It’s currently parser-less (I told you it’s not immediately useful ) and sparsely documented. Internally, it uses a Lisp-ish expression language to build scenes. There is some minor procedural content generation in there.
It’s reasonably clean JS with few dependencies. It’s been designed to work well in the browser but it should also be possible to port it to mobile (React-Native) or desktop (NW.js or Electron).
Future plans: a parser, tools, more procgen, ports.
I don’t consider myself an IF expert, and I’m not claiming Choba will set the world on fire. But perhaps it’s interesting.
Hey Carolyn Thanks, most of the creative work on Mainframe was done by Liz England.
Mainframe originally used XML because that was the easiest to get running during a game jam. But I’m not a fan of XML and some constructs are awkward to express. E.g. … is fine. But …… is ugly, I find.
My initial direction is to look at web template systems for inspiration, because that fits IF well, I think - content interspersed with logic. So perhaps:
I’m now thinking that through and seeing whether that’s a good idea.
Writing the interpreter before the parser is perhaps a strange approach, and there’s a risk that it will limit me when writing the parser. We will see
Briefly, inline links are quicker. The difference is more obvious for long nodes like a page long.
Thinking about it, a separate link section has some advantages e.g. you can put links in boxes so they are more distinct (and easier to select on a small touch screen where my fingertip is the size of 3-5 lines). Placing links together in a separate section from prose emphasizes that they are alternative choices. Leaning towards interaction as a big important choice model. But a digression or footnote link which soon links back to the parent node seems like a trivial choice. Quick links correspond to impulsive choices - you can act hastily without further thought.
Inline text expansion is cool. Personally I like the old-style separate nodes for digressions. Unless an inline expansion is small (like one line) I lose my place reading - but it’s a popular mechanic. I suppose highlighting (a temp outline?) the expansion could help. The other day I played a game where the text mutates by itself right in front of you!
Would it be possible for games made in Choba to be distributed for offline play? For instance - say you zipped up all the files necessary to play Mainframe, could you distribute that zip and have the game be playable offline?
…in fact, could I ask you not to be hypothetical and to indeed distribute that file?