I’m a long-time programmer, first time visitor to IF.
I’d like to author an interactive fiction and host it on the web. I know Inform can create suitable files but the rub is that I want a server to handle all of the game logic and, ideally, keep the player’s state persistent on the server.
Is this possible with any of the existing software or is this something where I’d need to roll my own? I’m not looking to run a MUD (necessarily) but just want to be able to run the game logic on the server.
Thanks for any help you can provide. I remember playing Colossal Cave and Zork on my 8-bit systems growing up. Oh, those were the days!
I think that’s how the TADS web facility is meant to work?
Yep. TADS runs as a server, serving the game. Clients connecting to it (using a web browser) are only sent the output. The game’s byte code does not run on the client; only the UI part of the game does.
Why do you want to do this?
This has been done before, at ifiction.org/ for example. It’s not always awesome.
Quest works this way too. textadventures.co.uk/quest
Sounds like he wants to run a MUD?
Well, the original post does say
And also, Berkeley nerds named “Rebecca” just might be female…
It sounds like TADS 3 or Quest is the best solution for a parser game. The other options will require wiring up a couple more components (like with ifiction, Guncho, or that thing DavidC was doing with fyrevm). Of course there are a lot of other options if you go link-based.
IMO a mud isn’t a bad option – it would be fairly simple to restrict the multi-user aspect – but IF has so many other conventions that aren’t baked into most muds (and vice-versa) that you might not get the feel you want without a lot of work.
When you say “interactive fiction”, are you necessarily thinking parser-based?
Zarf’s experiments with Seltani offer some options in a CYOA-esque world, almost like a MUD meeting Twine (though it’s currently wrapped in a shell of Myst mythos). More: eblong.com/zarf/essays/seltani-talk/
As George said, there are many options for link-based (choice-based) games.
Ziifmia does this but I’ve never managed to publish a full working version. I’m always more interested in the tooling and less interested in creating a game. Given a partner, Zifmia could become regularly available.
I’ve always wanted an excuse to test the RemGlk/GlkOte combination…
Demo source is at github.com/erkyrath/remote-if-demo . It’s a Tornado web server that launches Glulxe/RemGlk and makes the game available through a web browser.
You’ll have to download it to test it. I don’t have it running anywhere public, because it’s just a demo, and very much not ready for prime time. Leaks glulxe subprocesses all over, no persistence of any sort, doesn’t handle save/restore correctly, gets the status line layout wrong…
(What’s impressive is that I implemented GlkOte and RemGlk years apart, and never cross-tested them, but they’re almost compatible.)
This was a weekend hack, so I don’t intend to pursue it further. But the concept is proved.