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§25.19. Producing an EPS format map

The "Index map with..." instruction is a much more varied thing than hinted at in the previous section, and its general form is

Index map with [instruction] and [instruction] and ... and [instruction].

where the instructions can be of four different forms, as follows:

[room A] mapped [direction] of [room B]
EPS file
rubric [text] ... and some optional details ...
[setting] of [whatever] set to [value]

We have already seen the first of these instructions. The second is short and has a fixed wording:

EPS file

so can be invoked by typing "Index map with EPS file.", for instance. EPS stands for Encapsulated PostScript, which is a standard file format for line art. EPS files can be edited with sophisticated graphics programs such as Adobe Illustrator, and can be used as illustrations in many word-processors and page layout programs. They can also be converted to PDF by Mac OS X Preview, or used in Linux or Windows with the open-source Evince viewer. We need a line-art format because the map produced will never be exactly what we want: we are probably going to end up hacking it to change the fonts, add some drawings, tidy up the spacing and so on. A really large map will end up using quite a large "canvas", in EPS terms; it may be necessary to shrink it down in order to get it onto an A4 page, or to adjust whatever editing software is used to "custom paper size".

When the map-maker has been given the "EPS file" instruction, it writes an attempt to draw the current project's map in EPS format as a file in the project's ".materials" folder, with the filename "Inform Map.eps".

Note that Inform will over-write any existing file of this name: but that is intentional, because one usually ends up tweaking and rebuilding the project over and over to get the map just so, and it would be tiresome for Inform to produce endless copies "Inform Map 19.eps", etc.

(The reason the EPS file is not placed in the Release subfolder is that it is not going to releasable to the public as it stands: for one thing it will be too raw, and for another, EPS is not a format everyone can read. It is provided as raw materials.)

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