Showing posts from February, 2009

[IF and Linux] Introduction


I'm planning to start a series of posts on interactive fiction and Linux. The idea is to find out how easy it is to play and make interactive fiction on a modern Linux distribution. This should be a help both to Linux users who wonder what software to use, and to writers of IF-software who can see where the lacunae are.

Linux is an interesting platform for the IF community. It is by now a desktop OS that rivals Windows and OS X for features and ease of use. Though its market share (on the desktop, the server is another story) is still far below those two*, we can assume that its market share among people (potentially) interested in playing or writing IF is significantly higher: the average Linux user has more interest in programming and more willingness to use text interfaces than the average Windows user.


When I'm looking at certain software, or a certain task, I will be asking three things:
Can this be made to work?If so, does it work well?How easily can it …

[IF] Progress on Inform ATTACK

Quite a while ago, I released something called Idols of War, which was a test case for tactical combat in Inform 7. The core of that game was a system I call Inform ATTACK, for "Inform Advanced Turn-based TActical Combat Kit"; and it kind of worked, but not all that well yet. (In retrospect, I spent far too much of the development time for Idols of War on thinking op cool powers, combat moves, monster abilities, and so on--all of which can be easily recycled, so it might still turn out to be useful.)

I didn't spent much time programming, the past months; but I've been busy the past few days, and I now have a completely redesigned Inform ATTACK. What features does it have?

Completely locally customisable

The original ATTACK was written using procedures ("To strike a blow: ..."), which then contained clauses for all the special things that could happen. The new ATTACK uses rulebooks throughout. This means that you can extend and change the core system without ta…