automatic examining

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Michael Gentry

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Dec 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/12/98
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There was a thread way back when, with this guy talking about how he hated
the verb EXAMINE. He hated having to EXAMINE every damn object in a game, he
thought examining something should be implicit as soon as you picked it up,
he just hated typing it.

It's been a while since that thread, but I recently had an idea and wanted
to sound people out. I was thinking about implementing a system wherein
whenever you pick something up for the *first time*, instead of saying
"Taken," the game provides the object's description. Only the first time.
After that, if you want the description you have to look at it.

Static and scenery objects, and objects you're not allowed to pick up, would
also require the EXAMINE verb if you want to know what they look like.

I'm envisioning something like this:

***************
On the table you see a pair of pliers.

>TAKE PLIERS
The pliers are old and grease-stained with cracked rubber hand grips.
They're heavy, too; you could really get a grip on something with these.

>DROP PLIERS
Dropped.

>TAKE PLIERS
Taken.

>X PLIERS
The pliers are old and grease-stained with cracked rubber hand grips.
They're heavy, too; you could really get a grip on something with these.
**********************

How would people feel about something like that? Annoying? Convenient? Makes
things too easy?

Let me know.

-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?"

Emerick Rogul

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Dec 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/12/98
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Michael Gentry writes:

: There was a thread way back when, with this guy talking about how he hated

:: DROP PLIERS
: Dropped.

:: TAKE PLIERS
: Taken.

: Let me know.

I think it's a good idea, especially since the first time i take an
object I almost always examine it. I would make it a mode that can be
turned on and off. Also, would it cause one turn or two turns to
elapse, which might be important for some games?

-Emerick
--
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Emerick Rogul /\/ "when i'm getting serious about a girl, i show
eme...@cs.bu.edu /\/ her 'rio bravo' and she better fucking like it."
------------------------------------------------------- quentin tarantino

Joe Mason

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Dec 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/13/98
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Michael Gentry <edr...@concentric.net> wrote:
>I'm envisioning something like this:
>
>***************
>On the table you see a pair of pliers.
>
>>TAKE PLIERS
>The pliers are old and grease-stained with cracked rubber hand grips.
>They're heavy, too; you could really get a grip on something with these.
>
>>DROP PLIERS
>Dropped.
>
>>TAKE PLIERS
>Taken.
>
>>X PLIERS
>The pliers are old and grease-stained with cracked rubber hand grips.
>They're heavy, too; you could really get a grip on something with these.
>**********************

I like it.

Joe
--
Congratulations, Canada, on preserving your national igloo.
-- Mike Huckabee, Governor of Arkansas

David Glasser

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Dec 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/13/98
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Michael Gentry <edr...@concentric.net> wrote:

> There was a thread way back when, with this guy talking about how he hated
> the verb EXAMINE. He hated having to EXAMINE every damn object in a game, he
> thought examining something should be implicit as soon as you picked it up,
> he just hated typing it.
>
> It's been a while since that thread, but I recently had an idea and wanted
> to sound people out. I was thinking about implementing a system wherein
> whenever you pick something up for the *first time*, instead of saying
> "Taken," the game provides the object's description. Only the first time.
> After that, if you want the description you have to look at it.
>
> Static and scenery objects, and objects you're not allowed to pick up, would
> also require the EXAMINE verb if you want to know what they look like.
>

> I'm envisioning something like this:

[snip]

It's nice. I can think of three problems, though. First, some
descriptions (no examples, sorry) may not lend themselves to a
post-TAKE. Second, if you print a special message (or "you can't take
that because..."), it might not be clear that this isn't the
description:

>X FOOBAR
It's a thingy.

>TAKE FOOBAR
The evil guy won't let you.

This isn't as distinct from "Taken" as it is from "It's a thingy".
Wait, maybe it isn't a problem. I don't know.

Thirdly, I tend to examine things *before* I pick them up, so it would
be redundant for me. What if when it sensed that in the next turn I was
going to take it, it prints the description :-)

But I like it.

--
David Glasser gla...@NOSPAMuscom.com http://onramp.uscom.com/~glasser
DGlasser @ ifMUD : fovea.retina.net:4001 | r.a.i-f FAQ: come.to/raiffaq
Sadie Hawkins, official band of David Glasser: http://www.port4000.com/

Brent VanFossen

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Dec 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/13/98
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On Sun, 13 Dec 1998 02:05:04 GMT, jcm...@uwaterloo.ca (Joe Mason)
wrote:

>Michael Gentry <edr...@concentric.net> wrote:
>>I'm envisioning something like this:
>>

>>***************
>>On the table you see a pair of pliers.
>>
>>>TAKE PLIERS
>>The pliers are old and grease-stained with cracked rubber hand grips.
>>They're heavy, too; you could really get a grip on something with these.
>>
>>>DROP PLIERS
>>Dropped.
>>
>>>TAKE PLIERS
>>Taken.
>>
>>>X PLIERS
>>The pliers are old and grease-stained with cracked rubber hand grips.
>>They're heavy, too; you could really get a grip on something with these.
>>**********************
>
>I like it.

I like it too, but I would prefer to see something like this:

>TAKE PLIERS
You take the pliers. They are old and grease-stained...

Otherwise, I think, "Yeah, they're old and grease-stained, but did I
get them?"

Brent VanFossen

adk

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Dec 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/13/98
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On 12 Dec 1998 16:03:03 PST, "Michael Gentry" <edr...@concentric.net> wrote:
[snip]

> It's been a while since that thread, but I recently had an idea and wanted
> to sound people out. I was thinking about implementing a system wherein
> whenever you pick something up for the *first time*, instead of saying
> "Taken," the game provides the object's description. Only the first time.
> After that, if you want the description you have to look at it.
>
> Static and scenery objects, and objects you're not allowed to pick up, would
> also require the EXAMINE verb if you want to know what they look like.
>
> I'm envisioning something like this:
>
> ***************
> On the table you see a pair of pliers.
>
> >TAKE PLIERS
> The pliers are old and grease-stained with cracked rubber hand grips.
> They're heavy, too; you could really get a grip on something with these.
>
[snip]

> How would people feel about something like that? Annoying? Convenient? Makes
> things too easy?

Well I think it would (or could) work. It seems to be the natural thing to look at something
that you pick up. I saw that somebody mentioned if it should take one turn or two, realistically
speaking, most people can and do several things at once. In this case I would think that
using one turn for this would be sufficient. In the sense of IF and adventure games in general,
and life really, if you've picked something up you're generally either thinking about how to use it
as you look it over, or trying to figure out what it is used for while looking it over.

Programmatically it doesn't seem that it should be too hard either (but I'm no programmer, yet).
The addition of an object flag, and slight modification of the take method to check the flag. I don't
know which system in particular you were thinking of, but I work in TADS and there is a firstseen
flag that can be used. Adding a similar flag for firstTaken should not be difficult.

IMO, I think it would make whatever system it was implemented on more real in the way it
plays and feels.

Tom
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Tom Raymond adk @ usa.net
"There are advantages, and there is me..."
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Joe Mason

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Dec 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/13/98
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David Glasser <gla...@DELETEuscom.com> wrote:
>
>Thirdly, I tend to examine things *before* I pick them up, so it would
>be redundant for me. What if when it sensed that in the next turn I was
>going to take it, it prints the description :-)

That's a good point. What if you want to put a trap on one item, so that if
you examine it first you notice a poison needle sticking out of it?

adk

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Dec 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/13/98
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On Sun, 13 Dec 1998 07:44:03 GMT, jcm...@uwaterloo.ca (Joe Mason) wrote:
> David Glasser <gla...@DELETEuscom.com> wrote:
> >
> >Thirdly, I tend to examine things *before* I pick them up, so it would
> >be redundant for me. What if when it sensed that in the next turn I was
> >going to take it, it prints the description :-)
>
> That's a good point. What if you want to put a trap on one item, so that if
> you examine it first you notice a poison needle sticking out of it?
>

Another good point, but one should be able to handle both equally as well.
If the game isn't set in a dungeon crawl or some other such location, traps would
probably not be a common thing.

As for examining before hand it would seem again that the addition of a single routine
might do to handle such instances. Although this sounds a bit trickier as one would have to
adjust the take routine to check if the previous command was 'look'.

I still think the idea is good, you would probably have to make a decision at the beginning of
each game programming to decide if take&look idea would work better for the situations you
intend to use and add it, or not, depending on your decision.

Also, I saw that somebody mentioned that the default message should include text noting that
you have taken the item. I agree that that would be a good idea.

Tom
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Tom Raymond adk @ usa.net

"All at once I knew that I knew nothing..."
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Jacob Munkhammar

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Dec 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/13/98
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In article <7fKc2.35592$c8.19...@hme2.newscontent-01.sprint.ca>,
jcm...@uwaterloo.ca (Joe Mason) wrote:

> David Glasser <gla...@DELETEuscom.com> wrote:
> >
> >Thirdly, I tend to examine things *before* I pick them up, so it would
> >be redundant for me. What if when it sensed that in the next turn I was
> >going to take it, it prints the description :-)
>


Well, with a flag for the object that tells HasBeenExamined (regardless of
whether through EXAMINE or through the first TAKE) in stead of a
FirstTake-flag, would solve that.
How that relates to specific authoring systems, I do not know.

And it doesn't work in MUD-ish systems.

/Jacob

--
- - - - http://www.stud.ntnu.no/~jacob/ - - - -
PM4400 603e/200/48 1,2/8x 20"/1152x870/24(ATI 3D) 7.6.1
LC 68020/16/4 0,04/0x 12"/512x384/8 7.0
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Jacob Munkhammar

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Dec 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/13/98
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In article <74v07n$3...@chronicle.concentric.net>, "Michael Gentry"
<edr...@concentric.net> wrote:

> ***************
> On the table you see a pair of pliers.
>
> >TAKE PLIERS
> The pliers are old and grease-stained with cracked rubber hand grips.
> They're heavy, too; you could really get a grip on something with these.
>

> >DROP PLIERS
> Dropped.
>
> >TAKE PLIERS
> Taken.
>

> >X PLIERS


> The pliers are old and grease-stained with cracked rubber hand grips.
> They're heavy, too; you could really get a grip on something with these.

> **********************


>
> How would people feel about something like that? Annoying? Convenient? Makes
> things too easy?
>

> Let me know.
>


I think this gives the interaction a nice flow, but I still feel that it
*could* make things too easy.
The natural thing (as compared to real life) would be that a take implied
a less in-depth examination, while an EXAMINE is more thorough.
Thus, my suggestion is two levels of examination, that for most object
would be equal, while for other, "special" objects, EXAMINE would have you
discover things not obvious at a simple TAKE.
Typicallly, you should at some point realize that you need to examine this
"special" object more throughly.

Michael Gentry

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Dec 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/13/98
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Okay, how about this:

Examining an object (whether through picking it up or through the EXAMINE
command) puts an "examined_already" flag on the object. Picking up an object
will only provide a description if the object does not have the
"examined_already" flag set -- so that takes care of examining the object
before you pick it up.

The default message for picking up an item looks like this:

"You take the <object>. <object's description>."

In other words:

>TAKE PLIERS
You take the pliers. They are grease-stained and heavy, with cracked rubber
hand grips.

This makes it clear that the pliers are in hand. It also suggests that the
player picked up the pliers, and *then* looked at them.

The fact that it's a *default* message means that if there's a special
routine set to occur when you take something -- i.e., an alarm goes off, or
a poison needle jabs you -- the object's description is superseded. This
makes sense, because the player's attention would naturally be drawn first
to the event (clanging alarm bells, or a sudden burning pain in the hand),
and only later to object, if he/she remembers to explicitly EXAMINE it. Each
special case should still be worded so as to make it clear whether or not
the object is in hand.

Oh yes, and a special routine would still set the "examined_already" flag.
Once an object is picked up, whether you got a chance to look at it or not,
the game will assume that you aren't paying special attention to it unless
you specifically say so.

This may not be enough for universal application, but I think it covers all
the bases in my game.

Jacob Munkhammar

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Dec 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/14/98
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In article <7514hi$2...@chronicle.concentric.net>, "Michael Gentry"
<edr...@concentric.net> wrote:

> Okay, how about this:
>
> Examining an object (whether through picking it up or through the EXAMINE
> command) puts an "examined_already" flag on the object. Picking up an object
> will only provide a description if the object does not have the
> "examined_already" flag set -- so that takes care of examining the object
> before you pick it up.
>


There are a few things to consider, as to the order of events (actions)
TAKE and EXAMINE.


-scenario 1:---------------------
There is a small box here.

>TAKE BOX
You take the box. It is small and made of wood.

>EXAMINE BOX
As you look more closely at the box you see a tiny inscrition reading
"Magic word XYZZY."


-scenario 2:---------------------
There is a small box here.

>EXAMINE BOX
It is small and made of wood. As you look more closely at the box you see
a tiny inscrition reading "Magic word XYZZY."

>TAKE BOX
You take the box.


-scenario 3:---------------------
There is a small box here.

>TAKE BOX
You take the box. It is small and made of wood.

<<<wander around and do many different things>>>

>EXAMINE BOX
It is small and made of wood. As you look more closely at the box you see
a tiny inscrition reading "Magic word XYZZY."


This would then be two messages, printed separately or in sequence. Note
the significat difference between scenarios 1 and 3!

okbl...@usa.net

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Dec 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/14/98
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In article <74v07n$3...@chronicle.concentric.net>,

"Michael Gentry" <edr...@concentric.net> wrote:
>
> How would people feel about something like that? Annoying? Convenient? Makes
> things too easy?
>

Approval!

It's more "realistic", IMO. The first time I pick something up, I tend to
look at it. The main exceptions would be mundane mass items (relatively rare
in IF), e.g., I don't tend to inspect every dollar handed I'm given in change
(though I will take a moment to cringe at the big-headed Andrew Johnson on
the new $20s).

[ok]

-----------== Posted via Deja News, The Discussion Network ==----------
http://www.dejanews.com/ Search, Read, Discuss, or Start Your Own

okbl...@usa.net

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Dec 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/14/98
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In article <7514hi$2...@chronicle.concentric.net>,

"Michael Gentry" <edr...@concentric.net> wrote:
>
> Examining an object (whether through picking it up or through the EXAMINE
> command) puts an "examined_already" flag on the object. Picking up an object
> will only provide a description if the object does not have the
> "examined_already" flag set -- so that takes care of examining the object
> before you pick it up.
>

It's probably heresy to suggest this to some, but I wouldn't mind
seeing the examination occur *before* the object is picked up. Even if I
don't do a close examination of something, I rarely pick something up without
looking at it first:

> GET MUSIC
The Unfinished Symphony score lies on the piano, pages rustling.

You grab it.

Your fingers smudge the pages, rendering parts illegible.

So that you could avoid the above, something like:

> GET CHEST
A needle juts from the latch, glistening with what is most likely a deadly
poison.

Unaware of what other traps might be protecting it, you leave it be.

The player could then search it or get it again at his own peril. In
other words, a "pre-emptive" examination that serves as a warning to "instant
death" type traps.

This, of course, opens the door to all kinds of other possibilities: a
"haste" mode, where you don't look at anything before picking it up, "search"
as distinct from "examine", etc. etc. etc.

Kathleen Fischer

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Dec 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/14/98
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okbl...@usa.net wrote:
> (though I will take a moment to cringe at the big-headed Andrew
> Johnson on the new $20s).

Or flip it over and stare at its monopoly money styled back <ugh>

Kathleen (who also likes the automatic examining idea)

--
*******************************************************************
* Kathleen M. Fischer *
* kfischer@x_greenhouse.llnl.gov (Remove 'x_' before replying) *
** "Don't stop to stomp ants while the elephants are stampeding" **

Karen Sutton

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Dec 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/15/98
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I like it!

Though maybe I should only get 1/2 vote since I don't program IF games, I only
play them...(-:

-Karen


okbl...@usa.net wrote:

> In article <74v07n$3...@chronicle.concentric.net>,


> "Michael Gentry" <edr...@concentric.net> wrote:
> >
> > How would people feel about something like that? Annoying? Convenient? Makes
> > things too easy?
> >
>
> Approval!
>
> It's more "realistic", IMO. The first time I pick something up, I tend to
> look at it. The main exceptions would be mundane mass items (relatively rare
> in IF), e.g., I don't tend to inspect every dollar handed I'm given in change

> (though I will take a moment to cringe at the big-headed Andrew Johnson on
> the new $20s).
>

Doeadeer3

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Dec 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/15/98
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In article <75473b$s1d$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>, okbl...@usa.net writes:

> It's probably heresy to suggest this to some, but I wouldn't mind
>seeing the examination occur *before* the object is picked up. Even if
I
>don't do a close examination of something, I rarely pick something up without
>looking at it first:

Ditto, I usally look before I leap (or pick things up). Something may be
poisonous or percariously balanced or something.

If there is a logical way to do it.

Doe :-) Wouldn't mind seeing your code when finished if you want to share.


Doe doea...@aol.com (formerly known as FemaleDeer)
****************************************************************************
"In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane." Mark Twain

Michael Gentry

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Dec 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/15/98
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>> It's probably heresy to suggest this to some, but I wouldn't mind
>>seeing the examination occur *before* the object is picked up. Even if
>I
>>don't do a close examination of something, I rarely pick something up
without
>>looking at it first:


I consider this a more deliberate form of behavior; so I'm afraid you'll
have to deliberately do it yourself (in my game, anyway)

>Doe :-) Wouldn't mind seeing your code when finished if you want to share.


It's kind of scattered about, and not very generalizable. I did several
things:

- Declared the attribute "seen".
- Declared a global variable "describing".
- Created a meta-verb, DESCRIBE ON/OFF, which sets "describing" to 1 or
0. (So the player can set it according to preference.)
- Hacked the TakeSub routine (couldn't think of an easy way to do it
otherwise). If the object has an After routine for the Take action, assign
"seen". If keep_silent==1 (which usually means an implicit take), assign
"seen". Otherwise, just return the generic message.
- Hacked RemoveSub the same way.
- Hacked ExamineSub to assign "seen" if the description is printed
successfully.
- Then, I replaced the generic message ("Taken";) with the following
code:

if (obj has seen ! If you've already looked at it or
handled it once,
|| describing==0) ! or you've set DESCRIBE to OFF,
"Taken."; ! then just print "Taken."
print "You pick up ", (the) obj, ". ";
! Otherwise, print a confirmation that the object is in hand,
<<Examine obj>>;
! then print its description.

- I replaced the generic success message for Remove the same way.

P.S. I also went through ALL the portable objects in the game and made sure
that their descriptions wouldn't sound weird or repetitive in this
construction. For example:

You pick up the letter opener. The letter opener is steel with a pearl
handle.

got changed to:

You pick up the letter opener. It's made of steel and has a pearl handle.

kassy

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Dec 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/15/98
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> Well so far, I think most of the response has been from people with some angle
> on programming IF. Your response is as valid, if not more so, as a player only :)
> After all, it's been said lots of places that programmers should take into consideration
> what the players think, want, etc.

>
> Tom
> =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
> Tom Raymond adk @ usa.net
> "Five percent for nothing..."
> -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Since you've given me that inch, I guess I'll take the mile...(-;

As with some others who've commented, I too seem to follow every "take" with an "examine."
It gets old, and I have found myself wishing to have the description given without
additional effort. Seems like it would keep the flow better. Definately an idea whose time
has come (if you can pull it off)!

The intention to also note that you actually have the item (using "Taken") is a good one -
so you don't end up entering "inventory" every time instead of "examine"! As already
mentioned, this works if the description is only presented the first time you take the
item. I like not having to see a bunch of extra info as I re-try things.

I must say, what a treat to get to play all these great games for free! Thanks to all for
the priviledge of playing your games - and for keeping text-based IF alive.

-Karen


adk

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Dec 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/16/98
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On Tue, 15 Dec 1998 14:51:09 -0800, Karen Sutton <sut...@europa.com> wrote:
> I like it!
>
> Though maybe I should only get 1/2 vote since I don't program IF games, I only
> play them...(-:
>
> -Karen

okbl...@usa.net

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Dec 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/16/98
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In article <19981215181358...@ngol08.aol.com>,

doea...@aol.com (Doeadeer3) wrote:
>
> Doe :-) Wouldn't mind seeing your code when finished if you want to share.
>

All of my code is written in a non-existent language. :-(

Jonadab the Unsightly One

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Dec 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/17/98
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adk @ usa.net (T Raymond) wrote:

> As for examining before hand it would seem again that the addition of a single routine
> might do to handle such instances. Although this sounds a bit trickier as one would have to
> adjust the take routine to check if the previous command was 'look'.

There's a better way than that.

When an object is examined, its "xed" attribute is set.

Take only prints the description if the object hasnt
xed, and then it gives the object xed in the bargain.

The xed attribute is handy anyway, particularly for
context-sensitive help (where you want to know how
much the player knows in order to determine what
hint to give) and other various purposes.


- jonadab

Jonadab the Unsightly One

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Dec 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/17/98
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Kathleen Fischer <kfischer@x_greenhouse.llnl.gov> wrote:

> > (though I will take a moment to cringe at the big-headed Andrew
> > Johnson on the new $20s).
>

> Or flip it over and stare at its monopoly money styled back <ugh>

Oh, so I'm not the only one who thinks they look
like Monopoly money?

Good. Thought maybe I was going senile.

Should've known better.


- jonadab

athol-brose

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Dec 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/18/98
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In article <36743b87...@news.eur.sprynet.com>, Brent VanFossen wrote:
>On Sun, 13 Dec 1998 02:05:04 GMT, jcm...@uwaterloo.ca (Joe Mason)
>wrote:
>>TAKE PLIERS
>You take the pliers. They are old and grease-stained...

How about "They're an old and grease-stained pair of pliers, but you
take them"?

--
r. n. dominick -- cinn...@one.net

Very very very very very very good!

Brent VanFossen

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Dec 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/20/98
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On 18 Dec 1998 15:28:36 -0500, cinn...@shell.one.net (athol-brose)
wrote:

>How about "They're an old and grease-stained pair of pliers, but you
>take them"?

You know, I never did understand that joke in "Curses" about the
wrench.

Brent VanFossen

David Glasser

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Dec 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/20/98
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Matthew T. Russotto

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Dec 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/20/98
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In article <367f7c67...@news.eur.sprynet.com>,

Brent VanFossen <vanf...@compuserve.com> wrote:
}On 18 Dec 1998 15:28:36 -0500, cinn...@shell.one.net (athol-brose)
}wrote:
}
}>How about "They're an old and grease-stained pair of pliers, but you
}>take them"?
}
}You know, I never did understand that joke in "Curses" about the
}wrench.

Apparently you must contort your body in a painful fashion in order
to get the wrench. Probably the one Americanism in Curses, just
because "spanner" doesn't make the pun work.

--
Matthew T. Russotto russ...@pond.com
"Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in pursuit
of justice is no virtue."

J. Robinson Wheeler

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Dec 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/21/98
to
Matthew T. Russotto wrote:

> > You know, I never did understand that joke in "Curses" about the
> > wrench.
>
> Apparently you must contort your body in a painful fashion in order
> to get the wrench. Probably the one Americanism in Curses, just
> because "spanner" doesn't make the pun work.

Except that "it's a wrench," meaning, "it's a bit of a strain," isn't
a particularly common American English phrasing, especially in a
sentence like that. In fact, I've only just now gotten the joke
at long last.

It was a wrench, but I got it.

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

TenthStone

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Dec 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/22/98
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Emerick Rogul thus inscribed this day of 12 Dec 1998 19:07:54 -0500:
>I think it's a good idea, especially since the first time i take an
>object I almost always examine it. I would make it a mode that can be
>turned on and off.

Moreover, it should be a system rather like Inform's Brief/Normal/Verbose:
that is, on brief it will never display the description, on normal it will
only display the description the first time it is picked up, and on
verbose it will always display the description.

The elsewhere-mentioned proposed difference between a "glance" and
an examine is here seconded.

>Also, would it cause one turn or two turns to elapse, which might be
>important for some games?

Very few games treat the passage of time realistically; I doubt anyone
would take the time to make a "take" action take two turns (especially
when qualified as above). Besides, the cursory glance that this would
involve would naturally be made within the process of picking up the
object.

-----------

The imperturbable TenthStone
tenth...@hotmail.com mcc...@erols.com mcc...@gsgis.k12.va.us

Kenneth Fair

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Dec 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/22/98
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On 18 Dec 1998 15:28:36 -0500, cinn...@shell.one.net (athol-brose)
wrote:

>In article <36743b87...@news.eur.sprynet.com>, Brent VanFossen wrote:


>>On Sun, 13 Dec 1998 02:05:04 GMT, jcm...@uwaterloo.ca (Joe Mason)
>>wrote:
>>>TAKE PLIERS
>>You take the pliers. They are old and grease-stained...
>

>How about "They're an old and grease-stained pair of pliers, but you
>take them"?

The advantage of Brent's method is that the "Taken" or "You take the
X" message can be the automatic message, so that the author doesn't
have to manually type "You take the X, and here's its description" for
each object, just "Here's its description."

Kenneth Fair
Official Yuppie Scum
Still McQ-compliant after all these years

Kenneth Fair

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Dec 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/22/98
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On Mon, 14 Dec 1998 19:42:55 +0100, ja...@stud.ntnu.no (Jacob
Munkhammar) wrote:

[snip]

>-scenario 3:---------------------
>There is a small box here.
>
>>TAKE BOX
>You take the box. It is small and made of wood.
>
><<<wander around and do many different things>>>
>
>>EXAMINE BOX
>It is small and made of wood. As you look more closely at the box you see
>a tiny inscrition reading "Magic word XYZZY."
>
>
>This would then be two messages, printed separately or in sequence. Note
>the significat difference between scenarios 1 and 3!

Would it be sufficient to print the whole description if the
immediately preceding command was something besides the take?

Jonadab the Unsightly One

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Dec 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/23/98
to
vanf...@compuserve.com (Brent VanFossen) wrote:

> You know, I never did understand that joke in "Curses" about the
> wrench.

Joke? I thought it was just phrased differently for
a little variety.

- jonadab

Jonadab the Unsightly One

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Dec 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/23/98
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mcc...@erols.com (TenthStone) wrote:

> The elsewhere-mentioned proposed difference between a "glance" and
> an examine is here seconded.
>
> >Also, would it cause one turn or two turns to elapse, which might be
> >important for some games?
>
> Very few games treat the passage of time realistically; I doubt anyone
> would take the time to make a "take" action take two turns (especially
> when qualified as above). Besides, the cursory glance that this would
> involve would naturally be made within the process of picking up the
> object.

The only obvious way I can think to implement this would be to
have every description switch on the action variable (checking
for take). However, that seems like a lot of work; I suppose
you could use up three props; have the usual description be
a routine inherited from a base class which switches on action
and routes to the glance property in case of take and the
realdescription (or somesuch) otherwise. You use three
general props, and you have to decide whether a detailed
description should also print the glance text or not.

- jonadab

David Glasser

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Dec 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/23/98
to
TenthStone <mcc...@erols.com> wrote:

> Very few games treat the passage of time realistically; I doubt anyone
> would take the time to make a "take" action take two turns (especially
> when qualified as above). Besides, the cursory glance that this would
> involve would naturally be made within the process of picking up the
> object.

This reminds me of something I've been wondering about for a while. I
vaguely recall that Hitchhiker's Guide had different commands take
different amounts of time, or in different places, or something.
Specifically, I remember
SPOILERS, maybe


that a "z" in the very beginning (in bed) would make more than one turn
pass, though a "z" anywhere else wouldn't.

I don't have a copy of HHGTTG with me know, but am I right?

Trevor Barrie

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Dec 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/24/98
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On Wed, 23 Dec 1998 17:09:10 GMT, David Glasser <gla...@DELETEuscom.com>
wrote:

(Space omitted as I can't see how this could be considered a spoiler.)

>Specifically, I remember that a "z" in the very beginning (in bed) would

>make more than one turn pass, though a "z" anywhere else wouldn't.
>
>I don't have a copy of HHGTTG with me know, but am I right?

Don't know, but I do recall that in the Zork series a "wait" waited for
either four turns or until something happened (ie, something produced
output). I was pretty disappointed when I came back to IF and found that
the standard now seems to be just a single-turn wait; I liked that
mechanic.

TenthStone

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Dec 27, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/27/98
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Jonadab the Unsightly One thus inscribed this day of Wed, 23 Dec 1998
08:05:13 GMT:

>mcc...@erols.com (TenthStone) wrote:
>
>> The elsewhere-mentioned proposed difference between a "glance" and
>> an examine is here seconded.
>>
>> >Also, would it cause one turn or two turns to elapse, which might be
>> >important for some games?
>>

>> Very few games treat the passage of time realistically; I doubt anyone
>> would take the time to make a "take" action take two turns (especially
>> when qualified as above). Besides, the cursory glance that this would
>> involve would naturally be made within the process of picking up the
>> object.
>

>The only obvious way I can think to implement this would be to
>have every description switch on the action variable (checking
>for take). However, that seems like a lot of work; I suppose
>you could use up three props; have the usual description be
>a routine inherited from a base class which switches on action
>and routes to the glance property in case of take and the
>realdescription (or somesuch) otherwise. You use three
>general props, and you have to decide whether a detailed
>description should also print the glance text or not.

I understand very little of this, but I may have gotten enough of the gist
to reply. Still, as the saying goes, the man who knows a little of what
he's doing is far more dangerous than the man who knows nothing at all.

I would just have the "Take" routine call our .glance property, and have
"Examine" call .description; that would use two general properties.
Alternatively (and please note that I don't know Inform well enough to
gauge the possibility of this) an argument could be passed to .description
detailing whether it should output an in-depth or cursory description.
That way, you both save a property and ease the process (because if you
don't want to write two different descriptions, you needn't worry about it
at all). A more advanced design would consult a flag regarding whether an
object should implicitly be described; if I know my Inform correctly,
that would only require an attribute.

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