I found blorbtool.py to be better, though I can’t remember why (Release Along With an Interpreter - #25 by Jonathan). Do you think when the Inform IDEs get updated this year they will be able to do this by themselves?
No idea how to use that. If someone wanted to do a heroic thing for no money, they could make a tool for this that idiots can use with itch.
Back at the original post – can I just clarify what your goals are here, Amanda?
Why do you want this game on itch if it can’t be available to the public ahead of parsercomp? Is it that you’re trying to learn how to put it on there in order to enter it into parsercomp? How does all this fit in with the keeping-it-hidden requirement if you’re trying to put it online now?
I want to know how to do it so that it is ready when the time comes. You can keep things hidden on itch until you’re ready. I always have a massive freakout in the days leading up to the comp trying to figure things out and then doing them poorly, so I thought it would be good to try and figure it out now and get it all squared away so I can just hit “publish” on the due date and skip the freakout part.
Right. Well, I have a game on itch, but not with the playable-on-itch element in place. I feel like we just need one of the many people who does have a game on itch that is playable on itch, to heroically appear in this topic, or to PM you.
I have a parsercomp game on itch right now. I uploaded 3 files:
- a zip folder with an index.html file in it (my game actually came with a ‘play.html’ that I renamed to index.html).
-a z8 file
The online play is set to open in fullscreen and use scroll bars.
So this all works. But is the problem that the images don’t look good with the standard parchment interpreter that comes with the standard interpreter?
Edit: If you also want the game to start right in standard play mode, you can delete Inform’s Index.html and just rename play.html to index.html
EditEdit: I re-did my last year’s parsercomp game, Grooverland, to look like what I’m talking about: Grooverland by mathbrush
The images don’t show up at all with the standard interpreter! There was a lot of fuss before Spring Thing about this since several of us couldn’t figure this out, and Borogove was the solution. The problem with that is that you can’t have a play online button off the jam page, so it looks like you have to download it. Unless you visit the game’s page, you won’t see the Borogove link. It obviously worked out OK for me in TALP, but I keep hoping there will be a magical solution. I think the magical solution is to swear off images.
The Grooverland page is beautiful.
This is really really worth nailing down, because I’ve done things a few times and I still bungle it. In fact I figured I was probably being clueless about something too embarrassing to ask about.
I’ve been stung by a few things when uploading, and I can’t imagine everyone else has avoided it. It’s this: if I build for release and rename play.html to index.html and find a bug, then I build for a release again, my “new” index.html is overwritten. I also find I need to tweak the style.css file at times. This also can be overwritten.
My solution is to have a script that renames things as need be. This requires a batch file.
I suspect there are others better, but I’d also like to propose one thing that worked really, really well for me, for anyone else who runs across this: make a trivial project you can delete from itch.io. A one-room game. Don’t worry about the content. Set it to private and keep uploading it until you get it right. This includes anything like the effects for grooverland.
For me, this helped isolate the “upload the ZIP file with Index.html” bit to get it right.
Does anyone have screenshots of the options to set? I think the descriptions are good, but it’s worth nailing down. (If no one does so, I may try them myself once I upload my own parsercomp game.)
That’s only because the version included with the current Inform IDE is 7-8 years old, and it didn’t support images yet at that point. With any luck the new IDEs will be released before the comp starts and you can just use them to build the online package. They’ll include the same interpreters as Borogove currently does.
If not, here’s the interpreter package that Borogove uses – open the zip, replace story.gblorb with your own story file (the file must be called story.gblorb), zip the files again and upload to Itch. The end result is identical to what you get in Borogove. The caveat is that this one won’t work if you open index.html on your own computer so you can’t test it locally but it will work when uploaded to Itch.
borogove-parchment.zip (363.0 KB)
I feel your pain. I just tried this with one of my own games that was written in Inform 6, compiled to a ulx file, then bundled up with all the resources into a gblorb file. Everything seems to work fine, except that music and sounds don’t play. I think this is a known issue with Parchment.
Firstly, make sure you have the latest Parchment files, as the Inform 7 stuff is really old. See How do I get Parchment working? for a good (albeit incomplete) discussion of this.
Use option 2 in your original message. The zip file that you upload to itch.io must contain an index.html file and all your resources. In other words, the contents of your Release folder as created by Inform 7, but not the Release folder itself. I’d suggest that you delete the index.html file created by Inform 7 and rename play.html to index.html as suggested by @mathbrush. You can modify the index.html file to suit yourself (assuming you know how) and the two css files (again, assuming you know how). However, if you make any changes to these files, make sure you copy them somewhere safe so that they don’t get clobbered the next time you publish your project.
I don’t even know what that means!
Seriously, all this is way too advanced for me-- like not only do I not know how to do any of this, I barely even understand the words. I’m going to stay in my lane and just stick the Borogove link wherever I can. Not optimal, but good enough.
Thanks, Juhana! This looks like something I can actually do. I’ll play with this today.
So if I upload a zipped file to itch, it will just automatically do things with it? I guess I’ll see.
No matter what you choose to do, I think one thing we can do is start a thread here once the comp begins linking to the best version of each game (first auto-filling it with itch links and then letting authors make or suggest changes). I really don’t like itch’s UI so I’d find such a thread useful for numerous reasons, and I suspect others would, too.
This may have already been covered, but I’ll relay my experience with publishing on itch.
You can upload just a file that people will download and play. This gives no “play online” in browser option.
You can select “this file will be played in the browser”. For this, the first file you must upload should be either
- an index.html file which it will play on the page just as it is, like a plain Twine file.
- a zip file with an index.html file in the top level that the site looks for and plays on the page. This can have and reference supporting folders inside the zip file for such things as images and sound.
The version played online I believe has to be the top main file. After that, you can also upload just the bare gblorb, or an offline version for download and as many other feelie or support files you want. None of these will be involved in the top/first “play online” html or zip.
For Cannery Vale, (not Inform, but it has a supporting folder of media and additional downloads) I have the “play online” version at the top, then a downloadable version below (which is exactly the same thing, but available for download) and then a prototype I tested in Inform 7 that is also a downloadable file. Obviously you can only mark one version as playable online.
(The second version is marked “executable” but it gives the player a folder inside which there is an index.html file they must open in the browser - it includes a readme explaining this.)
My workflow for doing this: I set up a “publish” folder which contains the support/image folders, any “read me” texts or other support files and I put them there. Whenever I build the game, I publish it to and overwrite that same index.html file in the publish folder. If I add or remove media like sounds or graphics, I have to change that manually, often I will copy it from my main folder into the publish file when things change, but this isn’t as often as I build the html.
Then I zip everything in the publish folder, rename it, and upload that zip file to itch.io as the “Play Online” version. I keep the zip folder name the same so it knows to overwrite what I already have there.
For Inform 7, you publish with an interpreter and a website. It creates the entire structure in the “Release” folder. It also creates an index.html which is the “website” Inform publishes, and play.html which is the direct game file. You can switch play.html to index.html if you want the game to start immediately without showing inform’s published website, but that’s a matter of preference.
With Fair I just left it as it is, the index.html is what Inform publishes, and that site gives handy links to everything you can publish with, such as feelies, and directs to play.html when the player clicks “Play In-Browser” which is the browser version of the game.
Here’s the structure of what is uploaded - I believe I just compressed the “Release” folder Inform produces inside which itch finds index.html:
(I believe I just zipped and uploaded Release, and did “change display name” to Fair.zip so it doesn’t show “release” as the filename on the website, but I could also compress everything in the “Release” folder as “Fair.zip”. It works as long as index.html is in the top level for it to find.)
For this, make sure on itch.io you’re set to “Draft” mode, that means your page is private and not searchable, and only you can see it until you change the status to “Public”. You can get the entire page set up how you want privately in Draft mode.
On the game page in Draft mode, you can click “Secret URL” at the top and copy the specific browser URL generated to share a direct link to any testers you want to see the page while in Draft mode (also good to share with yourself so you can see what it looks like on a phone…) As long as you don’t share this URL publicly, it’s still considered private testing. Once you set the page to public mode, the Secret URL will redirect to the main public version of the page.
OK, I tried Juhana’s solution (replacing the story file in the folder linked above and uploading the zipped folder to itch) and it works!
But (of course there’s a but) the game window is very small and there’s no way I can see to make it full screen, which is bad for this game. I’m pleased to know about this, but it won’t work for this game, unfortunately.
It’s this setting:
AHHH yes! You are too cool for words.
Well, after a long and grueling session of the village attending to its idiot, yet again a problem has been solved. Thanks to everybody!
“Scrollbars enabled” is really useful too!
If you are uploading a single html file to be played in the browser (such as a Twine or Adventuron game), the file does not have to be named index.html. It can be named anything, but use all lower case with hyphens separating words.
If uploading multiple files inside a zip file, the file to be run must be named index.html.
I’m not quite sure how this would be useful. I’ve uploaded a couple of z-code games that are played in the browser using Parchment and I haven’t selected this option, but I still get vertical scrollbars. This might be because I have used Click to launch in full screen. itch then opens this to fill the browser window (not the screen), which is much better than full screen anyway. (Adventuron does open in full screen, but that might just be how Adventuron is configured to work.) You probably only need the Enable scrollbars option if you’ve opted to use Embed in page, but this option sort of sucks anyway.