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WIP: Sorcery (was: Two problems with Sorcery)

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 8:23 am
by orion70
Hi, all. I recently came across an old disk I did a couple of years ago with a copy of Sorcery by B. Jones (1984). Great game. :lol:
I decided to spend some time on it. Its manual, a true piece of art, clearly describes how to begin a new quest with these words:

To start the game with a random dungeon press the [F1] key. You can select a permanent dungeon by pressing any other key; eg. “a

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 8:41 am
by nbla000
post it to a place and i give a look.

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:39 am
by orion70
Give it a look for both problems? Thanks in advance!

Don't know if I can upload it somewhere else, being this game still copyrighted, but you can download all the stuff here:

Please take note - you should have at least 16K RAM and load it as follows:

load"sorclib.bin",8,1 (or ,1,1)
load"sorcery.bas",8,1 (or ,1,1)

At the prompt, try and type a fixed letter: the dungeon will change every time!

BTW, no response from the Author yet. :cry:
Waiting for the mistery to be solved...

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 1:42 pm
by orion70
OK - easier this way:

contains the disk version of the two files (sorclib, the first to be loaded, and sorcery, the second), and a .vsf VICE snapshot image of the game loaded and ready to generate the dungeon.

Don't tell Brendan :wink:

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 2:12 pm
by Mayhem
This thread might be of a little use ;) ... php?p=3659

Sadly I tried the PRG file on my HD and it does indeed exhibit randomness despite pressing A on the title screen each time.

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 3:31 pm
by orion70
Yup! Thanks Mayhem for this. Loading Sorcery will be much easier... albeit pretty unuseful until we solve the *randomness mistery*...

<cit> Where in the world is Carmen...</cit>, Brendan Jones? :?:

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 4:06 pm
by carlsson
No idea about the random, one would need to look into the code to see what happens (i.e. if a branch points wrong). Saving to disk might be possible to fix, but you need at least a file name. Is it enough with one character file per disk side, or would you prefer a file name requester?

Aah.. it is mostly a Basic program. That makes it much less of a trouble to fix. I was thinking it was a compiled program or hand-written assembly code, as it is made by Brendan Jones of the UPL and Quetzacoatl fame.

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 5:51 pm
by Mikam73
Any screenshot, I couldnt find it from Armas page.

didnt know there was Sorcery for Vic20.

Posted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:53 am
by orion70
I guess it's not the "Sorcery" you remember for other platform(s):

from :


...but IMHO, it's a great effort and results in a fun and challenging RPG. That's why I'd like to solve those problems soooo much :roll:

BTW, the BASIC part relating to character saving can be easily found, and one can simply change the drive number, but the best would be to modify it with a file name requester in order to avoid disk swapping...

And I can't find what's wrong with dungeon generation related to the key pressed.

Posted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 2:16 am
by orion70
Brendan Jones just answered my email - and solved the mistery:

The maze is the same, but the four exits shift will change, so when we restart the game keeping move e.g. S/W with the odd N or E until you get in the e.g. SW corner, then you'll be oriented for your hand-drawn maze. Yeah; since the maze moves it isn't *exactly* the same, but that is the only difference (Well, that and the monsters). We did know about this, but for some reason we rationalised it.

More, he would like to write a sequel some day in the future!

I guess everything is clear now; except for a little confusion it generates in the player :wink: - for which I asked him to modify the program and make all the dungeons exits fixed for each dungeon... If he has time and will.

Posted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 1:23 pm
by Mayhem
So in a nutshell, the dungeon IS the same, but the actual starting points swop around so visiting point 1 could be any of the 4 each load?

Posted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 6:28 pm
by Mikam73
No. Its not same. At ´my´ Sorcery Witch did fly. I think I saw one childhood friend play it with Amstrad.


Posted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 3:05 am
by orion70
To tell you the truth, Mayhem, it's not so clear: I had to read Brendan's mail twice to realize what's the point. And the point is: the maze IS the same every time you press the same letter on the keyboard - what changes is not only the number assigned to each entrance; but the POSITION of ALL FOUR entrances.

In other words: my theory (still have no time to prove it, but I will ASAP) is that the map does not change at all; but the four points where you start change, i.e. they are "created in the ceiling" of different rooms every time.

Dunno if this is correct; someone please confirm it.

Posted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 5:31 am
by Mayhem
Ah gotcha... well I guess the only way to be sure would be for someone to plot out dungeon A. How big are they anyhow grid size?


Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 1:19 am
by brendanjones
It's me! Found Denial through Orion70. Heard about Denial years ago, but wondered if it was an Urban Legend. :-) Yay! Glad to hear someone is having fun with Sorcery! Back in 1986 my neighbours and I played it to death. His Dad was a Pastor, so we couldn't cast spells when he was in the room. :-) Seriously!

> So in a nutshell, the dungeon IS the same, but the actual starting
> points swop around so visiting point 1 could be any of the 4 each load?

To clarify: The maze stays the same, but all 4 doors are randomly placed at new locations. The good news is it should be pretty easy to change. Somewhere in the code it'll seed the random number generator, then generate the maze, then reseed it with the TI system variable, then set the doors, the mobs, etc. Just move the set the doors part before the reseeding. Of course, I'm going off some real old memories here... :-)

I *do* have the all the old notes lying around here; planned it out on paper so all the variables and line numbers are written down and what the routines do. Also the original bit art. Unfortunately will have to go through 40 plastic storage boxes before I can find them :-) If someone can send me an ASCII listing or tell me how to generate one (I got gibberish with CBM2IBM) I'll see if I can find it. Shouldn't be too hard but... There'll be a reference to TI and then a FOR I=1TO4 or I TO ND or something like that.

Yeah. I think changing it's a good idea. I'll also place the source in the public domain; do with it whatever you like. If you want to fork the source, go for it and I'll link it off the site or merge the changes or whatever you like. Orion's disk change sounds good too. Think I'll download it :-) There are a few bugs in ERRATA worth fixing too. BTW memory is tight if you're on 16Kb exp (ie. 19.5Kb); uses every last byte. There is a line you could delete where there is a real small chance (very small) that the mob will grab your weapon out of your hand. Otherwise if you're running with 24Kb you'll have no problems.

Sequel: Yeah! Looked at this a few years ago when the MMPOG were big. Market is awash with them now, so glad I didn't. But someday for sure; the idea is just too much fun! :-)

> didnt know there was Sorcery for Vic20.
It was never published. Did try, but this was through two clueless Aussie companies. Ozisoft and Imagineering. Ozisoft gave all their games to some dweeb to evaluate who stuck them in his Dad's garage and forgot about them. Imagineering sat on it for a year and ignored all my letters until I finally threatened to sue their asses. (I was 16 or something at the time.) Imagineering was owned by a guy called Jodee Rich, who went on to create OneTel = one of Australia's biggest corporate colllapses. I reckon Richard Garriot with his zip-locked plastic bags had a far better idea. :-)