Adventure International

Founded By:Scott and Alexis Adams
Location:Longwood, Florida, USA
Year Started:1978
Year Wound Up:1985
Titles in Database:10
Rights Now With:?
Adventure International was a computer game publishing company that existed from 1978 until 1985, started by Scott and Alexis Adams. Their games were notable for being the first implementation of the adventure genre to run on a microcomputer system. The adventure game concept originally came from Colossal Cave Adventure which ran strictly on large mainframe systems at the time.

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Company History


Added: 21 May 2013
After the success of their first game Adventureland, games followed rapidly, with Adventure International (or "AI") releasing about two games a year. Initially the games were drawn from the founders' imaginations, with themes ranging from fantasy to horror and sometimes science fiction. Some of the later games were written by Scott Adams with other collaborators (such as Philip Case). Adventure International marked the start of many development careers, including Russ Wetmore (author or Preppie! and Homepak), and Jonathan Taylor (founder of Voxeo). Adventure International's games became known for quality, with a reputation only exceeded in the field at the time by Infocom.

Fourteen games later, Adventure International began to release games drawn from film and fiction. The extremely rare Buckaroo Banzai game, developed with Phillip Case, was based on the film The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension (1984). Other games came from a more well known source: Marvel Comics. Adventure International released three Questprobe games based on the Marvel characters: The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man and Torch and the Thing.

By the end of 1982, game tastes were changing. The traditional text-based adventure game market had moved to graphical based adventures. Games like The Hobbit had increased expectations of such games, and although Adventure International games included graphics of a sort, they were significantly inferior to contemporary offerings at the time and the company was rapidly losing market share. At its peak in late 1983 to early 1984 Adventure International employed approximately 50 individuals, and published titles from over 300 independent programmer/authors.

Adventure International was located in the Sabal Point subdivision of Longwood - at 155 Sabal Palm Drive, Longwood, FL near the east side of Sabal Point Elementary School. Adventure International also had a retail store front located in Sweetwater Oaks at 966 Fox Valley Dr, Longwood, FL near the west side of Sabal Point Elementary School. Both were in zip code 32750 (now 32779). Scott and Alexis Adams also lived in Sabal Point at 454 Timber Ridge Drive, Longwood, FL. The house still retains some of its tower and castle look.

Adventure International went bankrupt in 1985. The copyrights for its games reverted to the bank and eventually back to Scott Adams who released them as shareware.
In Europe the "Adventure International" name was a trading name of Adventure Soft and other games were released under the name that were not from Adventure International in the USA.


Softography


Added: 21 May 2013
Scott Adams's original twelve adventure games were:
Adventureland (computer game): Explore a fantasy landscape and collect thirteen treasures.
Pirate Adventure (also called Pirate's Cove): Hunt for lost pirate treasure.
Secret Mission (originally called Mission Impossible): Prevent terrorists from destroying a nuclear reactor.
Voodoo Castle: Free a count from a voodoo curse.
The Count: Kill Count Dracula.
Strange Odyssey: Explore strange planets and collect treasure.
Mystery Fun House: Capture secret plans hidden in a fun house.
Pyramid of Doom: Plunder an Egyptian pyramid.
Ghost Town: Search a Western ghost town for treasure.
Savage Island parts I & II: The most challenging adventure games, you are not even aware of the adventure's goal. If you complete part one, you are given one of two passwords to play the second part.
The Golden Voyage: Sail the world and find the fountain of youth.
The games were written using an in-house adventure creator with text compression and a sophisticated command interpreter running on a BBC Micro and a graphics tool running on an Apricot F1. The two parts were then merged, using a cross-compiler when necessary.
The Retro Isle team
Added: 24 May 2018
Click here to view a list of titles we have in the database here at Retro Isle.


From Then To Now



Interviews

GameSetWatch
Added: 22 May 2013
GameSetInterview: Adventure International's Scott Adams
July 19, 2006 9:21 PM

Scott Adams has been working with computers since the late 60s, and was introduced to Crowther and Woods’ Colossal Cave Adventure in the late 70s. Following this, he began working on a similar game, despite the fact that Colossal Caves ran on a mainframe and used 300K of memory, to a 16K Radio Shack TRS-80 Model I. This game was Adventureland, the first text adventure on a personal computer, and is widely regarded to be the first commercially released text adventure.
Adams went on to set up Adventure International, which released the fourteen games in the Scott Adams Adventure series, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai and three games in the Questprobe series, the first Marvel Comics licensed videogames. Additionally, the company opened a UK subsidiary named AdventureSoft UK and released games from other developers, including the Mysterious Adventures, and Fighting Fantasy series.
At its peak in 1983 to 1984, the company employed around 50 people, but went bankrupt in 1985 – a fact that Adams attributes to an industry downturn. He has continued to work as a programmer in a non-gaming field, though released Return to Pirates Island 2 in August of 2000. He is currently working on a new title based on the Old Testament of the Bible - The Inheritance: SAGA Bible Adventure #1.
GameSetWatch contacted Adams via email to talk about Adventure International, working with Marvel, and his continuing enthusiasm for videogames. (Click through to read the full interview.)

What's your background with computers?
I started working with computer in high school back in the late 60s. The state of Florida decided to try an experiment and put one mainframe terminal in a chosen high school. It was North Miami Senior High and it was the math department that got the terminal. When I found out about it I purchased a programming manual from the University of Miami and proceeded to start teaching myself to program.
This worked out well as I was originally scheduled to go into medicine but found I loved computers. I have been a professional programmer ever since.

When did you first encounter Colossal Cave Adventure?
I was working at Stromberg Carlson in Lake Mary Florida when the IT department got a copy of Colossal Caves for the DEC mainframe. I spent a week coming in before work and staying late to play it. This was around 1977/78 or so.
Other pieces I've read that either interview or quote you seem to suggest that you considered Adventure to be a genre all to itself at the time.
Actually it would really be Interactive Fiction that is the true genre. There is still quite a following in these type games today.

Have you seen any of the current IF development systems?
I saw a printout for INFORM once. Looked like it used up and entire pine tree! I did not actually read it though. Just saw the printout.

What inspired you to attempt to write Adventureland?
I had a TRS-80 model I at the time and wanted to write a game that would utilize Basic Strings. I had mostly worked in assembler and FORTRAN up to this time and to have a language that incorporated text was a novel idea. After playing Colossal Caves I decided I wanted to do something similar for the little home computer.

What problems did you run into trying to create a game for a 16k TRS-80 in a style that you'd previously only seen running on a mainframe using 300K of space?
Obviously I wasn't going to get Colossal Caves to fit in such a tiny memory. My first order of business was to design my own adventure language and then write a compiler and interpreter for it. Then I was able to actually start writing my game. I never saw the source code for Colossal Caves so my solution was totally unique.

How long did Adventureland take to write, all up?
About a month for the first version that was playable.
How long before you began on your second game?
Was about 2 months later I think.

The commercial sale of Adventureland all began with a small advertisement. Where was the ad printed?
It's be


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