Discussions about interactive fiction

Archive for January, 2010

[Inform] *.patch Files

Hello,

  I need to alter the Inform Library files, but I am hesitant to do so
because I want my source code to be compilable without a copy of my
altered library.  I noticed that Gareth Rees seemed to be doing just that
with three *.patch filed included with his source code for Minister.
However, the content of those files was rather esoteric to me and I cannot
seem to find any mention of this ‘patch’ feature in the manuals.  I found
some text on ‘backpatching’ but that did not seem to be what I am looking
for.
  Any suggestions would be appreciated.

thanks, nels

.
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[Inform] Problem with special characters in text

I’ve been having trouble with the use of special ascii-characters in Inform.
I tried this example from the manual:

    print "@AEsop’s @oeuvres en fran@ccais, mon @’el@`eve!";
    print "Na@:ive readers of the New Yorker will re@:elect Mr Clinton.";
    print "Carl Gau@ss first proved the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra.";

but the only character that came out right was the double-s in the last line,
the others came out either as question marks or as other obscure characters.

I was using the inform 6 compiler, and the JZIP interpreter.

Any ideas why this doesn’t work as it should?

Thanks,

/Magnus

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[Inform] During-rules

I’ve now put together a kit to add the functionality of the
during-rules I proposed to the library. Now I wonder which objects should
be allowed to interfere with the action. Right now, I can’t think of any
situation where I would like anything but the objects directly referred to
in the sentence to define the action. So, I call the property during for
noun and during_second for second. I’m also calling during for the current
location, but am thinking about removing that. Does anyone have opinions on
this matter?

Also, it would be helpful if someone experienced in Inform would volunteer
to read _and_ make a thorough test of the routines.

/Fredrik

Fredrik Ramsberg, d91fr…@und.ida.liu.se, http://www-und.ida.liu.se/~d91frera
——————————————————————————
I want to make it perfectly clear that I can’t say I don’t think people who
aren’t avoiding using too many negations aren’t putting things clearly enough.

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Inform 6.11 for BeOS

My port of Inform for BeOS should be available on ftp.be.com and
ftp.gmd.de in the near future.  For the moment you can get it from

  ftp://csclub.uwaterloo.ca/pub/u/mlvanbie/inform/

From the README:

This is a BeOS binary of the Inform 6.11 executable compiled by Michael
Van Biesbrouck (mlvan…@csclub.uwaterloo.ca).  It was compiled on a DR
8.2 BeBox, but it should run just fine on other hardware.

Technically, the executable is the only thing that you need.  You will
probably want to FTP documentation, libraries and sample programs from

  ftp://ftp.gmd.de/if-archive/infocom/compilers/inform6/

There is also an Inform Web page

  http://www.gnelson.demon.co.uk/inform.html

This distribution contains two patches, one to add the BeOS definitions
to the file header (you will still need to change the platform, though)
and another one to add a Makefile.  If you apply the BeOS patch and
then the Makefile patch you can edit the Makefile and then type

  make source
  make

(Normally you have to rename files to have .c and .h extensions.)
Note that the Makefile is intended to work anywhere that is Unix-like
and could be modified to run under DOS, OS/2 or whatever.  The Makefile
assumes that your make will define appropriate optimizations … I
added extra optimization and linking options to the Makefile when
building the BeOS Inform (-opt full and -sym off).


# — Michael Van Biesbrouck,      1996 ACM Programming Contest 3rd Place Team
:b^Js/\(.*\)\(,.*\):\1\(.\)\([a-z]*\)\(.\)r\(:.*\)>\3/\4\2:\1\3\4\5r\6\5>/
s/\(.*\)\(,.*\):\1\(.\)\([a-z]*\)\(.\)l\(:.*\)\(.\)>\3/\4\2:\1\3\4\5l\6>\7\5/
s/>$/>0/^J/^halt/!bb^J#           http://www.csclub.uwaterloo.ca/u/mlvanbie/

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Inform Makefile Patch (Unix/BeOS/etc.)

If you apply the Makefile patch you can edit the Makefile and then type

  make source
  make

(Normally you have to rename files to have .c and .h extensions and edit
header.h.)  Note that the Makefile is intended to work anywhere that
is Unix-like and could be modified to run under DOS, OS/2 or whatever.
The Makefile assumes that your make will define appropriate optimizations
… I added extra optimization and linking options to the Makefile when
building the BeOS Inform (-opt full and -sym off).

begin 600 diff.Makefile
<uuencoded_portion_removed>
-9B @(" @(" @("HO"FAE

end


# — Michael Van Biesbrouck,      1996 ACM Programming Contest 3rd Place Team
:b^Js/\(.*\)\(,.*\):\1\(.\)\([a-z]*\)\(.\)r\(:.*\)>\3/\4\2:\1\3\4\5r\6\5>/
s/\(.*\)\(,.*\):\1\(.\)\([a-z]*\)\(.\)l\(:.*\)\(.\)>\3/\4\2:\1\3\4\5l\6>\7\5/
s/>$/>0/^J/^halt/!bb^J#           http://www.csclub.uwaterloo.ca/u/mlvanbie/

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[TADS] Floor/Ground problems.

To the TADS gurus:

I have one object that will behave differently than all other objects
in PutIn and PutOn situations (specifically, water). Therefore, for
good or ill, I’ve modified the "thing" class as follows:

ioPutIn( actor, dobj ) = { dobj.doPutIn( actor, self ); }
doPutIn( actor, iobj ) = { self.moveInto( iobj ); "Done. "; }

with a matching change for ioPutOn. Then, I simply specify the
different behavior for the water via doPutIn/doPutOn.

It seems to work for everything *except* the floor/ground.

*****

> put water on couch

The water runs off the couch and disappears.

> l

You are in a blank room. There is a couch here.

> put water on ground

Dropped.

> l

You are in a blank room. There is a couch and some water here.

*****
TIA

**********************************************************************
Charles Gerlach does not speak for Northwestern, and can be mailed at:
cagerlac  a t  merle  d o t  acns  d o t  nwu  d o t  edu
He hopes that placing his e-mail in this format did not seriously
inconvenience anyone attempting to contact him (except for spam-bots).

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[TADS] help with actors

hello,

someone please tell me why this doesn’t work:

runningReceptionist : Actor
   sdesc = "running receptionist"
   ldesc = "The receptionist is frantically looking for the gum."
   noun = ‘receptionist’
   adjective = ‘library’ ‘running’
   location = upLib
   tracklist = ['down' library 'down' downLib 'up' library 'up' upLib]
   trackpos = 1
   moveCounter = 0
   actorDaemon =
{
   if(not self.isActive) return;
   self.moveCounter++;
   if(self.moveCounter = 3)
{
      self.moveCounter:=0;
      if(self.location = Me.location)
         "The receptionist runs off to the <<self.tracklist[self.trackpos]>>.";
      self.moveInto(self.tracklist[self.trackpos +1]);
      if(self.location = Me.location)
         "The receptionst runs into the room, frantically looking for the gum.";
      self.trackpos+=2;
      if(self.trackpos > length(self.tracklist)) self.trackpos:=1;
}

   else
{
   if(self.location = Me.location)
      "The receptionist continues running around the room hysterically.";
}
}

isActive = true

   verDoAskAbout(actor , iobj) =
{}
   doAskAbout(actor , iobj) =
{
   switch(iobj)
   {
   case camera:
   if(camera.location = Me.location)
      "\"Hmm, that camera looks familiar.\’";
      break;
   case glue:
      "\"It’s mine, and you can’t use it.\"";
   break;
   case gum:
      "\"I’m trying to find it, but I can’t!\"";
   break;
   case booksOnShelf:
      "\"They’re library books, you know, to r-e-a-d.\"";
   break;
   case film:
   if(film.exposed=true)
   "\"Looks exposed to me, haha.\"";
   else
   "\"What about it?  It’s in the camera.\"";
   break;
   case newfilm:
   "\"It’s regular film.";
   break;
   default:
   "\"I wouldn’t know.\"";
   }

}

thanks,

etienne

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The tedium of annoyingly similar items

Allow me to preface this /rant/ by confessing that my gripe comes of a
graphic adventure, not "pure IF", but I’ve seen it parsed as well as
rendered, so…

Why do designers insist upon heaping players’ inventories with dozens of
items that are annoyingly similar?  I’m playing, as a diversion, Sierra’s
fairly-decent "Rama", mainly because I like Arthur C. Clarke.  But I
digress.

In the game, I’ve found maybe only 5 "classes" of items: symbol plaques,
design plaques, crystals, tuning forks, and lenses.  The problem, however,
is that I’ve lugged around literally DOZENS of items, many of which are
virtually identical to each other.  The problem is that the symbol plaques
function mainly as keys to doors, fitting the appropriate one according to
a pattern you must decipher.  However, since you’re carrying 17 different
plaques, it’s more a case of scrolling through an inventory than solving
the puzzle.

Infocom’s contribution to this truly annoying phenomenon were the rods in
Starcross.  A black rod, a white rod, a chartruce rod, a silver rod, a
burnt umber rod, and so on.  Or keys: a copper key, a brass key, a bronze
key… (yawn).

For example, if you wanted to implement picking a lock, would you make the
player go through ten or twelve different picks to find the one that
opened the door?

> PICK LOCK WITH RIFFLE PICK

You fiddle with the lock, but cannot get it to set.

> PICK LOCK WITH HOOK PICK

You fiddle with the lock, but the pins keep slipping.

> PICK LOCK WITH BALL PICK

You fiddle with the lock, but the pick is too stiff.

> PICK LOCK WITH RAKE PICK

You fiddle with the lock, and the rake pops each pin and the lock clicks
open.  

[Your score has just gone up by 4,000 points]

– or —

> PICK LOCK WITH LOCK TOOLS

You insert a weirdly but precisely-shaped bit of metal into the keyhole
and twiddle it about.  Impressing even yourself, the lock springs open.

[Your score has just gone up by 4,000 points]

—————–

I know that one method is difficult, challenging, and maybe even more
realistic.  However, we can never forget that these are games, meant to be
fun.  

</rant>

Scott

ps: yes, I have a set of picks and, yes, I can open things. No, they’re
not legal and no, I won’t share.


+——————————————————————–+
| reply-to header hacked      | official version a falsified story   |
| to prevent spam             | the truth lies buried in a shroud    |
| sharvey at enteract dot com | of glory             -KMFDM, Glory   |
+——————————————————————–+

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[FAQ] Part A (Description of this FAQ)

rec.arts.int-fiction Frequently-asked Questions
Maintained by Julian Arnold (jo…@arnod.demon.co.uk)

________________________________________________________________________

PART A – DESCRIPTION OF THIS FAQ
________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Recent Changes
________________________________________________________________________

2nd Mar 1997 –  Added "Deliriously Serious Softworks – Synapse Worldkit"
                to "What is available on the World Wide Web?", part F,
                and updated Inform’s entry in "What authoring systems
                are available?", part D accordingly.
                Renamed the "[Home Page]" section for authoring systems
                in "What authoring systems are available?", part D, to
                "[WWW Page]".
22nd Feb 1997 – Added http://www.arnod.demon.co.uk/if/faq/ as a place to
                get this FAQ to "What is it and where do I get it
                from?", part A.

________________________________________________________________________

Contents
________________________________________________________________________

PART A – DESCRIPTION OF THIS FAQ
        Recent Changes
        Contents
        "What is it for and where do I get it from?"
        "How is the FAQ composed?"
        Acknowledgements and Copyright Notice

PART B – INTRODUCTION TO THE NEWSGROUP
        "What is the purpose of this newsgroup?"
        "What topics are appropriate here…"
        "…and what topics are not appropriate?"

PART C – FOR NEWCOMERS
        "What is interactive fiction?"

PART D – FOR AUTHORS
        "How do I become an IF author?"
        "Who’s going to appreciate my work?"
        "What about copyright; how can I protect my work?"
        "What authoring systems are available?"
        "What tools and utilities are available?"

PART E – FOR THEORISTS
        "What has been written on the subject?"

PART F – INTERNET INDEX
        "Is there a single main site for interactive fiction materials?"
        "What is available via FTP?"
        "What is available on the World Wide Web?"
        "Are there any interactive fiction-related mailing lists?"
        "What are those interactive fiction newsgroups again?"

________________________________________________________________________

"What is it for and where do I get it from?"
________________________________________________________________________

This document is intended to serve as both a list of answers to
frequently-asked questions (FAQ) for the newsgroup rec.arts.int-fiction,
and as a source of more general information for those interested in
interactive fiction authorship and/or theory.

The FAQ has been split into six parts.  Each of parts B to F will be
updated as and when the maintainer feels it is necessary and has the
time.  Part A (this part) will also be updated to reflect any changes in
the FAQ as a whole.

Part A will be posted to the newsgroup on a weekly basis.  The FAQ in
its entirety will also be posted on occasion.

The six parts, in a single text file, may be downloaded via anonymous
FTP from the if-archive.  Point your FTP client or WWW browser to:
        ftp://ftp.gmd.de/if-archive/rec.arts.int-fiction/FAQ

Another place to get the complete, up-to-date FAQ is:
        http://www.arnod.demon.co.uk/if/faq/

Alternatively, an HTML version is available from:
        http://www.frii.com/~jholder/intfiction/faq/

________________________________________________________________________

"How is the FAQ composed?"
________________________________________________________________________

The FAQ has been split into six separate parts.

You are now reading part A (Description of this FAQ).  This answers
questions specifically on the FAQ, such as its availability and layout.
There is also a full part-by-part contents (above).

Part B (Introduction to the Newsgroup) describes rec.arts.int-fiction.

Part C (For Newcomers) answers questions asked by people new to the
newsgroup or interactive fiction in general.

Part D (For Authors) will be of interest to the (prospective)
interactive fiction author.  It includes details of the major authoring
systems and other tools.

Part E (For Theorists) contains an informal bibliography of Internet
documents on interactive fiction theory, and information on the major
discussions to be found in the rec.arts.int-fiction archives.

Finally, part F (Internet Index) contains brief descriptions and URLs of
FTP and WWW sites and other Internet resources mentioned elsewhere in
the FAQ.

It is recommended that those new to rec.arts.int-fiction read part A
first, followed by part C and then part B, with parts D and E optional,
depending upon your particular interests.  Part F should be referred to
as needed.  Please read part B *before* posting anything to the
newsgroup.

For the most part URLs of FTP and WWW sites are not mentioned in the
main body of the FAQ.  This is for reasons of both readability and
length.  To find the URL of a site mentioned by name only use your text
viewer’s search facility for the site name in part F.

________________________________________________________________________

Acknowledgements and Copyright Notice
________________________________________________________________________

The FAQ was written and is maintained by Julian Arnold
(jo…@arnod.demon.co.uk).

Many people have contributed to this document, so thanks to them.  In
particular, shiny stars to Volker Blasius, John Holder, Graham Nelson,
Bob Newell, and John Wood.  Previous editions were maintained by Jorn
Barger (j…@mcs.com) and David A. Graves (d…@cup.hp.com).

This FAQ is copyright 1996, 1997 by Julian Arnold.  Please feel free to
quote from this document, but you *must* acknowledge this source.  The
FAQ, or individual parts of it, may be freely distributed by any means.
However, no charge may be made for the distribution (save for the cost
of the media itself) and part A, in its entirety and including this
copyright notice and details of how to obtain the full FAQ, must be
included with any and all distributions.

I would consider it courteous to be informed by anyone wishing to quote
from or re-distribute the FAQ.

As this document is supplied gratis, with no demand or request for
payment or other recompense, the maintainer is hereby pleased to
announce that in no event whatsoever will he be held liable in any way
for any loss of data, loss of earnings, loss of savings, general
disappointment or other unhappiness resulting from the use of or abuse
of or inability to use any and all information or misinformation within
or indeed without this document, or from any admission or omission
therein or thereof which either directly or indirectly causes any one,
or any combination of two or more, of the aforementioned unpleasantries.
On the other hand, feel free to attribute any good things which happen
to you or those around you to this document in general, and to me in
particular.


"For small erections may be finished by their first architects; grand
ones, true ones, ever leave the copestone to posterity.  God keep me
from ever completing anything." — Herman Melville, "Moby Dick"

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