May 22, 2006

Entering the Scene

by Nick Montfort · , 12:50 pm
the couch is against the wood wall. the window is on the wall. the window is next to the couch. the door is 2 feet to the right of the window. the man is next to the couch. the animal wall is to the right of the wood wall. the animal wall is in front of the wood wall. the animal wall is facing left. The walls are on the huge floor. The zebra skin coffee table is two feet in front of the couch. The lamp is on the table. The floor is shiny.

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Image generated from the text above

As a programming language, the natural-language-like Inform 7 (main I7 site) might recall COBOL — whether or not it fulfills a similar grim destiny. But in addition to being a way to write code, Inform 7 is a way to describe spaces and objects in a simulated world. An interesting precedent here, although it generates 3D graphical images instead of a simulation for textual interaction, is WordsEye, a system now in closed beta. More images and the texts that generated them are available at SemanticLight, and there’s a paper about the system.

Thanks to Fernando for pointing this one out.