Interpreter Options (Particularly regarding font height and images)

So I was looking around on here, trying to figure out something or other I can’t quite remember, and I got psyched out enough by a thread talking about issues with how releasing games with interpreters works that I decided to put forward progress on hold and see if I could get my project to at least play in-browser in its current state. In particular, with the default glulx Quixe option.

It compiles fine and everything, but lo-and-behold my efforts to get ascii art more viable by using a smaller font just for it has been dashed by the fact that .bufferline is holding my ability to control line-height based on fonts used hostage (though at least I got it back to a monospaced font by finding the first user style in CSS…). Additionally, I’m running into the fact that the Quixe is, at least in the version that ships with Inform 7, incapable of showing images.

I then attempted to see how Parchment would go, but the game just loads forever. Just that compass, constantly rotating. I believe I saw a thread mention that you need to throw a bunch of non-included files in for glulx usage, which might explain it.

I’m starting to regret taking the documentation on its word that this would… just work, ehe.

At least I managed to circumvent the “just shows a massive cover image instead of any kind of small cover like it’s supposed to” issue. That’s something!

Anyways, I’m a bit… overwhelmed by how I thought I had two options available to me, and now I basically have none since both of the ones included are basically non-starters for my purposes out-of-the-box. I know there’s been mention of a python program you can run to get glulx working like it should (though I’m kind of uncomfortable with the idea) or that the newer releases work with images, and that Inform’s package is the one that’s unfortunately missing out at the moment, but I was curious… since the ascii thing is putting a rather large damper on my plans, what is my best bet for both that and having images as backup? Or is having smaller font sizes without massive amount of whitespace inbetween the lines not really an option for any kind of web release compared to the IDE (where it’s been working wonderfully)? I know there’s borogove you can just upload it to, but I would like enough control to be able to host it on itch and such.

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I think the latest Inform release unfortunately has a buggy version of Parchment. (It was just before I ran full integrated tests using the Inform 7 template.) You could update the Parchment template, but honestly the easiest thing would just be to put your release .gblorb into the Parchment site generator: Parchment HTML Converter


Oh! Well that certainly made it load. And parchment seems to have images working, which is definitely an improvement. So thanks on that front!

Shame the line-height issue has followed me here, though I suspect it’s an inevitable factor of the translation to whatever interpreter is being used. Hmm, hmm. There has to be something I can do to fit the raw ascii in the window like I managed with the IDE (though it is a massive relief to be able to see my image backups, certainly).

Oh. Oh. These ones are nicely separated into buffer lines actually based on fonts being used. If I could do this with an actual stylesheet at my disposal this could work. It’s just a difference of finding my way in to move the font size from span.Style_user1 to div.Style_user1…

Update: Installed the zip of the newest parchment so I could properly release. While this does remove the ability to use images, that’s at least… a problem I can solve. When it comes to it. Whereas the font thing was a fundamental issue that was really ruining my day, ehe.

Anyways! I mention this because I managed to get it working thanks to the different way parchment handles .bufferline!!! It worked! It displayed correctly! I’ll leave it be for now, but that was a huge enough concern that it was kind of making me sick with stress, so I’m unbelievably glad to have figured that part out.

Thanks for helping me with the Parchment loading issue @Dannii! I might run into more problems in the future, but you’ve managed to take me from “no options” to “a pretty strong one” exactly when I needed it!


Footnote on this: Quixe is capable of this, but Inform doesn’t generate the image info in the right format for Quixe to find it.

Dannii’s tool solves this problem.


Yeah! Sorry about my confusion on that front. I saw a comment or two about newer versions than what Inform had, but then I came across a discussion mentioning that that’s actually the issue at the moment after making this thread, and not being able to see images in an updated Parchment cemented that was definitely what was happening. Unfortunately, I’ve been digging through a lot of 8 year old threads looking for answers before deciding to bother anyone with my problems, and it’s hard to keep straight what came from where and what came from when…

But yes! I’m pretty optimistic about the state of things now. The holy grail would be slipping a CSS stylesheet into the Parchment HTML Converter output itself… somehow, but even working with inform output I’m sure I can get the images working again with the methods people mentioned when I get to it.

You can add your own CSS into the output of the Parchment site generator, though you’ll have to add it again if you update your storyfile.

You can also use style hints using the Glulx Text Effects extension in Parchment (but not Quixe.)

But one thing to note is that ASCII art can be hard to get working reliably in all interpreters. In particular mobile Parchment, depending on the phone, might only support 53 columns, or even less. In previous discussions this is why some authors said they actually use images to display ASCII art as it’s more reliable.

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Mm, mm. Yeah, that much I certainly get. It’s part of why I have image versions of them and image descriptions both available to the player based on settings (and screen width to prevent showing a mess, though that’s an involuntary last line of defence and certainly not a first one). I just wanted to also have an option to display it raw as-is if you are in a position to (which I now have!!!). For the spirit of things.

Thankfully, I have taken everyone’s comments on the subject to heart the last time I brought it up.

Update: After a bit of fiddling, I did manage to figure out how and where to shove CSS into this HTML file from the Parchment HTML Converter. And it worked! So now I know for 100% sure that I can get both that and images in one perfect little package…