Ran across this randomly while searching for something else: Audioverse is “an interactive fiction framework” that includes rigorous modeling for ambient sound effects. The screenshot looks severely old-school to my eye, and I haven’t gotten the downloadable sample file to run, so I have no idea what it’s like in practice, but I confess I’m intrigued by the description. I have generally tended to think that a heavily sound-based approach to IF runs into problems because it’s hard to sync the real-time nature of sound with the turn-based text — but I haven’t tried something like this, and it might be interesting.
(Re my complaints back here, I think I have fixed the very worst speed hangup with optimizations in my own code, and then David Kinder has awesomely put in some work that will lead to the acceleration of all Glulx games produced by I7. Graham and I have discussed some further optimizations in the way I7 handles relations that might streamline the behavior of the underlying conversation library yet further, but that will have to wait until later builds of Inform. I am hopeful that the result will be something that remains usably fast even for fairly large games. As I suspected, that involves approaching the problem at all three levels — terps, I7, and the individual library.)
Anyway, about the graphics, I’ve been thinking more about what graphics should do in this game, and about what I like in successful uses of graphics in other IF.
The remaining significant work on Alabaster consists of building the graphical status line on the left side of the screen. My original idea was that this image should give hints about Snow White’s current state of mind (or your state of mind about her), by showing her with different expressions. Daniel Allington, who is contributing the line drawings we’re using, offered a considerably more interesting suggestion:
What if there were just half-a-dozen freehand line drawings that were then collaged in different ways? (eg. zoomed in, zoomed out, combined with other images, superimposed, folded in on themselves, washed-out, erased, over-written, etc.) Cropping the same images in different ways to achieve the 1×4 ratio would be another way of using them to contribute to the storytelling. I like the way that collaging and re-collaging can create continuity – a bit like the illustrations in City of Secrets, incidentally.
I really liked this idea that the status line would be procedurally developed and dynamic in the same way that the conversation itself is. Besides, this idea allows for considerably more movement and change in the window than if we were sticking only to literal-minded facial portrayals. So I’ve been working on some code to place, zoom, and superimpose the images that Daniel sends my way.
There’s a lot of work still to go in order to get the diversity of effects I really want to see here, and a certain amount has to be done by creating effects in Photoshop rather than applying them procedurally in Glulx (given the narrowish set of graphical tools Glulx provides), but it’s coming along.