Text game with a custom UI?

Hi IF forum! I am working on developing on a text-based game, however I am running into some trouble choosing which program to write it in.
The game is, above all else, a text adventure that is heavy on exploration rather than puzzles. It will include basic mechanics of text RPGs such as enemies and combat, but these are very underplayed.
I’m not so worried about scripting the game itself as I am about getting it to visually look right.

Mock sketches haha:

general game play screen / very basic character statistics / codex

Again, to re-emphasize, the game is a text adventure although these mock sketches makes it seem like an RPG. The actual UI I have in mind will resemble a webpage more than anything else in the final version.
I have taken a look at engines such as FUNGUS, Instead, Quest, etc. however none quite to seem fit what I’m looking for, and the complexity of the game itself is best suited for I7.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Perhaps even using something like GameMaker instead? Creating it from scratch?

Heh, it sort of reminds me of Kerkerkruip and Guilded Youth at the same time.

I can’t give you the details, but I can tell you it’s doable for certain in I7. Maybe you’ll want to check out Vorple; maybe you’ll just need Glimmr. Maybe you’ll just use Flexible Windows. Maybe you’ll want to make it a web game and use CSS wizardry. However you want it, though, it’s totally doable.

This is doable in Vorple.I think Guilded Youth is the best example, since it reworks the standard interpreter quite a bit and makes it look really nice, and has that “columns” thing you seem to want to go for.

The catch (of course there is one…) is that it only works with Z-machine game files (512kb at most), and you can’t fit a whole game in that size with the latest Inform 7; but you can with older versions (I think 6G60?). Alternatively (and this is kind of self-promotion), Vorple also exists for Inform 6, which is a lower-level, more code-y language that generates files of a much smaller size (and so your whole game will fit within the size constraints).

TADS 3 would also work, although you’d have to code the UI twice if you wanted both a web version and one that runs in an interpreter.




I’m working on converting the old Textfyre Silverlight app into a proper desktop application. This will allow people to make games that look like animated books, with bookmarks and stuff. Not quite like your mockups, but I figured it was worth mentioning.

If you use Inform 7 and glulx-typescript (github), you can build it with FyreVM extensions and design the web app however you want.