It’s been almost twenty years, but I finally sat down and converted Dream Prisoner to Adobe Flash. This game has been around since 1995, and was the only game I ever really finished – core game, intro, extro, music, game menu, the works. This was in the days that interactive fiction was hot, and the original game is still floating around on the IFDB boards, and at Mobygames and Giant Bomb.
The game was originally developed in Turbo Pascal, with a lot of tricky code to support the AdLib sound board. I was also convinced at the time that the game’s data (images, sound, text) should be stored in an archive file like Doom did (WAD files if I remember correctly), so I designed my own archive and encryption format (no game hints readable in the binary file, guys!). It’s still runnable, under DOSBox.
This Christmas I decided to do a revival of Dream Prisoner, since I still love the interactive fiction genre. (“Back when I was on the Internet, we weren’t surfin’ the Web, with graphical user interfaces and pretty pictures… It was all TEXT! And we liked it that way…” – from Monkey Island’s Dominic Armato’s demo tape, find MP3 here). There’s a lot that just images can’t convey. I’m not saying that Dream Prisoner was a great game, far from it in fact, I was 16 at the time so the humor in there might be a bit weak.
The conversion of Dream Prisoner is faithful to the original game – all the screens that were painstakingly rendered with 3D Studio (version 2, I think, and with a serious lack of experience) are there in glorious 320×200 resolution. The music is also there – I was able to locate some of the Amiga MOD files used in the game. I made some very minor changes to puzzles that made no sense though, so the game should be easier to play. There are also some hints for puzzles that one would otherwise only solve through pure chance.