Announcing a new IF language!

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Jacob Solomon We

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Apr 2, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/2/96
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I'm really proud of myself. I've managed to finish an entirely new
text-adventure programming language without even mentioning to anybody here
that I've been working on it. Now that it's finally almost ready to go, I
thought I'd let you all know about it.

First, I should tell you that it's shareware. I thought long and hard
about making it free, but I finally decided that I've just put too much
work into it. But the registration fee is only $15, and, considering all
the features you get, I don't think too many people will mind paying.

I've been paying careful attention to all the things people on r.a.if have
said they want from a language, and I've pooled them all together. (In fact,
the working title of the language is "raif POOL"). Here's some of the
things it has:

*Backwards-and-forwards compiler compatability.
I figure that the biggest obstacle for a lot of people in adapting
a new language is un-learning the old one. To make things easier,
POOL can read TADS, Inform, ALAN, AGT, and Hugo files. (Actually,
it seems to be having some problems with Hugo and ALAN, but I'm hoping to
work those bugs out by the next release.)

Furthermore, POOL can output TADS and Inform game files. But I recommend
against compiling a POOL game into another format game file--it'll
probably be too big for the TADS and Inform run-time systems.

*Optional graphic interface for programming or for games.
Fully supports GITO (graphics in, text out--lets you create a text adventure
game without typing a single word); TIGO (text in, graphics out--lets you
create a fully rendered immersive world without drawing a single pixel);
and, of course, GIGO and TITO. Note that GITO and TIGO require at least
32 megs of free RAM. I know it's a lot, and I'm hoping to make my code a
little more elegant to reduce the requirements--but, for now, that's
where it stands. (TITO, on the other hand, can run on a 386 or Mac SE
with only 1 meg of RAM, although compiling will be a bit slow.)

*Vast programming library.
My standard include file--analogous to TADS' ADV.T-- is thirty-six meg, and
contains accurate models for virtually all physical laws. (An update to
include quantum mechanics should be available within a few months.)

*Sophisticated parser.
It includes, among other things, complete adverb support.
"Walk north slowly" is treated differently from "walk north quickly." (Or,
for the matter, "walk n in a slightly paranoid fashion.")

*AI-complete character interaction.
Honestly, I have to admit that I
don't understand what all the fuss over artificial intelligence is. In a
number of double-blind tests that I've run, all of the NPC's I've created with
RAIF POOL have passed the Turing test easily. And I'm not exactly a
programming genius--I just included various laws of human behavior in my
programming library. (Why those folks at the MIT AI lab didn't think of
this on their own, I'll never know.)

Anyway, here's the complete code for one NPC who had a number of my
testers convinced they were talking to Ross Perot:

ross: human
traits = short bigears crazy billionaire
;

Note that I didn't actually have to describe how he'd react to any
situations; the RAIF POOL character extrapolator does that automatically
from the traits I've defined. (If you want an NPC to act out of
character, though, it's quite easy to program.)

*Re-fribulating gigometer.
It's a feature so powerful, even I have no idea what it does.

*Optional puzzle filter.
If you've written a vast, puzzle-filled game, only to be intimidated by
recent threads here on r.a.if, the puzzle filter will automatically
remove all puzzles from your game and replace them with slice-of-life
vignettes. Note that this is only available to registered users.

*Complete sample game.
"Achilles," is a complete game, roughly four times the size of Jigsaw, is
based on certain books of the Upinashad. Note that solving several of the
puzzles requires a knowledge of various untranslated texts in ancient
Cyrillic, Sanskrit, and Pig Latin.

RAIF POOL will run on a variety of computers, including most Macs and
IBMs. Note that a game of Achilles' size requires a cray supercomputer;
running it on a Mac or PC will will result in prohibitive delays (3+
hours between moves.)

RAIF POOL should be ready for release any day now. I wanted to release it
yesterday, on the first of the month, but I'm having some problems with
the AI code. Every time I compile it, it tries to access something called
"SkyNet." Perhaps somebody who's a better BASIC programmer than I could
review my code for me?

-Jacob Weinstein


TEAddition

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Apr 2, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/2/96
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>Snicker<

Could I mention that until I hit Ross Perot (and, truth be told, a couple
of moments after) I was peeing my pants at the thought of getting my hands
on this thing?

April Fools Day is a vacation in hell for the gullible.

-- Russ

Gerry Kevin Wilson

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Apr 2, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/2/96
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In article <4jrn1p$l...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>,

I think I figured it out around TIGO. Knew I should've posted that
"Avalon released!" message. :) Then again, I look terrible in a noose.

--
<~~~VERTIGO~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~SPAG~~~~EIGHTH~ISSUE~DUE~REAL~SOON~NOW~~~~|~~~~~~~>
< The Society for the Preservation of Adventure games. Filled with | ~~\ >
< reviews, ratings, and advertisements...all about text adventures. | /~\ | >
<___SOFTWARE______E-MAIL...@uclink.berkeley.edu__|_\__/__>

Scott Stanchfield

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Apr 2, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/2/96
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April fools is traditionally April 1st...

-- Scott

Jacob Solomon We wrote:
>
> I'm really proud of myself. I've managed to finish an entirely new
> text-adventure programming language without even mentioning to anybody here

<snip!>

> the AI code. Every time I compile it, it tries to access something called
> "SkyNet." Perhaps somebody who's a better BASIC programmer than I could
> review my code for me?
>
> -Jacob Weinstein

--
Scott Stanchfield McCabe & Associates -- Columbia, Maryland
(These are not necessarily the opinions of McCabe & Associates)
Visit McCabe & Associates at http://www.mccabe.com

Jacob Solomon We

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Apr 2, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/2/96
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Scott Stanchfield <sco...@mccabe.com> writes:

>April fools is traditionally April 1st...

Yes, but if you stick to that, it's much harder to fool people.
:)

-Jacob

Jacob Solomon We

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Apr 2, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/2/96
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mki...@peabody.iusb.indiana.edu (Michael Kinyon) writes:


>Jacob, old friend, I have to hand it to you. This has got to be your
>greatest contribution to the world of IF since _Modernism_. I still
>remember the joy I felt while playing that game when I finally discovered
{SPOILER DELETED}
>that led to the
>{SPOILER DELETED};
>I nearly cried with
>relief, and marvelled at how such a puzzle - despite its fiendish difficulty -
>still managed to enhance the overall artistry of the game.

Hey, Michael, come on. Next time you're going to give away the big secret
of my best game, at least give some spoiler warnings, OK? Most people can
go for hours playing Modernism without discovering the you-know-what, and
when they finally realize it's there, it's therefore that much more of a
pleasure. Don't go and spoil the surprise!

-Jacob

Michael Kinyon

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Apr 3, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/3/96
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In article <4jrlrk$6...@castor.usc.edu>,
Jacob Solomon We <jwei...@castor.usc.edu> wrote:
[Shameless advertisement of new language deleted]

Jacob, old friend, I have to hand it to you. This has got to be your
greatest contribution to the world of IF since _Modernism_. I still
remember the joy I felt while playing that game when I finally discovered

the secret passage that led to the underground world; I nearly cried with

relief, and marvelled at how such a puzzle - despite its fiendish difficulty -
still managed to enhance the overall artistry of the game.

And now you've gone and done this. My hat is off to you, sir. Devotees
of IF owe you more than they can possibly repay. I know I am not even going
to try.

Michael
--
Michael Kinyon | email: mki...@peabody.iusb.edu
Dept of Mathematics & Comp. Sci.| http://sun1.iusb.edu/faculty/mkinyon/
Indiana University South Bend | phone: (219)-237-4240
South Bend, IN 46634 USA | fax: (219)-237-4538

Admiral Jota

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Apr 3, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/3/96
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Scott Stanchfield <sco...@mccabe.com> writes:

>April fools is traditionally April 1st...

>-- Scott

><snip!>

>> the AI code. Every time I compile it, it tries to access something called
>> "SkyNet." Perhaps somebody who's a better BASIC programmer than I could
>> review my code for me?

I think you cut out a relevant line, something about 'I wanted to release
this yesterday, on the first of the month, but I'm having some problems
with the AI code'.

And I'm proud to have figured it out around the TIGO, GITO part. Although
I spent a few moments wondering if I had just misunderstood what TIGO and
GITO meant... :)


--
/<-= -=-=- -= Admiral Jota =- -=-=- =->\
__/><-=- http://www.tiac.net/users/jota/ =-><\__
\><-= jo...@mv.mv.com -- Finger for PGP =-></
\<-=- -= -=- -= -==- =- -=- =- -=->/

Carl Muckenhoupt

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Apr 3, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/3/96
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jo...@laraby.tiac.net (Admiral Jota) writes:

>And I'm proud to have figured it out around the TIGO, GITO part. Although
>I spent a few moments wondering if I had just misunderstood what TIGO and
>GITO meant... :)

Frankly, I don't think TIGO and GITO are implausible.
GITO sounds like a GUI code generator. You know, the kind of thing where
you lay out your map by poiting and clicking, and have it output as
Inform source code or whatever. TIGO sounds like a scripting language
for a renderer, perhaps with special constructs for linking particular
on-screen objects to particular game entities. These are both completely
believable.

The idea of a program that interprets a picture and outputs an English
description, or vice versa, didn't even occur to me until I saw people
objecting to it.


--
Carl Muckenhoupt | Text Adventures are not dead!
b...@tiac.net | Read rec.[arts|games].int-fiction to see
http://www.tiac.net/users/baf | what you're missing!

Scott Stanchfield

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Apr 4, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/4/96
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(I realized it earlier, but I just liked the dead giveaway about skynet
and BASIC at the end...)

BTW: That _was_ entertaining -- don't get me wrong...

Admiral Jota wrote:
>
> Scott Stanchfield <sco...@mccabe.com> writes:
>
> >April fools is traditionally April 1st...
>
> >-- Scott
>
> ><snip!>
>

> >> the AI code. Every time I compile it, it tries to access something called
> >> "SkyNet." Perhaps somebody who's a better BASIC programmer than I could
> >> review my code for me?
>

> I think you cut out a relevant line, something about 'I wanted to release

> this yesterday, on the first of the month, but I'm having some problems
> with the AI code'.


>
> And I'm proud to have figured it out around the TIGO, GITO part. Although
> I spent a few moments wondering if I had just misunderstood what TIGO and
> GITO meant... :)
>

> --
> /<-= -=-=- -= Admiral Jota =- -=-=- =->\
> __/><-=- http://www.tiac.net/users/jota/ =-><\__
> \><-= jo...@mv.mv.com -- Finger for PGP =-></
> \<-=- -= -=- -= -==- =- -=- =- -=->/

--

Jacob Solomon We

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Apr 8, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/8/96
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b...@max.tiac.net (Carl Muckenhoupt) writes:

>Frankly, I don't think TIGO and GITO are implausible.
>GITO sounds like a GUI code generator. You know, the kind of thing where
>you lay out your map by poiting and clicking, and have it output as
>Inform source code or whatever. TIGO sounds like a scripting language
>for a renderer, perhaps with special constructs for linking particular
>on-screen objects to particular game entities. These are both completely
>believable.

Yes, this is what I had in mind, and I put it early in my post because I
thought it more plausible than many of my language's other features. In
fact, a number of people have been discussing something like the GITO
generator here, which I why I included it in RAIF POOL.

Well, back to work on that refibulating gigometer...

-Jacob

Cthulhu

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Apr 12, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/12/96
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In article <4jrlrk$6...@castor.usc.edu>, jwei...@castor.usc.edu (Jacob Solomon We) wrote:
>I'm really proud of myself. I've managed to finish an entirely new
>text-adventure programming language without even mentioning to anybody here

<snip>

Isn't it wonderful that people still know how to dream? Dreamers have changed
the world: Karl Marx to name one.

Matthew T. Russotto

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Apr 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/14/96
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In article <4kk6ak$o...@orb.direct.ca>, Cthulhu <patr...@Direct.CA> wrote:
}In article <4jrlrk$6...@castor.usc.edu>, jwei...@castor.usc.edu (Jacob Solomon We) wrote:
}>I'm really proud of myself. I've managed to finish an entirely new
}>text-adventure programming language without even mentioning to anybody here
}
}<snip>
}
}Isn't it wonderful that people still know how to dream? Dreamers have changed
}the world: Karl Marx to name one.

Nothing like a pat on the back with a knife in the hand...
--
Matthew T. Russotto russ...@pond.com russ...@his.com
"Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in pursuit
of justice is no virtue."

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