Creating a text adventure game in Java


Text adventure games are a legacy from a time when computing power was small, when terminal access was commonplace, and when monochrome graphics was "state of the art". Players used imagination, fired by descriptions of old abandoned caves, dungeons, and even futuristic spaceships populated by Vogons.

The art of writing a good text adventure game is a lost one. Its lost, because most players have become so familiar with cartoony VGA graphics that they think anything less would be boring. They've never hunted treasure in the land of Zork, or traveled across the stars with Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Alas, nor will many have you who read these words.

One of the greatest challenges for a would-be programmer in the early 80's was to write a text adventure game. One that would run inside a 64k memory barrier, and fit on a single 5.25" inch disk for the Apple ][.  Computer magazines ran ten or fifteen part articles on writing the "ultimate" text adventure game, and programming was fun. Now you can relive those days, and write your very own text-adventure game, and do so in an object-orientated way!

The Tutorials

Each tutorial will describe one aspect of writing a text-adventure game in an object orientated language like Java. I'll show you what classes you need to write, how they need to interact, and give you the source code to complete it. We'll construct a text-adventure gaming system, from which you can design your own style of game (creating different rooms and objects).

  1. Designing a gaming system
  2. Implementing a simple gaming system object model
  3. NEW Object Persistence - Saving a game's state

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Last updated: Monday, June 05, 2006