Tool Updates, Part 3: ACK

Those familiar with Rogue-like games and other tile-based adventures (such as Ultima IV) would be happy to know one of the tools for creating these games is still kicking and breathing. Unless, of course, you’re not into designing games…

Enter the Adventure Creation Kit, otherwise known as ACK. Its latest version (3.212), though essentially a DOS program, can now be used in Windows XP and Mac OS, and contains several new features, including a new sound engine as well as mouse support. A small launcher program is included in each zipped archive for both Windows and Mac users, along with a modified version of DOSBox where the actual program runs.

ACK Screen in DOS

ACK Screen in DOS

Through this launcher program, one can either launch ACK wholesale in one big DOS window complete with all the options, or click on buttons on the launcher program to make each option on the ACK menu run as a separate “module.” Graphic files, such as the character tiles, can be dragged-and-dropped into the project folder and incorporated into the game files.

ACK Launcher (on Windows)

ACK Launcher (on Windows)

Interestingly enough, discussion about ACK started about April last year on the Jolt Country forums, which started the ball rolling. Over the succeeding months, a promotional webpage got set up, comparisons with Adventure Construction Set were made, even IF author Robb Sherwin got into the conversations. Somewhere along the line, ACK author Chris Hopkins, who had originally given out the software for free, decided he would update the program for everyone and fix whatever needs fixing.

In fact, there has been so much discussion generated from the subject a separate section has been allocated on the Jolt Country forums for ACK updates.

From v2.0 to v3.212. All from simple discussions about the software.

Perhaps we should generate buzz for Hugo too?

EDIT:  Josh Lawrence, the ACK site maintainer, emailed me regarding the site’s movement to WordPress. I’ve updated the URL for the ACK website. Thanks again, Josh!