Vorple

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XYZZY Awards 2011
Finalist - Best Technological Development

Vorple is a JavaScript user interface library for IF, developed by Juhana Leinonen. It integrates with Undum, Inform 7 and Inform 6

History

The first version of Vorple was as a library for Undum, and allowed the inclusion of many features to Undum stories, such as buttons, images, sound, etc. It was released in November 2011.

In 2012, a version of Vorple that integrated with Inform 7 was released. This required making changes to the Parchment interpreter and the Z-machine specification (the proposed Version 1.2 of the Z-Machine), to add features that would allow communication with the Vorple interpreter and execution of JavaScript code. The library was released on September 30, 2012, and provided many features previously unattainable in Inform 7. The game Guilded Youth by Jim Munroe was the first to use this library, and was released for IF Comp 2012 just after the release of the Vorple libraries and interpreter.

In 2015, librairies for Inform 6 were written by Hugo Labrande, allowing the compilation of Inform 6 games for Vorple; the release was announced on November 17th 2015. The game Tipelau, released a few weeks later, is the first to have been released using these librairies.

Features

The Vorple interpreter for Inform allows the author to use the following tools in games:

  • Multimedia, including sounds, images, and Youtube videos;
  • Hyperlinks (to a website or a command);
  • Text effects, including different fonts, font sizes and alignment;
  • Tooltips on mouse hover, or displaying by themselves;
  • In-browser notifications;

The Vorple interpreter acts as an augmented version of Parchment, displaying the result of the Z-Machine code, as well as executing JavaScript commands (transmitted on a special channel by Parchment). The commands are triggered by special Inform code written in the Vorple librairies for Inform; the author merely has to use the right command from the Vorple librairies to invoke the effect. A more in-depth discussion of Vorple is featured on the Vorple blog.

The Vorple for Inform interpreter being based on Parchment, it only supports Z-Machine games. This currently poses a problem for Inform 7 stories, as the newer versions of I7 generate code that is too big to fit in a Z-Machine format ; as such, Inform 7 has been effectively incompatible with Vorple for a number of years. However, this does not pose a problem for Inform 6 games, what with recent compatibility added.


Games created using Vorple

See Category:Vorple works.


Links

Online presence

Reviews

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