Mazes for or against?

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Emily Short

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Sep 28, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/28/00
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----------
In article <Zg4PrFAL...@grate.demon.co.uk>, michael gerwat
<mic...@grate.demon.co.uk> wrote:


>Another little thought, mazes first are they still in fashion? What's
>the longest maze you've ever found? What game has the most mazes. Which
>maze has caused us the most heart ache? Have there been games written
>entirely of mazes? Text only I mean? What do you all think?


Auggh. Against, against, against. I've done my time with mazes, and I'm
not interested in them any more. I don't want to have to drop things. I
don't want to have to do a lot of laborious note-taking. "Hunter, in
Darkness" can get away with having a maze, but only because mapping is not
the solution. Any maze that does not have a clever, non-mapping solution, I
don't care about.

The same principle applies to other kinds of puzzles as well. This is why I
also don't want to see inventory management puzzles, elaborate towers of
Hanoi, fifteen games of any description, or puzzles where I have to try
eight different keys in the same blasted lock. I don't want to replenish my
light source, and I don't want to have to eat periodically. You get the
picture. These are pretty common complaints in the community, so yes, I
know I'm not covering any uncharted territory here.

So what is a good puzzle? One that, in retrospect, has the quality of
obviousness; one based on the discovery of patterns and analogies, rather
than raw grunt work.

I think it's possible to write such a puzzle in a way that turns on
locations and mapping. But I'd want it to be a deductively soluble puzzle:
one where, say, based on the arrangement of locations you were able to
deduce the presence of a secret room or passage. Or one where the
arrangement of locations had some analogical significance: a correspondence
between places and parts of an object, say. The information on which this
puzzle is based ought to be easily and non-laboriously acquired. I should
not find myself banging my head against the wall in fury because I have run
out of objects to drop. And (and this is KEY) I should never, ever be
annoyed by a puzzle that I've already solved. Games where you have to keep
notes at your side so that you can run forward and back through the mazes
are Evil.


ES

PS. Okay, so I digressed a lot. I'll go back to the original question, but
my answer is mildly spoilery for Zorks II and III and for Curses:


The most exasperating maze I've ever played is the "baseball diamond" maze
in Zork II -- and I don't even have the excuse of not being American. I
just didn't get it. And I went on not getting it for prolonged periods of
time. Any game that irritated me that much now would be instantly shelved.

The most satisfying was the moving-walls area in Zork III, which was
something between maze and the abhorred fifteen puzzle, and yet managed to
escape the tedium of either. But that was because you could figure out the
parameters of the situation pretty easily, then sit back and think about the
solution, and then implement it. It wasn't an exercise in mindless
repetition.

Also good was the Hedge Maze in Curses. But there again the point was not
to figure out the configuration of the maze, but to adapt it appropriately.

Robb Sherwin

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Sep 29, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/29/00
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In article <8r0i66$9rm$1...@slb3.atl.mindspring.net>,
"Emily Short" <ems...@mindspring.com> wrote:

>The same principle applies to other kinds of puzzles as well. This is
>why I also don't want to see inventory management puzzles, elaborate
>towers of Hanoi, fifteen games of any description, or puzzles where I
>have to try eight different keys in the same blasted lock. I don't
>want to replenish my light source, and I don't want to have to eat
>periodically. You get the picture. These are pretty common
>complaints in the community, so yes, I know I'm not covering any
>uncharted territory here.

Yes. Yes, yes -- this is a good beginning of a list that we all need to
read. I think those puzzles suck because if you had to face them
outside the construct of a game you would always use a solution that
the author didn't think of. Then you're just fighting the author and
who wants that?

Mazes: In real life? Get chalk. Write on walls. Repeat. I know of no
game that lets you actually do that, though. And those games that move
the crap you've placed on the ground never fail to elicit a deep belly
laugh from everyone. Right.

Eating Puzzles: Apparently the guy in "Enchanter" had some sort of
protein imbalance where if he went a day without eating he'd drop dead.
How can you add the realism of "eating" and not add the realism of the
possibility of missing a few meals? If you rolled this PC's
constitution in a D&D game your Dungeon Master would tell you it's
impossible because you can't roll a "2" with three die.

Clicking: More a problem in graphical adventure games where it is the
equivalent of the old David Letterman bit called "Network Time
Killers." Anyone who puts a clicking puzzle into a shipping game ought
to buy the devil they sold their soul to an extra round of brew to
soften him up, as they are going to be spending the eternity of their
afterlife burning in hell.

Peg Jumping: Those wooden peg jumping things are used by girls when you
take them to dates at a "Friendly's" to non-verbally tell you they are
dumping you as soon as you leave the place. Oh, and occasionally they
are useful in preventing the mass termination of Great Underground
Empires. Either/or.

Key Puzzles: The door and the key are to IF what the "crate" is to
first-person shooters. A lot of times you're not even sure why you're
putting a door in your game but it doesn't hit you until someone who
doesn't regularly play IF asks you "how did that grue get me when I
locked the door behind me? This is pants."

Light Source: A good light source puzzle can make its player very aware
of the dwindling amount of time left to solve the game and increase
dramatic tension. It can also make its player quite aware of the fact
that there are 1,500 other games on the archive three clicks away.

(Someday I'm going to make a game with ALL those puzzles in it... and
then sign Ben Parrish's e-mail address to it. )

Robb


--
Robb Sherwin, Fort Collins CO
Reviews From Trotting Krips: http://ifiction.tsx.org
Knight Orc Home Page: www.geocities.com/~knightorc


Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.

Carl Muckenhoupt

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Sep 29, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/29/00
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On Fri, 29 Sep 2000 20:00:13 GMT, Robb Sherwin <robb_s...@juno.com>
wrote:

>Yes. Yes, yes -- this is a good beginning of a list that we all need to
>read. I think those puzzles suck because if you had to face them
>outside the construct of a game you would always use a solution that
>the author didn't think of. Then you're just fighting the author and
>who wants that?

Arguably, _Zork Zero_, which consists almost entirely of puzzles of
this kind, actually was about fighting the "author" (Megabozz). I
thought it worked well in that context: as a prequel to Zork, it used
classical puzzles to symbolically bridge the gap between Zork and what
had existed before Zork. But I'll agree that it's something of an
exception, and that making the player solve the towers twice was a bit
much.

Wonky metaphor time: Mazes are to IF what Daleks are to Doctor Who.
They're considered an essential element of the character of the thing,
but after a while, it became clear that pretty much all Dalek episodes
were more or less the same. My underestanding is that, at some point
in the 1980's, the producers adopted a policy that writers were
forbidden to use Daleks in a story unless they actually did something
new and different with them. (Having them climb stairs, for example.)
A similar policy would probably be good for mazes and other classical
puzzles.

>Mazes: In real life? Get chalk. Write on walls. Repeat. I know of no
>game that lets you actually do that, though.

The badger maze in Bob Bates' _Arthur_ does something very similar.

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Cody Sandifer

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Sep 29, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/29/00
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> >Mazes: In real life? Get chalk. Write on walls. Repeat. I know of no
> >game that lets you actually do that, though.
>
> The badger maze in Bob Bates' _Arthur_ does something very similar.
>

I almost threw my computer out the window when I ran across the maze in
Tryst of Fate (tryst.z5?). But then I happily discovered that the maze
isn't solvable in the traditional manner (dropping items, swearing,
etc.). Instead, the player has to use some of the objects in the game
to cleverly figger his way out. (The game was popular a few years
back. Fun, too.)

Cody

Karl Ove Hufthammer

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Sep 30, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/30/00
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ems...@mindspring.com (Emily Short) wrote in message
<8r0i66$9rm$1...@slb3.atl.mindspring.net>:

>In article <Zg4PrFAL...@grate.demon.co.uk>, michael gerwat
><mic...@grate.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>

>Auggh. Against, against, against.

Agreed, agreed, agreed.

>I've done my time with mazes,

Yup. Me too.

>The same principle applies to other kinds of puzzles as well. This
>is why I also don't want to see inventory management puzzles,

Agreed.

>elaborate towers of Hanoi, fifteen games of any description, or
>puzzles where I have to try eight different keys in the same blasted
>lock. I don't want to replenish my light source,

*That* is irritating. It's even worse if you *can't* replenish it. I
really like games you can't get into an unwinnable state. Makes me
feel more relaxed; more willing to experiment.

>and I don't want
>to have to eat periodically.

Neither do I. I dislike all time-based puzzles, really.

>So what is a good puzzle? One that, in retrospect, has the quality
>of obviousness; one based on the discovery of patterns and
>analogies, rather than raw grunt work.

Yup! Though easier said than implemented ... :/

--
Karl Ove Hufthammer

11dig...@my-deja.com

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Sep 30, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/30/00
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In article <8r0i66$9rm$1...@slb3.atl.mindspring.net>,
"Emily Short" <ems...@mindspring.com> wrote:
>
> ----------

> In article <Zg4PrFAL...@grate.demon.co.uk>, michael gerwat
> <mic...@grate.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>
> >Another little thought, mazes first are they still in fashion? What's
> >the longest maze you've ever found? What game has the most mazes.
Which
> >maze has caused us the most heart ache? Have there been games written
> >entirely of mazes? Text only I mean? What do you all think?
>
> Auggh. Against, against, against. I've done my time with mazes, and
I'm
> not interested in them any more. I don't want to have to drop things.
I

> don't want to have to do a lot of laborious note-taking. "Hunter, in
> Darkness" can get away with having a maze, but only because mapping is
not
> the solution. Any maze that does not have a clever, non-mapping
solution, I
> don't care about.
>
> The same principle applies to other kinds of puzzles as well. This is
why I
> also don't want to see inventory management puzzles, elaborate towers

of
> Hanoi, fifteen games of any description, or puzzles where I have to
try
> eight different keys in the same blasted lock. I don't want to
replenish my
> light source, and I don't want to have to eat periodically. You get

the
> picture. These are pretty common complaints in the community, so yes,
I
> know I'm not covering any uncharted territory here.
>
> So what is a good puzzle? One that, in retrospect, has the quality of
> obviousness; one based on the discovery of patterns and analogies,
rather
> than raw grunt work.
>
---------------------------------------

The only time I'd put a maze in a game would be if I left, say, some
fishing line in the game.

Vincent Lynch

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Sep 30, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/30/00
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In rec.arts.int-fiction Karl Ove Hufthammer <huf...@bigfoot.com> wrote:
> ems...@mindspring.com (Emily Short) wrote in message
> <8r0i66$9rm$1...@slb3.atl.mindspring.net>:
>>In article <Zg4PrFAL...@grate.demon.co.uk>, michael gerwat
>><mic...@grate.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>>I've done my time with mazes,
> Yup. Me too.

>>The same principle applies to other kinds of puzzles as well. This
>>is why I also don't want to see inventory management puzzles,
> Agreed.

>
>>elaborate towers of Hanoi, fifteen games of any description, or
>>puzzles where I have to try eight different keys in the same blasted
>>lock. I don't want to replenish my light source,
>
> *That* is irritating. It's even worse if you *can't* replenish it. I
> really like games you can't get into an unwinnable state. Makes me
> feel more relaxed; more willing to experiment.

Hold on. I think this is a different issue here.

The main problem with mazes, as well as some of the other things mentioned
here, is that they often fall into the category of "making the player do
tedious things for the sake of it". And they're tedious largely because
they've been done before so many times, as well as being time-consuming.

The winnable/unwinnable question is more difficult. I think there are lots
of games which wouldn't work in the same way if it was impossible to put them
in an unwinnable state (Varicella, say) - that's a conscious design decision,
and it has a huge impact on how the game works as a whole. It's not on a
level with putting in an arbitrary maze just to pad the game out a bit.

>>and I don't want to have to eat periodically.

> Neither do I. I dislike all time-based puzzles, really.

So not a fan of Varicella, then? ;-)

-Vincent

Karl Ove Hufthammer

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Sep 30, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/30/00
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ma...@mimosa.csv.warwick.ac.uk (Vincent Lynch) wrote in message
<8r4v59$af2$1...@wisteria.csv.warwick.ac.uk>:

>> *That* is irritating. It's even worse if you *can't* replenish it.
>> I really like games you can't get into an unwinnable state. Makes
>> me feel more relaxed; more willing to experiment.
>
>Hold on. I think this is a different issue here.
>
>The main problem with mazes, as well as some of the other things
>mentioned here, is that they often fall into the category of "making
>the player do tedious things for the sake of it". And they're
>tedious largely because they've been done before so many times, as
>well as being time-consuming.

Yes.

>The winnable/unwinnable question is more difficult. I think there
>are lots of games which wouldn't work in the same way if it was
>impossible to put them in an unwinnable state (Varicella, say) -
>that's a conscious design decision, and it has a huge impact on how
>the game works as a whole.

Yes. Though it doesn't *have* to have such an impact. Compare Sierra
(graphics) adventures (Police Quest, Space Quest, King's Quest) with
LucasArts games (Monkey Island, Sam & Max). In the former games you
died all the time ("Die early. Die often."), while in most LucasArts
games it's impossible to die or to put the game in an unwinnable state.
I liked games from both companies, but would like Sierra games better
if it wasn't possible to put them in an unwinnable state (you forget to
pick up something important in the beginning of the game (perhaps you
didn't find that object), and at the end figure out you can't solve the
final puzzle.

*If* it's possible to put the game in an unwinnable state, it should be
pretty obvious when you've done it. Dying is OK, but putting the game
into an unwinnable state is not, if you aren't aware of it.

>It's not on a level with putting in an
>arbitrary maze just to pad the game out a bit.

No.

>>>and I don't want to have to eat periodically.
>> Neither do I. I dislike all time-based puzzles, really.
>
>So not a fan of Varicella, then? ;-)

I haven't played it, actually. But I probably will, sometime after the
competition. I've heard many good things about it ... :)

--
Karl Ove Hufthammer

Carl Muckenhoupt

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Sep 30, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/30/00
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On Sat, 30 Sep 2000 16:07:45 GMT, huf...@bigfoot.com (Karl Ove
Hufthammer) wrote:

>Yes. Though it doesn't *have* to have such an impact. Compare Sierra
>(graphics) adventures (Police Quest, Space Quest, King's Quest) with
>LucasArts games (Monkey Island, Sam & Max). In the former games you
>died all the time ("Die early. Die often."), while in most LucasArts
>games it's impossible to die or to put the game in an unwinnable state.
>I liked games from both companies, but would like Sierra games better
>if it wasn't possible to put them in an unwinnable state (you forget to
>pick up something important in the beginning of the game (perhaps you
>didn't find that object), and at the end figure out you can't solve the
>final puzzle.

If you ask me, it's a bigger concern in graphic adventures, because
replaying them from a previous save can be so time-consuming, due to
both the animated cutr-scenes and time spent simply walking yout
avatar from screen to screen. If you're not seeing anything new along
the way, it gets dull. Text adventures suffer from this problem much
less.

Geoff Bailey

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Oct 1, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/1/00
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In article <8r2sc7$e43$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,
Robb Sherwin <robb_s...@juno.com> wrote:
> [ ... ] "how did that grue get me when I locked the door behind me?
> This is pants."
^^^^^
Is this some in joke I don't know, or a new catchphrase in the making? :)

Cheers,
Geoff.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Geoff Bailey (Fred the Wonder Worm) | Programmer by trade --
ft...@cs.usyd.edu.au | Gameplayer by vocation.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


Karl Ove Hufthammer

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Oct 1, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/1/00
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ca...@wurb.com (Carl Muckenhoupt) wrote in message
<39d65fad....@goliath2.usenet-access.com>:

>>I liked games from both companies, but would like Sierra games
>>better if it wasn't possible to put them in an unwinnable state
>>(you forget to pick up something important in the beginning of the
>>game (perhaps you didn't find that object), and at the end figure
>>out you can't solve the final puzzle.
>
>If you ask me, it's a bigger concern in graphic adventures, because
>replaying them from a previous save can be so time-consuming, due to
>both the animated cutr-scenes and time spent simply walking yout
>avatar from screen to screen. If you're not seeing anything new
>along the way, it gets dull. Text adventures suffer from this
>problem much less.

Yes. Though I guess it's easier to find things you've missed in graphics
adventures (than it is, to remember to type 'look under bed' in a text
adventure).

(And of course, it should be possible to skip cut scenes, dialogs
(speech), and making your avatar "jump" to an exit by double-clicking on
it (the exit) in graphics adventures.)

--
Karl Ove Hufthammer

mathew

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Oct 1, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/1/00
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Geoff Bailey <ft...@staff.cs.usyd.edu.au> wrote:
> In article <8r2sc7$e43$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,
> Robb Sherwin <robb_s...@juno.com> wrote:
> > [ ... ] "how did that grue get me when I locked the door behind me?
> > This is pants."
> ^^^^^
> Is this some in joke I don't know, or a new catchphrase in the making? :)

Neither, it's an English slang expression.


mathew
--
No taxation without representation!

Dan Poirier

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Oct 1, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/1/00
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In article <D5FB5.727$Vk6....@news.world-online.no>,

Karl Ove Hufthammer <huf...@bigfoot.com> wrote:
>Yes. Though I guess it's easier to find things you've missed in graphics
>adventures (than it is, to remember to type 'look under bed' in a text
>adventure).

I disagree. One of my biggest gripes with Sanitarium was having to
resort to walkthroughs to discover that there were objects I needed
that didn't appear distinctly enough on my screen to be visible.

Whereas, in a text adventure, if I examine or manipulate everything
that the room description mentions, I can feel pretty confident I
haven't missed anything altogether, even if I might not recognize
its importance.

--dan p.

Lindy

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Oct 1, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/1/00
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Dan Poirier <poi...@pobox.com> wrote:

>In article <D5FB5.727$Vk6....@news.world-online.no>,
>Karl Ove Hufthammer <huf...@bigfoot.com> wrote:
>>Yes. Though I guess it's easier to find things you've missed in graphics
>>adventures (than it is, to remember to type 'look under bed' in a text
>>adventure).
>
>I disagree. One of my biggest gripes with Sanitarium was having to
>resort to walkthroughs to discover that there were objects I needed
>that didn't appear distinctly enough on my screen to be visible.

My favorite problem in the graphical-game-with-text-parser system was when
there was clearly SOMETHING on the screen, but you couldn't figure out what
the graphic was supposed to be, and you had to address said item by name to
be able to 'look' at it or pick it up... and naturally, 'look on ground'
didn't help a bit....

So I guess the best happy-medium would be the games that still accepted
reasonably intelligent typed commands, but allowed a point-and-click for
looking. :)

("That's supposed to be a MASK? I thought it was a toaster!")


Karl Ove Hufthammer

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Oct 1, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/1/00
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poi...@pobox.com (Dan Poirier) wrote in message
<39d73...@news1.prserv.net>:

>In article <D5FB5.727$Vk6....@news.world-online.no>,
>Karl Ove Hufthammer <huf...@bigfoot.com> wrote:
>>Yes. Though I guess it's easier to find things you've missed in
>>graphics adventures (than it is, to remember to type 'look under
>>bed' in a text adventure).
>
>I disagree. One of my biggest gripes with Sanitarium was having to
>resort to walkthroughs to discover that there were objects I needed
>that didn't appear distinctly enough on my screen to be visible.

I think the Goblins (Gobliiins, Gobliins II and Goblins III) games had
a nice solution to this problem. Everything (background+objects) are
drawn with any outlines, while objects you can pick up or manipulate
have black outlines.

Also, I think at least some Sierra games had somewhat blurry background
graphics with "sharp" objects.

>Whereas, in a text adventure, if I examine or manipulate everything
>that the room description mentions, I can feel pretty confident I
>haven't missed anything altogether, even if I might not recognize
>its importance.

Another pet peeve: Important objects that aren't mentioned in the room
description (or aren't inside/under/on objects mentioned in the room
description).

--
Karl Ove Hufthammer

Andrew Plotkin

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Oct 1, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/1/00
to
In rec.arts.int-fiction Karl Ove Hufthammer <huf...@bigfoot.com> wrote:
> ca...@wurb.com (Carl Muckenhoupt) wrote in message
> <39d65fad....@goliath2.usenet-access.com>:

>>>I liked games from both companies, but would like Sierra games
>>>better if it wasn't possible to put them in an unwinnable state
>>>(you forget to pick up something important in the beginning of the
>>>game (perhaps you didn't find that object), and at the end figure
>>>out you can't solve the final puzzle.
>>
>>If you ask me, it's a bigger concern in graphic adventures, because
>>replaying them from a previous save can be so time-consuming, due to
>>both the animated cutr-scenes and time spent simply walking yout
>>avatar from screen to screen. If you're not seeing anything new
>>along the way, it gets dull. Text adventures suffer from this
>>problem much less.

> Yes. Though I guess it's easier to find things you've missed in graphics

> adventures (than it is, to remember to type 'look under bed' in a text
> adventure).

> (And of course, it should be possible to skip cut scenes, dialogs

> (speech), and making your avatar "jump" to an exit by double-clicking on
> it (the exit) in graphics adventures.)

In my experience, even if the game allows this, it's still slower than
replaying a text game.

And it feels even slower than it is. Because you're still waiting for
CD loading delays and animation swapping -- the computer is slower
than your input. When you're playing a text game[*], the limiting
factor is how fast you type -- you never wait for the computer.

[* This doesn't apply to PDAs, interestingly.]

--Z

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

Andrew Plotkin

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Oct 1, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/1/00
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In rec.arts.int-fiction Dan Poirier <poi...@pobox.com> wrote:
> In article <D5FB5.727$Vk6....@news.world-online.no>,
> Karl Ove Hufthammer <huf...@bigfoot.com> wrote:
>>Yes. Though I guess it's easier to find things you've missed in graphics
>>adventures (than it is, to remember to type 'look under bed' in a text
>>adventure).

> I disagree. One of my biggest gripes with Sanitarium was having to


> resort to walkthroughs to discover that there were objects I needed
> that didn't appear distinctly enough on my screen to be visible.

> Whereas, in a text adventure, if I examine or manipulate everything


> that the room description mentions, I can feel pretty confident I
> haven't missed anything altogether, even if I might not recognize
> its importance.

You're both right.[*]

If the game is well-constructed, it's easy to examine everything and
be confident you haven't missed anything. Obviously, the techniques
for constructing a game are *totally* different in the text and
graphical realms, but the techniques do exist.

If the game is badly constructed, the player will miss important
items. Finding examples from text and graphical games is left as an
exercise.

--Z

[* This is more polite than saying "you're both wrong". :-)]

Chris Marriott

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Oct 1, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/1/00
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Geoff Bailey <ft...@staff.cs.usyd.edu.au> wrote in message
news:8r72mo$7...@staff.cs.usyd.edu.au...

>
> In article <8r2sc7$e43$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,
> Robb Sherwin <robb_s...@juno.com> wrote:
> > [ ... ] "how did that grue get me when I locked the door behind me?
> > This is pants."
> ^^^^^
> Is this some in joke I don't know, or a new catchphrase in the making? :)

Geoff,

It's a fairly common English slang phrase meaning "rubbish", "no good", etc
etc.

Regards,

--
Chris
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Chris Marriott, SkyMap Software, UK (ch...@skymap.com)
Visit our web site at http://www.skymap.com
Astronomy software written by astronomers, for astronomers


Dan Poirier

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Oct 1, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/1/00
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In article <97041601...@rexx.com>,

Andrew Plotkin <erky...@eblong.com> wrote:
>If the game is well-constructed, it's easy to examine everything and
>be confident you haven't missed anything. Obviously, the techniques
>for constructing a game are *totally* different in the text and
>graphical realms, but the techniques do exist.
>
>If the game is badly constructed, the player will miss important
>items. Finding examples from text and graphical games is left as an
>exercise.

Hard to argue with that. :-)


Carl Muckenhoupt

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Oct 1, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/1/00
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On Sun, 01 Oct 2000 15:23:09 GMT, huf...@bigfoot.com (Karl Ove
Hufthammer) wrote:

>I think the Goblins (Gobliiins, Gobliins II and Goblins III) games had
>a nice solution to this problem. Everything (background+objects) are
>drawn with any outlines, while objects you can pick up or manipulate
>have black outlines.
>
>Also, I think at least some Sierra games had somewhat blurry background
>graphics with "sharp" objects.

Early versions of AGI (the game engine used in the first few King's
Quest games) drew the backgrounds via linedraw and floodfill commands
directly to the screen. You could tell what was takable or animated
because it appeared instantly after the rest of the room was drawn.

At some point, they switched to drawing to an offscreen buffer
instead. But you could still usually tell by what looked like it had
been done with linedraws and what looked like prefabricated bitmaps.

Anders Hellerup Madsen

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Oct 1, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/1/00
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Lindy wrote:

> So I guess the best happy-medium would be the games that still accepted
> reasonably intelligent typed commands, but allowed a point-and-click for
> looking. :)

The last Sierra text/graphics games did this. In Codename:Iceman,
Leisure Suit Larry 3 and a couple more you cold look at things by
right-clicking on them, wlak to them by left clicking, and everything
else was done by typing stuff in a fairly good parser. Too bad Sierra
games just went downhill from there :-(

--
Anders

Downtime is good, it gives the servers time to rest!
- Stef, Userfriendly.org

Philip Goetz

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Oct 2, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/2/00
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> Eating Puzzles: Apparently the guy in "Enchanter" had some sort of
> protein imbalance where if he went a day without eating he'd drop dead.
> How can you add the realism of "eating" and not add the realism of the
> possibility of missing a few meals? If you rolled this PC's
> constitution in a D&D game your Dungeon Master would tell you it's
> impossible because you can't roll a "2" with three die.

I wrote a game which required you to eat and drink periodically.
There was food and water easily available, but it was drugged;
so the real puzzle was not where to get food and water, but to
find out that it was drugged, and to avoid the drugs. If I wrote it
again today I would make getting the food and water even easier,
to make it clear that it wasn't a puzzle.

Phil Goetz

Lucian Paul Smith

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Oct 3, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/3/00
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Carl Muckenhoupt (ca...@wurb.com) wrote:

: Early versions of AGI (the game engine used in the first few King's


: Quest games) drew the backgrounds via linedraw and floodfill commands
: directly to the screen. You could tell what was takable or animated
: because it appeared instantly after the rest of the room was drawn.

I remember using that technique for 'The Black Cauldron'--I think it was
the only way I would have ever found where to use my magic word.

-Lucian

Bob Reeves

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Oct 3, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/3/00
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> Mazes: In real life? Get chalk. Write on walls. Repeat. I know of no
> game that lets you actually do that, though.

ARTHUR does. (Sort of.)

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