[Another Thought] What ever became of Diagnose?

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L. Ross Raszewski

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Jan 7, 2002, 6:26:40 PM1/7/02
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Back in the day, there was a standard verb in quite a few games,
'DIAGNOSE', which gave some sort of estimate of the player-character's
state of health. Now, it seems to *never* have been the norm to
include this verb in modern games; it's not part of the standard
inform library.

So, I'm sort of curious about why it's so uncomon now. I can
understand its absence from the standard library; it's not the sort of
thing that makes a lot of sense to code in a general case. But is its
absence from games the result of its absence from the library, or is
it specifically considered passe?

John W. Kennedy

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Jan 7, 2002, 6:33:51 PM1/7/02
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The game phenomena that made "diagnose" useful (extended combat, food
problems, sleep problems) are themselves generally considered passé. I
suppose if I were writing the sort of story where these make intrinsic
sense, I would include them, and, if I did, I suppose I'd include
"diagnose".

--
John W. Kennedy
"Compact is becoming contract; man only earns and pays"
-- Charles Williams

Andrew Plotkin

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Jan 7, 2002, 7:15:01 PM1/7/02
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I agree with that.

I also think that a lot of the game actions which might fall into
"diagnose" are implemented as part of "x me".

Or just as general descriptive text. In Zork 1, you needed "diagnose"
because your health could change *unpredictably* (in combat, or as a
result of timed healing). In modern games, the protagonist can still
be wounded, but the events are usually tied into the plotline -- they
only happen once, and are therefore woven into general game output --
an action response or daemon message.

_Hunter, in Darkness_, for example. I can't remember if I implemented
"diagnose"... no, I didn't, but "x me" serves the same purpose. Or "x
wound", or (if you're wounded in the leg) "x leg".

--Z

"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the borogoves..."
*
* Make your vote count. Get your vote counted.

Kevin Forchione

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Jan 7, 2002, 9:35:45 PM1/7/02
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"Andrew Plotkin" <erky...@eblong.com> wrote in message
news:a1ddm5$30j$1...@news.panix.com...

> John W. Kennedy <jwk...@attglobal.net> wrote:
> > "L. Ross Raszewski" wrote:
> >>
> >> Back in the day, there was a standard verb in quite a few games,
> >> 'DIAGNOSE', which gave some sort of estimate of the player-character's
> >> state of health. Now, it seems to *never* have been the norm to
> >> include this verb in modern games; it's not part of the standard
> >> inform library.
> >>
> >> So, I'm sort of curious about why it's so uncomon now. I can
> >> understand its absence from the standard library; it's not the sort of
> >> thing that makes a lot of sense to code in a general case. But is its
> >> absence from games the result of its absence from the library, or is
> >> it specifically considered passe?
>
> > The game phenomena that made "diagnose" useful (extended combat, food
> > problems, sleep problems) are themselves generally considered passé. I
> > suppose if I were writing the sort of story where these make intrinsic
> > sense, I would include them, and, if I did, I suppose I'd include
> > "diagnose".
>
> I agree with that.

Yes, no doubt this is passe by today's standards. Yet the question remains,
was it left out of the Inform library deliberately for just this intention -
to suggest to authors that it was passe?

Perhaps there is something to the "deadflag" hypothesis that has been put
forward afterall.

--Kevin


Daniel Barkalow

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Jan 7, 2002, 10:48:09 PM1/7/02
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I suspect it is because EXAMINE became very common and important (and got
abbreviated). Thus it was reasonable to expect people to "X ME", and then
a separate verb was neither necessary nor intuitive. As "X ME" seems to
have become standard, giving a different response to "DIAGNOSE" would
probably be missed by many players. I think it is merely an example of the
change in canonical vocabulary since the old days.

-Iabervon
*This .sig unintentionally changed*

L. Ross Raszewski

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Jan 8, 2002, 1:33:26 AM1/8/02
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I'm not sure that actually covers it; Infocom didn't limit the use of
'diagnose' to games with randomized combat and eating puzzles; it
could tell you that the player had a headache, or that you weren't
feeling very well, etc. There's a great number of games, even in
recent times, where the player's abilities might be impaired, and
'diagnose' seems like a reasonable way to take stock of such things.

L. Ross Raszewski

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Jan 8, 2002, 1:35:03 AM1/8/02
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Quite a few people have mentioned 'x me', and I find this odd, since I
very rarely type it myself, finding that the vast majority of the
time, I recieve the library default response.

Magnus Olsson

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Jan 8, 2002, 4:09:17 AM1/8/02
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In article <a1e3un$iff$2...@foobar.cs.jhu.edu>,

L. Ross Raszewski <lrasz...@loyola.edu> wrote:
>Quite a few people have mentioned 'x me', and I find this odd, since I
>very rarely type it myself, finding that the vast majority of the
>time, I recieve the library default response.

I routinely "x me" at the beginning of each game, since a number
of modern games have used it for important (or at least amusing)
stuff. And I'm disappointed every time I get the default library
message.

Perhaps we're witnessing a new genre convention being born?

--
Magnus Olsson (m...@df.lth.se, m...@pobox.com)
------ http://www.pobox.com/~mol ------

Dan Schmidt

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Jan 8, 2002, 9:21:57 AM1/8/02
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lrasz...@loyola.edu (L. Ross Raszewski) writes:

| Quite a few people have mentioned 'x me', and I find this odd, since
| I very rarely type it myself, finding that the vast majority of the
| time, I recieve the library default response.

X ME and I are the first two commands I type at every game.

--
http://www.dfan.org

Gunther Schmidl

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Jan 8, 2002, 10:27:59 AM1/8/02
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> Perhaps we're witnessing a new genre convention being born?

FWIW, And the Waves Choke the Wind has both X ME and DIAGNOSE implemented.
Not that you can type it on the first turn, necessarily, but still.

-- Gunther

Sean T Barrett

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Jan 8, 2002, 4:12:23 PM1/8/02
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Dan Schmidt <df...@harmonixmusic.com> wrote:
>X ME and I are the first two commands I type at every game.

The "I" on the first move became common pretty quickly as
games started you with a set of tools. I don't think "X ME"
was that popular until relatively modern times; did some
games start putting crucial info into it, hence causing modern
IFers to get in that habit? (I'm inconsistent about remembering
to do either.)

SeanB

J. D. Berry

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Jan 8, 2002, 4:28:09 PM1/8/02
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Dan Schmidt <df...@harmonixmusic.com> wrote in message news:<uvgecx...@turangalila.harmonixmusic.com>...

Me too. Nothing like being stuck after ten minutes of play only
to realize I'm holding a key. Unless it's finally figuring out
the reason everyone is reacting strangely is because I'm
not who I thought I was.

Purely hypothetical examples, of course...

Mostly I do it because it adds (or SHOULD add) mimesis.

Jim

Aris Katsaris

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Jan 8, 2002, 4:53:45 PM1/8/02
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"Sean T Barrett" <buz...@TheWorld.com> wrote in message
news:Gpn1K...@world.std.com...

<shrug> It's the description of the character. Given non-generic
PC characters, it's important to have a description of them.

<g> And, secondly, if you get the custom library response you *know*
nowadays, that this will *not* be a great game...

Aris Katsaris


...unless it's by Adam Cadre or Andrew Plotkin in which case
they'll have something up their sleeve, of course. ;-)


Passenger Pigeon

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Jan 8, 2002, 5:20:52 PM1/8/02
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In article <a1fpq1$7pv$1...@usenet.otenet.gr>, "Aris Katsaris"
<kats...@otenet.gr> wrote:

> ...unless it's by Adam Cadre or Andrew Plotkin in which case
> they'll have something up their sleeve, of course. ;-)

>X ME
As good-looking as ever.

of course, you're a leper.

--
William Burke, passeng...@email.com if you say so
"Many people include in their signatures contact information, and perhaps
a joke or quotation." -- Simon Fraser Go Slugs!
http://www.passengerpigeon.net (not com, not org)

Mark J. Tilford

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Jan 8, 2002, 9:31:21 PM1/8/02
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Adam Cadre implemented DIAGNOSE in I-0, and there are plenty of good
responses to it. I don't remember if X ME worked, though.

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

Nils Barth

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Jan 26, 2002, 3:44:04 AM1/26/02
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belated followup to this thread:
Interestingly, `Pick Up The Phone Booth and Aisle', while it
implements many common and uncommon verbs, does not implement
DIAGNOSE, so this verb appears to be really absent from IF
consciousness these days.

Julian Fondren

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Jan 27, 2002, 9:42:59 PM1/27/02
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til...@ralph.caltech.edu (Mark J. Tilford) wrote in message news:<slrna3nak2....@ralph.caltech.edu>...

> Adam Cadre implemented DIAGNOSE in I-0, and there are plenty of good
> responses to it. I don't remember if X ME worked, though.

in I-0, X ME and DIAGNOSE return very different information: diagnose
might tell you that you were being bothered by smoke, or about to
collapse from the heat, but X ME only tells you what you look like.

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