Quest 5.1 now available

Quest 5.1 is now available.

The new version of Quest features the following improvements below (mostly copied from the beta announcement, so apologies if this is all familiar!)

  • Enhanced Game Browser. You can now see star ratings, and read reviews and comments, directly within Quest. You also have more control – from the Options window, you can change the download folder, and enable or disable the Sandpit and Adult categories. Also, the Adult category option can be “locked out” with a registry setting (see “Configuring Quest” on the wiki for details) – handy if you’re rolling out Quest on a school network for example.
  • Simple Mode. Hides Quest’s more advanced functionality in the Editor – great for beginners, or for using Quest with younger children. The Editor becomes stripped right down to the basics – only rooms and objects are displayed in the tree, without the distracting “clutter” of functions, walkthroughs and so on. The Script Editor is cut down so only the most important script commands are displayed when adding a command. But full power is only ever a click away – you can toggle Simple Mode on or off at any time from the Tools menu.
  • Walkthrough Enhancements. You can now include walkthroughs in published .quest files, and the new walkthrough assertions feature allows you to create automated tests. See Walkthrough Assertions on the wiki for details.
  • Loops. There is a new “while” loop, and a new step parameter for “for”.
  • Use/Give. These have been moved to their own tab in the object editor, which is now more flexible. There are now separate lists for “Use (other object) on this” and “Use this on (other object)”, so you can set up a “use A on B” relationship from either A or B.
  • Hyperlinks. You can now customise the look of hyperlink menus – change the menu fonts and colours, and turn link underlining on or off. It’s now easier to create custom hyperlinks – the new ObjectLink function makes it easier to create an object hyperlink, and the new CommandLink function lets you create a hyperlink that will run any command.
  • Metadata. From the game editor, you can now enter a description and choose a category. There is a new game ID which will be used to uniquely identify a game. This will make it possible to upload a game to textadventures.co.uk without having to re-enter descriptions etc. on the web upload form.
  • Better error reporting. Error messages are now more detailed, so if your game won’t load you should have a better idea why. If Quest crashes, you can now submit an error report online.
  • Comments in the Editor. Script comments (lines beginning with “//”) are no longer stripped away when you open an ASLX file in the Editor – comments are now viewable in the Script Editor, and you can add and edit them.
  • Videos now automatically start.
  • You can now turn off sounds from the Options window.

Full upgrade notes are available on the wiki.

Download Quest 5.1

4 thoughts on “Quest 5.1 now available

  1. Peter Pears

    I notice you’ve fixed the issues I reported earlier – cheer for that, well done.

    Just a little thing, I’ve asked before but I don’t think you answered me (probably didn’t see it)… didn’t older versions of Quest bring up menus when right-clicking objects, or allowed drag-drop of inventory items onto room objects, or something of the sort? I have this weird feeling that it used to work like that. And since some Quest games out there are rather shoddily programmed, I sometimes get the feeling that they relied on this functionality, which is now lost.

    Regardless, current functionality means you can’t point-and-click your way through an adventure that requires “USING something WITH something”, only one that requires “USING something”. I was just wondering if you were aware of that, and whether you’d care to address it (not a big thing, naturally, you probably have other priorities).

    Also, kudos on the gamebook idea. From what I’ve seen on CYOAs, the most important things a CYOA creator should do, in this day and age, would be to:

    – Be as versatile as possible;
    – Allow choices (links) to be added/removed to/from certain pages, according to certain conditions;
    – Allow textual input at certain points;
    – Allow inventory management;
    – Allow scripted operations, like combat;
    – Allow the author to permanently display some “stats” (which Quest already does, I believe, in a separate panel between INVENTORY and OBJECTS);
    – Not to neglect SAVE/RESTORE and possibly even UNDO.

    I’d say that if you can fit all this into Gamebook Quest, it’d be perfect. Most CYOA engines out there are either very limited or are “hacks” of more complex programs like Inform, TADS, Adrift. You have the chance to create THE gamebook-creation tool.

    1. Alex Warren Post author

      Yes, Quest 4.x let you left-drag or right-drag out of the inventory to give or use objects on other objects in the room. This hasn’t been implemented in the rewritten Quest 5 interface – basically because there were more important things to develop, in my view anyway!

      I’m not particularly keen to reimplement this in Q5, because it won’t be supported by “play online” either, and I’d like to aim for parity between desktop and web if possible. I think there’s a better way of handling “two-object” verbs like give/use using hyperlinks, which would work across all platforms, so that’s what I’m more interested in focussing on for a future release.

      But by all means if somebody wants to go ahead and implement the feature, I will happily accept the pull request.

      I’m glad you like the gamebook idea – I fear the initial release of the functionality in Quest 5.2 may be slightly disappointing for you, as it’s pretty basic, but if it proves popular there’s plenty of scope for adding lots of functionality to it in later versions, as it will be very easy to tap into more of the power of the underlying Quest platform.

      1. Peter Pears

        Normally I’d be going “but you must re-implement it! Backward compability! You’re breaking old games!” right about now, but if you’re thinking about an alternative, that’s good enough for me.

        In that case, though, could you tell me of a foolproof way to use an item with another in such a way that a shoddyly programmed game would understand, if it were waiting for a point-and-click answer? Would, for instance, “use with ” work?

      2. Alex Warren Post author

        Almost – “use X on Y” will work.

        There’s always a command-line alternative for anything that the GUI helps with – the left-drag and right-drag were just ways of automatically inserting “use X on Y” and “give X to Y”.

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