Text Adventure Time.

Jul. 16th, 2017 05:01 pm[personal profile] luckykaa
luckykaa: (Default)
I've been looking at text adventure scripting systems recently. It appears that most games are written using Inform, or TADS. Inform is interesting. It uses a natural language approach. So a program looks something like this:
The Warehouse is a room. A box is a closed openable container inside The Warehouse. instead of opening the box, say "It's taped shut"
Which is great. Another plus is the IDE. It has a tile for developing, and another tile for Documentation of running the game; and also provides some tools to tell you everything that's defined in the game. The tutorial goes through things at a steady pace, and has some helpful examples; with IDE integration; so the examples can be copied to the main page with just a click. The natural language system understands a lot of concepts. For example I can say "if going into the ballroom for the third time...", "a bottle is a type of container. A bottle is usually opaque" It doesn't always work as expected. For example, if I write:
inside the warehouse is a box and a cat.
things work fine.If, on the other hand, I say:
inside the warehouse is a container called the box and an animal called a cat.
we get a container called "the box and an animal called a cat." The other problem is that the documentation is limited. There is a tutorial, and a "cookbook", but no reference manual. I want to know if the verb "cut" exists, and what it does by default. I'd also like a list of the basic properties and rules. This doesn't seem to exist. TADS is a much more programmer oriented language. Looks a little more like this:
hallway: Room 'Hallway' "This hall is pretty bare, but there are exits to west and south. " south = startRoom west = study ;
So perfectly readable. Might be worth switching.

Downside I see is that the IDE isn't as good for learners. I don't have the screen real-estate for a separate help window. I could always use my tablet as a help screen. Doesn't allow copy-pasting though.  Also wondering if it has the ease and flexibility. Might give it a go but I feel I should at least get to the end of the inform tutorials.
luckykaa: (Travel)
The sun was shining. And there was a demo of the Ubisoft VR game at Blackpool's Star Trek Exhibition. I trip to Blackpool was on the cards.

First stop was the Star Trek Exhibition. Mostly this is a collection of props, and some history of the show. There are a few interactive exhibits, including a thing where you can record a video of yourself beaming down. Also the bridge section where you can put on a Star Trek shirt and get photos.

This weekend, Ubisoft was promoting their Star Trek VR game on the bridge. We had a go. [personal profile] flickums  was captaining. It was a little difficult to work out what was going on. There were people there to demo it, but since we had headphones on, it wasn't easy to work out what they were saying. VR takes a little getting used to. Having someone else's body there is a little disconcerting.

So, we flew around a bit, beamed some people up, found another spaceship, rescued the survivors, and then destroyed it (we were meant to do this - we had orders). Sadly, we were a bit too close to the other ship, and our shields were down, so we almost destroyed our own ship. Oops. We decided to bail while the ship was on fire.

Had lunch at a pirate themed restaurant.

Next stop was Blackpool Tower. This starts with the "4D experience", which is basically a 3D movie, with random water sprayed at you at various intervals, and puffs of air from behind you. After that, you're allowed up in the lift. They have windows so you can see blackpool. Poor Flickums found this a little scary. At top they have glass floors. Flickums found this absolutely terrifying, but showed how brave she can be, by stepping on the glass. The tower has several levels so we went up to the top to see the view from there.

Had tea at the base of the tower. Went to the sea. Went for a paddle. There seemed to be some jellyfish in the sea.

Also this weekend was a car show. Some gorgeous cars, including a couple of AC Cobras. And some vintage cars like the Austin 6s. Took lots of photos.

We also took a ride on the heritage tram. Apparently Blackpool has a selection that they wheel out at the weekends. This time we had an open-top boat shaped tram that sails up and down the coast -  This took us to the pleasure beach. The big fairground at one end of Blackpool. Not really enough time to go in, so we went back and tried the pier instead. Flickums bought me an ice cream!

And that was Blackpool. Lots of fun. Plenty more to do if we want to go again. We probably should do.


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