También existe una versión en español de este documento.
First of all, please excuse my english as it isn't my mother tongue. Thanks.
The so called Paguaceta project arose from my devotion to conversational games, which are nowadays called "Interactive Fiction". My wish is for this kind of games to reach the greatest number of people it can, by facilitating the execution as well as the creation of them under multiple environments, as many as possible.
For run time, that everybody, whichever their working platform or mother tongue, can play games created with Paguaceta. I have in mind the Windows, Unix, Macintosh and PalmOS platforms. Lately, we are considering the possibility of playing them also with the Gameboy.
For design time, that everybody, whichever their working platform or mother tongue, can create in an easy and intuitive manner conversational games that the rest of us can enjoy. I have in mind the Windows, Unix and Macintosh platforms.
The project, as planned right now, should be made of several well differentiated parts:
A language with which to write the adventures. I have arbitrarily chosen the kanguage used in the old PAW from Gilsoft in its PC version, because I think it is specially simple and efficient, because lots of adventures have been created with it (which could be translated by Paguaceta). I have also thought that a superset of this language could be made up so as to write complex expressions to be later preprocessed and converted into PAW format.
A compiler that translates the programs written in PAW format (or its superset to be defined) into a format executable (by interpreters) in the most environments possible. Up to today, the one that I find most suitable for this purpose is the Infocom's Z-machine, which has interpreters for many different environments, among which are MSDOS, Windows, Unix, Amiga, PalmOS and others.
A visual development environment that lets the creation and development of this kind of games be more intuitive than today. I also expect the environment to be multiplatform. In order to achieve this I have begun a prototype of it written in Mr. Ousterhout's Tcl/Tk script language, for which there are run time environments at least for Windows, Unix and Macintosh.
The Paguaceta compiler, as said before, must translate source files written in PAW into Infocom's Z machine story files. For its development I count first on translating Mr. Graham Nelson's Z-machine specification into spanish. Most of the recent interpretes written for the Z-machine are based on this specification. This translation is the work in progress now, and its current state can be found at http://pagina.de/yokiyoki (which, if you are interested, translates as "Yokiyoki's page").
With respect to the source language, PAW, its specification and technical documentation (in english) can be found at one of its creators' home page, at http://www.btinternet.com/~yeandle/advent/.
In this moment there is a sketch of what could be the lexycal-syntactic-semantic grammar for this language, which can be seen in the document gramatica.txt. It is only a sketch, in a very free style, but as always suggestions and corrections are welcome.
The visual development environment is intended to consist of windows and properties quick editors, following what is expected in any current environment, with windows, pop-up menus, etc. It would consist, at a least, of a map edition window, where you could see and edit the game locations, their names and connections, the start location, and if possible the objects contained in them; other window for editing the vocabulary, which by all means must be almost all text, but which would be expected to ease the organizations of kinds of words and synonims; other window to edit the properties of the objects; and a last code-editing window.
I intend to implement in the visual environment the advanced features of Paguaceta: compilation and execution of the game directly from the environment (configurable), dealing with macros and templates (to implement something like libraries), syntax highlighting, and the previously mentioned superset of the language, so that you can edit more complex expressions than those allowed by PAW, and let the environment translate them into expressions understable by the PAW compiler.
Right now, the Paguaceta project priority is not focused on the visual development environment, but on the compiler.
Here you can see a thumbnail of the current status of the environment (for the Windows platform):
As stated before, in this moment work is in progress in three lines: first, the Z-machine specification is being translated into spanish, what will allow a better understanding of it and finally the implementation of the compiler that has it as the destination machine (I hope that it will also be useful to other developers who want to work with or against it); second, a prototype of the visual development environment is under construction, in order to profile the details of it; and third and last, there is a preliminary grammar of the PAW language. There is also an example of the initial idea of what could be the superset proposed before. It can be seen in the document ejemplo.rtf.
You can contact me by e-mailing to the address firstname.lastname@example.org.
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