send money to my favorite YouTubers even though their content is distributed for free, because I want there to be more of it. (I've had to scale back recently, as any YouTubers on this board that I used to give to may have noticed. :oops: Not personal, I assure you. :lol: )

Freshness alone provides some value. I once calculated that I have enough unconsumed entertainment media in my house to last the next 22 years, not counting anything I can access on the Internet, and I still seek out, and pay for, new stuff. Just because I never finished Curses doesn't mean I'm not interested in new text games. So yeah, even in a glutted market, there's patronage and conspicuous consumption to sustain you. :P

As retro platforms get more popular, so will the z3 format. I know I'm compelled to try making z3 games. Inform 7 doesn't compile down so well, though there's a scaled down library. Inform 6 is still a workhorse. I'd love to make IF that can be distributed on retro platforms.

User avatar
hlabrande

Posted Sat Oct 03, 2020 9:11 am

Let me know if you need help! Start by getting the latest (6.34) version of the compiler off of the IF Archive, and PunyInform from Github :)

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fxgogo
Website

Posted Mon Oct 05, 2020 3:13 am

Well this does sound interesting. Are you documenting you process at all? One of my daughters loves point and click adventure games and I am trying to get her to make an IF as she can then focus on the story and game play with lower barriers to entry. Checking your game out now...





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