May 02, 2006


Yeah! See ya!

Great fight scene. And by "great" I mean...well, just watch it.

Also, welcome to Best Buy. You're instigating our shirts!

The latest version of Inform just came out, and it sure looks neat. It's one of the major languages used today in the niche field of what's being called Interactive Fiction these days, and what the rest of us call text adventures. You know, like Zork and the other Infocom games back in the day. Inform's evolved into something of a quasi-natural-language syntax, built around rules and relations rather than the object-oriented approach of something like TADS. It's an interesting approach to making programming them a bit more appealing to non-programmers, plus the toolset it's built into has some really neat features as well--on-the-fly editting, a "skein" showing the narrative branches of things for testing purposes that's intended to automatically generate walkthroughs when it's out of beta, etc.

I've fond memories of text adventures because one of the formative experiences that brought me into computers was being at a 4-H meeting as a tyke (it's one of those memories that's infuriatingly non-age-indexed) and having that classic Adventure that's been around since mainframe days in various iterations demonstrated on someone's Vic 20. "look in tree" and by God, you looked in the tree! Blew my mind at the time, and probably thermoset some important neural paths. Years later when the family got a computer, I even got respectably far into a BASIC spaghetti-code mess of arrays and lookup rules and tangled nested IF-THEN-ELSEs that was very nearly a functional, if retarded and simple, parser, before getting distracted.

I expect to do the same thing with Inform that I've done with TADS before--muck around a bit with it and then forget about it. I will still marvel at its neatness.

posted by Gar @ 12:24 PM
Good article on the Colossal Cave Adventure with links to various online versions.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?