Shipboard directions again

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Steven Marsh

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Aug 31, 1999, 3:00:00 AM8/31/99
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Sorry to be a pain in the ass (or "arse", as our amigos across the
Atlantic might say), but:

I posted earlier trying to figure out whether I should go with
shipboard directions (port, aft, etc.) or compass-directions.

I've decided to try sticking with shipboard directions, but I'm
running into problems.

1) Is there a good link where I can get the lingo down? I'm
realizing that I'm not entirely sure about use of terms. For example,
do you say, "There's an exit to the port", or "There's an exit to
port", or "There's an exit port." (Or "there's a port exit", or...)

2) Does anyone have any ideas how to handle diagnals? On my ship,
for example, there's a dining room, which is basically a 3x3 "grid" of
rooms. I'd like folks to move from starboard bow to the center of the
dining room, but 1) don't know (again) how to explain that direction
is available, and 2) don't know what I should make someone type in to
go that way ("starboardbow" seems awkward, compared to, say, "se").

Thanks in advance!

Steven Marsh
ma...@nettally.com
"Where your eyes don't go a filthy scarecrow waves his broomstick arms
and does a parody of each unconscious thing you do."

Jonadab the Unsightly One

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Aug 31, 1999, 3:00:00 AM8/31/99
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ma...@nettally.com (Steven Marsh) wrote:

> 2) Does anyone have any ideas how to handle diagnals? On my ship,
> for example, there's a dining room, which is basically a 3x3 "grid" of
> rooms. I'd like folks to move from starboard bow to the center of the
> dining room, but 1) don't know (again) how to explain that direction
> is available, and 2) don't know what I should make someone type in to
> go that way ("starboardbow" seems awkward, compared to, say, "se").

Oh, just do away with rectangular directions altogether and
implement a polar coordinate system!


"His eye twitches involuntarily." -- Calvin
"Can't we play something else?" -- Hobbes

John W. Kennedy

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Aug 31, 1999, 3:00:00 AM8/31/99
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Steven Marsh wrote:
>
> Sorry to be a pain in the ass (or "arse", as our amigos across the
> Atlantic might say), but:
>
> I posted earlier trying to figure out whether I should go with
> shipboard directions (port, aft, etc.) or compass-directions.
>
> I've decided to try sticking with shipboard directions, but I'm
> running into problems.
>
> 1) Is there a good link where I can get the lingo down? I'm
> realizing that I'm not entirely sure about use of terms. For example,
> do you say, "There's an exit to the port", or "There's an exit to
> port", or "There's an exit port." (Or "there's a port exit", or...)

"Port" is used grammatically just the same as "left". "Starboard" is
used grammatically just the same as "right". Traditionally, the
"steerboard" (rudder) of a ship was on the right-hand side (putting it
in the center of the stern is a modern invention) and you came up to
port with the dock on the left, so as to avoid smashing the steerboard.

In Infocom's implementation, f/fore was just a synonym of "north",
sb/starboard was "east", aft was "south", and "p/port" was "west".

> 2) Does anyone have any ideas how to handle diagnals? On my ship,
> for example, there's a dining room, which is basically a 3x3 "grid" of
> rooms. I'd like folks to move from starboard bow to the center of the
> dining room, but 1) don't know (again) how to explain that direction
> is available, and 2) don't know what I should make someone type in to
> go that way ("starboardbow" seems awkward, compared to, say, "se").

Infocom solved the diagonal problem by not having any. (And indeed,
unless you're dealing with an ocean line that has a very large ballroom,
that will normally be adequate for IF purposes.) I'm reasonably certain
that players would rather do without the diagonals than have to deal
with a visible kludge to get them.

--
-John W. Kennedy
-rri...@ibm.net
Compact is becoming contract
Man only earns and pays. -- Charles Williams

Jim Aikin

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Aug 31, 1999, 3:00:00 AM8/31/99
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f (forward, synonym b for 'bow'), a (aft), p (port), s (starboard). Why
not use pf and pb for port bow, sa for starboard aft, and so on? I don't
see why players should find this hard to get used to. Per the previous
thread, I believe pq for 'port quarter' is synonymous with pa (port aft)
and sq synonymous with sa. Possibly 'hold' should be implemented as a
synonym for 'down' in situations where there is an open hatch leading
belowdecks.

Normally you wouldn't use 'the' with port or starboard. "There's an exit
to port" is correct. "...to the port" is stilted. Only a landlubber
would talk that way. "There's an exit port" is also stilted; it's poor
writing. However, "There's an exit aft" is correct, as is "There's an
exit forward." "There's an exit to the aft" is horrible; likewise "to
forward," although "There's an exit leading toward the bow" or
"...toward the stern" would work fine. (Note that 'stern' should be
usable as a synonym for 'aft', though it can't be abbreviated 's'.)

--Jim ('avast, me hearties!') Aikin

Joe Vest

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Sep 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/1/99
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A couple of things to think about when trying to impliment nautical
terminology:

1) Port and starbord (as directions) only refer to left and right when you
are facing the bow of the ship. So if you have the PC looking out a
starbord window and the direction P is given they should go backwards.
This makes them more like cardinal directions in relation to the ship
instead of the globe. As long as your ship does not turn they can be
synonyms for standard compass directions.

2) If you have openings on your ship the player might refer to one as a
port (OPEN THE PORT).

3) At entries from the deck to cabins GO BELOW would be synonymous with
ENTER (ABOVE for OUT)

4) ABAFT is towards the rear of the ship from an object (PLACE ROPE ABAFT
OF MAST), AHEAD is toward the bow, and ABEAM is to one side.

5) IMHO, caution in overuse of nautical terms is advised unless a
dictionary is provided as it is easy to become totally incomprehensible
(hmmm... I see a puzzle from just that). "You notice that this ship has
heavy scantlings."

In any case, go for your vision.


Erik Max Francis

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Sep 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/1/99
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Joe Vest wrote:

> 1) Port and starbord (as directions) only refer to left and right when
> you
> are facing the bow of the ship. So if you have the PC looking out a
> starbord window and the direction P is given they should go backwards.
> This makes them more like cardinal directions in relation to the ship
> instead of the globe. As long as your ship does not turn they can be
> synonyms for standard compass directions.

Or, if all the action takes place on the ship, then you don't need to
reference compass directions at all.

--
Erik Max Francis | icq 16063900 | whois mf303 | email m...@alcyone.com
Alcyone Systems | irc maxxon (efnet) | web http://www.alcyone.com/max/
San Jose, CA | languages en, eo | icbm 37 20 07 N 121 53 38 W
USA | Wed 1999 Sep 1 (68%/948) | &tSftDotIotE
__
/ \ You win the victory when you yield to friends.
\__/ Sophocles

Shannon Klimek

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Sep 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/1/99
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Jim Aikin revisits the nautical directions again with the following:

>f (forward, synonym b for 'bow'), a (aft), p (port), s (starboard).
>Why not use pf and pb for port bow, sa for starboard aft, and so
>on? I don't see why players should find this hard to get used to.
>Per the previous thread, I believe pq for 'port quarter' is
>synonymous with pa (port aft) and sq synonymous with sa.
>Possibly 'hold' should be implemented as a synonym for 'down'
>in situations where there is an open hatch leading belowdecks.

Since we are revisiting the nautical directions again...

'f', 'p', 's' and 'a' are nice but 'a' won't work without some work with the
interpreters because they complain. 'a' is an article. If there was a fix
for this, one could easily include these directions as synonyms: 'n', 'w',
'e', 's', respectively. Attempting to include 'a' as a synonym for 'south'
or 'aft' for that matter will quickly convince you that the current
interpreters need work.

Someone suggested that if writers swallow their pride, skip the shortcut,
and force the player to type 'aft' whenever they want to go aft.

It sure would be nice if the TADS and Inform 'programmers' put together a
patch to allow for nautical directions and their shortcuts. Ideally, of
course, these would not be synonyms of the cardinal directions as I
suggested above.

Sincerely,

Shannon Klimek
go...@mindspring.com


Jesse Welton

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Sep 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/2/99
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In article <7qkrr4$3d2$1...@nntp5.atl.mindspring.net>,

Shannon Klimek <go...@mindspring.com> wrote:
>
>Since we are revisiting the nautical directions again...
>
>'f', 'p', 's' and 'a' are nice but 'a' won't work without some work with the
>interpreters because they complain. 'a' is an article. If there was a fix
>for this, one could easily include these directions as synonyms: 'n', 'w',
>'e', 's', respectively.

You should be aware that you've made 's' and 'e' synonyms, and 'a' and
's' synonyms. If you're planning to use both starboard and south,
you'll probably need to abbreviate the former 'sb', so you've already
lost the elegance of one-letter abbreviations for nautical directions.

-Jesse


S.Challands

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Sep 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/3/99
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If the ship is sailing east you might be able to get away from it. After
all, under that circumstance does the player need to know whether or not
the computer thinks you want to go south or starboard?

Simon Challands


BrenBarn

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Sep 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/3/99
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>If the ship is sailing east you might be able to get away from it. After
>all, under that circumstance does the player need to know whether or not
>the computer thinks you want to go south or starboard?
Sly! :-)

From,
Brendan B. B. (Bren...@aol.com)
(Name in header has spam-blocker, use the address above instead.)

"Do not follow where the path may lead;
go, instead, where there is no path, and leave a trail."
--Author Unknown

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