Gnosis

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Software Review: Trizbort

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For those of you who are fans of interactive fiction (also known as a text adventure) you are already used to the idea of drawing maps and finding out how the world of the game is designed. In the past this required you to take a pencil and paper and draw out boxes with directions to where each room would connect and what was found inside. The reason why we did this was obvious: in a text adventure there is only words and we can often play a game easier if we have a visual reference point for where we are! In the beginning of early IF, the mapping of rooms was a virtual necessity because many of the original games had mazes incorporated into them. Without a map and a lot of time spent dropping items and then changing rooms you could not figure out where you were nor get to some places needed for completing the game!

 

That is where Trizbort comes into creation. This free software allows you the ability to draw the map on your screen while you are playing the game and create a digital representation of the IF world. Who could use this software? Well besides the already mentioned video game players, many writers (and IF game creators) would benefit from its’ use and adoption. Imagine writing a novel but having no sense of logic! Imagine creating a choose your own adventure book without being able to visually oversee the entire story for the simple act of checking for loose threads (for those of you who do not know what I mean, a loose thread is where you are reading a book and they mention going to visit a certain room…. and then never go there or mention it ever again!)

The software is simple enough that anyone can learn to use it in about an hour. You create rooms and their descriptions with arrows to indicate what exits that room contains. For example: If I have a Living Room with only one door going north this would be a guide that there is another room to the north of the Living Room. I can call that room the Dining Room and show a door in that room going south. In Trizbort this would be shown sort of like this:

 

Two Rooms Trizbort image

Besides this, the program has the ability to export the map into TADS, INFORM 7 and other formats as well as create a room transcript for use in your game or book creations. So give it a try! It is very straightforward and simple enough that anyone who has an interest in IF, writing, map making or game creation can use it!

The website for downloading and evaluation is here.

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Written by Josecito

November 7, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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