Saturday, August 19, 2017

Detour to Qt C++ interface to RemGlk

Wake Reality has taken a technical detour to make a from-scratch Qt 5.9.1 C++ app that can show the JSON output of RemGlk.

This can run on both Android devices and desktop systems (Windows, Linux, Macintosh, etc).  It will be completely open source with a liberal BSD license that allows any commercial usage.

Right now it runs two-window classic interface Interactive Fiction stories. More to come, and we will likely publish a demonstration release on Google Play store.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Thunderword [experimental] app story input is broken at the moment

Looks like some input-breaking changes are currently in the Thunderword [experimental] flavor of the app updates published in the past few days. Work is underway to resolve these input errors.  Reminder that there are two nearly-identical apps, "Thunderword" and "Thunderword [experimental]" - and both can be installed on your phone or tablet at the same time.

If you need assistance with using both apps on the same device, please ask.  In general, you will find that Text Fiction for Thunderword and Incant! for Thunderword show you which is the currently-targeted "engines" to interact with - and allow you to touch and select. Screen shot highlighting example

The Thunderword [experimental] app will get more frequent updates and features.  Sometimes things will break, but hopefully having two choices allows you to keep using it without serious interruption.  Thank you for your patience.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Next week development activity should pick back up

The past two weeks Thunderword development was on the back burner, but it will pick back up after this weekend.  The story download and browsing system from Incant! app should be integrated next week.  If you haven't looked at the Incant! for Thunderword app, please do.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Android: Browsing IFDB, finding Interactive Fiction, downloading

Wake Reality's vision has been to encourage Android app developers to make independent apps for browsing, organizing, and downloading Interactive Fiction stories.  We want to reiterate this desire.

We have put attention on the existing open source app Incant - which we have updated to Android Studio 2.3 development environment on GitHub with added launcher capability to Thunderword - which could also be extended to launch and organize stories for any of the other apps (Text Fiction, Son of Hunky Punk, Twisty, etc).

Someone could also make a new fresh app, Material Design or whatever. We encourage and invite it.  Thunderstrike on GitHub also has sample code - it can take only 10 lines of Java code to tell Thunderword to start a story.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Thunderword app ++ Alan 2, Alan 3 interpreters on Android!

New alpha testing release published on Google Play. Alan 3 beta2 compatibility, same as desktop and Amazon Kindle Gargoyle. Name your files .acd, .a3c, place them on your /sdcard public storage and rebuild the database. The new control panel choice "[ Useful A ]" has an easy macro pick to rebuild the search database. It should find .acd or .a3c files anywhere on your public /sdcard paths.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Thunderword app ++ TADS 2, TADS 3 interpreters on Android!

New alpha testing release published on Google Play. The TADS 3 story "Look Around the Corner" (IFDB linkis now included with Thunderword for demonstration and testing! Name your files .gam, .t2 or .t3 and rebuild the database. The new control panel choice "[ Useful A ]" has an easy macro pick to rebuild the search database. It should find .gam or .t3 files anywhere on your public /sdcard paths. More coming!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Thunderword [experimental] app updated - Hugo interpreter on Android

New alpha release put up on Google Play. The Hugo story "The Hugo Clock" opens fine in preliminary testing! Name files .hex or .hugo and rebuild the database. The new control panel choice "[ Useful A ]" has an easy macro pick to rebuild the search database. It should find .hex or .hugo files anywhere on your public /sdcard paths.

Keyboards for parser Interactive Fiction in Thunderword

Desktop PC running Firefox accessing Thunderword on the Android device
Firefox on desktop PC access Thunderword on Android














Screen shot of a desktop PC running Firefox web browser - accessing the integrated Thunderword web server.  This can be used as an alternate to Bluetooth and USB keyboard solutions that Android offers.  Wake Reality is also working to integrate Onyxbits' excellent telnet solution.  You will be able to use any device that can connect over TCP/IP via telnet or web browser to act as a 'remote keyboard'.  This could be your desktop PC, another mobile phone or tablet, etc.  We are also working on some ideas for better on-screen keyboards for version 2 of Thunderword, later this year.

P.S. This keyboard solution works well enough to play Tetris for Z-Machine (Andrew Plotkin's freefall.z5 on IFDB).

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!

Android apps for Inform 7 Glulx Interactive Fiction stories

The Inform 7 community has noted the lack of Glulx interpreters for Android devices. I found that there are actually two pure java apps that have been published in source code form on Github.


Incant at Github.com: qpliu/incant

And two more open source projects published that use NDK compiled code:

Twisty 2.0 was published as a demonstration at Github.com: sussman/twisty

Son of Hunk Punk at Github.com retrobits/son_of_hunkypunk - has Glulx support disabled in the currently released Play Store version - but inside it's source code it has the Git interpreter for Glulx compiled.

The missing ingredient seems to be getting these apps to a "supported state" for general purpose use.  That primarily involves finishing off various features of Glk that are not used by the simpler Z-code/Z-machine interpreters. For example, Glk window support, Glk graphics, and Glk sound.

Incant is notable in this regard because it actually has working sound and graphics on it's custom Glulx interpreter.