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 Readme for:  Game » Misc » agility.lha


Description: AGT/AGX game interpreter
Download: agility.lha       (TIPS: Use the right click menu if your browser takes you back here all the time)
Size: 381kb
Version: 1.1.1
Date: 02 Oct 06
Author: Robert Masenten, AmigaOS 4.0 compile by Spot / Up Rough
Submitter: Spot / Up Rough
Email: spot/triad se
Category: game/misc
License: GPL
Distribute: yes
Min OS Version: 4.0
FileID: 2127
Comments: 0
Snapshots: 0
Videos: 0
Downloads: 12  (Current version)
12  (Accumulated)

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Version 1.1.1

  This is an interpreter for game files created with Malmberg and
Welch's _Adventure Game Toolkit_. AGiliTy is universal in the sense
that it understands and interprets most of the many versions of the
AGT game file format (unlike the original interpreters which were
only intended to run the game file format associated with them) and
also in that it is written in ANSI C and so should be straightforward
to port to other systems.  

  It is *not* a port of the original interpreters but rather a
completely new interpreter built around the game file format; while it
follows the original interpreters on most things, there are some
differences which are described below.


   For general information on AGT, I recommend Jay Goemmer's web page 
at http://www.ltlink.com/~jgoemmer/agt.html.

  The most recent release of this program can be found at the
Interactive Fiction archive:

  This software is copyright 1996-1999,2001 by Robert Masenten.
This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of version 2 of the GNU General Public License,
as published by the Free Software Foundation.
  This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
GNU General Public License for more details.
  You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA  02111-1307  USA

  For information on compiling and porting this program, see the file
'porting.txt'. A list of known bugs is in the file 'buglist' and a
list of changes from earlier versions is in 'changes.txt'. (If this is
with an executable and not the source version, some of these files may not
be present).

   Send comments and bug reports to Robert Masenten at:

Thanks to the following people:
 *Jay Goemmer, who has sent me pages and pages of comments and bug
 *David Kinder, responsible for the both the Amiga and Windows ports and 
a source of much valuable feedback.
 *David Youd, who has uncovered many subtle and complex bugs in both
AGiliTy and Magx.
 *Mitch Mlinar, who has contributed several patches.
 *Jan-Erik Karlsson, for his bug report/patch.
 *Everyone else who has sent me suggestions and bug reports, including
Audrey De Lisle (responsible for the red smoke), David Doherty, Al
Golden, John Hartnup, Walter Isaac, Sami Kivela, Alexander Lehmann,
Grant E. Metcalf, Paul Mikell, Adam Myrow, Olav Nielsen, D.J. Picton,
Kevin Soucy, Ben Straub, "Grand Moff Tarkin", Adam Thornton, Mark
Tilford, David Turpin, and Gil Williamson.
 *Volker Blasius, maintainer of the Interactive Fiction Archive at 
 *Robert Pelak, who suggested the name "AGiliTy".
 *All of the other people on rai-f who suggested names for my interpreter.

  Games in the AGT format can be found at the Interactive Fiction archive: 

  AGT games are recognizable by having several different files with
names like 'MYGAME.D$$', 'MYGAME.DA1', 'MYGAME.DA2', ... ,
'MYGAME.DA6', 'MYGAME.TTL', etc. They also usually come with a DOS
runtime interpreter (usually called RUN.EXE or MRUN.EXE), which can be
deleted without affecting AGiliTy. (DOS users might want to keep it
around 'just in case', depending on how much hard drive space is

   AGiliTy also has its own file format (with extension "AGX", which
stands for "Adventure Game eXecutable"); existing AGT games can be
converted into this format using the utility agt2agx which comes with
AGiliTy. They can also be created from AGT source code by using the
Magx compiler, available in

  The new format takes all of the various AGT files (MYGAME.DA1,
MYGAME.CFG) and puts all of the data in one file (MYGAME.AGX).
  Aside from the reduction in directory clutter, it has the 
following advantages:   
 1)It's smaller; for large games the new format can save over 100K
    (The most extreme case I've run across so far is Shades of Gray:
     790K vs. 568K uncompressed or 273K vs. 148K ZIPed) 
 2)It loads more quickly since it's closer in structure to AGiliTy's
    internal format. (In particular, the interpreter doesn't need to
    build the dictionary or convert metacommand opcodes into a common
 3)It's more portable. For example, there are platforms out there that
    can't handle the 'D$$' extension.

  AGiliTy understands the following versions of AGT (which includes
every AGT game at ftp.ifarchive.org that I know of):
  --the early "Classic AGT": e.g. 1.19, 1.2, 1.21 
  --"Classic AGT", both big and small: e.g. 1.3, 1.32, 1.35, 1.5, 1.7
  --the "Even Bigger 1.32" used by _Cosmoserve_
  --the "Chemically Altered 1.32" used by _Shades of Gray_, 
  --Menichelli's 1.82[untested] and 1.83 
  --Both known "proto-Master's Edition" 1.5 variants
  --The proto-Master's Edition 1.6 variant used by Pork.
  --Both Master's Edition 1.0 variants.
  --The Master's Edition 1.5/1.51, 1.55, and 1.56/1.6/1.7. 

   _The Pyramids of Mars_ and _Cliff Diver_ require configuration
options to be set; they use variant interpreters that are supported 
but can't be detected by the interpreter.
  In particular, _Pyramids_ needs the ALT_ANY option and
_Cliff Diver_ requires the IRUN option.

   _Klaustrophobia_ is now supported. Use AGiliTy to play each of the
chapters as usual. To switch between chapters, just SAVE at the end
of one chapter and RESTORE at the beginning of the next (the
game will tell you when to switch chapters; however, use SAVE instead
of DONE1 or DONE2). This is still experimental and so I'd appreciate
any feedback on how well it works (or doesn't work, as the case may
  Unlike the MS-DOS programs that _Klaustrophobia_ originally used for
this, AGiliTy doesn't check that you've actually reached the end of the
previous chapter; be warned that if you switch chapters before the game
tells you to, things may break.
  There is also no way for AGiliTy to support the intermission or
endgame text from the original game: these are all printed out
by DOS programs rather than by the AGT interpreter.

 --Disambiguation is done on the normal command entry line rather than
having a special prompt.
 --When asked "Which object do you mean?", it is possible to reply
ANY, EITHER, BOTH, or ALL, as well as giving the name of an object.
 --LISTEXIT ON, LISTEXIT OFF will turn automatic listing of exits on or
off (in AGT there is a LIST EXITS command, so some AGT games don't list 
exits to rooms).
 --OOPS, UNDO, and RESTART are supported (at least on systems with
enough memory).
 --Adjective-only matches are accepted by the parser.
 --The parser is capable of intelligent disambiguation. 
 --It is is also able to expand ALL and ALL EXCEPT (when appropriate
options are set).
 --Some more multiple word verbs are automatically recognized (for
example, GET IN is automatically translated into ENTER).
 --Some built-in verbs have additional synonyms. (In particular,
standard one-letter abbreviations are supported: X for EXAMINE, Z for
 --Game-specific synonyms are given a higher priority by the parser than
the generic built-in synonyms.
 --The standard error messages are different than the original (except
in Master's Edition games where most of the standard error messages
are included in the game file)
 --SCRIPT output is sent to a file rather than to the printer.
 --AGiliTy has an extended AGILDEBUG debugging verb and supports more
detailed metacommand tracing output.  
 --AGiliTy uses a different save file format.  
 --COLORS is not supported, although on some systems equivalent
functionality is supported in the configuration file.
 --The special title screen effects of the Shades of Gray and Cosmoserve97 
interpreters aren't duplicated. 
 --Graphics, sound, and fonts are not supported on all platforms.

These are all of the special verbs recognized by the interpreter:
SCORE Print out your score.
NOTIFY Turn score notification on and off
INSTRUCTIONS or INS  Display the instructions for the game.
INTRODUCTION or INTRO Repeat the introduction of the game.
VIEW <picture>  Views an illustration. (Not supported on all platforms.)
BRIEF   Don't print room descriptions for rooms you've seen.
VERBOSE Print room descriptions even  for rooms you've already seen.
LIST EXITS List the exits from a room.
LISTEXIT ON,OFF  Turn on/off automatic listing of exits.
SCRIPT Start sending a transcript to a file.
UNSCRIPT  Stop creating a transcript.
SOUND ON, OFF  Turn sound on/off.
LOG Start sending all of your commands to a file.
REPLAY <number>  Replay your commands from a file, one every <number>
REPLAY FAST  Replay your commands from a file without waiting for you
             to read the scrolling text.
REPLAY STEP  Replay your commands from a file, one for every keypress.
AGILDEBUG  Access debugging commands.
MENU Toggle menu mode on or off.
OOPS Correct a word you just mistyped; must be the first command on
 a line.
UNDO Undo your last move; must be the first command on a line.
SAVE Save the game.
RESTORE Restore the game.
RESTART Restart the game.
QUIT Quit 

  The interpreter gets configuration information from as many as three
places: the global configuration file (containing things that you want
to apply to every game you play), the game-specific configuration
file (usually with an extension '.cfg'), and, in the case of AGX-format
games, the game file itself. 
  Options in the game-specific file override options specified from
the other two sources; options in the AGX file override those in the
global file.

  The following configuration options are supported on all platforms.
Other options may be supported on your particular system; see
appropriate platform-specific documentation for information.
   Each option should be on a separate line in the configuration file.
Lines starting with '#' will be treated as comments and ignored.
Options can be negated by prefixing them with 'NO_' so that, for
example, DEBUG would become NO_DEBUG.

General options:
  VERBOSE  Start the game in VERBOSE mode
  DEBUG Allow the use of AGILDEBUG for pre-Master's games (For
 Master's Edition games, this decision is based on the DEBUG
 flag in the game file itself)
  DEFAULT_ERRORS  Cause AGiliTy to use its own internal defaults
        for standard error messages even if the game file defines its own.
 (Recommended for most Master's Edition games.)
  PATH  Gives a space-separated search path for AGT games. [Not supported
 on all platforms.]
  TONE  Enables the *tone* action token, which allows games to make
        annoying beeps on some platforms.  The only game I might recommend
 enabling this for is  _CosmoServe_ which has some interesting
 sound effects.  Not all platforms support this command.
  INPUT_BOLD  Makes the input line bold. (This doesn't work on all platforms)
  IBM_CHAR  Try to use the IBM character set; don't translate them.
 If your platform doesn't support the IBM character set, this is
 likely to produce garbage.
  NO_ERROR  Supress GAME ERROR messages during play. Some poorly written 
        AGT games contain bad metacommands, out-of-range tokens, or other 
 problems; this option will supress the messages reporting these 
 sorts of problems.
  SMART_DISAMBIG   This turns on smart disambiguation. This works better
 with some games than others. 
  EXPAND_ALL  This turns on ALL and ALL EXCEPT expansion in the parser (by
 default, expanding them is the responsibility of the individual
 verb execution routines); see remarks on SMART_DISAMBIG: both of these
 options use the same engine and so they are likely to work or fail
 together. If you're using this, you'll probably also want to set
  IGNORE_SIZE Ignore weight and size limits on how much the player can
        carry. (There remain limits on the size and weight of any 
        individual object.)

Game specific options
  (Many of these are more useful to game authors than game players.)
  PROPER_CREATURE  Treat all creature names as proper nouns.
     (In particular, this will cause them to be capitalized and to
     not have "the" appear in front of them.)  Use of DEFAULT_ERRORS
     is recommended with this option. 
  ROOMTITLE  Print the room title in bold before the room  description 
 in pre-Master's games. (Master's Edition games do this 
  IRUN  Print error messages in first person. This should be set for 
 _Cliff Diver_.
  NO_BLOCK_HOSTILE  Allow the player to leave a room containing a hostile
 creature if they go back the way they came. 
  NO_GET_HOSTILE  Prevents the player from picking up objects in a room
 containing a hostile creature. (Intended to be used with 
  NO_OBJECT_NOTES  Turns off notes after object description, 
 such as '[providing light]'.
  CONST_TIME  Increment time at a constant rate instead of randomly.  
  SLASH_BOLD  If set the slash character toggles bold on and off.
 (This should be set automatically for 1.8x games, but you may still
  need to set it explicitly for version 1.82 )
  PRONOUN_SUBS  Do $you$-style substitutions even in  game-author 
 defined messages. 
  ALT_ANY This scans the ANY metacommands *with* the <verb>
 metacommands rather than before them.  Should be set for
 _Pyramids of Mars_ and not for any other games I know of.
  CHECK_GRAMMAR  Print out error messages if the player enters a verb
 with too many objects. (For example, "N KEY").
  FORCE_LOAD  Force AGX game to load even if interpreter isn't of the
        right version.  Don't use this unless you know what you're
        doing: Magx doesn't assign minimum version numbers without
  PURE_AFTER  Causes LOOK and other end-of-turn actions to take place
      after AFTER commands. (This is on by default for Master's
      Edition games.)
      Force system to use a fixed-pitch font.
      Allow the system to use proportional fonts.

Technical options: These are fine tuning.
  FIX_METAVERB  Don't run ANY metacommands when executing a metaverb.
  FIX_MULTINOUN   Only advance one turn when manipulating multiple nouns,
 rather than a turn for each noun.
  PURE_ANSWER   Require AND-connected answers to be in the right order.
 (The Master's Edition documentation claims order doesn't
 matter, but with the actual interpreters it does)

Parse Options: These are all pretty technical.
  PURE_DUMMY   Allow dummy verbs to be run by typing "dummy_verb3"
  PURE_SUBNAME Allow subroutines to be run by typing "subroutine3"
  PURE_SYNONYM Treat synonyms exactly as nouns.
  ADJ_NOUN     Don't pick noun matches over adjective-only matches.

  With AGILDEBUG you can access various debugging commands.  You can
move objects around; change the values of flags, variables and
counters; list objects in the game; examine and edit objects; and turn
metacommand tracing on or off. 

  (Note: You can change almost all of the fields associated with
an object using the View/Edit Object option; be warned that many of
them are not SAVEd or RESTOREd since they can't be changed during
normal play. If you change one of these and then RESTORE or UNDO, it 
will stay changed. Conversely, if you make a change, save, quit, and
restore, the changed value will not be preserved. The fields having
this behavior are marked.)

  When metacommand tracing is on, every metacommand that is run will
be displayed. You can turn off tracing of ANY metacommands and tracing
of metacommands during disambiguation (the latter is off by default).

  In addition, AGiliTy has a test mode which automatically reads a
log file from <gamename>.LOG (or equivalent) and writes a script to
<gamename>.SCR. In this mode, the random number generator is forced to
be non-random, allowing for automated testing of games.
  To use this, you create a LOG file (either by hand, by using the
'-c' option, or by using LOG-- note that this log file needs to
include everything from the very beginning, including the key hit at
the end of the title screen, so if using the LOG command you'll need
to add a line or two at the beginning.)  
  Run AGiliTy in test mode once to get the script. Copy the script
to some other file.  Then, whenever you make a change to your game
file, rerun AGiliTy and compare the new script with the old one.
(There are programs that will do this automatically and just print
out the lines that have changed.)

  Here is a list of a few of the better or more popular AGT games,
along with their filename in ftp://ftp.ifarchive.org/if-archive/games/agt/;
it is in no way exhaustive.
   I've also included references to reviews in issues of SPAG and
XYZZYnews; these can be found in if-archive/magazines/SPAG and 
if-archive/magazines/XYZZYnews respectively.

Shades of Gray (soggy97.zip) by Mark Baker, Steve Bauman, Belisana 
    Magnificent, Mike Laskey, Judith Pintar, "Hercules", and Cindy Yans  
  Widely considered to be the best AGT game ever written. This is a
  'real life' game that is concerned more with the protagonist's
  ideals and mental state than with "adventuring".  You open the game
  with amnesia and need to figure out who you are and recover your
  memory. To say more would give too much away. It's a bit uneven (it
  was written by a team of seven people) and it opens with an
  arbitrary puzzle that's a potental show-stopper, but overall this is
  an excellent game.
    SPAG 2, 8; XYZZY 11(interview with one of the authors)

Cosmoserve (cosmos97.zip)  Judith Pintar
  Another strong AGT game. In it, you take the role of R.J. Wright,
  free-lance programmer/plumber, who is trying to finish a program
  that is due the next morning. You will need to log on to Cosmoserve
  and interact with the other users in order to be able to do this.
  It has a clever interface that really captures both the DOS 
  command-line and life online pre-GUI. This is, however, a game
  you'll have to play through several times to win since it requires
  tight timing to be in all of the right places at the right times. 
    SPAG 5; XYZZY 1, 11(interview with the author)

The Jeweled Arena (tja.zip)  David S. Raley
  This game is divided into four chapters; in each chapter you are
  a different person (although the first and third chapters share the
  same main character). Games like this often suffer from a lack of
  unity; this game, however, holds together quite well.  In part, this
  is because all of the chapters take place in a single, large,
  setting: the city of Kumeran. You can visit locations multiple times, as
  different characters. Locations that are unimportant in one chapter
  may be of great importance in a later chapter. In general, the world
  has a lot of depth, from diaries of the main characters to newspaper
  articles to books on law. On the other hand, it could have used some
  more beta-testing. There are several guess-the-verb puzzles and a quite
  a few bugs; most of the bugs are just amusing, but at least one (in
  chapter 3) can cause the game to become silently unwinnable for no
  obvious reason if you do a certain action in the wrong place.

Pastoral Pitfalls (pp20.zip) Guy Marquardt
  In this game you are the pastor of a Lutheran church; you need to
  make it through the day fufilling all of your responsibilities
  (which include visiting the sick, teaching a confirmation class,
  preparing a sermon, and still finding time to pray) I haven't
  finished this game, but the parts I've seen I've liked.  The game 
  seems to have been well tested; it's mostly free of guess-the-verb
  problems and bugs.   It feels very open; you have a lot of freedom
  in what order to do things (although some care is needed so you don't
  run out of time).  
    XYZZY 9(preview)

The Multi-Dimensional Thief (mdthief1.zip)  Joel Finch
    [Summary/review by Audrey De Lisle]
  You are a thief desiring to become a member of the Thieves' Guild.
  The test for this is to find the way out of the house.  This seems
  rather easy, but it's not.  One feature is a visit to OZ; another
  feat is done while quite small.  The amazing machine is fun to use
  and you must learn how to use it to get in an otherwise closed room.
  You can order things from a catalog and part of the game is to
  figure out which items you need.  I would recommend this game to
  those who like a little humor with their puzzles.
  [There is also a non-AGT version of this game.]
    SPAG 2, 4, 9

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