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How to create a text adventure game maker and transpiler?

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I imagined the authoring system as running on modern hardware (where screen readers would be available) and be able to export source code for modern and retro machines.

Although blind and partially sighted users would not be able to play games on retro machines, I would like them to still be able to create and test them.

Can I throw this into the mix which might be of interest:

While Prolog obviously has its benefits for reasoning, I've never really been convinced by unelaborated statements like "Lisp is great for AI". However I think that set of pages really does make a good implicit argument for at least considering an environment with mutable rules.


Infocom created their own language which they named ZIL (Zork Implementation Language), which was based on MDL (Muddle), which in turn is a descendent of Lisp.

I haven't heard of anyone using Prolog to create commercial text adventures though. I'm not sure it would be easy to convert to other languages or platforms.

Came across earlier which might have some potential, particularly since the author has apparently tested it fairly recently. Apart from that I tinkered with Prolog written in TP some years ago, but it messed around with memory management at a low level and would be virtually impossible to modernise.

Embedded Prolog is nothing new: there used to be a public domain one hidden inside Windows which looked after various network management stuff: the rules were visible as text in a DLL.

(Some days later)

Both the Spivey Pico-Prolog and the older "Very Tiny Prolog" that I've looked at in the past have the requirement that all rules be asserted before anything else is done, and that once asserted a rule cannot be modified or retracted. Pico-Prolog implements its own heap implementation which could possibly be augmented with a mark/release mechanism, but rule manipulation under program is probably impractical.

Out of curiosity I've just been taking a look at the Amzi Prolog implementation which can handle dynamic assertion and retraction. Unfortunately the Linux makefile is out of date and needs significant TLC (based on the Mac variant) which is not something I'm intending to try since from my POV this is very much a solution looking for a problem. I've not investigated whether there is a prebuilt Delphi binding somewhere (pointless since I don't run Windows) or whether the binding can be built in isolation... which would probably still need significant makefile work.


(I'm not sure why this thread was moved as it is the transpiling aspect that is the main problem, rather than the game creation.)

I don't know how hard it would be for text adventure authors (including myself) to get used to how Prolog works. It seems a little strange to me and also might be harder to transpile to other languages. I don't remember it being very popular on home machines of the 80s.

I hope to take a closer look at it at some point though, as it might help with another related idea I had, where a text adventure could be created and played simultaneously. i.e. while you're playing a game you can add new objects, locations, exits etc.

I bought the two books I mentioned on writing an interpreter in Object Pascal, but have only read the introduction so far.

I also found Turbo Rascal Syntax Error (TRSE) which seems to be a remake of Turbo Pascal which cross compiles to retro machines.


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