Reposting here from the ADRIFT forum, and deliberately not in the “Other Development Systems” section…
Reading through the reviews of Irvine Quik & the Search for the Fish of Traglea, it is very clear that the game itself, the ideas, and the supporting files are really good, but the thing that lets it down most of all is the engine. It was written using ADRIFT 4. I believe that the more the wider IF community is exposed to ADRIFT 4 and it’s limitations, the more stigma is attributed to the engine and the overall reputation of ADRIFT is affected.
The reason I created ADRIFT 5, and started completely from scratch was to overcome the problems that have consistently been brought up in the IF competition. By starting from scratch, I was able to design v5 completely differently from v4, resolving the majority of issues that have plagued v3/4 since it’s creation.
I want to take this opportunity to point out how ADRIFT 5 could overcome the problems raised to date with the above game. Apologies Duncan for using your game as an example. However, I think it is important to do so. I also believe that by using v4, you will have cost yourself several places in the final competition.
The only way people can play ADRIFT 4 games on a Mac is using an interpreter that was written by other developers, without access to the original ADRIFT 4 source code. This leads to subtle (and sometimes significant) differences between gameplay. It also means that functionality (such as transcripts) are not available. ADRIFT 5 can run on Windows, Linux and most likely Mac (with a bit of testing), and games can also be run in a browser, allowing them to run on any Operating system. And best of all, the logic will be exactly the same as running locally.
I can’t comment on the exact nature of the problems found here, but I can say that organisation is much easier in ADRIFT 5. Sections of the game can be separated out into separate folders. IQSFoT is split into chapters. So each chapter could have been given a separate folder, with sub-folders. This makes organisation much easier, rather than looking down immense lists of things, and would make planning and debugging that much simpler and more enjoyable. There is also a much better search function in ADRIFT 5.
Another user, having to run in a third-party clone of Runner, leading to bugs that may not have been there in the official Runner. This would make testing a nightmare, having to test in both the official Runner and the third-party clones.
ADRIFT 4 has to check every single task. This game has over 1600 tasks, which have to be checked each turn for a match. ADRIFT 5 only has to check General tasks initially, as these are the ones that define new verbs. This means that a well designed game should run much quicker in v5 than in v4 (or a v4 game).
Whilst this is possible in ADRIFT 4, it is much simpler in ADRIFT 5, as any task can be set up with any number of verbs.
This is exactly the sort of thing I’m talking about. He says “ADRIFT is generally not smart enough” rather than “ADRIFT 4 is not…”. ADRIFT 5 is perfectly capable of allowing the same verb to be used in multiple contexts, either by the structure of the command that uses it, or the use of properties or other restrictions on the command in which it is used.
ADRIFT 4 take/drop are pre-canned. The only way to change their behaviour is to try to override their usage. ADRIFT 5 allows you to amend the actual get/drop tasks themselves, so you could allow them to work different depending whether or not the arms are deployed. That said, creating a “%character%, take/drop %object%” command would be very simple in ADRIFT 5.
Again, this says ADRIFT, not ADRIFT 4. This is damaging to the reputation of ADRIFT overall.
Another third-party clone problem perhaps? Eliminated if using ADRIFT 5.
The n/e/s/w directions are hard coded in ADRIFT 4. They can be customised in ADRIFT 5.
More detail on what the parser issues were would be useful, but needless to say, the ADRIFT 5 parser is far superior to the ADRIFT 4 parser.
What has happened here is that ADRIFT 4 processes this as two separate commands. That is something still to be implemented in ADRIFT 5, but on the other hand this command could have been set up to process as expected as explained above.
Reading the reviewers comments is rather frustrating as I’ve spent the last few years working very hard to fix the problems raised by the IF community, with the release of ADRIFT 5, and I very much hope the (albeit small) number of comments I’ve answered above will be enough to convince some of the more faithful ADRIFT 4 users to move away from this flawed, aged version, and upgrade to ADRIFT 5.
I would however like to thank you, Duncan, for submitting a game this year written using ADRIFT and for your continued support.
At the end of the day, unless the reputation of ADRIFT can improve, the system will not flourish as well as it should do. This reputation is dependent upon the games written using it, and it is my belief that games written using v5 will cure most of these problems, as well as giving a more enjoyable experience for the author.