Websites to play IF via Parchment? (Or, somehow in-browser)

Hi, guys and gals! I am trying to figure out a way for my students to play the IF I’ve written as a course text and I am having difficulties uploading files on a personal site of my own (user-error for sure) (also, I started a thread recently to work out that issue.)

I am looking at other hosting options. Playfic looks great, because it would be very easy for my students to locate and play the game(s) without downloading anything or figuring out which interpreter they’d need. But Playfic offers the source coding, and I will be utilizing passwords and hidden objects, so I really can’t have them looking at the source coding for spoilers, as their game play will count towards their grade.

I’m trying to make this as easy as possible for the end-user in terms of access. Does anyone know of any other places that will host the game via Parchment that does NOT offer the opportunity to see the source material?

I do not understand how iplayif works. Do you upload the stories to the IFArchive first? I have looked at the IFArchive and I am not sure which files I would need to upload (I only have text and do not need cover art) – is this a singular .gblorb file? If so, is the “suggested directory” the name of my game? Finally, am I allowed to upload here, or is it for members or subscribers? I can’t find any subscription or service price info. If it’s free, would it be rude to submit a test story or more than one story? I’m not sure how much space it takes on the website and what the etiquette is.

Thanks!

  • Jen

If you use “Release along with an interpreter”, you can upload a zip file of the HTML created to textadventures.co.uk.

Alex, does textadventures.co.uk support bare blorbs? If so then you wouldn’t be stuck with old versions of Inform’s play sites (which will be important when there are big changes, like Zarf’s current performance improvements to Quixe.)

There’s a little trick you can do. :wink:

Use Playfic to host your game. Then use iplayif to link to them.

IPlayIF is a sort of Parchment wrapper. Direct it to the ZCode game you want - which can be anywhere, even in your GoogleDrive - like so:

iplayif.com/?story= (and here goes the url)

So for instance, to take an existing example in playfic:

playfic.com/releases/4/49ef5c7f-1f20-43e3-b68d-77c3f9ca4085/49ef5c7f-1f20-43e3-b68d-77c3f9ca4085.z8

(I got this by getting the link of the downloadable file) …becomes…

iplayif.com/?story=http://playfi … 9ca4085.z8

And voilà, your source is safe and anyone can play the game over the web. It has nothing to do with the IFArchive, and you can use at will.

AWESOME. Thanks so much for the fast help, guys! I love the trick, Peter! Brilliant!!

Good idea. Currently it only accepts HTML submissions, but it would be simple enough to accept the bare file and then link the “Play online” button to iplayif.com.

Which file types are supported?

Also blorbs can be non-Inform can’t they? Is there any simple validation that can be done on a file to determine whether Parchment will support it?

The file extensions Parchment supports are z5, z8, ulx, zblorb, gblorb, blorb, blb, zlb, glb. The last four are so rare that you don’t need to account for them I think.

.blorb (and .blb?) is a generic extension that could contain anything. I think ADRIFT 5 uses .blorb and it’s not compatible with Parchment.

OK. So I’m looking at eblong.com/zarf/blorb/blorb.html to see what I’d need to do to validate that Parchment will support an uploaded file. It looks like I need to find the first executable resource chunk and verify that its type is ZCOD or GLUL, is that correct?

Also are there any existing .net libraries for reading blorbs? That will save me a little work, but no problem if not.

Vaporware’s ZLR has one: sourceforge.net/p/zlr/code/ci/de … ZLR/IFF.cs

There are some other ones here: github.com/search?q=blorb+langu … =%E2%9C%93

The executable resource chunk with number 0. (But as far as I know, all blorb files out there have at most one exec chunk.)

You can write one in about half an hour. If I can do it, you can. (;

David C.
plover.net/~dave/blog

This is now done - you can upload .z5, .z8, .ulx, .zblorb and .gblorb directly to textadventures.co.uk at textadventures.co.uk/submit/submitfile

It will even read the cover art if present, which makes the game listing look nicer.

Let me know if anything breaks!

Hey, thanks! The more places that support easily playable parser games, including some oldies, the better!

Nice work!

I’ve tried to upload a Superglús game, as I assumed if an Inform gblorb game works, then Superglús games should work as well, and it did:

iplayif.com/?story=http%3A%2F%2F … RAS.gblorb

Superglús generates blorb files, just like Inform but with .blb extension, or .ulx files (if no multimedia resources present), so I had to change file extension manually (.blb --> .gblorb). Would it be possible to support .blb directly? What about .ulx?

Also, considering Parchment does not support multimedia anyway, would it be possible that the engine builds a non-multimedia version on the fly? I mean that when someone requests a game, if it is gblorb or blb, then you get the .ulx file inside and serve that instead of the whole blorb file. Any side effects to consider on that?

Yes I need to update it…!

One more thing: after loading the Superglus demo game (iplayif.com/?story=http%3A%2F%2F … RAS.gblorb) I see a website that uses full screen width, together with a very small font, and almost no margins nor padding. That results in a website very uncomfortable to read, and this is just a demo with very short texts, I can’t imagine how could it be to play a game with longer texts.

Would there be any chance to change that so font is larger, changing the default website css, or even allowing the author to do it somehow:

  1. Allowing a css file to be uploaded
  2. Allowing the author to select from a few predefined css files via some URL parameter &css=style3
  3. Allowing the author to select a remote css file via some URL parameter &css=http://www.somesite.com/mygamecss.css
  4. Allowing at least choose the font size &fontsize=18px &fontsize=1.2em , etc.

There are many studies in the web regarding how to make a website easy to read, and for IF, easy to read means easy to play, and definitively a row with more than 300 characters per line with 13px font size is not a good layout, and the older the reader eyes are the worst :wink:

Well, Parchment is a good work so far, but supporting multimedia would be a great achievement, anyway as there is no support right now AFAIK, it would be good that multimedia is not sent to browser, to allow faster game start :slight_smile:

Alex, is there any way to see my own games list in your site and delete/manage them?

I’ve found no options to update game file, only to update metadata, so now there are three McArra’s Quests games, all of them non-public (one Glulx version, two ngPAWS HTML versions).

Btw, games made with ngPAWS, being HTML/javascript/css, work fine:

media.textadventures.co.uk/games … index.html