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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:58 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:10 pm
Posts: 49
tcowper wrote:
Fyi, Fabularium has a few currently undocumented features that might assist the development of your work

This is so useful! Thank you for letting me know!

tcowper wrote:
Thanks Karona, I'll look into it.

After looking deeper into this the problem seems to be on my end.

I had written code that looked something like this:

Code:
"A creature came out of nowhere and snuffed out the flame of your torch,
plunging the cavern into darkness! <<inputManager.pauseForMore()>><<cls()>><<me.getOutermostRoom.lookAroundWithin()>>";


But have since modified it to make it like this:

Code:
"A creature came out of nowhere and snuffed out the flame of your torch, plunging the cavern into darkness! ";
inputManager.pauseForMore();
cls();
me.getOutermostRoom.lookAroundWithin();

(I have not tried the sample code, but hopefully it gives some idea of where the problem was.)

It seems to me that the second implementation is better coding practice, but I am not sure what should happen if an author decides to do the former. FWIW FrobTADS handled it with only one minor hiccup -- an extra paragraph break after the text. (Trying to track down the reason for the unwanted break is what led me to the solution.)

Anyway, thanks again for the wonderful app!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:29 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:24 am
Posts: 32
Wonderful app. Can't wait to use it a lot. It's opened up a whole new world of games I couldn't play before on my phone.

Have a problem playing 1896 World's Fair Mystery. The text is squashed up beside the photographs to make it unreadable. Can't find the settings that may address that. I'm using a Samsung Galaxy A5 2017.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:43 am 
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Posts: 6
Edit: I already forwarded feedback to the developer, who was kind enough to respond in full. I have great confidence in the future of this project but it looks changes might be months ahead. Someone should invent some cloning technique so that at least one of him can commit more time to the project.

---
Wow, what a gem.

I stumbled upon Fabularium in the Google Play store while searching for text adventure related downloads. Until now I was using Text Fiction (its conversation-style interface lends surprisingly well to IF) but it supports Z-Code only and unlike your app, it can't handle some of the Z-Code display output (status line, menus).

But now this treat, a whole bunch of engines in a single neat package. I'm so happy that I can now finally play my Magnetic Scrolls collection. I know there is another developer currently appifying (and selling) Magnetic Scrolls games, but their interface choices haven't really been to my taste so far and anyway I prefer having a single app with a personal game library.

I love Fabularium's library with thumbnails, the easy import of (zipped) story files and the metadata download. The interface for playing games is very focused (full screen, keyboard never hides) and despite the ever enlarging text feed which I suppose is rendered in HTML, the app remains responsive. There's also no noticeable battery drain. In short, awesome work so far! My new favorite mobile IF app! :D

I do have some issues I'd love to see being solved as well as suggestions for changes and features. I apologize in advance for the long read. BTW I can't comment on writing games as I haven't tried that yet.

First some issues I've encountered:

  • Magnetic Scrolls image files don't seem to be showing, even if the are in the game's directory.
  • I accidentally hit the navigation keys (< > etc) a lot while typing and they make weird characters appear in the input line. These characters seem to be ignored by the interpreter I've tried, but it doesn't look nice.
  • Double-tapping a word in the text, which writes it on the input line, also includes interpunction (dots, comma's, etc). I think that tapping words should only include alpha-numerics. It also sometimes copies two words when the words are short.
  • The save / restore process in the Magnetic Scrolls interpreter interacts a little weird with the app. The interpreter asks me for a filename and a confirmation, but the filename is ignored by save dialog. I know interpreters apply their own rules on save and load and you can't always break into that, but I think at least the filename should be passed to the shell application.

Now a wish-list worthy of a spoiled kid's birthday:

Library

  • I'd like to see a list view rather than the currently very small icons. This should allow for larger thumbnails as well as a bit of text from the game blurb, publisher, rating, or other metadata you find appropriate.
  • A new sorting option for games: date last played (started), so that games I'm currently playing bubble to the top.
  • Once a game is imported, I think a metadata download should be started automatically, because I end up doing that for every game import anyway. The 'Get Metadata' option can then be changed into 'Refresh Metadata'.

Interface

I think our editing options on the input line are rather limited. I guess this is because you want to be true to the original games where the input line is integral to the text feed. But, because it's not a native input field, we miss out on all the Android built-in benefits. For example, when I notice too late that I made a typo at the start of the line I now have to backspace everything away and start typing again, rather than moving the cursor by tapping the place to put it, or tapping a word and use spelling correct, or automatic spelling correction. So I would really like to see a native input line introduced, which simply adds the final input line to the text feed after pressing enter. We then get benefits like spelling correction, adding words to a dictionary (spell names come to mind in some games, or names of characters), and word prediction. In the same vein, some sentences that are reused a lot in a game ("Consult guide about") become part of word prediction suggested by these dictionaries. If it is possible in any way, it would be great if for each game the app could build up its custom dictionary and word prediction (as so they do not interfere with other games). I don't know what the feasibility is of this, these may require games to create sub-language on top of the current language (usually English). However they should not become a default dictionary for the entire system.

Alternatively, at the very least it would be nice to have the keyboard extended with a fold-out of icons for common actions (examine, get, drop, inventory, open, close, lock, unlock) which can be configured / changed per game.

Other interface suggestions:

  • I really prefer a single tap to copy a word from text to the input line, because as it is it's already challenging enough to tap a word once (maybe make this configurable?)
  • As mentioned in the issues, the navigation keys get in my way a lot, while most of the time I wouldn't even use them. I would suggest having one button on the keyboard that switches to a secondary keyboard which contains these navigation keys, as well as keys that are regularly used in combination with them (tabs - space - enter?)

Other

  • I love the ability to customize, but there's quite the overwhelming array of settings to configure the display with that I think will realistically only be touched by people with a lot of perseverance to get it 'just right'. I would suggest moving them to a theme configuration file, which people can edit using a text editor. The app should have a sample display with a refresh button to reload the config file so you can see your chages more quickly. You can then include a theme (down)load so that these theme files can be easily redistributed.
  • For people less inclined to programming, it would be great if Fabularium would support Inform 7 in addition to Inform 6 (I7 uses I6 behind the scenes I believe). I don't know how hard this is to do, this will depend on the portability of the tool chain behind I7.

Quite the list but honestly I'm already very thankful for what you got us, I really hope that you find the time, motivation and community support to continue this project. So far, so awesome. :D


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:56 am 
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This is great. Thanks for sharing.

_________________
Thunderword not forgotten, will pick back up 2nd half of 2018.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:24 am 
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Fuzzy wrote:
I think our editing options on the input line are rather limited. I guess this is because you want to be true to the original games where the input line is integral to the text feed. But, because it's not a native input field, we miss out on all the Android built-in benefits. For example, when I notice too late that I made a typo at the start of the line I now have to backspace everything away and start typing again, rather than moving the cursor by tapping the place to put it, or tapping a word and use spelling correct, or automatic spelling correction. So I would really like to see a native input line introduced, which simply adds the final input line to the text feed after pressing enter.


Problem with this is there are some games that rely on capturing individual key entries. I'm thinking specifically of Taco Fiction, but there are probably others as well. You do have the option of using your system keyboard, which probably has auto-complete built in.

Fuzzy wrote:
Alternatively, at the very least it would be nice to have the keyboard extended with a fold-out of icons for common actions (examine, get, drop, inventory, open, close, lock, unlock) which can be configured / changed per game.


You can change the default keyboard to "latin". Just edit the fab.ini file and include the line "keyboard latin" near the top. The latin keyboard (which is defined in the keyboards.ini file) includes common IF keywords and navigation as long-press alts to standard keys. (I'm not sure why the latin keyboard isn't the default one. It's way more useful than the default one. My favorite feature is the dedicated "save" key.) If you play with the configuration files, it's definitely possible to define a keyboard interface that applies only to a specific title, with custom commands (or even lists of commands) for particular keys (spell names, etc.)

My only bug report so far, which Fuzzy reported as well: The keyboard navigation keys do not work at all. The up arrow does not scroll through the command buffer. This would be a useful feature to have working.

Other than that, I love this app. Really, really nicely done. Thanks!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:11 am 
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Quote:
Problem with this is there are some games that rely on capturing individual key entries.


This is a different input method. For a Glk interpreter, capturing individual keystrokes means calling glk_request_char_event() instead of glk_request_line_event(). So the interpreter can distinguish these, and use native input in the common case.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:35 pm 
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The creator responded to all my queries, let me just briefly comment on some of the things I identified as bugs to avoid the confusion:

- Magnetic Scrolls image files load fine, turns out I didn't import them properly
- Double-tapping a space between two words copies both, so it's not a bug, it's a feature. Kind of hard on small screens, obviously.

Also we were much in agreement over the areas to improve, but I'd rather not further elaborate because, well, this ain't my topic and I think it's inappropriate to talk on the creator's behalf.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 1:59 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 249
This is just one of best advances in outdoor IF playing! THANKS.

OMG, I'm son excited... I will just shut my mind and only says one thing:


Please, add Twine games deveolpment through Twee and Twee2..

Also, do you have a twitter account?

OMG, one more thing. Add Ink support and creating games with Ink XD

I will stop asking for things now.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:10 pm 
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Posts: 8
This looks fantastic. Ok, how could I import / restore an old Gargoyle savefile I have? Fabularium can't read those saved games and gargoyle won't export them to a "standard format", right?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:35 am 
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I can't give a whole lot of feedback on the app yet, but here's what I have:

[*]The settings menu option doesn't work on the Create tab. (And help sometimes didn't on the Play tab)

[*]There is no feedback from the compile button. I couldn't tell if it was failing to run, or just not understanding my code.

[*]Indirectly related to the second: I missed that the app supports Inform 6 creation, not Inform 7. The help screen section on creating games should probably say which version of Inform it can compile.

I want to add my voice to the request for I7 creation support. My primary motivation for installing was to make IF games on the go, and I'd much rather use Inform 7 than Tads.

That all said, there's a lot of potential, and the general design seems pretty good. Thanks for the nice app.


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