grotz 0.2a

A Z-code interactive fiction interpreter for GTK
  3 Screenshots
grotz is a GTK port of Frotz, which is the classic Z-code game engine. grotz, like Frotz, is intended for playing 'interactive fiction' games compiled for the Inform Z-machine platform. Although the Z-machine is, in a sense, an archaic and defunct platform, many games and stories were developed for it, and more continue to be written. grotz makes a reasonable job of playing most of the original Infocom games — Zork, Arthur, Lurking Horror, etc — including (to some extent) graphics and sound. The world of interactive fiction has moved on since the Infocom days, but these old games still exercise a Z-code interpreter thoroughly — more so than modern developments which rely less on the Z-machine to provide the complete user interface.

grotz is intended to support Linux and Windows using exactly the same code and build files. It is written entirely in C, and uses a single-Makefile build system which is very simple, and could probably be adapted to compile for other platforms on which GTK runs. The primary platform is Linux — there are already good Z-code interpreters for Windows. It's always struck me as anomalous that there are few stable, feature-rich Z-code platforms designed for modern Linux desktops. Of course, there is Gargoyle — but Gargoyle's focus seems to be on typography rather than comprehensive, specific Z-machine support.

grotz is far from being a finished product, but at present it seems to be basically functional. Bug reports, etc., are welcome; bug fixes even more so.

Main features:

  • Supports all the Z-code versions that Frotz supports, and adds support for zblorb archives
  • Some support for Z-code version 6 graphics (see below)
  • Uses variable-pitch fonts where possible, which most people find easier to read than console fonts
  • Unicode support, both for keyboard and screen
  • Mouse support, with games the implement it. You can move around by clicking the compass rose in Zork Zero, for example
  • Transparent and true-colour text support, as defined in version 1.1 of the ZMachine specification
  • Supports Amiga-style box graphics, for those games that require this feature (e.g., Beyond Zork)
  • Transcript/scrollback viewer
  • Rudimentary sound support

last updated on:
April 17th, 2012, 13:27 GMT
license type:
developed by:
Kevin Boone
ROOT \ System \ Emulators
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