First of Many – Image to ASCII

Hello everyone! Welcome to Delve Into! My name is Zach Adam and I live in The United States in the state Ohio. Now that I am 19 and out of high school, I wanted to begin writing a blog about game design and the development behind video games.

My close friend and I are currently working on a text adventure in C++. He does the coding, and I do the art. A text adventure is, traditionally, a text-based game played through a command window. Some of the older viewers may recognize the name Zork. Zork was developed between 1977 and 1979. In this game you are tasked with exploring the Great Underground Empire (GUE) and returning to the surface with a plethora of treasures and artifacts. You will encounter multiple monsters and memorable characters which all build off this story-rich experience.

I have found that throughout my years of practicing art, that it can be found in some of the most obscure places! One of those places is a text adventure. In our text adventure, the player is stuck inside a randomly generated dungeon labyrinth. Each time you visit a new room something may or may not happen, depending on what was ‘rolled’. With my skills as an artist, I had to find a way to give the console window a splash of imagery and taste. After researching a thing called ASCII art, I found out this was the solution.

ASCII stands for American Standard Code for Information Interchange. In the Windows command prompt console, the system can only comprehend numbers, letters and symbols. If one was to insert a picture into the console, it would crash and not understand how to process an image. However, with ASCII, I am able to draw a picture within Photoshop. Then I can transfer the newly made image to a program called Ascgen 2. In Ascgen, one can load any image and have it transformed into a series of characters that end up resembling the picture.

Here I have a rough picture of a ghost:

ghost.png

After it has been loaded into Ascgen 2, it looks like this:ghost

You can see how the program used the original hue values and converted them to characters instead. In this instance I used a # for the black values, s for the grey values, and an empty space for white values. Now I have converted a normal image to a text, which can be implemented into the text adventure very quickly!

If you are using C++, use: cout << “\n”;

Put one line of the image between     ”     and     /n”;

This will print out a line of your image into the console. By doing this multiple times, (50 lines, vertically, for my ghost) you can create an easily readable image out of text!

Art is nifty 😀

Cool Links!

Play Zork Online

Ascgen 2 Website

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