Adventure Construction Set

Name: Adventure Construction Set
Genre: Application
Designer: Stuart Smith
Developer: Electronic Arts
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Copyright: Stuart Smith
Year: 1987

Rating: 0.0

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Review - Wikipedia

Adventure Construction Set (ACS) is a program used to construct Ultima-type games, written by Stuart Smith and published in 1985 by Electronic Arts. The game was produced by Don Daglow, with art by Smith and Connie Goldman and music by Dave Warhol. It was initially developed for the Commodore 64 and Apple II, but then ported to DOS and the Amiga in 1987.

The program concept was inspired by the groundbreaking Pinball Construction Set (PCS) that had come out in 1983. It provided a graphical editor for the construction of maps, placement of creatures, etc, then let the designer use those to create a standalone game that can be shared with friends. The resulting game was a top-down view similar to Ultima-type games. The ACS came with a complete predesigned game (comparable to other games then on the market), "Rivers of Light," and a compendium of sample advantures to show off the design program's capability.

Stuart Smith was a pioneer in the graphical adventure game world, earlier creating the game Return of Herakles (the Greek spelling of Hercules). Although the graphics in these games were primitive by today's standards, in a time when any garphics at all were an innovation in adventure games the work of Smith stands out as thoughtful and original.

The game was one of Electronic Arts biggest hits of 1985, earning an SPA Gold Disk award.

Reviews of the ACS were largely positive, although the game had some critics who disliked the complexity of its design tools. As technology continued to improve, ACS was followed over the years by more powerful construction kits, culminating in the current world of the shooter game and their mods.

ACS also displayed a key truth reflected in later adventure building systems: they only automated the mechanical parts of game construction; good game design was still difficult and time-consuming.

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