Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Non-glk simple interpreter intros

Especially as I take another look at my glk code recently, I've also been looking over my support for regular "simple" Hugo ports. The only one I have at my disposal is the simple DOS interpreter. Despite the fact that, in this day and age, I wouldn't expect anyone to actually use it, I am shooting for a library extension that will look great on normal, glk, and simple terps without any messy code. That isn't to say that the simple interpreter isn't useful in its own way. Running your game through it is a good way to see if your game calls PrintStatusLine too many times per turn (as status windows in the simple DOS interpreter are a real eyesore), and beyond that, it can just be a good reminder of how stripped-down some interpreters out there might be.

Last night, I was looking into why a game beginning in the simple interpreter draw an extra status window regardless of whatever code you might have in init. Eventually, I decided that a window is drawn when the game begins, before init is even called. Admitting defeat on that issue, I think started thinking about how to make it look as cool as possible in the simple interpreter. Finally, I decided that it'd be cool to have some kind of ASCII logo or "loading screen" that'd give the feel of proper old-school DOS program. Here is a placeholder demonstration:

(The logo would go where it says "loading game"/"please wait".) Anyhow, if anyone has any logo or text suggestions, I'd be happy to throw them into my code!

EDIT: Conversely, I guess I could just print a bunch of blank lines until the empty status bar is off the screen. Made up a test and it works pretty well. Still, if someone gave me some cool ASCII art, don't think I won't put it in there!


  1. Sometimes, it's fun to play IF on old command-line interpreters, just for the retro experience. I'm too young to have played IF back in the Golden Era, so it's like living mythology to me. ;)

    1. If you haven't done so, you should out version 1.2 of the engine ( ) and play through SceptreQuest ( ) and East of Eastwood ( ). They are chock-full of retro.

    2. I distinctly remember trying to play those two games years ago, but they wouldn't work. It was soon after I discovered IF, and I'd recently read about the romance of one IF language = one interpreter = one type of game file. I think I downloaded all the .HEX files I found on the Archive along with the DOS interpreter -- Down, Colossal Hugo, some cowboy game by Kent Tessman, and a port of a Scott Adams game, plus SQuest and Eastwood. They all worked except for those two. I'm sure it was because I was trying to use a later version of the Engine.