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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 12:12 am 
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I think it would be great if it were possible to integrate Inform 7 with Unity 3D game development. I want to introduce more people to the IF world and make a hybrid 3d adventure/text adventure game, but don't want to create my own parser. Inform 7 seems very advanced and I would love to use it in my game.

Is it already possible to do this? There's a plugin on the Unity asset story called Tidy Text Adventure but it is no longer under any support from the creator. Any help or ideas would be great! Thanks.


Last edited by ignorantprimate on Fri Jan 17, 2014 5:02 am, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:40 am 
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ignorantprimate wrote:
Is it already possible to do this?


I'm not sure if it is right now, to my knowledge. There's not a strong Unity fanbase around here. But is it possible at all? Hmmmm...

I can envision something like a split-screen, with a 3D world on one side, and a text console on the other. How would they interact? Perhaps you could move the mouse around in the Unity view and click on things, and Unity would send text commands to the virtual machine. Or perhaps you type specific commands in the virtual machine, which sends a message to Unity to play an animation or follow a script.

The former would probably be easiest to set up, programming mouse clicks into a single command, though it would play more like a graphical adventure with text, than a text adventure. The latter would allow a much richer parser, and you might be able to do something like saving values somewhere for Unity to pick up and read -- I suspect you'll have to do a lot of tinkering with both Glulx and Unity to get such a thing working. But I do think it is possible.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:50 am 
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I don't believe that's currently possible, and I'm not sure how doable it is even in theory. Still, interesting to think about. Would you be aiming for something similar to the 3D Vespers project?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:55 am 
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palladmial wrote:
I suspect you'll have to do a lot of tinkering with both Glulx and Unity to get such a thing working. But I do think it is possible.


Thanks for the reply! I was actually thinking of something along the lines of the first Leisure Suit Larry text/graphic adventure but being able to switch back and forth between text input and scene clicking or something along those lines. But, your suggestions could work. I guess I will have to look into Glulx, but would there be a way to use the Inform 7 parser in Unity at all?

I'm not sure how the language works, but am creating a text adventure in Inform 7 to get familiar with it, then seeing what I can do with Unity integration.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:00 am 
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emshort wrote:
Would you be aiming for something similar to the 3D Vespers project?


3D Vespers looks like an interesting project! Not sure if it's still in development but I hope it is! I would like a choice, though, between text input and normal game controls - be it point-and-click or 3D controls. Honestly it does seem complicated and might just stick with graphical additions like the old Leisure Suit, but I like the more natural language and complex conversations capable with Inform 7, as in Emily Short's work.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:07 am 
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It depends on what level of integration you're thinking about. It's worth noting that Inform 7 and the parser are not quite the same thing. Inform-compiled stories are run in a virtual machine, either Z-machine or Glulx. Having Inform compile stories into C# or UnityScript or other Unity-supported format is not feasible. You'd need to implement the virtual machine in Unity which would then run the story file, with some modifications that would allow the story file to communicate with Unity and share some of the game world and state information. (Then it wouldn't be Inform 7-specific but you could use anything that compiles into Z-machine or Glulx.)

Another way would be to re-implement the parser in native Unity code, but then of course you'd lose the world model, extensions etc. that Inform has.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:08 am 
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There are interpreters you can use which talk over streams. You could theoretically connected this up to another process which would display it using Unity. But considering how few IF stories even include 2D images, this will be a very major departure from the norm. Not that that's a bad thing - many of the important and good IF departed from what was the norm at the time. But I personally think you'll need good reasons for the 3D other than it looking cool.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:53 am 
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Juhana wrote:
Another way would be to re-implement the parser in native Unity code, but then of course you'd lose the world model, extensions etc. that Inform has.


Ah, I get it. So Inform isn't what I want, it's Z-Code or Glulx that I need to look into (or similar parsers - if those 2 are parsers if I'm understanding correctly). I will see what I'm able to do, because I doubt I could create my own parser to be interesting enough.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:06 am 
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Dannii wrote:
There are interpreters you can use which talk over streams. You could theoretically connected this up to another process which would display it using Unity.


This sounds interesting! What do you mean by talking over streams? I need to look into these interpreters.

And also, I should clarify what I'm talking about for needing a text adventure implementation for my Unity game (I think IF is great, and it doesn't need graphics - though some of those 2D graphic text adventures can be pretty cool):

I am making a 3D game and the main character lives in his apartment where he mainly uses his PC. I want the main character to have access to a text adventure on this PC that he can play when on his PC. And at a certain part of the game, I want some of the text adventure mechanics to invade his dreams. During this dream he needs to use text input to get around the world and solve puzzles to end the dream. After the dream, it is back to normal 3D controls.

I was highly influenced by the book Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and the game Frog Fractions by Twinbeard Studios.

But, who knows, the game idea might be too complicated, but I'm in the process of prototyping right now...


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:52 am 
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Thanks everyone for your replies and help!

Am I able to close this thread so I can post a detailed thread in a more appropriate section of this board like "General: Interpreters, Add-Ons, and Tools" or "General Game Design" instead? Thanks to your help I realize now that I don't need Inform, but some type of interpreter or parser that I can possibly integrate with Unity.


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