InsideADRIFT ISSN 1743-0577
1
Issue 22 March/April 2005
Contents
News and announcements.
1. Main news
(Clues to the future;
ADRIFT site tweaks;
Drift On: the
ADRIFT wiki;
Reviews Exchange
Issue 3 out now.)
2. Competition news
(
InsideADRIFT Spring Comp coming
soon
)
3. Forum news (
New to the forum
team
)
Regular features
2. Editorial
3. Drifters birthdays
4. Events diary
3. Drifters Toolbox: DAZ Studio
reviewed by KF
6. ADRIFT recent releases
8. InsideADRIFT merchandise
Articles
5.
The (big) idea by KF
: Is there a
right level of detail.
5. Examining mimesis by Eric
Mayer.
6. The ADRIFT Community by
Ken Franklin
7. Why Do We Write Interactive
Fiction. By David Whyld
Reference
11. Manual: ADRIFT Language
Resources File (ALR)
Issue: 22 (Mar/Apr 05)
Issue 23 due out 26 May 05
News and announcements
ADRIFT œ clues to the future
David Whyld started a thread asking when people expected a new
version of ADRIFT. This developed into a discussion on the merits of
further polishing of version 4.0 or a move on to development of version
4.1. This was of course a fairly academic thread, but Campbell Wild did
then join in and explained his current thinking as to the future of
ADRIFT:
—I'm hoping to get a new release out fairly soon to sort some of the bugs.
I'm still contemplating some of the finer details of v4.1. In the
meantime, I may add more enhancements to 4.0 once I squish some
more bugs.“
This was very well received as it gave users an idea of where things
were going, and confirmed that 4.0 will be with us for a while yet.
ADRIFT site tweaks
After the down time caused by a hacker, some of the more annoying
problems that have bugged the updated ADRIFT website have been
sorted.
A lot of annoyance had been caused by the complete games being
mixed in with demos, now there is a drop down menu where you
can select from complete, demos, modules and ALRs.
The download link for the freeware ADRIFT Version 3.90 is now
working again.
The links section has now been updated, and the crossing out
visited site highlighting has been changed.
The list of the hottest downloads instead of showing most
downloaded shows most downloaded recently, so it should move on
with time as new games are launched.
Unfortunately there was still an outage on 18
th
March when a network
card on Campbell’s server failed.
InsideADRIFT Issue 22 March/April 2005
2
Editorial
I seem to get lazier and lazier
with regards to this
newsletter, each month
getting later and later before I
think about writing it up.
Recently I have once again
been wondering how long I
can keep doing this, which
than makes me feel guilty.
While I enjoy some of putting
the newsletter together, I do
find that it is a deadline that
just looms each time.
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 8.
Drift On: the ADRIFT wiki
There is a new companion site for the InsideADRIFT site. It is called
Drift On
, and is based on the MediaWiki software.
A Wiki or wiki is a website (or other hypertext document collection) that
allows users to add content, as on an Internet forum, but also allows
anyone to edit the content. "Wiki" also refers to the collaborative software
used to create such a website.
The aim is for it to become a repository of ADRIFT information, as
users read it and see something missing, they can go in and add it
themselves.
As a distraction there is an interactive story where readers can add
their own pages.
Reviews Exchange Issue 3 out now
The latest edition of the ADRIFT publication devoted to giving authors
feedback and players help in picking the games to play next. The list of
reviews is shown below.
The Adventures Of Thumper: Wonder Wombat by Sarazar; review by
Robert Rafgon
Darkness by Richard Otter; review by Red-Sith
Hoedown In Ho-Town by S. Welland; review by David Whyld
Sun Empire: Quest For The Founders by Tech; review by Robert Rafgon
The Timmy Reid Adventure by Jonathan R. Reid; review by Robert Rafgon
Varicella by Adam Cadre; review by David Whyld
Veteran Knowledge by Robert Rafgon [2 reviews]; reviews by Cobra 1
and David Whyld
A Walk At Dusk by Eric Mayer [2 reviews]; reviews by David Whyld and
Laurence Moore
Already David Whyld is looking towards the next issue and asks you to
play a game and send the review to dwhyld@gmail.com before the 7th
May.
Competition news roundup
InsideADRIFT Spring Competition 2005
When this issue hits the streets there will be only three weeks before
the closing date for entries to the Spring Competition. Obviously the
more entries the better, this is a chance to showcase your talents to the
ADRIFT community.
InsideADRIFT Competitions
The rules for the next three InsideADRIFT competitions (Spring,
Summer and Game of the Year) are now available for writers. They can
be found via the menu on the InsideADRIFT site.
InsideADRIFT Issue 22 March/April 2005
3
Drifters birthdays
April
1 Echo (20); >Hellspaw (38)
2 KFAdrift (44); D eadman (42)
3 sfzapgun (40)
7 WebMonster (16)
8 TedEBearNC (44)
9 JamesBaldwin (35)
11 ToddWat (38); Slayerized (19);
Cobra1 (22)
14 kICkAdEviL (22)
15 Onierosv7point0 (18)
17 Leaflander (52)
22 Boredom Man (30)
25 wolf (25)
27 flea (16)
May
1 Incoming (24); bluemoon (35)
6 gamerfreak 1020 (17)
8 ShogunNZ (32); Kojiro (23)
10 Hawk rune (32); gscbw (22)
11 fairyale (22); azurestone (21)
16 Ray (59)
31 Heal Butcher (31);
CowInParachute (16)
W ider IF Comm unity
Spring Thing 2005
By the time you are reading this it will be the end of the entry period for
the Spring Thing, and the judging period will be looming. Good luck to
any entrants.
The organiser,
Greg Boettcher, tested the competition voting program with
the StupidTitleComp, where people were asked to come up with a really silly
game title. The entrants were then put up for people to vote for, it would be
quite frightening if the full games appeared for these.
One Room Gam e Competition 2005 underway
Francesco Cordella posted on RAIF (rec.arts.int-fiction newsgroup) to
announce the launch of this competition for all IF languages. It is the
third edition of the Comp organized by www.avventuretestuali.com and
reserved to one room interactive fiction games written in any language
and programming language.
Rules, deadlines, prizes etc. are here:
http://www.avventuretestuali.com/orgc/orgc2005_eng.html
Forum news
The changes I talked about have been put into effect since the last
newsletter.
InsideADRIFT Forums
Nickydude and David Whyld have taken on roles within the Forum Staff
team, as they have taken on the jobs of leading the
Writing Discussion
and
Reviews
forums respectively.
Nicky has kept on his inspirational work with more description writing
competitions and also some brain teasing puzzle competitions, the first
of which was won by Woodfish.
InsideADRIFT Issue 22 March/April 2005
4
Events Diary
April 2005
17th InsideADRIFT Spring
Competition 2005: entries must
be in by 17 April 2005 and
judging starts.
May 2005
1st InsideADRIFT Spring
Competition 2005: Judging to be
completed by 1500 GMT and
results announced.
7th Reviews Exchange Issue 4
due out.
26th InsideADRIFT Issue 23,
May/J une 2005 due out.
August 2005
21-28 InsideADRIFT Summer
Competition 2005.
December 2005
InsideADRIFT Awards 2005 votes
during this month
18th InsideADRIFT Game of the
Year Competition 2005
Drifter’s Toolbox
Pieces of software that may be of interest to drifters when they are
developing their games. Examined here is a useful bit of software that is
capable of helping you create maps for your games.
AutoREALM looked at by KF
The blurb below, from the SourceForge project site, sums things up
pretty succinctly.
AutoREALM is a free role-playing game mapping program originally made
by Andrew Gryc. This program is an excellent mapping program that can
design castles, caves, cities, dungeons and more. New developers are
more than welcome!
This bit of free software allows you to create game maps from
predefined graphics. It was originally an RPG tool but has a great
variety of symbols that you can lay out on map.
As can be seen from the screen above, it has a pretty standard layout
for a graphics program, but every object is line art meaning scaling is
smooth and doesn’t end up with horrible jagged edges where the
something is scaled up.
My favourite feature is the fractal polyline that is used to create
wonderfully realistic coastlines. As you drag the line out, the points are
joint by ragged lines, which can be adjusted for the level of raggedness.
When the line is complete select to make a closed object and you get a
very presentable island.
For more information visit the AutoRealm site at
http://gryc.ws/autorealm.htm
InsideADRIFT Issue 22 March/April 2005
5
The (big) idea by KF
Is there a right level of detail.
This deals with interactive
fiction rather than real world
simulation, where simulation
is the goal.
This is one of those almost
unanswerable questions as every
game is different. My belief is that
the level of detail in a game will
tend to be in proportion to the
size of the game, or more
accurately the size of the game
area the player has to explore.
If you only have a very few
locations to explore it will be
important to have plenty of
objects to take an interest in,
whether or not they are of direct
relevance to the action. Where
the game has a large area it is
important not to overfill each
location with objects and other
distractions.
Try not to have important items
buried deep in or on objects
several layers down. Where an
object is scenery make clear it
isn’t important to the player.
Detail also includes the attention
to detail in handling user
responses, and here I still think
game size matters. If your game
expects a player to go through 50
or 100 locations it is important for
them not to be overly distracted
from the main task. Some
distractions are fine, but they
shouldn’t make the player feel
they have to keep trying more
and more obscure commands,
just in case.
Most games will have their own
commands in addition to the
standard IF command set, but
make sure the player is able to
find any extra commands out
rather than get involved in guess
the verb. Whether it be with in
game help, or an initial
instructions screen, be fair to the
Articles
Examining mimesis by Eric Mayer
One of the problems with mimesis is that it violates narrative. At least if
you define narrative as the kind of storytelling found in non-interactive
fiction.
This isn’t to say that the concept of mimesis is wrong, or to imply that If
tells stories in exactly the same way as non-If. Different techniques are
involved. Still, with all the attention lavished on mimesis, few have
noted its tendency to undermine attributes of fiction which are
considered desirable in the non-If world.
We have been told that it isn’t enough for a game to account for a few
important objects or sensible actions. A game maintains perfect
mimesis when players can stop dead in their tracks to examine this and
that and the other thing or lurch gaily from one inexplicable and
improbable action to the next, without ever -- ever!-- being pulled up
short by a response which alerts the players to the sad fact that they're
just fiddling around with a game and have overstepped its artificial
bounds.
The job of the storyteller is practically the opposite -- to pull readers
along, to avoid distracting them with irrelevancies, to maintain their
belief in the story by making sure the characters don't engage in
actions that are unmotivated or nonsensical.
Learning to write non-interactive fiction is largely a matter of learning to
avoid all those things for which mimesis seekers require an accounting.
Consider descriptions. Beginning writers are prone to the camera-lens
approach. They show everything but take note of nothing. I used to
revel in lengthy depictions of scenery. In effect I enjoyed constructing
intricate verbal models of the world, in much the same way as some
writers of If seem to enjoy creating exquisitely detailed locations.
Readers, however, don't tend to be as keen as writers on endless
descriptive passages. They only want to be told what's important. In
most situations, the best practice is to concentrate on a detail or two to
set the scene. If an icy breeze is whipping papers and assorted debris
across a square, rather than listing everything, mention the Page 3 Girl
who momentarily plasters herself to your protagonist's ankle.
The mimesis model of writing, in its extreme form, demands that all the
blowing debris be examinable. It would be up to the player to discover
what was important and/or salacious in the surroundings. Unfortunately,
whereas in real life, most of us would cross a freezing, windy square as
quickly as possible, the mimesis impaired protagonist might feel
impelled to linger in the cold, examining however many scraps of
garbage the writer had accounted for. (Presumably his fingers would be
programmed to turn progressively bluer.)
Although most writers and critics don't take such an extreme view as to
demand perfect mimesis, they do, in my opinion, advocate too high a
InsideADRIFT Issue 22 March/April 2005
6
player and don’t just think it is
obvious.
ADRIFT recent
releases
This month‘s changes to the
Adventures page mean that
once again the list can simply
be split into complete games
and demos.
Not a huge period for
releases, but hopefully, after
recent turbulence, the
community is settling down to
writing again.
Complete games
GAME OF THE MONTH
Veteran Knowledge (194
Kb, vetknow.taf) By
Robert Rafgon, released Fri
11th Feb 2005
This is the story of an old
professional wrestler known as
the Veteran, who wants one
more chance to win the World
title. It is not going to be
easy, but he is willing to do
whatever it takes to be
victorious. The less wrestlers
who reach the tournament,
the better. Veteran Knowledge
is based on my short game
Veteran Experience, which
finished second in the Three
Hour competition held in
November 2004. Veteran
Knowledge contains violence,
but not much more violence
than normal pro wrestling.
Wizards Playground (19 Kb,
Wizards_Playground.taf) By
evil_flagpole, released Wed
9th Feb 2005
Please let me know what you
think. If I get good reviews I
might turn it into a larger
game.
degree of mimesis in a game's physical environment. Too high, that is,
if what is wanted is something more like a story than a cave crawl. A
proliferation of artfully simulated but irrelevant details tends to force
players, and the characters they control, to poke and prod and dawdle
over things they would never spend time on in reality. Unless their
object was simply exploration of the environment.
Many writers seem compelled to adhere to extremes of simulation even
though the stories they are trying to tell clearly are not, primarily,
exploratory. Aside from being a waste of programming effort, such
simulation can actually be harmful. The reader may end up admiring
(and testing) the writer’s programming skills, rather than being drawn
into the tale. If “purple prose” is bad because it draws attention to itself
rather than the story, why is “purple programming” any better.
Literary quality is further impaired because of the effect extreme
mimesis can have on characterization, an element which most consider
more important than physical description of the environment. The
protagonist ends up depicted in the game play as a slave of the
scenery, forced into obsessive examination instead of reacting to
events in a normal manner. Ironically, the more realistic game worlds
become, the less realistic become the actions of the characters who
inhabit the game worlds.
Which brings me to another problem with mimesis. it violates mimesis.
The ADRIFT Community by Ken Franklin
The recent main ADRIFT site outages have made me think about the
future of the ADRIFT community, assuming it has one. There was a
large amount of heat over the fact that the site going down was bad for
the public image of ADRIFT, something I have put forward before.
Thinking about this I realise that we have a problem, but to a degree a
solution in our own hands.
The ADRIFT site will always be the main point for all things to do with
support, as it is the place to find Campbell Wild. In recent months there
has been a change in the ADRIFT world with David Whyld’s
ShadowVault site now playing host to virtually every ADRIFT game ever
released, as well as having the actual ADRIFT program files available
for download. On the InsideADRIFT site I have a serviceable, though
not feature packed forum, a chat room, and the surprisingly useful chat
box feature. There is also Nickydude’s revived O.A.R.S. site that, with
input from users could become a serious place to find how others have
solved problems.
The ideal for the community is to have a network of sites that, while
none is irreplaceable, each provide a piece of the whole. If the other
sites are linked to then we should always be only a click away from a
solution to our problems.
InsideADRIFT Issue 22 March/April 2005
7
Demos
Dungeons and... evil computer
generated madmen. (Demo) (5
Kb,1_ecgm.taf) By TimSon00,
released Sat 5th Mar 2005
Emperor Shorttplank has
imprisoned you in the computer
game for which he was written.
You must escape and reveal his
plan... Before he does! This is the
demo of my first adventure. You
may notice a couple of errors, but
i will try to fix them up as best as I
can in the full version.
Series Passwords Demo (4 Kb,
SeriesPasswordsDemo.zip) By
KF, released Fri 11th Feb 2005
This is a demonstration of how
you can give a password at the
end of one game and accept it for
another game, ideal for a series.
Gumball Machine Demo (1 Kb,
Gumballdemo.taf) B y Mystery,
released Wed 9th Feb 2005
This demonstrates how to use
variables and the alr to change
the description of an object. It was
created for reference for the
Gumball Machine Tutorial,
located in the General Help &
Tutorials section of the ADRIFT
Forum, which you can access by
clicking on any of the topics from
the Latest Forum Posts section
on the left of this page.
Campbell Wild is faced with a dilemma, as he decides what the future
of the ADRIFT site is, whether to stay home hosted or to find a paid for
host. We can all appreciate that Campbell likes having the site under
his control and is less keen on relying on others, but a hosted site has
people there 24/7 making sure that the servers are running, problems
can occur, but are normally fixed quickly. An alternative might be
mirroring some of the site on another server, though it is impractical for
the forum which is a pretty complicated beast.
Whatever happens, I suspect that we all agree that the status quo is not
really an option. It can be seem that every outage brings disillusionment
to the community and drives more to consider other systems for
creating IF.
Why Do We Write Interactive Fiction. By David Whyld
Why do we write interactive fiction. When you think about it, it’s a pretty
pointless exercise. The commercial aspect fell out of the market years
ago*, so no matter how good your game is, you're never going to see
any financial comeback for your time and effort. If this was twenty years
ago, when the interactive fiction – or text adventures as they were
called back then – market was at its peak, you could in theory write a
simple text adventure (and some were simple indeed) on your home
computer and sell it. You might not make a fortune out of it but the
possibility was always there that you would make something. Even if
you didn’t make any profit at all, the idea that you had had a game
published was probably reward enough for your efforts.
* Not counting the likes of Future Boy or any of the Malinche games
here. The first was written by a team of people and this article is based
more on the games written by individuals. The second. No one really
seems to like the games and how much money they make isn't
something Malinche seems willing to disclose.
InsideADRIFT Issue 22 March/April 2005
8
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 boxer shorts, priced at
$13.49, with a discreet
InsideADRIFT logo on the right
leg.
Costing $17.39, the baseball
jersey comes in red/blue/black
and white.
Also available from
www.cafepress.com/insideadrift
are:
trucker hat $11.79;
sweatshirt $22.39; sleeveless
tee $15.89; women‘s tank top
$15.89; mousepad $11.49;
teddy bear $13.79; sticker
$2.69; journal $7.69;
messenger bag $19.99.
These days. Not a chance. If you're writing interactive fiction with the
hope of being able to sell it for some vast unspecified profit one day…
well, you're living in a dream world. But, hey, if you make it, be sure to
let me know how you did it, okay.
So what is the point in writing interactive fiction. It takes time, it takes
effort, it costs money (the registration fee for ADRIFT if you're using
that, electricity, wear and tear on your computer, extras if you're
planning to buy clipart or the like to include in your game) and it takes
you away from something else you could be doing that might, just
might, actually make you some money. Myself, I've been trying to write
a novel for years. I've never actually succeeded and the rejection slips
I've received from publishers have been almost as crushing as seeing
my own name on a death warrant. But if I could write a novel, and a
damn good one besides, and if it did get published, then I’d make more
money from the sale of a single novel than I ever would in an entire
lifetime of writing interactive fiction. Heck, I could quit my job and live
the life of luxury. Something all the IF games in the world would never
do for me, no matter how good I got at writing them.
So why write it.
A number of reasons spring to mind:
1. I’m writing them because it’s a hobby. Some people play
football, others gaze at the stars, some go train spotting. Me. I
write text adventures.
This is probably the reason most people start out with. But how long
does the appeal of the hobby keep you writing. Sooner or later, if
you're doing this purely as a hobby and nothing else, you're likely to
find yourself getting pretty restless. Unless of course you're one of
those people (I'm raising a guilty hand here) who has hobbies that last
for years and years and years and…
2. I'm a born optimist. I'm convinced one day that the commercial
side of the market will pick up and, when it does, I want to be at
the forefront of it. If I start now, and get really good at writing
games, then when the commercial side kicks in once more, I’ll
have an advantage over everyone else.
Nice dream. But, seriously, is the commercial market ever likely to
come back. Graphical extravaganzas like Half-Life 2, The Sims 2 and
Doom 3 seem to be the current flavour of the month and while the
actual quality of the games in question might not be as great as the
hype surrounding them would indicate, they're still the ones all the
computer magazines are talking about. Can a text adventure ever
compete with the likes of Half-Life 2 in the eyes of the majority of
computer users. Those games cost money and yet despite most text
adventures being completely free, it’s still the graphical extravaganzas
that get the most coverage. How many times does a computer
magazine dedicate a few pages to the latest text adventure. Not since
the 80’s I bet…
InsideADRIFT Issue 22 March/April 2005
9
3. I like hearing what people think about them.
Good reason. But who are you writing the games for – yourself or your
audience. Is a few people occasionally telling you “great game, mate!”
enough to keep you writing them.
4. I want to be one of the shining lights of the IF world. I want
people to speak of me one day in the same kind of hallowed tones
as they speak of Scott Adams. I might not get rich from this lark
but, damnit, at least I’ll be famous.
Nice idea, but if you're writing IF purely to be famous, you're probably
doing it for all the wrong reasons. Yes, we all want to be famous and we
all want people to remember our games in years to come, but is writing
text adventures the best way to become famous. Why not find a cure
for cancer or bring about world peace instead. You’ll have an easier job
of things.
5. It passes the time and when I get bored, I’ll quit and move on to
something else.
This is probably true for the majority of people who write and play IF. It’s
there, it’s easy to do (particularly if you're using ADRIFT) and it fills a
gap in your time. It won’t ever make you rich or win you the undying
admiration of countless thousands across the globe, but it'll do till you
find something else to waste your time on.
6. I've played some IF and, man, it’s awful! A chipmunk on steroids
could do a better job. I'm gonna show the poor saps how it’s done.
I've seen this happen more than a few times. Usually there'll be an
announcement by someone – generally a complete newbie to the
scene who happened on the text adventure market all of ten minutes
ago – saying they're working on a true masterpiece of a game that will
blow all the other games out of the water with its sheer brilliance. The
newbie will make several different announcements about his project
which he claims is the finest thing to hit the world if interactive fiction
ever and then, abruptly, either go very, very quiet or post a quick
message saying he’s decided to try something else and so the world
will have to go without his resounding masterpiece after all. And then
he’ll never be heard from again. This will no doubt come about because
he’s finally taken a good long look at the competition (as he should
have done in the first place before making his announcement but which
he didn’t because he was too eager to show everyone how amazingly
great he is) and realised that his meagre skills aren’t quite up to the job
of getting the better of them.
Yes, a lot of IF is awful and some of it could probably be bettered by a
chipmunk on steroids but writing a decent game is a lot harder than it
looks. You don’t just sit down and decide to write a masterpiece of a
game and, a week later, your masterpiece is finished. That’s the way it
happens in your dreams. In real life, it tends to be somewhat different.
And announcing your arrival on the scene by saying you're going to
write the best damn IF game ever is just asking for trouble.
InsideADRIFT Issue 22 March/April 2005
10
Unless, of course, you're that one in a million writer who is just as good
as he thinks.
7. The chicks dig a guy who’s great at writing text adventures.
Not heard that one before but we can always hope…
8. I like writing them. Pure and simple.
The best reason of them all. You write them because you enjoy writing
them. Is there a better reason to write them than that.
Eight reasons for writing IF, although I'm sure there are dozens of other
ones. I can well imagine people deciding to have a go at it just to see
how easy/difficult it is, or perhaps they’ve spent a life playing IF games
and figure it might be interesting to see how they are from the writing
side of things, or…
Of course, why we write interactive fiction is pretty much down to the
individual. For me, it’s a mixture of 3 and 8: I like hearing what people
say about my games (amazing how the opinion of someone you’ve
probably never met in real life and most likely never will meet can mean
so much when they say a few kind words about a game you’ve written)
and I also like writing them full stop. Then again, 2 is also a reason for
me and while I'm realistic enough to accept that the idea of me ever
managing to sell a text adventure in a market increasingly dominated
by the likes of Half-Life 2 and The Sims 2 is unlikely in the extreme, it’s
still nice to dream. After all, it could happen. In a world where someone
like George Bush can become the most powerful man in the world, I'm
prepared to believe anything can happen. 4 would also be nice but if
you're writing IF just for the sake of becoming famous for it, you're
going about it for the wrong reasons.
Option 8 is my favourite. You write IF because you like writing it. All the
others should be a secondary concern because, unless you do manage
to become one of the lucky few who can make a real living out of it,
you're doing all this for no other comeback than the great feeling you
get for having written a truly amazing game.
InsideADRIFT Issue 22 March/April 2005
11
Reference
The ALR is probably the most versatile of all ADRIFT features, and once
learned the simplest to use. Quite simply, it allows ADRIFT to do search
and replace on the game text as it is output.
ADRIFT Language Resources File (ALR)
Language Resources
ADRIFT supports the facility to create adventures in languages other
than English.
To do this, there are three things that must be done. These are:
Obtain a wordlist for the language you are writing in, so spell-
checking works for your language.
Create synonyms for all expected English inputs, so that the
basic game engine understands foreign commands.
Use a Language Resource to convert any standard output into a
different language.
An ADRIFT Language Resource (ALR) file is basically a list of all words
or phrases you want to replace with an alternative.
Creating a Language Resource
A language resource file is a plain text file with the extension ALR
instead of TXT. To create one, firstly open Notepad (or some similar
text editor).
The format of an ALR file is very simple you just add the text you want
replaced, put a pipe symbol at the end of the line (that’s a | symbol the
one above \ on most keyboards), then type what you want to replace it
with.
Within the ALR file, you can add comments. These must start with the
character #.
Anything else on the line will be ignored. Blank lines are also ignored
So for example, you might type in:
# Comments must start with the hash character
Also here is|You can also see
You are holding|You are carrying
You can only move|Exits are
This must then be imported into your adventure.
To do this, select
File > Import > Language Resource
from the menu,
and resave your adventure. Now every time the engine response
contains one of these phrases, it will be substituted with your
replacement.
If an adventure has had a language resource added to it, you can
extract this information and create a new Language Resource file by
InsideADRIFT Issue 22 March/April 2005
12
selecting
File > Export > Language Resource
from the menu. This
option will be greyed out if there is no resource to export.
Combining ALR’s with Variables
You can greatly increase the flexibility of descriptions in ADRIFT, using
a combination of variables and ALR files, which simulate text variables.
(For many cases, you could use standard text variables, but there is
more you can do with an ALR-variable than a text variable, for example
setting variables randomly). If you have a description that you want
changed depending on the state of a particular variable, e.g. you had a
dial which had values "Low", "Medium" and "High", you would want to
store this state in a variable and simply replace the text in the
description. You would do this as follows:
Create a variable, say "dial_value" with initial value "1".
In the description for the dial, put something like:
The dial has a needle, currently pointing to [DIAL=%dial_value% ].
Then, in the ALR file, add the lines:
# Current position of dial
[DIAL=1]|Low
[DIAL=2]|Medium
[DIAL=3]|High
The extra characters "[DIAL= ]" are used only to prevent the ALR file
from inadvertently changing other numbers.
What this does when ADRIFT evaluates the description, is it replaces
%dial_value% with the current value for that variable. Initially this is the
value "1", i.e., the description becomes:
The dial has a needle, currently pointing to [DIAL=1]
The ALR will then replace "[DIAL=1]" with "Low", thus giving the final
output:
The dial has a needle, currently pointing to Low.
© 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
© 2005 Edited by KF.
Please send any contributions or suggestions to
editor@insideadrift.org.uk
.
Filename:
insideAdrift22.doc
Directory:
F:\Documents and Settings\ken\My
Documents\InsideAdrift
Template:
F:\Documents and Settings\ken\Application
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Title:
InsideADRIFT Issue 22 March/April 2005
Subject:
The newsletter of the ADRIFT Community
Author:
Ken Franklin
Keywords:
Comments:
News and announcements.
1. Main news (Clues to the future; ADRIFT site tweaks; Drift On: the
ADRIFT wiki; Reviews Exchange Issue 3 out now.)
2. Competition news
(InsideADRIFT Spring Comp coming soon)
3. Forum news (New to the forum team)
Regular fea
Creation Date:
02/02/2005 23:45:00
Change Number: 27
Last Saved On:
23/03/2005 21:32:00
Last Saved By:
Ken Franklin
Total Editing Time: 358 Minutes
Last Printed On: 26/03/2005 10:03:00
As of Last Complete Printing
Number of Pages: 12
Number of Words: 4,909 (approx.)
Number of Characters: 27,987 (approx.)