An Example with Compasses

People often ask me for examples of Glulx multimedia designs; and since I happened to be working on something with an easily extracted lesson, I’ve taken out the relevant code and made a separate project of it.

The idea is that we have a graphical sidebar along the left side of the screen that functions in place of the game’s status line. At the bottom of that sidebar, next to the command prompt, is a clickable compass rose that displays the available exits in each room, and indicates which of the exits lead to already-visited locations. (This is pretty much a combination of the screen layout from City of Secrets with the color-coded compass from Bronze.)

In a finished game, there would be cool pictures and stuff in the upper part of the status bar, or maybe a clock indicating the game time, or some kind of score-counter, or a whole glistening dashboard of steampunk gears and dials tracking seven simultaneous kinds of progress…

But for this example, we just do the compass rose. Here it is, with green letters for new places and white letters for familiar ones:

Pillaged Village

Anyway, if that all strikes you as interesting, you can try out the gblorb file. Or you can run it for yourself:

  • make a new Inform project
  • copy my source text and paste it into your source panel
  • if you do not have the extensions I use installed, download them from the extensions page and install
  • download my Figures folder
  • unzip the Figures folder and put it in the Materials directory of your project
  • run

(Edited to add: the gblorb file produced will probably not run correctly under Gargoyle or Spatterlight, because they do not use the most up to date version of the Glulxe interpreter. For these purposes, I recommend Zoom on the Mac and Windows Glulxe on Windows.)

Re. Floatpoint v2

Since several people have contacted me about this in the last couple of days (it seems to happen in waves): no, a new build of Floatpoint is not imminent. I realize it is annoying that the current build has a few bugs, one of them unsightly, and I agree it’s not entirely recommendable to new players in the current state. But I am, at this point, disinclined to release a build that only fixes those problems, because feedback indicates that what the game really needs is a rewrite: for best effect, it needs to be a four- to six-hour piece, featuring much more conversation with significant characters, more internal structure, better exploration of the back-story and justification of the central problem, and so on.

I am working towards this, in various ways, but it is not likely to be done in the near future; and (perhaps obviously) Inform 7 support also consumes a fair amount of my available time.

Anyway, I apologize to those who are vexed by this, but that is the state of affairs.

On Stephen Bond on Player Freedom

Stephen Bond recently (very recently, I think) posted an essay on player freedom, essentially arguing that IF shouldn’t be about offering the player moral choice, and that not forcing the player to make a specific choice is a kind of artistic abdication, giving up the opportunity (or the responsibility) to Say Something.

Now I’m about to disagree with him, at some length.

Continue reading “On Stephen Bond on Player Freedom”

Graphics Windows for Glulx

I’ve just uploaded to Inform’s extension page a couple of new extensions: “Simple Graphics Window”, which allows the author to create a single graphical window, and “Location Images”, a much smaller item which uses this ability to illustrate rooms automatically as the player moves through them (assuming the author has assigned an image to each room).

Continue reading “Graphics Windows for Glulx”