Identify Your Player (inspired by: Things Players Try)

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Andy Fischer

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Feb 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/17/99
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Rather than just make a list of wierd actions that the player is likely to
take, I think it would be interesting to identify the types of players that are
out there. For example, I know that when I play, I tend to hoard objects,
taking anything that I can and putting it all in one room if I can't carry it
all.. and as for puzzle solving, my most frequent method is 1) to take, push,
pull, touch, hit, smell, taste, and search any object I can see, then 2) to
actually read the room and object descriptions to devise a more intelligent
plan.

I was actually toying with the idea of my game reacting to the player's
styles.. like whether they solve things heuristically or exhaustively..
reacting in a manner such as:

> PUT KEY IN OUTLET
That would be a bad idea.
> PUT WIRE IN OUTLET
That would be a bad idea.
> PUT FORK IN OUTLET
That would also be a bad idea. You get the feeling that you should focus your
efforts in a different direction.

[or even:]
> PUT FORK IN OUTLET
Okay, fine, if you want to stick something in the outlet SO BADLY, then who am
I to argue???

*** You have died. ***

But this is just a simple example... what I was thinking of before was that the
program could actually keep a bunch of globals pertaining to the player's
disposition, frequent actions, etc etc.. and then, for example, draw on the
knowledge to give really cute error messages.

ANYWAY, I believe the original idea I was trying to bring up was: are there
identifiable types of players? Do certain people *always do* something or
another?

Soooo.. any thoughts?

Andy


Irene Callaci

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Feb 18, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/18/99
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On 17 Feb 1999 23:01:20 GMT, ap...@cornell.edu (Andy Fischer) wrote:

>ANYWAY, I believe the original idea I was trying to bring up was: are there
>identifiable types of players? Do certain people *always do* something or
>another?

Ah, a subject close to my own heart! When I play i-f, I always map as
much as I can first. I go through each room and map the connections
to all the other rooms. I also pick up everything that isn't nailed
down, and if I can't carry it all, then I hoard it in one place. I
always try to kiss/attack/follow all the NPCs. I race through the
locations, returning only when I am stuck with nothing else to do.
Then I tend not to leave a room until I examine/search/push/pull,
etc. every object mentioned in the room description (and some that
aren't mentioned).

irene

David Glasser

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Feb 18, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/18/99
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Andy Fischer <ap...@cornell.edu> wrote:

> But this is just a simple example... what I was thinking of before was
> that the program could actually keep a bunch of globals pertaining to the
> player's disposition, frequent actions, etc etc.. and then, for example,
> draw on the knowledge to give really cute error messages.

This isn't exactly what you were talking about, but MJR's "Perdition's
Flames" had me on the floor laughing when

God, or maybe it was the elevator guy, pointed out that I was still
wearing three weird things required for earlier puzzles, making some
comment like "some people wear foo and bar, but you're the first I've
seen who don't take off the flippers".

That was a funny game.

--
David Glasser: gla...@NOSPAMuscom.com http://onramp.uscom.com/~glasser/
DGlasser@ifMUD:orange.res.cmu.edu 4001 | raif FAQ http://come.to/raiffaq
"Also, if/when is David Glasser v2 coming out, and will it support
HTML-TADS? Version 1 is pretty buggy." --Steven Marsh on raif

green_g...@my-dejanews.com

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Feb 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/19/99
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In article <7afho0$f...@newsstand.cit.cornell.edu>,

not...@cornell.edu wrote:
> ANYWAY, I believe the original idea I was trying to bring up was: are there
> identifiable types of players? Do certain people *always do* something or
> another?

I wander from room to room reading descriptions, picking up only the obvious
stuff (which I usually ignore until I get stuck), and generally getting lost
as I hate mapping. Once I get stuck I dissect my inventory and examine
everything in great detail, trying odd things together just to see what
happens (OPEN PIG WITH CROWBAR). This is usually when I discover that the
notice that I plucked off the wall 10 rooms ago says "DON'T REMOVE NOTICE".
:) As a last resort I might actually try talking to an NPC.

kmf

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http://www.dejanews.com/ Search, Read, Discuss, or Start Your Own

Salt Fudd

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Feb 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/19/99
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In article <7afho0$f...@newsstand.cit.cornell.edu>,
not...@cornell.edu wrote:
> ANYWAY, I believe the original idea I was trying to bring up was: are there
> identifiable types of players? Do certain people *always do* something or
> another?
>

From: The documentation too "A Bestiary of Adventurers"

The Pilferer
The Pilferer is easily recognizable by the oversized backpack he always
wears and by the great proliferation of hands. Always carrying as much
as possible, the Pilferer's fatal weakness is the inability to figure
out what to do with all that stuff. The Pilferer almost seems to be able
to smell out any movable object. Whether true or not, be sure never to
leave anything important lying anywhere within the Pilferer's reach.

LIKES: Anything that isn't nailed down.
DISLIKES: Nails. But only when they hold something down.

The Wanderer
The Wanderer is just there for the ride. She doesn't care about solving
puzzles or finding the answer to deadly riddles. All she cares about is
reading all the wonderful prose. The Wanderer would be the perfect
adventurer (at least from your point of view) if she didn't hae the
penchant for occasionally pushing a button or turning a crank where it
looks like the result might be interesting. Unfortunately it almost
always is.

LIKES: Long room descriptions
DISLIKES: Scott Adams games.

-D

okbl...@usa.net

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Feb 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/19/99
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In article <36cb683b....@news.csupomona.edu>,

ical...@csupomona.edu wrote:
>
> Ah, a subject close to my own heart! When I play i-f, I always map as
> much as I can first. I go through each room and map the connections
> to all the other rooms. I also pick up everything that isn't nailed
> down, and if I can't carry it all, then I hoard it in one place. I
> always try to kiss/attack/follow all the NPCs. I race through the
> locations, returning only when I am stuck with nothing else to do.
> Then I tend not to leave a room until I examine/search/push/pull,
> etc. every object mentioned in the room description (and some that
> aren't mentioned).
>

And this is fun? I don't mean that facetiously, either. It sounds like a
good system for winning/beating a game. (I've used a similar approach in
ZORK.) But I don't know if I had fun doing it.

[ok]

Irene Callaci

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Feb 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/19/99
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On Fri, 19 Feb 1999 21:09:23 GMT, okbl...@usa.net wrote:

>In article <36cb683b....@news.csupomona.edu>,
> ical...@csupomona.edu wrote:
>>
>> Ah, a subject close to my own heart! When I play i-f, I always map as
>> much as I can first. I go through each room and map the connections
>> to all the other rooms. I also pick up everything that isn't nailed
>> down, and if I can't carry it all, then I hoard it in one place. I
>> always try to kiss/attack/follow all the NPCs. I race through the
>> locations, returning only when I am stuck with nothing else to do.
>> Then I tend not to leave a room until I examine/search/push/pull,
>> etc. every object mentioned in the room description (and some that
>> aren't mentioned).
>>
>
>And this is fun? I don't mean that facetiously, either. It sounds like a
>good system for winning/beating a game. (I've used a similar approach in
>ZORK.) But I don't know if I had fun doing it.

Oh, yes, it's great fun (for me, anyway). I don't care about points;
I don't care about making the plot progress; I don't care about
solving anything (at first). I just want to see everything before I
decide what to do. I'm the same way in real life if I'm in an
unfamiliar place (run around seeing which rooms lead where, etc.)

And, by the way, it's not really a good system for winning/beating
games. I suck at that. :)

irene

John Escobedo

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Feb 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/19/99
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In inform games when I want
to find all of the 'takeable' objects
I usually just type "TAKE ALL"

and I get a list of everything in the room that
is takeable (or is not) that was not in the description.

When I want to hide an object without putting
it out of scope (leaving the chance of jumps of
intuition, or at least a shortcut for people who have
played to this point before) is there a way to
interrupt the "TAKE ALL" phrase?


And why is the 'The Pilferer' male and 'The Wanderer' female?

John

www.woodcreekstudios.com
www.surfhouston.com

Arcum Dagsson

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Feb 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/19/99
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From: my head...

The Hentai
The hentai is there for one thing and one thing only. This character is
likely to use foul language as verbs, try to remove their clothing and
examine their genitals, and do things that are likely to generate messages
like "This is family entertainment, not a video nasty". General avoidance
of this character is usually a good idea.

Likes: I-O, Soft Porn, Stiffy Makane
Dislikes: "Real adventurers don't use that kind of language". A plot.

The Experimenter
This character is always trying things out to see what they'll do if
used in strange ways(>PUT CUCUMBER IN NOSE). Give them two ways to solve a
puzzle and they will generally come up with a third way that would have
worked, if you had thought of it when you coded the game. While one of the
most frustrating of adventurers, this adventurer makes a woderful
beta-tester, if gotten to before a games release.

Likes: beta-testing, spells, any general-purpose items, pilferer-style
inventories (these characters are often pilferers, as well), xyzzy
Dislikes: unimplemented item uses, restrictions on inventory size,
linear-style games, "you can't do that with x", verb games
--Arcum Dagsson (insert separator for .sig here)
"Zaphod, last time I knew you, you were one of the richest men in the
Galaxy. What do you want money for?"
"Oh, I lost it all."
"All of it? What did you do, gamble it away?"
"No, I left it in a taxi."
"Stylish."

Salt Fudd

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Feb 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/19/99
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John Escobedo wrote:

> And why is the 'The Pilferer' male and 'The Wanderer' female?

As far as I can tell, it just alternates sex down the document. For
example, here are the next two:

The Tourist
The Tourist doesn't qualify as a true adventurer at all. He was on his
way to a nice King's Quest series game and got lost. Just show him the
direction out, and he'll go. The only problem is that the Tourist tends
to lose his way often in text games, and he might bumble into any number
of accidents on the way.

LIKES: Pretty pictures.
DISLIKES: Anything he's not able to do with the mouse.

The TryItAll
The TryItAll looks like most adventurers until she spots a puzzle. At
that point she and the puzzle are inseperable as she tries any number of
things to find the solution, each more ridiculous than the last. You can
be sure, however, that sooner or later she will solve it and take the
loot.

LIKES: Multiple solutions to puzzle.
DISLIKES: A stock response to "Rub mongoose against hair, then put it on
the wall and pray to it."

-D

Aris Katsaris

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Feb 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/19/99
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Irene Callaci wrote in message <36ce50d4...@news.csupomona.edu>...
>On 20 Feb 1999 04:10:02 GMT, jcm...@uwaterloo.ca (Joe Mason) wrote:
>? Are you using GO TO ROOM instead? How can you write a game without
>compass directions? Sounds intriguing.


Huh? You've not played Photopia or In the End or The City, have you?

Aris Katsaris

Joe Mason

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Feb 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/20/99
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Irene Callaci <ical...@csupomona.edu> wrote:
>
>Ah, a subject close to my own heart! When I play i-f, I always map as
>much as I can first. I go through each room and map the connections
>to all the other rooms. I also pick up everything that isn't nailed
>down, and if I can't carry it all, then I hoard it in one place. I
>always try to kiss/attack/follow all the NPCs. I race through the
>locations, returning only when I am stuck with nothing else to do.
>Then I tend not to leave a room until I examine/search/push/pull,
>etc. every object mentioned in the room description (and some that
>aren't mentioned).

I do have one similar habit: even when the author carefully lists all
the exits from a room, I always try all of them methodically. Before
I even look at items in the room, I'll type "n. undo. ne. undo. e. undo.
..."
to make a map.

This is one reason I'm trying to write without compass directions: it
means I can't do that.

Joe
--
Congratulations, Canada, on preserving your national igloo.
-- Mike Huckabee, Governor of Arkansas

Joe Mason

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Feb 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/20/99
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John Escobedo <john...@earthlink.net> wrote:
>
>When I want to hide an object without putting
>it out of scope (leaving the chance of jumps of
>intuition, or at least a shortcut for people who have
>played to this point before) is there a way to
>interrupt the "TAKE ALL" phrase?

See the DM p163, a ChooseObjects routine which excludes scenery objects from
TAKE ALL.

Irene Callaci

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Feb 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/20/99
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On 20 Feb 1999 04:10:02 GMT, jcm...@uwaterloo.ca (Joe Mason) wrote:

>I do have one similar habit: even when the author carefully lists all
>the exits from a room, I always try all of them methodically. Before
>I even look at items in the room, I'll type "n. undo. ne. undo. e. undo.
>..."
>to make a map.

Yes! That's exactly what I do, too.

>This is one reason I'm trying to write without compass directions: it
>means I can't do that.

? Are you using GO TO ROOM instead? How can you write a game without
compass directions? Sounds intriguing.

irene

Joe Mason

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Feb 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/20/99
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Irene Callaci <ical...@csupomona.edu> wrote:
>
>>This is one reason I'm trying to write without compass directions: it
>>means I can't do that.
>
>? Are you using GO TO ROOM instead? How can you write a game without
>compass directions? Sounds intriguing.

Oh, I'm having enormous fun. Although I've ended up working with left and
right more than I like, and in a couple places it may be confusing.

I'm planning to ask for "architecture testers" before I code any of the
puzzles or NPC's, because I don't want to break complex movement code if
I decide to redo a system of doors. Unfortunately, that makes it slow going,
since I end up writing nothing but room descriptions. (Add to that tho fact
that I often go for two weeks at a time without touching the thing. I've
tried to follow the advice that I should make sure to work on it every night,
even if I only get a few words typed, but it doesn't happen.)

Admiral Jota

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Feb 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/20/99
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Andy Fischer <ap...@cornell.edu> wrote:

> ANYWAY, I believe the original idea I was trying to bring up was: are there
> identifiable types of players? Do certain people *always do* something or
> another?

I don't think I've seen anyone describe my type of player yet, so I'll go
ahead with it. I'm the person who wound up spending about two weeks in the
first room of The Legend Lives. *Not* because it was hard to get out, but
simply because there was so much interesting stuff there. I'll milk each
location out of its last drop of prose by whatever means necessary before
I move on to another.

When I start a game, my first command is '>X (first noun in opening
text)', and I work my way through the room description, examining every
noun mentioned in the description of every noun mention in any text the
game throws at me. And while I'm at it, I try acquiring anything that the
parser recognizes as an object, as well as fiddling with anything that
looks like it might do something interesting -- but if anything moves me
to another location, I'll immediately UNDO.

>X BUTTON

There's a shiny red button on the wall, next to a small plaque.

>X WALL

You see nothing special about the wall.

>X PLAQUE

It's a small sheet of brass, held to the wall by four screws. There
appears to be some text engraved on it.

>X SHEET

I don't know the word "sheet".

>X BRASS

It's a small sheet of brass, held to the wall by four screws. There
appears to be some text engraved on it.

>X SCREWS

It's a small sheet of brass, held to the wall by four screws. There
appears to be some text engraved on it.

>X TEXT

I don't know the word "text".

>GET PLAQUE

Leave the plaque where it is. You won't need it.

>UNSCREW IT

Leave the plaque where it is. You won't need it.

>READ IT

"Acme Super-Surprise Button"

>PUSH BUTTON

A trapdoor opens under your feet, and you slide down a slick metal chute,
until you land on a very solid stone floor.

Cellar
[snip]

>UNDO

And then, once I've completely done everything I can think of to do with
that room (at that point in time), I'll move on to the next one, and treat
it the same way. By this process I will attempt to survey every location
in the game, one by one.

--
_/<-= Admiral Jota =->\_
\<-= jo...@tiac.net =->/

Mary K. Kuhner

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Feb 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/20/99
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All these dedicated puzzle-folk!

I think I'm pretty much the reverse. My initial approach to most games
is to try to glide intuitively through the plot, examining things I
think the character would examine, chatting up the NPCs, avoiding
out-of-character actions like the plague, solving as many puzzles
as I can without breaking the flow. (In games with little plot,
I chose "exploration" as the theme, and go out to see strange new
places. But I don't rush about to map everything at once.)

Then I get stuck, and start casting around trying to identify the
area where gamethink will be the most rewarding.

I found "Babel" particularly delightful because it responded so
well to this approach. And I never get far with _Curses_
because, though I do find neat things to interact with, I have this
uneasy feeling that by moving about so quickly I'm surely putting
the game in an unwinnable state.

Mary Kuhner mkku...@genetics.washington.edu

Irene Callaci

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Feb 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/20/99
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On Fri, 19 Feb 1999 23:51:21 +0200, "Aris Katsaris"
<kats...@otenet.gr> wrote:

>
>Irene Callaci wrote in message <36ce50d4...@news.csupomona.edu>...

>>On 20 Feb 1999 04:10:02 GMT, jcm...@uwaterloo.ca (Joe Mason) wrote:

>>? Are you using GO TO ROOM instead? How can you write a game without
>>compass directions? Sounds intriguing.
>
>

>Huh? You've not played Photopia or In the End or The City, have you?

Sure, I've played Photopia (not the other two, though). I don't
understand what you mean about there being no compass in Photopia.
I definitely remember having to say things like GO NORTH, etc.
The directions didn't really mean anything, but I still had to use
them. I assumed Joe meant, literally, NO compass directions, that
he is using either LEFT and RIGHT, FORWARD and BACKWARD, or GO TO
ROOM.

irene

Irene Callaci

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Feb 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/20/99
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On 20 Feb 1999 09:21:17 GMT, jcm...@uwaterloo.ca (Joe Mason) wrote:

>Irene Callaci <ical...@csupomona.edu> wrote:
>>
>>? Are you using GO TO ROOM instead? How can you write a game without
>>compass directions? Sounds intriguing.
>

>Oh, I'm having enormous fun. Although I've ended up working with left and
>right more than I like, and in a couple places it may be confusing.
>
>I'm planning to ask for "architecture testers" before I code any of the
>puzzles or NPC's, because I don't want to break complex movement code if
>I decide to redo a system of doors.

The game I'm currently working on allows the player to use
either compass directions or a GO TO LOCATION command (thanks
to Kathleen Fischer!) and it's working out well. GO TO LOCATION
will take you to the door of the location you've requested (for
example, GO TO LIBRARY will take you to the library door) and
then you can say ENTER or GO IN or whatever. When the player
says GO TO LOCATION, it doesn't zap him or her there in one
move, but rather moves the player one step closer each time
s/he enters the command.

I may as well ask right now: what do people think of this
method in general? Would you like it? Hate it? Reserve
judgment until you see it in action?

irene


John Elliott

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Feb 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/20/99
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"John Escobedo" <john...@earthlink.net> wrote:

> >TAKE ALL "you are now holding the parser"

Very Big Cave Adventure (a game to which I am fond of referring in this
newsgroup) has two parsers in scope at various points.

The game parser is called Trixie, and she is present all the time:

> EXAMINE TRIXIE
I am extraordinarily attractive. I am wearing a boater, navy blue
gymslip and black stockings.

and one of the puzzles is the "brand-new sophisticated parser" that
makes it impossible to do anything in a certain room:

You can also see:

A twelve-foot slavering troll brandishing a chainsaw
A jewel-encrusted goblet
A cornflakes packet
A Sophisticated Parser - only given away in family-size packs

> GET GOBLET

You cannot see a green goblin with vermilion spots here.

> EXAMINE TROLL

Troll: ignore it.

> GET PARSER

You can't see a parsimonious filing-clerk here.

------------- http://www.seasip.demon.co.uk/index.html --------------------
John Elliott |BLOODNOK: "But why have you got such a long face?"
|SEAGOON: "Heavy dentures, Sir!" - The Goon Show
:-------------------------------------------------------------------------)

Adam J. Thornton

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Feb 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/20/99
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In article <7amkfi$qqa$1...@nntp3.u.washington.edu>,

Mary K. Kuhner <mkku...@kingman.genetics.washington.edu> wrote:
>I think I'm pretty much the reverse. My initial approach to most games
>is to try to glide intuitively through the plot, examining things I
>think the character would examine, chatting up the NPCs, avoiding
>out-of-character actions like the plague, solving as many puzzles
>as I can without breaking the flow. (In games with little plot,
>I chose "exploration" as the theme, and go out to see strange new
>places. But I don't rush about to map everything at once.)

>Then I get stuck, and start casting around trying to identify the
>area where gamethink will be the most rewarding.

I'm pretty much with Mary here. Maybe a little different:

The Aesthete

Wanders around the game, poking at whatever catches his fancy. Apt to
spend lots of time involved with a few irrelevant but intriguing objects.
Has a tendency to wander around doing everything that seems in character,
and when he runs out of things to do that way, <sniff> in derision and
scramble for the walkthrough. The most concerned with mimesis of any of
the Types so far, though not necessarily a horticulturist (not that the
Hentai Gamer is either). [1]

Likes: opinionated NPCs, particularly NPCs with an opinion about the
player. Non-stock but consistent restrictions on actions, e.g. "A
Waddington-Smythe-St.-Chomondoley would *never* pick up a mongoose as
filthy as *that*."
Dislikes: games requiring kleptomania to solve. Games in which the NPCs
are obviously only locked doors waiting for the correct key.

Adam

[1] When a pun this bad comes along, you can't just leave it lying there.
--
ad...@princeton.edu
"There's a border to somewhere waiting, and a tank full of time." - J. Steinman

Mycophile

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Feb 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/20/99
to

Irene Callaci wrote in message <36ced6b...@news.csupomona.edu>...

>The game I'm currently working on allows the player to use
>either compass directions or a GO TO LOCATION command (thanks
>to Kathleen Fischer!) and it's working out well. GO TO LOCATION
>will take you to the door of the location you've requested (for
>example, GO TO LIBRARY will take you to the library door) and
>then you can say ENTER or GO IN or whatever. When the player
>says GO TO LOCATION, it doesn't zap him or her there in one
>move, but rather moves the player one step closer each time
>s/he enters the command.


So, does it actually have a pathfinding routine? That would impress me
somewhat.

Joe Merical

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Feb 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/20/99
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>Huh? You've not played Photopia or In the End or The City, have
> you?


Even though this has nothing to do with the topic at hand, but I would like
to say that Photopia is one of the best works of fiction my interpreter has
ever seen. While we still need IF games themselves, there should also be
more "Interactive Stories" like Photopia.

- Joe

Adam Cadre

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Feb 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/20/99
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Irene Callaci wrote:
> Sure, I've played Photopia (not the other two, though). I don't
> understand what you mean about there being no compass in Photopia.
> I definitely remember having to say things like GO NORTH, etc.

Compass directions are used in the colored scenes, but not in the
black-and-white scenes.

-----
Adam Cadre, Anaheim, CA
http://adamcadre.ac

Irene Callaci

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Feb 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/20/99
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Irene Callaci

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Feb 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/20/99
to

Well, I wouldn't go so far as to call it a pathfinding routine.
I wish it were a generic routine, and maybe one of these days
it will be, but right now it's fairly manual. Each location has
a property called navigate. The first thing this property checks
is if the target location is in the same quadrant as the player's
current location. If not, it moves the player one step towards
the target location's quadrant. Once the player is in the same
quadrant as the target location, the routine starts narrowing
things down until, voila! The player ends up where s/he specified.

irene

Aris Katsaris

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Feb 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/20/99
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Irene Callaci wrote in message <36ced5a...@news.csupomona.edu>...

>
>Sure, I've played Photopia (not the other two, though). I don't
>understand what you mean about there being no compass in Photopia.
>I definitely remember having to say things like GO NORTH, etc.
>The directions didn't really mean anything, but I still had to use
>them.

In the black-and-white scenes you couldn't and were told that you aren't
carrying a compass.

Aris Katsaris

Avrom Faderman

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Feb 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/20/99
to

Mycophile wrote in message <7amocg$116q$1...@nntp3.u.washington.edu>...

>
>Irene Callaci wrote in message <36ced6b...@news.csupomona.edu>...
>
>>The game I'm currently working on allows the player to use
>>either compass directions or a GO TO LOCATION command (thanks
>>to Kathleen Fischer!) and it's working out well. GO TO LOCATION
>>will take you to the door of the location you've requested (for
>>example, GO TO LIBRARY will take you to the library door) and
>>then you can say ENTER or GO IN or whatever. When the player
>>says GO TO LOCATION, it doesn't zap him or her there in one
>>move, but rather moves the player one step closer each time
>>s/he enters the command.
>
>
>So, does it actually have a pathfinding routine? That would impress me
>somewhat.


This is neat, but it's not *completely* new, is it? Didn't Suspect do just
that?

(Not to knock the achievement; I always wondered *how* Suspect did it, and
I know its source isn't available.)

Avrom


MFischer5

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Feb 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/20/99
to
<<Subject: Re: Identify Your Player (inspired by: Things Players Try)
From: ical...@csupomona.edu (Irene Callaci)

On Sat, 20 Feb 1999 08:38:55 -0800, "Mycophile"
<my...@u.washington.edu> wrote:
>
>Irene Callaci wrote in message <36ced6b...@news.csupomona.edu>...
>
>>The game I'm currently working on allows the player to use
>>either compass directions or a GO TO LOCATION command (thanks
>>to Kathleen Fischer!) and it's working out well.
>
>So, does it actually have a pathfinding routine? That would impress me
>somewhat.
>
Well, I wouldn't go so far as to call it a pathfinding routine.
I wish it were a generic routine, and maybe one of these days
it will be, but right now it's fairly manual.
>>

I hereby give you permission to make it generic! :)

Kathleen Fischer (just so long as you send me copy - I'd love for it to be
generic too!)

ps. I think I described the general idea in:
http://www.dejanews.com/[ST_rn=ps]/getdoc.xp?AN=415231679

Stephen Griffiths

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Feb 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/21/99
to
Admiral Jota wrote:
> I don't think I've seen anyone describe my type of player yet, so I'll go
> ahead with it. I'm the person who wound up spending about two weeks in the
> first room of The Legend Lives. *Not* because it was hard to get out, but
> simply because there was so much interesting stuff there. I'll milk each
> location out of its last drop of prose by whatever means necessary before
> I move on to another.
>
> When I start a game, my first command is '>X (first noun in opening
> text)', and I work my way through the room description, examining every
> noun mentioned in the description of every noun mention in any text the
> game throws at me. And while I'm at it, I try acquiring anything that the
> parser recognizes as an object, as well as fiddling with anything that
> looks like it might do something interesting -- but if anything moves me
> to another location, I'll immediately UNDO.

Wow, you must be an awesome betatester.

If I ever write a game can I call ya? :-)

Joe Mason

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Feb 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/21/99
to
Admiral Jota <jo...@shell2.tiac.net> wrote:
>
>When I start a game, my first command is '>X (first noun in opening
>text)', and I work my way through the room description, examining every
>noun mentioned in the description of every noun mention in any text the
>game throws at me. And while I'm at it, I try acquiring anything that the
>parser recognizes as an object, as well as fiddling with anything that
>looks like it might do something interesting -- but if anything moves me
>to another location, I'll immediately UNDO.

I do this a lot too. Depends on the game, though - if its obvious that
the game is paced differently then that, I'll skip it. I didn't do
Legend Lives this way, for obvious reasons. I did Enchanter this way, though.
Muse I didn't. Hmm - I think its because Muse had a well-defined PC, so
I tried to do what I felt in character instead.

You'll be happy to know I write this way, though, which is probably why it
takes me forever... (In the End was an exception - I purposely left most
objects undescribed. Probably not coincidentally, its the only game I've
actually come close to finishing out of about half-a-dozen I've started.)

Irene Callaci

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Feb 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/21/99
to

Heh. I never even noticed. Probably explains why I rarely complete
a game without hints. :)

irene

Daniel Barkalow

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Feb 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/21/99
to
Just to get another datapoint in the list...

I tend to try to act naturally until I get to a puzzle that doesn't
succumb to that. That is, I don't pick anything up unless it's obviously
important (hey, it's a raincoat and it's raining outside) or it's
something I'm actually looking for (something to break that glass... hey,
look, a crowbar). I notice when I see game objects that could be taken,
in case I find later that I need them.

I tend to forget to save, or find I didn't save at the spot I want to be
back at, so I remember the important features of the puzzles that let you
solve them. I tend to replay a lot (I've played Jigsaw as far as the
morse code puzzle just for a morse code chart).

I'm somewhat annoyed when I'm supposed to pick up an object before the
character knows it's at all relevant. I'm greatly annoyed by room
descriptions that don't describe the exits in the terms necessary to use
them (e.g., if I come through a door to the east, I want to be able to
recognize the door in the room description and be able to use it even if
I forget how I went through it before). I notice typoes, but they don't
really bother me.

I like when a game recognizes every object it refers to, even if only to
say it isn't relevant. I like it when I know the game has understood and
rejected my wrong attempts (i.e., I like to know when a puzzle is
definitely not a guess-the-verb; it should be clear that what I tried
isn't going to work even if I describe it better).

I eventually resort to mapping, if I find myself unable to determine
whether or not I've been everywhere accessible and I'm stuck on a puzzle.
I invariably reverse east and west in my mental picture of locations
(I've walked into the west wall of the corridor in the monument in Jigsaw
too many times to count; writing this email, I tried it again, and
accidentally failed to walk into that wall). I have the bias that those
portions of a game that aren't puzzles (and the layout of the place often
isn't) should be blindingly clear.

-Iabervon
*This .sig unintentionally changed*

Doeadeer3

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Feb 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/21/99
to
>Dislikes: games requiring kleptomania to solve. Games in which the NPCs
>are obviously only locked doors waiting for the correct key.
>
>Adam
>
>[1] When a pun this bad comes along, you can't just leave it lying there.

How about games that require out-and-out thievery?

[1] Well, you could TRY.....

Hehehe.

Doe :-)
Doe doea...@aol.com (formerly known as FemaleDeer)
****************************************************************************
"In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane." Mark Twain

Simmon Keith

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Feb 22, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/22/99
to
: The directions didn't really mean anything, but I still had to use
: them. I assumed Joe meant, literally, NO compass directions, that

: he is using either LEFT and RIGHT, FORWARD and BACKWARD, or GO TO
: ROOM.

Anybody remember PlanetFall? At the beginning of the game (when on the
starcraft) you couldn't use N,S,E,W; you had to use Port, Starboard, Aft,
and... whatever the other one was. It didn't even tell you this. You had
to discern it from the area descriptions.

At the time I had to find a thesaurus to figure it out.

Erik Max Francis

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Feb 22, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/22/99
to
Simmon Keith wrote:

> Anybody remember PlanetFall? At the beginning of the game (when on
> the
> starcraft) you couldn't use N,S,E,W; you had to use Port, Starboard,
> Aft,
> and... whatever the other one was.

Forward.

Starcross also required these instructions once aboard the alien
artifact.

--
Erik Max Francis / email m...@alcyone.com / whois mf303 / icq 16063900
Alcyone Systems / irc maxxon (efnet) / finger m...@members.alcyone.com
San Jose, CA / languages En, Eo / web http://www.alcyone.com/max/
USA / icbm 37 20 07 N 121 53 38 W / &tSftDotIotE
\
/ They have rights who dare defend them.
/ Roger Baldwin

okbl...@usa.net

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Feb 22, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/22/99
to
In article <36ced6b...@news.csupomona.edu>,

ical...@csupomona.edu wrote:
> says GO TO LOCATION, it doesn't zap him or her there in one
> move, but rather moves the player one step closer each time
> s/he enters the command.
>
> I may as well ask right now: what do people think of this
> method in general? Would you like it? Hate it? Reserve
> judgment until you see it in action?
>

Very clever! It sounds like an excellent compromise between taking sixty turns
to find the bathroom in your own home and being able to type "GO TO SMAUG'S
LAIR."

[ok]

-----------== Posted via Deja News, The Discussion Network ==----------
http://www.dejanews.com/ Search, Read, Discuss, or Start Your Own

Matthew T. Russotto

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Feb 22, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/22/99
to
In article <7as3or$97...@holly.ColoState.EDU>,

Simmon Keith <trae...@usa.NOSPAM.net> wrote:
}: The directions didn't really mean anything, but I still had to use
}: them. I assumed Joe meant, literally, NO compass directions, that
}: he is using either LEFT and RIGHT, FORWARD and BACKWARD, or GO TO
}: ROOM.
}
}Anybody remember PlanetFall? At the beginning of the game (when on the
}starcraft) you couldn't use N,S,E,W; you had to use Port, Starboard, Aft,
}and... whatever the other one was. It didn't even tell you this. You had
}to discern it from the area descriptions.

Err, it's not so.
Port: w
Starboard: e
Fore: Presumably north, though you can't go that way
Aft: s

If you have a version where you can't use N,S,E,W, I'd be interested
in seeing it.
--
Matthew T. Russotto russ...@pond.com
"Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in pursuit
of justice is no virtue."

Doeadeer3

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Feb 22, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/22/99
to
>Forward.
>
>Starcross also required these instructions once aboard the alien
>artifact.

Hard on us non-sailing types. I always got my port and starboard mixed up. But
it was sort of fun too.

I believe this was also in Cutthoarts when aboard the ships.

Mycophile

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Feb 22, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/22/99
to

Simmon Keith wrote in message <7as3or$97...@holly.ColoState.EDU>...

>Anybody remember PlanetFall? At the beginning of the game (when on the
>starcraft) you couldn't use N,S,E,W; you had to use Port, Starboard, Aft,
>and... whatever the other one was. It didn't even tell you this. You had
>to discern it from the area descriptions.
>
>At the time I had to find a thesaurus to figure it out.

What would be the appropriate directions aboard an airplane? Port,
starboard, and aft don't seem right to me...

Joe Mason

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Feb 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/23/99
to
Simmon Keith <trae...@usa.NOSPAM.net> wrote:
>
>Anybody remember PlanetFall? At the beginning of the game (when on the
>starcraft) you couldn't use N,S,E,W; you had to use Port, Starboard, Aft,
>and... whatever the other one was. It didn't even tell you this. You had
>to discern it from the area descriptions.

You could use N, S, E, W - its just that all the room descriptions used
port and starboard, so it was more natural to do that. HHGTTG used the
same thing.

Phil Goetz

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Feb 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/25/99
to
In article <7amocg$116q$1...@nntp3.u.washington.edu>,

Mycophile <my...@u.washington.edu> wrote:
>
>Irene Callaci wrote in message <36ced6b...@news.csupomona.edu>...
>
>>The game I'm currently working on allows the player to use
>>either compass directions or a GO TO LOCATION command (thanks
>>to Kathleen Fischer!) and it's working out well. GO TO LOCATION
>>will take you to the door of the location you've requested (for
>>example, GO TO LIBRARY will take you to the library door) and
>>then you can say ENTER or GO IN or whatever. When the player
>>says GO TO LOCATION, it doesn't zap him or her there in one
>>move, but rather moves the player one step closer each time
>>s/he enters the command.


I wrote a routine which, if you typed GO TO MARK or such, would
seize control of the keyboard input, and then take you there in
the shortest sequence of moves, giving you about 1 second to view
each room before the next move. (ALso, it had to check that
you had previously entered each of the rooms on the path it found
-- otherwise you could find secret passages accidentally.)

Phil go...@zoesis.com

Irene Callaci

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Feb 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/25/99
to
On 25 Feb 1999 18:08:30 GMT, go...@cse.buffalo.edu (Phil Goetz) wrote:

>I wrote a routine which, if you typed GO TO MARK or such, would
>seize control of the keyboard input, and then take you there in
>the shortest sequence of moves, giving you about 1 second to view
>each room before the next move. (ALso, it had to check that
>you had previously entered each of the rooms on the path it found
>-- otherwise you could find secret passages accidentally.)

How did you calculate the path? The method I'm using is
basically brute force, so I'm interested in a more
generic way to do this.

irene

Gary Thompson 2

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Feb 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/25/99
to

: ANYWAY, I believe the original idea I was trying to bring up was: are there
: identifiable types of players? Do certain people *always do* something or
: another?

Furniture. I always try to move furniture. I have no idea where the
habit began--Zork, perhaps? Other than that...I also tend to hoard objects,
but I think that's a pretty common one. In fact, every person I know who plays
interactive fiction does it. Natural human greed perhaps? I tend to ignore
NPC's if I can help it. This is too hard, everything I do seems perfectly
normal ;)

Hope that helps though...


fra...@synposys.remove.this.bit.and.youll.be.a.happy.emailer.com

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Feb 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/25/99
to
I nearly cried when ical...@csupomona.edu said:

>How did you calculate the path? The method I'm using is
>basically brute force, so I'm interested in a more
>generic way to do this.

Not that I was there, but a breadth first search should do the
trick. Put a list of visited places into every actor class
(is this possible in Inform or Tads?), and have it automatically
updated by the move method. In that way, both the player
and all NPCs can use the same routine to chunk their moves
together, and it only uses places that the actor in question
knows about.

I've only implemented this in pseudo-code at the moment (I'm
writing a homage to my recently deceased dog, where he gets
to skip around the house barking at burglars, tipping over
rubbish bins and getting confused by lemons, which look like
tennis balls but taste really weird), but I'm sure it would
work. It's just a Small Matter Of Implementation (tm).

cheers,
Fraser.

Dan Shiovitz

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Feb 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/26/99
to
In article <36d5ad4a...@news.csupomona.edu>,

Irene Callaci <ical...@csupomona.edu> wrote:
>On 25 Feb 1999 18:08:30 GMT, go...@cse.buffalo.edu (Phil Goetz) wrote:
>
>>I wrote a routine which, if you typed GO TO MARK or such, would
>>seize control of the keyboard input, and then take you there in
>>the shortest sequence of moves, giving you about 1 second to view
[..]

>How did you calculate the path? The method I'm using is
>basically brute force, so I'm interested in a more
>generic way to do this.

Shortest-path algorithms on standard graphs (eg, rooms connected by
exits) are fairly well understood in comp sci. There's an
implementation of one for TADS at
ftp://ftp.gmd.de/if-archive/programming/tads/examples/goto.zip

The "goto.doc" file included in the package might be of some use even
for non-TADS folks.

>irene
--
Dan Shiovitz || d...@cs.wisc.edu || http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~dbs
"...Incensed by some crack he had made about modern enlightened
thought, modern enlightened thought being practically a personal buddy
of hers, Florence gave him the swift heave-ho and--much against my
will, but she seemed to wish it--became betrothed to me." - PGW, J.a.t.F.S.

Gunther Schmidl

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Feb 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/26/99
to
>Shortest-path algorithms on standard graphs (eg, rooms connected by
>exits) are fairly well understood in comp sci. There's an
>implementation of one for TADS at
>ftp://ftp.gmd.de/if-archive/programming/tads/examples/goto.zip
>
>The "goto.doc" file included in the package might be of some use even
>for non-TADS folks.

BUT if you're doing it in Inform, get moveclass.h, which does all this for
you and more.

--
+------------------------+----------------------------------------------+
+ Gunther Schmidl + "I couldn't help it. I can resist everything +
+ Ferd.-Markl-Str. 39/16 + except temptation" -- Oscar Wilde +
+ A-4040 LINZ +---------------+------------------------------+
+ Tel: 0732 25 28 57 + ICQ: 22447430 + IF Page: http://sgu.dhs.org/ +
+------------------------+---+-----------+------------------------------+
+ sothoth (at) usa (dot) net + please remove the "xxx." before replying +
+----------------------------+------------------------------------------+


Jason F. Finx

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Feb 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/26/99
to
> .......
I tend to ignore
> NPC's if I can help it. This is too hard, everything I do seems
perfectly
> normal ;)

Ignore NPCs? Oh, no, no, no. I _love_ interacting with NPCs! Especially
ordering
them around. Too bad so few NPCs respond to that. Giving NPCs items, too,
is fun,
when it works. (Ever given the feather to Edward in Christminster? Yes,
he reacts.)
Attacking NPCs, occasionally. Kissing NPCs? Nah, too cliche. (Not that I
don't
sometimes do it anyway.) But ignoring NPCs? Never!

As for other quirks I have as a player... um... well, for some reason I
seem to always
want to do too many different things, so I always run afoul of time limits.
(I hate time
limits. I really do.) I usually try to do as much as possible with the
scenery (and I
absolutely HATE it when I'm told "you don't need to refer to that" when I
try to
examine something. I don't CARE if I need to refer to it; I want to know
what it looks
like, dang it!) And I like putting objects in and on other objects, or at
least trying to,
for no good reason. (Playing Zork I, I tried to put every single portable
object in the
entire game in the trophy case. And, IIRC, I succeeded. That's some
trophy case!)

Hm.... that's all I can think of offhand. Oh, well.

----- Jason F. Finx
j...@sozo.com

Kenneth Fair

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Feb 27, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/27/99
to
On Mon, 22 Feb 1999 14:15:37 -0800, "Mycophile"
<my...@u.washington.edu> wrote:

>What would be the appropriate directions aboard an airplane? Port,
>starboard, and aft don't seem right to me...

Although they don't seem right, they are. Fore, aft, port, and
starboard are also the directions on an airplane.


Kenneth Fair
Official Yuppie Scum
Still McQ-compliant after all these years

Mike Berlyn

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Feb 27, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/27/99
to
Kenneth,

You are indeed correct. But can anyone tell me why the morons in charge say
"de-plane" instead of debark? It has been a constant source of annoyance for
me. Sigh.

-- Mike

Kenneth Fair wrote in message <36d80e20....@news.flash.net>...

Doeadeer3

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Feb 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/28/99
to
>Admiral Jota wrote:
>> I don't think I've seen anyone describe my type of player yet, so I'll go
>> ahead with it.

Hadn't really thought before about what kind of player I am. But I am beta
testing a game for someone, so I just discovered what kind of player I am.

I LOOK at everything. A "visual" player I guess. I do that first searching for
clues or background info. or something.

So if something is mentioned in the room description but I when I look at it I
get, "You can't see any such thing" (Or "You can't see that here"), my reaction
tends to be, "Yes I can! You just told me I could!"

Then I start touching and taking. Next I usually try to solve puzzles
"logically" and if that doesn't work, then I try the wacky and weird.

If all else fails, I will finally break down use hints.

Doe :-) Just a visual touchie-feelie type, er, sensual type, I guess.

Den

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Mar 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/2/99
to
On Sun, 28 Feb 1999, Neil K. wrote:

> Mike Berlyn wrote:
>> But can anyone tell me why the morons in charge say "de-plane"
>> instead of debark?

> Because planes don't have any bark.

FWIW, AFAICT, etymologically the 'bark' in embark, debark, disembark etc.
is the ship's boat (see also 'barque', probably also 'barge'). I can
vaguely imagine aeroplanes carrying little baby planes that carry
passengers to the ground, but it doesn't happen like that, does it?

> Bite me.

You know I can't resist such things. Anyway, my barque is worse than my
bite.

--
Den


Doeadeer3

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Mar 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/3/99
to
>From: Den <dms...@york.ac.uk>
>Date: 3/2/99 5:58 AM Pacific Standard Time

>You know I can't resist such things. Anyway, my barque is worse than my
>bite.
>
>--
>Den

So say you.

Doe :-)

Den

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Mar 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/3/99
to
On 3 Mar 1999, Doeadeer3 wrote:

>> my barque is worse than my bite.

> So say you.

I can't remember the last time I bit anyone.

--
Den


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