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Tag Archives: gateway

My Parser Computer Game

Programmed in Python 3:

https://github.com/GiovanniDannato/Do-Anything-Text-Game

Growing up I had a special affection for games where you could type commands into a parser because unlike a mouse interface you could attempt anything you could possibly think of and play with language itself.  In puzzle games this made it so you had to actually think things through and no clickfest could save you.  One could try to cheat by typing “use x with y” for every combo of items in your inventory but designers were usually more clever than this.
Frederik Pohl’s Gateway, one of my favorite games of all time, had limited graphics but understood the fun and capricious nature of the text interface better than any other.  The designers actually made an effort to think of all the dumb stuff you might type in. Here’s a couple of screen shots I just made:

messing around in Frederik Pohl’s gateway

 

 

What’s more, Gateway was a very well-made game when you actually took it seriously.  I loved that kind of depth.  For years I wanted to make something similar.  So I did as a way to learn some python a couple years ago.  I’m sure my code is terrible by any professional standard but it seems to work.  There are still bugs of course.

I tried to add some of the whimsical flavor I loved so much back in the day from games like Zork and Gateway. Come to think of it, death sequences were definitely inspired by reading too many Choose Your Own Adventure books as a kid.  I have monsters, puzzles, and an ending.  The player character can take 3 hits before dying.  There is an optional item that will improve your chances at the end but solving that puzzle requires thinking a bit immaturely. If a monster seems overwhelmingly difficult, you probably haven’t found the right item/solved the puzzle yet. If you have a weapon but use the word “hit” you will still be attacking with your hands. For those who have never played these kinds of games:
‘i’ =”look at inventory”
‘n, s, e, w’ = “go x” direction
‘l’ = “look at room”

Finally got around to putting it on github:
https://github.com/GiovanniDannato/Do-Anything-Text-Game
DoAnything is the executable and it should run in python 3.

Frederik Pohl’s Gateway: The Parser Game

This is parser gaming at its best.

Inspired by some of the basic ideas in an(excellent) science fiction novel, it has a plot that includes virtual reality hacking, existential philosophy, and dangerous space exploration. Better yet, all the puzzles logically make sense if you think everything through.

The programmers thought of just about every command you could type in, especially the vulgar and violent ones. Finding these easter eggs is definitely part of the fun.

It can be downloaded for free here.

http://www.abandonia.com/en/games/540/Gateway+-+Frederik+Pohls.html

And it can be played using an emulator like DosBox

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