Status Line Classics: Infocom classics modified for very small screens

Hello, I am the author of Status Line, a z-machine that runs on the Pico-8 (with standalone executables available for Windows, macOS, Linux, Raspberry Pi).

The Pico-8 virtual hardware has a resolution of 128x128 pixels, and a character display of 32x21 chars. This makes for nice, cozy, cute graphics but is not so great for certain categories of IF. Notably, z4 games from Infocom really need 40 or more character-wide screens to even launch, let alone be playable. That said, they do work, but are perhaps not as elegantly presented as the originals for obvious reasons. I felt this was not good enough, to provide “playable” games; I wanted them to be beautiful as well.

To that end, I have released v1.0 of a set of Infocom classics, which I have customized from original source code, to look and play great on smaller screens. The long-term goal is to introduce flexible screen layout logic to the mainline source so that no screen size is excluded from enjoying games like Trinity or A Mind Forever Voyaging.

To do this, I’ve done things like modify the “library mode” navigation in AMFV to be paginated, rather than multi-column, altered line breaks and re-centered every pull-quote in Trinity, adjusted Invisiclues layout in Nord & Bert, created new properties on room descriptions to offer a “super terse” description for status line layout needs, and radically adjusted the various forms/computers/signs in Bureaucracy to look great even on a small screen. (yes, the final PRINT puzzle is readable and solvable).

I’ve posted about the Status Line engine update elsewhere, but this project is attempting to produce something of value for the entire IF community, regardless of which interpreter you choose. Here’s a few pictures of the games in action.

amfv_library_mode bur_PRINT_puzzle

trinity_quote nord_invisiclues

Modified source code and custom builds are available now on GitHub.
I hope this will be of interest and value to you.