Zifmia CMS

My list of side projects as dwindled and I’m focusing more on traditional IF these days. One of the things that I haven’t worked on in awhile and wanted to get back to is Zifmia.

If you don’t recall, Zifmia was/is a client-server implementation of FyreVM, which is a Glulx engine with an alternate IO system. The fundamental technology has been working successfully for years. I just have never actually implemented anything within its constructs.

I’m an admitted tool-maker and although I do aspire to write more IF, it’s not the right time for that. I’m writing, but it’s in the form of a science-fiction novel, not IF.

What I envision for Zifmia has morphed from a simple template based website to a full blown content management website builder. The tools to do this are freely available, the patterns easy to implement, and I have honed my front-end skills to a more confident level (although my CSS/design skills are still atrocious).

So the new Zifmia will allow users to:

  • log in using social networks or directly with Zifmia.
  • learn how to create a FyreVM based game that will work with Zifmia.
  • upload and manage ulx and blorb files.
  • manage access to content by sharing and inviting other users to contribute.
  • edit and compile inform 7 source files similar to other sites.
  • create and manage new WYSIWYG templates from built-in widgets including:
    • Status Line
    • Scrolling Main Window
    • Paging Main Window
    • Command Entry Bar
    • Command Builder Bar
    • Inventory Window
    • Error Window
    • Debug Window
    • Statistics Window
    • Compass Rose Control
    • Hints Control
    • Help Control
    • About Control
  • upload images
  • publish game + template publicly or privately.

So these are long-term plans and some of these features will show up later.

I plan to spend some time on this over the holidays and have an early release in January.

I do have one question about the widgets. I’ve listed what I think are common IF widgets, but others may have different ideas. If you understand the concept of a CMS driven website and you have ideas for widgets, please let me know. It’s also possible/probably that people will be able to share their own widgets, but that will probably be on an upload and review basis.

Comments are welcome.

David C.

It’s an interesting idea. You might want to check out mudportal.com, which conceptually is similar to what you’ve got here; it’s separate mud servers accessed through a common web client whose widgets/functionality can be shared across games.

I already have the back-end web engine working and have worked on the basic ajax front-end stuff to a point where it’s pretty solid. The work I plan to do is a ground-up architecture (using various jquery libraryes like gridster) to create the widget system. I had always wanted people to develop their games and their “interpreters” together and I think this is a workable solution.

David C.