Potential size of Inform projects

This topic about adapting a large-scope video game (Oblivion) to IF made me start wondering, hypothetically, how big can I7 games feasibly get.

I’m guessing there’s not a strict cap on the exact number of objects/things/rooms/values, unless it’s a huge number, but is there a point where things start working badly because there’s just too much stuff?

It’d probably be hard to get an exact number since it’d be dependent on the user’s computer.

Hadean Lands is probably the largest traditional-style Inform game you can find. Zarf had to do some under the hood tweaks to keep it running fast but I don’t think it came close to the memory limit.

(There was a bug causing excessively large projects to hang the compiler, but I believe it’s fixed now?)

Nobody has come anywhere close to the Glulx memory limit. (There are compiler memory limits but those are easily bumped up as you run into them.)

Yes. As a rule of thumb, 500 objects. (Really I should say “500 things” – non-thing objects don’t run into the library inefficiencies that we’re talking about.)

The hacks I used in HL are encapsulated in github.com/erkyrath/i7-exts/blo … peedup.i7x. With that you can probably hit 1000 things.

Beyond that, you have to hack deeper. If you chop out I7’s LOOK implementation and object-lister, and replace them with the simpler (and much less flexible) algorithm from I6, you can probably go to several thousand things, as long as they’re not all piled in the same room. But this is major surgery.

I haven’t reached 500 objects yet, but I’m almost at 400 and experiencing performance issues in certain situations, including looking. I tried including the linked extension, but the I6 compiler reports several missing constants - “IS3__TX”, “NOTHING__TX”, and “NOTHING2__TX”.