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ADRIFT Vs ?

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Re: How do I change a key?

Postby David Whyld » Mon May 12, 2014 9:04 am

Lazzah wrote:Unless you are familiar with computer programming, I think you will find that Inform7 has a very steep (almost vertical) learning curve. I found it completely baffling when I looked at it. Althought Quest is very popular atm, it is not as good as ADRIFT. If you want do something other than basic things, you have to write Inform7-type scripts.


Inform 7's learning curve isn't that steep. The basics, in fact, are very very simple. The curve ramps up later on when you get around to complicated things but I found the basics easier to get to grips with than a lot of ADRIFT 5.
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Re: How do I change a key?

Postby Lazzah » Mon May 12, 2014 10:02 am

David Whyld wrote:
Lazzah wrote:Unless you are familiar with computer programming, I think you will find that Inform7 has a very steep (almost vertical) learning curve. I found it completely baffling when I looked at it. Althought Quest is very popular atm, it is not as good as ADRIFT. If you want do something other than basic things, you have to write Inform7-type scripts.


Inform 7's learning curve isn't that steep. The basics, in fact, are very very simple. The curve ramps up later on when you get around to complicated things...

That's just it, David, the "complicated" things involve programming scripts for things which are only slightly more complicated than the basics and which are very easy to do and are standard in ADRIFT 5. The same applies to Quest, the basics are very, very simple to learn (I should know because I tried out Quest a while ago - sorry Campbell :blush: ) but if you want to anything slightly more complicated..... Enuf said?

AFAIK, there is nothing that you can do with Inform7 that you cannot do with ADRIFT 5 (correct me if I am wrong) and - IMHO - a WHOLE lot easier.
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Re: How do I change a key?

Postby David Whyld » Mon May 12, 2014 10:14 am

And the complicated things in ADRIFT require programming that is at least as hard, if not harder, than anything you'll find in Inform. You've said it yourself, Lazzah, it's all "rocket science" to the non-programmer.
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Re: How do I change a key?

Postby Lazzah » Mon May 12, 2014 10:28 am

David Whyld wrote:And the complicated things in ADRIFT require programming that is at least as hard, if not harder, than anything you'll find in Inform. You've said it yourself, Lazzah, it's all "rocket science" to the non-programmer.

OK David, name me one "complicated thing" that you have to use "rocket science" to do in ADRIFT?

I don't agree with all this "rocket-science" Campbell has introduced, but - as P.O. Prune is always telling me - you DO NOT have to use it. The only piece of "rocket-science" I use in my games is the check for the number of items carried by the PC, e.g. %Player%.Held.Count <= 0, and that is hardly "complicated".
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Re: How do I change a key?

Postby David Whyld » Mon May 12, 2014 10:41 am

It was the whole %Player%>Held.Count <= I was thinking of, which you yourself have referred to in the past as "rocket science". Granted, you don't have to use that, or any of the other complicated functions in ADRIFT, to write a game, just the same as you don't need to use any of the complicated stuff in Inform or Quest - you could write a very simple game in all three without ever touching anything complicated.

The reason I responded to this thread was because of your comment that "Unless you are familiar with computer programming, I think you will find that Inform7 has a very steep (almost vertical) learning curve." which is just wrong. The basics are very easy.
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Re: How do I change a key?

Postby Lazzah » Mon May 12, 2014 11:26 am

David Whyld wrote:It was the whole %Player%>Held.Count <= I was thinking of, which you yourself have referred to in the past as "rocket science". Granted, you don't have to use that

Well, actually you do! There is no other way in ADRIFT to check how many objects the player is carrying - if there was I would be using it!
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Re: How do I change a key?

Postby David Whyld » Mon May 12, 2014 11:35 am

I'm not quite sure what point you're trying to make here. My point was that you don't need to be a programmer to understand Inform (though admittedly being a programmer will no doubt make parts of it a lot easier to get to grips with) and its learning curve isn't as tough as you were implying.
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Re: How do I change a key?

Postby arelim » Mon May 12, 2014 6:23 pm

Since I am pretty familiar and capable with both Adrift 5 and Inform 7, I would say that they are each good at different things and certain things are easier to learn and do in Adrift versus Inform 7 and vice versa. I think if inform's core has most of the features you need and you don't need any tasks/actions that aren't in informs basic set of abilities ... then its very easy to use ... but if you need to create actions/tasks ... then I think adrift is more intiuitive and easy for the non-programmer to do that with ... particularly if your tasks are fairly simple and straightforward and/or require the ability to have complex command inputs ... but if you need even slightly more complex conditionals ... such as an 'if x = y then k, else if x = b then g, else if...' then while this can be done in adrift, I think its easier in inform ... and when it comes to being able to handle randomness in output, I don't think anything beats adrift in ease and power ... a simple situation where you want the actions output to pick between blue, green, or red and you want it to pick one randomly each time the task is executed but not pick the same one twice in a row ... this could probably be done in adrift but it would be A LOT easier to do and learn how to do in inform. In inform its just [one of]blue[or]green[or]red[at random] ... with adrift I can't even think of how this might be done.

So it all depends on what you want to do ... and if you have a pretty clear idea of the game construct you want to build and you go to inform and 'the basics' that inform is good at don't cover it ... then its going to seem really hard to use and learn and adrift will seam easier if 'the basics' of adrift do cover what you want to do ... but the flip side of that is if what you want in your game is the randomness I'm talking about ... then adrift is going to seem super hard to learn in comparison to inform ... so its less about the software and more about what you want to do with it that makes it hard or easy to learn.

Also, the interfaces can be a huge issue ... I think the hardest thing about inform is having to write everything as one long document (although you could break things into extensions, thats not how the extension feature is meant to be used) ... the whole process is very linear and hard not the best for keeping a non-linear world organized - I think its really meant for people who write and conceive of their project as a linear 'story' rather than a 'world' ... adrift, on the other hand, is absolutely excellent for organizing information in a non-linear way and is particularly good for people used to working with point and click interfaces. So in this case, i think how you think about your project and what you are used to are also major factors in learning how to use and work with each software.
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Re: How do I change a key?

Postby ralphmerridew » Tue May 13, 2014 12:35 am

Large parts of ADRIFT's behavior are coded into the interpreter, so that they can't be changed. (As far as this goes, ADRIFT 5 is a slight improvement over ADRIFT 4, but it is still far short of where Inform was a decade ago.) Most of Inform's behavior will be coded into the game (and the rule-based design makes it easy to change those behaviors).

For example, if the ADRIFT text substitution rules aren't being used in the order you prefer, there's not much you can do.

Maybe you want to affect which objects are listed in some circumstances (the player character will simply filter out less important objects), or you want to have objects listed in a particular order. These sorts of things are easy enough to do in Inform, but rather difficult in ADRIFT. (You could do them with lots of text substitution rules, but that's very error-prone, and scales poorly.)

When Inform doesn't quite do what you want, you generally have access to the same tools that Graham would use if he were to add them. When ADRIFT doesn't quite do what you want, you may be out of luck.

Lazzah: The I7 manual has 400+ examples. How many of them could you do in ADRIFT? How well would things scale? (No need to do all 400. Maybe look at every 20th example.)
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Re: How do I change a key?

Postby David Whyld » Tue May 13, 2014 10:57 am

arelim wrote:Also, the interfaces can be a huge issue ... I think the hardest thing about inform is having to write everything as one long document (although you could break things into extensions, thats not how the extension feature is meant to be used) ... the whole process is very linear and hard not the best for keeping a non-linear world organized - I think its really meant for people who write and conceive of their project as a linear 'story' rather than a 'world' ... adrift, on the other hand, is absolutely excellent for organizing information in a non-linear way and is particularly good for people used to working with point and click interfaces. So in this case, i think how you think about your project and what you are used to are also major factors in learning how to use and work with each software.


You can break up the text in Inform into chapters and sub-chapters – putting rooms in one chapter, objects in another, NPCs in a third and so on – and keeps things organised that way. It takes a bit of getting used to after using ADRIFT 4 for years – having everything automatically in its own place made it easy to keep track of things – but with some effort it’s possible. Which is, incidentally, one of the problems I had with ADRIFT 5. Several times I’d create an object and then ‘lose’ it. It would still be there, but it'd be a pain tracking it down. In V4, you'd create an object and it would remain there until you deleted it; in V5, objects would often seem to go missing if you didn’t keep an eye on them.
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ADRIFT Vs ?

Postby Po. Prune » Tue May 13, 2014 11:49 am

Very often questions asked my authors gets muddled up when the topics gets sidetracked about what developer system is best.
So I have moved posts that deals with the Adrift Vs (whatever) here.
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Re: How do I change a key?

Postby saabie » Wed May 14, 2014 6:42 am

arelim wrote: ... a simple situation where you want the actions output to pick between blue, green, or red and you want it to pick one randomly each time the task is executed but not pick the same one twice in a row ... this could probably be done in adrift but it would be A LOT easier to do and learn how to do in inform. In inform its just [one of]blue[or]green[or]red[at random] ... with adrift I can't even think of how this might be done.
That would be OneOf("blue", "green", "red") in ADRIFT.
ralphmerridew wrote:Maybe you want to affect which objects are listed in some circumstances (the player character will simply filter out less important objects), or you want to have objects listed in a particular order. These sorts of things are easy enough to do in Inform, but rather difficult in ADRIFT. (You could do them with lots of text substitution rules, but that's very error-prone, and scales poorly.)
Filtering objects in ADRIFT is dead easy, for example %objects%.Drinkable will filter a list of objects so that only the ones that you can drink are printed.
The listing in a specific order can be done lots of ways, the simplest would be to use actions to call the printing task once for each possible object (in the order you want to print them) and use a restriction to check if its in the list you want to print.
A more generic method would be to give each object an ID number as a property, then call a task (with list of objects as parameter) which calls another task (again passing the full list of objects), and use a counter variable to keep track of which object to print next.
ralphmerridew wrote:When ADRIFT doesn't quite do what you want, you may be out of luck.
Lazzah: The I7 manual has 400+ examples. How many of them could you do in ADRIFT? How well would things scale? (No need to do all 400. Maybe look at every 20th example.)
I am actively developing several libraries for ADRIFT, everything from vehicles that drive along roads, multi-floor elevators and currency systems to a full layered clothing system.
I have yet to find something that I can't do.
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Re: ADRIFT Vs ?

Postby Lazzah » Wed May 14, 2014 10:32 am

Nice one saabie! I glad to see that at least one Drifter is sticking up for ADRIFT in the the face of all this pro-Inform7 propaganda. :haha:

:yeah: :D :claps:
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Re: How do I change a key?

Postby ralphmerridew » Wed May 14, 2014 2:05 pm

saabie wrote:
arelim wrote: ... a simple situation where you want the actions output to pick between blue, green, or red and you want it to pick one randomly each time the task is executed but not pick the same one twice in a row ... this could probably be done in adrift but it would be A LOT easier to do and learn how to do in inform. In inform its just [one of]blue[or]green[or]red[at random] ... with adrift I can't even think of how this might be done.
That would be OneOf("blue", "green", "red") in ADRIFT.


Note the underlined words. ADRIFT is as likely to do "red, red, red" as it is to do "red, blue, green". The Inform expression is guaranteed not to show "red, red, red".

Inform can pick from a list "at random" (as above, no repeats), "purely at random" (what ADRIFT does), "in random order" (don't show any a second time until all have been shown at least once, don't show any a third time until all have been shown twice, and so on.), and more. If what is listed doesn't quite fill your needs, an author can define similar rules. (Though defining new "say one of" rules does require dropping down to I6.)

saabie wrote:
ralphmerridew wrote:Maybe you want to affect which objects are listed in some circumstances (the player character will simply filter out less important objects), or you want to have objects listed in a particular order. These sorts of things are easy enough to do in Inform, but rather difficult in ADRIFT. (You could do them with lots of text substitution rules, but that's very error-prone, and scales poorly.)
Filtering objects in ADRIFT is dead easy, for example %objects%.Drinkable will filter a list of objects so that only the ones that you can drink are printed.


In Inform:
adrift Code: Select all
Every object has a number called price.  The price of an object is usually 0.
Definition:  an object is valuable if the price of it is greater than 0.
 
Every turn:  if the player can see a valuable thing, say "You notice [list of valuable visible things]."

(You'll also have to add some objects and define their prices.)


The listing in a specific order can be done lots of ways, the simplest would be to use actions to call the printing task once for each possible object (in the order you want to print them) and use a restriction to check if its in the list you want to print.
A more generic method would be to give each object an ID number as a property, then call a task (with list of objects as parameter) which calls another task (again passing the full list of objects), and use a counter variable to keep track of which object to print next.


Call the printing task once for each object in the order you want to print them... How are you doing this?

adrift Code: Select all
Every turn:  
        if the player can see a valuable thing:
                Let treasures be the list of valuable visible things;
                sort treasures in price order;
                say "Your senses detect [treasures]."


ralphmerridew wrote:When ADRIFT doesn't quite do what you want, you may be out of luck.
Lazzah: The I7 manual has 400+ examples. How many of them could you do in ADRIFT? How well would things scale? (No need to do all 400. Maybe look at every 20th example.)
I am actively developing several libraries for ADRIFT, everything from vehicles that drive along roads, multi-floor elevators and currency systems to a full layered clothing system.[/quote]

Nice to hear, but most of those would be incidental in I7. I remember seeing an extension to do a currency system for Inform 5; I put a two-floor elevator into my Automap example just to demonstrate a room that can be moved on the automap. The layered clothing system would require effort, but there's one done as an example in http://inform7.com/learn/man/Rex426.html#e426u (Layered clothing has a lot of potential subtleties, depending on how accurate of a simulation the author wants.)

I have yet to find something that I can't do.


Try porting Balances ( http://ifdb.tads.org/viewgame?id=x6ne0bbd2oqm6h3a ), in particular the little white cubes. (Inform 6 source available at http://ifarchive.org/if-archive/games/s ... lances.inf )
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Re: ADRIFT Vs ?

Postby Lazzah » Wed May 14, 2014 4:27 pm

Seeing as how Inform 7 (2006) has been around for more than twice as long as ADRIFT 5 (2011), it comes as no surprise that I7 "can do more" than ADRIFT 5. I am sure that, given another 5 years of developement, ADRIFT 5 will be capable of matching I7's performance, if not popularity.
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