Dial-a-Grue

Zork with text-to-speech inside a telephone.

The Goal of GruePhone 2.0 is to be able to play a number of text adventure games using nothing but an old phone. This will be accomplished using a small, ARM based embeddable computer called a "chip". This will read the descriptions to the user via a text-to-speech engine, and listen for user input via a speech-to-text engine and feed that back to the game.

The goal of GruePhone 1.0 was to port Zork I (via a z-code interpreter) to an embedded platform, and enclose that and an old modem inside a telephone, so that the game can be played from a teletype, TDD, or old computer with an acoustically coupled modem.

File this under "payphone goals".

One of the things I've wanted to do to my payphone for a while now is put some kind of game inside it, but I was thinking more of a choose-your-own-adventure kind of thing, where your choices are entered on the keypad: "press 1 to get lamp", etc. I haven't come across a script for something like that yet.

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8 Responses:

  1. Ryan Steele says:

    I remember on the Apple ][ there was a game called Animals, where you would think of an animal and it would ask you a series of yes or no questions, starting with "Does it live in the water?", trying to guess the animal. If it guesses incorrectly, it asks you to provide a question that would distinguish between the animal it guessed and the animal you were thinking of. In this way it builds a decision tree and learns how to guess other animals. That could be fun to play on a payphone.

    I found a Perl implementation here. Of course, that is a text-based version. I'm thinking on the phone you would record a short audio clip with the name of the animal and the distinguishing question, and it would ask you to press 1 for "yes" and 2 for "no".

  2. jrrs says:

    Interesting. It was just two or three years ago that my deaf brother-in-law finally gave up his TTY machine (top photo) to call his friends (and his sister via a phone company operator who read out the TTY messages) in favour of texting with a smartphone.

  3. robert_ says:

    It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a nightclub owner.

  4. You might find a good system on the Interactive Fiction Wiki. For example, about twenty years ago I co-wrote StoryHarp (FOSS on GitHub) which could be adapted to create such games with some effort -- but there might be closer matches. http://www.ifwiki.org/index.php/StoryHarp

  5. Eli the Bearded says:

    Zoip an Asterisk based "Zork VOIP" made the rounds about a decade ago. There's a source link at "Freshmeat", which suggests it isn't very fresh any more. I recall reading about a plain pushbutton adventuring game in Asterisk, but I can't find any links now.

  6. dreckdreck says:

    I wish I had the technical chops to put this together. Knocking out a series of 5-10 minute choose-your-own-adventure titles would be great.

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