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.