A (Graphical!) Text Adventure

This entry was posted by on Monday, 26 March, 2012 at

It’s that time of year again — when Jack and I write another open-source text adventure together!

Every time we do a project like this, we try to push our own boundaries and try something new. Rover’s Day Out was our first full-length work and was our first foray into taking advantage of the deeper features of the Inform7 programming language. Our second work, Hoosegow, was an attempt to create humorous and relevant non-player characters in a constrained environment. Our third work was a quickie challenge — we wrote 95% of Lobsters on a Plane in a single day for a ‘speed’ competition.

Our fourth and latest work, Narrow Your Eyes, was written as part of a ‘tribute’ collection for the 20th anniversary of the Apollo 18 album by They Might Be Giants. There’s a short interactive fiction game written for each album track, and I suggest you go play them all!

In this game, we decided to push the boundaries of the Glulx interpreter a bit by creating a puzzle that requires graphics and utilizes sound. It sounds a bit heretical, but we assure you that there is still important textual accompaniment to the graphics portion. For this reason, the game isn’t yet playable in a web browser. You’ll need to download a suitable interpreter for your operating system: either Spatterlight for Mac, Glulxe for Windows, or Gargoyle for Linux. You can grab the game itself from our downloads page and open it with the interpreter. Once you start, don’t forget to turn on your speakers!

Another challenge this game was an attempt to write some basic artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms in the Inform 7 language. If you’ve already played the game, you can read about that in the spoiler below.

Spoiler Inside SelectShow

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