Frotz in the iPhone App store

After all the various discussion of whether Apple would or would not allow it: it’s there. Craig Smith has a free-download version of Frotz available, which comes preloaded with a bunch of games (9:05, An Act of Murder, All Roads, Anchorhead, Balances, Being Andrew Plotkin, Bronze, A Change in the Weather, Child’s Play, Christminster, Curses!, Dreamhold, For a Change, Heroes, Jigsaw, Lost Pig, The Meteor, the Stone, and A Long Glass of Sherbet, The Act of Misdirection, Photopia, Slouching Towards Bedlam, Spider and Web, Varicella, Vespers, The Weapon, and Zork (MIT version)).

It also has a button that taps straight into IFDB, and downloading a new game adds it and its cover art to your game collection.

Plays a little slowly with Bronze, but faster than the reports I’ve heard of the game on other PDAs (and Bronze does whacking lots of pathfinding all the time). Older I6 games are faster.

IF cover art looks really nice on the iPhone screen, too.

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.)