Mark built the engine over a the last few days in 2019, as part of a Christmas present to three friends he recorded a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast with. Dissatisfied with the game engines he found, he attempted to build something as quickly as possible, that could be run and tested in a terminal window, but would then work as a web app that could be packaged up via Electron.
Games are written in simple ES6 notation as NodeJS modules that can be combined together. The
steadmotron library contains the entire game engine, and two simple handlers for printing out the story and prompting for input.
The CLI is a separate NodeJS package used to build game files. Commands like
steadmotron play allow the user to play the game in their terminal.
steadmotron serve allows the game to be played in-browser, with a style that simulates the text of a Commodore 64.