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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:47 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:57 am
Posts: 5
Location: Folkestone, United Kingdom
Howdy
I have written an Interactive Fiction and Adventure Game engine in Python as a hobby.

I have already discovered and implemented The "Cloak of Darkness" specification. I enjoyed doing so and it helped me discover problems and made improvements to my code.
I am looking for something similar - a framework for an Interactive Story with box text in a engine-independant form. Ideally a bit longer and more complex (if it forces me to write a new feature, that'd be cool) than Cloak of Darkness. The author would obviously need to be cool with me redistributing thier words publically on GitHub.

If such thing already exists then I would be happy to be pointed to it. Otherwise would anyone be interested in writing or releasing such a thing? All I can offer is to make your story playable and to give you credit in the ReadMe.

Thanks for reading!

For those curious/interested, the code and download can be found here: https://github.com/zig13/scenzig . To get it working, install Python 2.7 (latest version is 2.7.14). Then choose the 'Download Zip' option from the 'Clone or download' menu on the GitHub page linked above. Extract the zip somewhere on your computer and (in Windows at least) double-click on 'scenzig.py' to start.

The engine reads 'Adventures' from configuration/ini files like this one which is the scenes file for Cloak of Darkess:
https://github.com/zig13/scenzig/blob/master/Adventures/Cloak%20of%20Darkness/scenes.scnz No code knowledge is needed to write an adventure/story and it is very easy to copy bits from an existing Adventure into your own or start from the foundation of an exisiting adventure and modify it. This makes it a good idea to include loads of examples to give people a head start.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:40 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2015 11:18 am
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Location: The Netherlands
Congratulations on your Scenzig system.

I think most authors would decide to model their ideas in Inform or Tads, because that will give them a much larger audience than a new system.

Some time ago, I asked about the same question (I also wrote an IF Authoring system) and I was pointed to the IF work "Bronze". It's written in Inform 7 and has a license that allows derivative works. I ported Bronze to my system, which was quite a lot of work (I had to learn to understand the Inform source) and it also made me write new functionalities in my interpreter. E.g. in Bronze you can hear sounds that are 1 or 2 rooms away from your current location, it made me redesign my scoping mechanism.

But it's a lot of work, at least for me it was.

Another way to further develop Scenzig, which will take less time, is read through the Inform 7 board and try to solve the problems raised there in Scenzig. I found some really interesting questions there that helped further develop my interpreter.

Hope this helps. Good luck with Scenzig.

(and if someone will provide a game design, I'd like to give a try as well).


Last edited by Marnix on Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:51 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:57 am
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Location: Folkestone, United Kingdom
Thanks!

Bronze sounds interesting and I like the idea of it being a bit of a challenge. There does seem to be a fair amount of aditional diagrams and maps etc which I expect would make it easier to interpret the Inform code. However all I could find regarding it's license is this at the end of the manual:

Quote:
While Bronze remains copyright of its author, anyone is welcome to make copies and distribute
them freely, in physical or electronic form, without charge, as long as the following conditions are met:
You may not alter the game or remove the authorship attribution.
You may not distribute the game for profit without the author’s explicit written permission.
Charging a fee to cover physical media or shipping is acceptable.
Notifying the author before including Bronze in any compilations would be a welcome courtesy, but not required.


That doesn't sound like derivative works are allowed :( . Maybe I'll contact the author and see what they say. To port it to scenzig would defnitely constitute alteration. I'd be happy to include attribution of course.

I never really made scenzig with the expectation that it would have an audience with IF writers. However I think it does provide a valid alternative for a writer not yet established with Inform or Tads. Notably it is easy to copy-and-paste components (such as scenes, actions and items) from existing Adventures. It's more like writing a choose-your-own-adventure book but with a lot more complexity possible and no dice rolls needed.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:22 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2015 11:18 am
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Well, Emily Short, the author of Bronze, mentioned it herself when I asked on the forum for a game spec.

Quote from Emily:
Quote:
I'm not sure how you're imagining the game design should be specified, so possibly this will not be helpful. But for what it's worth, my Inform game Bronze ( http://inform7.com/learn/eg/bronze/index.html ) has a license that permits derivative works. The site I just linked includes source code, but also a full map of the game's rooms, a making-of discussion with a puzzle chart, and a walkthrough to the various possible endings. It is generally considered a full-sized but not monstrously large game, and demonstrates a range of classic IF functionality.

It's in this thread.

Hope this helps...


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:31 pm 
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I emailed Emily and she linked me to her blog which explicitly states how each of her works is licensed: https://emshort.blog/my-work/.

Bronze is licensed with Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial which suits my needs just fine and I imagine also Marnix :)


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:34 am 
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Thanks for sorting that out :)

Come to think of it, I wrote a tutorial for my own authoring system which may also be useful to try with Scenzig. The tutorial describes a sample game. More complicated that CoD, but way smaller than Bronze. It does have an implementation independent description with locations, objects and the plot, though. You might pick it up from chapter 3.

Hope this helps.

-- I had to zip the pdf with the tutorial because it wouldn't let me upload a pdf


Attachments:
XVAN 2-3-2 Tutorial.zip [335.2 KiB]
Downloaded 42 times
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:19 pm 
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That's exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for! :D I still want to port Bronze but that's going to take a looong time. I could implement your "a sample story" reasonably quickly and that should give me momentum to take a shot at Bronze.

Would you be willing to license it in some way that lets me do what I want with it?

I was thinking the splash text when the Adventure loads could be something like this:
Quote:
Based on "a sample story" from the XVAN 2-3-2 Tutorial by Marnix van den Bos
Check out XVAN for a <how you'd describe it and/or a URL>
scenzig implementation by Thomas Sturges-Allard


BTW I also investigated the license for Cloak of Darkness. The original author (Roger Firth) is no longer involved in IF but has authorized a third party (Jason Self) to re-license his IF stuff including Cloak of Darkness. This is what Jason said:
Quote:
The licensing that Roger approved for his Inform stuff was this:

Copyright (C) Roger Firth
Copying and distribution, with or without modification, are permitted in
any medium without royalty provided the copyright notice and this notice
are preserved.

I have added some of the Cloak of Darkness stuff to
https://jxself.org/git/?p=cloak-of-darkness.git so that there is an online
resource to cite.


I added a LICENSE file to my Cloak of Darkness folder (https://github.com/zig13/scenzig/blob/master/Adventures/Cloak%20of%20Darkness/Adventure%20LICENSE.txt) and added the Cloak of Darkness git (linked by Jason) as a Git submodule.

It does feel a little petty but it feels better to do things correctly and could save aggro down-the-line :) .


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:04 am 
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Quote:
Would you be willing to license it in some way that lets me do what I want with it?

I realize I only licensed the compiler and interpreters and not the test stories. I'm working on version 2.3.3 and will also add licenses for the tutorial and test stories when I release 2.3.3. But, for now, you can just continue and use the sample story as you wish.

Question about Scenzig: I downloaded it all. When I start scenzig.py, how can I tell what to enter on the command prompt? From your earlier posts I understand Scenzig is sort of a CYOA, but it doesn't show me the possible choices?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:51 am 
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Coolio - thanks

Try 'Help' ;) . It's not hard-coded but all the current adventures have a help action that lists available actions and is available all-the-time. A recent update means there can be multiple commands for one action but only the first (listed in the Actions file) is printed by the help command. In Cloak of Darkness, you can simply type 'enter' to enter the opera house but help will show the longer command "Enter the Opera House". Once you're inside it's largely cardinal directions which are more intuitive.

In scenzig's predecessors, all available actions would be printed automatically but it cluttered up the screen with stuff you could do but would be unlikely to do and was also inefficient.

Edit: I've pushed my initial work on porting your example house to GitHub.


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