Personal Archeology: AMOS Programming

The most BASIC of text adventures

When the Amiga was my main home computer, sometime from 1995 to 2000-ish, I used to program in various languages on it. Nothing fantastic, certainly nothing I could sell, and in fact very little I ever finished.

One of the languages I programmed in was AMOS. It was a form of BASIC designed for easy development of games, having a load of built-in sprite and sound routines. Some commercial games were written in it, and until Blitz BASIC became a thing it was probably the best beginners programming toolkit on the Amiga.

With all that power, I of course decided to create something that had no graphics or sound at all – a text adventure. It started as a single room, taking inspiration from the likes of Behind Closed Doors, but once I’d completed that first room I expanded it. I recall planning out all the puzzles in a little exercise book, with all the item logic and locations described. I spent a long time writing the parsing engine to chop up the user instructions into verbs and nouns. Looking at it now, it’s so very terrible on many levels – coding, grammar, spelling, humour – but despite it being incomplete (I only finished three rooms and started a fourth) I was still very proud of it.

Below is a video of me playing it after all this time. I don’t even remember the third room, and so was amazed there was even a room after that, unfinished as it is. I even put load and save routines in there? Who needs PAW or The Quill, eh?

If you’re interested in the actual code for this, which of course you are not, you can read it here.

 

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