What system is best for graphical adventures

After looking around, Inform 7 seems to be the best system for writing graphical adventures. Is that right? or too opinionated a question?

A couple of more questions about this.

When writing a text adventure. Where are the graphics displayed. For example in Glulxe interpreter, can the graphics scroll up with the text?

Also, when writing a game like that. Do most people add one picture per room? per area? and or etc.

and is animation and music possible, to make it an immersive text adventure

lastly can you recommend some games like that?

My questions are about graphics, but are broadly placed. I’ve played around with Inform, but never actually developed anything yet, so even now I’m still a beginner. I’m interested in looking into graphical text adventures which is why I ask all these questions. If anyone has further or more elaborate info on the topic, please post it here. I will look back as soon as possible.

Thank you in advance!

I know only Inform7 (I mean: I can use only Inform7) so I would recommend it. There’s a bunch of extensions - although I don’t know about the current state of extensions, due to the new version of Inform7 - for graphics and sound you may find interesting. You can find them here.

Please be advised, though, that their use is fairly complicated. I suggest, if you are at the beginning of the steep climb to coding in Inform7, you begin with making a graphic-less adventure.

You can check for games with graphics in ifdb.tads.org. Can’t phrase the exact search, so others may be willing to help here.

The most memorable example I can get up with is Everybody Dies, by Jim Munroe. Also, by the same author, Guilded Youth, which makes a intensive use of Vorple add ons.

Graphics can be static or scrolling with the text. All of this is highly customizable in Inform.

There’s nothing in I7 that makes it “best” for graphics. Other systems have graphics (and sound) too. Inform even seems to be the least popular system for graphics-intensive games. Hugo, Tads and Adrift seem to be the systems with the most graphical text adventures.

In my game, I have a banner on top of the screen, 'bout 128px tall, that shows the current room and any NPCs present. But that’s only because I made it so.

They do exactly that… if placed in a scrolling view, so for example the banner I just described doesn’t scroll at all. Here’s a screenshot I made for unrelated purposes. The image of the ship on the right scrolls away as more text appears, but the decorative siding remains in place.

Depends on the game, I guess. Mine for example has/will have a unique banner image for each room, while Shogun uses them more for specific scenes rather than locations.

Animation, as far as I know, is tricky but not impossible, depending on the system and terp. Music… I personally haven’t done anything with sound, but I understand it’s about as easy to add as images. Unless, like me, you do wild things with 'em.

Truthfully, I couldn’t stop thinking of the old Sierra engines while composing this reply, for reasons that I hope are obvious enough.

Follow-up: It is possible to do animation with Glulx graphics, but quite complicated. You basically make an image for each frame, and use some low-level code to display them very quickly after one another. You can see it in action in the game Kerkerkruip.

Now that Vorple is available, I would recommend looking at it. You ought to be able to follow many different models for graphics display with it. Unfortunately, my understanding is that it currently only works with z-machine games (i.e., not glulx).

There has been recent interest in using Unity to develop the graphical UI and connecting in Inform 7 material via FyreVM (a C# implementation of the Glulx VM).

I’m working on getting a basic sample of this put together.

David C.

Thank you for the great responses. The post about Shogun, is exactly the type of graphical adventure I had in mind. So if I understood correctly, Inform 7 can handle this, which is what I will look into. I’m also going to look at TADS for the same type of gameplay.

DavidC - Where will we be able to look at some examples of the Unity extension your working on. I looked at a game called Cypher, which was written using Unity, but the parser itself seemed very rudimentary. The game itself looked great, so a combination of graphics and text I think is still an excellent goal. It would be interesting to do something similar, while using Informs advanced language system.

No problem. There’s just one tiny snag: Inform’s standard “display [figure name]” command doesn’t let you do things like in that screenshot, with the pic aligned to one side and the text flowing around it. You’ll have to define your own:

To display (chosen figure - a figure-name) dropped left:
	(- DrawDroppedLeft(ResourceIDsOfFigures-->{chosen figure}); -)

To display (chosen figure - a figure-name) dropped right:
	(- DrawDroppedRight(ResourceIDsOfFigures-->{chosen figure}); -)

Include (-
[ DrawDroppedLeft N;
	glk_image_draw(gg_mainwin, N,  imagealign_MarginLeft, 0);
[ DrawDroppedRight N;
	glk_image_draw(gg_mainwin, N,  imagealign_MarginRight, 0);
Figure of Erasmus is the file "shogun_7.png".
When play begins:
	display figure of Erasmus dropped right;
	say "The gale tears at you, biting deep within, and you know that if you don't stop quoting that damn game you'll be sued.";

Note that while “display [figure name]”, which places the image in line with the text (imagealign_InlineCenter instead of MarginLeft/Right it seems) does work in the Inform7 IDE, “display [figure name] dropped left/right” does not. An external terp like Glulxe or Gargoyle does fine, though. The banners to the side are quite a different barrel of pickles entirely.

You should also check out the Hugo IF language and the game called Cryptozookeeper.