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Friday, March 24, 2006

From Screen To Print

I just borrowed a work printer to run off a copy of my Lovecraft interaction fiction's full text. It occured to me that this is one of the simple differences between this format and the standard Zork format. With the latter, you can't just simply print out the whole story, with all it's variation ... at least not terribly easily. Between a parser being in between the printer and the text as well as all of the reader response messages (You pick up the lantern. You already have the lantern. There is no lantern.) ... it doesn't seem terribly feasible.

This is important to me because when I write things, I still need to see a print version to edit towards the end. Can't explain it, but without a piece of a paper with a margin wide enough to jot down some notes ... the brain gets all cramped. I'm not the kind of person who can't read a novel on a computer screen ... but sometimes a cursor just isn't enough for editing your own text.

This is a bit premature, because I think I'm still going to add in a few new sections. No printer at home, though, so this is a good chance to review what's already in place. Came out to 14 pages, single spaced, albeit with non-conventional formatting. I was surprised it was that long, though.

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Michael Birk said...

"my Lovecraft interaction fiction's full text ... [unlike] standard Zork format."

So is "Lovecraft interaction fiction" like Choose Your Own Adventure? Sorry, I'm an ignoramus. I searched briefly, but only found references to Zork.

Josh said...

I've mostly blabbed here and there and not really explained it.

The story is an adaptation of Lovecraft's The Statement of Randolph Carter and it uses a format which is more similar to hypertext or CYOA style fiction rather than storyspace/Zork style.

The big (and I'd like to think it's a rather major one) difference is that the interactions aren't limited from simply choosing one destination to the next. There aren't like, four selections at the end of each page for the reader to determine the next page. In fact, there aren't any links in the story itself.

Instead, the reader gets a certain number of actions per page and the sum of these actions can affect story in various ways. It can manipulate text that is currently on the page or determine different outcomes or even just reactions throughout the story.

For example, it's possible to complain frequently early in the story, which my illicit a different response from characters and possibilities later. in the story.

But there is no command line waiting for input to parse the situation and render output.

As I get closer to posting it, hopefully I'll be able to describe it and the process to get it done better.