Hello! I’ve had various Stuff On recently so haven’t been a very active maintainer, but it’s great to see people appreciating Gruescript.
You can mess about with this in HTML/CSS, as you’ve done (although I could have Gruescript make it easier for you.) I’ve alternated a few times between “room on top, scrolling text underneath”, “room underneath, scrolling text on top” and “room and scrolling text side by side” as in Draculaland and Detectiveland (in landscape windows). They all seem not quite right for different reasons. I think the reason I’ve settled (for now) on room-underneath is that the room pane has a variable height, depending on how many things are in it, but the scroller is a fixed height, so this way the divider between the two panes stays still. It also keeps the player’s eyes at around that point oi the window, which I think makes them less likely to miss messages. (Several players thought that Draculaland had a bug with the castle gate keys spontaneously vanishing, because they weren’t seeing the message about the magpie stealing them.)
That’s configurable by the player in the game’s options, though I think Gruescript ought to make it possible to at least set the defaults. I suppose I wanted the room description to show up in the scroller when you change rooms, partly so that the scroller output looked like a traditional text adventure, and partly so that if you scroll back through the text, you can easily see what room you were in at what time. And I wanted it in the room pane because there’s no “look” verb, so you always need to be able to see what room you’re in.