Hi Graham. It is great to hear from you. Many thanks for lots of hours of entertainment when I was a kid
along with Vortex Blaster we created a space invaders style and pac-man style game
I assume that is Vermin Invaders and Demon Gobbler. Vermin Invaders was a very good space invaders clone, and Demon Gobbler is Pac-Man on acid
Very trippy wobbling demons and a toothy Pac Man from memory.
I actually have most of the old TTS titles around somewhere. Are you happy enough for me to keep remastering / packaging them up for release? Assuming I ever get the time of course - life always seems to be busy
Castle of Fear (text / graphic adventure) was another one that caused me hours of frustration. I never did complete that. Text adventures in the 80s were a peculiar exercise in pain and frustration given the limited parsing abilities available. I remember being impressed as a kid seeing how you used the built in SC-3000 Eng Diers graphics characters to draw the screens - I couldn't figure out what the point of them was until then.
A few years back I read through the program and figured out the hashing system you used in the parser and put a little debug output on screen so I could brute force words and see which ones actually matched what the parser was looking for on each screen. I think that got me through the graveyard and up into the castle and into a kitchen or a study or something like that.
Update - I just found my notes on the parsing sytem for that (Dec 2010). I'll have to add those to the tape release. All commands are one or two words and the parser only looks at the first three letters of each word. It then performs a hash on this to transform to a number which is what is used in the basic if / then statements. So it is not trivial to read the program and figure out how to cheat.
I added 21 PRINT A;B;L:FOR BLAH = 0 TO 300:NEXT BLAH
The Parse routine is located at line 900
If you type in say MOVE FLOOR, then A=493 (move), B=459 (floor) and L is the room number
You had an impressive list of titles for the Sega SC-3000 - I think these are all TTS titles:
and Text / Graphic Adventures
Castle of Fear
Orb of Power
Transylvania Castle of Horror
Underworld of Kragon