I’ve received report of an issue with Trinity in the latest Gargoyle release: the game fails to load with the message “Screen too narrow” when started with a column count less than 62. This occurs in both Bocfel and Frotz, so is presumably hard-coded in the game logic.
I can compensate for this by adding a special case for Trinity in the default settings.
If anyone has access to the other Infocom titles for testing, or knows about column requirements for other games, I would appreciate hearing about it.
Many games suffer various problems when the window is too narrow. For example (I noticed in copious iPhone testing), the standard I6 menu code draws poorly below a width of 50. I tried a few of the other late-z5 Infocom games (AMFV, Beyond Zork, Border Zone) – they all ran but had various degrees of not-looking-right in the status windows and quote boxes.
I suspect that, in general, you really do need so many columns to play most games. (But authors shouldn’t imitate Trinity, of course, because a miswrapped quote box is not nearly as annoying as a game that refuses to run.)
Gargoyle defaults to 60 columns, which is a bit thin but hasn’t been a big issue in the past - mostly because if the game starts the player can resize the window as needed, though too late to fix the badly wrapped quote box.
It sounds like games which refuse to run outright in smaller windows are uncommon, at least, so I’m probably OK to push a fix for Trinity alone.
Trinity doesn’t complain if the screen width is more than 61, but in order to show the credits correctly you need at least 77.
Version 11 tries anyway and garbles them. Version 12 refuses to show the credits screen with a width less than 79.
Thanks for the added insight.
Will it show the credits if you resize the window to 79+ after getting that error, or does it require the game to be launched with that setting already in place?
Yes, you can fail to get the credits, resize the window, then get them. So it must check each time.
OK, great. That’s what I hoped would happen; I’d rather not bump Trinity to 79 columns by default since that might stomp on player preferences.
Christminster says you need at least 63 columns to read the map. And it works the same way; you can adjust the width at runtime and still read the map.