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The real limits of ADRIFT.

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The real limits of ADRIFT.

Postby RaveCoyote » Tue Jul 26, 2016 12:14 pm

After browsing through the various posts in this forum I saw many posted concerns regarding the lack of ADRIFT users and releases in the web. There also seems to be a lot of discussion going on about the 'way'.

In my opinion all this comes to down to one major problem: The lack of simple and small runtime options.
Currently there seems to be the adrift runtime and a mono version. All this clumsy stuff is very very far from beatiful or elegant. And I think this is the one and only problem.

I think most people are using tools like gargoyle to run play interactive stories nowadays. It's simple, beautiful and small. It runs all the stories and it used to be a adrift 4 runtime too.

Regretably there's no adrift 5 runtime for it which was the first reason to run away towards other tools. (At least it was for me). I'm currently using ALAN but from time to time I'm glancing with some jealousy at adrift and the beautiful IDE it provides.

But then... well no gargoyle runtime :x

So in my opinion ADRIFT would receive much more attention if this would change and our genius author ( :bravo: ) would simply at least help others to implement the runtime. It would have to be open source - but then why not?

So I officially vote to make a gargoyle runtime version for adrift 5 possible at last. :yeah:
Thanks
Last edited by RaveCoyote on Wed Jul 27, 2016 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The real limits of ADRIFT.

Postby David Whyld » Tue Jul 26, 2016 1:20 pm

The ADRIFT Runner has never been exactly eye-catching but I think the problem with lack of people using ADRIFT isn't just down to the way the Runner looks.

BTW, your post read so much like Po Prune's that I'd actually finished reading it before seeing the name and realising it wasn't him.
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Re: The real limits of ADRIFT.

Postby ParadoxGames » Tue Jul 26, 2016 9:11 pm

I agree with David. It's a TEXT ADVENTURE. I don't want all kinds of unnecessary "bells and whistles" when something straightforward works just as well and more efficiently.
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Re: The real limits of ADRIFT.

Postby Denk » Tue Jul 26, 2016 9:54 pm

I think it could be a good idea to include ADRIFT in Gargoyle, as the games would reach a wider audience, which would be good for ADRIFT, since many players might not bother installing yet another interpreter if it is not needed very often. I guess the question is, whether Gargoyle is popular. If it is, I suppose it would be worth the effort (though only Campbell really knows what it takes). Also, I think the runner needs to distinguish between ADRIFT 4 and 5 before implementing it in any software, since currently some(most?) ADRIFT 4 games run badly in ADRIFT 5, which would just give a bad impression of ADRIFT.
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Re: The real limits of ADRIFT.

Postby David Whyld » Tue Jul 26, 2016 10:19 pm

ParadoxGames wrote:I agree with David. It's a TEXT ADVENTURE. I don't want all kinds of unnecessary "bells and whistles" when something straightforward works just as well and more efficiently.


Actually, that wasn't really what I meant. I've gone on at length about why I don't think ADRIFT is used much these days, but I don't think the Runner has much to do with it. Yes, it doesn't look great, but then to be fair it never has, yet it never stopped earlier versions of ADRIFT from being wildly popular. (Saying that, I always preferred the v4 Runner over the v5 one.)

Denk wrote:I think it could be a good idea to include ADRIFT in Gargoyle, as the games would reach a wider audience, which would be good for ADRIFT, since many players might not bother installing yet another interpreter if it is not needed very often. I guess the question is, whether Gargoyle is popular. If it is, I suppose it would be worth the effort (though only Campbell really knows what it takes). Also, I think the runner needs to distinguish between ADRIFT 4 and 5 before implementing it in any software, since currently some(most?) ADRIFT 4 games run badly in ADRIFT 5, which would just give a bad impression of ADRIFT.


That's a longstanding issue. v5's auto-update feature can really screw over v4 games and doesn't even warn people it's updated them so anyone playing the game and encountering a bug would have no way of knowing whether that was a bug in the game or in the Runner. (I'm assuming it still auto-updates? I haven't checked in a while.) I once suggested putting the v4 and v5 Runners together in one program, so that whichever version of game was selected, the correct Runner would be used. Thereby neatly side-stepping the problem. But unfortunately nothing seems to have happened on that front.

Of course, you'd have to convince the people behind Gargoyle to include ADRIFT 5 in Gargoyle. If they haven't done it after all these years, it's probably a fair bet they won't now.
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Re: The real limits of ADRIFT.

Postby Jjbee62 » Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:40 am

I read the title and I was expecting a philosophical treatise explaining how ADRIFT is only limited by our imagination. Of course we all know that's nonsense, but there is a slight kernel of truth in there. Within the confines of the text adventure world, or if you prefer, interactive fiction (or as a non-English speaking friend calls it "story game book") there is much that can be done with ADRIFT. Sometimes you have to jump through hoops to get the desired result, but that's true with any interpreted language. The interpreter is necessarily limited to a subset of a programming language. Most of us have a list of things we would like to have added. Pre and post increment and decrement operators, case statements, for and while loops, image mapping are just a few things on my wish list.

However, we can't have everything. Campbell has to weigh each change or addition and decide if it's worth the effort, how it will impact the existing functions and if there is enough demand. I wonder how often he's tempted to tell someone "just go get Java (or C, C++) and write your own program?" For now, I'm happy with what is currently available and interested in seeing where it goes from here.
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Re: The real limits of ADRIFT.

Postby RaveCoyote » Wed Jul 27, 2016 6:51 pm

Of course, you'd have to convince the people behind Gargoyle to include ADRIFT 5 in Gargoyle. If they haven't done it after all these years, it's probably a fair bet they won't now.


People don't use gargoyle because of the many "bells" and "whistles", but because of the very absence of these.
Gargoyle is sleek, simple, small and portable. It runs on mac, linux and windows and the only reason there's
no proper adrift 5 runtime is that no one knows how to do it because the adrift runtime source is not open source.

So it's not available for someone to take the job. Most authors of other IF languages wrote the plugins for gargoyle themselves, but there are also some who would probably start to help developing the plugin if they could. But as I said the sourcecode is not available under a license that would allow anyone to legally help out here.

Visual appearance
If you think that it's not that important.... think again. It's probably one of THE most important things. Otherwise we wouldn't buy fancy phones, wouldn't install fancy games and software and wouldn't adore fancy cars. After pure functionality design IS everything.

If you say it's enough for you. That's ok. But it is definetely not enough for everyone else. Otherwise there would be much more attention given to adrift. Why? because it's really powerful, and the most easy to use systems of all.

But then when you release a game.... you can't simply do that. Because first you have to explain that your games need a special runtime program. No it' doesn't run with gargoyle. No you can't use it on your mac. Sorry I know you only have a mac but there's a mono runtime version. A what? Too complicated. The development tool is absolutely genius. But the runtime is not. And believe it or not, this is also very important for players. How easy will it be to run the game.

Now before anyone tries to lecture me about .net and stuff. I'm a programmer for 25 years now. I fucked up my computer so many times with all the runtimes and different version and updates that I need - so 'm used to setting up windows from scratch once every few months. .net is not stable. period. It crashes. it hangs. it has issues. And it's clumsy. When I need to run something on a Win7 machine and the program tells me which .net version I need - I usually cancel the install and look for something small and compact, prefereably portable.

I think that if you want public attention and support then you make things as easy to use as can be.
So I would wish that campbell starts that by releasing the runtime sourcecode, so that people can start helping build alternative runtimes.
:Thanks:

Another quick word:
I don't want all kinds of unnecessary "bells and whistles" when something straightforward works just as well and more efficiently.


I'm working in different cities, often day and night and often in client offices on a regular basis. There are many times when we have to simply wait, or take a break and woohaa of course play a quick game. Prefereably text adventures because we love them so much. Since most clients work with windows from XP, 7, 8, to 10 we can always insert a usb stick, open the tiny gargoyle folder and have fun together. It opens efficiently (quick, without runtimes, no bells and whistles) and since we can play with it almost everywhere and in an instant this also feels pretty straightforward (quick, without runtimes, no bells and whistles... well I'm repeating myself here). All this cannot be done with Adrift. But since I love writing games for my colleagues and for the times when they are travelling I have to use other languages like ALAN or Inform, when I'd rather would use ADRIFT. :x
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Re: The real limits of ADRIFT.

Postby Campbell » Wed Jul 27, 2016 7:38 pm

I do sway from time to time and am very tempted to release the ADRIFT source online. However, if I do that, there's no going back, ever.

I'm surprised at the comments about the appearance of the Runner. Colours/fonts aside, it's just a text window. Perhaps the separate textbox for input isn't visually appealing, but that's a simple change. The main difference however, is the map. Most interpreters don't have an automap function, and certainly not one with the functionality of ADRIFT's. If gargoyle did support ADRIFT, it would be losing one major feature of play.
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Re: The real limits of ADRIFT.

Postby David Whyld » Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:07 pm

RaveCoyote wrote:
Of course, you'd have to convince the people behind Gargoyle to include ADRIFT 5 in Gargoyle. If they haven't done it after all these years, it's probably a fair bet they won't now.


People don't use gargoyle because of the many "bells" and "whistles", but because of the very absence of these.


I'm not quite sure why you quoted my post there as I never mentioned bells and whistles. That was someone else.

RaveCoyote wrote:Gargoyle is sleek, simple, small and portable. It runs on mac, linux and windows and the only reason there's
no proper adrift 5 runtime is that no one knows how to do it because the adrift runtime source is not open source.


I don't recall v4 being open source either but that didn't stop someone getting it to run on Gargoyle.

Also, is Gargoyle even being actively developed these days? The last version of it on the github site is from 2011, some five years ago. It might be a bit difficult getting someone to add v5 of ADRIFT to Gargoyle if no one is working on Gargoyle now.

RaveCoyote wrote:Visual appearance
If you think that it's not that important.... think again. It's probably one of THE most important things. Otherwise we wouldn't buy fancy phones, wouldn't install fancy games and software and wouldn't adore fancy cars. After pure functionality design IS everything.


It's not quite the same thing. A text adventure isn't meant to be flashy and eye-catching - it's just words on a screen after all - whereas phones, games, software and cars are. I like reading books on my Kindle and the only thing on the screen is the words. It doesn't need anything else.

RaveCoyote wrote:If you say it's enough for you. That's ok. But it is definetely not enough for everyone else. Otherwise there would be much more attention given to adrift. Why? because it's really powerful, and the most easy to use systems of all.

But then when you release a game.... you can't simply do that. Because first you have to explain that your games need a special runtime program. No it' doesn't run with gargoyle. No you can't use it on your mac. Sorry I know you only have a mac but there's a mono runtime version. A what? Too complicated. The development tool is absolutely genius. But the runtime is not. And believe it or not, this is also very important for players. How easy will it be to run the game.


Doesn't v5 have the ability to export the game as an exe file which will run even if you don't have ADRIFT installed on your computer? Saying that, if people can figure out how to download and install Gargoyle to run IF games, I'm pretty sure they could figure out how to download and install the ADRIFT Runner to run an ADRIFT game. Or they could just play it online.
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Re: The real limits of ADRIFT.

Postby P/o Prune » Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:42 pm

Speaking of visuel appearance, I have only come across one company that made an attractive runner. Legend used this in their games and it supported mouse clicks on the various commands.
Eric the unready.jpg
Eric the unready.jpg (102.88 KiB) Viewed 4148 times

As you can see it has all the things a player needs to play.
On the other comment about the Adrift runner David beat me to mentioning the possibility of creating an .exe file which allows you to play the game whereever you want (provided the system ect. etc.)
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Re: The real limits of ADRIFT.

Postby Kennedy » Sat Jul 30, 2016 9:16 pm

Campbell wrote:I do sway from time to time and am very tempted to release the ADRIFT source online. However, if I do that, there's no going back, ever.

I'm surprised at the comments about the appearance of the Runner. Colours/fonts aside, it's just a text window. Perhaps the separate textbox for input isn't visually appealing, but that's a simple change. The main difference however, is the map. Most interpreters don't have an automap function, and certainly not one with the functionality of ADRIFT's. If gargoyle did support ADRIFT, it would be losing one major feature of play.


What about only releasing the code for version 4? Or perhaps even justing sharing it with a select few people who have authored many ADRIFT games and have a good understanding of programming?
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Re: The real limits of ADRIFT.

Postby RaveCoyote » Sat Jul 30, 2016 10:21 pm

Hey Campbell,

I know there's no going back after you'd release the source code (at least the code of the runner that is).
But then people could simply start supporting not only other runners, but other operating systems as well.

I think it's time you stop worrying IF someone is willing to implement adrift 5 support and start giving others the chance to do so in the first place :wink:

btw. gargoyle IS in fact still actively developed (last commits were Apr 24, 2016). And the map function is but a new aspect that could as well be integrated in their runtime as well.

Someone mentioned compiling a story into an executable. Being responsible for multiple computer networks I can assure you that such an executable will never touch one of my hardrives. Hopefully you all know full and well why that us 8).

One other thought: I myself am still using pen and paper to draw maps when I play text adventures. It's called "writing" and "making notes" :x - I know it's an almost forgotten art. I can see that every day when I try to read written notes from other people. Aaarggh

So I think people like myself will simply not miss automatic maps. Because I love to scribble. That was always part of the fun you know.
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Re: The real limits of ADRIFT.

Postby David Whyld » Sun Jul 31, 2016 5:55 pm

Campbell wrote:I'm surprised at the comments about the appearance of the Runner. Colours/fonts aside, it's just a text window. Perhaps the separate textbox for input isn't visually appealing, but that's a simple change.


On Inform and TADS, the text seems to scroll much more smoothly. In ADRIFT, it jumps up the screen in stops and starts. Only a minor issue, but the Inform and TADS runners seem more professional.
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Re: The real limits of ADRIFT.

Postby Campbell » Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:13 am

Good grief!
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Re: The real limits of ADRIFT.

Postby Lazzah » Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:34 am

David Whyld wrote:On Inform and TADS, the text seems to scroll much more smoothly. In ADRIFT, it jumps up the screen in stops and starts. Only a minor issue, but the Inform and TADS runners seem more professional.

I don't know what sort of computer you play your games on, David, but when I play ADRIFT games the text doesn't "jump up the screen in stops and starts"!
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