Re-Archiving the Adventure Construction Set (ACS)

Games, Productivity Tools etc
Keighn
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Re-Archiving the Adventure Construction Set (ACS)

Post by Keighn » Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:30 am

Man those release dates:
Release:
1984 (C64)
1985 (Apple II)
1986 (Amiga)
1987 (MS-DOS)

So, c64 was the flagship even though I swore it was AppleII.

The rest of this post I might get some flak (esp the dos version as it is a pain and I had to package it the way I did rather than let others try to install it via floppy drive (but hey.. I have a usb floppy now so HUZZAH).

I've been posting here and there on Melon64, REMOVED and Jolt Country.

I've been working on trying to piece together all of the old Electronic Arts Adventure Construction Set Data I can. And let me tell you, it has been a pain in the ass since sites have dropped off and there has been little in the way of people from the past caring about it. Oh there is the niche group which is great but all the old adventures in storage seem gone. Maybe, if I can get enough attention brought back to this then they can be rearchived and maybe even Stuart Smith will pop up and give a nod. So, I will put up some stuff I have worked on. So far it has been getting copies of every thing for emulators and dosbox. God this was a headache in and of itself as not everything was available and I had to go through hoops and old broken laptops with shitty floppy drives and destroyed OS's with barely DOS on them to finally getting a copy of an emulated AppleII version that wasn't entirely corrupt so I could MAKE adventure disks. From there it was hell getting ACS to finish adventures and figuring out the emulators.

When I finally got all up and running to life-support standards I started to work on recording the sounds and music (as youtube had pretty iffy versions out). Once I did this and edited them via audacity and tried to clean them up the best I could considering they were entirely from emulation. (remember.. I can't program so that type of ripping and shit is beyond me).

After that, I have been spending months creating tilesets for all the basic modules for each platform. A real shitter was that I had to draw all the appleII tiles by hand on ms-paint as the screenshot cut/paste and copy just looked like crap. I can't say the final result is all to great but it is clean for the pixels in png and that's what counts if one is going to use them in say ACK or some other builder program. I have created tilesetes, individual tiles, and comparison sheets. this took ages it seems but it puts me up to the next level of working on the data in each module. Eventually, I will get an additional manual written with the shortcuts, dos and don'ts, and problems with the engine. There are some things that annoy the crap out of me and one would be speed of creation and drawing inside the program. Lordy is that slow and tedious.

I still have hopes to convert Stuart Smith's FRACA from appleII to an ACS module for each platform. I wouldn't mind turning the Amiga version in a go to for even the older graphics on the other platforms (ie playing the amiga version with appleII graphics). The amiga has the most color and extra sounds. I must say my cleaned up versions sound better and I'm more partial to the C64 musical score and sound in many cases. Maybe if I work on the ACK I can just bypass all that guff except for the purists who won't play or work on anything but ACS instead (yeah.. like there are many of those around.. )

So here's what I have for you:
ACS Compilation version 1
This is what I started with and some of it is incomplete. It has some extras that I will eventually edit and try to clean up like old articles and manuals.

Stuart Smith's Other Games
Yeah, I included these for nostalgia purposes and if you wanted to try them out. I still have hopes to try and convert to acs but some of it is just impossible considering what the games entail and ACS just cannot do.

ACS Music/Sound Archive
After all my painstaking work I hope these came out OK. Some of the sounds are god awful and I don't know if that's the emulators or just the version period. Eh, it is what it is and back then it may have been great.

ACS COMPLETE TILESETS
I sure hope its complete. It is all the basic stuff in the types of modules for each of the 4 platforms (C64, AppleII, Amiga, DOS) (the modules being Land of Adventuria, Rivers of Light, Fantasy Set, Spy/Mystery Set, Science-Fiction Set, and Galactic Agent (Amiga Only)). I didn't include the modules out there yet or the latest entry from 2018 by a talented fellow. I will get to those later after all the basics are done.

The Basic Files for the Modules on their respectable platforms
A lot of this is repat of v1.0 but there is some clean up here and I included a disk so you can let ACS finish adventures on the AppleII. Basically you should be able to do all the basics here provided you have the correct emulators and dosbox. Its old shit and only oldies will give a damn but there ya go. I'll put up some screenshots of tilesets eventually or you can just download that and take a look for yourself. Maybe, I can get a website up and resurrect the ACS project.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

And for those who complain its too small then just copy it and look at it under your own viewing program. I spent a a hell of a lot of time to get to t here and the files are available to peruse as you see fit.
I'm hardly done yet dissecting the games on all the platforms. It actually doesn't seem like much and I'm sure some programmer could have ripped these easily and produced similar tilesets and audio in no time flat.

......... I am not that person and I have to use the old ways of drawing on mspaint, copy/past, creating templates, recording and editing etc etc etc.


Sometimes.... mustard goes good with fries.

merman
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Re: Re-Archiving the Adventure Construction Set (ACS)

Post by merman » Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:37 pm

Intriguing

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Baber64
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Re: Re-Archiving the Adventure Construction Set (ACS)

Post by Baber64 » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:28 am

My imagination gave life to the old ACS tile sets. Our minds provide better graphics than any modern "cinematic style" online streaming game.

I created probably two dozen or so custom images for my kung fu adventures. Drawing shuriken was particularly fun.

Thanks again.

Keighn
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Re: Re-Archiving the Adventure Construction Set (ACS)

Post by Keighn » Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:11 am

Imagination was mentioned in Fracas and ACS (probably ali-baba & heracles as well). I've slowly started spreadsheets and a word doc. It has been a while since using them so figuring a layout and copying the templates is the first step and mostly done. The only differences I've seen in the fantasy set so far is the naming of and invisible object. One version says hidden instead. I think I will place the Amiga Sci-fi Agent game into mods sets (i know there are two more out there floating around but damn me if i can find anything but screenshots).
Sometimes.... mustard goes good with fries.

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