Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The 2016 Hugo Holiday Newsletter

December offers an exciting challenge to finish or improve the projects one has worked on through the year, and it's a great time to look back on progress already made. It's actually been a pretty exciting year for Hugo! Let's recap!

  • Nikos Chantziaras has continued making improvements to the multi-platform Hugor.  The opcode system he introduced in recent unofficial builds should make for a smoother player experience in the long run.  Some of the logistics of the opcode system are still being worked out (see below), but we probably can expect to see a new official build released in the coming months.
  • Robb Sherwin's work in progress, Cyberganked, has been greenlit on Steam.  Cyberganked is an IF/RPG hybrid like nothing the world has seen before, taking inspiration from games such as Wasteland and Bard's Tale.  The secret word on the street is that Sherwin's next game may be a sequel to one of his earlier works, so anyone who would like to see any of these things come to fruition should get involved with the Cyberganked community and help make this thing happen!
  • Jizaboz continues to work on his multimedia-enhanced North Korea simulator, A Day In DRPK.  From what I've seen of the work in progress, I believe it's more than two-thirds complete and most likely will be released in 2017.  You can check out the game's original demo here and check its progress here.
  • Juhana Leinonen accomplished the Herculean task of writing a Hugo interpreter in JavaScript.  HugoJS has a page where you can play any of a pre-selected list or use the link tab to play any .hex file from a URL.  The interpreter itself is quite snazzy.  Juhana had previously provided an Emscripten DOSbox solution which used the Hugo DOS interpreter.  HugoJS blows the old method away in speed, presentation, and ease-of-use on mobile devices.  My limited experimentation also led me to believe it should work decently with screen readers.

    Juhana has been updating HugoJS with Nikos' Hugor opcodes, and we've been in the process of adding new ones.  When all is said and done, Roodylib should work nicely with all existing and future opcode-enhanced interpreters.  It may even have multimedia support at some point, too.
  • Kent Tessman, author of Hugo, is busy updating and promoting his screen writing software, Fade In.  In recent years, it has been embraced by some of Hollywood's best screenwriters (and many others more) for its ease of use and astounding list of features despite being much cheaper than old "industry standard" solutions.
As for me, I'm working on updating Roodylib to incorporate the new opcodes and fixing some bugs.  I hope to have another official release within the next month or two, at which point I'll re-release all of my games so people can see all of the new functionality.


  1. Wow, good to learn about everyone's progress. I'm excited about Cyberganked. I haven't been keeping tabs on Robb since that one early prototype a long time ago, but since then I've been super in to the high concept. It's like the ideal combination of everything I'd personally want in a game, and it's crazy that there's a developer and a community of people out there who actually like some of the same kinds of things that I do.

    Good to see it'll be available on Steam for Linux -- that should be a straightforward way to get it running on a PC. It's been a long time since I've used Windows personally and I never had the slightest grudge against Microsoft whatsoever until after seeing so many popup coupons on my workstation at the small business I webmaster for, I'm feeling queasy at all Win10's privacy problems and I don't think I'll be buying anything Windows any time soon.

    1. The Windows 10 installation on my desktop took a dump. Unbeknownst to me, Windows 10 breaks the recovery tools from previous Windows installations and my best efforts to use the recovery partition to go back to the original OS were for naught. Long story short, I have Linux Mint on there now so I finally have been able to check out Steam on Linux; I have to say I'm pretty impressed.

      One of these weeks, I'll probably spend some time setting up a Hugo coding environment on there, and I imagine the experience will turn into a "here's what I learned" post on here (spoiler: I'll probably recommend the Kate text editor).

    2. I've used Kate and Gedit and they're both sufficient, although I'm not sure how hard it will be to set up a convenient code environment with compiler integrations and such. Probably quite difficult, I imagine.

      I think it's important to note that if you're using a well-supported Linux distro like Mint, you're not limited to Kate or Gedit or whatever else comes pre-installed or is searchable in the software center. There's Atom, the web developer editor from Github, and Visual Studio Code from Microsoft -- both FOSS and cross-platform. Then there's the demoware Sublime Text, which gets pegged as a web developers' editor but really is an excellent general purpose editor too. I mostly use Atom at work (on Windows), and I think Atom is one of the best free options available right now even though it is designed to be part of a web development environment.

    3. I've actually already attempted to make Hugo syntax highlighting work for Atom and Sublime Text in the past, but both were beyond my abilities. There's a *chance* I'll eventually understand it, but most likely, it won't happen until someone else does it.

    4. I hope the name "A Day in DRPK" is a misprint on your part. The "official" name of North Korea is The Democratic People's Republic of Korea, or DPRK.