Change Log for the Next Build

Today is Inform’s 17th birthday. It’s traditional for big new releases of
Inform to come out on its birthday (Inform 6 came out on its 3rd birthday,
Inform 7 on its 13th). Sometimes we’re a little early, as in 2009, and
sometimes a little late. This year we’re running late: a candidate build is
with a group of testers, but it will take another couple of weeks to finish
testing and deal with the issues found. We promised to post the change log
today, though, and here it is. (The long, long itemised list of bug fixes
has been removed, to keep this document to a reasonable size.)

Graham Nelson
28 April 2010

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EGC Paper Chase

EGC Paper Chase is a new IF game about gaming and education, and Penn State’s program in particular:

This game was conceived of and built by the Penn State Educational Gaming Commons to illustrate the origins of modern computer games, and to introduce some of the hotter spring 2010 education technologies, such as cloud computing and gesture-aware devices.

April development update

The next version of Inform 7 is nearly ready. On April 28th, a full change log will be posted, and the download link for the new release will be posted that day or shortly after.

The new build tidies up the user interface and makes it easier to publish Inform works to the web, including the ability to release to a website containing a fully working copy of the story which plays in a browser via the Parchment interpreter. The Inform language has many restrictions removed, and becomes more expressive in talking about kinds, phrases, relations and so on. More than 250 bug reports have been closed, and the Standard Rules have been rewritten to make the default behaviour of some of the everyday actions a little closer to what today’s authors normally want (automatically opening doors, handling TAKE ALL more naturally, and so on).

Extensions site updated

After a hiatus of some months (sorry about that), the extensions page has once again been updated, and is under new management. To submit new materials to the volunteers maintaining the site, please send your extensions to i7extensions@smallwhitehouse.org.

Andy Brooks: Inform 7 in Introductory Games Programming

Andy Brooks uses Inform 7 as a game engine for an introductory games programming course at an Icelandic university.

Brooks writes:

I teach about the standard IF puzzle types (door puzzles, light source puzzles, vehicle puzzles, time puzzles, and puzzles involving NPCs) and then get the students to tackle a big assignment to create their own IF game. They then playtest each othersĀ“ games to learn about that side of game development.

(I guess roughly 60% of the module is on this.)

The relevant syllabus, complete with Inform examples, may be found here.

Filfre 0.985

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Jimmy Maher announces a significant upgrade to Filfre, an interpreter for playing z-code and Glulx games on Windows. The newest release includes a number of bug-fixes and implements accelerated opcodes to play complex Glulx games more quickly.

Gargoyle 08-25-09 Released

Ben Cressey announces the latest update of Gargoyle, an interpreter front end for Windows and Linux, with attractive font rendering capable of running z-code and Glulx games as well as games for other IF virtual machines. Downloads are available here and changes are logged here.

Jeff Nyman: Tutorial on Descriptions and Locales

Jeff Nyman has released a new tutorial on creating location descriptions in Inform. His explanation is based on his work with authors who may be interested in writing something other than the traditional game.

Two new releases

kingshreds_cover

Jimmy Maher today announced the release of his long-in-progress “The King of Shreds and Patches,” a Lovecraftian story set in Shakespeare’s London.

Also notable is the recent release of Textfyre’s first game, “Jack Toresal and the Secret Letter,” designed and written by Mike Gentry. “Jack Toresal” is a work of commercial IF, but a demo can be played for free online.

“Goethe’s ‘Elective Affinities’ as E-Learning”

Mario Donick writes:

Attached is a small (222 KB) research paper written by me, one of my co-workers at Rostock University and one of my students. Its title is:

“Goethe’s ‘Elective Affinities’ as E-Learning. Developing Exercises for German Classes in the Secondary School Level 2″

The system described in this paper is basically IF and currently in development, using Inform 7 with the German extension (which is developed by Christian Bluemke).

…The paper has been presented today at the e-Learning Baltics 2009 conference and it is published in the conference proceedings (pp. 17–26).