Technology

Hi Huge,

What an amazing feat of work bringing back my favourite adventure games -thankyou! I still own an Amiga 1000 from my good old days of hacking 68000 code and playing The Pawn. I bought TP and GoT for my iphone and think you’ve done a great job with the interface. I’m curious as a developer what tech you use? I see you mentioned QT. Was that used to code the mobile versions?

Thanks
Steve

Comments

  • Hi Steve,

    Thanks for your interest in our projects.

    At Strand, we're working on a long-term project of; history, technology & Games.

    Those are the, er, strands.

    So our technologies are split into parts. We've split the front-end UI from the back-end game engine. In the middle there's an interface called IFI which glues them together.

    Right now, we have three working engines:

    • Magnetic
      emulation of Magnetic Scrolls games.
    • KL/IF
      Our new engine, currently in development
    • Xvan
      A 3rd party game engine by Marnix van den Bos.

    Regarding the GUI and mobile, the front-end is written in QtQuick, which is a QT technology that combines QML, Javascript and OpenGL. It runs on the GPU and is cross-platform for both desktop and mobile.

    With this, we can make the same GUI target; Windows, OSX, Linux, iOS and Android. Since Qt 5.11, they're also targeting webassembly, which could be very interesting!

    Making the Magnetic Scrolls games work in a GUI, is the problem of making the Magnetic interpreter send and receive IFI messages. IFI's purpose is to;

    expose elements of the world state to the UI

    For example, the known map, objects carried, pictures, sounds, directions and exits as well as the usual text and location information.

    Magnetic was able to determine the game world state because the Magnetic Scrolls original world model was very rich. We wrote C functions to simply access the game's internal data structures, for example, to find the location of objects.

    So that's how it was done.

    BTW, our system is being released open source right here. There are instructions to build the Brahman UI and the Xvan game engine with a demo.

    There are also the original sources for the Magnetic Scrolls games we've released to date, finally recovered from old tapes after 30 years!

    Unfortunately the make files won't just build those, they're a lot more tricky. At some point i plan to write some build instructions for the Scrolls' sources.

    Any specific questions, feel free to ask.

  • Thanks for the info Huge.

    The Vax/VMS stuff takes me back (changing tapes and coding in Vax-C and Fortran) PDP-11! Good old days. I’m intreagued by QTQuick for the mobile frontend (I put together a QT front end to a perl prog on Linux a few years ago -good fun). Currently working with Swift/python and looking at LLVM/Clang. Your Git repo looks interesting, I’ll have a look through.

    Looking forward to see how your projects and products develop -all good stuff!

    Cheers
    Steve

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