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[#] Sun Oct 10 2010 22:02:23 EDT from Sig

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Sun Oct 10 2010 08:12:07 AM EDT from fleeb

I recall screwing around with something like one of those interactive fiction tools, but I don't think I've played specifically with Inform 7.

I don't recall these sort of things being easy to work with... perhaps Inform 7 is better.

It's pretty darned easy.  I have scanned through the first two and a half chapters of the (excellent) included documentation and managed to build half of my house (albeit with fairly basic descriptions) in about 45 minutes, most of that spent trying to remember what color various objects in it are.

Natural Language Game Programming with Inform 7 (article at onlamp.com).

Introducing Inform 7 (from an IF site, Brass Lantern):

Rather than using a small set of terse programming directives as Inform 6 did, Inform 7 uses a subset of English, in an effort to make interactive fiction programming more accessible to writers who lack a computer programming background. For instance, the following I7 code creates a three-room house:

The Living Room is a room. "This is your living room, as featured in a number of games written by first-time interactive fiction authors." East is the Kitchen. North is the Bedroom.

I7 also deviates from the standard object-oriented approach to IF, where objects in the game are mapped to objects in code, and the interaction between objects is contained as code associated with the objects. Instead, I7 uses a form of logical programming, where you define rules that explain how the game world works and how objects interact. For example,

Instead of taking the fire, say "It would burn you."

This sets up a rule that, when the player tries to take the fire, they can't; instead, they're told that the fire would burn them. And if you just found yourself thinking, "Well, of course; that's obvious," then you've identified one of the selling points of I7.

I'm going to keep playing with it, but it's interesting and (perhaps more importantly) very very accessible in terms of documentation and actual ease of use.



[#] Mon Oct 11 2010 05:17:02 EDT from fleeb

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I read through to most of chapter three of the documentation.

You're right.  They've seriously improved it.  This looks to be the easiest tool for writing anything of that genre that I've ever seen.

It would be interesting if they could have the thing generate a series of web pages instead of something requiring an engine.



[#] Mon Oct 11 2010 12:36:53 EDT from Ford II

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I can tell you right now people don't like to type if they can click.
It's nice that you can write "north is the bedroom" but nowadays people expect (even if they don't want) to click and drag a line from the living room to the bedroom.

[#] Mon Oct 11 2010 14:34:49 EDT from Sig

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And those games are readily available.  I doubt anyone expects the text adventure to re-claim top billing in PC entertainment.  That said, I was rather amazed at the volume of IF (much of it well-reviewed) being created right now when I started looking into it.  A niche market yes, but it doesn't seem to be a niche that's going away any time soon.



[#] Mon Oct 11 2010 14:36:19 EDT from Sig

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(Actually, reading this again, I realize you may be referring to the development environment, rather than the game itself.)



[#] Wed Oct 13 2010 17:57:35 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Hmm. I'll bet the next big thing in interactive fiction will be an adventure game layered on top of a location in the real world, and you play it with a GPS-enabled mobile device. Perhaps with other players.

[#] Thu Oct 14 2010 00:43:41 EDT from Harbard

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I think I saw that on CSI: Miami.



[#] Fri Oct 15 2010 15:28:24 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Well, I was hoping it could be played without someone getting killed.

(Don't *ever* appear in the first couple of minutes of CSI. You're gonna get dead if you do that.)

[#] Fri Oct 15 2010 16:30:06 EDT from Ford II

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(Actually, reading this again, I realize you may be referring to the
development environment, rather than the game itself.)

yea.

[#] Mon Oct 18 2010 10:15:11 EDT from fleeb

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Fri Oct 15 2010 15:28:24 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar
Well, I was hoping it could be played without someone getting killed.

(Don't *ever* appear in the first couple of minutes of CSI. You're gonna get dead if you do that.)

You were similarly at risk in the opening credits for Police Squad.  I think William Shatner lasted the longest, until he took a sip of poisoned coffee.



[#] Tue Oct 19 2010 21:56:34 EDT from Harbard

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Any show where William Shatner dies is ok in my book.  err....TV.



[#] Wed Oct 20 2010 16:14:52 EDT from fleeb

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Then you might love Police Squad.  He was their guest star for that episode, and he was killed off during the episode's intro.



[#] Wed Oct 20 2010 16:16:41 EDT from fleeb

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Oops, I was wrong.  I thought it was coffee, but it looks more like wine:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blHwaFzzbkQ



[#] Wed Oct 20 2010 17:20:53 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Now there was a show that deserved to run for a few seasons.

[#] Thu Oct 21 2010 09:21:21 EDT from fleeb

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Police Squad was awesome!  Although I can kind of understand why it didn't run for that many seasons.



[#] Thu Oct 21 2010 12:04:04 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Seasons? It ran for 6 episodes.

[#] Thu Oct 21 2010 12:40:58 EDT from fleeb

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I couldn't recall how many episodes were made.

Figures, though.



[#] Tue May 03 2011 16:49:23 EDT from Loki

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Alrighty, so this is an old-school BBS. It allows us to chitchat.

[#] Tue May 03 2011 16:52:40 EDT from Odin

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Essentially this is a static BBS system that we may use for the foreseeable future. It doesn't require anything that these computers don't have, and it could be considered utterly, unquestionably benign. Satisfied?

[#] Wed May 04 2011 07:48:42 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Hey guys -- I don't know how you landed here, but yes, you're in the right place -- we've been here for 23 years and aren't going away anytime soon.
Welcome!

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