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Adrift 5.0 Vs Inform 7

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Postby johnphoenix » Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:35 pm

I have toyed with the free Adrift version but am also looking into Inform 7.

Before I make the choice to spend 20 hard earned U.S. dollars in this crashing economy, I want to know what are the pros and cons, drawbacks of these two systems.

What can I do with one system I cannot do with the other?

Is learning Inform 7's natural English language programing system really any worse or better (vice versa) than learning Adrift?

Spending the time to learn Inform 7 is free and i'd still have to spend the time plus 20 bucks to learn Adrift.

Why would Adrift be that much more worth my while than Inform?
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Postby johnphoenix » Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:37 pm

I don't seem to have the ability to edit my own message above.

I just want to add that I think this should have been placed in the Discussing IF . . forum area but didn't want to offend Mr. Cambell as as the description stated that is "
[Specifically for discussion on creating and playing games developed with the ADRIFT development system,] as well as matters relating to the wider IF world.


A Moderator may choose to move this to a more appropriate forum.

Looking forward to your answers, Thanks.
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Postby Randy » Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:32 am

I think the learning curve is shorter for Adrift, at least for 4.0. I've worked with Inform 7 some and I think I'd rather have a coding syntax but then I'm a software engineer by profession so my mindset may be tainted a bit.

I like Adrift because I don't have to code per se as it is what I do all day anyway. I just click on buttons, pull down boxes, and try it.

I don't know what 5.0 truly has going for it yet as I've only tried it once. I'm going to play with it again tonight and see what it can do.

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Postby ralphmerridew » Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:51 am

If you are up to putting in the effort to learn it, you will find that Inform 7 is more powerful. It has a very extensive set of documentation. There is also an extensive library of extensions which can easily be dropped into your code. Anywhere you can put a string, you can put general code. It allows for easy mixing of conditions and actions.
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Postby Campbell » Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:31 am

I won't argue with what ralphmerridew says. However, ADRIFT 5 is much more powerful and flexible than v4, and I think it gives a much easier experience than the coding languages, allowing you to concentrate more on the story than the coding. As with everything though, the choice is yours.
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Postby ralphmerridew » Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:22 am

What is the trickiest thing you'd like to do in your game? If you're going to stay within ADRIFT's limits, use ADRIFT; if you're likely to hit places where it has trouble, you should use Inform. (Also, to get an accurate comparison, also ask on rec.arts.int-fiction or http://intfiction.org/ ; on the ADRIFT board, you're not going to find too many people who are experienced with Inform.)
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Postby johnphoenix » Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:24 am

Campbell wrote:I won't argue with what ralphmerridew says. However, ADRIFT 5 is much more powerful and flexible than v4, and I think it gives a much easier experience than the coding languages, allowing you to concentrate more on the story than the coding. As with everything though, the choice is yours.

That's just what I want to know.. I know how far I can go with Inform 7 because the syntax is all there easy to read.

Adrift 5 has some features over ver 4.. but how much? How far does 5's capabilities extend 4's ?

Is there a full list someplace and how do these new features compare to Inform 7?

Assuming Inform 7 is the most powerful, how close is ver 5.0 to it now?
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Postby ralphmerridew » Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:53 am

ADRIFT 5 is nowhere near close to Inform. It's been heavily extended from ADRIFT 4 but, unless it has been drastically changed from when I last saw it, it's still ultimately in the AGT family and shares those weaknesses.

That's why I asked "What are the most complex things you see yourself doing?"
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Postby johnphoenix » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:49 am

I really don't know at this point Ralph. I see the extensions page for Inform 7 and see some of the advanced abilities and find them really interesting.

http://inform7.com/extensions/all-extensions-by-title/

I look at those things and think, " I could find ways to work those things into a story to make it more appealing"

I'm still at the learning simple stuff stage but I wanna write really fancy science fiction. I'm gonna need complex gimmicks to pull that off.
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Postby johnphoenix » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:24 am

I just wanna say that I'm not just fishing for info - I have used Adrift on and off for a while and made the decision to register over a year ago. Well one thing leads to another and I never had the funds or forgot about Adrift when I had money.

I just took the plunge and registered Adrift.

I have decided to make two versions of my game one first with Adrift then again with Inform 7. I will be able to finish the game quicker with Adrift. The inform 7 version will take a lot longer. Adrift has many features that other systems don't have like the map feature for the Runner.

The only thing I wish Adrift had was a way to publish your game as a self executing exe file having your game bundled with the Runner. If it could be done right with a small file size, I think it would help to boost Adrift's popularity.
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Postby adriftste » Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:34 am

The only thing I wish Adrift had was a way to publish your game as a self executing exe


V5 has this facility.
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Postby ralphmerridew » Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:13 pm

As for mapping, Inform 7 has the extensions "Automap" by Mark Tilford and "Glimmr Automap" by Erik Temple.
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Postby johnphoenix » Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:20 pm

Ver 5.0 can do that? No.. freaking way SWEET ! Awesome !!!

Thanks ! I can't wait to get my Registered Member status and take that baby for a ride !!
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Postby johnphoenix » Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:25 pm

ralphmerridew wrote:As for mapping, Inform 7 has the extensions "Automap" by Mark Tilford and "Glimmr Automap" by Erik Temple.

Ya know.. I did see those on the extensions page but I couldn't figure out how to make them work from a Z5 file that's already published. - it looked to me that they were only useful while creating the game.. unless I was doing something wrong.. which is possible,
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Postby ralphmerridew » Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:45 pm

They are indeed only usable in compiling games (and Glimmr can only be used with Glulx games). IIRC, the Nitfol interpreter will do automapping even on games that weren't designed for it, though I've never used it.
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