"A huge green fierce snake bars the way!"; or, Building a Text Adventure Game in Python

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Accepted Session
Short Form
Beginner
Scheduled: Tuesday, June 23, 2015 from 10:00 – 10:45am in B302/303

Excerpt

Have you ever wanted to vanquish a dragon with your bare hands? First step is making a world where you can. In this talk, I'll give you the blueprints for my Python text adventure engine, as well as some recipes for making things in a text-only world.

Description

When my parents were my age, they spent hours playing Colossal Cave Adventure (to the massive annoyance of anyone trying to call them in those days of dial-up). Colossal Cave and other text adventure games have a simple but engaging UI: you type what you want to do, and get an all-text response. In 2013, I started working on a text adventure game in Python. While I produced a text adventure game that ran, I wanted more: a text adventure engine that could run my game and be used to build other, completely different text adventures.

In this talk, I’ll show you how I implemented the key features of my text adventure engine, including robust language processing, game-specific commands, and separation of logic and state. I’ll also share some amusing bugs that I encountered along the way (including a multiplying sword and an undead cat).

Finally, we’ll explore ways of modeling real-world objects in a text-only game. My text adventure is set at a wizarding school in Scotland, which meant I had to figure out how to implement spells, a sorting quiz, and password-protected doors.

You’ll leave armed with all the knowledge you need to write your own text adventure game!

Tags

python, game programming

Speaking experience

I've given a few lightning talks on this project at Hacker School in 2013, but this is the first time I'll give this talk.

Speaker