Discussions about interactive fiction

Archive for July, 2012

Newbie problem with room layout

Evening all,

I’ve decided to have a muck about with Inform, writing a basic
‘adventure’ (if one can call it that)

I’ve fallen at the first hurdle of stringing together a few locations.

Here is what I have:-

Top Of Mountcrest Avenue is a room.

South of Top of Mountcrest Avenue is a room called 14 Mountcrest

South of 14 Mountcrest Avenue is a room called 12 Mountcrest Avenue.

South of 12 Mountcrest Avenue is a room called 10 Mountcrest Avenue.

That doesn’t compile, giving me the error "You wrote ‘South of 12
Mountcrest Avenue is a room called 10 Mountcrest Avenue’  , but in
another sentence ‘South of 14 Mountcrest Avenue is a room called 12
Mountcrest Avenue’  : but this looks like a contradiction, which might
be because I have misunderstood what was meant to be the subject of
one or both of those sentences."

I don’t understand why that is a contradiction, since it describes a
series of locations… Is the number i the room name giving it a

If I leave out the last sentence it works fine, albeit with just the
two locations.


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TADS 3 Newbie question – verb list?

Is there a list of built- verbs for TADS 3 anywhere? I am still working
through the documentation and haven’t seen one.

Many thanks in advance.


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for those interested in old computer systems and IF, have a look at
this tool:

http://recursosac.blogspot.com/    (english info after first block,
look closely)

Basically is a software that allows you to define a game in a source
file and then generate something that can be loaded into a ZX
Spectrum, Amstrad CPC or PC/DOS, using old Gilsoft’s  PAWS.


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TADS3 vs. I7: making dynamic objects a part of something (and some other stuff)

Hi everyone!

For those knowing both I7 and TADS3:

How would you implement the code of the following I7 example in TADS3:


"The Night Before"

The North Pole is a room. "Here it is: the famous Pole. From here you
can go south (or south-south, or south-south-by-south); or,
alternatively, take refuge inside a red-and-white-striped cabin." The
cabin is scenery in the North Pole. Instead of entering the cabin, try
going inside.

Santa is a man in the North Pole. "Santa is pacing around in the snow
and trying to psych himself up for the big night."

Inside from North Pole is the Candy Cane Cabin. The description of the
Cabin is "Striped red and white, but nothing can make this place seem
warm and inviting since Mrs. Santa ran off with the Tooth Fairy."

The Ice Shelf is south of North Pole. "The ice here has been smoothed
into a kind of runway for easy take-off, and ends in a cliff and cold
arctic sea." Donner, Vixen, Blixen, and Rudolph are animals in the Ice

A nose is a kind of thing. A nose is part of every person. The
description of Santa’s nose is "It’s a bit ruddy. You don’t like to
mention it, but Santa’s been dipping heavily into the Grey Goose since
Mrs. Santa left town." The description of a nose is usually "Not
terribly exciting."  The description of Rudolph’s nose is "See how it

Definition: a person is other if it is not the player.

Definition: a thing is selfish if it is part of the player and the
player can see an other person.

Instead of examining a selfish nose:
        say "You cross your eyes, but can’t get a good look."

[Here is the part that actually determines the preferences. "Does the
player mean…" can result in five outcomes: "it is very unlikely",
"it is unlikely", "it is possible" (the neutral default), "it is
likely", and "it is very likely". This is discussed in greater detail
in the Understanding chapter. Here, we want to discourage references
to the player’s own nose and encourage references to the nose of
Rudolph, so:]

Does the player mean doing something when the noun is a selfish nose
or the second noun is a selfish nose: it is very unlikely.

Does the player mean doing something to Rudolph’s nose: it is very

Rule for writing a paragraph about Rudolph:
        say "The reindeer are already harnessed and waiting impatiently. The
brilliance of [Rudolph]‘s nose casts an eerie red glow over [the list
of unmentioned animals in the location]."


1. How do I make a dynamic object which is a part of something (a nose
which is part of every Actor)?
2. After making these dynamic noses, how can I access them (and tweak
their descriptions)?
3. How can I implement the rule for Paragraph about rudolph? I tried
some stuff with actorHereDesc and descViaActorContainer but it did not


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Menu-driven navigation in Inform 7?


I want to try to use an inline menu, similar to GTalk or phtalkoo in
I6, for navigation and general player interaction during one scene of
an I7 story.  Looking at Emily Short’s builtin Menu system, it appears
to only build "top of the window" menus instead of having them inline
with the rest of the story text.

The scene that I want to build is a chase scene and I’m thinking that
using the menu input will speed things along enough to give the player
a better feeling of actually chasing.

Any suggestions?

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Meta-Comp News


We’re told that Spring Thing (http://www.springthing.net/2009/) has
done very well year in terms of its prize pool, and we here at Meta-
Comp would like to take credit for that with our repeated nagging on
their behalf.  But we can’t really, since full credit must go to those
generous souls who shelled out and donated in order to support the IF
artist community.


Meta-Comp will start taking donations the first of the month.

(Those who visit the Meta-Comp site might notice it goes up a few days
early — I’ll be very busy next month.)

Why You Should Donate:

Well, it’s kinda cool to be a patron of the arts.  Just ask those who
gave to Spring Thing.

Giving Credit:

On the donation form, you’ll see a spot to put your name as you would
like it to be listed on the site.  On the "Patrons of Interactive
Fiction" page, your name will be added within a few days.

We’re not going to publish how much people give.

I’m going to see about making a Patron of the Arts document for people
who donate.  Also, donors will be granted access to the Game
Designers’ Forum, which will never be opened to the public.

See the Donation Page, which will be up by the first of the month, for


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[linux game repository] DJL

DJL is an application for linux which can display and download games
automatically. It’s different from a package manager like yast or
synaptic, because it’s not dependant on a particular distribution.


I’ve included Gargoyle in it, with the game "adventure". It’s possible
to package more games, so if you’re interested in making your game
available for it, make a 64×64 icon, a 320×200 screenshot (even if it’s
less relevant for an IF game), and I’ll try to include it.

I don’t wish to package the whole ifarchive, but a few good games could
raise the interest of people using this program.

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I7 Skein Schema

I noticed that I7 looks like it stores the skeins in XML.

Is the XML Schema (an .XSD would be great) for the I7 skeins published

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I7 / Glulx Question

Okay, so I’m breaking the usual tradition here, that tradition being
"fiddling with something technical for hours until it breaks or I
do".  Instead I’m just going to say what exactly I’m trying to
accomplish and if any glulx/I7 wizards (or the authors of the
extensions I’m about to mention) want to hop in and help me, it would
be much appreciated.

What I’d like to do is adapt one of the existing menu-based
conversation systems (Retractable Quips by Michael Martin, for
instance) to be used with something like Jon Ingold’s Flexible
windows, so that the menu choices available appear in a separate
window ala City of Secrets or Pytho’s Mask, but the text still outputs
into the main window.

I’ve been tinkering with this for awhile, but if someone can help me
out with it I’d be much appreciated.  If the topic is too big for
raif, my email is smoovemo…@gmail.com.

Hopefully one day we’ll see a full implementation of something similar
to those games, but until then I’m just trying to kludge something
together for those situations where menu-based conversation is the
best way to proceed.  Mush thanks,


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Interactive Fiction Writing Month!

Until a Google search showed me Aric’s post, I didn’t even think about
advertising IFWM on Usenet, but in retrospect it seems like this group is the
obvious place to mention it. [Apologies if such ads are not welcome; I did
check the FAQ first. :-)]

A good friend of mine, Lea, is a nonprogrammer who recently got into writing
IF using Inform, and has decided (being the sort of person who thrives on these
things) that IF needs a month just like novel writing has. So she’s started
Interactive Fiction Writing month, from February 15 to March 15 this year:


The event is designed to appeal to people who have never done IF before, so it
starts slow with a week to learn Inform, and some exercises before getting to
the meat of the IF-writing. You’re welcome to join in late; I also understand
there will be "a fast-track option for experienced IF writers", but she hasn’t
told me what she has in mind.

Her website describes the event as targetting Inform (6 or 7), but if you have
another preferred system that’s obviously up to you. (Although of course we
will like you more if we can play the result. ;-)

We’re pretty excited to hear people we’ve never met already advertising and
looking for people to do IF month with! Feel free to email me or Lea with any
questions or comments you have — I probably respond to email faster than she
does, but she is the one doing all the work; I’m just her friend who knows how
to post to Slashdot and Usenet.

Hope you can join us in our Glorious Month of Writing IF! Try not to outshine
us n00bs too much. ;-)


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