Examples of X and Y

I was thinking about Cloak of Darkness just now - a very simple game designed to show how different systems handle different things - and was wondering about the idea of doing something similar here.

Now Cloak of Darkness does a fine job of showing how X system does this and how Y system does that, but it’s only a very, very short game. What if someone new to the IF scene was trying to figure out which system was best for a conversation-led game? Or for giving items to NPCs and receiving items back in turn? Or for changing room descriptions based on various actions which have happened elsewhere (i.e. you’ve turned on the air conditioning in the basement so the studio is chilled)?

What about a few examples in each of the major systems - Alan, Adrift, Hugo, Inform, Tads - to show how each could be done? I could do the Adrift ones myself, but that’s the only one of the five that I’m familiar with. Does anyone think something like this might be a good idea as a way of attractive newcomers to the IF scene?

I could handle things in Hugo, especially if the examples are still short and meant to cover a very particilar feature (or set of features). All example games would need to be functionally the same, as in Cloak of Darkness.

I don’t know that it would bring in new people, though, or really help them get a feel for one language over the other. It’s possible, I guess. I think the point of Cloak is to be basic enough to get an idea of the construction and syntax of the language, not necessarily the various features that might be called upon.

Even if it doesn’t bring in any new members, it might be interesting for current ones to see how the other systems handle things. I solely use Adrift but I’ve always been curious as to how much easier or harder certain things are in othe systems.

Not to demean ADRIFT, but how exactly would the ADRIFT way be presented? Alan, TADS, Inform, Hugo - they’re all text-based. (Or maybe I should take a look at Roger Firth’s site…)

Another point I’d like to raise are library/header files. David proposed comparing certain functionalities such as a conversation framework between systems. I’m not sure about Alan, but the other 3 do have either built in libraries or extensions from contributors that are useful for these. Will those come into the picture as well?

With ADRIFT you can certainly create a sample file that can be played in the runner and examined in the generator (subject to limitations of the unregistered v4 generator). It can also output a module file that provides a text version of the game and can be imported into the generator.

While you can get at the source code in Adrift if you really want, it’s never usually a good idea. Things aren’t listed by their name, but usually by what they are followed by a number, so you might have item1, item2, item3, etc, and you’d then have to check further down in the source code to see what item1, item2, item3 are. I’d hate to write a game from the source code side of things. But source code can be generated in Adrift and it would give an idea of how Adrift handles things.

What I had in mind from the Adrift point of view was, instead of the source code being displayed (although that could be done as well I guess), would be a set of instructions on how you get certain things done. Like:

  • Create a room called House.
  • Create a variable called conversation.
  • Create an NPV called Bob who begins in the room House.

And so on… (but in more detail).

Step by step instructions that guide people along.

The Cloak of Darkness page for ADRIFT shows screenshots for the various windows.

I never replied when this was first posted, but I think this is a great idea. I assume this thread is where the examples would go ?

Pick an X and I’ll try an Inform 6 (and maybe 7) example.