Discussions about interactive fiction

Archive for May, 2013

Looking for IF author of HallowEve from the IF archive


I’m new to Inform, and downloaded a bunch of IF games from the archive, mostly sources to see how things are done, but also compiled games.  I came across HallowEve, a z-code game, and played it.  

And got frustrated.  

I finished it, and wrote up some critiques for the author, listed in the ABOUT text as Michael Wayne Phipps Jr.  So, is Mr. Phipps around?  Or is there another way to get comments to the submitters of games on the Archive?

Thank you,

Tom A.

Trying to write an Inform game based on Harry Potter.  Just from corridors between towers, and towers, I could have about 150 empty rooms in Hogwarts Castle.  When I figured that out, I decided there had to be a better way.

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[Inform 6] Verbs


Is it possible to write what word combinations should give a certain answer in the objects’s "before"? In the case below I want to get the answer "bla bla bla." after writing "a big car" or "dog elephant fish", but I get "Error:  Expected assignment or statement but found <constant>" from the compiler on "’a big car’ ‘dog elephant fish’:".

Thanks advance for reply!

NPC one "one" one_room1
with psa_variable = false ;
        before [;
                ‘a big car’ ‘dog elephant fish’:
                        print "bla bla bla.^" ;
                        self.psa_variable = true ;

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[Inform7+Quixe+HTML5] You won't believe your eyes!

Here is the multimedia on-line version of "Aladino e le Perle di Saggezza" (Aladdin and the Pearls of Wisdom) an interactive fiction written in italian.

Well, it’s possible that you’re going to understand nothing of it, but I want to show an interesting combination of Inform7, Quixe and HTML5 that makes possible to play interactive fiction with hyperlinks, images and sound in an internet browser. Try to click on the highlighted words and see the effects.


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Spring Thing 2013 begins – time to play the games

The Spring Thing 2013 games are now available for download. There are

three games this year:

Encyclopedia of Elementals (Quest)

A Roiling Original (Glulx)

Witch’s Girl (HTML / Twine)

You can find out everything you need to know at:


You’ll find the links to download the games on that page.

Anyone who plays the games and is willing to follow the voting rules

on the site may serve as a judge for the competition by voting on the


The deadline for voting is 11:59 PM EDT, Sunday, April 28, 2013. Winners

will be announced soon afterwards.

The details on how to submit your vote are at:


Feel free to contact me if there are any problems.



To all the players, have fun! To all the entrants, good luck!


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[Quixe] Hack to Plotkin's Quixe brings javascript to int-fiction

A simple hack to Andrew Plotkin’s Quixe brings the power of javascript in IF written for the glulx VM.

In a few words, a game that is played on-line or off-line in a browser can call javascript code and show the results in the output shown to the player.

The trick is done with a simple modification of the "say" command.

As seen in this on-line demo http://milleuna.3owl.com/_Javascript_DEMO/

this Inform7 line

  say "I’m pretty sure that 2+2 makes $<2+2>$."

generates this output

  I’m pretty sure that 2+2 makes 4.

where 4 is computed by javascript.

This is not the best example to uncover the possibilities of this simple hack, but I’m "pretty" sure that someone can figure out something more useful ;)

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I7: objects of a kind named after their owner


I have a "kind of thing", let’s say "balls". I would like every ball to have a person as an owner, something like this:

A ball is a kind of thing. A ball has a person called owner.

My problem now is, that I can’t find a way to reference the owner in the description or the printed name of the balls.


The ball has a printed name "[owner of ball]'s Ball". The description is "This is [owner of ball]'s ball."


These don’t work. Neither does "noun" instead of "ball" for obvious reasons (noun isn’t always set, as it is set by the parser, in actions like "inventory" noun isn’t set)

Do you have an idea for me? This can’t be that far out… it seems to me, that there should be a fairly obvious answer to my problem that I am just unable to see.



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sizes for adventure items

I’ve been writing a text adventure creator that uses the old system where

the script has a list of adverts, nouns, messages, objects etc.

I need to define has much space is needed for items, for example Dim

Objects (100) as string. Which puts a limit of how many objects the

adventure can have.

What I’ve like to know if how many rooms and objects are used in adventures

these days on average?

Regards Brian

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3 Skulls RPG

Hi, has anybody ever played the full version of 3 Skulls RPG, which

you buy on the website, legendarytales.com?


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What I like and hate in Adventures

I started playing text adventures back in the 1980′s when Scott Adams

started to write adventures. I have seen good and bad adventures over the


This might help adventure writers.

I hate mazes. When I get stuck in a maze my interest in the adventure

starts to fall. To me mazes are boring as the scenery does not change and

going in a certain direction can lead you back to the same location.

I like adventures that help the player such as offering built in hints.

Some adventure companies use to sell the player hints which I feel is

wrong. Its a good thing you can freely get hints on the internet for most

games. Being stuck in an adventure after only going to a few room feels

like I have wasted my money as if I don’t solve the problem then I’m never

going to see that rest of the adventure I paid for.

I hate adventures that give more work to the player such as a sheet of

paper lying on the ground and you type in READ PAPER or EXAMINE PAPER. You

might get a response like "You have to pick it up first" or "There are

words on the paper".  What would be more helpful if the response you got

back was. "You pick up the paper and read it, the paper tells you that

there is a $100 award for catching the Unicorn".

I like adventures with a lot of description that feels like you are reading

from a book. That’s one thing I liked about the Infocom adventures which

made them entertaining. Also you could move an object and the description


I hate adventures that have bugs such as the player being able to pick up a

house or having a down direction As one of the direction I can go to when

I’m standing on the road. The writer should test the adventure more before

selling or giving it to the public.

I hate adventures that seem to be written for the super intelligent

Sherlock Holmes type player. They are too difficult to play for the average

player. If I have looked under everything and still have not found the key

then I don’t expect the key to full out of a bar of soap that I need to

break apart. Or the writer thinks the player knows what chemicals to mix to

 gun powder or some other chemical reaction.

I hate adventures that have become impossible to win as you have done

something wrong but you are not told that because of your actions its now

impossible to win the adventure so you continue to play the adventure

thinking that its still possible to win. The adventure writer should tell

the player this.

I like realism in adventures. If I have crashed an expensive plane then I

don’t expect my officer to say "sorry to learn of your plane crash, here is

another plane for you to fly". I expect my officer to be angry with me for

crashing the plane and maybe tell me to study the plane manual before he

lets me have another plane to fly.

I like sound to be used in adventures to provide clues. For example "you

hear something rattle inside he suitcase when you pick it up.", "You hear

footsteps in the next room".

I like adventures that offer the player a chance to continue from where he

was before he got killed so you don’t have to start playing the adventure

from the start. I don’t always remember to save the adventure in stages.

I like adventures that awards the player for his effects.

I hate adventure that mislead the player. For example nothing is found in a

locked box after you have finally found the key  or an unusual object is

found in the room making you think that it plays a part in solving the

adventure when it doesn’t.  You find a key but it does not unlock anything

in the adventure.

I hate adventures that lack good responses such as being told that there is

nothing unusual about the box when you examine it. A more descriptive

message would be more entertaining.

I like some clues to be easy so that you feel you are making progress in

the adventure such as finding a cleaning cloth and a dusty box in the room.

Cleaning the box reveals writing on the box needed to help solve the

adventure. Some clues can be more difficult but they don’t all need to be


I like helpful suggestions as if you have a partner with you on the

adventure such as "that hill looks too dangerous to climb unless you have

suitable climbing boots".

Regards Brian

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a lack of adventure type games being sold

I suspect that there are no text only adventures being sold these days like

Zork etc but I heard that Scott Adams was working on a new adventure.

Most of the games that claim to be adventures are just games that have you

finding hidden objects in different rooms.

Not much has been created since Myst was released.

If there are any good commercial adventure games then please let me know or

give me a link I can go to.

Regards Brian

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