InsideADRIFT ISSN 1743-0577
1
Issue 19 September/October 2004
Contents
News and announcements.
1. Main news
(W orld ALR Forum)
1. Competition news
(
Summer Minicomp; Game of the
Year Competition; 3 Hour Game
Competition; Annual IF Comp IF Art
Comp; Intro Comp
)
2. Forum news (
Moderators under
fire; Changes to forum moderators;
Writing challenges; Conversation
trees
)
Regular features
2. Editorial
3. Drifters birthdays
3. Events diary
5. Drifters Toolbox: VersionBackup
6. ADRIFT recent releases
5. Interview: Greg Boettcher is
questioned by KF
11. InsideADRIFT merchandise
Articles
5.
The (big) idea by KF
: Reality in IF
is overrated!
6 Alphasmart by Mystery
9.
Failed game intro: Rainbow Man
and the lost weekend by Ken Franklin
Reviews
9. “The ADRIFT Summer Minicomp
games reviewed by Eric Mayer
Reference
11. Manual: Text formatting
Issue: 19 (Sep/Oct 04)
Issue 20 due out 30 Oct 04
News and announcements
World ALR Forum
This is one of those simple initiatives that may have quite a big impact.
Roberto Grassi has launched a forum for the promotion and discussion
of ADRIFT Language Resources that are created to adapt ADRIFT’s
messages to the demands of other languages. While ADRIFT itself is
very much an English language program, ALR’s provide a way for those
for whom English isn’t there first language to still make something
playable with it.
Mystery is also adding the resulting files to her O.A.R.S. website at
http://home.gcn.cx/mystery
while Roberto’s forum is at
http://www.robertograssi.net/at/itdrift/sf2k_v34_04/default.asp
Competition news roundup
InsideADRIFT Summer Minicomp 2004
The event took place at the end of August and must be the tightest
ever, with two of the six entries ending up exactly tied in first place. The
third place entry was just a further 0.024 marks behind.
The two winners were “Choose your own ….” by DavidW and
“Shadrack's Underground Adventure” by Mystery which both averaged
5.857 marks from each judge. DavidW’s other entry, The Mystery Of
The Darkhaven Caves, was in third place just behind.
Congratulations to the winners, and thanks to those who took the time
to enter and judge. There is a brief review of the event later on along
with Eric Mayer’s thoughts on the games.
For more information visit
http://www.insideadrift.org.uk/comps_sum_04
InsideADRIFT Issue 19 September/October 2004
2
Editorial
Onwards into the third
year of the newsletter. I
am considering, in the
light of recent events,
whether it would be
better for my to give up
editing the newsletter
I would hate to become
a bitter and twisted
editor and following my
own agenda. On the
other hand as the
newsletter has always
been independent this
may not be a factor.
KF
Contact
Send any suggestions,
requests or comments
about the newsletter to:
editor@insideadrift.org.uk
Find the newsletter at:
http://www.insideadrift.org.uk/
InsideADRIFT merchandise
You can now purchase
an exciting InsideADRIFT
mug, if you so desire. It
has been updated with
the new logo.
The store is really not
fully operational, if you
are interested look at
www.cafepress.com/insideadrift
More details can be
found on page 11.
InsideADRIFT Game of the Year Competition 2004
Just a reminder that you can still enter a new game for the Game of the
Year Competition, as well as any other game released this year.
The rules can be found at
http://www.insideadrift.org.uk/comps_win_04
Wider IF community events
2004 Interactive Fiction Competition
It is too late to decide to enter the IF Comp as you had to
have expressed your intention officially by 1 September. If
you have then you have until the end of September to get
your game in.
DavidW reports that it has been a bumper year for people
expressing their interest in entering, maybe this includes
some of the sixty who fell by the wayside last year in the
final month to complete the games.
Spring Thing 2005
This event is very much on the calendar now, and I have
interviewed the organiser, Greg Boettcher, in this issue of
the newsletter.
The competitions rules are now posted up and everything is
set for take off.
Forum news
Mystery organised a joint e-message for Mr & Mrs Wild for
their birthdays and first wedding anniversary, which took
place over a short period at the start of September. Having
put together a picture for the happy pair, Mystery posted a
thread asking for active drifters to post there. She then
proceeded to contact them all to get people to —sign“ the
image.
It was posted to the forum on Friday 3
rd
September in a new
thread, allowing people to add their own personal messages
of congratulations.
InsideADRIFT Issue 19 September/October 2004
3
Drifters birthdays
October 2004
1 ImpShial (33); SoftIron (24)
2 Narniagate58 (36); Morpork
(21); Sprite (17)
4 TheDataHacker (27)
12 skater_paulish (21);
Lady_Juliet (23)
14 baXter (30)
17 Lil Dot (37)
19 crick etmoon (32)
21 Century (22)
23 davidw (31); theleaf (17)
25 ursus (34)
28 Sarazar (17)
Events Diary
September 30, 2004 2004
Annual Interactive Fiction
Competition
Entries must be in by today.
September 30, 2004Spring
Thing 2005 entries open
You can now send in your
intention to enter the Spring Thing
in March 2005 and reserve on of
the 20 slots (subject to $7 entry
fee)
October 01, 2004 2004
Interactive Fiction Competition
Entries released for judging (ends
15 Nov. 04)
October 30, 2004 InsideADRIFT
20 November 2004 due out
The November issue of the
ADRIFT newlsetter should be
available today
November 15, 2004 2004
Interactive Fiction Competition
Judging ends today. Results
announced when organiser has
worked them out.
Moderators under fire
A furious dispute raged on the forum for about three days over a piece
of moderation that was argued to have been vindictive towards DavidW.
The debate, some informed, some not, fortunately was brought to an
end when Mystery closed the thread involved. Shortly after Campbell
Wild posted supporting the moderator’s position.
Campbell‘s response included
—I am very upset by some of the comments I've seen in this
discussion. This forum is supposed to be a place where
people can get together, discuss ADRIFT, adventures and
anything else related, with the expected relaxed deviations,
and have FUN.“
I am sure that we all agree with Campbell that in the end what matters
is discussion of ADRIFT and related matters, and ideally differences
should be settled in private, via PMs, chat or email.
It was a difficult decision whether to include this, and risk
inflaming old wounds, but I feel it has a relevance to the
community that merits inclusion.
Changes to forum moderators
My (KF) tenure as a moderator has ended, so I am free to concentrate
on other matters ADRIFT. This is of course largely to do with the
previous item, but only in the sense that it brought me to a decision that
I had considered a few times before. I will still be around on the forum
as much and will try to help if I can, but now others will be responding
to any requests for a moderator to act.
There is no dilution of moderator numbers though as Woodfish has now
joined the group along with Mystery, The Amazing Poodle Boy and
(rarely) AgapeIncognito. Good luck to them in keeping the forum
heading forward as the most important source of help for those who
choose to use ADRIFT.
Writing challenges (Contributed by Mystery)
Beginning in August, NickyDude began a monthly writing challenge in
the Writing Discussions Forum. The basic idea is to write a detailed
location description based on the objects he gives. It is an exercise in
creativity and writing, that will hopefully help you to sharpen your skills.
InsideADRIFT Issue 19 September/October 2004
4
November 27, 2004
InsideADRIFT 21 due out
The December issue of the
ADRIFT newsletter should be
available today.
December 19, 2004
InsideADRIFT Game of the Year
Competition 2004
Entries for the Game of the Year
(formerly "End of Year")
Competition must be in by
1500hrs GMT today. Judging will
take place over the next two
weeks.
This event is open to any ADRIFT
games released during 2004 as
well as any newly written games.
December 24, 2004
InsideADRIFT Review of the
Year 2004 due out
Hopefully the special end of year
issue of the ADRIFT newsletter
should be available today.
Events in 2005
January 02, 2005 InsideADRIFT
Game of the Year Competion
2004
Judging ends, all marks in by
1500hrs GMT today. Result to be
announced on the ADRIFT Forum
as soon as possible after that.
January 08, 2005 InsideADRIFT
Issue 22 due out
The January/February 2005 issue
of the ADRIFT newsletter should
be available today
March 15, 2005 Spring Thing
2005 closing date for intents
This is the last day for making a
statement of intent to enter the
Spring Thing
March 31, 2005 Spring Thing
2005 closing date for entries
All entries must be in by this date.
The judging period will be
announced when entries are
released (will allow about one
week for every three entries)
The current writing challenge uses the following:
Location: Castle Moat
Contains: Weeds, fish [dead and alive], rusty armor, bones,
wooden barrel, a small box with buttons, and a pair of
beady eyes.
The goal is to location description in a convincing manner, using all of
the objects mentioned. You can add more of your own, but all of the
objects he gives MUST be included in your description. It is a fun
activity to get in on. If you would like to enter, please visit the
http://www.adrift.org.uk/cgi/iB3/ikonboard.cgi.s=4b4aa8a339a2dc9ce1f
bffad5ac2cc21;act=SF;f=6
Conversation trees
There was a fairly long debate on the merits of conversation trees as an
alternative to the inbuilt
ask character about
method which imparts
information without altering the game play. As can be seen below, this
is something very much on the ADRIFT road map for the future
development.
From the ADRIFT Manual
The Future
I have no intention to stop development of ADRIFT at this
stage. My goal is for it to become the most widely used
Interactive Fiction development environment. There are still
many things which could be improved within the program.
Some of the features I hope to add in future versions are:
Character conversation trees
Interchangeable Player and characters
Allowing characters to sit, stand and lie on objects
More powerful tasks, which can control events
User definable map to draw layout
I am always open to suggestions for further improvements.
InsideADRIFT Issue 19 September/October 2004
5
The (big) idea by KF
Reality in IF is over-rated
I am beginning to wonder if the
pursuit of some things in IF are
actually to the detriment of the
games they are produced for.
The main one is the search for
lighting reality within games
where you are looking for a
source that is right for the
genre and yet has few
problems.
We have the portable light
solution (a.k.a. the torch),
which always gives the
problem of the player leaving it
somewhere. Another problem
is if you are carrying it do you
put it down to use two hands
for something else. While I
known that some will moan if
something isn’t exactly right,
will it really ruin things for
everyone else.
If I am wondering around in
caves or a labyrinth, if the
author assumes it is lit why
should I, the player, find the
game to be compromised by
such an assumption.
Another place that the reality
thing raises it’s ugly head is
with eating, sleeping, and
bodily functions resulting from
having eaten. While in early
games the idea of a player
requiring food to keep up their
strength, and sleep to recover
from their exertions were
nearly always there. These
things have become less
fashionable with them just
being left to the imagination of
the player.
Drifters toolbox
VersionBackup (looked at by KF)
My interest in finding this sort of product came with a number of people
having problems with ADRIFT that resulted in their games becoming
corrupted. This brought me to something I believe is a big advantage
that is built into some operating systems, which is automatic creation of
backups. Here I am not simply talking about what ADRIFT does when
you have the previous version saved with the .bak suffix, but an
automatic system allowing you to revert further back.
This piece of software performs a simple, but rather useful job, and
backs up the requested directories, keeping a set number of versions of
the files.
The backups can then be browsed and if required restored as shown in
the window displayed above, and as you can see the it shows the days
for which it has a copy of the file, it only creates one if the file has been
changed..
The way I have it set up it backs up my ADRIFT games directory every
time WindowsXP starts up. This should mean that any disasters will
only mean I lose at most the work from a session, and if I make a big
mistake I can go back to an older version.
If this program sounds like it could help you to keep things that little bit
safer then you can find more at
http://www.versionbackup.sb-aw.com/
InsideADRIFT Issue 19 September/October 2004
6
ADRIFT recent
releases
I hope this brief listing
helps drifters spot
anything they have
previously missed. In
the end it is only of any
use if something is
produced to list.
Shadrick's Underground
Adventures
(shadricksundergroundadventu
res.taf 111 Kb) By Mystery,
released 31-08-04
New to the town of Willingsdale,
young Hanson overhears a
couple of thugs talking about
hidden treasure in the tunnels
below his family’s home and
business. If he could find it first it
would fix his parents money
troubles and they would be rich.
You discover Hanson in the cellar
but before you can drag him back
upstairs he disappears through a
hole in the wall. It is up to you to
save your little brother and bring
the thugs to justice.
The ADRIFT Project : Classified
(theadriftproject.taf 226 Kb) By
Mystery, released 30-08-04
“I have an urgent assignment for
you, and there isn’t any time to
waste. We’ve just launched the
ADRIFT Project, and something
has gone terribly wrong. The ship
will be over your house in 5.3
minutes to beam you aboard. We
need you to test all the major
areas to make sure we’re not
getting false readings. It is a very
difficult task and Drifters around
the world are depending on you. I
know you can do it. You will be
the only human on board. Be on
the lookout for DARWIN. I think
it’s the cause of the false
readings we’re getting. It may
have tampered with the ADRIFT-
AlphaSmart
Mystery has been looking at a different sort of portable
computer that may meet the needs of the busy author.
In our busy lives it is hard enough to find the time for a hobby,
and you’re always looking for something to make things a little
easier. If you’re an interactive fiction author, then you know that
an idea can come at you out of the blue, or you finally have
figured out the right method for getting that puzzled to work, but
your don’t have access to your PC for one reason or another. If
this happens to you, then you really should be checking out
AlphaSmart.
I’ll start with AlphaSmart 3000, which you’ll find in many schools
across the US. The AS3000 is a basically a portable word
processor that features a full keyboard and has a 4-line by 40-
character LCD display. It is lightweight and you’ll find it very
convenient to take on the train, field trips, or just about anywhere
you go. The full keyboard is much easier to use than one of
those hand helds, and less hassle to lug around a laptop- and
much more affordable than both. It can run up to 700 hours on
three AAA batteries.
The AS3000 can hold up to 100 pages of single spaced text in 8
separate files. On top of that, it has a 70,000 word spellchecker,
cut, copy, and paste. As many IF authors know, you sometimes
get new game ideas, plot twists, and puzzle ideas that come to
you at the strangest time- and often find yourself empty handed
to work it out. When your back at your PC, simply upload the
files to your computer via your USB port. With AlphaSmart 3000,
you can send text via wireless infrared to any infrared-enabled
Macintosh, PC, or printer.
The AlpaSmart 3000 is also expandable with the use of
AlphaSmart SmartApplets. Compact applications are available for
word processing, calculator functions, keyboarding instruction,
quizzing, outlining, and word prediction.
AlphaSmart is perfect for those families that share a single home
computer. While the kids are researching for their next science
project, you won’t miss out on writing your next IF masterpiece.
If this doesn’t appeal to you, then the AlphaSmart Dana, Dana
Wireless or AlphaSmart Neo might be of interest. The Dana
features the Palm OS™, and access to thousands of applications
at a fraction of the price you’d pay for a hand held. You’ll simply
love the lightweight, affordable, and stylish full keyboard of all of
InsideADRIFT Issue 19 September/October 2004
7
O-Sweep too. I k new that robot
should have been tested more.”
The future of ADRIFT lies in your
hands...
Choose Your Own...
(chooseyourown.taf 54 Kb) By
David Whyld, released 29-08-04
Following an unexpected delay in
the mountain village of
Globrieska, you find yourself in a
life or death struggle with a
power-crazed madman named
Erik von Lastmere. An interactive
fiction style gamebook. [Joint first
place in the Adrift Summer Comp
2004] [genre: thriller]
The Mystery Of The Darkhaven
Caves
(mysteryofthedarkhavencavest
he.taf 27 Kb) By David Whyld,
released 29-08-04
Can YOU solve the mystery of the
Darkhaven Caves, a devious
labyrinth of monsters, mayhem
and a sword-pinching dwarf. [3rd
place in the Adrift Summer Comp
2004] [genre: cave crawl]
From the Demos Page
Colored Numbers (percent.zip 6
Kb) By Soothsayer, released
19-08-04
This will mark numbers from 0 to
100 with corresponding colors in
a gradient from red (0) to yellow
(50) and to green (100). Numbers
to be marked need to be
preceeded by a !0 tag so that not
all numbers in your adventure are
colored, and a </font> tag needs
to be placed after them as well.
Better instructions and a sample
TAF using this ALR are included.
Rain Module (rain0.zip 22 Kb)
By Soothsayer, released 19-08-
04
Just plugin to have rain coming
and going in your adventure.
Remember to set the tasks
completeable in all rooms and
events descriptions showing in
love the lightweight, affordable, and stylish full keyboard of all of
the AlphaSmart products.
Let AlphaSmart take you on an adventure and visit their website
at http://www.alphasmart.com for more information. You’ll find the
pricing is reasonable and affordable, and can view full product
details. There were just too many to include here. They also
have a strong community for support and is full of friendly users.
Interview: Greg Boettcher questioned by KF
This issue I have the opportunity to question the Spring
Thing organiser about himself and the competition that he
has revived.
Q.
You have previously told me that you are quite new to the
interactive fiction community, what was it that brought you here.
A.
I was crawling through Home of the Underdogs (http://www.the-
underdogs.org), looking for games to play. Their interactive fiction
section was a lot bigger than I expected, with a lot of recent freeware
games. Eventually this led me to the web pages of the IF community,
where I learned about the cool authoring systems that make IF writing
so much easier.
Q.
Obviously the main reason that encouraged me to ask you to do
this interview was the resurrection of the Spring Thing Competition. The
event ran for a couple of years before, but was then discontinued. What
encouraged you to take action and relaunch this event.
A.
I was disappointed when I learned that the IF community's biggest
competition is one that was originally designed to encourage short
games.
Apparently when the IF Comp began in 1995, short games were getting
ignored, but now, if anything, it's longer works that need more attention.
That was my main motivation. I don't think I would have had the
wherewithal to start a competition of my own, but I really liked the idea
behind Adam Cadre's Spring Thing competition of 2002-2003, and it
was just sitting there, waiting to be revived.
Q.
A lot of the focus on the Spring Thing has been on its perceived
encouragement of long games, as it doesn't have the two hour judging
rule of the IF Comp. Do you think that this may result in people being
discouraged from entering shorter games.
A.
I hope not. Despite what I just said, authors of shorter games are
welcome to submit and get a chance to win.
InsideADRIFT Issue 19 September/October 2004
8
events descriptions showing in
the right rooms. Includes sample
TAFs and a readme file. (this is
the same as the one that has
once been in KF's modules
library)
Back from the Dead
(zombiewalk.taf 1 Kb) By
Mystery, released 13-08-04
This is a demonstration on how to
bring a dead NPC back to life. (It
uses a little trickery, but works)
Uses the battle system. File
update to mak e it appear like
there are several enemies.
Advancing Line (line1.taf 1 Kb)
By Mystery, released 11-08-04
This file demonstrates how to
have an advancing line of people.
When you push a button, the
person at the front of the line is
replaced by the next person in
line. At one point an important
character is brought to the front to
deliver a message.
Time and Weather System
(weathertime.taf 2 Kb) By
Mystery, released 30-07-04
This is a time and weather
system. It does not use standard
time, but rather morning, midday,
afternoon, evening, night. The
weather changes over time, as
well as the clouds, wind, rain, and
be sure to check out the sun.
Dress by Gender
(dressbygender.taf 1 Kb) By
Mystery, released 29-07-04
This demonstrates how to
automatically dress the player
character according to the which
gender is selected when
prompted.
Q.
The most controversial aspect of the competition rules has been the
$7 entry fee. With the awkwardness of actually collecting the money do
you think it is worthwhile as a means of discouraging timewasting
entries.
A.
I did consider getting rid of the entry fees, but when I asked some
veteran IF community members about this, they all advised against it. I
guess it might be awkward, but as you said, it cuts down on the time-
wasting factor. It also makes it so that the twenty slots won't fill up so
quickly.
Q.
Now that you have announced the event do you feel a bit frustrated
that there is still quite a bit of time before things start to happen. I
certainly find the wait for things to happen in a competition I have
organised a bit tedious.
A.
Not really. I'm glad I announced Spring Thing 2005 when I did,
because it gave prospective IF Comp 2004 entrants a chance to decide
which contest to enter. Now there are months of waiting, but that's a
good thing, as it gives me time to work on my own projects.
Q.
Now back to you, and your current game development . You told
me you haven't yet released a game, but that you are working on
something. Can you give some brief details.
A.
I'm working on two games right now. One of them tries to do new
things with conversation. The other one uses graphics, and it's those
graphics I'm working on right now. Both games should hopefully be out
sometime in 2005.
InsideADRIFT Issue 19 September/October 2004
9
Failed game intros
“Rainbow Man and the lost
weekend” by Ken Franklin
This was a game that I
quite liked the idea of,
but realised it was going
to be a bit complicated.
You have got out of a
mental institution in
your Rainbow Man
costume, along with a
bottle of whisky. When
you wake up you have
forgotten the real you,
and believe yourself to
be Rainbow Man.
When people in white
coats chase you, you
think they must work for
your arch enemy.
You awake in a heap on the
grass in a small children's
playground. Your head is
thumping and you are having
great difficulty remembering
little things like who you are
and why you are here. You are
dressed in what you
immediately recognise as the
uniform of Rainbow Man,
superhero and bringer of
colour to the world. Surely you
shouldn't be wearing your
uniform if you are not out on a
mission, so maybe you are!
Nearby is an empty whisky
bottle, which you suspect
might have caused your
headache, obviously you must
have been struck over the
head with it. Starting to rack
your brain for a reason why
you are here doesn't make
anything come to mind. You
InsideADRIFT Summer MiniComp 2004
The Summer Mincomp proved something of a frustrating success.
There were six entries, which is pretty much par for the course, yet I
would have to admit that the idea of having three sections was a bit of a
flop. In the event there were four entries in the ten room section, two in
the maze games section, and none in the time limited event. The
competition was a triumph for two of our main authors, DavidW and
Mystery who between them took the first four places, but the other two
authors who entered games were important too and I am very grateful
to them for entering..
Richard Otter’s game
Ticket to nowhere
received quite a lot of praise
and was a very close fifth place. Bruce Humphreys was unlucky
because he created a game for the one-week event, but it was entered
into the ten room event instead as there were no other time limited
entries. Possibly my advice to do this was wrong as it meant the game
was being judged against games developed over much longer time
frames, whereas his game did betray it’s speed IF nature.
I am considering the future of this competition, and considering the
possibility of moving the Spring Competition for full-size ADRIFT games
into the Summer, in this way providing more separation from the Game
of the Year event in December. What do others think about the
competitons we have, a thread on the subject seemed a bit inclusive
with people thinking there were too many, but not wanting to lose
specific ones.
Game reviews
InsideADRIFT Summer Minicomp games reviewed by Eric Mayer
If the Adrift Summer Competition proved anything to me it's that I don't
like IF. Well, that's a bit of an over simplification. Let's just say, for me,
story will always win out over those things that differentiate interactive
fiction from regular fiction -- things like puzzles and world simulation. I
most like those aspects of If that are least If-like.
Which is not to say I never enjoy puzzles or simulation, only that I
prefer them as spice rather the main course.
Consider the location limited portion of the competition. Bruce
Humphrey's TEARS OF A TOUGH MAN was the least accomplished
game, I thought. (Note though that Bruce wrote the game in a limited
time, for that section of the competition, which had no other entries, and
so worked with a huge handicap) But even though the game was
understandably short and sparse, the premise intrigued me and kept
me interested, as far as I got: The last entry in your diary made you cry
but, weirdly, you can't remember what it was or manage to turn to the
page. You need to know what's on that last page.
InsideADRIFT Issue 19 September/October 2004
10
anything come to mind. You
start looking around to see if
there are any clues tucked
away that you have missed.
Do you have a game
that has hit the rails, but
you would like to share
with the community. If
so, send it in to me.
The beginnings of the other games didn't grab me.
In David Whyld's CHOOSE YOUR OWN you embark on a routine
business trip and don't even realize you're going to have an adventure
until strange things begin to happen on the train.Mystery's THE ADRIFT
PROJECT - CLASSIFIED gives you the task to test the Adrift Project
ship where something has gone terribly wrong and in TICKET TO
NOWHERE by Richard Otter you have the most important meeting of
your life in less than seven hours, but missed your train and need to
find some other way to get to the meeting on time. While these are both
important problems for the protagonist they don't seem to me very
dramatic.
In CHOOSE YOUR OWN the lack of a hook doesn't much matter
because all you do is choose options which lead you through variations
of the adventure. I've played this to a number of different ends and it
turned out to be my favorite in this category. Even I can't get hopelessly
stuck in a choose-your-own!
The other two entries were more sophisticated but I got nowhere. In
THE ADRIFT PROJECT - CLASSIFIED I managed to gather up all
sorts of clever devices but never found anything to do with them. Exotic
mechanical contrivances are a popular If staple but I've never warmed
up to them. I can't follow the instructions to use real machines let alone
simulated ones. Of course the fact I don't like IF isn't Mystery's fault so I
gave a reasonable score.
TICKET TO NOWHERE presented me with even more of a problem.
Richard Otter's railway station, with its changing weather, passing
trains, announcements, wandering characters and wildlife and attention
to every detail, is one of the best environments I've seen in Adrift.
Unfortunately I could accomplish virtually nothing. Even when I
resorted to the generator, I was at a loss. I gave the game a good score
because I wasn't sure whether there should have been more pointers to
what I was supposed to be doing or whether I'm just that dense. It isn't
Richard's fault I can't solve puzzles.
I guess I'm used to reading books where the author leads me along.
That's obvious from my preference in the maze category.
Neither game struck me as what I'd call mazes (thank goodness) but
rather were cave crawls, which used to feature mazes. THE MYSTERY
OF DARKHAVEN CAVES, by David Whyld, was good fun with amusing
characters and lots of puzzles, some of which I actually solved and
others of the oh-of-course-I-should've-thought-of-that variety. (David
was born too late. He probably could've made a good living back in the
1930s remorselessly cranking out pulp stories)
Mystery's SHADRICK'S UNDERGROUND ADVENTURE though was
my favorite of the whole competition. OK, I admit I got through it without
so much as a hint. Any game I can manage to do that with, I love. (And
please don't tell me Mystery wrote it for her kids and they thought it was
InsideADRIFT Issue 19 September/October 2004
11
InsideADRIFT
Merchandise
Although this is not intended
as a money spinning idea,
more a way to create items for
me, these items are available
for the discerning drifter to
purchase.
The mug, priced at $11.39,
has a crisp copy of the new
magazine logo. It is large
enough for those beverages
needed to keep you going
through long creative
sessions.
Costing $17.39, the baseball
jersey comes in red/.blue/black
and white.
Also available from
www.cafepress.com/insideadrift
are: sweatshirt $21.99;
mousepad $10.99; teddy
bear $13.49; sticker
$2.49.
too easy)
In the game, you're a youngster who has to explore a cave under your
parents' pub in search of your younger brother. What I liked was that
the cave crawler is given a distinctive personality, which is nicely
introduced in a short interactive introduction. Then too, it is essentially
a straight forward story with puzzles enough to make you a participant
but which don't really offer much of an impediment to the flow of the
narrative.
Which goes to prove, as I said, I just don't like IF.
Reference
This issue we look at how to make our text more interesting
to read by using the HTML style tags provided by ADRIFT.
Just remember that over use of different styles can be
worse than not formatting at all.
Formatting Text
Supported HTML Tags
The default two-tone text display in Runner can be manipulated in order
to display text exactly as you wish. ADRIFT uses HTML style tags in
order to format the text.
Tag Description
<i> </i>
Display text in italics
<b> </b>
Display text in bold
<u> </u>
Display text using underlined
<c> </c>
Display text using the secondary colour
<font size=[+/-]X>
Change font size to X, or increase/decrease
by X
<font
colour=”#rrggbb”>
Sets the font colour. rrggbb is the value for
the colour with each two characters being
<font face=”fontname”>
Sets the font to fontname. Please note that if
the player doesn't have this font installed, it
</font>
Restore font to previous state
<bgcolour=”#rrggbb”>
This sets the back ground to a colour (as
specified above). Setting it to “default” will
<centre> </centre>
Centralise text
InsideADRIFT Issue 19 September/October 2004
12
<centre> </centre>
Centralise text
<right></right>
Right justify text
<br>
Insert a new line
<wait X>
Wait for X seconds, where X is between 0.0
and 10.0. This can be to the nearest 10th of
a second.
<waitkey>
Wait for the player to press a key before
resuming.
<cls>
Clears the screen
&lt;
Displays the < character
&gt;
Displays the > character
*
All these tags can share the one font tag, i.e. you could have a
command:
The HTML standards are also supported with American spelling of
center and color.
Nice Big Text Window
By default, the text windows within ADRIFT are not very good at
formatting the text – they don’t display the text as it would appear in
Runner unless you have no formatting at all, and many of the windows
are quite small so that you may not see your whole text segment. You
can bring up a large text box where you can format your writing using
standard word-processor facilities. To do this, double-click in any text
box.
This will bring up a window such as:
This allows you to select bold, italic, underline and secondary colour,
InsideADRIFT Issue 19 September/October 2004
13
left centre and right justify text, change font, spell check, cut, copy,
paste and undo, all at the click of a button.
Clicking OK will then convert this text into HTML format so it will be
displayed the same in Runner. Tags not supported by the NBTW will be
displayed as they were in the standard text boxes.
© Campbell Wild, Oct 2003
Information is copied and pasted from the manual and while
every effort is made to be accurate, there are no guarantees
that it is error free
© 2004 Edited by KF.
Please send any contributions or suggestions to
kf@kfadrift.org.uk
.