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July 27, 2004

Announcing Dunric's 1 to 2K Text Adventure Competition

Dunric's new contest is a test of budget coding at its finest.

Dunric, a QB coder who is famous for his gigantic text adventure Westfront PC: The Trials of Guilder as well as some other ASCII graphics games like P.R.O.G.U.E., has made a dozens of text adventures in his day. In fact, on his text adventure site, over twenty-five original text adventures are available for download. Most of them were written in QBasic.

Over the years, Dunric has wrestled with optimizing his text adventure code to make it as memory-efficient as possible. His reasoning is not only philosophical: it's practical too. Dunric has done this so that he can fit the biggest and most impressive adventure games into the miniscule amounts of RAM available on early personal computers.

Back in June, Dunric got the idea that others might also enjoy his hobby of budget adventure game coding, and so he opened up a contest for interested text adventure programmers.

Here is his contest invitation, released on the Yahoo! QBasic group, as well as at other locales around the Internet.

I am organizing a 1 to 2KB text adventure competition. See below:


"Is it possible to write a text adventure in under 2K of RAM? Some
people have tried, and some have succeeded.

I would like to officially announce the formation of The 1st Annual 1
to 2K Classic Text Adventure Competition. I will be accepting BASIC,
C/C++, Fortran and Assembly language submissions for 1 to 2K text
adventures written for the following computing platforms: Commodore
64/128/+4/Vic-20/PET, TI 99/4A, IBM PC/PCJr, Atari 400/800, Apple
II/IIe, Sinclair, TRS-80, Color Computer, Acorn, Tomy Tutor, Bally
Astrocade, Linux, Mac and Windows/DOS.

Please submit your 1 to 2K adventure games to me. The 2K size can be
either the source coce, or the EXE, BIN, OBJ, PRG, ELF or other
self-contained, self-running binary. So you can thus have, say, a 8K
source code listing, so long as the binary format doesn't exceed 2.9KB
of size. You may also crunch the binary down with a compressing
program such as UPX or Winzip. The competition officially begins on
June 28, 2004, and runs through September 29, 2004. I will post all
submissions, regardless of when they were submitted, and then review
them and post grades on this page on October 7th. Good luck! =)

To help get you started, see my 8KB adventure game, in BASIC, called
The Melarkian.


Paul Allen Panks

Dunric's competition has already been open for more than a month, and has had several entries already. They include "Illusion", by Eric Eve, "The Traveler's Keeper", by Bill Loguidice, "The Fall", by Marco Pontello and Dunric's own "B-Venture". Most of the entries thus far have been written in QBasic or QBasic-compatible BASIC dialects.

If you are interested in this competition, check out the official site.

Additionally, you can find several interesting articles on text adventures at Dunric's Blog, and Dunric's original text adventure programs are available at his Westfront PC and adventure game site.

Submitted by Pete

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