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QB Express "Text Map Game" Challenge
Hey everyone,

This challenge has already been going on for over two months, but I still have only ONE entry. A lot of people have expressed interest, but nobody's sent anything in! So I thought I'd post here to maybe spur some interest.

Entries for this competition are now due on Monday, December 27th by midnight Eastern Standard Time.

Here's the skinny on the compo, straight out of QB Express Issue #4:

The QB Express "Text Map Game" Competition

Organized by Pete

The Challenge

Your challenge is to create a text-based game using only one "map" made entirely out of text. Your game must have a character (represented by the DOS smily face character) that you move around with the arrow keys. Everything else is up to you.

[Image: lost2.gif]
A screenshot of Lost 2 by Groovy Concepts, a game using ASCII graphics and a smily face as your character.

This challenge was inspired by one of my personal favorite QB games of all time, [url="]Virtual Pimp[/url]. This game was made by Mike Kristopeit and Eric Boudreau, and uses a very simple text-based interface. It is a crime-based RPG, reminiscent of Grand Theft Auto and all those economy simulating games like Drug Wars. It's got very addictive gameplay, and a lot of cool random events that keep things interesting. Your game doesn't have to be anything like this; the only thing it has to have in common is that you play as a smily face on a text-based map. Other games that have used text graphics in a similar style are: Jocke The Beast's Dark Woods 2, Lost 2 by Groovy Concepts, P.R.O.G.U.E. by Dunric.

Entries will be due on or before December 27th, 2004 at midnight, Eastern Standard Time. Results will be revealed in Issue #5 of QB Express, which will come out by the end of December.

Here is a complete listing of the rules for this competition:
  • Rules

    -Your character must be the standard DOS smily face character. (CHR$(1), I believe.) He or she must be moved around with the four arrow keys.

    -Your game map / environment must be text-based, and consist of only one screen. No scrolling screens or walking into a "building" that is on another map.

    -Your map may adjust based on user input, but it can not change completely. For example, you can have your character pick up items, shoot bullets, interact with other characters that move around the map, open doors, push walls, etc. -- but you can't, for example, have your character push a switch and have everything on the map change. That would mean you're loading a second map.

    -Your game may be of any genre -- RPG, puzzle, shooter, strategy, dating game, etc.

    -Your graphics must be entirely text-based. Absolutely nothing but text. (You may use as much colored text as you want.)

    -You can use any screen mode you would like.

    -Entries are due no later than December 25th, 2004 at midnight Eastern Standard Time.

Visit the official message board thread for the latest information on this competition. This is where you go to ask questions and chat about your progress. You can also check there to get updates of when entries are submitted, and how the judging is going.

Good luck!

Perhaps A Little Inspiration?

Below are some other examples of games that use a smily face on an ASCII map. Some of them use scrolling/multiple maps (which is not allowed in this competition), but they all use a smiley face character on a text map...and they all do it pretty well. Make sure you take notes!

[Image: darkw01.gif][Image: darkw02.gif]
Dark Woods 1 by Jocke The Beast

[Image: dw202.gif]
Dark Woods 2 by Jocke The Beast

[Image: captflag.gif]
Capture the Flag by NeuroLake Software

[Image: progue1.gif][Image: progue3.gif]
P.R.O.G.U.E. by Dunric

[Image: Wurmi.gif]
Wurmi (site)

[Image: glqbfr3.gif]
QBasic: The RPG

[Image: qbcryfr1.gif][Image: qbcryfr2.gif]
Crystal By SingSong

Some answers to a few questions I've gotten:

Nathan1993: Does it HAVE to have a map? Or can I enter the text-based war game that I am currently working on?
  • Your "map" can consist of just empty space if you'd like -- which would mean that you don't really have a "map". Basically, what I don't want is a scrolling "tile engine" type set-up, just with text. By my definition, your "map" consists of the static text "objects" that your character will move around in the game.
    So, you can have no "map" per se, if you simply don't have static objects like walls, trees, buildings, etc. However, your smiley face character still has to move around the screen using the arrow keys. How this figures into the gameplay is up to you.

Neo: Pete, I'm currently making a game. But I don't know if it's actually allowed (it would be nice if it was's not top-view but front-view. And the players have ascii characters that can move to some extent. In short, I'm making something like Scorched Earth in text mode. Am I allowed to do this? (I hope so).
  • Yep, sounds good to me. As long as your map is made entirely out of text, and you move your character using the arrow keys. It doesn't have to be a top-down game, and it doesn't have to be an adventure / RPG game. You can use any perspective you'd like -- side view, top view, isometric view, etc.

Nekrophidius: How about a fighting game in ASCII using the smiley face as the characters' heads? [Image: icon_biggrin.gif] That would be definately something I'd make. [Image: icon_biggrin.gif]
  • Yes! A fighting game would qualify as long as you have only one "map" and you move the character with the arrow keys. For example, take a look at this game: Fight! v2.0

    [Image: fight.gif]

    That qualifies for this compo, and is pretty much what you had in mind.

The Numbervold

Ryan Szrama's entry for the Text Map Game competition is The Numbervold, a neat RPG. This was the only entry to come in during the original month-long entry period for this competition, and he has already released it to the public. Jocke The Beast and Wildcard helped promote it on QBasic News a few weeks ago, and you can find out a bit more about it on Jocke The Beast's message board.

[Image: numbervold.gif]

Here's The Numbervold's story, straight from the manual:
  • The Numbervold is a wild, harsh frontier area inhabited by only a few people and many monsters. Even the land itself is known for its mirages and illusions that have led travellers off course for days at a time. It's almost always impossible to tell just how for you travel across the deceiving terrain.

    A single village sits in the Numbervold, inhabited by adventurers, a few shopkeepers, and more than a few loonies. The village is constantly plagued by monsters springing up out of lairs that just seem to appear in the Numbervold. As such, the Elder is always looking for some brave young bravo to purge the countryside of the foul monsters and their dens. Work is never scarce in the Numbervold, as you adventure as one such bravo. Gain glory, prestige, and most important of all, gold, as you fight for bounties and for your life in the Numbervold!

You can download The Numbervold at Ryan's site as well as Jocke The Beast's Homepage. There is also quite a bit of information about the game at Jocke's site, especially on the message board.

Having played The Numbervold quite a bit, I have to say, it's a pretty fun and neat game. And right now, it's guaranteed to win this competition (since it's the only entry so far)! I encourage everyone to follow Ryan's example, and ENTER this compo!

Send your entries to!
Pete's QB Site:
This competition is OVER!

The results of this compo can be found in QB Express issue #5:
Pete's QB Site:

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