Hi folks. I’ve recently rediscovered Inform after years of being away from interactive fiction. I’ve had a game idea for years, and am wondering if Inform might be a good engine for it?
The basic concept involves space-based navigation in the spirit of lots of old MUDs/MUSHes/MOOs that had those sorts of systems. You had ships that traveled in 3-D space in real-time using simple vector trig for motion. You’d fly your ship with commands (“heading 30 mark 16”, “warp 8”, etc.) scan, enter other commands for system information, etc. But your character was still in a room, sitting at a console. “Look” would describe the room, “aft” would stand from the console and walk out of the bridge, etc. Even if I can’t support basic 3-D navigation, I’d be happy with a simpler vector-based solution that incremented X/Y/Z coordinates by a specified value each round.
So I’ll need real-time interaction, which I understand Glulx supports. There is a basic real-time extension, but it looks like that only supports setting one-off timers, when what I really want is an event that fires every second or so.
I understand there are better engines for real-time, but the more I think about it, the more I really want to do something like this with an interactive fiction engine. I want the space navigation to have a certain level of grit, but I’d like for the interactions outside of spaceships to have a level of richness. I’d like for players to wander around on planets, look up at the sky as a backdrop, see lots of generated text based on characteristics of the planet’s industrial/political sophistication, etc. and that’s a lot more possible with an IF engine.
Can Glulx be contorted to do something like this? Are there any good examples of repeatedly-firing timers triggering certain events in real-time, not simply one-offing themselves? I’m working my way through Writing Inform, but if this just isn’t possible or is highly painful then I’d rather stop reading now.
Basically I want to get rid of turns entirely and switch to a model like the old Infocom’s Border Zone, where everything happened in real-time. Can I do something like this?