Parser / story separation

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Jeff Hatch

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Dec 3, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/3/97
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(No, this isn't more hype about the IF authoring system I'm writing, or
even a status report.)

I've noticed that I prefer to keep my "system" commands separate from
the actual game input and output, because I like the "story" to flow
smoothly. For instance, my IF authoring system allows me to load a game
file by selecting "File-Open" from a menu bar, instead of by typing
"save" at the game command prompt. And when I load the file, the screen
restores the same view I had when I saved the file, without printing
"Restored." (Wait...does this count as hype? 'Tis a trivial feature.
I'll change the subject now.)

I also would prefer to have parser error messages enclosed in brackets,
to indicate that the "system" is talking to you, not the "story." I
think this idea has been discussed in this newsgroup before, though I
didn't read the whole thread.

My brother Peter ("Mordraug") suggested today that the output file could
be even more readable if the input lines that the player typed in
disappeared and weren't part of the output. Of course, if this
happened, error messages would have to disappear too, and certain game
messages would have to be a bit more verbose. If the player types
">TAKE KNIFE," the game would have to answer: "You take the knife,"
rather than simply saying, "Taken."

I think I like the idea, but then I tend to emphasize the "story" aspect
of interactive fiction more than most people in this newsgroup, as far
as I can tell. And I haven't thought it through much. What do you all
think? A workable idea? Too weird?

(Regardless, I'm *not* planning to implement this! Just a random
thought.)


-Rúmil

Scott Steubing

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Dec 3, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/3/97
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On Wed, 03 Dec 1997 00:38:09 -0800, Jeff Hatch <je...@hatch.net> wrote:

>I've noticed that I prefer to keep my "system" commands separate from
>the actual game input and output, because I like the "story" to flow
>smoothly. For instance, my IF authoring system allows me to load a game
>file by selecting "File-Open" from a menu bar, instead of by typing
>"save" at the game command prompt.

Interesting idea. It would take me a while to get used to it, as I'm
so used to typing "save" and "restore". Plus, I don't have to reach
for the mouse to save my game.

>And when I load the file, the screen
>restores the same view I had when I saved the file, without printing
>"Restored." (Wait...does this count as hype? 'Tis a trivial feature.
>I'll change the subject now.)

This would be nice, even if it's just a simple "look" implemented
automatically after a restore. There have been times when I wasn't
sure if I had restored properly or not (being distracted by the cat,
etc), and didn't it again just to be sure.

>My brother Peter ("Mordraug") suggested today that the output file could
>be even more readable if the input lines that the player typed in
>disappeared and weren't part of the output. Of course, if this
>happened, error messages would have to disappear too, and certain game
>messages would have to be a bit more verbose. If the player types
>">TAKE KNIFE," the game would have to answer: "You take the knife,"
>rather than simply saying, "Taken."

This I would not like. Any output file would be virtually useless
without the input that gave you the output.


<*> Scott Steubing
<*> ScottS...@worldnet.att.net
<*> http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Vault/2355 - The Unofficial Whizzy Home Page

E-mail address intentionally messed up to prevent spam. Add ".net" to the end.
There is a special circle in Hell reserved for those who send out unsolicited commercial email.

Stephen van Egmond

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Dec 3, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/3/97
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In article <34851A...@hatch.net>, Jeff Hatch <je...@hatch.net> wrote:
>file by selecting "File-Open" from a menu bar, instead of by typing
>"save" at the game command prompt. And when I load the file, the screen

>restores the same view I had when I saved the file, without printing
>"Restored." (Wait...does this count as hype? 'Tis a trivial feature.
>I'll change the subject now.)
>
>I also would prefer to have parser error messages enclosed in brackets,
>to indicate that the "system" is talking to you, not the "story." I
>think this idea has been discussed in this newsgroup before, though I
>didn't read the whole thread.

I would say this is a user interface Good Thing, in that it separates the
story from the thing that is mediating the story (i.e. a computer
running Windows). It helps to frame activities. (for an example that
combines both command line and menu commands, see the Amiga Frotz port by
David Kinder -- though that also mixes in game play commands like inventory).

OTOH, it prevents the author from doing certain things. If saving a
game happens entirely "out of the system", you would miss out on things
such as is done in Curses:

===
A devil is here, sitting behind a desk.
[having established that you can only ask for 3 hints]

> SAVE
The devil glares at you sharply.

>
===

... and if 'quit' happened out of the system, In The End's author would
never have had the opportunity to berate the player!

So, while it is a conceptually clean idea and the UI designer in me says
you're right, it weakens the ability to "play" with the lines between
story and program.


>My brother Peter ("Mordraug") suggested today that the output file could
>be even more readable if the input lines that the player typed in
>disappeared and weren't part of the output. Of course, if this
>happened, error messages would have to disappear too, and certain game
>messages would have to be a bit more verbose. If the player types
>">TAKE KNIFE," the game would have to answer: "You take the knife,"
>rather than simply saying, "Taken."
>

This would make for extraordinarily interesting reading, though. Fun
with grep!

By the way, make sure you differentiate between parser errors that come
through the parser and those that come through an NPC. (See the previous
thread, perhaps from a month ago.)

e.g.

Aunt Gertie is in her chair by the window, knitting.

> GERTIE, FEE FIE FO FUM BOOM BANG BLAH
Gertie frowns at you and gently asks if you've been taking your
medication like the doctor told you to.

,,,
(. .)
+--oOO--(_)--OOo-----+
| Stephen Van Egmond +- svan...@undergrad.math.uwaterloo.ca +--- - - -
| Bring your brain.

Jeff Hatch

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Dec 3, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/3/97
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Scott Steubing wrote:
>
> On Wed, 03 Dec 1997 00:38:09 -0800, Jeff Hatch <je...@hatch.net> wrote:
>
> >I've noticed that I prefer to keep my "system" commands separate from
> >the actual game input and output, because I like the "story" to flow
> >smoothly. For instance, my IF authoring system allows me to load a game
> >file by selecting "File-Open" from a menu bar, instead of by typing
> >"save" at the game command prompt.
>
> Interesting idea. It would take me a while to get used to it, as I'm
> so used to typing "save" and "restore". Plus, I don't have to reach
> for the mouse to save my game.

I'll probably get around to making the "save" and "restore" commands
work too, eventually. I understand how hard it is to change old
habits--when I first played Zork and filled the screen when futile
attempts to solve a puzzle, I instinctively typed "CLS:DIR" to try to
get the screen to give me a room description again. :-) The "save" and
"restore" commands will disappear from the command line, and a dialog
box will open, so the game output will still remain pristine, at least.

Oh, and I haven't even enabled the mouse. Nasty time-wasting critter.
I use "Alt-F" followed by "O" to select the File-Open option. Much
faster.

So much for not hyping my system, eh? Just don't get me started on the
features that I _really_ care about. :-)


-Rúmil

Jeff Hatch

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Dec 3, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/3/97
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Stephen van Egmond wrote:
>
> In article <34851A...@hatch.net>, Jeff Hatch <je...@hatch.net> wrote:
> >file by selecting "File-Open" from a menu bar, instead of by typing
> >"save" at the game command prompt. And when I load the file, the screen
> >restores the same view I had when I saved the file, without printing
> >"Restored." (Wait...does this count as hype? 'Tis a trivial feature.
> >I'll change the subject now.)
> >
> >I also would prefer to have parser error messages enclosed in brackets,
> >to indicate that the "system" is talking to you, not the "story." I
> >think this idea has been discussed in this newsgroup before, though I
> >didn't read the whole thread.
>
> I would say this is a user interface Good Thing, in that it separates the
> story from the thing that is mediating the story (i.e. a computer
> running Windows). It helps to frame activities. (for an example that
> combines both command line and menu commands, see the Amiga Frotz port by
> David Kinder -- though that also mixes in game play commands like inventory).
>
> OTOH, it prevents the author from doing certain things. If saving a
> game happens entirely "out of the system", you would miss out on things
> such as is done in Curses:
> [snip]


Yeah, one of my favorite moments in interactive fiction is when you try
to save a game in Planetfall. That'd be gone.

Floyd's eyes light up. "Oh boy, are we going to try something dangerous
now?"


Though I don't see the point of Save prevention, like in Curses. I
still have a save file called "hints.sav" which leaves me right outside
the demon's door. So what if I have to go south again each time? :-)


-Rúmil

Barnaby Evans

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Dec 4, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/4/97
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Jeff Hatch wrote:
> Though I don't see the point of Save prevention, like in Curses.

Because it's funny, of course.

I love it when the story and the maintenance procedures 'talk' to each
other. It adds a certain self-awareness, I suppose. I wish people
exploited this sort of thing more. Curses is brilliant for this - things
like the game chastising you for swearing by making you eat a bar of
soap before you can leave your location, or giving you five points for
kissing your aunt and then changing its mind and taking them away again
a few turns later - and it makes for a signifigantly richer experience,
I think. Because, like, the game isn't *ashamed* of admitting that it's
a game. Or something.

xx B, postmodernist boy

Den of Iniquity

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Dec 4, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/4/97
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On Wed, 3 Dec 1997, Stephen van Egmond wrote:
>... and if 'quit' happened out of the system, In The End's author would
>never have had the opportunity to berate the player!

I've missed a few things the first time around because I've just quitted
through the menu (which is the normal way to quit lots of other software,
so it comes more naturally than typing something). I don't know whether
I'd prefer the menu quit to close the window automatically or send a
'quit' command to the parser (the first time, anyway, in case that doesn't
actually work), which might be annoying in hurried situations.

>Aunt Gertie is in her chair by the window, knitting.
>
>> GERTIE, FEE FIE FO FUM BOOM BANG BLAH
>Gertie frowns at you and gently asks if you've been taking your
>medication like the doctor told you to.

Hmm, seeing this, I'd be _so_ tempted to try:
-> GERTIE, I'VE BEEN TAKING MY MEDICATION LIKE YOU GENTLY ASKED ME TO

just to see the absurd response. :)

(Yes, I was that person who told Moonmist that my favourite colour was
globmungleblurge and that I was Mr Sherlock.)

--
Den


Scott Blomquist

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Dec 4, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/4/97
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On Wed, 03 Dec 1997 19:02:54 -0800, Jeff Hatch <jeff...@juno.com> wrote:
>
>Yeah, one of my favorite moments in interactive fiction is when you try
>to save a game in Planetfall. That'd be gone.
>
>Floyd's eyes light up. "Oh boy, are we going to try something dangerous
>now?"
>

Another interesting use of Save awareness (and actually save prevention,
but to a lesser degree) is found in Sierra-Online's Codename: Iceman.
(No, not text-based, but still a fine work of interactive fiction.) In
one scene, you must play and win a game of "Boss Dice" (I don't remember
the rules) with one of the crew-members of the submarine that you are
on. If you restore three times, you are accused of cheating by your
opponent, and he refuses to play any more. Admittedly, there are at
least a couple of reasons that I don't like the way they handled that.

Does anyone else have comments on Iceman or save prevention in general?

Scott.
--
_ Scott Blomquist KI5LT
(_` _ _ -|--|- mailto:sblo...@umr.edu
._)(_ (_) | | http://www.umr.edu/~sblomqui/

Jeff Hatch

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Dec 4, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/4/97
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The five bonus points that got added and then taken away cracked me up.
(Though I don't think I got them by kissing my aunt.) I didn't even
crack a smile over the demon's save prevention, or over Beyond Zork's
message that "You start to mumble the spell of saving, but the sight of
the monster causes your mind to wander." Seemed pointless to me.

I liked that stuff in Curses, and in Planetfall too, but I don't think
"serious" games should be so self-conscious. And I for one wouldn't go
so far as to say that obtrusive maintenance procedures make for a
"significantly richer experience" in any game. I consider them to be
nice little touches, and no more. Obviously, this is a matter of
personal taste.

Did the Infocom writers intentionally choose to make "save" and
"restore" be part of the main game display simply for the sake of
humor? I doubt it, though I'm glad they attached funny little messages
later. If you like keeping the story separate, Save and Restore
shouldn't be part of the main game display at all. If you don't, I
think you still may have neglected a few good opportunities by slavishly
following Infocom's example--you could, for instance, give a funny
message when a player tries to restore a game that isn't actually on the
disk. :-) (Or is there already a game like that that I haven't heard
of?)

-Rúmil

Graham Nelson

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Dec 4, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/4/97
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In article <34861D...@juno.com>, Jeff Hatch

<URL:mailto:jeff...@juno.com> wrote:
>
> Though I don't see the point of Save prevention, like in Curses. I
> still have a save file called "hints.sav" which leaves me right outside
> the demon's door. So what if I have to go south again each time? :-)

I don't want to shatter anyone's illusions here, but this is partly
because the original Curses code only counts the number of times
you go south through the demon's staircase, not the number of
questions you ask...

--
Graham Nelson | gra...@gnelson.demon.co.uk | Oxford, United Kingdom


Paul Francis Gilbert

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Dec 5, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/5/97
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svan...@undergrad.math.uwaterloo.ca (Stephen van Egmond) writes:

>So, while it is a conceptually clean idea and the UI designer in me says
>you're right, it weakens the ability to "play" with the lines between
>story and program.

I thought I'd just point out that you've got a good point. After all,
remember Floyd the robot... there's a prime example of Infocom themselves
playing around with the line between system and game. [Intentionally left
vague to avoid spoilers].

--
Paul Gilbert | p...@yallara.cs.rmit.edu.au (The DreamMaster)
Bach App Sci, Bach Eng | The opinions expressed are my own, all my own, and
Year 4, RMIT Melbourne | as such will contain no references to small furry
Australia | creatures from Alpha Centauri.

Stuart Adair

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Dec 5, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/5/97
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Paul Francis Gilbert wrote in message
<667gma$ick$1...@goanna.cs.rmit.edu.au>...


>svan...@undergrad.math.uwaterloo.ca (Stephen van Egmond) writes:
>
>>So, while it is a conceptually clean idea and the UI designer in me says
>>you're right, it weakens the ability to "play" with the lines between
>>story and program.
>
>I thought I'd just point out that you've got a good point. After all,
>remember Floyd the robot... there's a prime example of Infocom themselves
>playing around with the line between system and game. [Intentionally left
>vague to avoid spoilers].


One example of this that surprised me was Sherlock Holmes.

Stuart

--
_____________________
\_ .:stuart adair:. /___ dubstar::moby:::scrawn&lard::eddieizzard|"whose
/ / stu...@bigfoot.com \___________ :::::::interactivefiction::::| pig
/ / stuart...@stud.umist.ac.uk __) :::bigbeat:::drum&bass::::::| is
\ \/\ http://cfloor.home.ml.org (__ /\ ::::quake::fatboyslim::::| this?"
\__/ [under construction] [______)/ \_ :::zxspectrum::[frenzi]| -(e.i)

Andrew Plotkin

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Dec 5, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/5/97
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Jeff Hatch (jeff...@juno.com) wrote:
> Did the Infocom writers intentionally choose to make "save" and
> "restore" be part of the main game display simply for the sake of
> humor?

I'm sure they did it out of simple economy -- the prompts and filename
input and the resulting "Ok" or "Failed" message can be run through
existing I/O routines. The API was designed back in the ancient days,
remember, and had to run on tiny machines.

(Also remember that the save/load routines *did* vary. The Apple II
interpreters had that wacky "select slot, drive, game number" screen.
But again the "Ok / Failed" message went through normal I/O.)

> If you like keeping the story separate, Save and Restore
> shouldn't be part of the main game display at all. If you don't, I
> think you still may have neglected a few good opportunities by slavishly
> following Infocom's example--you could, for instance, give a funny
> message when a player tries to restore a game that isn't actually on the
> disk. :-)

I like keeping the story mostly separate, particularly for save and
restore options. But I'm used to Infocom's method, which can easily be
adapted to specific platforms. (MaxZip pops up the usual Mac load/save
dialog at the appropriate point.)

--Z

--

"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the
borogoves..."

ler...@classic21.rz.uni-duesseldorf.de

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Dec 5, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/5/97
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Saluton!

Jeff Hatch (je...@hatch.net) wrote:
[...]
: I also would prefer to have parser error messages enclosed in brackets,


: to indicate that the "system" is talking to you, not the "story." I
: think this idea has been discussed in this newsgroup before, though I
: didn't read the whole thread.

(I didn't read that thread, too.)

Some months ago a friend and I were trying to translate
the Inform libraries into German, and my friend wanted just
this feature. But we soon changed the texts back to normal,
because a) what actually _does_ constitute a system message?
and b) it really hindered the flow of reading. So, from this
experience I'd be against such a ,,feature''.

Ad Astra!
JuL

--
ler...@sunserver1.rz.uni-duesseldorf.de / Never disturb a dragon, for you will
J"urgen ''JuL'' Lerch / be crunchy and taste good with ketchup!
http://sunserver1.rz.uni-duesseldorf.de/~lerchj/

David Glasser

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Dec 6, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/6/97
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In article <34879A...@juno.com>, Jeff Hatch <jeff...@juno.com> wrote:

> Barnaby Evans wrote:
> > I love it when the story and the maintenance procedures 'talk' to each
> > other. It adds a certain self-awareness, I suppose. I wish people
> > exploited this sort of thing more. Curses is brilliant for this - things
> > like the game chastising you for swearing by making you eat a bar of
> > soap before you can leave your location, or giving you five points for
> > kissing your aunt and then changing its mind and taking them away again
> > a few turns later - and it makes for a signifigantly richer experience,
> > I think. Because, like, the game isn't *ashamed* of admitting that it's
> > a game. Or something.
>
> The five bonus points that got added and then taken away cracked me up.
> (Though I don't think I got them by kissing my aunt.)

Actually, you don't have to lose them. SPOILER SPACE!!


If you play through the whole game without doing something that will give
you those points, and then get the game ready to win (have the map, open
the trapdoor) you can get these (I gave Jemima the chocolates, I think)
and instantly go towards the trapdoor and down, and win before the loss of
the 5 points.

--David Glasser

Nice, nice, very nice-
So many different people
In the same device.
DGla...@NOSPAMfcs.pvt.k12.pa.us
dsgl...@NOSPAMhotmail.com
gla...@NOSPAMgobblernet.dyndns.com
http://glasser.base.org | http://glasser.base.org
If my ideas were those of FCS, this line wouldn't exist.
You know the deal. Get rid of NOSPAM.

Cardinal Teulbachs

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Dec 7, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/7/97
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On Wed, 03 Dec 1997 00:38:09 -0800, Jeff Hatch <je...@hatch.net> made
so bold as to state:

>I've noticed that I prefer to keep my "system" commands separate from
>the actual game input and output, because I like the "story" to flow

>smoothly. For instance, my IF authoring system allows me to load a game


>file by selecting "File-Open" from a menu bar, instead of by typing
>"save" at the game command prompt. And when I load the file, the screen
>restores the same view I had when I saved the file, without printing
>"Restored." (Wait...does this count as hype? 'Tis a trivial feature.
>I'll change the subject now.)

I like your approach in principle, but object to the menus. Like i-f
interpreters written for GUI's, there's something about having these
that Just Ain't Right.

Unless, of course, you're shooting for a whole different style of i-f
system--one that doesn't care much about the past. In that case, you
can do what you want and any screams about how it offends peoples'
sweet memories will justly fall upon deaf ears.

But being one of the sweet memories crowd, I hope you're not doing
that.

>I also would prefer to have parser error messages enclosed in brackets,
>to indicate that the "system" is talking to you, not the "story." I
>think this idea has been discussed in this newsgroup before, though I
>didn't read the whole thread.

I like this idea, if only because it forces the author to give more
attention to the voice of the computer. So much i-f ends up a confused
muddle because the author isn't clear about the story narrator--who it
is, so to speak, and what's appropriate for it to say and not to say.

>My brother Peter ("Mordraug") suggested today that the output file could
>be even more readable if the input lines that the player typed in
>disappeared and weren't part of the output. Of course, if this
>happened, error messages would have to disappear too, and certain game
>messages would have to be a bit more verbose. If the player types
>">TAKE KNIFE," the game would have to answer: "You take the knife,"
>rather than simply saying, "Taken."

At the risk of betraying my anti-GUI i-f stance, the thing that occurs
to me is that you could stick with the invisible input line and output
your message to a popup dialog window. I think you'd want to have a
screen buffering system set up, though, so you could make the window
go away with a keypress. Otherwise it would persist on the screen and
scroll right along with everything else, defeating the initial
purpose.


--Cardinal T

John Elliott

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Dec 7, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/7/97
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Jeff Hatch (je...@hatch.net) wrote:
: (No, this isn't more hype about the IF authoring system I'm writing, or
: even a status report.)

: I've noticed that I prefer to keep my "system" commands separate from


: the actual game input and output, because I like the "story" to flow
: smoothly.

The Melbourne House parser in "Shadows of Mordor" did something similar.
The screen had a status line, a "narrative" window and an entry window.
System messages ("insert tape and press ENTER") would appear in the entry
window; so would messages such as "you can't see that." On the other hand,
if there was any action at all, the narrative window got the message:

Frodo tries to pick up the huge lumpy rock but the huge lumpy rock
is too heavy.

------------- 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
:-------------------------------------------------------------------------)

Matt Ackeret

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Dec 8, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/8/97
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In article <EKMLH...@undergrad.math.uwaterloo.ca>,

Stephen van Egmond <svan...@undergrad.math.uwaterloo.ca> wrote:
>In article <34851A...@hatch.net>, Jeff Hatch <je...@hatch.net> wrote:
>>file by selecting "File-Open" from a menu bar, instead of by typing
>>"save" at the game command prompt. And when I load the file, the screen
>>restores the same view I had when I saved the file, without printing
>>"Restored." (Wait...does this count as hype? 'Tis a trivial feature.
>>I'll change the subject now.)
>>
>>I also would prefer to have parser error messages enclosed in brackets,
>>to indicate that the "system" is talking to you, not the "story." I
>>think this idea has been discussed in this newsgroup before, though I
>>didn't read the whole thread.
>
>I would say this is a user interface Good Thing, in that it separates the

The error message in brackets part makes sense, but the first idea
_gets in the way_ of people who prefer to use the keyboard. I realize in
a reply you said you wanted to make save and restore *also* work. That's
good. If it were *only* a menu option, that's bad.
--
mat...@area.com

Jeff Hatch

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Dec 10, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/10/97
to

Matt Ackeret wrote:
[snip]

> > Jeff Hatch <je...@hatch.net> wrote:
> >>file by selecting "File-Open" from a menu bar, instead of by typing
> >>"save" at the game command prompt.
[snip]

> The error message in brackets part makes sense, but the first idea
> _gets in the way_ of people who prefer to use the keyboard. I realize in
> a reply you said you wanted to make save and restore *also* work. That's
> good. If it were *only* a menu option, that's bad.

I thought I also said in a reply that my menu bar is keyboard
accessible. I prefer using the keyboard myself, and haven't bothered
implementing mouse support. Too hard to do in DOS, anyway.

-Rúmil

Jeff Pack

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Dec 11, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/11/97
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On 7 Dec 1997 22:26:39 GMT, John Elliott <j...@ox.compsoc.org.uk> wrote:

> The Melbourne House parser in "Shadows of Mordor" did something similar.
>The screen had a status line, a "narrative" window and an entry window.
>System messages ("insert tape and press ENTER") would appear in the entry
>window; so would messages such as "you can't see that." On the other hand,
>if there was any action at all, the narrative window got the message:
>
> Frodo tries to pick up the huge lumpy rock but the huge lumpy rock
> is too heavy.

Doesn't sound like a very exciting game:

Entry Window Narrative Window

>LOOK Frodo tries to pick up the huge lumpy rock but


the huge lumpy rock is too heavy.

>SOUTH Frodo tries to pick up the huge lumpy rock but


the huge lumpy rock is too heavy.

>IGNORE ROCK
I don't know the word
"ignore."

>KILL ROCK WITH SWORD Frodo tries to pick up the huge lumpy rock but


the huge lumpy rock is too heavy.

>KILL ME WITH SWORD Frodo tries to pick up the huge lumpy rock but


the huge lumpy rock is too heavy.

>QUIT

--
Jeff Pack '99 (book...@brown.edu) "We live on borrowed time
Brown University, English and So let's celebrate and sing
American Lit., Honors Program As we walk bravely
St. Anthony Hall K'96 Into the unknown..."

John Elliott

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Dec 12, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/12/97
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Jeff Pack (book...@brown.edu) wrote:
: > Frodo tries to pick up the huge lumpy rock but the huge lumpy rock
: > is too heavy.

: Doesn't sound like a very exciting game

Well, there _is_ the heavy round rock as well.

Zaphod1342

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Dec 22, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/22/97
to

Dave Glasser (dgla...@fcs.pvt.k12.pa.us) and I thought up a game last summer
in which the "Big Nasty(TM)" *is* the parser. This would allow the game to do
things like:

>PICK UP DYNAMITE

Boom! The dynamite explodes.

*YOU HAVE DIED, IDIOT*

Would you like to RESTART, RESTORE, UNDO, or QUIT?

>UNDO

Weeelll... okay, but for a stupid move like that I'll take away your SAVE
command.

>NORTH

You are in a huge room with goblins surrounding you!

>SAVE

Hey, what's the idea trying to save after I already told you that you couldn't
save! That's minus 5 points for you!

[You have just lost 5 points.]


Not exactly your user-friendly game! The idea was that the way to win would be
to hack the interpreter from within the game. Pretty cool, huh?


--
Receptionist: "You're ZAPHOD BEEBLEBROX?"
Zaphod: "Yeah, but don't shout or everybody'll want one."
Receptionist: "THE Zaphod Beeblebrox?"
Zaphod: "No, just A Zaphod Beeblebrox - didn't you hear I come in 6-packs?"
--

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