by Warren Robinett
An unpublished book manuscript from the dawn of the
video-game age (written in 1983-84).
Chapter 1: The First Video Games
Spacewar. Atari. What Is a Video Game?
Chapter 2: The First Text-Based Adventure Game: Colossal Cave
A Text Dialogue. Direction Verbs, Action Verbs, and Nouns. Active Creatures. Gathering Treasure. Characteristics of Colossal Cave.
Chapter 3: Adventure As a Video Game: Adventure for the Atari 2600
Player Input. Objects. Creatures. Mazes. The Blue Labyrinth. The Red Maze. Catacombs. The Catacombs Inside the Black Castle.
Chapter 4: Adventure as an Educational Simulation: Rocky's Boots
Building Machines in an Adventure Game. Circuit Components. Kicking Targets. An Interactive Tutorial. Interactive Graphical Simulation.
Chapter 5: Getting Ideas
Idea Book. Advice to the Game Designer.
Chapter 6: Spaces
Zoom. 3-D. Adventure Game Real Estate. Player as Perceiver.
Chapter 7: Creatures
Chasing and Fleeing. Simulated Behavior.
Appendix A: Program Structure of Adventure and Rocky's Boots
Program Structure of Atari 2600 Adventure. Program Structure of Rocky's Boots.
Collosal Cave Adventure was the first adventure game. It was completely text-based, and had no graphics at all. The player viewed text descriptions of the rooms and objects in the game world, and typed commands (such as "GO NORTH") to move through the game world. It was played on main-frame computers of the late 1970's.
Adventure, a video game cartridge for the Atari 2600 video game console, was the first action-adventure video game. It was published by Atari Inc. in 1979, and sold 1 million copies.
Rocky's Boots was a commercial educational software product, written for the Apple II computer. It was published in 1982 by the Learning Company, and was one of the first educational simulations for home computers. It won Software-of-the-Year awards from Learning magazine (1983), Parentís Choice magazine (1983), and Infoworld magazine (1982, runner-up).