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PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:59 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 8:53 pm
Posts: 14
Hello everyone,

Some folks may remember an Android app called "Twisty" -- it's still up in the Play store, and in fact it's the oldest z-machine interpreter out there for Android. Marius Milner and I (two Google engineers) slapped it together in 2008 just before the first Android phone launched.

Over the last 6 years, Twisty (as an open source project) has waxed and waned and attracted a bunch of drive-by developers; but it's never really advanced much. The thing up on the Play store is covered with cobwebs at this point. And what really irks me is that there *still* no Glulx interpreter for Android -- the half-dozen IF apps in the store only play z-code. This means that basically any large, popular I7 game written in the last decade is still unplayable on Android devices (!)

But I wanted folks to know that things are getting exciting again.

Thanks to the contributions of many folks, we now have a partial implementation of GLK for Android. We've hooked up this GLK java front-end to two different interpreters written in C: nitfol and git. Nitfol is a z-machine, and git is a lightning-fast Glulx interpreter. They both talk to our GLK implementation via JNI, and the thing is actually sort of usable.

That is: we can now load and begin playing a majority of I7 Glulx games written over the last few years.

Of course it's nowhere near usable by the general public. There are many parts of the GLK implementation to finish. But I wanted to share the good news with the community that there's light at the end of the tunnel, and a clear path to filling this huge gap in Glulx playablity.

The open source project is still over at

http://code.google.com/p/twisty

...and discussion still happens on googlegroup twisty-dev@googlegroups.com.

I've attached a screenshot of one my own games (Rover's Day Out) running on my Moto X.

Image


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:22 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 5:55 am
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Location: The Netherlands
Super!

If I'm going to be able to run Kerkerkruip on Android at some point, I'll be extremely happy.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:49 pm 
Brilliant!

I don't own an Android myself, but I don't care, this is still fantastic news! Well done! Do keep working on it, Glulx is a fantastic format and you've unlocked the possibility of playing a huge number of quality games on a mobile device!


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:53 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:29 pm
Posts: 115
Location: Utah
w00t! When will there be a downloadable apk with Glulx support?

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:24 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:00 pm
Posts: 505
cool

hope Twisty also gets Swype input-method support. nobody types on touchscreens...

and BTW, Son of Hunk Punk is an app that plays both z-machine and TADS. It's the most complete terp for Android I know.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:41 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:02 am
Posts: 647
Nice work!


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:46 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:35 am
Posts: 876
Location: Toronto
+1000

Thanks so much for doing this. One of the most worrying trends of the IF community development-wise lately has been its tendency to become Apple-centric by default and relinquish by degrees what should be IF's greatest strength: cross-platform robustness.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:54 am 
I wouldn't say Apple-centric. Speaking as someone who bought an iPod almost specifically for playing IF, iFrotz was the best available tool (I believe it currently still is, from reports I hear from the android interpreters - no mobile interpreter is perfect, yet, but iFrotz seems to come closest), and I made my decision based on that.

Also, porting interpreters to iOS *is* part of "cross-platform robustness".

Finally, where have you been? :) We were having a discussion about King, copyright and The Banner Saga on another thread and I'd have thought you'd have loved to join in.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:49 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:35 am
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Location: Toronto
Peter Pears wrote:
I wouldn't say Apple-centric. Speaking as someone who bought an iPod almost specifically for playing IF, iFrotz was the best available tool (I believe it currently still is, from reports I hear from the android interpreters - no mobile interpreter is perfect, yet, but iFrotz seems to come closest), and I made my decision based on that.

Also, porting interpreters to iOS *is* part of "cross-platform robustness".

Finally, where have you been? :) We were having a discussion about King, copyright and The Banner Saga on another thread and I'd have thought you'd have loved to join in.

I miss discussing things with you too Peter. Sorry for my absences but I am not great at commitment at the best of times, and anyway I have never felt 'at home' in highly moderated spaces. I am sure I'll wander back now and again however due to my foundational interest in IF and the crossover with my mud/ hobby projects. Take care!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:39 pm 
That's funny, I never felt this place was highly moderated. But to each his own, it's good to see you back even for a while. ;)


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