I want more terminology

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Andrew C. Plotkin

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Oct 14, 1994, 2:10:29 PM10/14/94
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What is a nice one-word term for a game in which you can never die, you
can never get stuck, you never need to undo or restart or restore the
game?

What is the opposite?

--Z

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

Felix Lee

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Oct 14, 1994, 5:39:39 PM10/14/94
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Andrew C. Plotkin:

>What is a nice one-word term for a game in which you can never die, you
>can never get stuck, you never need to undo or restart or restore the
>game?

user-friendly? :)

hmm. I'd call a situation where you need to undo or restart a
"temporal dead-end". You've traversed a link in the game-state dag
that leaves you in an uninteresting place in the game-state space.

this doesn't suggest any particularly useful terminology though. :(

Well, how about "connected game"? no; obscure usage..

okay. how about, choose a single-word term for "temporal dead-end",
like "box". Then these games can be called "box-free". "box" is a
bad choice though. no idea of a good alternative...
--

Mike Threepoint

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Oct 15, 1994, 2:57:55 AM10/15/94
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The Plotkin asks!

> What is a nice one-word term for a game in which you can never die, you
> can never get stuck, you never need to undo or restart or restore the
> game?

> What is the opposite?

It's obvious. When you can no longer successfully finish the game,
and must restart or restore or undo, you have "lost".

So, I would use "losable" and "unlosable". Loom is unlosable. Zork is
losable. The meaning follows naturally.

(BTW, death is not a valid criterion, because you could play a game
where you can die but you always get another chance. In Brimstone,
dying is actually necessary at one point to enter the underworld and
continue the story.)

Andrew C. Plotkin

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Oct 15, 1994, 4:59:07 PM10/15/94
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Excerpts from netnews.rec.arts.int-fiction: 15-Oct-94 Re: I want more
terminology Mike Three...@hertz.nj (661)

> It's obvious. When you can no longer successfully finish the game,
> and must restart or restore or undo, you have "lost".

> So, I would use "losable" and "unlosable". Loom is unlosable. Zork is
> losable. The meaning follows naturally.

<self-bonk> Quite right. I feel stupid. I have now adopted those terms.

> (BTW, death is not a valid criterion, because you could play a game
> where you can die but you always get another chance.

True.

To beat on my previous dead horse a little further, let me point out
that there are shades of meaning here, too. For example, most of Myst is
unlosable, but the endgame is losable.

Felix Lee

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Oct 15, 1994, 6:35:04 PM10/15/94
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Mike Threepoint:

>So, I would use "losable" and "unlosable". Loom is unlosable. Zork is
>losable. The meaning follows naturally.

aha; too obvious. It's nice to have a pair of nice, unambiguous terms
amid all the fuzzy terms involved with IF...
--

Philip Jones

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Oct 18, 1994, 1:19:11 PM10/18/94
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In article <8ibgaJ600...@andrew.cmu.edu>,

Andrew C. Plotkin <ap...@andrew.cmu.edu> wrote:
>What is a nice one-word term for a game in which you can never die, you
>can never get stuck, you never need to undo or restart or restore the
>game?

Presumably this is a game where you always win. Using some graph terminology
you might argue that this was a "directed partial order with a least upper
bound" :-)


philip

Mike Threepoint

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Oct 16, 1994, 12:47:42 PM10/16/94
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The Plotkin writes!

> To beat on my previous dead horse a little further, let me point out
> that there are shades of meaning here, too. For example, most of Myst is
> unlosable, but the endgame is losable.

The most borderline case I can think of is one of my favorite games,
The Secret of Monkey Island. It is 99.44% unlosable. There is one
and only one way to die, but it takes patience to accomplish. :-)

There's also a hilarious scene concealed in Part Three which pokes fun
at sudden instant deaths in adventure games, but I won't spoil the
surprise.

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