[IF CODE] Request For Comments

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HarryH

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Oct 31, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/31/98
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Interactive Fiction Classification System
=========================================

Designed by Harry M. Hardjono
IFC0.1 --C -P++ --A --r -i++


What is it?
-----------

Interactive Fiction Classification (IFC) system is created so IF players can
easily pick games that is more suitable to their taste. Former rating systems
deals only with a single score. Classifying IF works by genre only addresses
the fiction part of IF. Therefore, the information supplied is both
incomplete and misleading. IFC system attempts to classify IF works by
encoding IF classifications in easy to follow format.


Who should use it?
------------------

IF authors and game libraries should. IF work collections such as Adventure
Blaster, or IF work reviews such as SPAG are ideal candidates to use this
system. Authors may freely use IFC to target their audience. Compliance to
IFC is strictly voluntary, and authors are free to pick and choose
classifications according to their likings. The only restriction imposed is
that classification must be according to the specified version number.

Players may also use it to indicate their preference. If you are posting to
r.g/a.i.f, you may use the code to indicate your IF preference. Hopefully, IF
authors will take your preference into consideration when he is crafting his
next game.


The system
----------

IFC system is composed of a string. The string begins with "IFCx" or "IFCx.x"
where x is a number. The number indicates versions of IFC systems. Whole
versions (versions without the period) indicates formal version that should
be used to classify IF works. Fractional versions (versions with the period)
indicates that it is work in progress. Codes may be changed in haphazard
manner. Obviously, fractional versions should not be used, except for
experimentation.

The code itself is represented by letters. Capital letters indicate stable
version. Lower case letters indicate experimental version. For example:
[PRE]
IFC0.3 -C++ +r+ --A ?P?
[END PRE]
means that the code is of version 0 flavor 3. C, A, and P are main attributes
and never change in any of version 0 flavor. r may be changed in the next
revision.

Each classification have a lower/higher rating. This is indicated by the
left/right side of the letter. Each rating is ranged from 1 to 5. The
difference between the higher and lower rating indicates the range that IF
work may be classified. Using two numbers is much more expressive than
specifiying single numbers as other, less sophisticated systems do.

Each classification is assumed to be at level 3. A minus sign subtract 1 from
it. A plus sign adds 1 to it. Numbers can also be used. Examples:
[TABLE 1:8:16]
-C++ 2C5 Cruelness ranges from 2 to 5
+r+ 4r4 Realism is evaluated to be at 4
--A 1A3 Audience from 1 to 3 is suitable
?P? ?P? Puzzleness has no classification (can be omitted altogether)
XbX XbX Background does not apply here
[END TABLE]

The classification
------------------

IFC Version 0.1

[CLASSHEADER]
CRUELNESS(C): How careful a player must be to avoid unwinnable state.
Contributed by: Andrew Plotkin (Zarf)
[END CLASSHEADER]
[LIST]
1. Merciful: You only ever need one save file, and that only if you want to
turn the computer off and go to sleep. You never need to restore to an
earlier game.
2. Polite: You only need one save game, because if you do something fatally
wrong, it's blatantly obvious and you'll *know* better than to save
afterwards.
3. Tough: There are things you can do which you'll have to save before doing.
But you'll think "Ah, I'd better save before I do this."
4. Nasty: There are things you can do which you'll have to save before doing.
After you do one, you'll think "Oh, bugger, I should have saved."
5. Cruel: You think "I should have saved back in the third room. Now I'll
have to start over."
[END LIST]

[CLASSHEADER]
PUZZLENESS(P): Indicates whether the IF work is mostly story based, or puzzle
based.
Contributed by: Dan Shiovitz (Inky) (1-3); Lucian Paul Smith (4-5)
[END CLASSHEADER]
[LIST]
1. Pure Story: If you hit 'Z' repeatedly, you will beat the game.
2. Story based: If you do the obvious thing, you will beat the game.
3. Nice blend: There are puzzles, but they are all seamlessly integrated into
the plot.
4. Puzzle based: There are puzzles that only tangentially related to the
plot.
5. Pure Puzzle: There are puzzles, and there might be a plot, but never the
twain shall meet.
[END LIST]

[CLASSHEADER]
AUDIENCE(A): Classifies intended audience.
Contributed by: Harry M. Hardjono
[END CLASSHEADER]
[LIST]
1. Kiddie stuff: No word having more than 3 vowels.
2. General: Kids to adult can handle this.
3. Tough Guy: Some strong language/adult situations maybe involved.
4. Pervert: Very strong language/acts.
5. Sick: Unfit for human consumption.
[END LIST]

[CLASSHEADER]
Realism(r): Indicates whether the IF work is mostly fantasy or one that is
based on real life.
Contributed by: Harry M. Hardjono
[END CLASSHEADER]
[LIST]
1. Real World: It can happen to you.
2. Better Than Life: You win the lottery. You get the guy/girl of your dream.
3. Make believe: If we all pretend there are dinosaurs, we have a game!
4. Scifi/Fantasy: Where dragon soars, and magic flows.
5. Dream World: Nothing can be ever out of place.
[END LIST]

[CLASSHEADER]
Implementation(i): Specifies how well the game handles players' action.
Contributed by: Harry M. Hardjono
[END CLASSHEADER]
[LIST]
1. Skeleton: Follow the walkthru or else!
2. Minimalist: If you use the hint book, you're okay.
3. Reasonable: You pretty much can do anything within reason.
4. Well done: Funny responses await adventurous adventurer.
5. Full blown: You can do anything you want.
[END LIST]

Notes:
[LIST]
1. Note that Realism(r) is in lower case. This means that it may change in
future editions. Possible changes may be that the rating be reversed (i.e. 1
for Dream World, 5 for Real World) since this rating reflect Realism, not
Fantasy.
2. Implementation(i) classification is probably good for novice players who
otherwise will have great difficulty progressing through the game since they
are not yet familiar with standard IF commands, yet. Unfortunately, this may
hurt otherwise excellent Minimalist games.
3. There are other classifications suggested: Background, Puzzle Difficulty,
Obscurity, Jargonness. I'm not putting those in at this time since they're
not well defined (yet). When those are properly defined, I'll put those in.
4. I'm thinking about putting in another category. This one for platform. Any
ideas?
[END LIST]

-------------------------------------------------------
IFC0.1 --C -P++ --A --r -i++


Aris Katsaris

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Nov 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/1/98
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>
>[CLASSHEADER]
>PUZZLENESS(P): Indicates whether the IF work is mostly story based, or
puzzle
>based.
>Contributed by: Dan Shiovitz (Inky) (1-3); Lucian Paul Smith (4-5)
>[END CLASSHEADER]
>[LIST]
>1. Pure Story: If you hit 'Z' repeatedly, you will beat the game.
>2. Story based: If you do the obvious thing, you will beat the game.
>3. Nice blend: There are puzzles, but they are all seamlessly integrated
into
>the plot.
>4. Puzzle based: There are puzzles that only tangentially related to the
>plot.
>5. Pure Puzzle: There are puzzles, and there might be a plot, but never the
>twain shall meet.
>[END LIST]


"if you hit 'Z' repeatedly you will beat the game" is somewhat harsh, don't
you think
A game can give you choices: 'Do you say yes or no?' without it having any
puzzle.
But other than a little rephrasing in 1 I have no other problem with this. I
find it a quite
useful category.

>[CLASSHEADER]
>Realism(r): Indicates whether the IF work is mostly fantasy or one that is
>based on real life.
>Contributed by: Harry M. Hardjono
>[END CLASSHEADER]
>[LIST]
>1. Real World: It can happen to you.
>2. Better Than Life: You win the lottery. You get the guy/girl of your
dream.
>3. Make believe: If we all pretend there are dinosaurs, we have a game!
>4. Scifi/Fantasy: Where dragon soars, and magic flows.
>5. Dream World: Nothing can be ever out of place.
>[END LIST]


I have a serious problem with this category though. I understand the
difference
between Scifi/Fantasy and Dream World (allegorical/surreal games like A Week
in the life will be Dream World, right?) but what's the difference between
make believe and sci/fi fantasy? (A Bear's Day out is make believe I
suppose, but still why is it considered closer to realism than the other way
around?)

And what is this Better than Life silly category? Why not Worse than Life
(you get caught
in a storm and try to save a bridge?)

And I know people who would object to having Sci/fi and Fantasy in the same
category.
(Delusions is very different in style to say Balances/Zork whatever)

Moreover, isn't Real World a somewhat strange category? How about games
where you exist in a sci-fi universe but the story and problems concern very
realistic problems that have nothing to do with sci-fi. (such as 'In the
End') Would such a game be somewhere between 1 and 4, even though it's
certainly not in any of the categories inbetween? That sounds silly.

>
>[CLASSHEADER]
>Implementation(i): Specifies how well the game handles players' action.
>Contributed by: Harry M. Hardjono
>[END CLASSHEADER]
>[LIST]
>1. Skeleton: Follow the walkthru or else!
>2. Minimalist: If you use the hint book, you're okay.
>3. Reasonable: You pretty much can do anything within reason.
>4. Well done: Funny responses await adventurous adventurer.
>5. Full blown: You can do anything you want.
>[END LIST]
>


I'm not certain. This seems to concern the quality of the game. Or does it
concern
the replayability instead, the possibility to choose other paths, and
whether there
are different solutions to problems?

LucFrench

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Nov 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/1/98
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Suggested new catigory:

Zarfness (Z):
1. Weird. Just Plain Weird. (Think Acid Whiplash from this year.)
2. Zarfish. No (real) explainations given. (Although exposition may exist.
Spider & Web, for example.)
3. Mostly Known. All the major details are explained at some point. (Think
Delusions, or Curses.)
4. Clean. Some minor details go unexplained, but most of the stuff is there for
a reason. (The various subsections of Jigsaw, for example.)
5. Complete. An explaination for everything, if you look for it. (Zork 0, or
Beyond Zork, less the ending.)

Any comments?

Thanks
[Warning: Obscure Kibo refrence ahead!]
Luc "Xarf" French

Cardinal Teulbachs

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Nov 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/1/98
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har...@iu.net.idiotic.com.skip.idiotic.com (HarryH) wrote:

>Interactive Fiction Classification System
>=========================================
>
>Designed by Harry M. Hardjono
>IFC0.1 --C -P++ --A --r -i++

No offense, folks, but this newsgroup long ago descended into
silliness, and this is only further proof. If half the effort were put
into writing IF games as is put into writing *around* IF games, then
there'd be, well, only twice as many pointless classification systems
and whatnot available as there are actual IF games, which there
currently are not.

This system of yours, Harry, appears to be but another attempt to
reduce literary reviews to symbolic form, and not a particularly
distinguished attempt at that. (What is it with you modernist-types,
anyway, that makes you think that attempting to translate what is not
digital in nature to digits somehow improves upon Nature? It's just
baffling to me. All it does is make a mess. What possible advantage
can this system have over a straightforward doggone review?)

Sorry again to be a spoilsport, and no offense meant to you
personally, Harry. I know what you have in mind; it's just that, in my
opinion, your mind would be more gainfully employed in some other
way--perhaps in writing some insightful IF game reviews in plain old
English.

--Cardinal T


HarryH

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Nov 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/1/98
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In article <71gapv$h8a$1...@ns1.otenet.gr>, kats...@otenet.gr says...

>"if you hit 'Z' repeatedly you will beat the game" is somewhat harsh, don't
>you think
>A game can give you choices: 'Do you say yes or no?' without it having any
>puzzle.

Actually, the description is there to help you understand the
categorizations. It's not there to be literarily true. I think
the intent is clear enough. So it stays.

>>Realism(r): Indicates whether the IF work is mostly fantasy or one that is

[snip]


>I have a serious problem with this category though. I understand the
>difference
>between Scifi/Fantasy and Dream World (allegorical/surreal games like A Week
>in the life will be Dream World, right?) but what's the difference between
>make believe and sci/fi fantasy? (A Bear's Day out is make believe I
>suppose, but still why is it considered closer to realism than the other way
>around?)

Reading your response makes me think you already know the answer.
My phrasing may be weak. I welcome any suggestions.

>And what is this Better than Life silly category? Why not Worse than Life
>(you get caught
>in a storm and try to save a bridge?)

Okay, how about Bigger than Life, then?

>And I know people who would object to having Sci/fi and Fantasy in the same
>category.
>(Delusions is very different in style to say Balances/Zork whatever)

I am one of those people who object. Alas, I am powerless to change
the opinion of the masses.

>Moreover, isn't Real World a somewhat strange category? How about games
>where you exist in a sci-fi universe but the story and problems concern very
>realistic problems that have nothing to do with sci-fi. (such as 'In the
>End') Would such a game be somewhere between 1 and 4, even though it's
>certainly not in any of the categories inbetween? That sounds silly.

It would be under 4 only. I believe that all great stories reflect
real world in some way, but the setting may be specific to scifi.

Real World: A Change in Weather
Bigger than Life: Indiana Jones adventure
Make Believe: A Bear's Night Out
SciFi/Fantasy: Zork, Enchanter, etc
Dream World: Alice in Wonderland

There may be some ambiguities, and I acknowledge that. Therefore,
you can give the rating a range of numbers, instead of one number.

>>Implementation(i): Specifies how well the game handles players' action.

[snip]


>I'm not certain. This seems to concern the quality of the game. Or does it

Quality. Replayability category is still not defined. I welcome any
better phrasings.

HarryH

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Nov 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/1/98
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In article <19981031232239...@ng-fd1.aol.com>, lucf...@aol.com
says...

>Suggested new catigory:
>Zarfness (Z):
[snip]
>Any comments?

Noted. BTW, for other commenters: I appreciate it if your comments
include not only what's wrong, but also possible solution that you
have in mind. (just like Luc's here).

How about Size? One Room, Location(few rooms), Place (few to dozen rooms),
Area (dozen to dozens room), Multi world setting (dozens to hundreds)

HarryH

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Nov 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/1/98
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In article <363bd3d...@news.mindspring.com>, card...@mindspring.com
says...
[snip]

>distinguished attempt at that. (What is it with you modernist-types,
>anyway, that makes you think that attempting to translate what is not
>digital in nature to digits somehow improves upon Nature? It's just
>baffling to me. All it does is make a mess. What possible advantage

As you pointed out, Nature defies classifications. I know this already.
Why do you think I include "?C?" and "XCX" as possible rating?

[snip something about review in English]

I have a question to game reviewers. When you review a game,
do you note the release date/number? If not, how would the player
know which versions (if there's more than one) you're referring
to? Maybe the first version is bad, but subsequent ones are
good? Do you keep those reviews up to date as soon as new versions
are released? Or you don't care about differences between versions
except when noted otherwise?

RudeJohn

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Nov 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/1/98
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On 31 Oct 1998 22:45:50 GMT,
har...@iu.net.idiotic.com.skip.idiotic.com (HarryH) wrote:

...bonk...

=>[LIST]
=>1. Real World: It can happen to you.
=>2. Better Than Life: You win the lottery. You get the guy/girl of
your dream.
=>3. Make believe: If we all pretend there are dinosaurs, we have a
game!
=>4. Scifi/Fantasy: Where dragon soars, and magic flows.
=>5. Dream World: Nothing can be ever out of place.
=>[END LIST]

The classification "SciFi/Fantasy" is a misnomer. This unfortunate
turn of phrase arose because booksellers thought it efficient to
combine two disparate categories which seemed to attract the same
customers. That sort of reasoning also explains why the Horror section
is never very far away from the SciFi/Fantasy section, even though
Horror is seen as appealing to a broader customer-base.

Anyone who is upset by the casual reference to "C/C++" will understand
why "SciFi/Fantasy" should be read as "Science Fiction -OR- Fantasy"
rather than "Science Fiction -AND- Fantasy". Just as there is no
programming language called C -AND- C++, so too there is no Science
Fiction -AND- Fantasy genre. It simply does not exist.

IMHO, it would be to everyone's advantage to correct this
misconception by classifying Science Fiction and Fantasy separately,
as they would be by any *sane* person. <grin>

C'ya,
RudeJohn
"I'm rude. It's a job."

http://home.ptd.net/~rudejohn/


Sam Powell

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Nov 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/1/98
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I think this would make a great addition to my signiture - in fact i am
going to do it now. I think once the classifications are worked out u will
have a good system going here - possibly not the most usefull system in the
world -when it comes to marking your own interests - but as for a system
where authors tag there work with the code I think it is great.

Lets get this going....

SP.

--
==========================================================
ICQ: 11475858
Mail: sp...@globalnet.co.uk
Web: www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~spweb/

"OO is great, it is no coincidence that WOOHOO contains OO twice" - GLYPH


HarryH wrote in message <71g3uu$cn8$1...@east44.supernews.com>...


>Interactive Fiction Classification System
>=========================================
>
>Designed by Harry M. Hardjono
>IFC0.1 --C -P++ --A --r -i++
>
>
>What is it?
>-----------
>
>Interactive Fiction Classification (IFC) system is created so IF players
can
>easily pick games that is more suitable to their taste. Former rating
systems
>deals only with a single score. Classifying IF works by genre only
addresses
>the fiction part of IF. Therefore, the information supplied is both
>incomplete and misleading. IFC system attempts to classify IF works by
>encoding IF classifications in easy to follow format.
>
>
>Who should use it?


[SNIP]

Aris Katsaris

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Nov 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/1/98
to

HarryH wrote in message <71hmic$94b$1...@east42.supernews.com>...

>In article <71gapv$h8a$1...@ns1.otenet.gr>, kats...@otenet.gr says...
>>"if you hit 'Z' repeatedly you will beat the game" is somewhat harsh,
don't
>>you think
>>A game can give you choices: 'Do you say yes or no?' without it having any
>>puzzle.
>
>Actually, the description is there to help you understand the
>categorizations. It's not there to be literarily true. I think
>the intent is clear enough. So it stays.


Ok.

>>>Realism(r): Indicates whether the IF work is mostly fantasy or one that
is

>[snip]
>>I have a serious problem with this category though. I understand the
>>difference
>>between Scifi/Fantasy and Dream World (allegorical/surreal games like A
Week
>>in the life will be Dream World, right?) but what's the difference between
>>make believe and sci/fi fantasy? (A Bear's Day out is make believe I
>>suppose, but still why is it considered closer to realism than the other
way
>>around?)
>
>Reading your response makes me think you already know the answer.
>My phrasing may be weak. I welcome any suggestions.


I don't really know any answer. It depends whether somebody considers magic
carpets
or sentient teddy bears closer to realism. I would tend to put Sci-Fi closer
to realism, then Fantasy, then Make Belief.

>>And what is this Better than Life silly category? Why not Worse than Life
>>(you get caught
>>in a storm and try to save a bridge?)
>
>Okay, how about Bigger than Life, then?


That's better. :)

>>And I know people who would object to having Sci/fi and Fantasy in the
same
>>category.
>>(Delusions is very different in style to say Balances/Zork whatever)
>
>I am one of those people who object. Alas, I am powerless to change
>the opinion of the masses.


I am one as well. I am annoyed when people refer to Lord of the Rings as
Sci/fi for
example. I'd say that since Science-fiction is usually more ordered and with
stricter
rules than Fantasy, it should be considered closer to Realism in your scale.
(And since
Scifi is reality as it may be, while Fantasy is reality as we imagined it to
be)

>>Moreover, isn't Real World a somewhat strange category? How about games
>>where you exist in a sci-fi universe but the story and problems concern
very
>>realistic problems that have nothing to do with sci-fi. (such as 'In the
>>End') Would such a game be somewhere between 1 and 4, even though it's
>>certainly not in any of the categories inbetween? That sounds silly.
>
>It would be under 4 only. I believe that all great stories reflect
>real world in some way, but the setting may be specific to scifi.


Ok. You may have a point.

>Real World: A Change in Weather
>Bigger than Life: Indiana Jones adventure
>Make Believe: A Bear's Night Out
>SciFi/Fantasy: Zork, Enchanter, etc
>Dream World: Alice in Wonderland


That's another of my reasons of wanting SciFi/Fantasy closer to realism than
Make Believe. parts Indiana Jones could be considered Fantasy (Holy Grail,
Ark etc). So it
would be between SciFi/Fantasy and Bigger than Life (the non-fantastic
elements of it)
but certainly not Make Believe.

>There may be some ambiguities, and I acknowledge that. Therefore,
>you can give the rating a range of numbers, instead of one number.
>

>>>Implementation(i): Specifies how well the game handles players' action.

>[snip]
>>I'm not certain. This seems to concern the quality of the game. Or does it
>
>Quality. Replayability category is still not defined. I welcome any
>better phrasings.


Ok. But would writers easily rate the quality of their own story?

Doeadeer3

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Nov 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/2/98
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In article <71ifcc$mpo$1...@ns1.otenet.gr>, "Aris Katsaris" <kats...@otenet.gr>
writes:

>Ok. But would writers easily rate the quality of their own story?

No.

Doe :-)


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

Lucian Paul Smith

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Nov 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/2/98
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HarryH (har...@iu.net.idiotic.com.skip.idiotic.com) wrote:
: Interactive Fiction Classification System
: =========================================

Oof. This seems a bit,... overly complex. My intention in posting my
classification schemes was not to spawn some catch-all rubric that would
tell you all there was to know about the games. It was rather to get
people thinking about certain types of information they might like to know
before starting a game. Even if a reviewer never uses any of the
particular numbers I happened to come up with, or the particular words
Zarf invented, if they're thinking in those terms, they can still describe
the game along those axes.

So the point of the scales is not really the specific wording (in my mind,
at least). It's just a way of defining the ends of the spectrum, and of
describing some of the possible nuances in the middle.

-Lucian

Branko Collin

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Nov 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/2/98
to
On 31 Oct 1998 22:45:50 GMT,
har...@iu.net.idiotic.com.skip.idiotic.com (HarryH) wrote:

>Interactive Fiction Classification System


>Designed by Harry M. Hardjono
>IFC0.1 --C -P++ --A --r -i++
>
>What is it?
>

>Interactive Fiction Classification (IFC) system is created so IF players can
>easily pick games that is more suitable to their taste. Former rating systems

I thought these classifications were meant to be jokes?

Anyway, an author might want to include his opinion on game
classification systems:

GCS-- useless
GCS- silly
GCS^%E&^$%^% very silly
GCS+ useful
GCS++ couldn't live without them


HTH,

--
branko

Den of Iniquity

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Nov 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/2/98
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On 31 Oct 1998, HarryH wrote:

>Designed by Harry M. Hardjono
>IFC0.1 --C -P++ --A --r -i++

OK, my comment: I don't like it. Not one bit. Reason: I hate having to
refer to a table to figure out what someone's trying to say. Furthermore,
I'm not in favour of simple labelling of genres.

However there's something to be said for some degree of
self-classification; for just about everything on gmd, there's a short
'blurb' piece that appears in each directory's index. I think it would be
useful if uploaders always explicitly stated the copyright status of the
item and its 'distributability' - ie whether that person is opposed to
their work being placed on other archives or CD's, etc. I also think that
it would be useful if the author stated, where appropriate, whether their
work was particularly appropriate or inappropriate for a juvenile
audience.

Beyond that, I don't see that much more is necessary. Any other ideas
along these lines?

--
Den


RudeJohn

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Nov 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/2/98
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On 1 Nov 98 22:05:39 GMT, Barbara Robson
<rob...@octarine.itsc.adfa.edu.aus> wrote:

=>rude...@ptd.net (RudeJohn) writes:
=>
=>>Anyone who is upset by the casual reference to "C/C++" will
understand
=>>why "SciFi/Fantasy" should be read as "Science Fiction -OR-
Fantasy"
=>>rather than "Science Fiction -AND- Fantasy". Just as there is no
=>>programming language called C -AND- C++, so too there is no Science
=>>Fiction -AND- Fantasy genre. It simply does not exist.
=>
=>If you follow rec.arts.sf.written at all, you will know that one of
the
=>recurring arguments amoung SF fans is what (if anything)
differentiates
=>science fiction from fantasy. For any definition of science fiction
=>that you come up with, there will be dozens of books you classify as
=>"science fiction" that everyone else thinks are fantasy, and dozens
of
=>"fantasy" books that everyone else thinks are science fiction.

Apparently, you subscribe to the notion that "everyone" knows what
they are talking about. IMHO, "everyone" _rarely_ knows what they are
talking about. I am not concerned with "everyone"'s opinion. No
offense intended.

But you do make a valid point, albeit indirectly; people love to
disagree. Standards are always being challenged and subverted in favor
of whatever happens to be more palatable to "everyone". Hence, our
current concept of "political correctness". IMHO, being politically
correct means NOT having an opinion. To be politically correct you
must relinquish any personal bias in favor of group policy. To be
politically correct, you must forego reaching your own conclusions in
favor of parroting group propaganda.

=>In the absence of any clear and agreed dividing line, I think it
better
=>to keep the catageorie together under the label "speculative
fiction"
=>(which is what the "sf" part of r.a.sf.w stands for).

Even in our little discussion, I can see the deleterious effects of
politically-correct non-thinking. Rather than wrestling with the idea
that Science Fiction and Fantasy might indeed be two separate and
distinct genres, you immediately propose to eliminate the distinction
of either by combining them into a single amorphous mass. While that
sort of approach to conflict resolution is at the heart of
politically-correct non-thinking, I personally find it to be both
condescending and insulting. No offense intended.

Obviously, my belief that Science Fiction and Fantasy are two separate
and distinct genres does not invalidate the existence of stories which
might best be described as cross-overs. However, the existence of
cross-overs is no reason for "everyone" to glue Fantasy onto the
butt-end of Science Fiction, as you seem to want to do. To follow your
logic, Horror fiction should almost certainly be thrown into the
cauldron of "speculative fiction". And Romantic fiction. And
Historical fiction. And... well, where does it end?

The taxonomic classification of literature is not served by trying to
placate "everyone" with bland generalizations. After all, bland
generalizations are what they have always been, _wrong_.

Nice talkin' wit' ya!

=>Barbara

green_g...@my-dejanews.com

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Nov 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/2/98
to
In article <71g3uu$cn8$1...@east44.supernews.com>,
har...@iu.net.idiotic.com.skip.idiotic.com (HarryH) wrote:

Did I missing something? You aren't going to include genre at all in your
system? Seems rather incomplete that way. I personally like to know ahead of
time if its a Horror (eeek) or Romance :)

Kathleen

--
-- Excuse me while I dance a little jig of despair.

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

Doeadeer3

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Nov 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/2/98
to

In article <Pine.SGI.3.95L.98110...@oldebor.york.ac.uk>, Den
of Iniquity <dms...@york.ac.uk> writes:

>However there's something to be said for some degree of
>self-classification; for just about everything on gmd, there's a short
>'blurb' piece that appears in each directory's index. I think it would be
>useful if uploaders always explicitly stated the copyright status of the
>item and its 'distributability' - ie whether that person is opposed to
>their work being placed on other archives or CD's, etc. I also think that
>it would be useful if the author stated, where appropriate, whether their
>work was particularly appropriate or inappropriate for a juvenile
>audience.

>Beyond that, I don't see that much more is necessary. Any other ideas
>along these lines?
>
>--
>Den


I agree. Yeah, GS, gratuitious sex (for us women who may not like to play games
with male-oriented sex). The only other thing of value might be a difficulty
estimate such as Infocom had -- introductory, standard, advanced and expert.

My main difficulty with all this is, WHO does it? Authors cannot realistically
rate their own games as to cruelness, puzzleness, etc. (some of the
classifications that have been suggested).

So I prefer blurbs by the author in any format they like (limited to a certain
number of words, because of space on gmd.de) possibly including:
distributability (as you suggest, Den, good idea, copyright may be less
necessary, most of the games are automatically copyrighted), sexual content (if
present, otherwise not necessary), intended audience (if not child or juvenile,
not necessary), author's estimate of difficulty (Infocom style) and anything
else the author wants to say.

Reviews are the place for everything else, the blurbs should be written by the
author, which means it is up to the author how they want to describe their game
or classify their game (whether by genre or not, or if they want to classify it
at all).

IMO, this discussion is getting silly. If someone wants a complicated rating
system, fine, use it in their reviews. Reviews and ratings are not the business
of authors. And most are not capable of that amount of objectivity regarding
their own work.

Jonadab the Unsightly One

unread,
Nov 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/2/98
to
Aris Katsaris <kats...@otenet.gr> wrote in article
<71ifcc$mpo$1...@ns1.otenet.gr>...

: >Reading your response makes me think you already know the answer.


: >My phrasing may be weak. I welcome any suggestions.
:
: I don't really know any answer. It depends whether somebody
considers magic
: carpets
: or sentient teddy bears closer to realism. I would tend to put
Sci-Fi closer
: to realism, then Fantasy, then Make Belief.

No. Sci-Fi and Fantasy are genres.
The reality index varies from one to the next, same as in other
genres. (Historical fiction, for example: some works are basically
possible, and others are outright stupid.)

Okay, here goes: There's Sci-Fi where it's 2147 and the human race
has colonised Mars and experienced a devastating nuclear war.
That's reasonable. It could happen. That's fiction, but there is
no
particular stretching of the bounds of what could happen.

Then there are Jurasic Park and Back to the Future, which are no
closer to reality than Fantasy like There and Back Again or
You Are a Shark.

: >Okay, how about Bigger than Life, then?
:
: That's better. :)

: >>And I know people who would object to having Sci/fi and Fantasy
in the
: same
: >>category.

They're not the same genre, but they experience a lot of overlap
in the reality department. Gilgamesh is no less real than some
works of sci-fi.

Oh, and there are some works that fit into both genres. Of
course, there are also works that fit into other seemingly
disparate genres, too. There is always some blur.

: >>(Delusions is very different in style to say Balances/Zork
whatever)

Style, yes. But is Delusions more real than Advent?

: I am one as well. I am annoyed when people refer to Lord of the


Rings as
: Sci/fi for example.

No, Tolkein didn't write any sci-fi, IMO.

How about this:

Realism:

5 - Truth: Allowing for some adaptations to make it playable
(i.e., we don't want to say " *** You have diverged
from the storyline ***^" every time the player fails to
do exactly the right thing at exactly the right time) this
actually occurred. True story.
4 - Plausible Fiction: This *could* occur; but it didn't really.
(Maybe it's based on a true story with some
significant modifications, or maybe it's altogether
made up, but it *could* have happened that way.)
3 - Almost Plausible Fiction: If we politely ignore facts
A, B, and C, it could happen.
2 - Pure Fiction: It could never happen, but it's internally
consistent (more or less) and makes a reasonable
story (more or less). You can imagine it without
any serious mental pain. It's unrealistic in a
consistent fashion, mostly.
1 - Dream World: Continuity fails altogether.
Tyranasaurs fly F14s across the galaxy
to stop the WereElves from instigating the Great
InterUniversal Plot to Create Windows 95. Besides,
I was wearing socks. Who let the dog out in the rain?
It took so long to bake it, and I had a headache
tomorrow, but that's all relative, and this isn't
a family reunion.

: >There may be some ambiguities, and I acknowledge that.

Yeah, there will be blur between every level.


HarryH

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Nov 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/4/98
to
In article <71kq3q$3m2$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>, green_g...@my-dejanews.com
says...
>In article <71g3uu$cn8$1...@east44.supernews.com>,

>Did I missing something? You aren't going to include genre at all in your
>system? Seems rather incomplete that way. I personally like to know ahead of
>time if its a Horror (eeek) or Romance :)

I couldn't find a simple way to describe them. I'm not talking about simple
genre, but more like combinations:
Romantic Comedy? Dark Comedy? Drama Tragedy? Romantic Horror Comedy? Epic
Romantic Adventure? Light-hearted Whimsical Romantic Adventure?
Furthermore, new genre keep popping up once in a while.

Perhaps this kind of thing is best put on the blurb, along with platform of
choice (Inform, Mac, etc), and hardware requirements.

HarryH

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Nov 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/4/98
to
In article <19981102142340...@ngol08.aol.com>, doea...@aol.com
says...

>with male-oriented sex). The only other thing of value might be a difficulty
>estimate such as Infocom had -- introductory, standard, advanced and expert.

Good call, Doe. Now if you just add master to the list and describe them,
I'll add your contribution of Difficulty rating. Actually, I don't think that
you can rate the difficutly estimate with any amount of accuracy, but if you
think people can...

Although it's not _really_ necessary, I can see why people would be
interested in Difficulty level of a game.

>My main difficulty with all this is, WHO does it? Authors cannot
realistically
>rate their own games as to cruelness, puzzleness, etc. (some of the
>classifications that have been suggested).

I think authors can feedback from their beta-testers.

>IMO, this discussion is getting silly. If someone wants a complicated rating
>system, fine, use it in their reviews. Reviews and ratings are not the

I certainly hope you don't find addition and subtraction complicated. Even
the number of main category is very limited. There's no plot/intention to be
complicated here, really.

HarryH

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Nov 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/4/98
to
In article <19981101210440...@ngol04.aol.com>, doea...@aol.com
says...

>In article <71ifcc$mpo$1...@ns1.otenet.gr>, "Aris Katsaris"
<kats...@otenet.gr>
>writes:
>>Ok. But would writers easily rate the quality of their own story?
>No.

Easily? Yes.
Accuracy is another matter. :)

RudeJohn

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Nov 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/4/98
to
On 4 Nov 98 06:14:12 GMT, Barbara Robson
<rob...@octarine.itsc.adfa.edu.aus> wrote:

=>rude...@ptd.net (RudeJohn) writes:
=>

=>>On 1 Nov 98 22:05:39 GMT, Barbara Robson
=>><rob...@octarine.itsc.adfa.edu.aus> wrote:

...snip...

You sound like my ex. That frightens me.

=>Out of respect for the topic of this newsgroup, I won't post further
=>responses on this line of argument here, and out of respect for the
=>sanity of r.a.sf.w readers (who have been through this many times),
=>I won't set followups there, either.

Cute. Feel all superior now?

=>Barbara

Me go now. Me shamble back to cave. Uhg.


C'ya,


RudeJohn
"I'm rude. It's a job."

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green_g...@my-dejanews.com

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Nov 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/6/98
to
In article <71o7q0$bj8$1...@east42.supernews.com>,

har...@iu.net.idiotic.com.skip.idiotic.com (HarryH) wrote:
> In article <71kq3q$3m2$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>, green_g...@my-dejanews.com
> says...
> >In article <71g3uu$cn8$1...@east44.supernews.com>,
> >Did I missing something? You aren't going to include genre at all in your
> >system? Seems rather incomplete that way. I personally like to know ahead of
> >time if its a Horror (eeek) or Romance :)
>
> I couldn't find a simple way to describe them. I'm not talking about simple
> genre, but more like combinations:
> Romantic Comedy? Dark Comedy? Drama Tragedy? Romantic Horror Comedy? Epic
> Romantic Adventure? Light-hearted Whimsical Romantic Adventure?
> Furthermore, new genre keep popping up once in a while.

I suppose you could just tack a short string after the rating:

IFC0.1 --C -P++ --A --r -i++ - Light-hearted Whimsical Romantic Adventure

:)

> IFC0.1 --C -P++ --A --r -i++

By the way -- I find this very hard to read. The emphases (to my eyes) is on
the letters in the middle - which is the part that doesn't change, while the
+'s and -'s don't line up

IFC0.1 --C -P++ --A --r -i++

IFC0.1 -C -P+ -A+ --r -i++
IFC0.1 C++ --P -A+ r++ --i

yuk

IFC0.1 1C3 2P4 0A2 1r3 0i4
IFC0.1 2C5 1P2 2A4 2r5 0i0
IFC0.1 4C5 3P4 0A2 4r5 2i3

... now (at least to me) the numbers stand out. Actually, if you switched to
lower case

IFC0.1 1c3 5p5 0a2 1r3 0i4 - Dark Comedy
IFC0.1 2c5 1p2 2a4 2r5 0i0 - Mushy SciFi Romance
IFC0.1 4c5 4p5 0a2 4r5 2i3 - Murder Fantasy

The numbers are even more obvious (IMO)

Plus,if I want to make sure the puzzle rating is < 3, its much easier for me
to see that my only choice is the Mushy SciFi Romance, then to have to have
to do addition in my head. But that's just MHO :)

Doeadeer3

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Nov 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/7/98
to

In article <71o86f$bj8$2...@east42.supernews.com>,
har...@iu.net.idiotic.com.skip.idiotic.com (HarryH) writes:

>Good call, Doe. Now if you just add master to the list and describe them,
>I'll add your contribution of Difficulty rating. Actually, I don't think that>
>you can rate the difficutly estimate with any amount of accuracy, but if you
>think people can...

Never seen "master", didn't realize it existed (hmmm), but yes, I think authors
would find it easier to rate their games according to the old Infocom
difficulty level rather than to some other "levels" or systems.

>I certainly hope you don't find addition and subtraction complicated.

Well, if you have been attention to some past threads, actually I do. ;-)

>Even
>the number of main category is very limited. There's no plot/intention to be
>complicated here, really.
>
>-------------------------------------------------------

>IFC0.1 --C -P++ --A --r -i++

Aha! YOU used the word, plot!!! Aha!!!!!!

Doe :-) No, of course, I don't think it's plot, but you are confuzing
math-impaired individuals like myself.

Jonadab the Unsightly One

unread,
Nov 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/14/98
to
Branko Collin <col...@xs4all.nl> wrote in article
<363cd5ec...@news.xs4all.nl>...

: Anyway, an author might want to include his opinion on game


: classification systems:
:
: GCS-- useless
: GCS- silly
: GCS^%E&^$%^% very silly
: GCS+ useful
: GCS++ couldn't live without them

Unfortuately, GCS indicates Geek of Computer Science, last
I checked. Perhaps gcs is available?

--
[Insert hilarious quote here.]

-- jonadab

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