Archive for the ‘pystil’ Tag

towards popular Python interactive fiction (#1)

I’ve sort of touched on this topic in previous posts, but I’m trying to crystallize my thoughts here.

In my opinion there currently are three viable options for creating IF with Python: PAWS, PyF, or a custom system. An alternative form of IF can be made with Ren’Py, a visual novel system. Finally, there are two possibilities in the future: Curveship, and another I learned of recently, Prosemonger.

Two other ‘less possible’ possibilities are PUB, and any one of a number of Python mud engines (particularly those with Twisted, a lib originally built for mud IF).

But let’s talk about making a game, using Python, in prose-based, command-line IF (you know, what most people call, ‘IF”). That rules out Ren’Py, PUB (too old), and Python mud engines (too incomplete, or conversely, too complicated I think).

Curveship and Prosemonger are out too of course, as they’re not yet released. As an aside, while I’m eager to write with Curveship, from what I know I don’t think it will be much like IF as it’s played and written today. I think it will be more akin to an academic, generative narrative system, but only time will tell.

At this point a digression is in order (well, with me digressions always are in order, but I…OK, I won’t go there). When I say ‘towards popular Python IF’, what does that mean anyway? And why would you want to write IF with Python in the first place when there are at least five major IF systems that would fit the task very nicely — TADS 3, Inform 7, Inform 6, Hugo, and Adrift?

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pystil

pystilmockup

I’ve been thinking for a while about something like a drawing tool for writers…something like Alchemy that I would write in Python, maybe using pyglet. I’ve always wanted to make tools as well as make games, but they seemed beyond my capabilities somewhat…I have some specific UI ideas I’d like to try in the software flesh (mainly — bigger text for godsake, though it may turn the tool into one only I would use). A couple of new developments inch me closer to my goal. It’s beginning to look like Nick Montfort’s nn, now known as Curveship, will have a release later this year. And then over at MudBytes in a thread where someone asked for help naming a mud framework/IDE written in Python, I thought of the name pystil. So…a narrative/text generation player/maker? Who knows.