You Are a Twisty Little Maze of Passages, All Corn

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Andrew Plotkin

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Sep 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/15/98
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On Saturday, we drove out to eastern Pennsylvania, to investigate the
(sorry) "Amazing Maize Maze". It was terrific. Zarf Seal of Approval.

A brief synopsis: *Corn grows taller than your head*. See the
possibilities? There are now several places around the world that are
into this. The one we visited was something like three linear miles of
pathway... in a cornfield.

This is not a theoretical sort of maze. You get lost. There are ten-foot
green walls on either side of you, and sky above you, and a dirt
pathway. That's it. You can try to peer between the stalks, but since
the other side of the wall is generally another pathway full of lost
people, it does you very little good. (Sometimes you can see the
outside, or the goal, or a significant maze point -- but you probably
can't get there from here.) For two and a half hours, I was immersed in
a real, live (!) interactive puzzle.

Let me spend some time describing details. I promise not to spoil any
secrets, but I do want to talk about the maze from a game designer's
point of view.

The theme for the maze was Noah's Ark. The general outline of the paths
forms a boat, with waves below, styled animals on desk, and a dove
above. (There are aerial photographs of the maze; take a look.
Memorizing such a thing is quite impossible, so don't worry about that.)
(Footnote: Besides, I just noticed, all the aerial photographs and
souvenir t-shirts are *lies*. They left several connections undug until
the last minute, and you can't tell from the photographs where they'll
go.)

Upon entry, you may take a flag on a ten-foot pole, and a blank map
divided into fifteen squares. They give you a quick lecture (no crashing
walls, no running, don't eat the corn, etc.) Then they time-stamp your
ticket and kick you through a passage. That's the east edge of the maze.
You can go north or south. Now what?

Heh.

The maze is divided into sectors, marked by colored ribbon strung along
the corn walls. Blue, green, orange, red, pink, black, white -- they
correspond to sections of the theme image (sky, sea, boat-hull, etc.)
This gives you a rough idea how you're doing. Orange on the left!
Progress! (Getting *into* the orange sector, so that there are orange
ribbons on both sides, is much harder.)

You can fill in the map as you go. There are fifteen stations scattered
around the maze, each with a supply of map squares (and sticky tape). If
you find them all, you can make a complete map. Without a map, can you
find them all? Well, that's your problem.

The left-hand and right-hand rules don't work. The goal is *inside*, and
there's a bridge from there to the exit. So if you follow one wall from
the beginning, you return to the beginning, not the goal. A second
bridge confuses matters further, over on the west side. Of course paths
go under the bridges too. The bridges are significant landmarks; other
landmarks are a view of a thousand-foot flower rainbow (planted across a
hillside above the maze), several water coolers, and a single
portapotty. ("Hope you find it in time," say the rules.)

The flag? Hint system. "Noah", the maze supervisor, sits at the top of a
tower with a PA microphone. Wave your flag, and he'll be able to see it
(although nobody else at ground level can.) Emergency help can be
dispatched. There are also a couple of speaking tubes at different
spots; you can pray for hints or a miracle. ("Want out? Tired of seeing
nothing but corn? Pray to Noah. Noah understands, believe me.")

Well. We collected map pieces, and used the map, and reached the exit in
exactly 59 minutes. Then we doubled back to find the seven or so pieces
we'd missed. That took another 90 minutes. By that time, we'd walked
just about every pathway in the field.

(One of our friends did it solo, *without* the map pieces, in about 90
minutes total. He claims it was too easy. We claim he got lucky.)

The design impressed me greatly. It was *not* designed for maximum
confusion; that would have been deadly. On paper, a path can wrap three
times around the maze and then dead-end; but if you dug that into a
cornfield, people would riot. In this maze, dead-end paths are short.
There are dead-end *sections*, but these loop back on themselves, so
that you feel you've explored somewhere interesting, not just wasted
time.

The landmarks are properly elusive. You can see the flower rainbow if
you're crossing a bridge, and from one garden spot on the north edge of
the maze, and *sometimes* from within the maze (if there's a long
pathway aligned with the hill.) But you only see it for a moment. In one
spot there's a pile of rocks; who knows what it's for? (We joked about
the ejection seat.) But if you pass it twice, you say "Hey, I know that
pile of rocks!" Other paths are entirely featureless.

To win, you don't have to see every section of the maze. The
highest-level description would be a pair-of-eyeglasses shape. You
start, there's a major branch point, the branches come back together,
there's another branch point, the branches come back together, and then
the goal. I can say this without spoilers, because you'll only recognize
the branch points in retrospect. But it means that if you solve the maze
quickly, you've walked about half of it. If you want to explore the
rest, you can do the other half. I like that layout. (For us, it turned
out we'd explored one of those four major branch-sections, *missed* the
path that led onwards, and backtracked to do the other alternative.
Oops. But we didn't realize this until we got the whole map.)

Oh yes, there's a slide. Sadly, you can't put a real one-way valve slide
in a corn maze. There have to be signs pointing out the ground-level
pathway from bottom to top, because Mom and Dad may want to send the
kids down and then walk around to meet them. (*We* went down the slide,
of course.)

And there was just something generally right about the maze. Some
sections were twisty and knotted; others had long rectilinear paths;
others were Grand Curves around the boat hull. The outside zones felt
distant and unfriendly; the inside zones felt full of energy. I'm not
sure what it was. A combination of the colored ribbons (we knew blue and
green were the outside), and the distribution of people (people
generally knew when they were getting close, and the vibes went around.)
Very pleasing.

So what are the lessons for game designers?

Pacing: Interface details are critical in determining whether a maze
works or not. How long does it take to go from one intersection to the
next? Are long paths slower, or more boring, than long ones? Is
backtracking slow or immediate? Do you see neat things along the way?
These factors affect what you can do without honking off your players.
Frustration is not challenge.

The Zen View: Let players get glimpses of something interesting. Don't
let them see it often, or for long stretches. (This is a design pattern
from _A Pattern Language_, in fact.)

Small Victories: In the corn-maze, seeing a new sector color is
exciting; getting into a new sector is even more so. Even if it turns
out not to go anywhere. Don't make a maze which is a homogenous,
undifferentiated experience of lostness.

Rules are Nifty: Outside the main corn-maze, there are several small
ones -- not corn mazes; they're made of hay bales and ribbons and such.
These use some wackier ideas, to make up for being able to see over the
walls. One has colored paths, and you have to follow paths in the order
yellow, red, blue. Another -- surprisingly difficult -- allows only
right turns, never left. (Sound like a simple rule? The consequences
take some time to work out, and then there's a new shape in your head.
That's what puzzles are *for*.)

Go Find Out: "Write what you know," they say. When you do something, you
know it from the inside. Now I know what it's like to be in a maze.
(From the inside -- ahem.) I really can't recommend it highly enough.
Ok, it's not the all-time enlightenment experience of my life, but a
game designer should try it.

Dehydration: Simulated heatstroke in a computer game? Well, maybe not.
In real life, I sucked down a liter of water over two hours, and later
ate a packet of salt from the concession stand. Really. It tasted okay,
which proved it was a good idea.

Yes, I'm rambling now.

Next year, I'm not using the map pieces at all.

The Maize Maze is at Cherry Crest Farm, 150 Cherry Hill Rd, Paradise, PA
17572. Web site at http://www.800padutch.com/. Phone 717-687-6843. It's
open this year until October 10. Hours are 10 am to sunset, Fridays and
Saturdays.

The maze was designed by Adrian Fisher, http://www.mazemaker.com/. (Not
to be confused with David Russo at http://www.mazemaster.com/.) Fisher
has designed several corn mazes this year; his web site has a list. Go
looking.

(This essay, and a couple more, are on my web site at
http://www.edoc.com/zarf/essays/index.html. I hope to grow the collection
over time.)

--Z

--

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

David Brain

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Sep 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/15/98
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In article <erkyrathE...@netcom.com>, erky...@netcom.com (Andrew Plotkin) wrote:

> <cool maze stuff snipped because I'm envious>

This seems to me to be tricky in a text game (although I'm sure *you* could manage it ;-) but I have built
several Quake levels that use these basic principles - let the player see the goal /very/ early in the
proceedings, but make damn sure they can't get to it. I don't like to hide secrets - rather I want the player
to work out how to get to the ones that are in plain sight all the time (and none of that pixel-perfect
leaping across chasms either.)

> The maze was designed by Adrian Fisher, http://www.mazemaker.com/. (Not
> to be confused with David Russo at http://www.mazemaster.com/.) Fisher
> has designed several corn mazes this year; his web site has a list. Go
> looking.

I like Fisher's stuff - he is really innovative. This one sounds almost worth a trip to the US to see!

--
David Brain

Apotheosis can be somewhat unnerving.
-- Expecting Someone Taller, Tom Holt


Andrew Plotkin

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Sep 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/15/98
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David Brain (da...@atlan.cix.co.uk) wrote:
> In article <erkyrathE...@netcom.com>, erky...@netcom.com (Andrew Plotkin) wrote:

> > <cool maze stuff snipped because I'm envious>

> This seems to me to be tricky in a text game (although I'm sure *you* could manage it ;-) but I have built
> several Quake levels that use these basic principles - let the player see the goal /very/ early in the
> proceedings, but make damn sure they can't get to it. I don't like to hide secrets - rather I want the player
> to work out how to get to the ones that are in plain sight all the time (and none of that pixel-perfect
> leaping across chasms either.)

Yeah. Secretly, I liked Tomb Raider because it has a very granular control
system. If you hit the jump button during stride 2, you perform one jump;
stride 3 is another. There's nothing in between. So you can have these
complicated 3D physics puzzles which are easy to solve for uncoordinated
little me -- once I figure out the solution.

> > The maze was designed by Adrian Fisher, http://www.mazemaker.com/. (Not
> > to be confused with David Russo at http://www.mazemaster.com/.) Fisher
> > has designed several corn mazes this year; his web site has a list. Go
> > looking.

> I like Fisher's stuff - he is really innovative. This one sounds almost


> worth a trip to the US to see!

Check his web site -- he's got three corn mazes in England this year.

J. Robinson Wheeler

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Sep 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/15/98
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David Brain wrote:

> Andrew Plotkin <erky...@netcom.com> wrote:
>
> > <cool maze stuff snipped because I'm envious>


Excellent essay.

> This seems to me to be tricky in a text game [...] but I have built


> several Quake levels that use these basic principles - let the player see
> the goal /very/ early in the proceedings, but make damn sure they can't get
> to it.

Somewhere else these principles are applied is at the Disney theme parks.
They always have the entrance to the ride in plain view when you get in
place at the back of the line. It makes you think, despite the sign
which says, "Wait time - 1 hour" that it probably won't take very long
at all. Then you turn a corner, and see that the line in fact snakes
back and forth in a twisty way that takes you really, really far away
from the "goal" before you get back to it. But when you start, it's
just ten or twenty feet from you.

I applied this same principle to my first big IF (still unreleased),
First Things First. It starts you out in front of your house and
says, basically, "You objective is to open this door and go in." You
have to play the entire (huge) game before conditions allow you to
do that. I was deliberately recalling my last Disneyland experience
when I designed it that way...

The other points about giving you smaller goals, reminding you how
close you might be getting, satisfying you in some ways so that you
don't riot, are attempted in the game, but I guess I could sharpen
it up. That's why it thought the essay was so good -- it was a good
do's and don'ts list, from a certain point of view.

Someday, I will release that game. Off-topic:

<AARGH>
Currently, I've got a one-puzzle game with a small number of
rooms nearly ready for the competition -- but it has so many
geegaws, gimmicks, and traps for random player noodling around
(and talking to NPC) that the game code file is now much larger
than First Things First, which has dozens and dozens of rooms
and objects and was the biggest thing I could think of at the
time. I find this rather startling. It's still a SMALL GAME,
technically. Yet, it's a BIG GAME, filesize-wise. And, worst
of all, someone's going to have written a BETTER GAME, because
really, it's just this one puzzle.
</AARGH>

--
J. Robinson Wheeler
whe...@jump.net http://www.jump.net/~wheeler/jrw/home.html

Michael S Gentry

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Sep 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/15/98
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Andrew Plotkin wrote in message ...

>
>So what are the lessons for game designers?


Wait, I've got it -- while travelling to your new home in Nebraska, you are
waylaid by an ancient fertility cult that migrated to the Midwest from
pre-Roman Germany -- they trap unsuspecting tourists who think their maze of
corn will be a fun little highway diversion -- only to be stuffed into giant
wicker men and set on fire while the priestesses copulate in the soil below
and offer their prayers to Astarte and her sacrificed husband/son, the Green
Man...!!

(**bluargh**) ...i've been working on Anchorhead too hard...

--M
================================================
"If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding.
How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?"

Erik Max Francis

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Sep 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/15/98
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David Brain wrote:

> This seems to me to be tricky in a text game (although I'm sure *you*

> could manage it ;-) but I have built


> several Quake levels that use these basic principles - let the player
> see the goal /very/ early in the
> proceedings, but make damn sure they can't get to it.

The original Quake mission The Vaults of Zin (e3m2) is similar to this
as well; when you start out, the silver key is in plain sight directly
in front of you down a shortish hallway. When you walk down the hallway
to get it, you accidentally hit a trigger and the key drops through a
crack in the floor.

Though, strictly speaking, I wouldn't call it (or many of the other
Quake/Quake II missions) "mazes," because that implies you're running
around like a mouse looking for the cheese. Quake/Quake II missions are
in general well-designed enough that (if you're a frequent player) you
generally have an idea where you are, whereas mazes imply to me uniform
boringness. (Even the "all different" maze was boring.)

> I don't like to
> hide secrets - rather I want the player
> to work out how to get to the ones that are in plain sight all the
> time (and none of that pixel-perfect
> leaping across chasms either.)

Well, DOOM, Quake, and Quake II have all had these too -- objects in
clear view but when you actually find out how to get them it's
considered hard enough (and nonessential enough) that it's classified as
a secret.

--
Erik Max Francis / email m...@alcyone.com / whois mf303 / icq 16063900
Alcyone Systems / irc maxxon (efnet) / finger m...@sade.alcyone.com
San Jose, CA / languages En, Eo / web http://www.alcyone.com/max/
USA / icbm 37 20 07 N 121 53 38 W / &tSftDotIotE
\
/ God will forgive me; that's his business.
/ Heinrich Heine

Darin Johnson

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Sep 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/15/98
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"Michael S Gentry" <edr...@sprynet.com> writes:

> >So what are the lessons for game designers?
>
>

> Wait, I've got it -- while travelling to your new home in Nebraska, you are
> waylaid by an ancient fertility cult that migrated to the Midwest from

> pre-Roman Germany...

Hmm, what about alien crop circle mazes?

--
Darin Johnson
da...@usa.net.delete_me

Allen Garvin

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Sep 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/15/98
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Michael S Gentry <edr...@sprynet.com> wrote:


Wait, I've got it -- while travelling to your new home in Nebraska,
you are waylaid by an ancient fertility cult that migrated to the

Midwest from pre-Roman Germany -- they trap unsuspecting tourists who


think their maze of corn will be a fun little highway diversion --
only to be stuffed into giant wicker men and set on fire while the
priestesses copulate in the soil below and offer their prayers to
Astarte and her sacrificed husband/son, the Green Man...!!

This almost happened to me when I was visiting that ancient pagan neolithic
Nebraskan monument, Carhenge!


--
Allen Garvin I think I'll
--------------------------------------------- Let the mystery be
eare...@faeryland.tamu-commerce.edu
http://faeryland.tamu-commerce.edu/~earendil Iris Dement

Michael Baum

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Sep 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/16/98
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On Tue, 15 Sep 1998 10:26:38 -0500, "J. Robinson Wheeler"
<whe...@jump.net> wrote:

>Somewhere else these principles are applied is at the Disney theme parks.
>They always have the entrance to the ride in plain view when you get in
>place at the back of the line. It makes you think, despite the sign
>which says, "Wait time - 1 hour" that it probably won't take very long
>at all. Then you turn a corner, and see that the line in fact snakes
>back and forth in a twisty way that takes you really, really far away
>from the "goal" before you get back to it. But when you start, it's
>just ten or twenty feet from you.

Another thing the Disney organization generally does quite well, a
philosophy which perhaps also has some application to IF design, is
that they entertain you while you're waiting on line. By comparing
their rides of different vintages, you can even see the development of
the idea. The snaky, time-killing line to the "Haunted House",
attraction, for example, let's you amuse yourself with various little
spooky vignettes and gags while you're waiting to get to the ride
itself. The more recent Muppet attraction at their Florida MGM co-park
has such an entertaining pre-attraction show (done on video monitors)
that I've actually regretted seeing the main doors open for me because
I wanted to catch a bit more of the time-killer. Now THAT'S diversion.

A game I'm working on has a variant of the traditional maze puzzle
(and no, I don't want to hear why I shouldn't) that I've tried to
liven up with an array of randomly scattered locations in the maze
that have entertaining (I hope) or amusing (well, _I_ laughed) or
somehow enaging descriptions or features. 'Course on the downside it
requires more of that $#%@$ creative writing. (:

maab
michae...@nist.gov

tv's Spatch

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Sep 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/16/98
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On Tue, 15 Sep 1998 01:38:12 GMT, erky...@netcom.com (Andrew Plotkin)
wrote:

>On Saturday, we drove out to eastern Pennsylvania, to investigate the
>(sorry) "Amazing Maize Maze". It was terrific. Zarf Seal of Approval.
>
>A brief synopsis: *Corn grows taller than your head*.

If that doesn't start us ifMUDders drooling, nothing will.

Related:

About six years ago there was an attraction on a wharf in Montreal
called "SOS Labyrinth". I don't know if it still exists, having yet
to return to that magical Canadian city (and I really need to, if only
to eat at La Maison Hauntee' again.) The attraction was a large
complex inside an old warehouse and the theme was vaguely nautical.
You made your way around canvas passages, encountering several
passport stations (and obstacles designed to get you wet) along the
way. Once you had your card stamped at all the stations and made it
out of the maze, you won a little prize that made you feel special.
There was also a weekly competition for the fastest times.

The really neat part was that the passages were made of canvas
sheets lashed between metal poles, spaced out on a grid of holes.
Every week or so, IIRC, they changed the entire layout of the maze,
moving the stations and poles and re-stringing the canvas. A special
mapmaking program (on what platform, I'll never know) apparently
helped avoid repeats and regulated difficulty. It didn't seem as
complex as the Maize Maze, though; my 17-year-old brain made it out in
under an hour. But it was challenging, goofy, and fun to run around
for the better part of an afternoon.

I have no earthly idea of how to end this so I'll just stop now.


--
der spatchel reading, mass 01867
resident cranky fovea.retina.net 4000

"What mother means is they're still shooting it out, but now it's in color!"

David Glasser

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Sep 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/16/98
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J. Robinson Wheeler <whe...@jump.net> wrote:

> Somewhere else these principles are applied is at the Disney theme parks.
> They always have the entrance to the ride in plain view when you get in
> place at the back of the line. It makes you think, despite the sign
> which says, "Wait time - 1 hour" that it probably won't take very long
> at all. Then you turn a corner, and see that the line in fact snakes
> back and forth in a twisty way that takes you really, really far away
> from the "goal" before you get back to it. But when you start, it's
> just ten or twenty feet from you.

Another important point about Disney ride designs that ties in with what
Zarf was saying is that all the time while you are in line, you can see
the ride. If it's a roller-coaster, it goes right over you. You can
see the happy people leaving it if it is an inside ride. Not only are
you near the entrance, but you are near the fun.

--David Glasser
gla...@NOSPAMuscom.com | dgla...@NOSPAMfcs.pvt.k12.pa.us
http://onramp.uscom.com/~glasser | http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/6028
DGlasser @ ifMUD : fovea.retina.net:4000 (webpage fovea.retina.net:4001)
Interactive Fiction! MST3K! David Eddings! Macintosh!

Trevor Barrie

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Sep 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/16/98
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You know, I've got to say that this post was a lot less interesting than
the subject led me to believe. Can I assume there was supposed to be an
"In" up there? (I missed the corn part.)

On Tue, 15 Sep 1998 01:38:12 GMT, Andrew Plotkin <erky...@netcom.com> wrote:

>A brief synopsis: *Corn grows taller than your head*.

As high as an elephant's eye, or so I have been led to believe.

>The theme for the maze was Noah's Ark. The general outline of the paths
>forms a boat, with waves below, styled animals on desk, and a dove
>above. (There are aerial photographs of the maze; take a look.
>Memorizing such a thing is quite impossible, so don't worry about that.)

>Upon entry, you may take a flag on a ten-foot pole, and a blank map


>divided into fifteen squares. They give you a quick lecture (no crashing
>walls, no running, don't eat the corn, etc.)

Ahhhh... Did they at least have corn that you could eat for sale?

>The flag? Hint system. "Noah", the maze supervisor, sits at the top of a
>tower with a PA microphone. Wave your flag, and he'll be able to see it
>(although nobody else at ground level can.) Emergency help can be
>dispatched. There are also a couple of speaking tubes at different
>spots; you can pray for hints or a miracle. ("Want out? Tired of seeing
>nothing but corn? Pray to Noah. Noah understands, believe me.")

Praying to Noah is an odd concept. Why not just call him God?

>The Zen View: Let players get glimpses of something interesting. Don't
>let them see it often, or for long stretches. (This is a design pattern
>from _A Pattern Language_, in fact.)

What's that?

Andrew Plotkin

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Sep 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/16/98
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Trevor Barrie (tba...@ibm.net) wrote:
> You know, I've got to say that this post was a lot less interesting than
> the subject led me to believe. Can I assume there was supposed to be an
> "In" up there? (I missed the corn part.)

I'm afraid so. I felt really silly when I saw the post come up without
that "in". (I've corrected it on the web page.)

I hope it was at least a *bit* interesting anyway. :)

> On Tue, 15 Sep 1998 01:38:12 GMT, Andrew Plotkin <erky...@netcom.com> wrote:

> >Upon entry, you may take a flag on a ten-foot pole, and a blank map
> >divided into fifteen squares. They give you a quick lecture (no crashing
> >walls, no running, don't eat the corn, etc.)
>

> Ahhhh... Did they at least have corn that you could eat for sale?

Yes. And chicken sandwiches, and hot dogs. Although one of my friends had
an impressively bad digestive reaction after eating a hot dog.
Fortunately, this was after he got out of the maze.

> >The flag? Hint system. "Noah", the maze supervisor, sits at the top of a
> >tower with a PA microphone. Wave your flag, and he'll be able to see it
> >(although nobody else at ground level can.) Emergency help can be
> >dispatched. There are also a couple of speaking tubes at different
> >spots; you can pray for hints or a miracle. ("Want out? Tired of seeing
> >nothing but corn? Pray to Noah. Noah understands, believe me.")
>

> Praying to Noah is an odd concept. Why not just call him God?

We just *had* the religious discussion... heh. Anyway, I suspect people
would object.

> >The Zen View: Let players get glimpses of something interesting. Don't
> >let them see it often, or for long stretches. (This is a design pattern
> >from _A Pattern Language_, in fact.)
>

> What's that?

A truly delightful book on architecture, construction, and civil
engineering. It somehow spawned a movement in computer programming -- I'm
still not sure how, but there's been discussion here on design patterns in
IF, and the whole "pattern" concept started with _APL_ and its prequel,
_The Timeless Way of Building_.

Basically, they say "Let us look over the environments humans have
constructed for themselves over the past N thousand years. Let us look at
the ones that *work*, and that by god is not a judgement call -- some
places are better to live in than others. Let us see if we can abstract
out some patterns common to the good places, which are lacking in the bad
places, and boil them down to a simple statement. Then we might have a
better idea how to build more places that don't suck to be in. We could
also start to figure out what problems those patterns solve, or rather
what problems arise when those patterns are lacking."

I'm afraid I don't have the biblio data here.

Julian Fleetwood

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Sep 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/16/98
to
Andrew Plotkin wrote in message ...
>On Saturday, we drove out to eastern Pennsylvania, to investigate the
>(sorry) "Amazing Maize Maze". It was terrific. Zarf Seal of Approval.

Reminds me of a maze called... yep - Amazing

>A brief synopsis: *Corn grows taller than your head*. See the
>possibilities? There are now several places around the world that are
>into this. The one we visited was something like three linear miles of
>pathway... in a cornfield.

This was a plain wooden maze but still quite large.

>This is not a theoretical sort of maze. You get lost. There are ten-foot
>green walls on either side of you, and sky above you, and a dirt
>pathway. That's it. You can try to peer between the stalks, but since
>the other side of the wall is generally another pathway full of lost
>people, it does you very little good. (Sometimes you can see the
>outside, or the goal, or a significant maze point -- but you probably
>can't get there from here.) For two and a half hours, I was immersed in
>a real, live (!) interactive puzzle.

Unfortuntly there are no decent mazes here in Canberra (Unless you count the
city :-)

>Let me spend some time describing details. I promise not to spoil any
>secrets, but I do want to talk about the maze from a game designer's
>point of view.
>
>The theme for the maze was Noah's Ark. The general outline of the paths
>forms a boat, with waves below, styled animals on desk, and a dove
>above. (There are aerial photographs of the maze; take a look.
>Memorizing such a thing is quite impossible, so don't worry about that.)
>(Footnote: Besides, I just noticed, all the aerial photographs and
>souvenir t-shirts are *lies*. They left several connections undug until
>the last minute, and you can't tell from the photographs where they'll
>go.)

At the beginning of the maze was a scale model of the maze. Quite
impressive.

>Upon entry, you may take a flag on a ten-foot pole, and a blank map
>divided into fifteen squares. They give you a quick lecture (no crashing
>walls, no running, don't eat the corn, etc.) Then they time-stamp your
>ticket and kick you through a passage. That's the east edge of the maze.
>You can go north or south. Now what?
>
>Heh.
>
>The maze is divided into sectors, marked by colored ribbon strung along
>the corn walls. Blue, green, orange, red, pink, black, white -- they
>correspond to sections of the theme image (sky, sea, boat-hull, etc.)
>This gives you a rough idea how you're doing. Orange on the left!
>Progress! (Getting *into* the orange sector, so that there are orange
>ribbons on both sides, is much harder.)
>
>You can fill in the map as you go. There are fifteen stations scattered
>around the maze, each with a supply of map squares (and sticky tape). If
>you find them all, you can make a complete map. Without a map, can you
>find them all? Well, that's your problem.

This one wasn't at all as complicated. There were (I think) four flags that
you had to go around to and mark off.

>The left-hand and right-hand rules don't work. The goal is *inside*, and
>there's a bridge from there to the exit. So if you follow one wall from
>the beginning, you return to the beginning, not the goal. A second
>bridge confuses matters further, over on the west side. Of course paths
>go under the bridges too. The bridges are significant landmarks; other
>landmarks are a view of a thousand-foot flower rainbow (planted across a
>hillside above the maze), several water coolers, and a single
>portapotty. ("Hope you find it in time," say the rules.)

Fire exits are the best bet in this maze :-)

>The flag? Hint system. "Noah", the maze supervisor, sits at the top of a
>tower with a PA microphone. Wave your flag, and he'll be able to see it
>(although nobody else at ground level can.) Emergency help can be
>dispatched. There are also a couple of speaking tubes at different
>spots; you can pray for hints or a miracle. ("Want out? Tired of seeing
>nothing but corn? Pray to Noah. Noah understands, believe me.")

Just a plain tower in this one.

>Well. We collected map pieces, and used the map, and reached the exit in
>exactly 59 minutes. Then we doubled back to find the seven or so pieces
>we'd missed. That took another 90 minutes. By that time, we'd walked
>just about every pathway in the field.

It took two hours when I was working in a pair.

>(One of our friends did it solo, *without* the map pieces, in about 90
>minutes total. He claims it was too easy. We claim he got lucky.)

I claim he took a snap shot of the original map :-)

I always thought that mazes had kinda been kicked out of the current IF
world.

Good luck!

--
Julian Fleetwood (http://surf.to/free4all)
IF: http://www.tip.net.au/~mfleetwo/if/index.htm
CBG: http://www.tip.net.au/~mfleetwo/cbg/index.htm
G!>GCS d-- s+:- a16 C+(++) p? L E-W++ N++ o K- w++ O M+ !V PS PE Y+ G e h!
PGP- t+ X+++ R(+) tv b+(++) DI+ D++ r y?

Adam J. Thornton

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Sep 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/17/98
to
In article <1dfeoyy.19a...@usol-209-186-16-73.uscom.com>,

David Glasser <gla...@NOSPAMuscom.com> wrote:
>Another important point about Disney ride designs that ties in with what
>Zarf was saying is that all the time while you are in line, you can see
>the ride. If it's a roller-coaster, it goes right over you. You can
>see the happy people leaving it if it is an inside ride. Not only are
>you near the entrance, but you are near the fun.

This reminds me of the great thing about Coney Island.

There's vomit *everywhere*.

Now, this may not seem like a good thing to you, but I for one am tired of
wussy, sissy little rides that claim to be scary but are smooth and
comfy. I *want* rides that scare the hell out of me and, preferably, make
me hurl. And Coney Island really, really projects an atmosphere of "we're
out to make a quick buck. We hope you don't die on our ride, and if you
puke, well, cleaning it up isn't *our* problem." Stepping in other
people's vomit reminds you that these rides are *serious*.

The Cyclone is, I think, the Greatest Roller Coaster In The World. And I
*didn't* puke, even though I rode it right after gulping three Nathan's
chili dogs and slamming two beers. But it tried its damnedest, and I
respect that.

Adam
--
ad...@princeton.edu
"There's a border to somewhere waiting, and a tank full of time." - J. Steinman

Jonadab the Unsightly One

unread,
Sep 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/17/98
to
Erik Max Francis <m...@alcyone.com> wrote in article

> The original Quake mission The Vaults of Zin (e3m2) is similar to
this
> as well; when you start out, the silver key is in plain sight
directly
> in front of you down a shortish hallway. When you walk down the
hallway
> to get it, you accidentally hit a trigger and the key drops
through a
> crack in the floor.

Oh, Curses.

> Though, strictly speaking, I wouldn't call it (or many of the
other
> Quake/Quake II missions) "mazes," because that implies you're
running
> around like a mouse looking for the cheese. Quake/Quake II
missions are
> in general well-designed enough that (if you're a frequent player)
you
> generally have an idea where you are, whereas mazes imply to me
uniform
> boringness. (Even the "all different" maze was boring.)

I don't play Quake, but at least in Descent the levels are often
like mazes the *first* time you play them. They're not boring,
though. Well, the good ones aren't.

> Well, DOOM, Quake, and Quake II have all had these too -- objects
in
> clear view but when you actually find out how to get them it's
> considered hard enough (and nonessential enough) that it's
classified as
> a secret.

Add Descent to that list, only it's actually 3D, which adds, um,
a dimension.

--
All my usenet posts are General Public License.

Dyslexic email address: ten.thgirb@badanoj

Bruce Hollebone

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Sep 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/17/98
to
On Wed, 16 Sep 1998 21:20:03 GMT, erky...@netcom.com (Andrew Plotkin) wrote:
> _A Pattern Language_
...

>A truly delightful book on architecture, construction, and civil
>engineering. It somehow spawned a movement in computer programming -- I'm
>still not sure how, but there's been discussion here on design patterns in
>IF, and the whole "pattern" concept started with _APL_ and its prequel,
>_The Timeless Way of Building_.

A good book, but an old one.

A Pattern Language : Towns, Buildings, Construction
Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein
1977
Oxford Univ Pr (Trade); ISBN: 0195019199

38.50 USD @ amazon.

Kind Regards,
Bruce Hollebone: hollebon (at) cyerbus.ca

Edan Harel

unread,
Sep 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/17/98
to
You are a twisty little maze of passages. An adventurer enters you.

>Look at adventurer.

A strange little man, lost within your corridors.

>Open passage to east.

The adventurer notices the opening to the east, and walk down that way.

>Open passage to the south.

The adventurer notices the opening to the south, and walks down that way.
Fearing that he will get further lost, he drops a lamp, to mark his
way.

>Pick up lamp

You pick up the lamp and place it in your treasure trove at the center of
the maze.
[+1 point]
The adventurer backtracks and finds his lamp gone. He curses out loud.

>Close exit to maze

You close the exit to the maze.
[+1 point]

>Close enterance to maze

You close the enterance to the maze.
[+1 point]

Congratulations. You have won the rank of Labrinth. The adventurer will now
spend his remaining days trying to find the way out.


Matthew Amster-Burton

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Sep 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/17/98
to
On Tue, 15 Sep 1998, Andrew Plotkin wrote:

> On Saturday, we drove out to eastern Pennsylvania, to investigate the
> (sorry) "Amazing Maize Maze". It was terrific. Zarf Seal of Approval.

But how did it compare with _Inanimator_?

Matthew


Stephen Robert Norris

unread,
Sep 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/17/98
to
In article <01bde16b$d9d4e3c0$3b118fd1@jonadab>,
"Jonadab the Unsightly One" <jon...@zerospam.com> intoned:

> Add Descent to that list, only it's actually 3D, which adds, um,
> a dimension.

As opposed to Quake, which is only 3D? I see.

Doom was the last 2.5D ID game...

Stephen

Phil Goetz

unread,
Sep 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/18/98
to
Nice, Zarf! I'm inspired -- to put a maze in my next game.

;)

Phil

Jonadab the Unsightly One

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Sep 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/18/98
to
Edan Harel <edh...@remus.rutgers.edu> wrote in article

> You are a twisty little maze of passages. An adventurer enters
you.

[Very funny maze story snipped.]

> Congratulations. You have won the rank of Labrinth. The
adventurer will now
> spend his remaining days trying to find the way out.

More likely without that lamp he'll be eaten by a grue within a
couple of turns.

--

Dyslexic email address: ten.thgirb@badanoj

Bryan Scattergood

unread,
Sep 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/19/98
to
On Wed, 16 Sep 1998 21:20:03 GMT, Andrew Plotkin wrote:
> > >The Zen View: Let players get glimpses of something interesting. Don't
> > >let them see it often, or for long stretches. (This is a design pattern
> > >from _A Pattern Language_, in fact.)
> >
> > What's that?

>
> A truly delightful book on architecture, construction, and civil
> engineering. It somehow spawned a movement in computer programming -- I'm
> still not sure how, but there's been discussion here on design patterns in
> IF, and the whole "pattern" concept started with _APL_ and its prequel,
> _The Timeless Way of Building_.
>
> ...

>
> I'm afraid I don't have the biblio data here.

Allow me.

A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction

Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein (with others)
Oxford University Press[*], 1977
ISBN 0-19-501919-9

1100+ pages and AFAIK only availble in hardback. My copy claims to cost
$US 50, but I paid 40 UKP for it. I've been working slowly through it for
months. By the law of bizarre coincidences, I reached Zen View on the
day Zarf's posting arrived.

I bought it because I got fed up with not knowing where the "design
patterns" folk got their inspiration from, but it's worth reading for
itself. It changes the way you look at things, which is what a good book
should do.

My only gripe is that _APL_ is the middle volume of a 3 book set and I could
easily end up buying the other two volumes as well.

Bryan

[*] I've also seen it attributed to Harvard University Press. I suspect they
have some sort of exchange deal with OUP.


Jonadab the Unsightly One

unread,
Sep 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/19/98
to
Stephen Robert Norris <s...@flibble.psrg.cs.usyd.edu.au> wrote in
article <6ts09f$v3t$1...@crux.cs.usyd.edu.au>...

I'll admit not knowing about Quake, but 2.5D is an extremely
generous assessment of Doom 2. It's 3DOF, in any case.

I had assumed that Quake was similarly limited, but I
haven't actually played it to know -- I was only going
by the reviews, which call it 3D in the same sense that
they call Doom 3D, which has only to do with the POV
and not the game itself.

Mark Stevens

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Sep 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/19/98
to
On Tue, 15 Sep 1998 12:57:02 -0700, Erik Max Francis <m...@alcyone.com>
wrote:

>Quake/Quake II missions are in general well-designed enough that (if
>you're a frequent player) you generally have an idea where you are,
>whereas mazes imply to me uniform boringness.

I think this is one of the reasons why Doom (rather than Wolf3D) was
generally reckoned to be the first of the great first-person shooters
-- for that heightened sense of spatial awareness and geography.

Wolf3D was more of a uniform maze-like environment, with all the
corridors and rooms looking pretty much identical. But Doom's engine
allowed for a lot more variety in the architecture and thus the
player's spatial awareness increased. Ask someone playing Wolf3D,
"Where are you?" and at best they'll answer, "Somewhere in a castle!".
Ask someone playing Doom the same question and they could quite easily
say, "Oh, down in the sewer, hiding behind a crate just beyond the
overflow pipe."

Of course, Quake's 'proper' 3D environment increased the player's
sense of placement within the game even further.

Can such a high level of spatial awareness work within the confines of
a text-based piece of interactive fiction? It certainly can, but this
is something a few authors can overlook. In their haste to present
something truly poetic and literary, the player's given less of an
opportunity to become absorbed into the world of the game.


/\/)ark

http://www.sonance.demon.co.uk/


Mark J. Tilford

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Sep 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/19/98
to
On Sat, 19 Sep 1998 17:55:46 GMT, Mark Stevens <ma...@sonance.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>
>I think this is one of the reasons why Doom (rather than Wolf3D) was
>generally reckoned to be the first of the great first-person shooters
>-- for that heightened sense of spatial awareness and geography.
>
>Wolf3D was more of a uniform maze-like environment, with all the
>corridors and rooms looking pretty much identical. But Doom's engine
>allowed for a lot more variety in the architecture and thus the
>player's spatial awareness increased. Ask someone playing Wolf3D,
>"Where are you?" and at best they'll answer, "Somewhere in a castle!".
>Ask someone playing Doom the same question and they could quite easily
>say, "Oh, down in the sewer, hiding behind a crate just beyond the
>overflow pipe."
>

Really, I think that Ultima Underworld had something of that feeling.


--
-----------------------
Mark Jeffrey Tilford
til...@cco.caltech.edu

Trevor Barrie

unread,
Sep 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/19/98
to
On Wed, 16 Sep 1998 21:20:03 GMT, Andrew Plotkin <erky...@netcom.com> wrote:

>> You know, I've got to say that this post was a lot less interesting than
>> the subject led me to believe. Can I assume there was supposed to be an
>> "In" up there? (I missed the corn part.)
>
>I'm afraid so. I felt really silly when I saw the post come up without
>that "in". (I've corrected it on the web page.)

But hey, "You are a twisty little maze of passages" isn't a bad idea.
We've already got Zork: A Troll's Eye View - why not a whole series of
traditional IF written from the obstacle's point of view?

(Incidentally, it just occurred to me that if you inspire a new wave
of mazes in text adventures, I'll be mightily peeved.)

Darin Johnson

unread,
Sep 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/19/98
to
ma...@sonance.demon.co.uk (Mark Stevens) writes:

> Of course, Quake's 'proper' 3D environment increased the player's
> sense of placement within the game even further.

I've always felt more aware of where I was in Doom than in Quake.

--
Darin Johnson
da...@usa.net.delete_me

Darin Johnson

unread,
Sep 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/19/98
to
"Jonadab the Unsightly One" <jon...@zerospam.com> writes:

> I had assumed that Quake was similarly limited, but I
> haven't actually played it to know

There is a real third dimension, but it's used much less than in
Descent. In Descent, you generally don't have gravity, and there's no
up and down, which enhances the 3D feel, whereas most Quake levels are
distinctly aware of up/down. There aren't an abundance of 3D effects
in Quake that went beyond what Dark Forces did, and Dark Forces was
essentially like stacked 2D levels. With Quake, you can spatially
navigate with mental 2D maps of the area (stacked), whereas in Descent
I had to think quite differently to get oriented.

(and for all the technical advances of Quake, it was rather boring in
design - brown, brown, and more brown. Even the different worlds in
the game looked pretty identical to each other, unlike say Hexen or
Dark Forces, where a glance at the architecture told you what world
you were on. Apparently Quake II is better, but I'm not getting
excited about it.)

--
Darin Johnson
da...@usa.net.delete_me

Paul F. Snively

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Sep 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/19/98
to
In article <01bde31f$61721640$38118fd1@jonadab>, "Jonadab the Unsightly
One" <jon...@zerospam.com> wrote:

>I'll admit not knowing about Quake, but 2.5D is an extremely
>generous assessment of Doom 2. It's 3DOF, in any case.

Right. I call the DOOM/DOOM 2/Hexen engine "a raycaster with an attitude."
Not, as Jerry Seinfeld would say, that there's anything wrong with
"raycasters with an attitude:" Dark Forces was such a beast, and I still
find Dark Forces an *extremely* playable game, probably owing to the fact
that LucasArts hired several students out of Berkeley's architecture
school, where they had used 3D CAD software etc. so they were versed both
in design and computer graphics technology.

Still, there weren't really any "rooms above rooms," and that was
definitely a limiting factor vs. Quake: I'll never forget the time I was
playing a Quake deathmatch, made my way out to a ledge that I just plain
couldn't see down well enough to satisfy me, but I could *hear* two other
players below me duking it out and I could *see* flashes from their rocket
launchers etc. So, figuring that I had the element of surprise on my side,
I jumped. Nailed both opponents with well-placed rockets before they knew
what hit 'em, and literally heard yells of surprise from the human players
in the next room. That was only possible due to Quake's use of a 6DOF
engine, as opposed to a 3DOF engine with Y-shearing.

>I had assumed that Quake was similarly limited, but I

>haven't actually played it to know -- I was only going
>by the reviews, which call it 3D in the same sense that
>they call Doom 3D, which has only to do with the POV
>and not the game itself.

Not true. The Quake engine is honest-to-God 6DOF, although it makes a set
of possibly-visible-set computation trade-offs that are still slanted
heavily toward walking-through-largely-static-enclosed-spaces (I'm still
trying to figure out why everyone's so hot and bothered about BSP trees)
vs. Descent's engine, which is also 6DOF but is more heavily optimized for
not showing nasty artifacts when you take advantage of pitch, roll, and yaw
and, in particular, for not having truly odd things happen when you get
*really close* to walls etc.

Ob. RAIF comment: I remember the transition from the Scott Adams adventures
to Zork being like the transition from DOOM to Quake in impact, not merely
for the obvious reason of going from "verb noun" to the more complex
sentence structure, but also because there were interesting semantics to go
along with the syntax, and no small portion of the semantics were spatial:
there was now a meaningful concept of "on," "behind," "beneath," "around,"
and so on. At one point, when discussing development of our own text-based
adventure system (and who hasn't, at least once?) with a friend, we spent
no small amount of time trying to ascertain the proper "generic" behavior
of putting something behind something else: should the player be able to
see the "behind" object at all? In its entirety? Partially? Not at all? If
not, how do they find it? By searching the room? By searching the object
it's behind? etc. etc. etc. No new news to anyone who's authored IF with a
system that supports these spatial metaphors, of course.

>--
>
>Dyslexic email address: ten.thgirb@badanoj

Paul Snively
<mailto:ch...@mcione.com>

--
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"I had the sense, too, of the illicit side of the casbah, of a kind of
trade in human (or, in this case, executive) flesh." -- Michael Wolff,
"Burn Rate"

J. Robinson Wheeler

unread,
Sep 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/20/98
to
I'm kind of enjoying this thread, but I wish it came with a glossary.

3DOF
6DOF
raycaster ???
Y-shearing
BSP trees


--
J. Robinson Wheeler
whe...@jump.net http://www.jump.net/~wheeler/jrw/home.html

Joyce Haslam

unread,
Sep 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/20/98
to
In article <360503D1...@jump.net>,

J. Robinson Wheeler <whe...@jump.net> wrote:
> I'm kind of enjoying this thread, but I wish it came with a
> glossary.

Shall we make one up?

> 3DOF
Three dimensions of (what is a good F-word??) freedom
> 6DOF
Six somethings.
> raycaster ???
Source of light. Are these graphics? Or text-only.
> Y-shearing
You hold the bottom edge firmly and push the top edge sideways,
allowing the middle to stretch. It creates a nice drop shadow.
> BSP trees
Binary S? P? trees. mHmm.

Joyce.

--
Joyce Haslam
http://argonet.co.uk/users/dljhaslam/ for Gateway to Karos [INFORM]
Powerbase is for Acorn RO3.1+ HTH. HAND.
q u e r c u s @ a r g o n e t . c o . u k

L. Ross Raszewski

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Sep 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/20/98
to
In article <360503D1...@jump.net>,

whe...@jump.net wrote:
> I'm kind of enjoying this thread, but I wish it came with a glossary.

Well, I don't actually _know_ any of these. but I feel like wagering a guess,
and, quite frankly, if they don't mean what I say that they mean, then they
_should_
>
> 3DOF
> 6DOF

X "degrees [dimentions] of freedom" -- this refers to the ways in which you
can move. 6 degrees would involve forward/backward, left/right (usually
called strafing in these sort of games), up/down, roll, pitch, and yaw. 3
would involve only three of these (the first two, and one of the last three,
but I forget which is which.) Quite frankly, I think that 6DOF is 4 too many.
I _hate_ 3d games where I walk into an invisible barrier, only to discover
that the floor slants upward slightly, and I have to turn my head to go up.
(my main problem here is that IRL all this stuff happens prety much
automaictally, and it's damned hard to get in the mindselt of thinking about
it. also, if I aim myslef at something, and I'm a fraction of a degree off, I
end up walking into a wall. I don't like having to operate a mouse, keyboard,
and joystick all at the same time, justto navigate a world. This move to 3d
in adventure games will be the death of me.)

> raycaster ???
a method of generating a 3d-looking environment.


> Y-shearing

THis thing Doom does to make it look like you can move in a 4th degree. At a
guess, I'd say it doesn't so much "render" your falling as it just scrolls it
up the screen.

> BSP trees
Uh... erm... uh....
>


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Jonadab the Unsightly One

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Sep 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/20/98
to
Darin Johnson <da...@usa.net.removethis> wrote in article

> > I had assumed that Quake was similarly limited, but I
> > haven't actually played it to know
>

> There is a real third dimension, but it's used much less than in
> Descent. In Descent, you generally don't have gravity, and
there's no
> up and down, which enhances the 3D feel, whereas most Quake levels
are
> distinctly aware of up/down. There aren't an abundance of 3D
effects
> in Quake that went beyond what Dark Forces did,

[snip]

Ah, so basically I was right. I've played Dark Forces, and it's no
more
3D than Hexen, which is to say, the point of view is 3D and the
game's
action is... flat.

Not that that makes it automatically bad or anything, but it's
not quite the same as full 6DOF.

I can see Descent with gravity in a future version.
But your ship's thrust would have to be significantly
stronger than the gravity.

Jonadab the Unsightly One

unread,
Sep 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/20/98
to
J. Robinson Wheeler <whe...@jump.net> wrote in article

> I'm kind of enjoying this thread, but I wish it came with a
glossary.

Oh, sorry.

> 3DOF

Three degrees of freedom. For example, in Doom you can
move forward/backward (one) or left/right (two), and you can turn
left/right (three).

> 6DOF

Six degrees of freedom. Full 3D motion. Move up/down,
left/right, and forward/backward, and turn left/right, pitch
forward/backward, and bank left/right.

> raycaster ???
> Y-shearing
> BSP trees

Can't help with those.

Paul F. Snively

unread,
Sep 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/20/98
to

>I'm kind of enjoying this thread, but I wish it came with a glossary.

Sorry... some of us cross-dress without a hitch between text and graphics,
y'know? ;-)

> 3DOF
> 6DOF

Three degrees of freedom and six degrees of freedom. "Three" degrees of
freedom is actually something of a misnomer. There are, of course, three
axes around which you can exhert a force and thereby effect motion.
Depending upon which axis is central, these motions are referred to as
"pitch," "roll," and "yaw," although I'll be damned if I can recall which
term maps to which axis--although it's also worth remembering that,
subjectively speaking, such a mapping is arbitrary anyway, as a previous
poster pointed out wrt Descent.

Most "3D" game engines prior to Descent and Quake were actually very
limited in their use of what we can intuitively call the "up/down"
direction. For example, it *always* bothered me in DOOM that even if a
baddie were up on a ledge or a lift of some kind, as long as I got my
left/right angle correct, I could shoot and hit him--the bullets apparently
magically went *up* from my level to the baddie's level (or down, if the
situation were reversed). This reflects the lack of "true 3Dness" of the
DOOM engine.

> raycaster ???

(Very) poor cousin of a raytracer. A raycaster assumes a point light source
casting a ray outwards that will ultimately intersect a single-pixel
column. That column's "height" then becomes a function of how far from the
light source it is, and any texture mapped to it can be vertically scaled
accordingly. This is a rather extreme oversimplification--in particular,
the DOOM/Hexen engine does a great deal more than this--but it's pretty
accurate on the basics, e.g. it's a good working description of how the old
Wolfenstein 3D engine worked.

> Y-shearing

Y-shearing is a cheapy way to make it look like you have a 3D engine when
you really don't. ;-) Basically, by playing games with your world
coordinates' Y values, you can offer the camera (that is, the player) a
certain amount of faked "up/down" visibility--typically engines that do
this give +/- 30 degrees, which is as much as they can do before some of
the math starts to cause really obvious visual artifacts, and some engines
will only go as far as +/- 15 degrees for this reason.

> BSP trees

Binary Space Partitioning trees. The standard means of breaking any given
3D scene down in such a way that there's a (fairly) rapid test as to
whether a given polygon is visible or not. Also useful for collision
detection and the like. In anything that desires to be a real-time 3D
renderer with more than a tiny handful of lighted, shaded,
perspective-correct texture-mapped polygons, it's very, very, very, very
important to be able to quickly determine what you need to render (because
it's visible to the player) and what you don't (because the player is
facing away from it, because it's behind something else, whatever).

The problem with BSP trees, though, is updating them when something moves,
which is why they're ideal for "static" scenes but suboptimal for highly
animated scenes. Nevertheless, huge amounts of effort have gone into
addressing BSP trees' limitations in this regard.

My intuition has been telling me for about five years now that there has to
be a vastly superior data structure for 3D games than the BSP tree. So far,
though, my muse hasn't coughed up any specifics.

Hope this mish-mash helps,

Paul

Matthew T. Russotto

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Sep 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/20/98
to
In article <360503D1...@jump.net>,

J. Robinson Wheeler <whe...@jump.net> wrote:
}I'm kind of enjoying this thread, but I wish it came with a glossary.
}
} 3DOF
} 6DOF

Three or six degrees of freedom, respectively. Space Invaders had one
degree of freedom -- you could move back and forth along the bottom of
the screen. Qix had two -- you could move in the plane of the screen.

} raycaster ???

A program which determines what color a screen pixel should be by
considering everything in the modeled 3D volume along a line from the
eyepoint and through that screen pixel.
--
Matthew T. Russotto russ...@pond.com
"Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in pursuit
of justice is no virtue."

Branko Collin

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Sep 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/20/98
to
On Sun, 20 Sep 1998 12:03:03 -0700, ch...@mcione.com (Paul F. Snively)
wrote:

>In article <360503D1...@jump.net>, whe...@jump.net wrote:
>
>>I'm kind of enjoying this thread, but I wish it came with a glossary.
>
>> BSP trees
>
>Binary Space Partitioning trees. The standard means of breaking any given
>3D scene down in such a way that there's a (fairly) rapid test as to
>whether a given polygon is visible or not. Also useful for collision
>detection and the like. In anything that desires to be a real-time 3D
>renderer with more than a tiny handful of lighted, shaded,
>perspective-correct texture-mapped polygons, it's very, very, very, very
>important to be able to quickly determine what you need to render (because
>it's visible to the player) and what you don't (because the player is
>facing away from it, because it's behind something else, whatever).

Could such a beast be used in a parser for a text adventure to
determine if an object can be influenced by a certain command at a
certain place and time?

--
Branko Collin: col...@xs4all.nl
<<I would hate to see you a few years from now trying to pick
someone up with "Hey baby, I was voted the sex symbol of the
last millenium.">> - Anson Turner about Graham Nelson

Erik Max Francis

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Sep 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/20/98
to
Jonadab the Unsightly One wrote:

> Six degrees of freedom. Full 3D motion. Move up/down,
> left/right, and forward/backward, and turn left/right, pitch
> forward/backward, and bank left/right.

In Quake/Quake II (I presume that's what was being talked about, but
either the thread expired early or the other articles haven't arrived at
my server yet), for instance, you have five degrees of freedom: x, y,
z, yaw, and pitch. You can't roll (bank), and in fact don't really need
to.

In your typical fighter/spacefighter game, you do indeed have all six.

--
Erik Max Francis / email m...@alcyone.com / whois mf303 / icq 16063900
Alcyone Systems / irc maxxon (efnet) / finger m...@sade.alcyone.com
San Jose, CA / languages En, Eo / web http://www.alcyone.com/max/
USA / icbm 37 20 07 N 121 53 38 W / &tSftDotIotE
\
/ Oh, what lies there are in kisses.
/ Heinrich Heine

Erik Max Francis

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Sep 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/20/98
to
Jonadab the Unsightly One wrote:

> Ah, so basically I was right. I've played Dark Forces, and it's no
> more
> 3D than Hexen, which is to say, the point of view is 3D and the
> game's
> action is... flat.

I don't recall whether or not Hexen is based on the Quake engine or the
DOOM engine. (I know Hexen II is Quake/Quake II.) I'm guessing Quake.
(Probably I'm thinking of Heretic, which was based on the DOOM engine.)

> Not that that makes it automatically bad or anything, but it's
> not quite the same as full 6DOF.

Yeah. DOOM and its cousins (DOOM II, Heretic, and so on) have four
degrees of freedom (x, y, z, yaw), but Quake and Quake II (and its
cousins) have fully five degrees (x, y, z, yaw, pitch).

The sixth, roll, is not really appropriate to games like Quake because,
as you say, there is gravity, and there is usually an explicit up/down.

Michael S Gentry

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Sep 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/20/98
to

Branko Collin wrote in message <36056f1f...@news.xs4all.nl>...

>On Sun, 20 Sep 1998 12:03:03 -0700, ch...@mcione.com (Paul F. Snively)
>wrote:
>
>Could such a beast be used in a parser for a text adventure to
>determine if an object can be influenced by a certain command at a
>certain place and time?
>


Not really, since in a text adventure you're using descriptive language to
convey what is, underneath all the prose, a pretty abstract method of
locating objects. You're not describing the actual physics of the room, and
you really shouldn't try.

If you want something to be hidden from view, give it a concealed attribute
or remove it from the room entirely until the player SEARCHES or LOOKS
BEHIND the appropriate object.

Inform possesses a number of simple tests to determine if an object is
visible and within reach. TestScope(), IndirectlyContains() and
ObjectIsUntouchable() all allow you to determine the state of an object with
regard to the character's "point of view". You can also write specific code
to make an object out of reach until the player, say, stands on a stool, or
hooks it with an umbrella.

But as far as "real" (maybe I should say "virtual") spatial positioning
goes -- nope. That remains a function of the author's descriptive prowess.

--M
================================================
"If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding.
How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?"

Darin Johnson

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Sep 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/20/98
to
ch...@mcione.com (Paul F. Snively) writes:

> Still, there weren't really any "rooms above rooms," and that was
> definitely a limiting factor vs. Quake:

There were in Dark Forces. It was a layered level approach. Each
level was layed out 2-D like as in Doom (ie, the map is 2D, but the
floors have varying heights). Ie, in level 1, you could go outside
the building, take an elevator, and end up walking on top of the
building. But the map you got when pressing TAB was different.

--
Darin Johnson
da...@usa.net.delete_me

Darin Johnson

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Sep 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/20/98
to
Erik Max Francis <m...@alcyone.com> writes:

> I don't recall whether or not Hexen is based on the Quake engine or the
> DOOM engine. (I know Hexen II is Quake/Quake II.) I'm guessing Quake.
> (Probably I'm thinking of Heretic, which was based on the DOOM
> engine.)

Heretic is based on Doom, with minor changes. Hexen is based on
Doom/Heretic as well, but with major changes. In particular, it added
movable polygons (doors that swing open), and a mini-programming
language to allow more complex actions. Doom/Heretic have a whole gob
of predefined actions that can happen (lower lift, wait 6 seconds,
raise lift, is all one action), but Hexen allowed more complex things,
without having a ton of predefined actions. It also added the idea of
a "hub" of levels, where you can return to previous "levels" (and
indeed, have to in order to solve puzzles). Hexen II keeps the hub
idea, but Quake didn't use it (don't know about Quake2).

Heretic 2 will be completely different, more like Tomb Raider than Doom/Quake.

--
Darin Johnson
da...@usa.net.delete_me

Paul F. Snively

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Sep 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/20/98
to
In article <tvyogsa...@cn1.connectnet.com>, Darin Johnson
<da...@usa.net.removethis> wrote:

Saying that levels could be connected like this just isn't the same thing
at all, IMHO: after all, you have to have _some_ way to get from level to
level...

I offered my "jump from a ledge to an
unseen-from-the-ledge-but-seen-before-in-the-game" example specifically to
avoid the elevator/tunnel observation, because all of my jumping
experiences in Dark Forces resulted in my death, and there wasn't even
anything to compare to them in DOOM/Hexen.

>--
>Darin Johnson
>da...@usa.net.delete_me

Paul F. Snively

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Sep 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/20/98
to
In article <EzM4D...@undergrad.math.uwaterloo.ca>,
jcm...@undergrad.math.uwaterloo.ca (Joe Mason) wrote:

>You can't move through z in Quake. Not without the floor carrying you. I
>always assumed a DOF meant you could move through that degree under your own
>power.

First of all, what you're calling Z here is typically called Y in computer
graphics systems.

Secondly, it's categorically untrue that you can't move through Y (that is,
up and down) in Quake. There's a low-G level in which your unrestricted up
and down movement is central to the level.

>(Possibly there's an artifact that lets you fly through z, but if so I don't
>know it. It'd still be 4DOF throuhg most of the game, anyway.)

It's true that it's mostly 4DOF, but that's an optimization artifact, and
where it doesn't hold, it's extremely interesting--the low-G level is the
most fun I've had in a deathmatch, ever.

>Short blips through the z dimension like jumping doesn't count in my view
>either. I mean sustained travel in this direction, under your own power. Is
>my definition different from the standard?

No, but your assertion that the Quake engine doesn't support it just
because most levels don't take advantage of it is erroneous.

>Joe
>--
>I think OO is great... It's no coincidence that "woohoo" contains "oo" twice.
>-- GLYPH

Jon Petersen

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Sep 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/20/98
to
Erik Max Francis wrote:
>
> Jonadab the Unsightly One wrote:
>
> > Six degrees of freedom. Full 3D motion. Move up/down,
> > left/right, and forward/backward, and turn left/right, pitch
> > forward/backward, and bank left/right.
>
> In Quake/Quake II (I presume that's what was being talked about, but
> either the thread expired early or the other articles haven't arrived at
> my server yet), for instance, you have five degrees of freedom: x, y,
> z, yaw, and pitch. You can't roll (bank), and in fact don't really need
> to.

You _can_ see banking in Quake II. When you strafe (slide) left or
right, the screen tilts sideways. You can even fool with the default
amount of banking so that you roll through 360 degrees, then unroll when
you stop moving.

Jon

Jon

Joe Mason

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Sep 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/21/98
to
In article <360578C8...@alcyone.com>,

Erik Max Francis <m...@alcyone.com> wrote:
>Jonadab the Unsightly One wrote:
>
>> Six degrees of freedom. Full 3D motion. Move up/down,
>> left/right, and forward/backward, and turn left/right, pitch
>> forward/backward, and bank left/right.
>
>In Quake/Quake II (I presume that's what was being talked about, but
>either the thread expired early or the other articles haven't arrived at
>my server yet), for instance, you have five degrees of freedom: x, y,
>z, yaw, and pitch. You can't roll (bank), and in fact don't really need
>to.

You can't move through z in Quake. Not without the floor carrying you. I


always assumed a DOF meant you could move through that degree under your own
power.

(Possibly there's an artifact that lets you fly through z, but if so I don't


know it. It'd still be 4DOF throuhg most of the game, anyway.)

Short blips through the z dimension like jumping doesn't count in my view


either. I mean sustained travel in this direction, under your own power. Is
my definition different from the standard?

Joe

Joe Mason

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Sep 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/21/98
to
In article <360503D1...@jump.net>,

J. Robinson Wheeler <whe...@jump.net> wrote:
>I'm kind of enjoying this thread, but I wish it came with a glossary.
>
> 3DOF
> 6DOF

xDOF = x Degrees of Freedom

Refers to how much you can move your character. Wolf3D is only 3DOF because,
while it draws the world in #D, you can only 1) turn left and right, 2) slide
left and right, 3) slide forwards and backward.

Doom is considered 3.5DOF because it adds an up and down direction, but you
can't look up and down, and you can't have rooms overtop of each other. It
fakes the third dimension by simply having a 2D map with platforms of different
heights (the genius of Doom is that it manages to *feel* so 3D despite this).

Quake is 4DOF - it allows you to 4) pitch up and down, in addition to the first
3. Also, the game world is completely 3D - you can have rooms under each
other, spiral staircases, etc.

(Quake II, Unreal, and other recent ones still only have 4DOF, which is all
they should have because they're about running around, not driving a vehicle
in gravity-free space. However, I think they've advanced to the point that
they could drop 6DOF in quite simply if they wanted part of the game to take
place in a vehicle. It still may not play as well as Descent, though, because
they're optimized for 4DOF, as someone else mentioned.)

Descent allows you to 5) slide up and down, and 6) roll along your axis.

I've always felt that Descent's major failing was that it wrapped you up
in an armoured ship, instead of having you out facing the demons with just
a shotgun. I'd like to see a game using the Descent enginge where you're
wearing a space suit with EVA boosters instead of a ship. I'd also like to
see an I-F game with 6 degrees of freedom, but I'm not sure how this would
work. Carefully neutral language avoiding words like "up and down" (since you
could flip yourself over and reverse the directions)? Keeping track of your
orientation (confusing)? Something else?

That's be all I know.

Alan Conroy

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Sep 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/21/98
to
On Mon, 21 Sep 1998 02:25:49 GMT, jcm...@undergrad.math.uwaterloo.ca
(Joe Mason) wrote:

>I've always felt that Descent's major failing was that it wrapped you up
>in an armoured ship, instead of having you out facing the demons with just
>a shotgun. I'd like to see a game using the Descent enginge where you're
>wearing a space suit with EVA boosters instead of a ship.

Interplay did release a game that uses said engine for an AD&D RPG
game. I've not played it, but the graphics I saw looked cool. It was
fun seeing a group of goblins walking around the corner toward you.
You have no ship or space suit - just your armor. I think it was
called "Descent into Undermountain" (or something very similar).

- Alan Conroy

I don't think much of our profession, but, contrasted
with respectability, it is comparatively honest. No,
Frederic, I shall live and die a Pirate King.

-- The Pirate King

Erik Max Francis

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Sep 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/21/98
to
Darin Johnson wrote:

> Heretic is based on Doom, with minor changes.

Right, thats what I remembered. (I didn't play Heretic much.)

> Hexen is based on
> Doom/Heretic as well, but with major changes.

Good, my memory isn't totally flawed.

> It also added the idea of
> a "hub" of levels, where you can return to previous "levels" (and
> indeed, have to in order to solve puzzles). Hexen II keeps the hub
> idea, but Quake didn't use it (don't know about Quake2).

Yes, Quake 2 implements this. Frequently you have to backtrack through
levels you've already "completed" to finish the game. There are also
secrets (there's a particularly cruel form of the Dope Fish in one of
the Quake 2 levels, but you have to move on to the next level,
accomplish its objective, and double back for no reason to see it).

Paul 'Ozymandias' Harman

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Sep 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/21/98
to

Joe Mason wrote in message ...

>You can't move through z in Quake. Not without the floor carrying you. I
>always assumed a DOF meant you could move through that degree under your
own
>power.


Well... you can jump, and climb stairs. Depends on how strict you want to
be.

Ozzy

Jonadab the Unsightly One

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Sep 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/21/98
to

> I don't recall whether or not Hexen is based on the Quake engine
or the
> DOOM engine. (I know Hexen II is Quake/Quake II.) I'm guessing
Quake.

Not sure. I'd guess Doom, but it doesn't matter. Heretic was
definitely
a Doom clone.

> (Probably I'm thinking of Heretic, which was based on the DOOM
engine.)

Oh, were Heretic and Hexen done by the same people as Doom?

> The sixth, roll, is not really appropriate to games like Quake
because,
> as you say, there is gravity, and there is usually an explicit
up/down.

"The enemy gate is down."
-- Ender Wiggin

Edan

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Sep 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/21/98
to
"Jonadab the Unsightly One" <jon...@zerospam.com> writes:

>Edan Harel <edh...@remus.rutgers.edu> wrote in article

>> You are a twisty little maze of passages. An adventurer enters
>you.

>[Very funny maze story snipped.]

>More likely without that lamp he'll be eaten by a grue within a
>couple of turns.

You are a twisted, extremly and undeniably well lighted, little maze of
passages.

:o)

Edan Harel
-who is very twisted, but isn't a maze.

Paul F. Snively

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Sep 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/21/98
to
In article <01bde56a$ebb76240$LocalHost@jonadab>, "Jonadab the Unsightly
One" <jon...@zerospam.com> wrote:

>> I don't recall whether or not Hexen is based on the Quake engine
>or the
>> DOOM engine. (I know Hexen II is Quake/Quake II.) I'm guessing
>Quake.
>
>Not sure. I'd guess Doom, but it doesn't matter. Heretic was
>definitely
>a Doom clone.

Hexen, as I believe has been pointed out before, was a variant of the
DOOM/DOOM II engine that had been modified considerably (the most obvious
example--to me, anyway--was that Hexen added the Y-shearing trick for a
limited ability to look "up" and "down," which id's original DOOM engine
lacks).

>> (Probably I'm thinking of Heretic, which was based on the DOOM
>engine.)
>
>Oh, were Heretic and Hexen done by the same people as Doom?

No. Heretic and Hexen were done by the folks at Raven, who licensed the
DOOM engine code from id, and proceeded to do some very nice things with
it. I enjoyed the considerably (again, to me) more "adventure-game-like"
feel of Hexen vs. DOOM's "run-and-shoot" feel. More about this later.

>> The sixth, roll, is not really appropriate to games like Quake
>because,
>> as you say, there is gravity, and there is usually an explicit
>up/down.

Except, except... Quake, like any good modern 3D game, has a customizable
physics model: you can have the gravity be low, as it is on my favorite
Quake level, or presumably even zero, although at that point I imagine
meaningful navigation becomes a sufficiently serious problem to prove an
impediment to gameplay.

>"The enemy gate is down."
> -- Ender Wiggin

To revisit my observation about "adventure-game-like" vs. "run-and-shoot"
above, I've always been curious as to why it is that "interactive fiction"
is still so heavily slanted toward the text-based adventure game format,
and the first-person 3D technology that's available is still largely
oriented toward "run-and-shoot" games, and ne'er, apparently, the twain
shall meet. Given the increasing sophistication of the engines, to say
nothing of the dramatically dropping costs of supporting that
sophistication in hardware, I wonder why we (so far) haven't seen more
convergence? That is, if you wanted to write a "Moonmist" or a "Plundered
Hearts" or, God help us all, a "Zork" today (think heavily "genre"
titles--"Gothic Romance," "Classic Tolkienesque Fantasy," "Locked-Room
Murder Mystery," etc.) why wouldn't you use your favorite engine--Quake,
Quake II, Unreal--and plop the player in your world? You might have to wrap
your brain around some counterintuitive assumptions based on the fact that
these engines are "combat oriented" (that is, you may end up having to
model some object as a "weapon" just so the player can hold it and
"operate" it) but with a modern engine's programmability--Quake in QuakeC;
Quake II and, I believe, Unreal via traditional development tools
generating DLLs--it seems like there's enough flexibility there to support
more than just the "run-and-shoot" genre.

Imagine the maze from Zork I (I know, I know!) in the Quake engine. It's
not an artifical, man-made thing with square rooms anymore (that's the
visual I got from playing Zork, anyway). It's meandering halls carved
(washed?) out of craggy rock, with menacing shadows and nasty-looking
stalagtites. Occassionally in one of those menacing shadows you could swear
you catch a fleeting glimpse of someone, but you're not really sure--until,
that is, the rope that you dropped to mark your place is no longer anywhere
to be found, and you hear that distant voice say, "My, I wonder who left
this fine rope here?"

Is there room for visual interactive fiction? Can we take advantage of
existing engines, or is it time to develop one that isn't so prejudiced
toward the combat genres and serves more as a substrate for the player
interacting with the worlds we create? What would the latter look/feel
like?

>--
>
>Dyslexic email address: ten.thgirb@badanoj

Paul

Joe Mason

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Sep 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/21/98
to
In article <3605f18e...@news.accessone.com>,

Alan Conroy <al...@accessone.com> wrote:
>On Mon, 21 Sep 1998 02:25:49 GMT, jcm...@undergrad.math.uwaterloo.ca
>(Joe Mason) wrote:
>
>>I've always felt that Descent's major failing was that it wrapped you up
>>in an armoured ship, instead of having you out facing the demons with just
>>a shotgun. I'd like to see a game using the Descent enginge where you're
>>wearing a space suit with EVA boosters instead of a ship.
>
>Interplay did release a game that uses said engine for an AD&D RPG
>game. I've not played it, but the graphics I saw looked cool. It was
>fun seeing a group of goblins walking around the corner toward you.
>You have no ship or space suit - just your armor. I think it was
>called "Descent into Undermountain" (or something very similar).

I read that the Descent engine was completely unsuited to the task, and the
game ended up feeling horribly wrong. Could be just the reviewer's opinion,
though.

But that game didn't give you 6DOF, did it? That's what I was talking about.
Descent engine optional, actually: I'd like to see a 6DOF game where you're
not encased in a ship.

Joe Mason

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Sep 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/21/98
to
In article <chewy-ya02408000...@news.mci2000.com>,

Paul F. Snively <ch...@mcione.com> wrote:
>
>>Short blips through the z dimension like jumping doesn't count in my view
>>either. I mean sustained travel in this direction, under your own power. Is
>>my definition different from the standard?
>
>No, but your assertion that the Quake engine doesn't support it just
>because most levels don't take advantage of it is erroneous.

To clarify, I wasn't talking about the Quake engine. I was talking about the
feel of the game. Quake gives the player 4DOF except in a few special cases.
In fact, in my other post I mentioned that it was probably easy to extend
Quake to 6DOF. I was referring to using the built-in programming language
(or is it a scripting language?) that was used to create QuakeRally and other
neat stuff (QuakeC? QuakeLisp? What is it again?)

Andrew Plotkin

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Sep 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/21/98
to
Paul F. Snively (ch...@mcione.com) wrote:
> Imagine the maze from Zork I (I know, I know!) in the Quake engine. It's
> not an artifical, man-made thing with square rooms anymore (that's the
> visual I got from playing Zork, anyway). It's meandering halls carved
> (washed?) out of craggy rock, with menacing shadows and nasty-looking
> stalagtites.

From what I remember of Quake, it was an artificial thing with square
*everything*. Menacing square shadows and square-looking stalagtites. And
repetitive textures. Frankly, it was dull to look at.

There's room for visual interactive fiction, but pre-rendered 3D art is
always going to be way, way ahead of the curve of run-time 3D art. In
other words, the Myst genre is always going to look better than the Doom
genre, on a given machine and for a given release date. Simply because you
own (for example) a 300Mhz Pentium, and (for example) Cyan owns a huge
frigging rack of SGIs which can crank all night on a single frame.

In combat games, the background is made to be ignored, after a few minutes
of gosh-wow, and the quality of the game comes from movement mechanics.
Neither of these things is characteristic of IF.

That's the difference.

--Z

--

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

Jonadab the Unsightly One

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Sep 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/21/98
to
Jon Petersen <en...@ucla.edu> wrote in article
<3605EF...@ucla.edu>...

> > You can't roll (bank), and in fact don't really need to.
>

> You _can_ see banking in Quake II. When you strafe (slide) left or
> right, the screen tilts sideways. You can even fool with the
default
> amount of banking so that you roll through 360 degrees, then
unroll when
> you stop moving.

But it doesn't count as a degree of freedom if you can't control it
independently. So Quake is 5DOF, then, but most of its levels
restrict you to 4DOF?

There are some poorly-designed Descent levels that are basically
flat. Minerva Syndrome.