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Adrift 5.0 Vs Inform 7

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Postby Duncan_B » Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:41 pm

I've never tried it before myself, but you might also want to consider the Trizbort automapper. You should be able to find it with a simple Google search, I think. Shouldn't be too many other Trizborts out there.
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Postby Campbell » Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:42 pm

ralphmerridew wrote:As for mapping, Inform 7 has the extensions "Automap" by Mark Tilford

Who? :welldone:
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Postby NickyDude » Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:42 pm

I've never tried it before myself, but you might also want to consider the Trizbort automapper.


I use it and it's well worth it to map something out, you can even put descriptions by the side of each location on the map.

http://trizbort.genstein.net/index.php#overview




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Postby rotter » Sat Apr 02, 2011 3:55 pm

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

I thought about this question for quite a bit. I have released an I7 game, a new version of my game Pathway To Destruction, so I know something about this.

Straight forward game, no NPC's, fairly easy to get up and running in Inform and to be honest is a more solid game than the ADRIFT original.

The problem? I've never finished anything else in Inform. Why? Because for me everything takes sooooo much time. It is still much easier in ADRIFT.
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Re: Adrift 5.0 Vs Inform 7

Postby SweetWeeter » Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:06 am

This was my next question, since I was referred to Inform to write my text games, but my question goes a bit further... can my text game be submitted to the Adrift bb for submission if written under Inform? - not that I've quite maneuvered thru it yet, but could it be accepted under the Inform structure, or is the bb only for Adrift. Haven't had time to tackle the Inform structure yet, and am debating Adrift vs Inform. Still contemplating which is SIMPLER to structure. open to info/advice?
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Re: Adrift 5.0 Vs Inform 7

Postby SweetWeeter » Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:13 am

SweetWeeter wrote:This was my next question, since I was referred to Inform to write my text games, but my question goes a bit further... can my text game be submitted to the Adrift bb for submission if written under Inform? - not that I've quite maneuvered thru it yet, but could it be accepted under the Inform structure, or is the bb only for Adrift. Haven't had time to tackle the Inform structure yet, and am debating Adrift vs Inform. Still contemplating which is SIMPLER to structure. open to info/advice?

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Re: Adrift 5.0 Vs Inform 7

Postby ElliotM » Thu Jun 23, 2011 3:57 am

The upload on the Adrift page is only for Adrift games. Hope that answers your question, though I must admit I don't think I understood everything you just said.
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Re: Adrift 5.0 Vs Inform 7

Postby Duncan_B » Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:45 pm

One could put z-file games on the Adventures list if they were packaged in a .zip file. Most of the adventures currently up are posted in this format.
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Re: Adrift 5.0 Vs Inform 7

Postby Dejaduo » Wed Jul 06, 2011 4:24 pm

OK here's my main perceptions, having worked with both.

1. In ADRIFT, assuming ADRIFT Is working correctly (that is, you don't encounter a bug) your game is much more likely to run without errors. There aren't compiling or syntax errors. However, you're pretty dependent on the fact that Campbell didn't introduce or fail to fix a bug somewhere.

In Inform 7, I've coded sections that LOOKED like they were correct, but sometimes what seemed like a simple issue prevented it from compiling. In some cases I've written code EXACTLY like the documentation says and it still had an error. I call those "docubugs".

Winner: ADRIFT.

2. I've also used Quest 4.5 and Quest 5 as well as ADRIFT 4 and ADRIFT 5, and a major issue with form-based programming is organization. You're looking for x text but you have to navigate through a dozen windows to find the proper place to update it? In inform you have a single text window (or several if you wish to include libraries) so it can be easier to search for any given text.

Winner: Inform.

3. ADRIFT uses a special file format that only it can read. If you ever have a strange bug stomp on your game or a hard disk issue, you could lose weeks of work because you can't easily retrieve your file. You have to make regular backups.

Inform games are text files before you compile them and can be retrieved more easily if there's an issue. The actual game code is not affected by compiling the game to a runnable state.

Winner: Inform.

4. The learning curve for Inform 7 and ADRIFT 4 is similar. You can produce a new, working game with either product relatively quickly, but complex tasks do take some learning to accomplish. For really advanced programming I suppose the learning curve for Inform 7 might be slightly more, but it's heavily documented and there is a sizable support community. There is not substantial documentation for ADRIFT 5 yet, it's wholly new.

Winner: Tie.

5. ADRIFT costs for the full version. Inform 7 is free.

Winner: Inform.

6. Every once in a while there are specific things you want to do and maybe ADRIFT doesn't do it, or it seems overly difficult to accomplish. Inform is extremely flexible. In fact, the standard library for Inform 7 is written in Inform 7, if you want to go and look at the code so you can easily override certain behaviors, that's really simple to do. Oh, a nod to Quest 5 on this, they are doing the same thing.

Winner: Inform.

7. Want to write your game on a Mac? Linux? Windows? You can in Inform. Want to run your game online so anyone can see it without downloading a runner? You can in inform using Parchment or other products. Campbell has promised a linux version of ADRIFT 5 but the only web runners for ADRIFT games in the past have been written by third parties. Inform's included Parchment is very elegant. To me the ability to run the game in a browser is the killer app. In fact the only reason I tried Quest is they've had that ability since 2007, and the new beta of Quest 5 even lets you embed media files within the browser-based game. I hope Inform adds that soon.

Winner: Inform for coding on multiple platforms, but honorable mention to Quest for having a cross-platform web runner.

8. Community. I know this is a stupid reason, but games written in Inform are just overall more accepted than games written in ADRIFT or Quest. Sure you can get ADRIFT users to play your ADRIFT games, but a lot of people out there are playing games on their linux or mac boxes and won't try to jump through hoops to play your games. Not to mention a lot of people hear the word "ADRIFT" and think about guess-the-verb games from the older version.

Winner: Inform has a wider potential audience

Conclusion: Sorry 'drifters, but Inform 7 is the more flexible product IMHO. Sure it takes some effort to learn, but I can write a game in any text editor (if I don't like Inform's excellent coder) or copy-paste entire segments of a game, or all sorts of things that simply aren't possible in form-based environments.
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Re: Adrift 5.0 Vs Inform 7

Postby Dejaduo » Wed Jul 06, 2011 4:31 pm

Oh another note is that if you're familiar with any other programming languages like C++, C# or Pascal, some of Inform's structures will seem familiar to you. Anyone with programming experience will probably take to Inform 7 faster than ADRIFT.
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Re: Adrift 5.0 Vs Inform 7

Postby NickyDude » Wed Jul 06, 2011 5:13 pm

Code: Select all
5. ADRIFT costs for the full version. Inform 7 is free.

Winner: Inform.


ADRIFT is now free: http://www.adrift.co/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7276. ;)
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Re: Adrift 5.0 Vs Inform 7

Postby P/o Prune » Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:26 pm



Naahh.. Not just yet... People will have to wait for the next release V.5.019 Aaarggh
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Re: Adrift 5.0 Vs Inform 7

Postby David Whyld » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:38 pm

Dejaduo wrote:In Inform 7, I've coded sections that LOOKED like they were correct, but sometimes what seemed like a simple issue prevented it from compiling. In some cases I've written code EXACTLY like the documentation says and it still had an error. I call those "docubugs".


Hmmm... I had that problem in Inform 7 as well. Spent ages poring over my code and driving myself crazy trying to figure why it wasn't working when it was identical to the example in the manual. I think that sort of thing is what ultimately put me off Inform.

Dejaduo wrote:3. ADRIFT uses a special file format that only it can read. If you ever have a strange bug stomp on your game or a hard disk issue, you could lose weeks of work because you can't easily retrieve your file. You have to make regular backups.


I would hope that people would use a bit of common sense and regularly back up what they do in order to avoid this sort of thing*. ADRIFT also makes a back up copy of your game file so in the event you don't immediately save over it with the corrupted version, you can still (hopefully) retrieve your masterpiece in the making.

*And I'm aware even as I type this of a game I wrote a few years back of which the latter half had to be re-written because of a hard drive error. Saying that, I'm still more than willing to point the finger at other people who don't follow the advice I didn't follow myself :haha:

Dejaduo wrote:4. The learning curve for Inform 7 and ADRIFT 4 is similar. You can produce a new, working game with either product relatively quickly, but complex tasks do take some learning to accomplish. For really advanced programming I suppose the learning curve for Inform 7 might be slightly more, but it's heavily documented and there is a sizable support community. There is not substantial documentation for ADRIFT 5 yet, it's wholly new.


I'd say the learning curve for ADRIFT 4 is pretty non-existent until you come to complex stuff like variables and timed events and the like. When I tried Inform 7, I had a lot more trouble getting to grips with the basics of it and conversations totally threw me. ADRIFT 5 was a whole different ballgame, however. From a quick glance, it went right over my head and looked to be considerably harder to fathom than the basics of Inform 7.

Dejaduo wrote:6. Every once in a while there are specific things you want to do and maybe ADRIFT doesn't do it, or it seems overly difficult to accomplish. Inform is extremely flexible. In fact, the standard library for Inform 7 is written in Inform 7, if you want to go and look at the code so you can easily override certain behaviors, that's really simple to do. Oh, a nod to Quest 5 on this, they are doing the same thing.


I never went far enough with Inform 7 to really comment on how hard difficult things are to accomplish, but in ADRIFT 4 I managed to get the better of most things I wanted to do. Sure, it could be a pain but the majority of what I wanted to do, it seemed capable of doing.

Dejaduo wrote:7. Want to write your game on a Mac? Linux? Windows? You can in Inform. Want to run your game online so anyone can see it without downloading a runner? You can in inform using Parchment or other products. Campbell has promised a linux version of ADRIFT 5 but the only web runners for ADRIFT games in the past have been written by third parties. Inform's included Parchment is very elegant. To me the ability to run the game in a browser is the killer app. In fact the only reason I tried Quest is they've had that ability since 2007, and the new beta of Quest 5 even lets you embed media files within the browser-based game. I hope Inform adds that soon.


I agree that cross-platform compatibility should be a must. I'm less interested in playing IF in a browser but it's certainly a feature I can see the benefits of. From what I've seen, a good deal of IF players seem to use Mac or Linux and while I doubt I'll ever follow that route myself, the fact that you can only write ADRIFT on Windows, and can only play it on Mac and Linux via third party interpreters, doesn't do it any favours. I'm sure there are quite a few potential drifters on Mac and Linux who would have loved to give it a try, but have never been able to.

Dejaduo wrote:8. Community. I know this is a stupid reason, but games written in Inform are just overall more accepted than games written in ADRIFT or Quest. Sure you can get ADRIFT users to play your ADRIFT games, but a lot of people out there are playing games on their linux or mac boxes and won't try to jump through hoops to play your games. Not to mention a lot of people hear the word "ADRIFT" and think about guess-the-verb games from the older version.


Sad, but true. I don't think ADRIFT has the same kind of terrible reputation it used to have, and we have some decently performing games in the annual IFComp to thank for that, but it's still got a long way to go to shake off the stigma of the early years. But, hey, at least we can feel superior to Quest :?


Re the Quest 5 issue: how much better is V5 than older versions? I haven't had a look at Quest in years and gave up with it due to new versions seeming to be largely the same as old versions - i.e. buggy, non-straightforward interface, way too fiddly to write any proper game with. But I'm kind of curious as to what the new version is like. Anyone?
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Re: Adrift 5.0 Vs Inform 7

Postby ralphmerridew » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:52 pm

David Whyld wrote:
Dejaduo wrote:In Inform 7, I've coded sections that LOOKED like they were correct, but sometimes what seemed like a simple issue prevented it from compiling. In some cases I've written code EXACTLY like the documentation says and it still had an error. I call those "docubugs".


Hmmm... I had that problem in Inform 7 as well. Spent ages poring over my code and driving myself crazy trying to figure why it wasn't working when it was identical to the example in the manual. I think that sort of thing is what ultimately put me off Inform.


Do you still have the source where this happened? If there is a problem in the documentation, I think Graham and Emily would want it fixed.

(Also: Did you retype it or use the paste button? Did you read the actual error messages? Did you try asking for help on RAIF or intfiction.org?)
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Re: Adrift 5.0 Vs Inform 7

Postby David Whyld » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:00 pm

It was way back in 2007... or 2008... so I got rid of the code (and Inform 7) a long time ago. As far as I remember, I (think) copied and pasted the code straight from the manual, then I (might) have typed it word for word after figuring that copying was causing the problem. But after all this time, I really don't remember.
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