Grokking Glk

Table of Contents:

"Just a Dream" Glulx Demo Game by Doe (a.k.a Marnie Parker)
(With the Glulx Inform 6 add-on Glk library, Unglk Lib, and "A Brief Overview of Glk")

Screen shot of "Just A Dream." After the introduction, there is a window for: graphics, a graphic inventory, and game text. The player can also "add" or "subtract" a window that will show graphically what items are in the current location. - (3,733,194 bytes)
  • game archive - executeable game (blorb) - (72,746 bytes - updated version)
  • source code archive - source code, "unglklib.h," "briefglk.txt," resource definition file, compiling instructions - for compiling game and reference

    Note:  "Just a Dream" also functions as an interpreter "tester," because the score is a test of what Glk capabilities the player's interpreter supports. - (1,502,711 bytes)
  • pictures archive 1 (pngs) - for compiling game - (1,205,473 bytes - corrected file)
  • pictures archive 2 (pngs) - for compiling game - (1,023,115 bytes)
  • sounds archive (aifs) - for compiling game (includes one additional sound not used)

Just A Dream Interpreter/Compiler Notes:
(As of 7/2003)

Interpreters: "Just a Dream" will only play on three Glulxe interpreters, those that support graphics: Windows, Linux (X-windows), and the Mac Glulxe. All can be found at

Windows Glulxe =
Linux Glulxe = glulxe-0.3.5.linux.tar.gz
Mac Glulxe = Glulxe-034.hqx

"Just a Dream" has only been tested on the Windows and Linux Glulxe interpreters.

Windows - Everything works great. Linux - Currently the Linux X-windows Glk library does not support sound. Also, the color depth setting for True Color is not implemented correctly. Set to High Color rather than True Color (if your setting currently is True Color). These color settings are software controlled and should be in the same place where you set your screen resolution. (Note: Since "Just a Dream" was released, Xglk patches have been created to: play sounds, play MODs, and to fix 24-bit True Color. To use these patches, you must, of course, add them to the Xglk library source, and recompile it yourself.) Patches can be found at: ttp://

Compilers: The Glulx Inform bi-platform library can be found at:
/ and information on the Glulx bi-platform Inform compiler at

iblorb: The Inform-Blorb packer for Dos, by L. Ross Raszewski, can be found at:

Betatesting (of "Dream") and editing (of briefglk) by Roger Firth and Adam J. Thornton.

"Vistas" Glk Screen Transitions Demo

Color Slide - Picture Slide is also shown.
Venetian Blinds - Vertical Venetian Blinds is also shown.
Iris Out - Iris In is also shown, along with other transitions.

Vistas shows various screen transitions. It was written in 2001 and its source code has routines for timed screen transitions, based on other routines in unglklib.h. I am going to release it now, even though it is out of date. But I suspect the transitions can be updated for I7 Glulx (maybe, as I don't know the current state of glk and I7). Note that Adam J. Thornton worked out the complicated math that made Iris In/Out possible. He also contributed math for Pixelate.

Since Vistas is old, it was designed for monitors with lower resolutions than in use now. It does not look good played at full screen (or work well with the panning routine, because the pictures are too small for higher resolution monitors). To play it at optimal size, use the Restore Down button in the upper right corner (Windows). It should play with both Windows/Linux Glxux interpreters.

Some transitions from Vistas appeared in both "Carma" and "Stiffy Makane: The Undiscovered County" -- my and Adam J. Thornton's entries in the 2001 yearly competition.

3/19/2009 - Revisions are being made to Vistas and hopefully it will be released in 2-3 weeks.

Grok: To "get," grasp, comprehend, conceptualize, and/or intuitively understand in a way one may not be able to verbalize -- from "Stranger in a Strangeland" by Robert Heinlein.

Also visit my Inform Glulx/Glk for Dunces with the accompanying infglk Wrapper Reference, which briefly summarizes all infglk functions (usage, arguments, return values).

(Glk handles all of Glulx Inform's I/O: windows, graphics, sounds, player input, etc.)

Updated 2/2009

Doe's Main Interactive Fiction Page