John's Crazy Dunjun

1982

Written in Written for Language Graphics Published Size
Apple II+ Apple II+ Applesoft BASIC Lo-Res N/A 17 sectors
And so my Lo-Res games start... (That thing in the "grass" is the car that dropped you off)

That pretty much says it all.

Bad text formatting. Lo-Res dots for the player, enemy and treasures. A total of 6 treasures, 10 monsters and 10 quests. Students of AD&D will recognize all the monster and (most) treasure names as being totally ripped off from the Monster Manual and Dungeon Master's Guide.

 

A Lo-Res pile of ass. But at least it's funny. Kinda.

Trilogy Of Terror

Unfortunately, I created 3 of these Lo-Res quest-type atrocities. My second attempt, Trapped!, looks a little cleaner but is too difficult to play. I really think that on my third try, Relic Quest, I may have actually created some fun from this design.

There's a pretty sad error in the game, a BAD SUBSCRIPT ERROR, which means an array element is being referenced which is out-of-bounds. The way to get this to happen is to go UP through any "door" on the top row of rooms.

The big problem was that I didn't know what a VARIABLE was, so I didn't know that I could have set up "X=30 : Y=6" and moved the man's coordinates based on a legal move.  Ihardcoded every single movement into a seperate function!  Um....uh...

I finally deleted the program because it seemed like it was going to take forever to do every single window for the entire game.  The day after I deleted it, I found out from my friend Robert just what a variable was.  Oh well, time to program my next game then!

Each room occupies a spot in a grid with the starting room being at (0,0). As soon as you go up a row, you are at row (0,-1) and that array element is impossible to address in a program... so BASIC just crashes. Sure, if I cared enough I could have made the dungeon generator not put UP doors on the top row (or just made them wrap-around to the bottom)... but I guess I was just too ready to move on to something else.


Idea From The Deep

The main reason I created Crazy Dunjun is because I was totally in love with the arcade game Venture! It was such a cool game - it was trying to capture the essence of playing D&D, but in a very rough way.

Yeah, I played Venture quite a bit. Maybe that explains why I wrote three copies of it!

If you do a CATALOG of the disk image, you'll notice a file named BIN.CRAZY DUNJUN. This is a COMPILED version of the BASIC game, compiled with Microsoft TASC (yes, back then Microsoft was making Apple II software and hardware!) It weighs in at 47 sectors (kinda big for such a pile) and runs WAY faster and smoother. On a real Apple II the game was more fun but using an emulator like AppleWin - it's just too fast.

I only used Microsoft TASC on a few of my games. The last thing I wanted to do was resort to using a compiler to get speed out of my games instead of learning 6502 assembly. That reminds me of a funny story...


A Story About A Liar

Back when my friend Robert and I were in our "knowledge race" to see who could learn to code the best in the fastest amount of time, our holy grail was to learn 6502 assembly before the other guy did. Try as we did (and we tried pretty hard), we just could not figure it out.

But one day... I somehow got ahold of a copy of Microsoft TASC. I couldn't believe it - here was a program that could take Applesoft BASIC and translate it into 6502 machine language! I was really excited because that meant I could make my games run faster right now and I didn't have to wait to learn 6502 to make fast games.

But first a diabolical idea popped into my head.

The next day on the school bus going home, I told Rob that I "was reading my Assembly Language book last night and I completely understand it now!"

Of course, he couldn't believe it. I asked him to come up with a little challenge program idea and I would code it in 6502 and give it to him the next day. His idea was for me to draw a crosshair on the Hi-Res screen and move it around using the joystick - all in 6502. I said,"No problem." and told him I'd bring it with me the next day.

I went home, wrote the little program in Applesoft BASIC, ran the TASC compiler on it and it worked like a charm, except that the file size was 47 sectors (!). The next day, I bring my disk with me and show it to Rob in the computer lab at school and he just could not believe what he was seeing. The crosshair moved superfast on the screen, all controlled by the joystick and he even typed in the BRUN command himself to run the program so he KNEW it was in 6502.

Then, he did a CATALOG. "Hey, why's the program 47 sectors? That's way too big for this!" Oops. Busted. I started laughing and told him everything and, of course, had to give him a copy of the compiler to play with as well.

Oh, another thing, I actually named this game John's Crazy Dunjun. Why did I use the word "Dunjun" instead of "Dungeon"? I think I was just trying to be different... I had seen "dungeon" spelled like "dunjon" (Epyx's Temple of Apshai), saw Wizard of Wor (instead of War), etc. Hey, uh... go with the flow, dude.


Gameplay Instructions

Objective:

Avoid all monsters, gather items and finish each level by capturing the Treasure.

CONTROLS:

A, Z, <-, -> to move.

EXTRA INFO:

The Treasure is in a room at the extreme right edge of the dungeon.