The Slave (Gregory) Review | Atari User - Everygamegoing

Atari User

The Slave
By Gregory
Atari 400/800/600XL/800XL/130XE

Published in Atari User #20

The Slave

The Slave is a suite of programs which allows you to write an adventure of up to 170K, which will then reside on one side of a disc.

First you should map out your adventure on paper, ensuring it is as close as possible to how you wish it to turn ot - testing and correcting your adventure is not the easiest thing to do.

You can now define your location descriptions (which can be up to a full page of text), messages, objects and verbs/nouns - up to 255 of each.

An excellent feature, Examine, is available to provide a more detailed description of an object if necessary. Each verb or noun can have several synonyms, thereby increasing the vocabulary.

The Exits editor allows up to 10 exits to be defined for each location.

If you have ever written or attempted to write an adventure, you will know of the usefulness of flags. Well The Slave is equal to the task with the ubiquitous 255.

Some are pre-defined, for example the number of objects carried.

Now comes the hard work!

To solve your adventure, a player will require actions/replies to the commands he enters. To write the logic for these responses you are given SAL, The Slave Adventure Language.

SAL is a language akin to a powerful Basic. It has 73 main commands but these can be combined to give over 244 variations, some of which enable you to introduce sound, music and colour changes into your masterwork.

After you have produced all the necessary files, you are shown how to bring them all together to form the finished adventure.

The Slave also includes a debugging program and a facility to design a simple title page using Graphics 0 characters.

The 126 page manual, although well written and at times amusing, is occasionally difficult to understand but careful re-reading will eventually clarify any points of doubt.

All in all, The Slave is excellent value, and a must for any budding adventure writers.

Ken Grassham

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