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Clever Programmer Turns Wikipedia into a Retro Text Adventure Game

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Have you ever wanted to travel the world? Well how about travelling the world with text adventure commands? How about using Wikipedia as a travelling device? If you said yes to all those questions, congratulations! You have extremely specific tastes (tastes we didn’t even know we wanted) and we’ve got just the thing for you!

Kevan Davis started a project a couple years for that year’s “NaNoWriMo,” which is short for National Novel Writing Month. It happens during the November of every year and encourages aspiring writers to start up a new story. Instead of settling with just a regular novel, Davis set out with something a little more adventurous in mind. Utilizing Wikipedia’s API, Davis managed to created an automatically generated novel that focused on detailing major landmarks and cities across the world. He created, and we quote in his own words, “a strange time-mangled version of Around The World In 80 Days“.

And then it hit him. What if random people had control of this? What if they could start out anywhere in the world, just like his novel did, and go from there? With some further tinkering and API management, Davis eventually ended up with Wikipedia: The Text Adventure.

The start page even looks like a classic adventure game. You can choose any of the randomly selected locations to start your globe trotting adventure, or you can enter a specific Wikipedia article to start there. Our first adventure started at Stonehenge, the famous monument in England. To add to the retro charm, major landmarks and cities have super low-res pixelized versions of their normal Wikipedia pictures. Compare the Stonehenge pictures:

Pixelized!
Original!

After reading the short description pulled from the Wikipedia page, the game will then list the closest landmarks. The Altar Stone was northeast of the Stonehenge, so you type in “go northeast”. For more fun and silliness you can even take monuments! That’s right – the next thing I typed was “get Stonehenge”. Much to my amusement it actually worked, and there’s even an “examine” command that brings up more info about the landmark in question. It’s a fun and creative little game, and it’s definitely worth looking at if you want to be a little inspired.

Tags : Kevan DavisWikipediaWikipedia: The Text Adventure

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