Wednesday, March 1, 2017

April 2, 2017 target date for Thunderword beta release

Thunderword should be usable enough on or before April 2, 2017.  A few things are planned as far as the transition from 'alpha' to a 'beta' stage:

1. Two apps will be put on the Google Play store, one named "Thunderword [experimental]" (the current one in alpha), and a second called "Thunderword" without any addition to the name. They will have differences in their icon and can both be installed on the same Android device.

2. The main app, "Thunderword", will be set to be an open beta test that anyone can join.

3. An enhanced version of the popular "Text Fiction" app by Onyxbits, named "Text Fiction for Thunderword" will be released on the Google Play store in open beta test. The enhanced variation will offer the player the choice of using the built-in Z-machine interpreter ("stock" Text Fiction's Zplet) or to use Thunderword's various interpreter. It can be installed on the same device as the original "Text Fiction" app and should not interfere.

More frequent development updates will be pushed to the "Thunderword [experimental]" app - and it may include newer Glk interpreter engines depending on player interest.

All three apps will be free of charge on Google Play and advertisement-free (with the exception that listing or featuring certain interactive fiction stories, download sites, and partner apps to download and work with Thunderword is a form of "promoting" products). There will be no in-app purchases or Google/Adsense/AdMob advertising like you see on a lot of "free" Android games. 

Glux on Android is no April Fools joke, despite the wide beta opening date ;)

P.S. For support, "what is broken", how-to, etc. free discussion - I created a new discussion forum here: groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/int-fiction-android Thank you!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Amazon App Store testing of Thunderword

In addition to the Google Play store alpha testing, I added Thunderword to the Amazon app store "Live Testing" where I can assign e-mail addresses of approved testers. Locally testing on a 7" Fire tablet (2015, generation 5). So far, the proper app distribution download seems to work perfectly fine.  More work needs to be done before the Thunderword app is ready for intermediate and novice technical users, but progress is being made every day. It looks like we can have a proper release sometime before April 2, 2017!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Level 9 Interpreter, version 5.1 added to Thunderword Experimental

Build 164 (version 0.3.64) of Thunderword Experimental now has Level 9 Interactive Fiction Interpreter version 5.1 included. The Thunderstrike example app on GitHub has been updated to demonstrate how outside apps can launch a Level 9 story.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Thunderstrike example JSON app published on GitHub

In follow-up to the previous blog posting, an example app has been posted on GitHub to demonstrate the interfacing with Thunderword to get the raw JSON feed from the internal RemGlk.  github.com/WakeRealityDev/Thunderstrike - it is ready for Android Studio 2.2.3 and SDK 25.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Thunderword will expose a JSON interface for other Android apps

I'm going to be adding an option to expose RemGlk JSON input/output to other apps. This is to encourage people to focus on the user-interface side of how to best adapt classic and newly created Interactive Fiction.

You will be able to make your own app and tell Thunderword to load the interpreter engine of your choice (currently: Bocfel. Frotz, Git, Glulxe, Nitfol, Scott, Tads) with the data file of your choice. Then your app will have a full JSON interface to the interpreters.  This will allow you to have lightweight APK files and not have to get involved with the NDK cross-compiler side of Android development.  Your app will have full and total control of the screen and presentation.

Should be ready for early preview in a few days.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Two Glulx Virtual Machine engines, Interpreters

Research, so far, has determined there are two available C/C++ Glulx interpreter engines for Interactive Fiction:

Glulxe at https://github.com/erkyrath/glulxe
Git at https://github.com/DavidKinder/Git

Glulxe is considered the reference interpreter, and Git came along later with a focus on performance on more limited handheld devices.  The author of Git says "I want to play City of Secrets on a Palm without having to wait ten seconds between each prompt."  There are other engines for non C/C++ such as JavaScript, Java, C#, etc.

So far, my experience has found both to be interchangeable in most cases. However, Glulxe has compiler conditions to support Supergl├║s superglus.com stories.  It's great to have choices that are being maintained by the community.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

'Wake Reality's Thunderword for Android app

Coming soon: a new Interactive Fiction interpreter application for Android mobile phones and tablets. Android 4.1 and newer devices are what we hope to support.

Thunderword will be the name of this new app. Alpha testing will be opened in the next week to get some feedback about performance on various devices.

It will use C code compiled specifically for the the microprocessor of the phone or tablet. Of interest to the Inform 7 community, it will support Glulx interpreters via both Glulxe and Git interpreters. It will start out supporting Glk windows on a variety of screen sizes, but sound and graphics support will come in later.

Watch this space for more information!