+=3: bug fixed

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David Baggett

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Nov 16, 1994, 1:26:58 PM11/16/94
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I can't believe I'm actually fixing bugs in this "game," but it was not my
intention to make the player die of thirst after 100 or so turns. I've
taken this out and have updated 3.gam on ftp.gmd.de (same place as before:
if-archive/games/tads/3.gam).

Dave Baggett
__
d...@ai.mit.edu MIT AI Lab He who has the highest Kibo # when he dies wins.
ADVENTIONS: We make Kuul text adventures! Email for a catalog of releases.

john t baker

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Nov 16, 1994, 6:57:04 PM11/16/94
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In article <3aditi...@life.ai.mit.edu> d...@ai.mit.edu writes:
>I can't believe I'm actually fixing bugs in this "game," but it was not my

Is it a bug or intentional that when you examine the deClear button it
gives you the same description as the the Clear button, down to calling it
the Clear button?
--
John Baker
"It ain't an easy life being a self-parody."
- John Baker

Richard Tucker

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Nov 18, 1994, 8:41:03 AM11/18/94
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In article <3afss4...@life.ai.mit.edu>, d...@case.ai.mit.edu (David Baggett) writes:
>
> And folks, keep in mind that we never said this game was *fair*. In fact,
> that's sort of the point -- it's totally logical, but completely unfair.

One respect in which +=3 seems to be neither fair nor (sad to say) logical
is that it crashes (saving the game in fatalxxxx.sav) when I type "press"
at it. Ho hum... maybe this only happens on the decmips tads interpreter.

Richard/

David Baggett

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Nov 17, 1994, 10:29:08 AM11/17/94
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In article <3ae68g...@gecko.cis.ohio-state.edu>,

john t baker <bak...@cis.ohio-state.edu> wrote:
>Is it a bug or intentional that when you examine the deClear button it
>gives you the same description as the the Clear button, down to calling it
>the Clear button?

Yes, there's a typo in the deClear button's sdesc. Amusingly enough, it
says

sdesc = "Clear"

instead of

sdesc = "deClear"

Next! :)

And folks, keep in mind that we never said this game was *fair*. In fact,
that's sort of the point -- it's totally logical, but completely unfair.

After all, the whole point was to show how easy it is to make a perfectly
logical and simple puzzle that is nevertheless intractable.

r...@vectorbd.com

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Nov 18, 1994, 11:11:22 PM11/18/94
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: In article <3afss4...@life.ai.mit.edu>, d...@case.ai.mit.edu (David Baggett) writes:
: > And folks, keep in mind that we never said this game was *fair*. In fact,
: > that's sort of the point -- it's totally logical, but completely unfair.

Richard Tucker (ri...@cl.cam.ac.uk) wrote:
: One respect in which +=3 seems to be neither fair nor (sad to say) logical


: is that it crashes (saving the game in fatalxxxx.sav) when I type "press"
: at it. Ho hum... maybe this only happens on the decmips tads interpreter.

I don't know whether I need a new version of 3.gam, or a new tr.exe...
when I attempt to start the game, I get the message:

TADS-609: unknown resource type in .gam file.

I have TR version 2.2.0.4 from the pc.tads2exe.zip file, and the
3easier.gam version of the game... which one do I need to download
again, or do I have more serious problems?

-- Katy

r...@vectorbd.com

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Nov 18, 1994, 11:15:47 PM11/18/94
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David Baggett (d...@case.ai.mit.edu) wrote:
: Yes, there's a typo in the deClear button's sdesc. Amusingly enough, it

: says
: sdesc = "Clear"
: instead of
: sdesc = "deClear"

Is +=3 the same game as GC? Or is the same calculator and the same
bug in both?

I just started browsing through GC last night, and was heartily amused,
even though I'm sure I'm missing 1/2 the in-jokes...

-- Katy

David Baggett

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Nov 19, 1994, 6:08:06 PM11/19/94
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>Richard Tucker (ri...@cl.cam.ac.uk) wrote:
>: One respect in which +=3 seems to be neither fair nor (sad to say) logical
>: is that it crashes (saving the game in fatalxxxx.sav) when I type "press"
>: at it.

Well, DON'T DO THAT THEN!

>:Ho hum...

Nobody promised you a rose garden. This is a TADS 2.1 bug fixed in TADS
2.2. Thanks to my unending generosity, a DEC MIPS version of the runtime
will be made available for free (as usual) as soon as I get the 2.2.0.x
sources from Mike.

>I don't know whether I need a new version of 3.gam, or a new tr.exe...
>when I attempt to start the game, I get the message:
>
>TADS-609: unknown resource type in .gam file.

No idea what happened here; looks like my transfer to ftp.gmd.de got
screwed up somehow. I've uploaded it again. Both 3.gam and 3easier.gam
should be fine now.

FYI: 3easier is a slightly more fair version of the "game."

+=3 works with TADS 2.1 and greater, but TADS 2.1.x.x has some bugs that
cause crashes. Please don't complain about them, because 1) I've already
heard about them a zillion times, and 2) they're already fixed in TADS 2.2.

David Baggett

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Nov 19, 1994, 6:12:04 PM11/19/94
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>Is +=3 the same game as GC? Or is the same calculator and the same bug in
>both?

GC is a full-length game meant for team play. +=3 is a tiny non-game
written only to make a point.

I was wondering how long it would be before someone noticed that the
calculator appears in GC as well. Yes, the Qualitative Calculator merely
has a cameo in +=3. (Hint.)

Nobody who played GC noticed the bug, so it got carried over into the +=3
sources.

David Baggett

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Nov 20, 1994, 1:23:39 PM11/20/94
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In article <1994Nov20....@princeton.edu>,
Adam Justin Thornton <ad...@tucson.princeton.edu> wrote:

>Izzat the best you can do, DMB?

Yes, folks, first to solve +=3 is, as I predicted, Adam Thornton.

No, it's not the best we could do. Like I said, we tried to make a puzzle
that *no one* would claim is "illogical" or "not simple".

Once you know the solution, it should be obvious that we could have made it
arbitrarily more obscure. You can also see that the game gets much easier
with the addition of a few hints (3easier.gam vs. 3.gam).

Since the experiment is now over, I'll post source to 3easier.gam to
ftp.gmd.de, in games/source/tads. I'll post a walkthrough to the solutions
directory.

If people still don't buy our claim that logical puzzles can be made
arbitrarily difficult to solve, I'm sure we can whip up a nice "50 doors
and 50 keys" puzzle in no time. :)

Dave

Carl de Marcken

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Nov 20, 1994, 1:32:47 PM11/20/94
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> Izzat the best you can do, DMB?

> The naked truth is, guys, this game isn't even all that unfair. I do,
> however, doff my hat to the author for a game whose solution was, well, not
> at all obvious to uncover.

> Adam

You're not giving us the credit we deserve. Remember, we spent about
5 minutes coming up with the game and then Dave implemented it in maybe
two hours (most spent getting rid of the "all" identifier).

The fact is that we spent 5 mintues coming up with a puzzle that you agree was
fair (and I assume, relatively logical) that people have spent a completely
disproportinate time trying to solve. I've no doubt whatsoever that if Dave
and I had spent 2 hours trying to come up with an equally fair puzzle that was
totally unsolvable, we could have.

For instance, we could easily have added a lambda kalkulator, an Akme Sez, a
bar to color, and Igdoof's Dilemma to your inventory. That in itself, while
making the game no less fair, would probably have extended most people's
time-to-solve to near infinity.

I think the game does an adequate job of demonstrating that "logicalness",
"fairness", etc. are not enough. Humans are not capable of solving arbitrary
adventure game puzzles. They can solve easy ones, or resort to blind search.
When making a game, you should bear that in mind. I agree with Dave that
Balances does not meet the criterion: interesting it is, but casting a "make
dangerous" spell on an arbitrary object makes no sense whatsoever, and is
in fact blind search. The search space in Balances is small, so it's not
unsolvable, but in a full-size game, or a game with solutions of the sort
in += 3, writers should make very sure a player will hit themself on the
head when the hear a solution, not say "but how was I supposed to know that!"

Carl de Marcken

David Baggett

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Nov 20, 1994, 4:58:43 PM11/20/94
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In article <QinvDm200gpIM=Rq...@andrew.cmu.edu>,
Andrew C. Plotkin <ap...@andrew.cmu.edu> wrote:

>But this is not what I mean when I say "I want the puzzles in my games
>to have logical solutions."

Well, what about the +=3 puzzle. Would you call the solution logical?
Would you want that puzzle in any serious game you played? I you answer
yes to both questions, or no to both questions, I hope you can make a case
for your answers. For me, the answers are quite plain: yes, no.

With +=3 we're trying to illustrate that "logical" alone does not capture
what you want in an adventure game puzzle. We'd argue that +=3 shows that
you also need puzzles to be "easy".

People are good at solving very difficult problems, but only in certain
domains. As soon as problems that require our "general problem solving
unit" get too difficult, we resort to blind search. Blind search is not
fun; therefore authors should be careful not to design puzzles that are
hard enough to require a significant number of players to resort to blind
search. I'd also argue that authors should take care not to make puzzles
whose solutions *can be found* with blind search (instead of by the
intended direct means).

In general, blind search should not be required to solve a puzzle, and
furthermore, players shouldn't be rewarded for doing things (like searching
blindly for any inexplicable solution) that are boring. Players are more
than willing to reduce a game to boring tedium if that seems to work.
These players get cheated out of a fulfilling puzzle-solving experience.

Dave Baggett

Adam Justin Thornton

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Nov 19, 1994, 8:47:45 PM11/19/94
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Izzat the best you can do, DMB?

The naked truth is, guys, this game isn't even all that unfair. I do,
however, doff my hat to the author for a game whose solution was, well, not
at all obvious to uncover.

Adam
--
ad...@io.com | ad...@phoenix.princeton.edu | Viva HEGGA! | Save the choad!
"Double integral is also the shape of lovers curled asleep" : Pynchon
64,928 | TEAM OS/2 | "Ich habe einen Bierbauch!" | Linux | Fnord
You can have my PGP passphrase when you pry it from my cold, dead brain.

Andrew C. Plotkin

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Nov 20, 1994, 3:39:14 PM11/20/94
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Excerpts from netnews.rec.games.int-fiction: 20-Nov-94 +=3 source &
walkthrough av.. David Bag...@case.ai.mi (1054)

> If people still don't buy our claim that logical puzzles can be made
> arbitrarily difficult to solve, I'm sure we can whip up a nice "50 doors
> and 50 keys" puzzle in no time. :)

Doesn't this just come down to the definition of a "logical puzzle"?

I'd say a "logical puzzle" in the context of writing games is one for
which there is a logical way to solve it *fairly quickly*. A brute-force
approach can be logical ("try everything once" is a perfectly
algorithmic solution), but it doesn't save the puzzle from being
"arbitrary".

Maybe by "logical" you mean that the player has to apply some logic (an
algorithm more complicated than "for x=0 to 100: test x".) But then a
50-keys puzzle is both logical and brute-force. (Well, not brute force,
but it requires force -- it can be arbitrarily difficult, as you said.)


But this is not what I mean when I say "I want the puzzles in my games
to have logical solutions."

--Z

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

Greg Ewing

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Nov 21, 1994, 12:05:39 AM11/21/94
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In article <CzHyA...@vectorbd.com>, r...@vectorbd.com writes:
|>
|> : One respect in which +=3 seems to be neither fair nor (sad to say) logical
|> : is that it crashes (saving the game in fatalxxxx.sav) when I type "press"
|> : at it.

This gives you a clue! The solution obviously does not
involve that particular action. Of course, using this
information may be construed as unfair...

|> -- Katy

Greg Ewing, Computer Science Dept, +--------------------------------------+
University of Canterbury, | A citizen of NewZealandCorp, a |
Christchurch, New Zealand | wholly-owned subsidiary of Japan Inc.|
gr...@cosc.canterbury.ac.nz +--------------------------------------+

Jon Drukman

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Nov 21, 1994, 1:39:02 PM11/21/94
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Carl de Marcken (cgde...@theta.ai.mit.edu) wrote:
: When making a game, you should bear that in mind. I agree with Dave that

: Balances does not meet the criterion: interesting it is, but casting a "make
: dangerous" spell on an arbitrary object makes no sense whatsoever, and is
: in fact blind search. The search space in Balances is small, so it's not
: unsolvable, but in a full-size game, or a game with solutions of the sort
: in += 3, writers should make very sure a player will hit themself on the
: head when the hear a solution, not say "but how was I supposed to know that!"

I don't understand all this criticism of Balances. It's not a "real"
game -- it's a demonstration of how to reprogram the parser using
Inform. The fact that it has aspects that could be construed as
"game-like" is mere coincidence.

/jon

David Baggett

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Nov 21, 1994, 4:05:37 PM11/21/94
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In article <3aqpg6$r...@nntp.stanford.edu>,
Jon Drukman <j...@cyborganic.com> wrote:

>I don't understand all this criticism of Balances. It's not a "real"
>game -- it's a demonstration of how to reprogram the parser using
>Inform.

Tell that to everyone who's been playing it!

>The fact that it has aspects that could be construed as "game-like" is mere
>coincidence.

Oh, come on. Don't you think you're exaggerating just a tad? It's not
Graham's fault that his test programs are better than most people's games.
Anyway, it's a bit cruel to invite people to play your "interactive short
story" and then to yank it back when people cry foul, claiming that you
never *really* intended people to play it. When I played it, I had no idea
that I wasn't supposed to like it! It didn't tell me it was only a test
program (as far as I can remember, at least).

It's *almost* good enough to be a good short adventure, regardless of what
it was intended to be. What in the world is wrong with pointing out some
flaws that could easily be fixed? Or, at the very least, objecting to
claims that the puzzles are fair and reasonable?

Dave Baggett
__
d...@ai.mit.edu "Your ruse; your cunning attempt to trick me." -- Clerks
MIT AI Lab ADVENTIONS: Kuul text adventures! Email for a catalog of releases

r...@vectorbd.com

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Nov 21, 1994, 7:41:02 AM11/21/94
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David Baggett (d...@case.ai.mit.edu) wrote:
: Once you know the solution, it should be obvious that we could have made it

: arbitrarily more obscure. You can also see that the game gets much easier
: with the addition of a few hints (3easier.gam vs. 3.gam).

But the difference between 3easier.gam and 3.gam isn't just "additional
hints", or I'd be able to solve 3.gam with the same sequence of actions
needed to solve 3easier.gam...

(This is the *later* version of 3easier.gam, re-uploaded to gmd at the
end of last week, after I complained that it crashed on my system.)

-- Katy

David Baggett

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Nov 21, 1994, 9:14:48 PM11/21/94
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>But the difference between 3easier.gam and 3.gam isn't just "additional
>hints", or I'd be able to solve 3.gam with the same sequence of actions
>needed to solve 3easier.gam...

True; there is one small change that allows something to work that didn't
previously work. It doesn't change the nature of the solution, though.

Dave Baggett
__
d...@ai.mit.edu "Your ruse; your cunning attempt to trick me." -- Clerks

MIT AI Lab ADVENTIONS: Kuul text adventures! Email for a catalog of releases

Paul Francis Gilbert

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Nov 27, 1994, 7:02:36 PM11/27/94
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r...@vectorbd.com writes:

>Is +=3 the same game as GC? Or is the same calculator and the same
>bug in both?

>I just started browsing through GC last night, and was heartily amused,
>even though I'm sure I'm missing 1/2 the in-jokes...

>-- Katy

I was browsing through GC last night, since with the tcx I can actually
compile it until MS-DOS without needing to fiddle around with the command line
(except for two repeated verbs, but I'll get around to searching for them), and
I noticed that the gctest.t which it says to compile to get the game with the
debugging verbs won't compile because it's missing some file prod.t
Does anyone know anything about this or is this an old version?

--
Paul Gilbert | s940...@yallara.cs.rmit.edu.au
Bach App Sci, Bach Eng | The opinions expressed are my own, all my own, and
Year 1, RMIT Melbourne | as such will contain no references to small furry
Australia | creatures from Alpha Centauri.

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