Ever feel...

17 views
Skip to first unread message

Neil K. Guy

unread,
Dec 31, 1994, 7:22:52 PM12/31/94
to

...like your party's been gatecrashed by noisy boors? Sigh. Still, I
suppose this has to happen to every group now and again. At least the
posts appear to be sincere in their wackiness, unlike malicious
rec.pets.cats posts or something. Not sure which is worse, though.

Anybody out there want to talk about interactive fiction? For
instance, a friend of mine has been playing Marathon all his waking
hours this past week. Since it appears to be Doom for the Macintosh
with better technology (shadowing, multiple levels) and an actual
*plot* (fancy that!) perhaps it's the direction in which interactive
entertainment is inexorably heading... Gruesome thought.

And a happy new year, folks!

- Neil K.

--
49N 16' 123W 7' / Vancouver, BC, Canada / n_k...@sfu.ca

John Baker

unread,
Dec 31, 1994, 8:24:50 PM12/31/94
to
In <neilg.7...@sfu.ca> ne...@kits.sfu.ca (Neil K. Guy) writes:
> Anybody out there want to talk about interactive fiction? For
>instance, a friend of mine has been playing Marathon all his waking
>hours this past week. Since it appears to be Doom for the Macintosh
>with better technology (shadowing, multiple levels) and an actual
>*plot* (fancy that!) perhaps it's the direction in which interactive
>entertainment is inexorably heading... Gruesome thought.

I must confess... I have become addicted to Doom. I know I'm well over
a year late, but hey - I don't normally like those kinds of games. I
downloaded the shareware version a few weeks ago and I've been blasting
away since then...

Anyway, though, to post something on subject (which this group hasn't
seen for awhile)...

My beta testers have uncovered some typos and some bugs in Firewitch for
me which I have been busy correcting (when I'm not blasting demons).
Unfortunately, I am being sent out of town on business for the week
following New Year's. I don't have a laptop, so I may have to delay the
release of Firewitch until the 21st instead of the 15th.

They have concurred with me that the game would make a good "first
text adventure" experience to introduce someone to IF. So far the
average play time to complete has been 9 hours. I am really looking
forward to making my first contribution to the genre.

My last design decision: let players use "all" for verbs besides drop
and take, or not? I've been back and forth on this. I really don't
want them getting a complete list of objects by typing 'all' after a
verb, but will it frustrate people?

Cast your vote; I'm going to go with majority opinion.
--
John Baker
"It ain't an easy life being a self-parody."
- John Baker

Neil Demause

unread,
Jan 2, 1995, 1:08:32 AM1/2/95
to

: My last design decision: let players use "all" for verbs besides drop
: and take, or not? I've been back and forth on this. I really don't
: want them getting a complete list of objects by typing 'all' after a
: verb, but will it frustrate people?

: Cast your vote; I'm going to go with majority opinion.


NO! "All" is a curse upon text-adventure designers (although you do
kind of have to leave it for drop and take), and should be eradicated
wherever possible. Players shouldn't be frustrated by it, unless they're
relying on it to cheat. They especially shouldn't be frustrated if you use the
cool TADS code that someone posted on here a while back for deactivating
"all" -- I can repost it if you don't have it.

John Pietrzak

unread,
Jan 2, 1995, 12:07:24 PM1/2/95
to
In article <3e8590$l...@subway.echonyc.com>,

Neil Demause <ne...@echonyc.com> wrote:
>
>: My last design decision: let players use "all" for verbs besides drop
>: and take, or not? I've been back and forth on this. I really don't
>: want them getting a complete list of objects by typing 'all' after a
>: verb, but will it frustrate people?
>
>: Cast your vote; I'm going to go with majority opinion.
>
>
>NO! "All" is a curse upon text-adventure designers ... and should be
>eradicated wherever possible.

From a game-playing standpoint, I would agree. I've lost interest in
several games where the use of "all" has provided clues which it seems
evident that the designer had meant to leave hidden. In such cases,
I spend enough time worrying about whether I've hit a bug in the program
or whether the designer had actually meant for me to find the object
in that manner, that I can't get back into the game.

The fact is, what I think is "all" and what the game thinks is "all"
will probably never agree perfectly. I prefer the frustration of
teaching the game my beliefs to the frustration of having the game
show me what I "should" have been thinking.

John

Humbug Software

unread,
Jan 2, 1995, 7:58:17 PM1/2/95
to

> My last design decision: let players use "all" for verbs besides drop
> and take, or not? I've been back and forth on this. I really don't
> want them getting a complete list of objects by typing 'all' after a
> verb, but will it frustrate people?

My vote is you can only use "all" with drop/put and take/get. Definitely
not Examine. There, that's my two pence worth. Adding "all" to other
verbs makes the game, IMHO, un-natural and less enjoyable.

Good luck with finishing your game.

Regards
Graham
---
Graham Cluley ham...@cix.compulink.co.uk
Humbug Software
43 Old Mill Gardens Author of shareware adventures
Berkhamsted Herts UK HUMBUG and JACARANDA JIM.

Gerry Kevin Wilson

unread,
Jan 3, 1995, 2:48:32 AM1/3/95
to


Drat this home computer. Poor editing abilities (ie I'm not familiar
with it, or I would be set up right). Anyways, interactive fiction might
just be a novel thing to talk about on this IF group. Imagine that. I
rather imagine something in our future along the lines of 7th Guest meets
Doom meets Return to Zork. Video is in, mindless gore is in, and pencil
thin moustache plots are in. But who knows, maybe there's still a writer
or two floating around out there. I mean, 7th Guest was very neat, but
at the same time, very static and unrewarding. I imagine that the
software market has, in the last year, launched itself out of the league
of home-grown companies. There are simply too many expenses involved
now. Actors, artists, programmers, a spell checker, and a license to
remake a movie as a video game. Yep, WAY too expensive. :/
--
<~~~~T~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~LOST~IN~THE~FOG~~~~~~NO~RELEASE~DATE~~~~~~~~~~~|~~~~~~~>
< R I A lonely shipwreck survivor is swallowed by a mysterious | ~~\ >
< E G fog bank in the Bermuda Triangle, and meets his destiny... | /~\ | >
<_V____SOFTWARE___MEET_Y...@uclink.berkeley.edu__|_\__/__>

R. N. Dominick

unread,
Jan 3, 1995, 8:26:14 AM1/3/95
to
John Baker (bak...@ix.netcom.com) wrote:
: My last design decision: let players use "all" for verbs besides drop
: and take, or not? I've been back and forth on this. I really don't
: want them getting a complete list of objects by typing 'all' after a
: verb, but will it frustrate people?

(possible Zork II spoilers)

Giving other verbs "all" can lead to interesting results. In Zork II
(whatever version is installed in the Zork Anthology; btw, did anyone else
find it interesting that the .DAT files for Zorks I-III in this package
are all exactly the same length?), when you are trapped in the bank's cube
(I unfortunately forgot how to do this puzzle -- if I ever really knew),
and the gnome comes in and wants a treasure, and you type "give all to
gnome" it accepts the input. It'll scroll through your list of items...

matchbook: "Why would anyone want to put that in a safe-deposit box?"

...until reaching the first treasure, which the gnome will put in the box
and let you out. Your player is moved to the room containing the cube.

AND you keep giving things to the gnome. AND if you hit another treasure,
he puts it in the box and lets you out of the cube you're already out of,
and your player is moved to the current room.

And so on and so on.

--r.


bonni brooks

unread,
Jan 7, 1995, 12:45:38 PM1/7/95
to
> My last design decision: let players use "all" for verbs besides drop
> and take, or not? I've been back and forth on this. I really don't
> want them getting a complete list of objects by typing 'all' after a
> verb, but will it frustrate people?

I vote for using "all" only with get, put and drop. I've been frustrated
with games that didn't let me "put all in sack" or "get all" or "drop all."

BTW, I've just started experimenting with writing adventures using ALAN.
I'm just experimenting now, getting used to the language and programming
techniques. Fun!

bonni

# __ __
# IC | XC bonni brooks "The Lone Quilter"
# ---+--- u6...@wvnvm.wvnet.edu
# NI | KA http://wvnvm.wvnet.edu/~u6ed4/bonni.html

Neil K. Guy

unread,
Jan 7, 1995, 11:52:45 PM1/7/95
to
bonni brooks <U6...@wvnvm.wvnet.edu> writes:

>> My last design decision: let players use "all" for verbs besides drop
>> and take, or not? I've been back and forth on this. I really don't
>> want them getting a complete list of objects by typing 'all' after a
>> verb, but will it frustrate people?

>I vote for using "all" only with get, put and drop. I've been frustrated
>with games that didn't let me "put all in sack" or "get all" or "drop all."

Most people have been answering this question ("To all or not to
all?") as if it were an either/or proposition. I suggest a slightly
different way to address the problem. That is, have "all" mean
different things in different contexts. Easily done in TADS. I've
found this to be very valuable with my game in progress. "All," when
used with a verb like "lock" returns simply all items with locks. When
used with a verb like "read" it returns solely those items containing
text. Etc. And you can add code to prevent certain items from
appearing in the "All" list unless certain criteria are met, thereby
obviating the problem of spoiling puzzles.

This works for me. I find games that prevent the use of "all" to be
frustrating to the point of unplayability. And, yes, sometimes "all"
can reveal puzzles too easily. Finer control avoids these problems
IMO.

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages