GUI editor for making maps for I7/Glulx

Hi all,

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about a project I’m working on, a GUI graphics editor written in I7-Glulx ( Life intervened a bit, but I’ve finally put together a set of images (tiles isn’t quite the right word) to enable folks to assemble floor plans that will be revealed as the player moves through your game’s geography (links below).

I originally solicited ideas about what kind of floor plans people might be interested in, but it was suggested that I not bother too much with prefab map tiles, since there were so many resources available online. So, I went with a simple set of images that would allow folks to create floor plans in the style of the maps Emily Short published with “Bronze” ( … ze/map.pdf); a few people have expressed admiration for the Bronze maps on RAIF in the past, and in any case they are simple enough to be useful in a number of contexts.

A few folks have already said they would be interested in testing this (or at least in playing with it and giving me feedback). Basically, I’m looking for two kinds of help:

  1. Basic comments or ideas on working with the editor itself, regardless of the source code output (in other words, play and ). It’s my hope that the editor will pretty much teach users how to use it–and in the process teach them the basic features of the Glimmr system–but it’s probably not that well designed! (In any case, I know that there are a few concepts–“instances,” “tags,” and the way sub-kinds are treated among them–that will need to be discussed in the extension documentation, so it won’t be entirely stand-alone.) So, any thoughts on how to make the thing more transparent are welcome, as are bug reports, questions, or any kind of feedback at all.

  2. Others may like to go a bit farther and compile what they produce with the editor, or maybe even do some more advanced stuff with the code. (I’d love to see other folks produce custom editions of the editor, with different map tiles, perhaps, or optimized to produce something other maps–but it’s probably too early for anything like that, since Glimmr is still without documentation and a way off from official release.) If you’d like to do this, please email me and I’ll send you a link to all of the (still undocumented) extensions that make up the Glimmr system, as well as the original image files, etc. Oh, I’m emailing the link to all the folks who offered to test the last time around.

(There are also some issues with Gargoyle that I’d like to hear from Windows and Linux users about. If you can, please check out the known issues below and see if you can reproduce the Gargoyle problems–I’m not positive that they would be issues for native users, since I am testing with Wine.)

Even if you’re not interested in giving feedback on the editor, I hope you’ll try it out. I think it provides a good illustration of what’s possible with graphics in Glulx. (It also, of course, provides a good sense of the limitations of using Glulx for complex user interfaces–without double-clicking, click-and-drag, mouse hover, or keyboard + mouse modifications, fussy things like a graphics editor are a bit fussier…)

Thanks for checking it out!


Here is a link to the gblorb file which you can use to produce your own floor plans in this style (there’s also a .ini file for Gargoyle users):

(I don’t really expect that anyone will seriously attempt to create a game with Glimmr at this point, but if you are interested in going deeper with the Glimmr tools, please be sure to check the “known issues” section below before you begin in earnest…)

I’ve also created a simple example map and game file using the editor: … ple.gblorb

And here’s a save file for the editor gblorb above that shows the same composition in the editor: … xample.sav

For the completist–and because a bug in Inform will stop you doing it yourself–here is the raw source code generated by the editor from the save game, as well as the source for the example game file, which is a modified version of the raw source: … Source.txt … source.txt

Finally, here is a list of brief commands (one-letter) available in the editor: … rtcuts.txt

Known issues:

All platforms: You cannot output source code from a restored game if you have closed the original game window. Basically, after being created, the external file is not properly identifed with its glk reference after restoring. That is, if you save the game-state, close the program, reopen the gblorb, and then restore the original saved game, the game will end with a fatal error (“Reference to nonexistent Glk object”). Note that this means that you will not be able to output source from the saved game I posted here, since I output source before saving. (If you haven’t output source before saving, then things will be fine. So for now, the best practice is to save before generating source code, then restore the game before doing further work.)

Gargoyle: Each time that text is appended to the external source file, Gargoyle adds an asterisk. This means that before using source output from Gargoyle, one must search and replace the external file, removing all asterisks. Note: I am running Gargoyle through Wine, and this may not be a problem when Gargoyle is running natively. If you are able to test this on a native installation, please let me know whether the asterisks appear–I will file a bug if they do.

Zoom under OS X 10.6: Zoom under 10.5 ran quite quickly, but there is a very marked slowdown on Snow Leopard, particularly in the drawing times for primitives and painted text, and in the game saving. Saving in particular can take a long time–don’t assume the game has crashed!

Gargoyle: Gargoyle running under Wine is quite fast, except when image files are relatively large. Is this also the case when Gargoyle is running natively? If someone would like to test this and get back to me, please try comparing the following file, which includes a number of large images (~973,000 px each), with the example file listed above (where image files in the image library contain about 2500 px each): … tor.gblorb

All platforms: The help button is disabled, and pressing it will cause the cursor to disappear from the main window. (This is easy to fix; I just forgot to do it before creating this build.) Click on any other button or an image from the image library to get the cursor back.

A lot to digest here, so I may not be posting back soonish. But I am definitely checking it out!

George points out that the original post was probably a bit too long to be approachable, so here’s the quick version for those who just want to check things out.

Here’s the editor game file:

If you want to see something already set up, load this save game: … xample.sav

Type SHOW ALL to see the entire map, rather than just the initial game state.

Looks intriguing, might give it a go.