Cloak of Darkness, Ring of Darkness

Point one is that Roger’s Cloak of Darkness page is not available. It was, when I started, last calendar year. It isn’t. Anyway! I have a new idea. Ring of Darkness.

Ring of Darkness presumes you have an IF authoring language and library that can produce Cloak of Darkness. Your scenario is that of four locations. You may try to go to the fourth, but you cannot, until you do x, y, and z. You win? → The Ring of Darkness

IF terms, in a simple scenario, you are in a cave, and there is a bear in the way of getting out of the cave, the Exit. The Solution.

The bear will eat a box of cereal, whether or not you do anything.

Inside the box of cereal, is a decoder ring, that will unlock the exit, when It is used to explain how to get past the bear. It is the same as Cloak of Darkness, but I just need a little more IF transaction to make sure my IF passes the interaction test.


I should explain. I have been writing an app just for iOS. I have been writing an app, that plays the sort of IF that I write.

I haven’t written it yet. I used it to break what I have written so far, and tell me I still have work to do.

   Object(name: "cereal box", description: "Crunchie Munchies, a delicious way to start your day with carbs and sugar. A banner across the front of the box says: \"Search inside for a toy surprise!\"", takeResponse: actionResponse.searchItem, location: "Cave",

actionList: { actionObj, VerbWord, GM → (String, Status) in
switch(VerbWord) {
case “#Search”:
if let decoder_ring = GM.ObjectNamed(“decoder ring”) {
if decoder_ring.location == “Offstage” { return (“Search the (”, .active) }
else { return (“Search the box”, .inactive) }
case “#Eat”:
return(“Eat some cereal”, .active)
case “#Open”:
if actionObj.general { return(“Open the box”, .inactive) }
else { return(“Open the box”, .active) }
default: return (VerbWord, .invisible)

I am close to writing I6-like code in Swift to write IF for my iPhone, my own games.


I never thought I would be able to. I am just about to realize I am at level 1 in a different group that starts here and goes up to 20, and I would like to get there and start over.


  • *I6 = Inform 6, Z-machine 5 and 8

The Cloak of Darkness pages were rescued. But I’ve thought something a little bit larger and with a little more complexity could give a better idea of the languages.

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I remember to have pointed to a sort of “extended COD” in a debate a pair or so of years ago…

COD don’t have, for example, NPC nor fuses/daemons, the latter being a major element of IF language/libraries.

IMVHO, ideally an extended/new COD should be more like a “rosetta stone” of IF languages/libraries…

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.

As well as didactic activity, like Cloak of Darkness was, it would be quite interesting to come up with a basic adventure game that people could then reinterpret in their own favourite authoring tools… first in a straightforward way and then embellishing, remixing and extending it, perhaps as the focus of a game jam.

(Game jams like the Adventuron CaveJam have done this in the past.)


Indeed, I’ve always thought COD is way too artificial and contrived to favour systems that, in this case, support classic IF darkness out of the box.

Indeed, can someone explain how it is that you can see in the cloakroom whilst wearing the cloak. And while you’re at it, explain how the story has the audacity to stop you dropping the cloak, when it would, in fact, be the solution.

What’s needed instead is a simple, but sense-making, game design with a few rooms, perhaps one character and a few objects and perhaps one main puzzle.


Games like “The Kings Ransom” are perfect as simple games that people can use to “port” using their system of choice.

Case in point I did this with The Kings Ransom and ZIL in a sadly failed live stream. The port worked fine (using 40+ year old technology), the live stream (using current technology) failed due to major lag and freezing meaning its unwatchable.

If anyone wants to see a car crash in action then here you go…


Found the “source” in the GAC documentation. Honestly, compared to CoD, has a fuse (the spider) but not adaptive description (in CoD, the hook)

OTOH, aside the failed livestream (if you have bandwith issues, please record it as a “let’s do…” video), I consider it the platinum occasion of closing forever one of the major point in the ancient EU 8-bit flame (Commodore vs. Sinclair: now that Chris Drum has given how to squeeze Infocom games into the confines of Sinclair’s 32 columns, closing once and for all the “ha ha, we commodorists have infocom adventures, you sinclairists no” flamefest (I consider the ZX spectrum 48K with Opus/Disciple the real minimum system for v3 story files (albeit I suspect that with the two-disk feature, even the interface 1 and microdrive can be considered…)

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.


I played Infocom games on my Spectrum +3 back in the day anyway; using the Amstrad PCW/CPC 3" disk versions. :wink:


I know it was a while back (don’t I know it :grin:) but can you recall what was on the disks? Was it literally just ZXZVM and the z3 game file?

Also a +3?! You posh bugger! :sweat_smile:


It was the CP/M version of the game; the UK distributor put them on 3" disks to flog to the Amstrad crowd. Picked up a couple up cheap at the time. Probably had at least two different “executables” from what I can recall, to cater for the different CPC & PCW column widths. (The disk images are out there I’m sure).

Played them through Locomotive’s CP/M Plus on the Spectrum +3… which was a separate purchase (it didn’t come bundled, unlike with the Amstrads). Playing the games was, as Mike Gerrard remarked at the time, a bit like watching a game of tennis… one of the screen modes you could use (to fit it all on the Spectrum screen) split the screen into two sections, with a middle portion that overlapped… So you flicked between the two to read each line of text. Spectrum Computing - ZX Spectrum games, software and hardware

Bought our +3 from the Littlewoods (or Grattan/Brian Mills) catalogue… paid it off over a very long time… Sometimes I wonder if I’m still paying it off. :slight_smile:

Anyway… this is totally derailing this thread. :slight_smile:


This could be interesting. I’d certainly be up for creating the ZIL/ZILF version.

Could we get a list together of what we think needs including? I’d suggest an agreed specific list.

This could also assist the OP with their language.


It has a richness and depth as well as size that I’d say goes beyond basic, but Emily Short’s Bronze has served this role. Derivatives of Bronze are permitted and it’s been translated into XVAN and… I felt sure there were others, but I’m not readily finding any (other than Bronze updated into modern Inform 7…)

I am glad they were rescued. I don’t think they were tested for being there in a while.


I like that there was activity. I am proposing Ring of Darkness. It requires search finding an object in a container. Otherwise, it doesn’t add to Cloak of Darkness. It requires of the language that, there is a sense of container. Of an object containing a child object.

I think we’re about at the level where Cloak of Darkness/ Ring of Darkness starts allowing for Colossal Cave. I am still not sure that we have 1975-77 level basic IF.

We have to handle, “with what, your bare hands?” as a question. And answer.