text adventure music video

The latest out of Jonathan Coulton:


So, think this is an authentic, playable Inform mockup?

It’s cool, but it’s very unlikely that it’s an actual game. It would take a lot of effort to make the game and modify an interpreter to look like that, compared to just animating some text. Also, the parser error messages don’t match the standard errors of any of the bigger authoring systems and they don’t seem that important that they’d go through the trouble of changing them.

Up until the ascii art at the end I would’ve said it would be very easy to do in Inform or something like it. But IF systems are generally not set up for a window to both scroll and have a manually movable cursor.

Assuming that the interpreter in question is truly ANSI compliant (and you’re using Inform compiling to Z-machine mode), it seems like you could theoretically work some magic with sending the cursor repositioning codes straight through and forcing the interpreter to behave accordingly. Manually moving the cursor to the lower right hand corner of the screen and writing something should force the window to scroll up a single line. In Inform 7 this would require dropping down into I6 to get the size of the window, but I think it might be doable.

The resulting code would be an absolute mess, though.

(edit: fixed a detail)

The mockup would have to customize a lot of the normal Inform library in order to do the things shown – timed sequences, contextually meaningful “I don’t understand” responses, parser errors that move the game state forward. It would clearly be more work to do it in Inform than to just write a script that kicks out a sequence of outputs.

It looks like I misread the post. I thought UnwashedMass was asking whether or not it would be possible to make in Inform, not whether or not it was made in it.

No, I definitely think this was a pre-typed thing with canned script responses, sorry.