I have a puzzle that consists of a scanner the player must use to track a target. The scanner display is set to draw in the top half of the screen after an @split_window call, akin to the bathyscape sonar in Seastalker.
For the scanner puzzle to work, the entire scanner interface must be visible to the player. However, when I open up something like Windows Frotz, the default window is too narrow to accomodate the scanner. It can, of course, be resized but that’s annoying to do mid-game when you realize the display is wonky.
Is there a way (currently using Inform 6.41 to build .z5 file) to specify a minimum window width? Do any of the modern interpreters respect and accomodate such a request? I’m currently not targeting retro computers. Or just any general suggestions for handling the display of a split-screen puzzle like this cleanly?
Some Infocom games check the screen width when they start, and if it’s less than X, they just print a message and exit. In some cases, it seems they could have easily avoided this limitation, e.g. it’s trivial to adapt Beyond Zork to a screen width of just 40 characters, but they had no intention of selling the game for any systems with screens that narrow, so they didn’t care.
Idea: Make two versions of that grid - a pretty one with the spacing, and a denser version without the spacing. If there’s not enough room for the pretty one, resort to the dense version.
Thanks for the input @DavidK and @fredrik
Having written an interpreter and modified some games for a resource (and character-width) constrained machine, I was aware of how Infocom handled things, which was… a little less than elegant. I guess I was hoping with fingers crossed that I might have more flexible options if I ignore those older machines and strictly target modern interpreters.
I’ll likely just implement the “two versions of the grid” idea, @fredrik. Thank you.