Eamon Adventurerís Log

National Eamon Userís Club

Volume 2 Number 4 Ė January 1987

 

Greetings, from your long lost friends at the National Eamon Userís Club. Did everybody have a good summer? We did, but we were a tad busy on things other than Eamon. Hence there has been little or no activity to let you know we were still alive. BUT NOT TO WOKRY ! We are still here; we still read your mail and do still work on Eamon.

 

Now that the cold weather has hit, we are shut in our little dungeons in front of our word processors (Apples with big teethí!) with a fire blazing and a cup of hot cider, so we are planning on hitting it hard and getting things rolling again. So, as soon as the fire department arrives to put out that darn fire, weíll be back in full production.

 

3A Computer Products of Cheyenne, Wyoming has completed their Eamon contest and 11 Eamon adventures were the result. We did not enter any of our adventures, because we lost our amateur standing long ago.

 

We want all our loyal fans to cast aside their doubts and fears about the club going belly up. WE CANíT!! We donít make enough money to go out of business!!

 

Anyway, although we have been dormant for a few months while we were doing other projects and re-organizing, we want you to know we are still here. We may not have time to answer all your letters all the time, but we do read them and if you need anything of real importance, you can always call. The clubís number is (515) ###-####. The best hours to call are 6:30 - 10:00 pm central time. If youíre calling during the day, you can leave a message on the new answering machine.

 

NOTICES & JUNK

The results are in!!

 

The results of the questionnaire are in and it looks like most of you would like to see the club continue in the same manner it has been forever. Since this is not really possible to do in the current format with the limited amount of time we have, we have to find a more efficient mode of operation.

 

We were attempting this with the questionnaire we sent out. The theory was if we could make the operation less expensive and more efficient, we would have more time to do the work of the club. An adventure a month type of plan would allow us more time because one of the greatest time factors here in the dungeon is printing the newsletter articles, proof-reading them (yes, we do attempt this from time-to-time) and printing them again. Then if the printer messes up, or the articles arenít spaced properly, we do it again. Then thereís the paste up, and finally, dropping it off at the printers. Much of this time could be saved if we distributed the articles on disk.

 

Also, along with the deal of sending out disks, instead of a newsletter, we have the advantage of being able to do cuter things. Just think of the possibilities:

Dungeon Designer routines that would be in text files that you could plug into your own adventures using an EXEC command; demo routines that will demonstrate, rather that just describe dungeon designer techniques; bug fixes in text tiles that could correct bugs for you; and a whole lot of neat new frontiers.

 

Given the choices on the Adventure on a disk deal, most of you chose options D, B and E in that order, but it was very close (only 2 votes between each of the top choices!). Option B was one adventure and some newsletter articles on disk; option D was two adventures on one disk, replacing one of the adventures quarterly, (personally my favorite). Option E was two adventures on disk each month with a small newsletter published quarterly.

 

Since most people wrote in the comment they liked it the way it was, we have chosen to postpone starting this project until a later date. The newsletter will continue by popular demand, but on a semi-regular basis. (So whatís new, you might ask - well we were trying to be consistent, but it wasnít working, so now weíll just do our best and admit weíre not perfect. What is this new semi-regular basis?? --- I donít know, but what we thought we could do is publish the newsletter every quarter, except summer, when everyone would rather be out water-skiing and hiking and lying around on the beach, rather than slaving away in a hot dungeon. In place of the quarterly summer issue, weíd just make the fall issue a special double issue.

 

Also from January 1 to April 15th is a bad time because we are finishing the clubís books, and calculating Uncle Samís cut, or (more frequently) our tax deductions - and are usually swamped right up to the dead-line of April 15th. Therefore, during the spring, the newsletter may be delayed, depending on how that task is coming and the summer will be a slack period as far as a newsletter goes. We would like to cut the number of issues per year to three for sure, with one of these being a double issue, and if we can, trying to get a fourth out.

 

This will require some patience on your part and some understanding. First, we want you to know, we consider all of you very important and feel like we know you all, from your letters and comments. We want you to continue to be active and know we are here. Please continue sending us any adventures you may write, articles or submissions for the clubís information and files, but please be patient on expecting answers to correspondence and such. We are going to work on getting the files here organized and back where we will be core efficient, but we need time to do this.

 

Orders were at a virtual halt during the summer and fall, but have been caught up and we now dedicate every Saturday morning to finishing up all the orders. Therefore, orders should never sit around here for more than a week and you should be able to expect them in a week and a half, or so. Thanks for your patience.

 

EAMON ADVENTURERíS LOG

NATIONAL EAMON USERíS CLUB

 

Club Staff

John Nelson- President and Editor

Tom Zuchowski- Technical Support / Bug Killer

Pat Hurst- Assistant Testing Coach

Bob Davis- Missing and presumed dead

Dan Cross- Almost totally missing

Steve Mahr- Even more missing than Bob

Gary Flanagan- Omaha art dept. now defunct?

 

Des Moines, Iowa 50310. Written permission will usually be given if you ask nicely, say please, and weíre in a good mood. (Which is almost always, unless weíve just lost our favorite character in a mindless adventure, and then WATCH OUT!)

 

MEMBERSHIP DUES DUE

Most of you have membership dues due. The problem Iíve been having since Bob left is that he was the one who was responsible for updating our membership files. Since he left, the file has been somewhat of a mess. I. applied all of the updates that I found around the dungeon, but I canít guarantee that I got them all. Besides that, we have published the last couple of issues on a very irregular schedule. We therefore do not really know who has expired and who hasnít!

 

We are therefore asking that you do us a big favor. The mailing label on your newsletter has a date on it. This is the date we show your membership expiring. Since the last two issues have been so irregular, we are going to add one year onto everyoneís expiration date. The date you see on your label is BEFORE this one year addition. I will be updating the database to add this year onto everybody.

 

If your membership has expired even after this one year has been added to the date, then your membership has expired. If you have evidence (like a cancelled check) that you renewed and it should not have expired, please drop us a card and we will get the database updated.

 

I admit this is a shabby thing to do, but I donít know how else to get it straightened out without just chucking the whole club. (Which I definitely do not want to do!).

 

PROPOSED NEW DUES - WHAT DO YOU THINK?

As many of you know, when we first started the club, we wanted it to be free and run simply off donations and orders. We didnít get enough of either to continue, so we had to resort to a fixed dues schedule. We have been tossing around the idea of modifying our first approach and trying it again. Let us know what you think of it.

 

This is how it would work: Members could send in $12.00 per year to be guaranteed of getting all issues of the newsletter and being a member in good standing. If you thought this was too expensive, or your particular finances were such that you couldnít afford that, you could send in whatever you could afford. The club would continue to send you newsletters as normal. If after a period of time, it became impossible to continue sending issues for the price you had paid, we would send you a renewal notice. If you did not renew within three months, you would stop receiving newsletters. A minimum rate (such as say, $1.50 per issue) would be established to make sure you got your moneyís worth.

 

Also, other good and valuable considerations will be considered. For example, if you have a way with words and want to review adventures, or write articles for the club, we will take this into consideration. Letís look at a sample of how we see this working: A member sends us $5.00 for membership. We send him at least 3 issues of the newsletter because of the $1.50 minimum per issue. Then we donít hear from that member for a year. His membership will probably expire after the three issues, unless other members and orders are coming in so well that the club is surviving without threatening him. Another member sends in $5.00 and sends us an adventure that he writes every 3 months. This guy wonít have to worry about being cut off, because he is providing us with a valuable consideration. Of course, if everyone sent us work instead of money, we wouldnít be able to publish the newsletter, anyway. (Our printer insists on being paid!)

 

It really just boils down to: the club needs funds to operate. We do not like to establish fixed dues for our service. Those who are on a limited budget are paying a higher percentage of their income to continue getting the newsletters. We would like to put out the newsletter on a free basis and accept donations, but past experience has taught us we canít do that and have enough money to survive.

 

The dues are still $12.00 per year. If you think our performance has been so bad that we arenít worth $12.00, then let us know. I have been thinking about going to a voluntary dues basis anyway

 

EAMON NEWS

by John Nelson

 

The world of Eamon just keeps on growing and growing. We received over a dozen Eamon adventures through the summer and then we received more through the contest that 3A computer Products had.

 

I havenít had time to run extensive tests on all of them, but I have run some preliminary tests on a lot of them and they look pretty good. Below is a list of the new Eamon adventures.

 

122. Valley of Death

123. Wizard of the Spheres

124. Assault on Dolni Keep ††††††††† Tom Zuchowski

125. The Mattimoe Palace

126. Pyramid of Anhares†††††††††††††† Pat Hurst

127. Hunt for the Ring†††††††† Sam Ruby

128. Quest for Erebor†††††††††††††††††† Sam Ruby

129. Return to Mona (2 disks)†††††† Sam Ruby

130. Haradwaith††††††††††††††††† Sam Ruby

131. Nucleus of the Ruby††††††††††††† Keith Somers

132. Rhadshur Warrior†††††††† Roger Pender

133. The Final Frontier ††††††††††††††† Bob Slemon

134. Pyramid of the Ancients

135. The Tomb of Evron†††††††††††††† Mike Greifenkamp

136. The Mountain Fortress†††††††††† Mike Greifenkamp

137. Ruins of Ivory Castle

138. Starfire

139. Pegís Place††††††††††††††††† Marg/Ann Anderson

140. Beginnerís Forest†††††††† Margaret Anderson

141. The Infested Fortress

142. The Beermeisterís Brewery

143. The Alternate Zone

144. Gartin Manor

 

Eamon on the IBM -PC

We have received a lot of letters regarding the IBM PC version of Eamon. A lot of you probably arenít interested in the PC version, because youíre Apple owners. We have had some members write to us saying they have a new PC compatible computer and that they are now very interested in Eamon for it.

 

The IBM PC is much more powerful than the Apple (I never thought Iíd hear myself say that). With disk drives that hold 360K instead of 143 and with the additional memory possible on the PC, it looks like the way of the future of Eamon.

 

Anyway, Iíve been testing the PC version of Eamon and working on (would you believe) up to five different versions of Eason for the PC. What happened is, I was working on converting Eamon Master 2.0 to the PC when a guy named Jon Walker completed a PC version. My version was pretty much done, but was still in testing. I therefore set it aside and started testing the Walker version. Well, the Walker version used some really hi-brow (some may call them low-brow!) I/O routines that looked like theyíd be a nightmare to maintain, so I decided to change them to standard I/O conventions. I was in the process of doing this when people started suggesting improvements. I decided to add some things to Eamon while I was converting it. Well, one thing led to another and before you could say "Just finish the darn thing and put it out!" it had gotten out of hand.

 

To make a long story short, I had versions all over the place and decided to just get tested what I had and let people decide which version they wanted. The version I think is the best is the original version of Eamon Master 2.0 which I had converted in the first place.

The versions that are ready for distribution are:

1. Eamon - Jon Walker version 1.0

2. Eamon - Jon Walker version 2.1

3. Eamon-PC (conversion of Master 2.0)

1. The Walker version 1.0 will not be distributed by us, or supported by us. It is too difficult to dig into, change or figure out. If you want it, it can be obtained through:

3A Computer Products - Cheyenne, WY

 

Only one other adventure is available for the Walker versions as of this writing. It is called ICE CAVES and 3A reports there are bugs in these programs. The club does not have copies of ICE CAVES and therefore cannot recommend or help you out with this.

Jon Walker has written a DDD for his version of Eamon, but I have not been able to get it to do anything useful, and have given up on it.

 

2. The standard I/C version of the Walker version will be supported by us for the time being, since weíre the ones that hacked up Mr. Walkerís code to put standard I/O in it. I do NOT really recommend this version, however, because Iím planning on writing all my adventures and utilities stuff for Eamon-PC (Choice 3 above).

 

3. Eamon-PC is the name Iím giving to the version I converted myself. It uses the normal I/O that you see used in the IBM BASIC manuals. It is a conversion of Eamon Master 2.0 and therefore has a training center and an expanded beginnerís cave.

 

As a point of interest to all of you who are interested in the PC version, there are now available the following adventure diskettes for use with Eamon-PC only:

 

2. Lair of the Minotaur - available now

3. Cave of the Mind†††††††††††† - available now

4. Zyphur Riverventure - available now

15. Heroes Castle††††††††††††††† - in testing

16. Caves of Mondamen†††††† - in testing

19. Death Trap††††††††††† - in conversion

20. The Black Death††††††††††† - in conversion

21. Quest for Marron††††††††††† - in conversion

24. Black Mountain††††††††††††† - in conversion

 

Also available for Eamon-PC is a Dungeon Designer Diskette for creating your own adventures for IBM dungeons or for editing any of the Eamon-PC adventures.

 

IBM Eamon diskettes are $5.00 each. We have to charge more for it because the machine is more expensive, therefore maintenance is more expensive, the diskettes are double density, instead of single density, we only have one PC, and several Apples, so computer time is more precious to us and our copy program is not as fast on the PC as the one we use on the Apple.

 

In addition to the Eamon-PC master diskette and the Eamon-PC Dungeon Designer Diskette, there is an Apple ŗ IBM conversion kit available from the club for $10.00. It consists of a set of programs that can be used to assist those interested in converting Apple adventures to the IBM in the Eamon-PC format.

 

Requirements for the conversion are an IBM-PC (or compatible), with a modem, an Apple II (plus, IIe or IIc) with a modem, some communications software and an editor on the IBM.

 

Conversion of an adventure can be done petty quickly, using the kit once you get the procedure down, although the programming and testing of the final versions can be very tedious.

 

Also available for Eamon-PC is a character editor program that allows you to modify your character to god-like qualities. This program will be distributed for the time being on the Eamon-PC ODD.

 

Commodore 64 / 128 Version

The Commodore 64 version of Eamon is also available. We do not distribute it here, however. The club sold their Commodore 64 (although Bob still has one, wherever he is.) You will therefore have to order this version from the authors. Kent Sullivan and Roy Riggs are responsible for the Commodore version of Eamon. They ran into some difficulties with the slow disk drives that Commodore is famous for and had to work out a deal for licensing a faster DOS and such. As a result, they had to copyright the product and change its name. It is called Imagery and sells for $10.00 per diskette. This include a nice owners manual and two diskettes. For more information, write to:

Dr. Evil Laboratories

St. Paul IN 47272

 

DESIGNERíS DEN

by John Nelson

 

This is embarrassing. This issue I had planned on letting Pat Hurst, designer of Grunewalde write a quickie article on how he did some special stuff in his newest adventure Buccaneer, but sorry, Pat, I lost your article. It must have gotten thrown out with the level 6 trash. Anyway, if you can get me another copy, or if I find it, Iíll run it next issue, I promise. Thanks.

 

Okay. Anyway, letís talk about how to go about this design business in an orderly step by step article, okay? Many of you out there would like to write an adventure, but are not quite sure how to start out. Letís try a simple example and take you through it. When you get done, youíll have a miniature adventure.

 

Follow along with me and weíll design an entire adventure right here. This is for you beginnerís now, so Evan, Rick, Roger, Sam, Scott, Don and Tom, and some of you other guys, go on to the next article, please.

 

To begin with, you need a Dungeon Designer Diskette. Version 6.0 will be used here because it has more stuff built into it. This will make designing an adventure faster and easier.

 

The first thing to do is locate a blank diskette that you donít mind erasing. Then boot on the DDD 6.0 diskette and select option I from the menu (for initialize an adventure.) The program will load and then ask you a couple of questions. It will ask for the name of your adventure lets use ĎQUEST FOR SOCKSí then it will ask for your name. If you donít know this one, youíre really in trouble. Then it will ask if this is a six direction or 10 direction. Just type in 6 and make it easier on yourself.

 

The disk will whirr for a little bit and make the normal noises it makes when it is erasing a diskette. (I hope you took the DDD out. If not, DDD 6.0ís init program will show you the catalog and verify that you want to erase it.

 

When the disk drive is quiet again, you have an initialized dungeon. Put the DDD diskette back in and load the program MAIN PGM into memory by typing LOAD MAIN PGM. Then put the dungeon you created back in and type SAVE MAIN PGM.

 

The next step is to create the introduction program. To do this, put the DDD 6.0 diskette into the drive and type LOAD LEADIN PROGRAM. Switch back to your adventure disk again and type DELETE SAVE QUEST FOR SOCKS HERE and press return. Then type SAVE QUEST FOR SOCKS.

 

Now youíre ready to add rooms, monsters, artifacts, and effects to your adventure! Put the DDD 6.0 in the disk drive and type RUN DUNGEON EDIT.

 

The program will load and ask you to insert the adventure diskette again. Please do so and press return.

 

Now, letís add a room. Press 1 for add, R for room. You will get a screen that allows you to key in the room information. The room name is the first piece of information you have to key in. The room name will always be preceded with ĎYOU AREí when the base program is running your adventure, so you want to complete that sentence with your room name. Letís type ĎIN YOUR BEDROOM.í and press return.

 

Then you will give a description of what your bedroom looks like. You have approximately 6 lines of text to describe your room. You may enter punctuation, if you wish. Go ahead and type in an appropriate description for your room.

 

Now you are ready to type in the directions of movement. This is room 1 you are entering. The next room you describe will be room 2. You should draw a small map and number your rooms. Letís say that your room exits to the hall. We will make the hall room 2. Letís further say the exit from your room to the hall is to the north. Therefore for the direction labeled north, key in 2. For all the other directions, letís leave them zero by pressing the ESC when prompted for them. Now letís say that the hall goes either to your room (to the south) or the kitchen to the north. The kitchen will be numbered room 3. Therefore, when entering the hall, key in 1 for the south prompt (your bedroom) and 3 for north (the kitchen). You may continue entering rooms in this manner until you get tired of this.

 

When you are tired of this, you may start entering artifacts or monsters. Monsters are added by selecting 1, M from the menus. Then key in the monsters name. It is printed in the base program as (monsterís name) IS HERE. You might want to put in something like BURGLAR for your first monster. You then enter a description just like you did for the rooms. These descriptions will describe what the monster looks like. You then enter the 12 fields that define a monster. Letís enter 10 for hardiness, 12 for agility, 0 for friendliness, 50 for courage, 3 for room, 120 for weight, 0 for defensive odds, 0 for armor, -1 (unarmed) for weapon number, 60 for offensive odds, 1 for dice and 5 for sides.

 

You proceed with adding monsters until you have the idea. The fields you enter for a monster describe how tough, brave, well armed, etc the monster is. If you donít know what the fields are you may look at your designer manual or experiment.

 

Artifacts are just about as easy, maybe easier. You select 1, A to add an artifact. The name of an artifact is simply the name. Examples BUTTER KNIFE, COAT HANGER, RUBBER DUCK, SOCKS etc. Version 6.0 understands 10 different kinds of artifacts. Each of these has their own set of data fields. The program will prompt you for these. You can experiment with different kinds of artifacts. Letís add a weapon: BUTTER KNIFE enter 1 for value, 2 for artifact type, 1 for weight, 3 for room (in the kitchen), 5 for weapon type, 10 for complexity, 1 for dice and 2 for sides. Now, just to show you how itís done, letís do a door.

 

Enter PANTRY DOOR for the door name. Its value is 0, type is 8 (door/gate), itís weight is 220, itís room is 3. The room into is room 4 (pantry) and letís say there is a key to it - artifact number 3. (Which weíll have to put in later). In the kitchen, put the east exit 102. The fact that it is greater than 100 tells the program that there is a door there. The base program subtracts 100 to determine the artifact number of the door (2). When the door is unlocked, the base program will automatically look at the Ďroom intoí field to determine which room to move the player into.

 

When you have entered all of the rooms, artifacts, and monsters you want, press 7 to quit the edit program. You are then ready to test the adventure. To test it, use Eamon Master 2.0 or any other master to take a character on your adventure. Once a character has been transferred, and a FRESH MEAT file exists on your diskette, you can test it as often as you like without going back to the master.

 

Once you have tried it and have gotten into the testing, I think your confidence and comfort level will increase and youíll be writing adventures with the best of them.

 

This has of course, been a real crash course, because an entire adventure could take months and the process could take years, but I think if youíll try it, youíll see it really isnít that tough!

Happy Dungeoning!

 

BUG BYTES

by John Nelson

 

There were so many hug reports this summer that I donít know if we can afford to print them all. The following adventures had bugs reported:

82, 83, 104, 110, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 119, 120, arid 121.

 

BUG REPORTS OMITTED FOR INTERNET EDITION

 

 

Addendum to January 1987 NEUC

 

MUCH ADO ABOUT A LOT OF THINGS:

From Johnís Notepad:

 

Since we got the newsletter printed, (itís sitting here waiting to be mailed right now!), we realized we forgot a few things. Therefore are including this little addendum to the newsletter and we will be running it off on the club copy machine for

 

Item!

 

No Reviews this issue because Bob carried them away with him in his own private diskette carrier. I spoke with Bob today and he said he would get them to me in time for next issue. Sorry about that. In lieu of reviews how about if I just say which adventures he reviewed and give a yay or a nay!? Wizard of the Spheres - yayí very good. Final Frontier got good reviews from 3A. Bob reviewed some other ones too but I donít know which ones.

 

Item!

 

Those people out there who would like to see Eamon in Pro-Dos need wait but little longer! The Eamon Master (version 2.0) has been converted to Pro-Dos. Also, the Dungeon Designer Diskette, The character modifier program and a few other things have been converted to Pro-Dos. Itís EASY!! (Almost.) Use COPY II PLUS version 6.0 to convert the programs and text files from DOS 3.3 to Pro-Dos and then change the programs to work with Pro-Dos commands. The Pro-Dos commands are almost the same as the DOS 3.3 commands, except you donít have MAXFILES and itís best to stay away from using slot and drive addresses. The file names are changed for you when the files are copied and all you have to do is change the programs to use the files with the new names. One thing that had to change a bit is the Eamon.Name file on all of the adventures. Two strings have to be kept in this file for the program name and the file name. As a result, a conversion program was written for converting this file. If anyone would like any adventure in Pro-Dos, please specify when ordering that you would like the Pro-Dos version. I will convert them as they are ordered, (rather than sitting down and trying to convert 150 adventures at once!) I will charge $5.00 for converting each adventure to Pro-Dos.

 

Item!

 

Please send in your club dues, if you think you owe some, because we could certainly use the funds. Club newsletter now costs .91 per issue to print the small issue we just printed. The mailing cost is .39 each and envelopes (when we use them are .11 each) making the grand total of 1.41 per issue. (And some people think weíre ripping them off when we charge 1.50 each!) Maybe we should take advertising. Probably wouldnít do us any good, though --- whoíd advertise in our little rag?

 

ITEM!

 

For your convenience and shopping enjoyment, we now accept VISA and MASTERCARD! No Kidding!! Really! We got our merchant account right after the last issue went out and havenít used it yet. Now you can own all the Eamon stuff and just put it on your card!