I think the raif FAQ needs a section about writing interactive fiction
in languages other than English. I would appreciate hearing from raif
readers with comments and pointers to information on this topic.
Here is an outline of things I think I know about non-English IF. I'll
search old raif posts at Google-groups and websearch for URLs etc to
provide specifics to go with these points. I'd appreciate raif readers
giving me the specifics though and, more importantly, correcting and
expanding upon my "facts":
-- Inform is language most commonly used for non-English IF. There's
Spanish, French(?), German and Italian libraries for Inform.
-- ALAN also has a German library.
-- Hugo is suitable for adaptation to non-English (though I don't know
of any attempts.) TADS(v2) is less suited to writing games in
-- There's a couple of Spanish-specific IF authoring systems - Sintac,
-- There's a Spanish IF community, an Italian IF newsgroup, some
German IF websites.
Thanks in advance for any information you can provide on this topic.
remove _X_ from my address to send me email
QML supports basically any language.* There are some issues with Chinese
fonts in the optional-to-use QML-Edit program, but the language itself is
pretty much language neutral (not to create quests, since the author should
understand english to read the tutorials and so on, but to actually play a
* Well it might not count: it's station-based CYOA and not text-input-parsed
IF (even tho you can parse text-input in QML)
TAG ("Text-Adventure-Generator") is a German-language authoring system by
Martin Oehm, author of "The Land beyond the Picket Fence" (Comp96).
It consists of TAG (the compiler) and TAM ("Text-Adventure-Maschine", the
interpreter). TAG is simple (ALAN-like?), but features a solid German
parser. Next to Inform, it's probably the authoring system of choice for
German language IF.
TAG was used for the much-debated "Begegnung am Fluß" (Comp01) and a
handful of other games, among them "Hortulus" and "Im Bannkreis". TAG was
or is being developed on MS-DOS/Windows. It hasn't been ported to anything
Less "unofficial" information is to be found at
Yes. Certainly Inform (or InformATE! the translation of Inform to Spanish)
is the most commonly used system for Spanish IF in the last two years.
> -- There's a couple of Spanish-specific IF authoring systems - Sintac,
And CAECHO?, SKC, DAP, CUTRA... all of them are systems very "PAWS-like"
(not the Python Adventure Writting System, but the "8bits-age" Professional
Adventure Writing System :-).
Visual SINTAC is an attempt to made an interactive-fiction visual
development system (similar to Quest or Adrift).
All of them are not used anymore, in favor of Inform.
And there is a new system called Paguaglus; an attempt to made a "PAWS-like"
that generates code for the Glulk virtual machine.
>(Hi there. This is your friendly rec.arts.int-fiction FAQ maintainer
>I think the raif FAQ needs a section about writing interactive fiction
>in languages other than English. I would appreciate hearing from raif
>readers with comments and pointers to information on this topic.
Dutch text adventures have been written in the After Infocom era, but
An effort is underway at translating the relevant Inform libraries,
but I have not heard of it since the end of last year.
Volk van San Theodoros, ik heb U begrepen.
Hello. This is one of your friendly readers.
> -- Inform is language most commonly used for non-English IF. There's
> Spanish, French(?), German and Italian libraries for Inform.
Swedish is in beta. There's already a game that is now in beta itself
using it, so I know it works. Anyone interested in using Swedish.h can just
mail me at f...@mail.com. It works both for Glulx and Z-machine.
When talking about support for other languages, it's only fair to mention
the support (or lack thereof) for international characters as well. Here's
what I think I know:
The Inform compiler has support for all Latin-n international characters,
in theory. However, bugs is stopping it from working in many ports of the
compiler. The ports for Win32 and Acorn work.
Only two Z-machine interpreters have been confirmed to support inputting
all Latin-1 characters; Zip2000 for Acorn and ZipInfinity for Mac. There
is a patched version of WinFrotz available, that gives WinFrotz Latin-1
support as well. However, this fix has not been incorporated in the
official release yet, and there has indeed not even been any official
promise that it will be.
When it comes to general Latin-n characters, I believe Zip2000 works
fine with them. I'm not sure about the status of any other interpreter.
Glulxe-interpreters seem to accept the entire Latin-1 fine, but don't
accept any other character sets. The Glulx standard says they can only
support Latin-1, so the situation is not likely to improve.
> -- Hugo is suitable for adaptation to non-English (though I don't know
> of any attempts.) TADS(v2) is less suited to writing games in
> non-English languages(?)
There have been numerous attempts at translating Hugo, but none has been
> -- There's a Spanish IF community, an Italian IF newsgroup, some
> German IF websites.
There's a mailinglist for the Swedish IF community. Go to
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/svenska-aventyr/ to join.
I finally got V6 Zip Infinity inputting anything you can type and the
game accepts (yay, I can play Zork I German... except I don't speak
German...), but it might be a while before I get it posted, and even
longer before the normal version works (though V6 Zip Infinity does play
Unfortunately Unicode is a royal pain, and it's probably going to be
really slow on many machines. There's just too much baggage associated
with this international nonsense, and it slows things down. You can't
just display or (significantly) measure a character, you have to build a line
layout object, measure and display it, etc. To do word wrap 'by hand'
you have to do this for every character output.
(yes, I know... don't do word wrap by hand, let the system do it.
But ZIP isn't set up that way; MaxZip does that, but maintaining the
classic look and feel is one of my intentional differentiators.)
Matthew T. Russotto mrus...@speakeasy.net
Dmitry is free, but the DMCA survives. DMCA delenda est!
"Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in pursuit
of justice is no virtue."
Of course, Unicode support would be nice, but the first step should be
to support Latin-1 ... Latin-9. German should be all covered with just
Latin-1. Does Zip Infinity cover the other Latin-n charsets as well?
BTW, how are fonts handled in Unicode-capable applications (if there
indeed are any)? I guess a lot of fonts don't have Simplified Chinese
Here some italian IF info:
Inform - italian library by Giovanni Riccardi
M.A.C. - Mystery Adventure Creator by Paolo Lucchesi
Editor - System by Nicola Simeoni
Basic Module by Enrico Colombini
Italian IF Web Site: http://www.ifitalia.cjb.net
Italian newsgroup: it.comp.giochi.avventure.testuali
2002 Contest Home Page: http://members.xoom.it/avventure
No library for TADS and HUGO
We are working for Glulx
Thanx of all,
Zip Infinity has handled the intersection of the standard 0.2 set of
characters and MacRoman for some time; those are mostly Latin-1, though
there may be a few from Latin-2. To go beyond that basically requires
either using Unicode, or handling all the variants of the Mac's native
character sets and translating those into Unicode to use the Z-machine
1.0 substitution table. It could be done, but it's not really a step on
the way to Unicode and it's just as much work.
I have the Unicode coded, and it's nice and fast on my G4 933Mhz, but I
need to check the speed on a slower machine.
>BTW, how are fonts handled in Unicode-capable applications (if there
>indeed are any)? I guess a lot of fonts don't have Simplified Chinese
There's complicated substitution algorithms for missing characters, but
if you have no font at all with the character, you get a "missing character"
There's the Interactive Fiction Translator’s Page at
http://if-translations.exhome.de/ with some info, but I don't know how often
it gets updated. Also, for what it's worth, I have started writing an
Esperanto translation of the relevant Inform files, but I admit, not very
-- David Welbourn
A friend is currently working on a Portuguese translation of "Uncle
Zebulon's Will", which is written in TADS 2. It will be very
interesting to see how well she succeeds, considering that the TADS 2
parser has some English grammar hard-wired in.
I'll let you know what comes out of the project (I'm not directly
involved since I don't know Portuguese) and which lessons can be
learned for would-be Portuguese TADS authors. (I suppose at least some
of the results will be valid for other Romance languages as well).
Well, that's something I'm extremely interested to see, for obvious reasons.
I'm learning TADS and I have a couple of ideas for a piece of IF, but I just
don't feel confident writing in English. I'm afraid I'm a bit skeptical
about a Portuguese parser for TADS 2, considering the extraordinary
complexity of its grammar, but then again I'm just a TADS newbie. I'd be
very happy to work with your friend in this project, if he needs some
cooperation. Feel free to send him my contact.
>Fredrik Ramsberg <f...@mail.com> wrote:
>>Only two Z-machine interpreters have been confirmed to support inputting
>>all Latin-1 characters; Zip2000 for Acorn and ZipInfinity for Mac. There
>>is a patched version of WinFrotz available, that gives WinFrotz Latin-1
>>support as well. However, this fix has not been incorporated in the
>>official release yet, and there has indeed not even been any official
>>promise that it will be.
Let me clarify--this patch has been given to me, and I promise
that it will be incorporated in the next semi-official release
of WinFrotz made by me.
I'm just not sure when that will be. I am somewhat over-obligated
right now, and WinFrotz is fairly far down list of my concerns.
I am also not the official WinFrotz maintainer. The WinFrotz author
seems to have fallen off the net, and I have released some fixes,
and collected several fixes from others, but I am just some guy,
and I have in general made it clear that I will not be making any
large changes or feature additions to WinFrotz. If someone is
desperate to see this stuff released sooner rather than later,
or is more ambitious about improving WinFrotz (e.g. Blorb stuff),
I will be more than happy to hand over everything I have.
> Unfortunately Unicode is a royal pain, and it's probably going to be
> really slow on many machines. There's just too much baggage associated
> with this international nonsense, and it slows things down. You can't
> just display or (significantly) measure a character, you have to build a line
> layout object, measure and display it, etc. To do word wrap 'by hand'
> you have to do this for every character output.
Unicode just reflects the complexity of human scripts. If your font has
kerning built in, you can't even do English a letter at a time and add them
together to get the total width.
I suppose you could word wrap just at word boundaries. Or if you want to
wrap at characters guesstimate how many characters make up a line and use
that as the first cut.
Tim Partridge. Any opinions expressed are mine only and not those of my employer
Yes, why indeed? Why do people do these things? What do *you* think?
And why do people post under silly aliases such as "Växelström"
("Alternating current") or "von Hållplatz" ("von Bus Stop")?
Good. I just wanted to make clear that I couldn't promise it would be
incorporated in the (semi-) officiale release, since I didn't see you
respond when this fix was announced.
> I'm just not sure when that will be. I am somewhat over-obligated
> right now, and WinFrotz is fairly far down list of my concerns.
Perfectly understandable even if you had agreed to be the WinFrotz
maintainer, and even more so since you haven't.
If a new release may take a while, maybe you or someone else should
set up a semi-official WinFrotz page, where there is information about
the current state of the WinFrotz project, downloadable patched versions
that fix problems for now, and a message saying you'd really like for
someone else with the right profile to take over.
So? I'm only trying for English and maybe a few other European languages
here. I have no intention of writing stuff that works in Korean (which
actually isn't that hard), Chinese (which is), Hebrew, Arabic,
Devangari, or any of those other scripts I don't know. Even if I use
the appropriate APIs, I have no way of testing them, so why should I be
made to go through the whole exercise just to draw or measure a
character? Things have come a long way since
Quickdraw... unfortunately, most of it in the wrong direction.
>If your font has kerning built in, you can't even do English a letter
>at a time and add them together to get the total width.
Kerning is fluff. Turn it off.
>I suppose you could word wrap just at word boundaries. Or if you want to
>wrap at characters guesstimate how many characters make up a line and use
>that as the first cut.
That fails very badly with proportional fonts.
> Of course, Unicode support would be nice, but the first step should be
> to support Latin-1 ... Latin-9. German should be all covered with just
Not anymore, since the Euro (€) is not part of Latin-1.
Latin-15 (ISO-8859-15) is now the common choice for that, although I've
heard that this solution is problematic, compared to Unicode.
Kein Mensch sieht so aus, wie er wirklich ist.
-- Oscar Wilde
I'm french and started learning Inform a few days ago. I looked for a
translation and found a good one, which you can download at the
That's the only french/IF related URL I encountered until now...
I think I'll soon create a website to gather the French IF community
(if only it exists...), and will let you know as soon as it's online.
SteveG <stev_...@actrix.gen.nz> wrote:
> I think the raif FAQ needs a section about writing interactive fiction
> in languages other than English. I would appreciate hearing from raif
> readers with comments and pointers to information on this topic.
I once had an Esperanto authoring system for MeSsy DOS;
I think I must have gotten it from the IF archives ...