Posted by midiguru on August 23, 2010
If I keep harping on this, it’s because I’m happy. I want to share the excitement. Inform 6 is just ever so much nicer to use than Inform 7! I can’t even begin to tell you.
If you just wandered in from the music industry, you will have no idea what I’m talking about. This is about writing interactive fiction.
Inform 6 is, I suppose, old-school. It lacks the depth and complexity of TADS 3, and it lacks the cute veneer of Inform 7′s “natural language” syntax. There’s no integrated development environment, either. On the other hand, it is a full-featured development system for IF. It’s not a bogged-down “for dummies” system like Adrift or AGT.
Last night I found a terrific freeware text editor for Windows called Notpad++. This is an important piece of the puzzle. Notepad++ has a standard multi-tabbed interface (which Inform 7′s IDE doesn’t have, because Inform 7 won’t let you separate your source code into multiple files), plus Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Interactive Fiction | Tagged: Inform 7, programming | 5 Comments »
Posted by midiguru on August 20, 2010
A few days ago I started working on a text game using Inform 7. Trying to get comfy with the language and all the lumber arrayed around it. Today I’m asking myself, would I perhaps rather write the game in Inform 6?
Inform 6 is a much simpler language, and of course we all love using the latest sophisticated tools. I’m as guilty of that tendency as anybody. The thing is, though, there isn’t a darn thing in the story I’m envisioning that couldn’t be structured perfectly well in Inform 6. So does that additional layer of complexity actually gain me anything?
Arguably not. By using Inform 7 I gain, it’s true, the possibility of using a nice Integrated Development Environment. But developing in Inform 6 is not actually Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Interactive Fiction, technology | Tagged: inform 6, Inform 7, programming | Leave a Comment »
Posted by midiguru on August 17, 2010
A few weeks ago I had lost all interest in interactive fiction. Figured I was past all that. Had moved on. Stupid, frustrating field of endeavor that nobody cares about. Feh.
Shows you how little I know about myself. Today I’m hard at work on a new game. Well, it’s not entirely new, it’s an idea that I had three years ago, did a little work on, and set aside. Not gonna say what it’s about, but it’s a contemporary dark fantasy with elements from classical mythology.
There are several reasons to like IF. First, I enjoy programming. It’s fun to write something, run the program to watch it respond, and then fix the places where it gets tangled up. There’s a real feeling of accomplishment. Second, trying to make an entire model world realistic and evocative is a fascinating challenge! Third, I enjoy writing stories, and IF is at least partly a storytelling medium, with plenty of room to create vivid characters. Fourth, thanks to the Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Interactive Fiction, writing | Tagged: Inform 7, Interactive Fiction, programming | 2 Comments »
Posted by midiguru on June 25, 2009
Trying to get back into TADS 3. It’s an incredibly powerful language in which to write interactive fiction, but it’s not for the faint of heart. The first time I tried learning it, I found myself crying, “Classes and templates and macros, oh my!” By now I’ve written one long game in TADS, one shorter game, and one medium-sized game co-written with Eric Eve, who is not just a TADS expert but the TADS expert.
But that was last year. Now I’m trying to re-learn what I’ve forgotten and nail together what I never knew. Tonight I got hopelessly frustrated trying to create an odor. TADS has not one but two classes for the purpose — Odor and SimpleOdor. There’s quite a bit of documentation (written by Eric) on how to use them. And I still couldn’t figure it out.
Eventually I got it working, but I’m sure my code is very amateurish. I tend to use a ballpeen hammer for tightening screws.
Yesterday I was working out how to cause the player character to automatically sit down when the player types ‘get in car’. If you don’t take care of the posture change, TADS will report, “Okay, you’re now standing in the car.” But changing the PC’s posture can have side effects. That took an hour too.
Sometimes I wonder why I bother with this stuff. It’s as much work as building a ship in a bottle, and at the end of the day, what you have is about as useful as a ship in a bottle. But it beats the heck out of watching Jeopardy.
Posted in Interactive Fiction, technology | Tagged: Interactive Fiction, programming | Leave a Comment »