Showing posts with label robot retrievers of the year 3000. Show all posts
Showing posts with label robot retrievers of the year 3000. Show all posts

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Menus 5 and Basic Help Menu 4 for Inform 7, and Robot Retrievers

After I learned that my Menus 4 extension had an accidental extra colon in it which prevented it working straight away in Inform 7 6M62 (6M62 got more rigorous about stuff like that) I took the opportunity to get to work on the next version.

I've just released Menus version 5, which requires Inform 6M62 and is now the public library version. In response to suggestions by Alice Grove, it sports a couple of small but fundamental changes that make it more user-friendly and flexible.

Before I get to those, do you want to see what you can do with this extension? Or, are you one of those weirdos who enjoys interacting with game elements for games that don't actually exist? If you thought 'yes!' to either of these questions, then play the extension's example project Robot Retrievers of the Year 3000 online at my website. It's all help and no game:

And now to describe the changes wrought in Menus version 5:

  • The primary change is that the top level menu table no longer has to use the hardcoded name 'the table of help contents'. You can call it anything you want and point the extension to it by setting the mn_master_table variable. This adds naming flexibility and also location flexibility; some people like to build the primary table in their source, some like to edit the extension itself. (To make a pre-Menus 5 Menus project work with the new system, only a single line needs to be added to your code – the instructions are in the extension docs.)
  • The other significant change is that the vanilla extension now compiles straight out of the box. If you just 'Include Menus by Wade Clarke', your project compiles even if you haven't built or edited any menus yet. Previously you had to create at least the top level menu or compilation would be blocked, which was inconvenient and potentially confusing.

To go with Menus 5, I've also released Basic Help Menu version 4. The content's the same as before, just compatibility-tweaked up to the 6M62/Menus 5 pairing.

Get one or both extensions from the public library:
  • If you're using Mac OS X, the extensions are available from the public library section in the Inform 7 application. With your internet turned on, click the Extensions tab at the lower right of your window, then the Public Library tab in the top right corner. The extensions are in section 11.2 - 'Out of World Actions and Effects' - 'Helping and Hinting'.)