I’ve been adventuring away for a couple of months now using Gilsoft’s Professional Adventure Writer on the ZX Spectrum.
It’s not without it’s foibles, and in the hope that Mr Gilberts does release a new updated fancy-dan version for the imminent Spectrum Next here is my wishlist:
1. Automatic door handling. It’s a monotonous process programming doors. It would be very handy to have an automatic way of PAWS to have a door between two locations, and to assign a key to allow opening of it.
2. “Same Sentences”. To broaden acceptable commands I have often had to program two or more different constructs (or as PAWS calls then – Logical Sentences) to mean the same thing. It’s usually meant flipping NOUNS. For example:
SHOW MAN THE JACKET
SHOW JACKET TO THE MAN
Same thing, right? But in PAWS you have to code for both, and have the parser muck around with the structure. It’s awful to try and debug in the code. Maybe a new CONDACT that allows NOUN1 and NOUN2 to be either.
3. A simple REM or ; Comment line.
4. Filtering tables on Locations or Objects. Useful to quickly find CONDACTS that apply to certain things.
5. A simple DEBUG command that outputs text. We have PRINT for flags, but something that handles strings could be useful.
6. Consistent UI! A minor thing, but you can P(RINT) n – and look at locations from a certain number upwards, but you can’t do that in the O(BJECT) table – you have to do a full scan to find which one you want.
7. Make objects un-GETABLE. You can make them too heavy to pick-up, but it’s very inelegant. Another object state on top of Wearable/etc could get Getable. Better to return a default “You can’t.” instead of “The Car was too heavy for me.”
8. An easy way to draw pictures! God, how did folk have patience to draw stuff. Subroutines could be made better by having 0x0 as a relative for the first PLOT position, rather than the manual saying you have to remove that first PLOT – thus leaving the graphic unable to render normally until you put it back in.
9. Just have an import function for bmp/jpeg or a vector AI or other file.
10. More MESSAGES! 255 isn’t enough!