Graphics in IF

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gre...@onyx.octacon.co.uk

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Apr 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/14/98
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I know it's probably all been said before but,
with the advent of HTML-TADS, current opinion may be useful.

Are graphics a good , or bad thing in IF?

In IF, the potential to include graphics is now available to a large number
of programmers via HTML-TADS.
High quality graphics carefully used could enhance an IF story greatly, but
also poor quality, or overused graphics, could potentially could ruin it.
However I'm not sure where the boundaries may lie.
Quality not quantity seems a good idea to me.

A large amount of graphics in a game would , in my opinion, spoil the minds
eye view of the game, as you are forced to take the artists view of each
location. For me the book is usually better than the film.
I know you can play the games with the graphics turned off , but how many
games will rely on the graphics for clues to puzzles etc?

These are just my initial thoughts on hearing about HTML-TADS
I would be very interested in other peoples opinions.

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L. Ross Raszewski

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Apr 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/14/98
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In article <6h06p3$jd8$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>,

gre...@onyx.octacon.co.uk wrote:
>
> A large amount of graphics in a game would , in my opinion, spoil the minds
> eye view of the game, as you are forced to take the artists view of each

Okay, first I want ot say that I understand and find valid your point.

Now I want to say that I disagree wit hit. First, My "mind's eye" NEVER
visualaizes something as well as, say a picture.

Second, who are you to say that being 'forced" to take an artist's view of a
location is a bad thing? WHat about the author? It's HIS room, and if you
don;t see it the way HE (she) intended you to see it, then there's a breakdown
of communication.

> location. For me the book is usually better than the film.

Ah, for me the book is better if it's better written. but when I see an actor
portrtaying a character, THAT's when I can place an image with the
description, that's when I see the character as real people.

> I know you can play the games with the graphics turned off , but how many
> games will rely on the graphics for clues to puzzles etc?
>

Not many, from the indications I've heard. I find it hard to believe too.

Matt Kimball

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Apr 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/14/98
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gre...@onyx.octacon.co.uk wrote:
: In IF, the potential to include graphics is now available to a large number

: of programmers via HTML-TADS.
: High quality graphics carefully used could enhance an IF story greatly, but
: also poor quality, or overused graphics, could potentially could ruin it.
: However I'm not sure where the boundaries may lie.
: Quality not quantity seems a good idea to me.

Yes, this seems to be good advice. I would rather play a game with no
graphics than one with poorly done graphics. But I certainly wouldn't
mind seeing HTML-TADS game with a few photographics or raytraced
images at important points in the story.

: A large amount of graphics in a game would , in my opinion, spoil the minds


: eye view of the game, as you are forced to take the artists view of each

: location. For me the book is usually better than the film.

This isn't true for me. I usually likes books better than film, not
because of the text vs imagery issue, but because a book can usually
have greater depth than a two hour film. If a graphic adventure had
the same depth of story and interactivity as the best text adventures,
I would like it just as well. (I haven't seen very many of these
though).

I suspect that amount of work required to create lots of high-quality
graphics is too much for most of us in the IF community. Maybe a
fully illustrated competition game would be feasable, but a fully
illustrated Jigsaw would be a massive undertaking. So we will
probably see people using graphics in only a few key locations.

--
Matt Kimball
mkim...@xmission.com

gre...@onyx.octacon.co.uk

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Apr 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/14/98
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L. Ross Raszewski wrote

>
> Okay, first I want ot say that I understand and find valid your point.
>
> Now I want to say that I disagree wit hit. First, My "mind's eye" NEVER
> visualaizes something as well as, say a picture.
>

I'm glad you disagree with me. The main reason I posted this was to try
and gauge what other people's, equally (if not more) valid, opinions were.

> Second, who are you to say that being 'forced" to take an artist's view of
> a location is a bad thing?

Nobody of importance. It's just my opinion.

> WHat about the author? It's HIS room, and if
> you don;t see it the way HE (she) intended you to see it, then there's a
>breakdown of communication.
>

I disagree, In text based IF for me, the author provides the flesh of the
story, but I fill in the rest how I imagine it to be. For me this is more
enjoyable & personal. In heavily graphic adventures there is little,or no
scope to do this.
Please don't take this as me saying "Hey i'm right & you're wrong", thats not
the case at all. I guess it just boils down to personal preferences.

gre...@onyx.octacon.co.uk

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Apr 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/14/98
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In article <6h08qi$d6j$1...@news.xmission.com>,
Matt Kimball <mkim...@xmission.com> wrote:


> I suspect that amount of work required to create lots of high-quality
> graphics is too much for most of us in the IF community. Maybe a
> fully illustrated competition game would be feasable, but a fully
> illustrated Jigsaw would be a massive undertaking. So we will
> probably see people using graphics in only a few key locations.
>

That's a very valid point.
Also graphics that get used all through the game:
compasses,maps,objects you find& tend to keep etc.
would probably be nice to have, and a programmer may feel they
are worth spending time on, more than say a room which is visited only a
couple of times during the game.

weird...@prodigy.net

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Apr 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/14/98
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In article <6h06p3$jd8$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>,
gre...@onyx.octacon.co.uk wrote:
>
> I know it's probably all been said before but,
> with the advent of HTML-TADS, current opinion may be useful.
>
> Are graphics a good , or bad thing in IF?

(most got snipped)

To me, the argument would go something like this:

1. IF is designed to be the gaming equivalent of a short story/novella. 2.
Many very good short stories/novellas *do* have illustrations (my persoanl
favs. are Sidney Pagent's illustrartions of the Sherlock Holmes stories, but
of course this is opinion) 3. Therefore, IMHO, IF *can* be illustrated.

David Glasser

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Apr 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/14/98
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<gre...@onyx.octacon.co.uk> wrote:

> Are graphics a good , or bad thing in IF?

My opinion on graphics in IF is the same as my feelings on frames in
webpages: they are decent, if done well AND TOTALLY IGNORABLE.

When I say that, I mean that you should have an alternate way to do
anything that you can do with graphics. Maps, compassi, etc. are great
uses *if and only if* you can go north without clicking.

This refers to games that still have a major text focus...let's draw the
line at having text input being 99-100% of input. A full graphical game
in HTML TADS without any text input would be cool.

All this IMHO.

--David Glasser, waiting for Netscape and Microsoft to start HTML TADS
standards wars
gla...@NOSPAMuscom.com
Check out my new I-F website at http://onramp.uscom.com/~glasser
Or, for a waste of time,
http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/6028/

Julian Arnold

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Apr 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/15/98
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In article <6h06p3$jd8$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>,

<URL:mailto:gre...@onyx.octacon.co.uk> wrote:
> I know it's probably all been said before but,
> with the advent of HTML-TADS, current opinion may be useful.
>
> Are graphics a good , or bad thing in IF?

They're a means to an end. As is text.

> In IF, the potential to include graphics is now available to a large number
> of programmers via HTML-TADS.

(As it already was via Hugo :)

> High quality graphics carefully used could enhance an IF story greatly, but
> also poor quality, or overused graphics, could potentially could ruin it.

High quality text carefully used could enhance an IF story greatly, but
also poor quality, or overused text, could potentially could ruin it.

Jools
--
"For small erections may be finished by their first architects; grand
ones, true ones, ever leave the copestone to posterity. God keep me from
ever completing anything." -- Herman Melville, "Moby Dick"


Lelah Conrad

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Apr 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/15/98
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On Tue, 14 Apr 1998 12:35:31 -0600, gre...@onyx.octacon.co.uk wrote:


>Are graphics a good , or bad thing in IF?

I would also be interested in seeing IF works with occasional ornate
style lead-in letters such as found in old manuscripts. I am not sure
whether this is the type of graphic you are talking about, but I think
illustrated manuscripts are beautiful to behold, and the technique
could possibly be applied to IF by an graphic artist.

One website maintained by Catholic monks (The Monastery of Christ in
the Desert) has pages along these lines -- an example of a page can be
found at:

http://www.christdesert.org/noframes/light.html


Lelah

cody sandifer

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Apr 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/15/98
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In article <6h06p3$jd8$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>, gre...@onyx.octacon.co.uk wrote:

> I know it's probably all been said before but,
> with the advent of HTML-TADS, current opinion may be useful.
>

> Are graphics a good , or bad thing in IF?

Hmmm. Are they allowed in the annual competition?

A doubting Thomas,

Cody

L. Ross Raszewski

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Apr 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/15/98
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In article <ant14230...@arnod.demon.co.uk>,
Julian Arnold <jo...@arnod.demon.co.uk> wrote:

> >
> > Are graphics a good , or bad thing in IF?
>

> They're a means to an end. As is text.
>

> > High quality graphics carefully used could enhance an IF story greatly,
but
> > also poor quality, or overused graphics, could potentially could ruin it.
>
> High quality text carefully used could enhance an IF story greatly, but
> also poor quality, or overused text, could potentially could ruin it.
>

Here here!
COuldn't have said it more succinctly myself. (But then, I tend to be a little
verbose.)

Lucian Paul Smith

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Apr 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/15/98
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cody sandifer (sand...@crmse.sdsu.edu) wrote:

: In article <6h06p3$jd8$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>, gre...@onyx.octacon.co.uk wrote:

: > Are graphics a good , or bad thing in IF?

: Hmmm. Are they allowed in the annual competition?

Well, I looked up the rules, and found an interesting loophole:

1. Any text adventure you enter must be winnable in under two hours. The
judges are only allowed to play it that long before quitting and rating
it. This is to ensure small games, and encourage authors to enter who
might feel intimidated going up against a huge game.

Hence, if you enter a graphical adventure, the 2-hour limit does not apply
to you!

Seriously, though, although the issue has not come up, I doubt whether the
inclusion of graphics would be an issue for contest administrators. Heck,
if someone wanted to use that new Sierra-esqe engine to code up a game,
and entered it, I think it'd happily be included. It'd probably spark a
series of rants here on raif, but I think most people would be fine with
it. The only judging criteria is "play each game for two hours, and rate
them from 1 to 10, based on whatever criteria you feel is important."

-Lucian

John Francis

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Apr 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/15/98
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In article <6h1cbe$c2h$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>, <weird...@prodigy.net> wrote:
>In article <6h06p3$jd8$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>,
> gre...@onyx.octacon.co.uk wrote:
>>
>> I know it's probably all been said before but,
>> with the advent of HTML-TADS, current opinion may be useful.
>>
>> Are graphics a good , or bad thing in IF?
>
>(most got snipped)
>
>To me, the argument would go something like this:
>
>1. IF is designed to be the gaming equivalent of a short story/novella. 2.
>Many very good short stories/novellas *do* have illustrations (my persoanl
>favs. are Sidney Pagent's illustrartions of the Sherlock Holmes stories, but
>of course this is opinion) 3. Therefore, IMHO, IF *can* be illustrated.

To quote from my favourite illustrated story:

"What's the use of a book without pictures?"

I also like authors who illustrate their own works; Mervyn Peake and
Edward Gorey spring immediately to mind.

Mervyn Peake went to the same school as me (although somewhat before
my time). My best-know contemporary was probably Chris Jagger (Mick's
younger brother). We also had John Willis, son of one of the Z-cars
writers. One memorable summer the villains in Z-cars all had the last
names of teachers at the school. This resulted in our maths teacher,
a Mr. John Shuttleworth, being known as "Harry" from then on.
--
John Francis jfra...@sgi.com Silicon Graphics, Inc.
(650)933-8295 2011 N. Shoreline Blvd. MS 43U-991
(650)933-4692 (Fax) Mountain View, CA 94043-1389
Unsolicited electronic mail will be subject to a $100 handling fee.

Andrew Plotkin

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Apr 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/15/98
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Lucian Paul Smith (lps...@rice.edu) wrote:

> cody sandifer (sand...@crmse.sdsu.edu) wrote:
> : In article <6h06p3$jd8$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>, gre...@onyx.octacon.co.uk wrote:

> : > Are graphics a good , or bad thing in IF?

> : Hmmm. Are they allowed in the annual competition?

> Seriously, though, although the issue has not come up, I doubt whether the


> inclusion of graphics would be an issue for contest administrators. Heck,
> if someone wanted to use that new Sierra-esqe engine to code up a game,
> and entered it, I think it'd happily be included.

I read the rules the same way. Any kind of program is admissable. Of
course, if you fall under the minimum number of votes because not enough
people can run your game, that's life.

More interesting question: Is it permissible to enter two different
versions of the same game? In the present example -- a classic TADS game
file and an HTML-TADS package? (Or even, if you're crazy enough, a TADS
and Inform version of the same game?)

--Z

--

"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the
borogoves..."

Dennis Matheson

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Apr 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/15/98
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Lucian Paul Smith wrote:
>
> cody sandifer (sand...@crmse.sdsu.edu) wrote:
> : In article <6h06p3$jd8$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>, gre...@onyx.octacon.co.uk wrote:
>
> : > Are graphics a good , or bad thing in IF?
>
> : Hmmm. Are they allowed in the annual competition?
>

I think the main problem they would have is that HTML-TADS currently
only runs on Win95/NT machines, with a Mac port "coming soon". An
HTML-TADS game in this year's competition would have fewer players than
the traditional format. Of course, any that do appear may get higher
scores because of the novelty factor.

Now, in a few years this will likely change as more interpreters
become available and players get used to seeing graphics. I do expect
to see a few in this years competition tho...

--
"You can't run away forever, but there's nothing wrong
with getting a good head start" --- Jim Steinman

Dennis Matheson --- Dennis....@delta-air.com
--- http://home.earthlink.net/~tanstaafl

athol-brose

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Apr 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/15/98
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In article <3534FC...@delta-air.com>, Dennis Matheson wrote:
> I think the main problem they would have is that HTML-TADS currently
>only runs on Win95/NT machines, with a Mac port "coming soon". An
>HTML-TADS game in this year's competition would have fewer players than
>the traditional format. Of course, any that do appear may get higher
>scores because of the novelty factor.

Coded correctly, an HTML-TADS game should run without incident on a
non-HTML run-time, if that run-time is the latest version. The
derivative interpreters would have to be upgraded to allow the
HTML-stripping, and I'm not quite sure how one would handle quite a
few things, but it definitely should be possible to do.

If I could draw worth beans, I might be tempted to do just this for
the competition next year. Hmm... photoshop and a clip-art
disk...

Lucian Paul Smith

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Apr 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/15/98
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Andrew Plotkin (erky...@netcom.com) wrote:

: More interesting question: Is it permissible to enter two different

: versions of the same game? In the present example -- a classic TADS game
: file and an HTML-TADS package? (Or even, if you're crazy enough, a TADS
: and Inform version of the same game?)

Actually, the issue *did* almost come up this year, in a way. Kent
Tessman was considering including a graphic logo in his game, which, in
the end, he opted not to do. In this case, some Hugo interps would have
shown the logo, while others wouldn't have. I would suppose an HTML-TADS
game would be playable, sans graphics, on a vanilla-TADS interpreter, and
could be judged as such.

I suppose an entrant could place a restriction on their entry, something
like 'please do not judge this game unless you can see the graphics',...

-Lucian

weird...@prodigy.net

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Apr 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/15/98
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In article <erkyrath...@netcom.com>,
erky...@netcom.com (Andrew Plotkin) wrote:

>
> Lucian Paul Smith (lps...@rice.edu) wrote:
> > cody sandifer (sand...@crmse.sdsu.edu) wrote:
> > : In article <6h06p3$jd8$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>, gre...@onyx.octacon.co.uk wrote:
>
> > : > Are graphics a good , or bad thing in IF?
>
> > : Hmmm. Are they allowed in the annual competition?
>
> > Seriously, though, although the issue has not come up, I doubt whether the
> > inclusion of graphics would be an issue for contest administrators. Heck,
> > if someone wanted to use that new Sierra-esqe engine to code up a game,
> > and entered it, I think it'd happily be included.
>
> I read the rules the same way. Any kind of program is admissable. Of
> course, if you fall under the minimum number of votes because not enough
> people can run your game, that's life.
>
> More interesting question: Is it permissible to enter two different
> versions of the same game? In the present example -- a classic TADS game
> file and an HTML-TADS package? (Or even, if you're crazy enough, a TADS
> and Inform version of the same game?)
>

Since ZIP (the compression utility, not the z-interpreter) works on a number
of computers, that might be a way to do it. Each user could pick his favorite
format, but it would still just be one package. (Kind of like how the Infocom
CD's have both PC and Mac Formats).

Weird Beard
weird...@prodigy.net

A 42 mile per hour wind brought down the original Tacoma bridge in the state
of Washington in the 1930's

Andrew Plotkin

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Apr 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/15/98
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Lucian Paul Smith (lps...@rice.edu) wrote:
> Andrew Plotkin (erky...@netcom.com) wrote:

> : More interesting question: Is it permissible to enter two different

> : versions of the same game? In the present example -- a classic TADS game
> : file and an HTML-TADS package? (Or even, if you're crazy enough, a TADS
> : and Inform version of the same game?)

> Actually, the issue *did* almost come up this year, in a way. Kent


> Tessman was considering including a graphic logo in his game, which, in
> the end, he opted not to do. In this case, some Hugo interps would have
> shown the logo, while others wouldn't have.

That's not quite the same issue, though.

> I would suppose an HTML-TADS
> game would be playable, sans graphics, on a vanilla-TADS interpreter, and
> could be judged as such.

No, not on currently-released TADS interpreters. (I don't know whether it
would fail to load, or just show all the markup tags in the displayed
text.)

> I suppose an entrant could place a restriction on their entry, something
> like 'please do not judge this game unless you can see the graphics',...

I'm asking about the opposite case: what if someone wants to release a
game that everyone can judge, but through separate graphics and
non-graphics versions?

Adam J. Thornton

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Apr 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/16/98
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In article <6h2mn3$8rl$1...@joe.rice.edu>,

Lucian Paul Smith <lps...@rice.edu> wrote:
>Seriously, though, although the issue has not come up, I doubt whether the
>inclusion of graphics would be an issue for contest administrators. Heck,
>if someone wanted to use that new Sierra-esqe engine to code up a game,
>and entered it, I think it'd happily be included. It'd probably spark a
>series of rants here on raif, but I think most people would be fine with
>it. The only judging criteria is "play each game for two hours, and rate
>them from 1 to 10, based on whatever criteria you feel is important."

With a caveat. It'll be HUGE if you use sound samples, since HTMLTADS only
currently does .wav files. Goldskul.gam is something like 1.3 M with the
resources compiled in!

A lot of people, me included, are going to be pissed about downloading
this much.

Adam
--
ad...@princeton.edu Cynical and drunk and boring someone in some dark cafe

David Dyte

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Apr 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/16/98
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Andrew Plotkin asked:

>
> I'm asking about the opposite case: what if someone wants to release a
> game that everyone can judge, but through separate graphics and
> non-graphics versions?
>

Well, I guess that's up to me. And I don't see a problem. Consider
that official.

- David Dyte


George Caswell

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Apr 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/16/98
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On Tue, 14 Apr 1998, David Glasser wrote:

> <gre...@onyx.octacon.co.uk> wrote:
>
> > Are graphics a good , or bad thing in IF?
>

> My opinion on graphics in IF is the same as my feelings on frames in
> webpages: they are decent, if done well AND TOTALLY IGNORABLE.
>

I think that's rather a limited way of looking at things. If the graphics
contribute to the work more than they complicate the problems of using it,
they're a good thing. If the graphics help the game be exactly what the
author wanted it to be, they're a good thing.

> --David Glasser, waiting for Netscape and Microsoft to start HTML TADS
> standards wars

Why wait? Bring Netscape into the fray right away... get the sources to
Navigator 5 and make it into TADS. :)
________________________________________________
______________ _/> ____ | George Caswell: WPI CS'99. Member of SOMA team |
<___ _________// _/<_ / | LnL Projectionist-in-action! Linux+PC hobbyist.|
// <> ___ < > / _/ | "Cue!" -HP "Did you just say 'cue!'??" -CC |
// /> / / _/ / / <____ | "Yes I did..." -HP "Shit!" -CC |
// </ <<</ < _/ <______/ |_For more info see http://www.wpi.edu/~timbuktu_|
</ </

PGP 2.6.2 public key print D9 88 A0 53 DC 7E 66 F1 B7 44 D1 7E 48 95 D8 E0


David Glasser

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Apr 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/16/98
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George Caswell <timb...@adamant.res.wpi.net> wrote:

> On Tue, 14 Apr 1998, David Glasser wrote:

> > My opinion on graphics in IF is the same as my feelings on frames in
> > webpages: they are decent, if done well AND TOTALLY IGNORABLE.
> >
> I think that's rather a limited way of looking at things. If the graphics
> contribute to the work more than they complicate the problems of using it,
> they're a good thing. If the graphics help the game be exactly what the
> author wanted it to be, they're a good thing.

OK, you're right. Just I like portability a lot, and there are blind
IFers out there. (I'm not changing my frames view, though.)

--David Glasser

MindShift Design

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Apr 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/17/98
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I've lurked for a long time, and only posted a few times in this NG, but
here's my tuppence.

I downloaded HTML-TADS and The Gold Skull. The Gold Skull graphics were very
nice, but the sounds didn't play. In standard TADS form, the gold skull adv
is really small - as it consists of only a few rooms and items. But as Adam
says games would be huge. Gold skull is a couple of rooms and items at 1.3
Mb in size. Fair enough, it's using 16/24 bit colour images. But an adv with
say 80-100 rooms and many objects and actors in it with a graphic for most
of them would be really huge!

Its not just download times that would be noticeably increased. But use of
hard drive space. and portability - HTML-TADS is only available currently
for Win95/NT, which leaves a large majority of TADS gamers out in the cold
at the moment. What could be a 120k game in standard format could be 8-9 Mbs
in size.

Just my tuppence worth.

--
Jason Paul McCartan
MindShift Design
"Altering Perceptions, Creating Worlds"

http://www.commercepark.co.uk/mindshift
in...@mindshift.prestel.co.uk

Adam J. Thornton wrote in message <6h406t$4dk$1...@cnn.Princeton.EDU>...

Brock Kevin Nambo

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Apr 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/17/98
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MindShift Design wrote in message <6h6tt7$7kc$1...@biffo.sol.co.uk>...

>I've lurked for a long time, and only posted a few times in this NG, but
>here's my tuppence.
>
>I downloaded HTML-TADS and The Gold Skull. The Gold Skull graphics were
very
>nice, but the sounds didn't play. In standard TADS form, the gold skull adv
>is really small - as it consists of only a few rooms and items. But as Adam
>says games would be huge. Gold skull is a couple of rooms and items at 1.3
>Mb in size. Fair enough, it's using 16/24 bit colour images. But an adv
with
>say 80-100 rooms and many objects and actors in it with a graphic for most
>of them would be really huge!

I think that the demo said (somewhere) that the majority of the MB space was
taken up by the sounds which you were unable to hear.


>>BKNambo
--
and that's just the way it is...

Brock Kevin Nambo

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Apr 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/17/98
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David Glasser wrote in message
<1d7hs1d.1a4...@usol-phl-pa-128.uscom.com>...

><gre...@onyx.octacon.co.uk> wrote:
>
>> Are graphics a good , or bad thing in IF?
>
>My opinion on graphics in IF is the same as my feelings on frames in
>webpages: they are decent, if done well AND TOTALLY IGNORABLE.
>
>When I say that, I mean that you should have an alternate way to do
>anything that you can do with graphics. Maps, compassi, etc. are great
>uses *if and only if* you can go north without clicking.

AMEN a THOUSAND times to THAT!
For almost a full year, I had to run Windows without a mouse.

It would be *savage* irony if I couldn't have played a "text" adventure
during that time.
[gently ignore the fact that I couldn't anyway, because I hadn't heard of
you people yet]

Jean

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Apr 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/17/98
to

This HTML is an interesting idea. It doesn't make me think in terms
of graphics immediately, rather the opposite. Since HTML is not a
layout language, but a structural markup language, I would suppose
that marking up IF text in HTML would increase portability by allowing
italics or other kinds of emphasis to be handled more gracefully by
speech readers as well. Any ideas on including CSS support?

--Jean

DMA

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Apr 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/17/98
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I think having the possibility to use graphics is a pro. New flavors of
IF will hopefully emerge (or probably already have -- I don't know i'm
rather new to IF but I know that the same debate is going for Webbed
MOO's).

I would say let them have it and we'll see ...

Jean wrote:
>
> This HTML is an interesting idea. It doesn't make me think in terms
> of graphics immediately,

Just what i thought. HTML is not just about graphics. The ability to
give visual cues (font changes etc) can make the text much more
readable. Reading text from a screen is difficult enough. Being able to
see where the text came from, scenery or a character, can make the text
much easier to read. And what to think of these DADAistic poems where
the text is bend in so many shapes ...

> rather the opposite. Since HTML is not a
> layout language, but a structural markup language,

I think that's a myth. In theory it is a structural markup language but
that's often not the way people use it. Hence, XML.

> I would suppose
> that marking up IF text in HTML would increase portability by allowing
> italics or other kinds of emphasis to be handled more gracefully by
> speech readers as well. Any ideas on including CSS support?
>
> --Jean

Maybe the contests should have a new category (mixed media IF).
Personally i would be very interested in seeing some examples that could
do well in such a category.

Guess the bottom line is to create compelling games/stories. If these
use text only, or a mix of text/graphics i don't really care.

Marc

--

Marc van Grootel
bwa...@urc.tue.nl (remove the anti-spam 'x' when replying to this mail)
LAVA (the lab for Architecture) http://www.calibre.bwk.tue.nl/lava/

Steve Young

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Apr 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/17/98
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Brock Kevin Nambo wrote in message ...


>
>AMEN a THOUSAND times to THAT!
>For almost a full year, I had to run Windows without a mouse.


Why?

Neil K.

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Apr 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/18/98
to

"MindShift Design" <postm...@mindshift.prestel.co.uk> wrote:

> I downloaded HTML-TADS and The Gold Skull. The Gold Skull graphics were very

> nice, but the sounds didn't play. [...]

Do you have Microsoft's DirectX software? If you don't then sound will
not play.

> [...] Gold skull is a couple of rooms and items at 1.3
> Mb in size. Fair enough, it's using 16/24 bit colour images. [...]

Actually, the graphics in Golden Skull are relatively small since they're
not full screen and since JPEG is a pretty efficient file format. It's the
sounds that occupy most of the room.

In fact, the version that's on GMD is much smaller than an earlier beta.
I originally had much nicer sounds that didn't loop as obviously (the cave
interior is particularly bad for an obvious loop) but the files were so
fnarking massive I had to cut them down. That's why the bird, for
instance, gets cut off on the second chirp in an unpleasant sort of way -
I was hacking out sounds ruthlessly. Also, the earlier versions were for
when HTML-TADS didn't have a BGAMBIENT layer. Having two ambient layers is
a great way to reduce audio file sizes.

> [...] But an adv with


> say 80-100 rooms and many objects and actors in it with a graphic for most
> of them would be really huge!

Definitely. CD-ROM territory.

"Brock Kevin Nambo" <newsm...@earthling.net> wrote:

> I think that the demo said (somewhere) that the majority of the MB space was
> taken up by the sounds which you were unable to hear.

Uh, no. Why on Earth would I release a game filled with sounds that
nobody could hear?

erky...@netcom.com (Andrew Plotkin) wrote:

> No, not on currently-released TADS interpreters. (I don't know whether it
> would fail to load, or just show all the markup tags in the displayed
> text.)

The answer to that is "it depends." Current TADS interpreters will load
an HTML-TADS game, pass the markup tags through and simply display them,
yes. However, if the game includes embedded JPEG and WAV resources then
you've got a problem. At least two of the current TADS interpreters I've
tried choke on the resources. So until those current interpreters are
upgraded, there will be compatibility issues with some games.

- Neil K.

--
t e l a computer consulting + design * Vancouver, BC, Canada
web: http://www.tela.bc.ca/tela/ * email: tela @ tela.bc.ca

Brock Kevin Nambo

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Apr 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/18/98
to

Steve Young wrote in message <3537c...@ispc-news.cableinet.net>...

Because it didn't work! When it did "work", it just frenzied around the
screen.
I have a new computer now, but I did fix the problem before I got rid of the
old one.

Brock Kevin Nambo

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Apr 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/18/98
to

Neil K. wrote in message ...

> "Brock Kevin Nambo" <newsm...@earthling.net> wrote:
>
>> I think that the demo said (somewhere) that the majority of the MB space
was
>> taken up by the sounds which you were unable to hear.
>
> Uh, no. Why on Earth would I release a game filled with sounds that
>nobody could hear?

I said that in response to the person who said the game was big and the
sounds didn't play. (*he* was unable to hear them.)

I heard them just fine ;)

Neil K.

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Apr 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/18/98
to

"Brock Kevin Nambo" <newsm...@earthling.net> wrote:

> I said that in response to the person who said the game was big and the
> sounds didn't play. (*he* was unable to hear them.)

Ah OK. Though you meant "one" and not "you," as in the original poster.

Ivan Cockrum

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Apr 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/18/98
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In article <6h6tt7$7kc$1...@biffo.sol.co.uk>, "MindShift Design"
<postm...@mindshift.prestel.co.uk> wrote:

> I downloaded HTML-TADS and The Gold Skull. The Gold Skull graphics were very

> nice, but the sounds didn't play. In standard TADS form, the gold skull adv
> is really small - as it consists of only a few rooms and items. But as Adam

> says games would be huge. Gold skull is a couple of rooms and items at 1.3
> Mb in size. Fair enough, it's using 16/24 bit colour images. But an adv with


> say 80-100 rooms and many objects and actors in it with a graphic for most
> of them would be really huge!

I think that the rules for creating graphical games will be very similar
to those for creating speedy web pages. Optimized graphics and tiny sound
samples. For instance, there's a 60k rule in html design - the combined
"weight" of all elements on a page shouldn't exceed 60k (ideally, 30k).
Even at 60k per room, a game with 50 rooms is going to weigh in at about
3mb. Not great, but not hideous either. With careful consideration, a
good designer can pack a lot of content into a couple of megabytes.

-- Ivan

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Ivan Cockrum www.cockrumville.com iv...@NOSPAMcockrumville.com
----------------------------------------------------------------------
To reply by email, remove "NOSPAM" from the address above.

TenthStone

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Apr 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/20/98
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lps...@rice.edu (Lucian Paul Smith) scribed this on 15 Apr 1998 16:19:47 GMT:

>Seriously, though, although the issue has not come up, I doubt whether the
>inclusion of graphics would be an issue for contest administrators. Heck,
>if someone wanted to use that new Sierra-esqe engine to code up a game,
>and entered it, I think it'd happily be included. It'd probably spark a
>series of rants here on raif, but I think most people would be fine with
>it. The only judging criteria is "play each game for two hours, and rate
>them from 1 to 10, based on whatever criteria you feel is important."

...as long as there's a good handling of the graphics. If (as in some IF I've
played) every time you entered a location you were bombarded with the
same snapshot, and there was no known way to disable them, I would
consider them a severe impediment to game play and possibly dock points.
Probably not. At any rate, such annoyances could easily waste a good
ten minutes of the reviewer's time.

The type of graphics I here refer to are those included in all-text IF, and
that spring at you in the midst of the "look around" descriptions. I quite
enjoy Sierra's line of adventure games (although Torin's Passage was
rather disappointing in the endgame, and in parts became so utterly
flippant a waster of my time that I considered quitting at once)

-- TenthStone
-- TenthStone
tenth...@hotmail.com mcc...@erols.com a987...@titan.vcu.edu

Francis Irving

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Apr 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/20/98
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On Sat, 18 Apr 1998 09:18:54 GMT, fake...@anti-spam.address (Neil
K.) wrote:

> Actually, the graphics in Golden Skull are relatively small since they're
>not full screen and since JPEG is a pretty efficient file format. It's the
>sounds that occupy most of the room.

Maybe for people without a soundcard, you could release a version
without the sounds in?

> In fact, the version that's on GMD is much smaller than an earlier beta.
>I originally had much nicer sounds that didn't loop as obviously (the cave
>interior is particularly bad for an obvious loop) but the files were so
>fnarking massive I had to cut them down. That's why the bird, for
>instance, gets cut off on the second chirp in an unpleasant sort of way -
>I was hacking out sounds ruthlessly. Also, the earlier versions were for
>when HTML-TADS didn't have a BGAMBIENT layer. Having two ambient layers is
>a great way to reduce audio file sizes.

And maybe for people with fast and free ISDN connection, you could
supply a version with your improved sounds!

Francis.

Home: fra...@pobox.co.uk Web: www.meta.demon.co.uk

Neil K.

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Apr 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/21/98
to

fra...@ncgraphics.co.uk wrote:

> Maybe for people without a soundcard, you could release a version
> without the sounds in?
>

> And maybe for people with fast and free ISDN connection, you could
> supply a version with your improved sounds!

If the demo were a real game I'd probably consider releasing one or two
versions in different sizes. Particularly in the case of large games where
sound is a significant space-eating problem. As it was I felt the demo
wasn't really *that* big and was, after all, a demonstration of the
capabilities of the system.

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