Resurrecting the original ArcVenture series

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MarkyV
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:52 pm

Resurrecting the original ArcVenture series

Post by MarkyV » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:27 pm

Hi,
I am having a go at getting my ArcVenture series (Sherston Software) working under RISCOS on the Raspberry Pi - I'm currently using disc images on emulators to start picking through the code - the main problems being that they were all protected discs with a zapped sector - I am trying to get the data off my A3000 hard disc but it won't boot but it may have source code on it which would be unprotected - Early stages at the moment - I'll keep you posted how I get on.

Mark

JonAbbott
Posts: 1736
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:13 pm
Location: Essex

Re: Resurrecting the original ArcVenture series

Post by JonAbbott » Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:58 pm

Definitely keep us posted. I don't have copies to look at but from your description it sounds like they're possibly written in BASIC?

The only one I currently have attributed to you is Arcventure: The Egyptians. As I don't have copies of them, I can't confirm publishing dates or authors, so please let me know which ones you coded.

I don't suppose you recall any of the contacts at Sherston or even kept in touch with anyone so I can seek permission to release their titles?

MarkyV
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:52 pm

Re: Resurrecting the original ArcVenture series

Post by MarkyV » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:25 am

Hi Jon,

The ones that I coded were all the ArcVenture series (Romans, Egyptians, Vikings and Anglo Saxons) - also Voyage of Discovery - The early ones were in Basic but the later ones in C. I will need to find the contract but I think the copyright of the programmes reverts to the authors after 20 years - which is pretty much now.

I'll see if I can track down some of the other guys - I contacted Sherston recently but they are now a completely different entity (just using the name) and none of the original people are involved.

I'll keep you posted :)

Mark

MarkyV
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:52 pm

Re: Resurrecting the original ArcVenture series

Post by MarkyV » Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:01 am

Getting there - little by little - this is in an emulator and works perfectly - it's the demo version so unprotected - so hopefully this will move me forward with getting the others in a state they can be used again - fingers crossed. https://youtu.be/5crT0mNIrEw

JonAbbott
Posts: 1736
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:13 pm
Location: Essex

Re: Resurrecting the original ArcVenture series

Post by JonAbbott » Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:24 pm

Looks good, be aware that its very likely you'll see new issues once you test on physical, particularly on ARMv7.

MarkyV
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:52 pm

Re: Resurrecting the original ArcVenture series

Post by MarkyV » Sun Oct 01, 2017 6:57 pm

Yep - I've tried on a RaspberryPi running Riscos - splat :( - I think it's only going to run on Riscos 3 - I was getting errors about running in 32bit mode and screen modes etc. What I may do is re-write the engine to run in an HTML5 canvas and use as many of the original assets as possible - simples :D :D
I am missing the Egyptians discs though - I don't suppose you have a copy kicking around?

MarkyV
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:52 pm

Re: Resurrecting the original ArcVenture series

Post by MarkyV » Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:00 pm

BTW I have tracked down Simon Hosler (Viewpoints, Crystal Rain Forest etc) on facebook and sent him a msg - but no reply yet - I'll see if I can contact him some other way.

JonAbbott
Posts: 1736
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:13 pm
Location: Essex

Re: Resurrecting the original ArcVenture series

Post by JonAbbott » Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:50 pm

MarkyV wrote:Yep - I've tried on a RaspberryPi running Riscos - splat :( - I think it's only going to run on Riscos 3
You'd need to 32bit all the Modules and assembler and up it to at least 256 colours if its using 16 colour modes. If you have the source code that's achievable.
MarkyV wrote:I am missing the Egyptians discs though - I don't suppose you have a copy kicking around?
I don't have any of them I'm afraid, the only copies I'm aware of are the ones at The Centre for Computing History.

Trapper
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue May 31, 2016 4:33 pm

Re: Resurrecting the original ArcVenture series

Post by Trapper » Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:30 am

Cool. I still have my original Sherston demo disc that came with my A3010 Learning Curve pack in September 1994. It still works too!

I used to love the demo of ArcVenture 3 - The Vikings. I've had a play on my A3010 and RISC PC (using StrongGuard).

I'd be really excited if someone can sort these out! Which reminds me I have a MyWorld 2 and TextEase set to image. I found TextEase at work! The only Acorn stuff the old IT Manager kept was that bit of software from 1996, although it is both the Arc and PC version. I assume my school was PC all the way back in the 1990s.

I've found an old Crapita SIMS.net floppy disc from 1991 as well.

JonAbbott
Posts: 1736
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:13 pm
Location: Essex

Re: Resurrecting the original ArcVenture series

Post by JonAbbott » Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:37 am

Trapper wrote:I'd be really excited if someone can sort these out!
If we can locate copies for imaging/scanning etc and Mark gives permission, assuming the rights have now reverted to him, then I'm sure we can make them available for download once the manuals etc have been converted to PDF.
Trapper wrote:I've found an old Crapita SIMS.net floppy disc from 1991 as well.
SIMS was the name of the software suite at the time, which included STAR and FMS to name a few. Although it's now a subsidiary of CAPITA, back then it was a department of Essex County Council and developed by a few ex-teachers from a pokey office opposite County Hall. Ahh, the memories of people stopping me in the street outside County Hall asking about aspects of its development, only to discover I was an identical twin and not the one they thought I was...my brother was heavily involved in the early development, both he and I were Clipper experts at the time and I just happened to be going to the Uni opposite County Hall, so would often get mistaken for him.

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