Hypertext adventure?

I really suck at programming and don’t really have the time to learn a language either, so I mostly gave up on trying to write an IF. However, I was playing Starborn the other day and was delighted by the simple system that kept you in line with the story, but dumped all the parser stuff in favor of capitalized keywords that act as your commands. I realize gameplay-wise it’s maybe not as fun, but for starters I’d like to experiment with that kind of a game. At most, I’d like to keep a couple of basic verbs like examine and take, but I’m more inclined towards the keyword based gameplay.
How is this done? Starborn is written in Inform7; is there a more suited language for this type of game? And is it more trouble than it’s worth from the programming point of view?


My system, Quest 5.0, supports hyperlinks - each object has an associated list of “display verbs”, so you click the object and then see a list of things you can do with it. See textadventures.co.uk/blog/20 … -the-verb/

You can download Quest from textadventures.co.uk/quest/

I’m glad you liked the story. (I’m the author.) The source code is online at code.google.com/p/starborn/sourc … k/story.ni so you can take a look and see if coding something like that in Inform would be manageable.

The actual world building starts from line 439. If you use the preceding code for the keyword mechanics (which is totally ok) making the gameplay itself should be relatively easy, but you’d still have to study Inform to some depth to know what to do. (It’d be even easier if the keyword parser would be available as an extension, which I planned to make, but other projects took priority and I wasn’t sure how much demand there would be.) The keyword mechanics are built for this story’s requirements only so I can’t promise they’d work without modifications for any type of game.

If you’re interested in “pure” hypertext fiction without a text parser I can recommend Undum although authoring with Undum is basically JavaScript programming. I haven’t tried Quest myself but what I’ve heard it seems like it’d be a good choice: there’s a parser but you could use hyperlinks as well and there’s a visual editor you can use to build the story without writing code.

Thanks for the replies and congrats for the good game. The source code for the game will be very useful, I’ll check it out in detail. Right now I’m reading up on some Quest tutorials and I have to say I’m pretty impressed, it’s all very intuitive and the interface really helps.