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Old 03-13-2009, 02:48 AM   #1
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Interactive Fiction... how likely is this?

Hi folks, what's up?

I was just reading over the forum and I found a post about the possibility of doing IF games for the PRS 50x... I've been thinking about it and I think if such a thing were possible I'm sure the 700 is our man for the job (for it being able to input characters)

I know what you all must be thinking "maybe when a firmware image is released... MAYBE" I know and I agree with you, we can't be thinking about mods or programs untill then... however I believe we might have another option:

Making a PDF (or epub) with words linking to pages instead of typing them, I don't know... what do you guys think? Could it be done?
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Old 03-13-2009, 02:53 AM   #2
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hmmm. im assuming you mean like a book where you can choose the outcome of events by skipping to sections.

its entirly possible already. Links work fine in Epub and LRF.

to me it seems like a 10 year olds type of thing to do.
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:21 AM   #3
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Yea i agree, I cannot see how that can be used in books thats not aimed for kids. unless they intergrate interactive gifs in the books or something
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:30 AM   #4
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To compare "real" interactive fiction (IF) with the "choose your own adventure" type books is like comparing a toy car with a Formula 1 Grand Prix car .

IF started in the early 1980s with the "Infocom" type games ("Zork", etc), and continues to have a wide following. Many extremely sophisticated games have been written which "blow away" those early Infocom games in terms of both richness of content and complexity.

Most IF games are written using the "virtual machine" environment called "Z-code" originally developed for "Zork", and there are Z-code interpreters available for pretty much every handheld and desktop machine around, including a port of it for the iRex iLiad. It would be great to have a version for the PRS-700.

For more details about IF, see the Interactive Fiction Archive site.
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Old 03-13-2009, 12:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
To compare "real" interactive fiction (IF) with the "choose your own adventure" type books is like comparing a toy car with a Formula 1 Grand Prix car
So, it's like a MUD - without the other users? Or, the game Josh in the movie Big is playing - without the graphics?

I think the possibility for either a "simple" (I like them) choose your own adventure - is definitely there (some online comics do it, and should be easy enough to convert. A more sophisticated "MUD" style, single player experience doubtful at this juncture (would need to be a self-contained app able to understand the commands it was receiving).
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Old 03-13-2009, 12:11 PM   #6
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One might perhaps say that. Take a look at the Wiki article on Zork for an example of what IF looks like.

You can play Zork online at:

http://thcnet.net/zork/index.php

Gives an indication of what those of us who grew up in the '80s on text adventures used to consider "state of the art" . It's perhaps difficult for some of us to appreciate the fact that many MR members will have never come across them. They really were a "staple" of '80s home computers, but some MR members won't even have been born when their popularity was at its height in the mid 80s.
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Old 03-13-2009, 12:30 PM   #7
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Forum member AcidZebra did a small foray into the Choose your own adventure genre based on the first chapter of Alice in Wonderland.
It's right here on MobileRead :
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26955
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Old 03-13-2009, 01:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Gives an indication of what those of us who grew up in the '80s on text adventures used to consider "state of the art"
The only computer game (non-atari/system based) I remember from the 80s was De Ja Vue on the Mac. It was a cool game, for the time, no text though. Still think about trying to find it emulated somewhere.

There was also this game where you have to figure out how to get bags of money, and dig traps through brick - no text - but, there is an emulator somewhere (can't remember the name of the game though).

Quote:
first chapter of Alice in Wonderland
Bookmarked the post - gonna have to check that out.

I am curious what advantages others see in the devices. My major reason for getting it was: Less space, and lighter weight (for eventual us in an RV). I don't travel a lot right now; so, that really didn't play into it.
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Old 03-13-2009, 01:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
One might perhaps say that. Take a look at the Wiki article on Zork for an example of what IF looks like.

You can play Zork online at:

http://thcnet.net/zork/index.php

Gives an indication of what those of us who grew up in the '80s on text adventures used to consider "state of the art" . It's perhaps difficult for some of us to appreciate the fact that many MR members will have never come across them. They really were a "staple" of '80s home computers, but some MR members won't even have been born when their popularity was at its height in the mid 80s.
I remember playing Zork 1983 calling in to the mainframe computer at the university using a 300 baud modem. Reading the wikipedia entry I see that the home computer version was available at that time but we did not have any suitable computer to run it on so we played the original mainframe version.

It is fun to see questions like "is Zork like MUD without other players" (which it kind of is but maybe not so much NPC interactions like in a MUD). When MUD appeared it was more a question of describing MUD in term of well known things like Zork.

Also look at the Wikipedia entry for interactive fiction and you will see that there are different "schools". Some emphasizes the narrative function which is the kind of games I like.
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Old 03-13-2009, 02:18 PM   #10
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Thanks tompe and HarryT, I'm glad I didn't have to defend IF all alone

I took a look at "Alice..." that's sort of what I was talking about, I would definitively love to play Zork on the PRS-700 though I think its commands are a bit too complex to be done properly via the way illustrated in that Ebook.

I did a few google searches to see if I was able to found the Zork text in PDF and maybe sort it out alas I was not lucky enough. HarryT since you are familiar with Z-machine, can you tell me how it stores its text and choice branches?
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Old 03-13-2009, 02:24 PM   #11
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I'm afraid I'm only familiar with the Z-machine as a user, not technically. Sorry! There's a fair amount of information about it, though, in the IF Archive site which I posted a link to previously.
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Old 03-14-2009, 05:13 PM   #12
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Thanks, I'll give it a look.. maybe I can find something useful
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Old 03-17-2009, 02:12 PM   #13
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There is an open source project called Frotz over at Sourceforge. They've got a number of Z-machine interpreters for various platforms, even the Franklin e-bookman. There are interpreters written in Java and Perl as well.

I've got the majority of the old infocom games (Activision released a couple of CD-ROMs with most of them a decade or so ago), so I'd be thrilled to see them playable on my Reader.

Like a lot of you, though, I'm completely lacking in the programming skills required to actually port something over.
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Old 04-19-2009, 06:10 PM   #14
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How likely ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by el.astrologo View Post
Hi folks, what's up?

I was just reading over the forum and I found a post about the possibility of doing IF games for the PRS 50x... I've been thinking about it and I think if such a thing were possible I'm sure the 700 is our man for the job (for it being able to input characters)

I know what you all must be thinking "maybe when a firmware image is released... MAYBE" I know and I agree with you, we can't be thinking about mods or programs untill then... however I believe we might have another option:

Making a PDF (or epub) with words linking to pages instead of typing them, I don't know... what do you guys think? Could it be done?
I was wondering . . . and thinking about it for the last few days.

I then search mobileread to find out other are thinking on the same subject for more than a years. :-)

It seem that one of the reason for Infocom to fail (at the end) was the engineer culture to resist graphics, so they lost to Nitendo and the like.
http://mit.edu/6.933/www/Fall2000/infocom/

I could play some game on my Ebookman. The PRS-505 is not the same technology.
Is it possible to make a game with links and the like ?
HMMmm!! That would be more fun to try to do it, than to play.

If someone does it, i will play a few time.
Like my Ebookman, I use it to read more than 99 % of the time.
So I do not see a future for it. Unless we find a new way to play with text and idea using links.

My 2cents worth.
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Old 04-19-2009, 06:45 PM   #15
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I'm sure that someone will eventually port Z-code interpreter to OpenInkpot. Maybe even by adding it to list of systems supported by Frotz.
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