luckykaa: (Default)
[personal profile] luckykaa
I've been looking at text adventure scripting systems recently. It appears that most games are written using Inform, or TADS. Inform is interesting. It uses a natural language approach. So a program looks something like this:
The Warehouse is a room. A box is a closed openable container inside The Warehouse. instead of opening the box, say "It's taped shut"
Which is great. Another plus is the IDE. It has a tile for developing, and another tile for Documentation of running the game; and also provides some tools to tell you everything that's defined in the game. The tutorial goes through things at a steady pace, and has some helpful examples; with IDE integration; so the examples can be copied to the main page with just a click. The natural language system understands a lot of concepts. For example I can say "if going into the ballroom for the third time...", "a bottle is a type of container. A bottle is usually opaque" It doesn't always work as expected. For example, if I write:
inside the warehouse is a box and a cat.
things work fine.If, on the other hand, I say:
inside the warehouse is a container called the box and an animal called a cat.
we get a container called "the box and an animal called a cat." The other problem is that the documentation is limited. There is a tutorial, and a "cookbook", but no reference manual. I want to know if the verb "cut" exists, and what it does by default. I'd also like a list of the basic properties and rules. This doesn't seem to exist. TADS is a much more programmer oriented language. Looks a little more like this:
hallway: Room 'Hallway' "This hall is pretty bare, but there are exits to west and south. " south = startRoom west = study ;
So perfectly readable. Might be worth switching.

Downside I see is that the IDE isn't as good for learners. I don't have the screen real-estate for a separate help window. I could always use my tablet as a help screen. Doesn't allow copy-pasting though.  Also wondering if it has the ease and flexibility. Might give it a go but I feel I should at least get to the end of the inform tutorials.
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