One-Room games?

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Andrew Lewis Tepper

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Aug 25, 1994, 9:09:42 AM8/25/94
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When I first sat down to design (the upcoming and now renamed) CMU
Adventure, my first idea was to map out the entire CMU campus in great
detail. It would have had hundreds of locations, and of course I wanted
rich detail everywhere. After a day of coding I realized how foolish I
was being, and redesigned my game to span probably 25 legitimate
locations and another 20 or so "decoration" locations. I'm trying to
create full detail where every object mentioned in the room description
has at least a decoration object associated with it.
This trend in my own design got me thinking: It would be possible to
write a game that took place entirely in one room! Perhaps you are a kid
locked in your room for misbehaving, or a criminal in jail trying to get
out. There would have to be as many objects (or more) than in a standard
game, and you'd really want _everything_ mentioned to have a description
(including things mentioned when examining obvious objects.) Has
anything like this been attempted?

Andy

R. Dominick

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Aug 25, 1994, 10:08:21 AM8/25/94
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Andrew Lewis Tepper (at...@andrew.cmu.edu) wrote:

: This trend in my own design got me thinking: It would be possible to


: write a game that took place entirely in one room! Perhaps you are a kid
: locked in your room for misbehaving, or a criminal in jail trying to get
: out. There would have to be as many objects (or more) than in a standard
: game, and you'd really want _everything_ mentioned to have a description
: (including things mentioned when examining obvious objects.) Has
: anything like this been attempted?

...way back in the heydays of the TRS-80 Color Computer (hey, when your
parents buy you a computer you take what you can get), Rainbow magazine
used to hold an adventure-writing contest. Most of the entries were pretty
odd, a few of them were good (being limited to BASIC hurt somewhat; the
editors didn't like my BASIC program that simply POKEd in a machine-
language adventure). I seem to remember that once (or maybe for two years
running) a fellow won the contest with an adventure set in one room --
called, appropriately enough, ONEROOM. I also seem to remember a murder
mystery in one room -- a "locked room" kind of thing.

--r.

--
our love is buried underground deeper than heaven

Bob Newell

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Aug 25, 1994, 7:25:53 PM8/25/94
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> This trend in my own design got me thinking: It would be possible to
>write a game that took place entirely in one room! Perhaps you are a kid

>(including things mentioned when examining obvious objects.) Has


>anything like this been attempted?

There is a murder mystery game written with AGT (some time ago) that all
takes place in a single room. I don't recall the name, but I know I got it
from ftp.gmd.de. As I recall, the game was not very great, but not because
of the one room concept, which actually was really intriguing.


Carl Muckenhoupt

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Aug 26, 1994, 1:07:25 AM8/26/94
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Andrew Lewis Tepper <at...@andrew.cmu.edu> writes:
> This trend in my own design got me thinking: It would be possible to
>write a game that took place entirely in one room! Perhaps you are a kid
>locked in your room for misbehaving, or a criminal in jail trying to get
>out. There would have to be as many objects (or more) than in a standard
>game, and you'd really want _everything_ mentioned to have a description
>(including things mentioned when examining obvious objects.) Has
>anything like this been attempted?

Hmm, intriguing idea...
What do rooms give you, in terms of game structure? Well, they divide
things up. They parcel out the information you have to deal with.
In a one-room game - at least if we're going for the level of detail
found in most games - you'd probably make extensive use of the "examine"
command to do the same thing. The result, methinks, would be a very
treelike game, where exploration takes the form of going into more and
more detail about the few things available to you. This could be a very
satisfying work.

Carl Muckenhoupt


Vassili Bykov

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Aug 27, 1994, 5:40:14 AM8/27/94
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Andrew Lewis Tepper (at...@andrew.cmu.edu) wrote:

: This trend in my own design got me thinking: It would be possible to
: write a game that took place entirely in one room! Perhaps you are a kid
: locked in your room for misbehaving, or a criminal in jail trying to get
: out. There would have to be as many objects (or more) than in a standard
: game, and you'd really want _everything_ mentioned to have a description
: (including things mentioned when examining obvious objects.) Has
: anything like this been attempted?

Yes, there's a game on ftp.gmd.de, called "Mop and Murder, a masterful mystery
in one room" by Brad Friedman (on ftp.gmd.de, in games/pc, file mmurder.zip).
You are a janitor in a CIA Headquarters and during a night shift you enter
Mr. Shannon's office and see him lying dead on the floor. So the game is
solving this case, and you stay in this room during the whole game. (And
you don't walk around the room, i.e. there're no separate locations in it,
you only manipulate the objects). Well, strictly, there're two rooms: one is
the corridor where the game starts. You can go to the elevator, thus home,
and lose immediately, or you go into the office, which is the second room,
and the game begins.

Vassili

Torbj|rn Andersson

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Aug 29, 1994, 10:42:05 AM8/29/94
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at...@andrew.cmu.edu (Andrew Lewis Tepper) wrote:

> This trend in my own design got me thinking: It would be possible to
> write a game that took place entirely in one room!

Well, Infocom's 'The Witness' did, of course, have more than one room (I
think it was something close to 30), but it _was_ possible to gather all
the evidence needed to win the game without ever leaving the office once
you got there. Of course, you'd miss most of the circumstantial evidence
this way, and you almost had to know what to look for in beforehand.

Torbj|rn Andersson

Carl Muckenhoupt

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Aug 30, 1994, 1:07:22 AM8/30/94
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d91...@Student.DoCS.UU.SE (Torbj|rn Andersson) writes:

>Well, Infocom's 'The Witness' did, of course, have more than one room (I
>think it was something close to 30), but it _was_ possible to gather all
>the evidence needed to win the game without ever leaving the office once
>you got there. Of course, you'd miss most of the circumstantial evidence
>this way, and you almost had to know what to look for in beforehand.

Yes, yes! I remember figuring out the minimum you had to do to win that
game. You could do it by typing exactly twelve commands that didn't
begine with the word "wait". And the first three (n. n. ring doorbell.)
were spent on getting you into the house.

Carl Muckenhoupt

Fred Sloniker

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Aug 30, 1994, 5:03:29 PM8/30/94
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Carl Muckenhoupt <p...@world.std.com> wrote:

>Yes, yes! I remember figuring out the minimum you had to do to win that
>game. You could do it by typing exactly twelve commands that didn't
>begine with the word "wait". And the first three (n. n. ring doorbell.)
>were spent on getting you into the house.

So, what *was* the minimum set of game-winning commands, and what score did
you get with them? (:3

---Fred M. Sloniker, stressed undergrad
L. Lazuli R'kamos, FurryMUCKer
laz...@u.washington.edu

"Hi! I'm Talky Tina! Here's your extra ball!" *BOOM.* "Heeheeheehee!"

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