Has anyone except Zarf iOS-wrapped an Inform game yet? Anyone thinking about it?
(Zarf is allowed to answer this question.)
I’m asking because I’ll have a game out soon. I hadn’t really thought about going beyond the desktop with it because of what this particular game is, and because I’d rather wait 'til I have a more saleable item before entering a situation where I’m paying money every year to maintain an Apple Developer status. But while working out the game’s website, when I realised I couldn’t type ‘You can play it online’ or ‘You can buy it on an iphone’ etc., suddenly I just felt a bit sucky.
I’m counting on the feeling passing in half an hour.
As someone who plays heavily - heavily! - on iOS I have to say that there are two reasons why I’ve decided to play Hadean Lands on iFrotz rather than the app, having tried both.
The first is the size of the font. Unfortunately, I can only get a proper-sized font if I select Euphemia (which I find rather ugly; I much prefer Baskerville) and max it up. I’m using an iPod Touch.
Secondly, iFrotz has a brilliant autocomplete I simply can no longer do without; in a mobile device, it really is a necessity.
Which fills me with pity, because otherwise the HL app is beautiful and I love the journal and how it serves as a shortcut to RECALL. Plus, there’s the map.
I’m saying this just so other authors know what to expect. At the current state of things, I still prefer to use iFrotz - and I play lots of IF in it.
itunes.apple.com/app/death-off- … d788712929
I’ve published Death off the Cuff on iTunes and made enough money to pay for the developer fees. PataNoir will be out soon as well.
Is there anything in particular you would like to know?
Jmac put up Warbler’s Nest using the framework.
Thanks for feedback, all.
I hadn’t investigated your framework and app-building docs before, Zarf. They look very good for someone like me who’s never touched XCode (though I did install it once in the past to gain access to something-or-other-I-forget-what-it-was.)
I also just tried my game on iFrotz on an ipad. I was surprised to find the dynamic graphic map worked, though the buttons are sometimes unresponsive. I’m not sure if this is an iFrotz issue, or because the buttons may simply be very small targets on an ipad screen. The dialogue-less save and restore functions also work in full. The text style colours and changes work in full.
Things that didn’t work: The status window can’t change colour, though the generally quite hacked status window stuff I’ve got going all worked otherwise. No audio. I haven’t tried the animated startup sequence yet.
So I have just a few questions about the framework.
- Can it do colours changes in the status window?
- Does it have audio? (I’m guessing no)
- Could I expect it to handle the Glimmr-heavy graphics window stuff OK out of the box? There’s a map window. There are also modes where graphics take over the whole screen, but you can hit keys to change graphics or return to the game, etc. while the window is still being displayed.
- Will it handle help menus OK? — I should point out I did read that it will not handle the old up’n’down cursor menus gracefully, but my Menus extension has done away with those anyway. And it worked fine in Frotz.
I guess for Simon, I might ask, did you have any experience with XCode before?
My framework status: I don’t remember what the deal was with color. I think it’s not supported. There’s no audio or graphics display. Menus should work fine, with the caveat that iOS’s normal on-screen keyboard has no arrow keys.
Thanks. Ouch, no graphics! Without the Glimmr map and other graphics tweaks, I think my game falls below a bar where I don’t feel it’s worth pursing an iOS take. Which is OK, as that hadn’t been my original plan. But I’m heartened to have found it’s 90% good in Frotz. I’ll interpret that as a plus I hadn’t counted on.
Yeah, no sound on iFrotz - though not for my lack of pestering! I’m compiling a list of games that play sound as I run across them. As the list gets bigger I’m hoping the developer will support sound at some point just to shut me up!
I can take your game for a test whirl on my iPod, if you want, and give you some screenshots. Kerkerkruip works surprisingly well, and I think the main problems I have with it are just the size of my device (there were some issues with graphics, but they’ve all been patiently ironed out). Colours and menus, AFAIK, are not a problem at all. An animated startup sequence should look fine.
Status window not changing colour is not something I’ve run across, I don’t think, and I’m very curious! I’d like to bring it to the developer’s attention, if you could supply me with the game and if you would give me permission to privately e-mail it to him.
Buttons sometimes unresponsive: I’ve seen this in hacky SuperGlus games, like 222 Contra el Cangrejo or 007 - Alto Secreto, but I thought it’d been thoroughly fixed. I suppose if you’re doing really heavy-duty graphics stuff that relies on graphics constantly being refreshed that might happen. Again, I’d be interested in taking a look and sharing. Scratch that; you meant the graphic buttons, didn’t you? There are some oddities somtimes; in Daybreak RL, for instance, they work well, but hitting those small buttons is indeed a pain. In Balances it’s impossible to select some menus, but I think it’s to do exclusively with Balances. If you really, really want to consider an iOS release, you could think about things like toggleable maps/graphics and optionally larger buttons.
I would just like to add that while there is no graphics display in the iOSGlulxe Game window, it’s possible to display graphics in other tabs and synchronize them with the game state. For Death off the Cuff, I managed to hack together a solution where I write state information to a file, using Inform’s file writing capabilities, and then load the correct pictures into the html tab based on the contents of the file. This requires learning some XCode and Objective-C development, though.
Zarf, did you get my mail about the possibility of manually pasting pictures into the Game window?
Yeah, and I haven’t replied to it because I haven’t looked at iOSGlk internals in a long time.
You could write code to throw pictures into a buffer (story) window. This would be an extension of the BufferLine thingie to include both text spans and images. It will certainly be a pain in the butt, which is why I never did it.
If you do build that capability, you might as well trigger it using the standard glk_image_draw() call rather than trying to jury-rig it from textual output cues.