The long wait is over! Vorple has been completely rewritten and is now compatible with Glulx instead of Z-machine. That means that it’s finally feasible to write Vorple stories with Inform 7 without having to worry about Z-machine limitations.
There are a lot of new features and extensions and existing extensions have been greatly expanded. Here are all the included extensions in addition to the core Vorple extension:
- Command Prompt Control — manipulating the player’s command, the prompt, and the command history
- Element Manipulation — low-level tools for modifying the interpreter layout
- Modal Windows — popup windows to display information
- Multimedia — pictures, audio and playlists
- Notifications — small information windows that appear and disappear automatically
- Screen Effects — font styles, colors, text alignment, headers, lists
- Tooltips — tips that appear on demand or when placing the mouse cursor over something
Many existing features have been redone or renamed, so existing Vorple projects are likely to need some adjustment to get working with the new version. The long changelog can be read here.
What does it mean that it’s a preview? There are still some known issues and missing features that should be in the “final” version. Here’s the relevant part of the documentation:
So the system works, but there’s still work to be done. If you have a “serious” project in mind, Vorple is stable enough to use. The Inform phrases are unlikely to change much between now and the full release.
To get started, download Vorple and read the documentation. Each extension has its own documentation included with the extension. There’s a demo which is still rather ascetic — one of the things that are on the to-do list for the full release.
The purpose of this preview release is to get some more people to try the system. If you do try it and find bugs, it’d be great if you could report them — either to GitHub (links are at the end of the quote above) or here, private messages work too. I would also be interested to know if the documentation and installation instructions needs improving, especially since it needs some setup to get going.
Hugo Labrande is working on the Inform 6 version which is almost ready, but didn’t quite make it for today. If you’re interested in the I6 version, either trying it out or contributing, you can contact Hugo directly (forum user mulehollandaise.)
If you happen to be near London in about a month, I’ll be talking about Vorple via Skype at the Oxford and London IF group’s IF Tool Innovation meeting on May 31st.