Z-machine abuse, Glulx and point-and-clicks.

Anyone remember the old Z-Machine abuse contests? Well, that got me thinking along similar lines, albeit possibly more insane (at least if I were insane enough to want to try it).

In theory, could it be possible to use Glulx (the instruction set, VM format etc) to create a crude point-and-click graphic adventure interface? How about the performance of the interpreter? Assuming any of this is possible, could any existing interpreter run such a game at an acceptable rate?

A toolset that would allow for most of what you’d need for a graphic adventure already exists; see my signature. Well, exists for Inform 7 build 6G60. I have no plans to update Glimmr for 6L02 or beyond.

The question of rate depends entirely on the factors of what machine you expect people to use, and how much animation you want to do. Still images should be fine on any interpreter that supports graphics at all.

I’ve thought about it in a musing way, and I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. I wouldn’t go heavy on the animations, but you can either make Myst-style/late-Sierra-style (one click does all) or Lucasfilm style (choose verbs). With some hackery maybe even a verb coin, but that would be crossing the line where you actually want a proper tool like AGS for a proper P&C adventure.

Also, Erik’s done all the hard work for you, as he says. :wink: It’s possible to create something a bit more basic without it, using still images and hyperlinks, and there’s an extension that allows you to process clicks within a picture (I’m sure I’ve seen it somewhere). Or maybe it worked differently than that, but it’s definitely a step towards what you want. (EDIT - Maybe you can set up various smaller images ina bigger composite image and each one be individually clickable. I’m sure I saw that in some documentation somewhere.)

It wouldn’t be any different from a game that uses lots of images and uses a lot of hyperlinks, and AFAIK those aren’t drains on Glulx at all. Theoretically, you should be fine. Go right ahead and create.

The first Glulx “abuse” that comes to my mind is Saboteur by jarel. No point-and-click but it has animations and sound.

wiki.caad.es/Saboteur (both web and game in spanish)

Oh, oh, and there’s that game, Ferrous Ring. It has three different “modes” to play the game in, and AFAIRecall, one of them is pretty damn near P&C. Slap images in there, add mouse support if it doesn’t already have it, and bam, it’s done.