Discussions about interactive fiction

Archive for April, 2010

[Inform] 1,2,3 vs. one, two, three

For some reason I can’t get my program to print numbers as words (i.e.,
one two three instead of 1 2 3). I’ve got a matchbook which is similar,
though not identical to, the one in Graham’s "Toybox" — the INVENT and
DESCRIPTION properties both contain statements like:

"The matchbook has ", self.number, " matches left.";

Except that I get output like:


The matchbook has 5 matches left.

… when I want it to look like:


The matchbook has five matches left.

I’ve gone over Graham’s code (which does it the right way), and as far
as I can tell I’m doing exactly what he did; can someone tell me what
I’m missing?

– M

posted by admin in Uncategorized and have Comments (2)

[Inform] keyring?

Another question: I’m trying to implement a keyring, on which and from
which the player can put and take (respectively) several keys.

I thought the easiest way to do this would be to make the keyring a
supporter with a BEFORE [; Receive: ... ; ], routine that would disallow
anything other than a key that a player tried to put on it. The only
problem is, the library rules say you can’t put an object on a supporter
when you’re carrying that supporter; the game returns the message "You
lack the dexterity." (Which frankly SUCKS as a library message, by the
way.) Also, whenever you try to unlock anything with a key on the
keyring, the game automatically attempts to take the keys.

I’ve tried add_to_scope as well, but that’s causing a whole slew of
other problems, mostly having to do with inventory lists.

Has anyone tried to implement this and found a way around these
problems? I seem to remember a keyring in "Lurking Horror" by Infocom,
but it’s been so long, I don’t remember how it worked. I’d appreciate
any suggestions.

– M

posted by admin in Uncategorized and have Comments (9)

How do I get on the archive?

Okay, one last question for tonight:

Can anyone tell me how to upload something to the IF archive? I have
just finished my first game (well, I’m within a week of finishing,
anyway) and I’d like to run it up the proverbial flagpole… I don’t
have my own web page to post it on, and I gather that the archive is the
next best way to do it. So whom do I contact or where do I send the
story file?

Thanks —

– M

posted by admin in Uncategorized and have Comment (1)

excellent adventure www2.southwind.net/~terico/improbit.html

Just a great read.. young college girl kidnapped and international
implications.  Young ex-military man helps rescue her and are on the run
from the henchmen and the law enforcement whom they cant really trust.  
Fantastically written and so please check it out at this website…
title… Massetti’s Improbity….by  Stephen J. McCormack.

posted by admin in Uncategorized and have Comments (2)

[Inform] Invisible Spellbook

Is it possible to have an inventory item which is always with
the player, but does not show up in Inventory and cannot be
directly interacted?

I’d like to have a "spellbook" object which is simply a collection of
spells the player has learned so far. Unlike Enchanter et al, the
spells can be cast at anytime simply with "CAST X", instead of
memorization and the like. This "spell memory" should travel with
the player whereever s/he goes, and like a spellbook, the player can
"read" it to see what spells have been learned so far.

The only catch, is that I don’t want this to appear in the player’s
inventory; he can only see what spells he has, and cast a spell in the
"spell memory". I tried using an inventory object with a blank name
which failed. I also tried to have an invisible object "follow" the
player through an each_turn function, but this moves the object one
turn -after- the player goes to another room, instead of at the same
time. Short of coding a "MoveSpellMemory" routine into every single
room exit, is there something I can do to implement this?

| "I think we consider too much |     __/~¤~\ ¥ /¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯\ ¥ /~¤~\__
|  the good luck of the early   |    |       ¯¯¯    U R I !  ¯¯¯       |
| bird, and not enough the bad  |    |    http://buri.campus.vt.edu/   |
|   luck of the early worm."    |     \        llama…@vt.edu        /
|   ¤ Franklin D. Roosevelt ¤   |      \_____________________________/

posted by admin in Uncategorized and have Comment (1)

Most Hated Puzzles and Other Things

Okay, I am rewriting, "The Family Legacy", making a lot of progress on Version
2. Let’s see I have eating, drinking, sleeping in the game, which most people
can’t stand. I also have a code written down somewhere for something the player
can’t proceed past until they find the code, some people really loathe that.

Hmmm, maybe I should stick in a little maze just to be on the safe side. So I
will be sure to cover all the most hated items and puzzles found in IF games.

Seriously, what else do you abhor? I would sort of like to keep the hate level
toward my game (when it is finally released) down to a dull roar. Strangely, I
prefer good vibes to thrown tomatoes.

FD :-) This is probably a dumb question.
FemaleD…@aol.com       "Good breeding consists in
concealing how much we think of ourselves and how
little we think of the other person."             Mark Twain

posted by admin in Uncategorized and have Comments (21)

Weird routine problem

I’m trying to put in some standard routines (PrintRank and DarkToDark to
be specific) and keep getting a weird error message:
line 71: Error:  Expected routine name but found PrintRank
My code is as follows:

    @set_cursor 1 1; style roman; @set_window 0;
];  !previous routine ends

[ PrintRank;
  print ", earning you the rank of ";
  if (score > 50) "Cheater (max score = 50)!";
  if (score >= 50) "Detective!";
  if (score >= 49) "Hmm.";
  if (score >= 40) "Hmm.";
  if (score >= 30) "Hmm.";
  if (score >= 20) "Hmm.";
  if (score >= 10) "Novice.";

[ DarkToDark;  !next routine begins.

If I comment away printrank, I get the same trouble with the DarkToDark
routine. And the error sticks to the first of these, no matter how I
move the routines around (so the error is likely not at the end of the
previous routine).

So what the *F*CK* is wrong here??

Totto the total inform newbie

posted by admin in Uncategorized and have Comments (2)

Re: Zork original

In article <6bd3as$hv…@newsflash.concordia.ca>,

ewd_t…@ece.concordia.ca (Gene Tang) wrote:
>Is there a Zork original (pre Zork1,2,3) around that can be played on a

Yes, but…

>Zmachine interpreter (ie Frotz)?


>The Zork that was all three games in one cohesive single game.

My suggestion, and I’ve been thinking about doing this but I’ve got
another game in the pipeline that will take quite a long time to finish,
would be to learn Inform, get a hold of the Fortran code for Dungeon,
figure out how to decrypt the data file, and just port Dungeon over to

I don’t have a clue what Activision would have to say about it; I don’t
think they’d like it too much, but the fact that Dungeon is out there in
source form still would have to be a good sign.


Brian "Coach" Connors               conno…@bc.edu

Cinnte, ta fhios agam labhairt Gaeilge. Cad chuige?

posted by admin in Uncategorized and have No Comments

An easier IF langauge?

I know this subject has been discussed in the past, but after playing
some incredible games from the annual competition, I am reminded

a) how much I would like to write my own IF game
b) how difficult that seems to be using popular languages (TADS & Inform).

I have heard the argument that you can find someone to program for you,
but I’d like to write my own game.  I suppose it has something to do with
owning my work (in a metaphysical sense).

Nonetheless, as an amateur programmer, I would love to write good
interactive fiction which could be played by a large number of folks
(read z machine compatible).

I wonder if there is an easier way to do this, and how many folks with
real literary talent, but no programming skill  might take advantage of
such an easier way.  

IMHO, of course…

Bill MacKenty
Keene, New Hampshire

posted by admin in Uncategorized and have Comments (24)

Still more Newbie Trouble (inform)

Ok.. I got over the DarkToDark routine problem by putting them before I
include VerbLim… now next: using the library file utility.h
(downloadable from gmd) the Emphasis() routine returns true, putting
big ugly 1s into the print statement it’s (I assume) to be used in.
So, how do I make inform return from the statement without putting truer
or falses into my print statement? *scream*

Totto tries and tries, and asks ever for help.

posted by admin in Uncategorized and have Comments (5)