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Overview of IF languages?

 
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 12:16 pm    Post subject: Overview of IF languages? Reply with quote

Any articles on the languages themselves and how they differ? Not looking for any material of the "best" or "worst" languages (or interpreters, whatever) just the breakdown in their development and how they incorporate basic tech.
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Ice Cream Jonsey



Joined: 27 Apr 2002
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm. The first thing that comes to mind is "Cloak of Darkness," which makes the same game in several languages. There might be a comparison of Inform, TADS, Hugo and Adrift on the newsgroup (rec.games.int-fiction) as well.
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Ice Cream Jonsey



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A link would be helpful: http://www.firthworks.com/roger/cloak/
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I could probably run down the game's source and look at how and where the parenthesis structure differs....

Here's my question - how active are the IF languages currently? Inform7 was the last one to be brought from scratch, and I've been looking and wondering if anyone has tried to apply a statisical or classical AI approach to IF games?

I don't know how they differ or what can be done exactly in a specialized programming language (a language for one specific purpose? Oh... Why can't ya lazy bastards just roll this stuff in C++ or fortran ya wimps?) but I'm curious if anyone has tried to statisical or somewhat relevant AI approach to the IF genre.
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krakos
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

there are established communities for tads, hugo, inform and adrift langauges

the inform people who havent actually released games are kind of stupid, they constntly want the features of a particular flavor implimented in the thing they are "using"

"give me graphics in i7" (glu;lx has that) "yeah no in i7 please"

"please make i6 support natural language programming"

that sort of thing

nobody cares about taking an "x" approach to it because it doesnt amke the games any more fun, its just coder wankery


.krakos
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Ice Cream Jonsey



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is ANY of this legitimate?
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pinback



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whaddya mean is it legitimate? Krakos just said what I've been saying for the past eight years. Granted, I said it much better, but that doesn't make what he said illegitimate. PALLIE.
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Ice Cream Jonsey



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought your big thing was that you were tired of people making games that tried to be ahrtistic (which you deny IF is capable of, due to the fact that at some point someone is going to type >KILL SELF and swear words into the prompt when they get stuck) instead of games that were just plain fun, like the old Infocom titles. Have I been mis-representing your take on this all these years?
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Ice Cream Jonsey



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, are you sure you said it better than Krakos? It would mean making spelling errors at a rate less than three per word, haw haw. (No offense, krakos.)
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ice Cream Jonsey wrote:
I thought your big thing was that you were tired of people making games that tried to be ahrtistic (which you deny IF is capable of, due to the fact that at some point someone is going to type >KILL SELF and swear words into the prompt when they get stuck) instead of games that were just plain fun, like the old Infocom titles. Have I been mis-representing your take on this all these years?


I have two TAKES. One TAKE is the above -- when people write games, they should write fun ones.

The other TAKE is that people should write games instead of circle-jerking about development platforms.
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hygraed



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's no reason a game can't be fun and artistic. Where it falls flat is when a game is artistic but not fun. I'm looking at you Mr. Rybread Celsius.
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Roody_Yogurt



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought Rybread's "Candy" was fun.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

karkos wrote...
"nobody cares about taking an "x" approach to it because it doesnt amke the games any more fun, its just coder wankery"

Rephrase the question... Has anyone applied a statisical or intelligent model to parsing and applying typed commands to puzzles in ways not expressly programmed into the game?

Or, has there been any attempt in IF, at giving objects, settings, or stories alternate physical properties that allow them to be used in ways not clearly associated with how the game was designed?
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pinback wrote...
"The other TAKE is that people should write games instead of circle-jerking about development platforms."

I'm still curious as to the variations between languages designed for text games? Okay, the syntax will differ, features such as pictures, music, movies being used ingame or how they throw text in your face will also... Those are rather cosmetic though.

Are there any differences between the languages besides syntax and their implied ability to display various bits of media?
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Ice Cream Jonsey



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
Or, has there been any attempt in IF, at giving objects, settings, or stories alternate physical properties that allow them to be used in ways not clearly associated with how the game was designed?


Not that I am aware of. There may be some small cases of that. When The Pawn was released there was text on the game's box that said that "each item had 51 variables assigned to it" or something along those lines. I don't think it was 51. Maybe it was FORTY-THREE. But I don't remember, in The Pawn, anywhere where there was emergent gameplay because of it.

Then again, I didn't get all the way to the end of The Pawn, and any walkthrough you see is not going to be all, "Dork around with things that are less dense with water until you --"

I wanted to simulate stuff for the current work in progress, but it came down to implementing size, hitpoints, combat skill, combat damage potential, capacity... and that's pretty much it. Now, when you need a new variable for such things you can just throw it in the object or NPC class and everybody has some base value. But when you go the route I'm thinking you want to go, you probably need to design the game more abstractly than I did/could.

For instance, I'm guessing you want something like the classic case from Ultima 7:

- You can't leave the town via the mayor unless you have the password
- The city walls are 10 feet high
- The Avatar can climb five feet
- The Avatar is six feet high
- the crate is four feet high
- Avatar.height = crate.height+avatar.height
- Avatar.height > crate.height, Avatar can pass

... that sort of thing. I dunno, that's always the thing I hear about when this sort of thing is mentioned. And that's very cool! There's definitely real space, in the realm of IF games, for someone to do something new there.

Unless there iS a game that works that way and I don't know about it.

But yeah, emergent gameplay, better-motivated NPCs and better conversation systems. Those are the places where IF is lacking, in my opinion.

It sounds like you want to go with TADS 3 for what you are thinking of doing, A. Nonymous.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've demo'ed a single puzzle in this vein, that was basiclly a character stuck in a cell, who had to change the layout of several spaced bricks in the wall behind them, to manipulate a turing machine (behind the wall) that recieved commands by said bricks (essentially programing an algorithm) that manipulated gears in the door in front of you.

I did this in C++ and the only interesting thing I did was this; I added a lookup to change commands based on user input. So someone types "slide lower brick to the left" then a "Command not found message comes up," the last command is parsed when they try another option such as "move lower brick to the left" then slide and move become the same thing, and either can be used in place of the other.

Its simple, but I've been trying to correlate commands in occordance with the next correct movement, and the possible motions of the items such commands are being applied to.

The goal (if there is one) is to somehow add a database, command, some sort of structure, that can take given input and extrapolate it in accordance with the desired action, objects in the game (and the possible uses of the objects), then change the narrative in occrdance with how the player uses what is around them.

The problem is, I've played with this system and single room for the last two months, and though I've spent time honing the puzzle, I've only begun to dazzle myself with the results and as said, its become some sort of code wanking. "If I get this system down fron my head to the computer, it'll be a brand new, completely revolutionary force!" Err...

Ya. I've seen many, many people become dazzled with their own bullshit and I've moved on to other projects, yet I look up the source from time to time and it bothers me.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've (as you suggested) tried assigning basic characteristics to certain objects, then giving the player the ability to manipulate them in occordance with those attributes, but then working with every item becomes many fold, and actually creating some sort of, well, story and on a tangeant, dialogue, becomes sidetracked because all my attention is applied to the system instead of the interactions.

So no... That doesn't work. Its not seamless and a rather bad kludge in place of a physics system.

Emergeant gameplay? Haha....

Woo! This conversation is... Dynamic!
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Lysifmaker
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Though all of the above is true, Pinback referred to the little sample of my IF game last year as "the shit, and in the really good way." Good sign? GOOD SIGN! Look for it in Introcomp. Hopefully.
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pinbacker



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, but I think I said most of that before I'd actually installed/run it.
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