[TADS] Weaponry

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glee...@aol.com

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Feb 15, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/15/97
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Dear everyone, Now, if this message looks strange, forgive me (please).
I'm just getting used to newsgroup postings. In the TADS/Worldclass game
I've been working on lately, "Order & Chaos", I'm thinking of putting in
"the Stupometron Laser Phaser 5 Trillion & 1", a death ray with a setting
from 1 (stun) to 10 (death). However, I'm not too sure that this is
smart. I can just see a player trying to blast his/her way through all
obstacles, and quitting in frustration when the first 47 things they use
it for fail. If anyone out here could give me some sort of advice as to
any problems they've had with making weapons, I would be greatly obliged.
:) glee...@aol.com (Shay Caron)

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cody sandifer

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Feb 16, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/16/97
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> Dear everyone, Now, if this message looks strange, forgive me (please).
> I'm just getting used to newsgroup postings. In the TADS/Worldclass game
> I've been working on lately, "Order & Chaos", I'm thinking of putting in
> "the Stupometron Laser Phaser 5 Trillion & 1", a death ray with a setting
> from 1 (stun) to 10 (death). However, I'm not too sure that this is
> smart. I can just see a player trying to blast his/her way through all
> obstacles, and quitting in frustration when the first 47 things they use
> it for fail. If anyone out here could give me some sort of advice as to
> any problems they've had with making weapons, I would be greatly obliged.

Could you make it obvious that it only works on living things? Or is it
intended to work on inanimates?

cody

Roger Carbol

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Feb 16, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/16/97
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glee...@aol.com wrote:

> In the TADS/Worldclass game
> I've been working on lately, "Order & Chaos", I'm thinking of putting in
> "the Stupometron Laser Phaser 5 Trillion & 1", a death ray with a setting
> from 1 (stun) to 10 (death). However, I'm not too sure that this is
> smart. I can just see a player trying to blast his/her way through all
> obstacles, and quitting in frustration when the first 47 things they use
> it for fail. If anyone out here could give me some sort of advice as to
> any problems they've had with making weapons, I would be greatly obliged.

Well, be prepared for the player to try to use it on themselves.
Possibly
with good reason...something like stunning themselves to avoid the awful
seductive powers of the Green Orion Girl or something.

You could give it only one or two shots, in order to encourage the
player
to be stingy with them.

There's also a bit of a direct object/indirect object weirdness, in that
players will likely try both:

>SHOOT THE MONSTER WITH THE PHASER

and

>SHOOT THE PHASER AT THE MONSTER

and possible even

>PHASE MONSTER


Which isn't really a big deal, but be ready for it...

With intelligent NPCs, you might want to support a syntax such as

>THREATEN UNCLE BOB WITH THE PHASER

or

>WAVE PHASER AT UNCLE BOB


Anyways, sounds like you've got a good start on a game...good luck
and happy phasing!


Roger Carbol .. r...@col.ca .. Shoot the phaser at the phaser

Neil K.

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Feb 16, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/16/97
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> [...] I'm thinking of putting in


> "the Stupometron Laser Phaser 5 Trillion & 1", a death ray with a setting
> from 1 (stun) to 10 (death). However, I'm not too sure that this is
> smart. I can just see a player trying to blast his/her way through all
> obstacles, and quitting in frustration when the first 47 things they use

> it for fail. [...]

In the TADS manual Mike Roberts cautions against implementing extremely
powerful and versatile tools because of all the problems they can cause.
I'd tend to agree. The classic example is an axe. Sure, you could code up
an axe to be used on a door - but then the player would try the axe on
*everything* - tables, trees, fingers, NPCs, etc. etc. And then you have to
write up endless bits of code to deal with the consequences of your axe.

So if you're going to code up something as belligerent and unpleasant as a
weapon you'd probably want to take up cody sandifer's suggestion and make
it a purely anti-personnel (or, to avoid stupid military euphemisms,
human-killing) device. And label it accordingly so it's quite clear to the
player. You probably don't want the situation of a Star-Trek type phaser
which can do all kinds of improbable things, ranging from stunning human
beings to melting holes in metal doors to making things simply evaporate.

- Neil K. Guy

--
t e l a computer consulting + design * Vancouver, BC, Canada
web: http://www.tela.bc.ca/tela/ * email: tela @ tela.bc.ca

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