Announce: GRUESCRIPT

Gruescript is a free online tool for creating point-n-click puzzly parser-like text adventures/interactive fiction. It’s designed to make games that feel like classic parser puzzlers, particularly the Scott and Alexis Adams games – while eliminating the need for the player to type, making them friendly for modern devices and audiences. (They use the same Javascript interface I made for my “versificator 2” games, including IFComp winner Detectiveland.)

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The link includes a download for offline development, full documentation, and some annotated example code including Cloak of Darkness.

Gruescript is now released to public beta. There will be bugs. Please contact me, either here or on robindouglasjohnson@gmail.com, to report them, with details of what happened, what you were doing, and what browser you’re using.

It’s released under the open-source MIT License. Share and Enjoy!

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Oh, yeah! I think this system is gonna be swell.

You’ve already done all the stuff I always recommend people do when launching a new IF system.

I’d love to see a Gruescript comp sometime in the coming year!

EDIT: I just had a galaxy-brain idea: what if the prize for winning GrueComp was background music composed and performed by Robin…? :thinking:

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Fantastic documentation!

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Very impressive stuff! I really like how intuitive the whole “tagging” actions to things feels.

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Fantastic, well done Robin! I already have an idea for my first Gruescript game!

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Awesome new system. I already have ideas for student use.

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I’ve now had a chance to test this out on my phone and it works just fine. Most online editors completely fail at phone use for some reason, which I don’t get because if I were using a PC I’d rather just use a desktop app, so it’s failing my usage conditions in both directions.

But anyway, this editor works fine. I had to enable desktop mode in my mobile browser (big whoop) but then the page displayed and reacted just like it did on my laptop. Nothing buggy or intrusive. I could easily see designing a game right on my phone or tablet in this.

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Is there a YouTube video on this? It’s certainly sounds interesting, and as I read the documentation, I get really excited about it. However, I am working on my own version, since I know native coding language after all, so I thought I’d just do a quick check on GUI User Friendliness form factor. Mine is just text, after all.

Currently there’s just the PDF documentation, and the annotated examples available from the “Examples” menu in the editor. I might make a video about it at some point.

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CONGRATULATIONS Robin!!!

Although, thinking of it, congrats to us that we have such a wonderful member of the community like you <3

Thanks!

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This looks really cool. How are the chances or technical possibilities to port the system to other languages?

Jens

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I had a chance to look through the documentation today. Good job! The language itself is really intuitive yet powerful.

Of course I take full credit for seeding the idea for Gruescript in Robin’s head, in my 2019 review of Draculaland! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Now I have to keep a promise to my nephew and write a game for him with it.

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I’m not planning on doing anything like that myself, but it’s open source, so if anyone wants to have a go at it, I’d be interested to see what they came up with. It’s a simple enough syntax.

But I’m not sure it’s particularly suitable, or why you’d want to. Creating web-playable games is the whole point.

Maybe they were talking about the language of play? Like, does Gruescript offer standard ways to localise the game system, to make it possible to write something in, say, French?

I haven’t tried Gruescript yet, but if I like it, I might be interested in translating the system in French.

If it’s not possible, then as you said, it’s open source, so it’s always possible to make a fork, I guess.

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Oh, in that case I totally misunderstood! I think it would be possible, at least with languages that aren’t wildly syntactically different from English. There are some hardcoded bits of English in the display and “native” verbs. Apart from those, you could use the props “indef” and “def” to set your own indefinite and definite articles for objects with gender, and/or give them arbitrary props like “dative” or whatever, to use for other grammatical cases.

I’m planning on putting it in a public github repo very soon. For now, if you want to poke around in the source, you can download “gruescript-beta.zip” from the itch page - it’s exactly the same as the online version.

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There’s now a public repo at https://github.com/robindouglasjohnson/gruescript

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I may be a grumpy and old-fashioned amateur hack, but that’s what web code should look like (in my opinion) :slight_smile:

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It just looks like typical javascript. Or am I missing something?

Not missing anything, I think. I liked being able to quickly study and learn from the code. :slight_smile:

It’s enjoyable when something is quick to read and that runs quickly without many external dependencies. It’s a work-related injury. I’m used to seeing heavy frameworks and things like that in an enterprise environment that complicate things all day. These can be controversial (and personal) opinions and as such they’re best left unvented and mentioning it was a mistake. Doesn’t mean that what anybody else is doing is bad. Mea culpa. :confused:

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Ah. No, I get that. I feel the same way. It’s why my engine doesn’t even use jquery. It’s all just me.