Retrochallenge Progress Update

Er, well, slow.

Verbose Mode (On)

Taking two factors, one, I haven’t done any form of coding for several years, two, I was never any good at it in the first place, and the result is a slow and somewhat laborious process.  I am however still enjoying it, although some of the more masochistic ideas I had such as using the Atari Portfolio to write some of the code did rather stretch the definition of enjoyment.

I find the puzzles and solutions come quite easily and I can loosely imagine how to implement them into code but then I just seem to get bogged down in syntax issues and other problems.  What I need is to combine my creative genius (ahem) with the god like coding abilities of someone like Urbancamo (this of course was always the master plan during our formative years, then we chose the path of least resistance instead.)

As I mentioned before the Infocom interpreter I have for CP/M is limiting me to version 3 story files and I’m therefore using Inform 5.5 v1502 to compile the game as this is one of the last releases to support that version of story file.  Using the standard Inform 5 library files a two room game with a couple of objects is coming out at about 42K.  Increasing to 48K for about 12 rooms with 20 or so objects.  I shall try the Minform library I mentioned in my previous post and report back how much this shrinks the file size but I need first to understand what exactly has been stripped out.

In the interests of pulling this thing firmly back into Retrochallenge territory I’ve been looking at concentrating on one (retro) development platform.  To date development has taken place on several machines including Mac, PC and retro.

I’m therefore going to make another attempt to resurrect a 286 based Epson Equity LT machine that I acquired a while ago and use that from now on.  I’ll try and document that process shortly.

In the meantime I’ll take this opportunity to give a shout out for some resources that I’ve found very helpful whilst grappling with Inform.

Doe’s Inform Primer (Has proven to be very useful, well worth a look if you’re new to Inform.)

Roger Firth’s IF pages (Again, a great help.)

Interactive Fiction Forum (Friendly, helpful forum, covers many aspects of IF.)

Inform Designers Manual (A prerequisite.)

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