Release Gargoyle For Pandora - Interactive Fiction / Text Adventure Package


skeezix

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The Pandora was _made_ for this!

Some of you may be familiar with my early Kronos project for Pandora, which currently lets you play Magnetic Scrolls text adventure games (though it will soon offer also Scott Adams and Infocom/zmachine type games as well.) Kronos is not so expansive as Gargoyloe, but does aim for stuff like auto-mapping and whatnot.

Anyway, Gargoyle is an interpreter collection with goals of being very attractive to look at and readable (including subpixel rendering and gorgeous fonts and so forth, as well as supporting customization to typesetting) and to support many interpreters; to this end, it supports such true classics as Infocom/zmachine style (including modern formats like the newer Inform stuff from the indie scene), Magnetic Scrolls, Level 9, Hugo, TADS 2 and 3, and more. (Adrift, Agility, Alan 2 and 3, Glulxe, GIT, a whole slew of these guys.) The only one that I often hit that is not supported is Scott Adams, but I'll fold that into Kronos.

Real gargoyle homepage is: http://ccxvii.net/gargoyle/

Download is here (currently uploading to appstore as well): http://www.walled.ne...le_20100823.pnd
Screenshot is here: http://www.walled.ne...oyle/screen.png
App store download is up: http://apps.open-pandora.org/cgi-bin/viewapp.pl?/Game/gargoyle_20100823.inf

The package should 'just work'; run the pnd from your menu of choice, and picka story-file using my silly little picker. It will try to figure out which interpreter to use based on the file name .. ie: .z* will go to frotz (more or less), and .mag to magnetic srolls. It usually makes sense, but some like '.dat' are too generic and may go to the wrong interpreter.

When you want to save (ie: type "save" into the interpreter) it'll give you a directory picker, so you can specify where; likewise for 'restore' or 'load'. So no worries about files going to some hidden location.

Should you wish to override the default choices for look and feal, you can override the garglk.ini file, but creating a new one in /pandora/appdata/gargoyle/garglk.ini -- in there you can specify different fonts, justification or not, subpixel rendering or not, etc and so on; let me know if you would like details or not :)

jeff

Firing up The Guild of Thieves (Magnetic Scrolls games, with stillshot pictures):

screen.png
 

Xenu

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Thank you, this is so cool. I used to play Lone Wolf like crazy as a child. The Pandora is getting better and better, there are many things I never even imagined I could/would do with it. Interactive fiction should be brilliant on the P.
 

skeezix

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Without success? For Kronos, you feed it a .mag file (Magnetic Scrolls; if you find a MS game, just rename the story file to .mag if its named something else); if it also finds a .gfx (or whatever) file, it'll try to use it for artwork, otherwise fall back to text-only mode. Should work pretty well.

Garg should work pretty well; I just stuck story files into a rom-type-dir .. /foo/zmachine for infocom type files, /foo/magnetic for magnetic scrolls, and so on, but could keep them all in one place. I need to speed up moving around with the initial file-picker (add page up/down using left/right) but otherwise seems pretty good to me.

I like a lot about Gargoyle, but the way its done makes it really hard to add handy stuff like .. 'click to copy word' and 'word expand arbitrary word', which is stuff Kronos is good at.. but Kronos is much uglier. *hmrf* :)

still, now that I got all the Garg modules built, its pretty awesome to be able to run TADS and everything .. *awesome* :)

jeff

FWIW, perhaps I should post the rules it uses to determine which interpreter (ie: filename .this -> that-interp.) Alternatively, I could post a zip of the individual interpreters, that could be run from command line, if you don't like having it guess at all :p
 

gruso

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Yeah, by not trying very hard I mean I didn't even consult the forums for basic info. :D Just grabbed some (unsupported, as it turned out) games and gave it a bash.

I should note that the Kronos readme failed to open on the Pandora ('failed to render' in Arora).

(Going even further off topic, I hate that the readmes open in Arora instead of Mousepad. So slow! I'll bring that up in a firmware thread though.)
 

MikeNZ

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I just sooo can't wait for my Pandora to arrive.
It's software like this that was the reason I bought the Pandora in the first place.

You're a legend Jeff.
Thanks for all your hard work.
 

skeezix

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There are a lot of very high quality games around; amazingly (and awesomly) theres still a yearly competition for IF games, and a few dozen new games come out each year. (The IF Competition rules aim for games that are completable in 30-120mins if memory serves, which does tend to make for high quality but short games tese days.. but theres still usualyl a good solid 40 hour+ game that comes out every year; Not to mention back int he 80s-90s heyday of IF, when a couple hundred great games came out.) Check out anything by MAgnetic Scrolls or Infocom, really.

MAgnetic Scrolls featured 'still shots' artwork, which was a nice touch, but still mostly text.

Guild of Thieves is a classic, as is The Pawn (and all the Magnetic crolls titles; theres only a dozen of them, but all good.)

Infocom .. check out Zork, which was pretty much one of the very first for sale games _ever_, and really quite good; also Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is classic (esp if you've read the books.) Zork and HHGttG really should be on everyones 'canon' -- if you're a gamer, you have to have played Pacman and Zork for instance.. its the rules to call yourself a Gamer :)

the Zork series is now in the public domain (freeware), so can be gotten all around (including the official infocom/activision site.)

For the king of IF archives, check out .. the IF archive :) http://www.ifarchive.org/
Or for a guided tour, check out BAFs: http://www.wurb.com/if/

BAF's will help you find a bunch of freeware games to play, by rating or topic, etc.

jeff
 

Prometheus

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skeezix said:
There are a lot of very high quality games around; amazingly (and awesomly) theres still a yearly competition for IF games, and a few dozen new games come out each year.
I don't suppose that means that there are some resources out there for trying to make such a game by one's self, does it? :)
 
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skeezix

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Oh Prometheus dear, you bring a tear to mine eye ;)

There are many such tools available; the most popular nowadays would be Inform, which spits out story files in zmachine format (same as Infocom)
Second most popular I understand it is TADS (2 or 3 I don't know off the top of my head.)
Third I think is Hugo.
Then a pile of others :)

All are freeware these days; I'd go with Inform for pure-text game, on the grounds that zmachine interpreters areon almost every platform imaginable; TADS has support for playing basic music and showing still-shot artwork (don't thin it does animations). TADS and Inform are prety well supported at their home sites, and in rec.games.int-fiction and rec.arts.int-fiction newsgroups. Really really smart people in these groups .. its sort of freaky :)

Both of these systems take an input file(s) that are sort of like a scripting language .. both very powerful, but you dont' need to be a coding wizard to use them; they're designed to be writer-friendly, not coder friendly, and fully tweakable.

Your 'code' is esentially describing what objects exist in the world, what flags they have (ie: a lantern can be lit, or unlit, that sort of thing), and what rooms exist, and what rooms things start in, and what verbs have what effecvts on various things; the heavy lifting is all done for you (parsing inputs, figuring out what object is being acted on, default actions for sensible things, etc.) So you essentially just have to code up that when the user throws a rock at a window, what do you do?

Its really a fun thing to write up, but its lots of work dong th 'writing' (the actual prose).

Inform: http://www.inform-fiction.org/I7/Welcome.html
TADS: http://www.tads.org/

Let me know if you need me to help with anything (finding info etc)..

jeff
 

Prometheus

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Thanks muchly, Jeff - I'm going to get stuck into reading into all of this tonight. :D
 

laurens

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Small feature request: When I save, every time it goes to the place of the executable (/mnt/<blah>), could you make it so that it's either the last save-location or the same one as where you loaded the game from?
 

Michoko

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Thank you for this! Indeed, waiting for my Pandora is really more and more painful, lol!

Xenu said:
Thank you, this is so cool. I used to play Lone Wolf like crazy as a child. The Pandora is getting better and better, there are many things I never even imagined I could/would do with it. Interactive fiction should be brilliant on the P.

May I make a shameless plug here? If you like Lone Wolf, and have a Nintendo DS (with a linker for homebrews), then you may be interested in a project I've been working on for a few years now, called LoneWolfDS: http://www.projectaon.org/staff/frederic

It's a port of the Lone Wolf books into electronic form, with handling of inventory, events and combats.

Cheers
Michoko
 
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skeezix

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laurens -- remind me in a little while and I'll look into it; trying to catch up on various tasks right now :) (just working on minimenu for hotfix #4 right now.)

In Gargoyle, all the individual parsers are separate apps with some shared common ground .. hopefulyl the save/restore business is common ground, so I Can fix it in one place and be good to go.

Defaulting to the apps directory is not so bad, since it puts everythign into appdata (unless I goofed on the directory), which is what lots of folks would want (despite it looking weird in the path.) But remembering where you last saved/loaded and using that path would be better.

jeff
 

laurens

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Skeezix - No, the apps dir wouldn't be too much of a problem, but currently it defaults to the mountpoint of the executable (/mnt/utmp/gargoyle).

Another thing - the file picker is really quite slow, pushing up & down and browsing folders is quite unresponsive - any clue why?

Michoko said:
May I make a shameless plug here? If you like Lone Wolf, and have a Nintendo DS (with a linker for homebrews), then you may be interested in a project I've been working on for a few years now, called LoneWolfDS: http://www.projectaon.org/staff/frederic

It's a port of the Lone Wolf books into electronic form, with handling of inventory, events and combats.

Any plans on porting it to the pandora? Seems like fun :)
 
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skeezix

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laurens -- that shoudl be in the appdata :) its union magic .. if it writes back to 'itself', it gets sent to the appdata dir. It just doesn't _look_ like it, but it should be fine.

I didn't check the file picker much; it shoudl be the standard gtk one, so should be okay (though I don't like the gtk one much myself :)

I'll take a look later --

I'm considering porting one of the IFMapper type tools too :)

jeff
 

laurens

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skeezix said:
laurens -- that shoudl be in the appdata :) its union magic .. if it writes back to 'itself', it gets sent to the appdata dir. It just doesn't _look_ like it, but it should be fine.
Ah, didn't understand you meant that. Ok, cool.

I didn't check the file picker much; it should be the standard gtk one, so should be okay (though I don't like the gtk one much myself :)
I'll take a look later --

Ah, in this case, I meant the filepicker to pick the game you're going to play, and not the one to save/load your games - sorry for the confusion.

I'm considering porting one of the IFMapper type tools too :)

jeff

That could be cool, esp. if integrated into another tool, so that it happens automatically as you are playing. Ah, dreams :).
L.
 
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