Point and Click adventures

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Mike DeSanto

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May 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/19/98
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While I can not say much about Choose Your Own Adventure programs, I
know from experience that Point and Click does not work for more
traditional IF.

I wrote a system called Rexx-Adventure, which uses seperate windows
for the text, the inventory and the objects available in the
environment. Click an object name and you get a list of actions that
can be performed. If an indirect object is needed, they available
options are listed.

It worked fairly well, but everyone who tried it expressed
frustration the constant pointing and clicking around. While this may
be a design flaw on my part, I do not think it is. With a maximum of
two clicks per action, in some cases only one, I don't know how to make
it simpler.

In my opinion, point and click simply does not 'feel right' to IF
players. If it is flexible, there is too much pointing and clicking.
If it simpler, then it is not flexible enough. I wrote Rexx-Adventure
specifically because people were discussing whether or not it would work
in this group. I tried it, and it does not work.

Mike DeSanto
desa...@io.com


Philip Hawthorne

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May 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/20/98
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In article <3561DF97...@io.com>, Mike DeSanto <desa...@io.com>
writes

> While I can not say much about Choose Your Own Adventure programs, I
>know from experience that Point and Click does not work for more
>traditional IF.
>
> I wrote a system called Rexx-Adventure, which uses seperate windows
>for the text, the inventory and the objects available in the
>environment. Click an object name and you get a list of actions that
>can be performed. If an indirect object is needed, they available
>options are listed.
>
My own ALPS system (sorry, Acorn platform only) used, in addition to
traditional text entry of commands, the ability to add words from a
button bar (these would usually be the most common verbs in the game and
a few other words like IT and ALL) plus, and I think this is unique on
any IF system, you could also click on any of the words in the main body
of the text and have them added to your input line.

For example, if the location description happened to mention a gold key,
you could click on the TAKE button, then on the words 'gold key' in the
description then click on the AND button and the EXAMINE and IT buttons,
giving a complete command line of

: Take the gold key and examine it

Right clicking the mouse then enters the command for parsing.

Users who don't like point and click can just type commands in as usual.
--
Philip Hawthorne
/\
/ \/\
/ \ \
/ \ \
----------------
Climb every mountain
Ford every stream
Follow every rainbow
'til you find your dream


cum...@is.ien.it

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May 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/20/98
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Philip Hawthorne wrote:

> [...snipped text...]


> My own ALPS system (sorry, Acorn platform only) used, in addition to
> traditional text entry of commands, the ability to add words from a
> button bar (these would usually be the most common verbs in the game and
> a few other words like IT and ALL) plus, and I think this is unique on
> any IF system, you could also click on any of the words in the main body
> of the text and have them added to your input line.

> [...]


> Right clicking the mouse then enters the command for parsing.

Some time ago (about 1995, I think) I downloaded the sources of Mark
Howell's JZIP and hacked them to add point-and-click support much like
the one you describe. My PC version also had a button bar with the
compass rose and some of the most common commands (such as take,
drop...), and the ability of adding words to the comand line by clicking
on the printed text; and even right-click for enter! a case of
telepathy, perhaps? :)

I actually did this in an attempt to attract the interest of my child
(now 13 years old) towards text adventures, although with scarce
results... :(

I must also say that the idea was not completely original (at least for
me). Indeed, it came to me after trying an "illustrated text adventure"
based on the story of the Wizard of Oz. It was called "The
multi-dimensional thief" or something so, and had a user interface quite
like the above, plus a small window occassionally showing some pictures
(e.g. after a "look" or "examine" command). It must still be available
at GMD in the subdirectory games/pc.

--
Ing. Aldo Cumani <cum...@is.ien.it>
Istituto Elettrotecnico Nazionale
Str. delle Cacce, 91
10135 Torino

Philip Bartol

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May 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/20/98
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In article <3561DF97...@io.com>, mdes...@globalpac.com wrote:
> While I can not say much about Choose Your Own Adventure programs, I
>know from experience that Point and Click does not work for more
>traditional IF.
[snip]

> In my opinion, point and click simply does not 'feel right' to IF
>players. If it is flexible, there is too much pointing and clicking.
>If it simpler, then it is not flexible enough. I wrote Rexx-Adventure
>specifically because people were discussing whether or not it would work
>in this group. I tried it, and it does not work.

Mike, where can I get a copy of Rexx-Adventure, that is if it will run on a
DOS or Win95 system, you haven't gotten my opinion on it yet, I'm sure I'm not
the only IF fan that hasn't tried it yet.

PHIL

okbl...@usa.net

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May 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/20/98
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In article <bZOFTBAW...@alpine-software.demon.co.uk>,

Philip Hawthorne <ph...@alpine-software.deSPAM.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>
> My own ALPS system (sorry, Acorn platform only) used, in addition to
> traditional text entry of commands, the ability to add words from a
> button bar (these would usually be the most common verbs in the game and
> a few other words like IT and ALL) plus, and I think this is unique on
> any IF system, you could also click on any of the words in the main body
> of the text and have them added to your input line.
>
What might also work is a "code completion" type gag, where the system
popped-up a balloon suggesting the word the environment thinks the user is
typing.

The usual caveats about not tipping the player off apply, of course.

[ok]

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okbl...@usa.net

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May 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/20/98
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In article <6justt$fnk$3...@gte1.gte.net>,

phi...@gte.net (Philip Bartol) wrote:
>
> Mike, where can I get a copy of Rexx-Adventure, that is if it will run on a
> DOS or Win95 system, you haven't gotten my opinion on it yet, I'm sure I'm
not
> the only IF fan that hasn't tried it yet.

As I recall, it's only available under OS/2. It uses the visual library
of--which was it?--either Watcom's VX-REXX or Hockware's VisPro Rexx, which is
about as limiting as you can get. (REXX itself is highly portable, but has no
standard interface other than console, I believe.)

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