Directions in space

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George Caswell

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Nov 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/18/96
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On 19 Nov 1996, Neil K. Guy wrote:

> Sourcerer (sour...@starbug.49.249.155) wrote:
> : In a game set in a spaceship, directions such as north, south etc don't
> : make a lot of sense. Is there any prefered way to handle this? I was
> : thinking about assigning directions with north-south along the central axis
> : of the ship, with up and down more or less arbitrary.
>
> The standard Infocom solution was to map fore, aft, port and starboard
> to north, south, west and east, respectively. So you could use your

A slightly irregular solution, but it works. 'up' and 'down' in
centrifugal gravity would be toward and away from the axis of rotation.. In
microgravity or weightlessness, other directions become almost as arbitrary as
up and down...

> compass rose directions simply out of convenience (it's really no less
> realistic than in any other game. After all, the player isn't expected to
> be wandering around with a compass in her pocket - absolute directions

Well, originally this wasn't true. Adventure and Zork characters were,
well, adventurers. I think in the case of Infocom, at least, this was just
-continued- for convenience, as you say..

> are simply handy in text games) or you could use the mariner's terms if
> you prefer. Only problem with this is that there's no easy and obvious
> equivalent for northwest, southeast, etc.
>
I still think some sort of named-location system would be preferable in
most circumstances, especially ones where the cardinal points don't apply or
can move (space or any vehicle).. (FMI on my idea of movement systems, see
the 'idea for movement system: take 2' thread) As long as locations and exits
can be named distinctly or the use of relative direction to clear ambiguity
isn't too often needed, I think it can work well.
Of course I don't think making my movement system (in planning) work for
weightless situations would be the best of ideas... Expanding the relative
direction to 3 dimensions would be a project for an idiot or a masochist
(unless there's some really good reason for it I don't know about... but I
digress)
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______________ _/> ____ | George Caswell, WPI CS 1999. Member L+L and |
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// <> ___ < > / _/ | of ADAMANT, a Linux box for the creative and |
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Cardinal Teulbachs

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Nov 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/18/96
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sour...@starbug.49.249.155 (Sourcerer) wrote:

> In a game set in a spaceship, directions such as north, south etc don't
>make a lot of sense. Is there any prefered way to handle this? I was
>thinking about assigning directions with north-south along the central axis
>of the ship, with up and down more or less arbitrary.

> has anybody else come up with a solution to this problem?

Fore, aft, port and starboard are good because a) they're familiar
enough to most players that the players aren't turned off by them, and
b) they're natural to the story; they are, in fact, the directions
used within or on ships. But there's nothing to prevent you, if you
dare, from inventing your own directional system. I'm not saying it's
a great idea, but it's an idea. Decide that "nw", for instance, is
going to be "toward Alpha Centauri" and that the word for that
direction in your game world's lingo is "hubbahubba" (abbreviated
"hh", I guess). Do the same for the rest of the compass directions
(maybe look at a map of constellations or something to get real-life
reference points).

In other words, have your story simply declare that in the year 2050
or whatever, the United Federation of Loosely United and Completely
Sovereign Planets decided on certain galactic navigational conventions
(blah blah blah), and then force the player to use them. Maybe he'll
like them, maybe he won't; it's just a thought.

--Cardinal T

I mean, what the hell kind of villain thwarts the hero's
progress with soup cans in the kitchen pantry?
--Russ Bryan

Isn't this .sig a little long? I hope *I* never
contribute to such a tremendous waste of bandwidth.
--Jools the Whiney

Are there any text games prominently featuring dinosaurs?
If not, does anyone besides me think it would be cool?
--Matthew Amster-Burton

"Cyber-Babushka"
--Bonni Mierzejewska


Sourcerer

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Nov 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/19/96
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BPD

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Nov 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/19/96
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sour...@starbug.49.249.155 (Sourcerer) wrote:

My personal preference is for fore, aft, port, and starboard although
I'm not sure how directions like "Northeast" would get translated into
that scheme.

Brian P. Dean

Andrew Plotkin

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Nov 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/19/96
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Sourcerer (sour...@starbug.49.249.155) wrote:
> In a game set in a spaceship, directions such as north, south etc don't
> make a lot of sense. Is there any prefered way to handle this? I was
> thinking about assigning directions with north-south along the central axis
> of the ship, with up and down more or less arbitrary.

> has anybody else come up with a solution to this problem?

I believe _Starcross_ allowed "f", "a", "sb", "p" as abbreviations for
"fore", "aft", "starboard", and "port". But this was so annoying (and
irregular, with a two-letter abbreviation) that everyone winds up using
compass directions anyway. "fore" was north.

If the ship has artificial gravity -- either via rotation or tech-magic
-- up and down are meaningful. If the ship *sometimes* has artificial
gravity then up and down are still meaningful. If it never does (a true
zero-gravity environment) you can probably assign arbitrary directions
and everyone will be perfectly happy. Or allow "bridge", "engineering",
etc as single-word movement commands... or maybe "3" to go through hatch
#3...

--Z

--

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

Bruce Alan Greenwood

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Nov 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/19/96
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In article <sourcer...@starbug.49.249.155> sour...@starbug.49.249.155 (Sourcerer) writes:
> In a game set in a spaceship, directions such as north, south etc don't
>make a lot of sense. Is there any prefered way to handle this? I was
>thinking about assigning directions with north-south along the central axis
>of the ship, with up and down more or less arbitrary.
>
> has anybody else come up with a solution to this problem?
HitchHikers had port/starboard type directions for the Heart of Gold.

---
Bruce Greenwood


Matthew Amster-Burton

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Nov 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/19/96
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sour...@starbug.49.249.155 (Sourcerer) wrote:

> In a game set in a spaceship, directions such as north, south etc don't
>make a lot of sense. Is there any prefered way to handle this? I was
>thinking about assigning directions with north-south along the central axis
>of the ship, with up and down more or less arbitrary.

I would go nuts playing a game where I had to use directional commands
other than the traditional n, s, ne, u, etc. Allowing "fore", "aft",
and so on as alternatives would be fine. Forcing me to use another
system--unless it's the "type where you want to go" system
characteristic of Nord and Bert--would guarantee that I wouldn't play
the game.

Well, that sounds a bit harsh. If it's a zero-g environment, you
could come up with something pretty strange that would have novelty
value, at least.

Matthew


George Caswell

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Nov 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/19/96
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On Tue, 19 Nov 1996, Andrew Plotkin wrote:

> and everyone will be perfectly happy. Or allow "bridge", "engineering",
> etc as single-word movement commands... or maybe "3" to go through hatch

For small non-hostile environments it's certainly a nice thing to do to let
the player go somewhere by name... A player's ship, unless it has something
wrong with it, should always allow the player to go where they please, so
movement something like what was done in Nord N' Bert should work.

Clyde Sloniker

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Nov 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/19/96
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(Forgive my dip into humor, please. (grin))

George Caswell <timb...@wpi.edu> wrote:

>On 19 Nov 1996, Neil K. Guy wrote:

>> compass rose directions simply out of convenience (it's really no less
>> realistic than in any other game. After all, the player isn't expected to
>> be wandering around with a compass in her pocket - absolute directions
>
> Well, originally this wasn't true. Adventure and Zork characters were,
>well, adventurers. I think in the case of Infocom, at least, this was just
>-continued- for convenience, as you say..

Which brings to mind the question (at least for me): what should the
Well-Dressed Adventurer be equipped with? I think we can fairly safely
identify the following items as essential to the adventuring trade:

* A light source. There are dark rooms out there, after all, and the
Well-Dressed Adventurer's night vision is notoriously poor. Preferably
the source can be refueled, or doesn't require fuel. In the olden days,
adventurers were always running out of lamp oil right when they needed it
most...

* A compass. While the Well-Dressed Adventurer understands the basic
concept of doors (often as obstacles to further progress), he doesn't
think of rooms in the same way as you or I, namely, the connections
between rooms. (Quiz yourself. Do *you* know which way north is from
your house?) Imagine trying to give the Well-Dressed Adventurer
directions: "Bathroom? Yeah. Go through that door, on the end of the
hall, on your left." "Pardon?" "South twice, than east." "Ah."

* Map-making tools. The Well-Dressed Adventurer never relies on his
memory to navigate around even such a theoretically familiar place as his
own home digs. Paper, a writing utensil (preferably a pencil), and a
surface are a must. Many modern adventurers, though, just take notes in
the field and render a map on their computer when they get back to home
base.

* A major case of kleptomania. While the Well-Dressed Adventurer would
never *steal* from you, he is always on the lookout for items he can
borrow until his adventure is done. To prevent unfortunate property
damage, I recommend against attempting to secure your valuables in a safe,
by nailing them down, by hiding them under the bed, etcetera. The more
difficult an item is to obtain, the more obsessed he becomes with getting
it. Lay in a supply of sticky labels instead, and label anything you
don't want him fiddling with 'scenery'. This magic incantation wards the
Well-Dressed Adventurer more often than not.

Can anyone come up with additions to this list?


Andrew Plotkin

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Nov 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/19/96
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Clyde Sloniker (pu...@u.washington.edu) wrote:
> Which brings to mind the question (at least for me): what should the
> Well-Dressed Adventurer be equipped with? I think we can fairly safely
> identify the following items as essential to the adventuring trade:

> * A compass.

Certainly not. The Well-Dressed Adventurer has a perfect sense of
direction. He doesn't need a compass. He can tell you which way is north
after being stripped naked and teleported to a pitch-black room on a
different planet.

I think you have to add

* No manners at all.

Neil K. Guy

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Nov 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/19/96
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Sourcerer (sour...@starbug.49.249.155) wrote:
: In a game set in a spaceship, directions such as north, south etc don't
: make a lot of sense. Is there any prefered way to handle this? I was
: thinking about assigning directions with north-south along the central axis
: of the ship, with up and down more or less arbitrary.

The standard Infocom solution was to map fore, aft, port and starboard

to north, south, west and east, respectively. So you could use your

compass rose directions simply out of convenience (it's really no less
realistic than in any other game. After all, the player isn't expected to
be wandering around with a compass in her pocket - absolute directions

are simply handy in text games) or you could use the mariner's terms if
you prefer. Only problem with this is that there's no easy and obvious
equivalent for northwest, southeast, etc.

Oh and up and down simply moved you between decks. Operating on the
assumption that your fictitious spaceships have some form of artificial
gravity or, failing that, were built by human beings for whom a
psychological up and down is somewhat important.

- Neil K. Guy

--
the Vancouver CommunityNet * http://www.vcn.bc.ca/
(formerly the Vancouver Regional FreeNet)

George Caswell

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Nov 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/19/96
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On 19 Nov 1996, Clyde Sloniker wrote:

> (Forgive my dip into humor, please. (grin))
>

NO! DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE,
DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE DIE, DIE, DIE,
DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE DIE,
DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE,
DIE DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE,
DIE, DIE, DIE!!! Well, OK, you're forgiven.

> directions: "Bathroom? Yeah. Go through that door, on the end of the
> hall, on your left." "Pardon?" "South twice, than east." "Ah."
>

<One of the design goals of my system is to make adventurers use the first
directions...>
Let's not forget the wise adventurer always knows that things aren't always
what they seem to be, even when they seem to be what you think they are- If,
for example, you go east, the way back might -not- be west....

> it. Lay in a supply of sticky labels instead, and label anything you
> don't want him fiddling with 'scenery'. This magic incantation wards the
> Well-Dressed Adventurer more often than not.
>

It also helps if you give all your posessions really obscure names or
describe them in odd nous. Instead of 'computer', make sure your 386 can only
be referred to by the name 'Torgo'. Always call your mouse a pointer, and
call the phone a audicom. More often than not, this will make an adventurer
simply give up.

Graham Nelson

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Nov 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/19/96
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In article <sourcer...@starbug.49.249.155>, Sourcerer

<URL:mailto:sour...@starbug.49.249.155> wrote:
>
> In a game set in a spaceship, directions such as north, south etc don't
> make a lot of sense. Is there any prefered way to handle this? I was
> thinking about assigning directions with north-south along the central axis
> of the ship, with up and down more or less arbitrary.
>
> has anybody else come up with a solution to this problem?

In "De Stella Nova", a fragmentary game which alas I never
completed, a scene in zero gravity was dealt with by removing
all the usual direction objects from the Inform compass and
inserting six new ones:

x-plus x-minus y-plus y-minus z-plus z-minus

abbreviated to xp, zm, x+ and so on. You had to imagine the
inside of the spacecraft had suitable markings, but that seemed
believable enough.

I actually got the idea from a press briefing by the Russian
Space Agency. (They use a similar notation in referring to
docking ports on the Mir space station.)

--
Graham Nelson | gra...@gnelson.demon.co.uk | Oxford, United Kingdom


George Caswell

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Nov 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/19/96
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On 20 Nov 1996, Bruce Alan Greenwood wrote:

> In article <56t3fb$9...@nntp5.u.washington.edu> pu...@u.washington.edu (Clyde Sloniker) writes:
> [Snip]


> >Can anyone come up with additions to this list?
>

> * Pocketless clothes. The well-dressed adventurer spurns pockets, even
> when it -would- make it easier to carry that rubber duck(which the
> well dressed adventurer needs to be able to get Focault's Pendulum
> away from the Sword of Damocles).
>
Well, I don't think it's that the adventurer spurns pockets, just that they
don't know what to do with them. Even when they -have- pockets, all they do
is search them-- it just rarely occurs to them that they might benefit from
putting an object they've worked so hard to find into something not in
immediate view...

...They -will-, however, look for any objects that they can put their stuff
in.

Cardinal Teulbachs

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Nov 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/19/96
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pu...@u.washington.edu (Clyde Sloniker) wrote:

>Can anyone come up with additions to this list?

Piece of cake. No Well-Dressed Adventurer would be caught dead without
his bag, or at least a designer zipper. Now, admittedly, some retro
deviants try to swim against the tide using only their hands, yet a
container by any other name is still a way to cart around your loot.

--Cardinal T

I mean, what the hell kind of villain thwarts the hero's
progress with soup cans in the kitchen pantry?
--Russ Bryan

Are there any text games prominently featuring dinosaurs?
If not, does anyone besides me think it would be cool?
--Matthew Amster-Burton

"Cyber-Babushka"
--Bonni Mierzejewska


"Bathroom? Yeah. Go through that door, on the end
of the hall, on your left." "Pardon?" "South twice,
than east." "Ah."

--Clyde Sloniker


Greg Ewing

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Nov 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/20/96
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BPD wrote:
>
> I'm not sure how directions like "Northeast" would get translated into
> that scheme.

Foreport, foreboard, aftport, aftboard.

Greg

Dan Shiovitz

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Nov 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/20/96
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In article <erkyrathE...@netcom.com>,

Andrew Plotkin <erky...@netcom.com> wrote:
>Clyde Sloniker (pu...@u.washington.edu) wrote:
>> Which brings to mind the question (at least for me): what should the
>> Well-Dressed Adventurer be equipped with? I think we can fairly safely
>> identify the following items as essential to the adventuring trade:
>
>> * A compass.
>
>Certainly not. The Well-Dressed Adventurer has a perfect sense of
>direction. He doesn't need a compass. He can tell you which way is north
>after being stripped naked and teleported to a pitch-black room on a
>different planet.
>
>I think you have to add
>
>* No manners at all.

Well, at least he* never learned about nothing taking other people's stuff.
Also, the Well-Dressed Adventurer must be outfitted with at least 300 arms,
so he can hold every item in the game and still be able to push buttons
and pull levers.

*(The well-dressed adventurer is also always gender unspecified, but also
always male.)

>--Z
--
dan shiovitz scy...@u.washington.edu sh...@cs.washington.edu
slightly lost author/programmer in a world of more creative or more
sensible people ... remember to speak up for freedom because no one else
will do it for you: use it or lose it ... carpe diem -- be proactive.
my web site: http://weber.u.washington.edu/~scythe/home.html some ok stuff.

Bruce Alan Greenwood

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Nov 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/20/96
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In article <56t3fb$9...@nntp5.u.washington.edu> pu...@u.washington.edu (Clyde Sloniker) writes:
[Snip]
>Can anyone come up with additions to this list?

* Pocketless clothes. The well-dressed adventurer spurns pockets, even


when it -would- make it easier to carry that rubber duck(which the
well dressed adventurer needs to be able to get Focault's Pendulum
away from the Sword of Damocles).

* A bad memory. I forget why.

* A funny little voice inside their heads, which tells them what to
do.

* A good case of deja vu. The well-dressed adventurer will often
know that pulling that lever will propell them into certain death
at the teeth of a six-foot razor worm at the bottom of a pit, in spite
of the fact that the only way such information could be gained would
be by actually pulling the lever. Odd, that.

---
Bruce Greenwood
"Wave the rod while standing on the rainbow. Go on, it can't huuuuuuuu


Clyde Sloniker

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Nov 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/20/96
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Cardinal Teulbachs <card...@earthlink.net> wrote:

> "Bathroom? Yeah. Go through that door, on the end
> of the hall, on your left." "Pardon?" "South twice,
> than east." "Ah."
> --Clyde Sloniker

Flattered as I am, I should point out I'm really *Fred* Sloniker; I'm
using my brother's account until I get the software for mine up and
running. (His is a shell, mine is PPP.)

I'm saving contributions to this thread, and will summarize them at a
later date.

Bruce Stephens

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Nov 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/20/96
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>>>>> "George" == George Caswell <timb...@adamant.res.wpi.edu> writes:

> ...They -will-, however, look for any objects that they can put
> their stuff in.

Yes, and then they just carry them around. I mean, it would seem to
make sense to wear a rucksack, but no...
--
Bruce Stephens | email: B.Ste...@math.ruu.nl
Utrecht University | telephone: +31 30 2534630
Department of Mathematics | telefax: +31 30 2518394
P.O. Box 80010, 3508 TA Utrecht, The Netherlands

Matthew T. Russotto

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Nov 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/20/96
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In article <56t3fb$9...@nntp5.u.washington.edu>,

Clyde Sloniker <pu...@u.washington.edu> wrote:
}Which brings to mind the question (at least for me): what should the
}Well-Dressed Adventurer be equipped with? I think we can fairly safely
}identify the following items as essential to the adventuring trade:
}
[...]
* A rucksack, backpack, or other pack capable of holding all the
things he's err.. borrowed. Of course, this is an idea the Well-Dressed
Adventurer got from a certain lean and hungry gentleman. The
Well-Dressed Adventurer likes to carry everything around with him at
all times, for he never knows when he might need it.
--
Matthew T. Russotto russ...@pond.com
"Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in pursuit
of justice is no virtue."

Eli The Bearded

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Nov 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/20/96
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Dan Shiovitz <scy...@u.washington.edu> wrote:
>Well, at least he* never learned about nothing taking other people's stuff.
>Also, the Well-Dressed Adventurer must be outfitted with at least 300 arms,
>so he can hold every item in the game and still be able to push buttons
>and pull levers.

The WDA does not have all that many arms, usually just two.
The WDA *does* have series of prehensile appendages sticking
out from his(/her) spine to hang things off of.

The WDA is also never surprized by a lack of people milling about
and thinks everyone he(/she) encounters is going to help or
hinder.

Elijah
------
this is usenet, might as well make a TLA out of it

null...@aol.com

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Nov 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/20/96
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> The WDA is also never surprized by a lack of people milling about
> and thinks everyone he(/she) encounters is going to help or
> hinder.

Oh, man, I ran into one of those WDAs the other day. What a pain:

ME: Hey, nice to meet you, how's it going?

WDA: Hello.

ME: So, what brings you to this desolate corridor in an abandoned
building?

WDA: What about the abandoned building?

ME: Er, right, abandoned building. That's what I said.

WDA: What about the abandoned building?

ME: Um, sorry, what?

WDA: Give me all.

ME (backing away slowly): Sorry, I don't have anything for you right now.
Well, nice to meet you...

At that point he tried to attack me with this oddly-carved box he happened
to be carrying, and I ran for it. "No manners," indeed.

Neil
---------------------------------------------------------
Neil deMause ne...@echonyc.com
http://www.echonyc.com/~wham/neild.html
---------------------------------------------------------

Greg Falcon

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Nov 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/20/96
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pu...@u.washington.edu (Clyde Sloniker) wrote:

>Cardinal Teulbachs <card...@earthlink.net> wrote:

>> "Bathroom? Yeah. Go through that door, on the end
>> of the hall, on your left." "Pardon?" "South twice,
>> than east." "Ah."
>> --Clyde Sloniker

>Flattered as I am, I should point out I'm really *Fred* Sloniker; I'm
>using my brother's account until I get the software for mine up and
>running. (His is a shell, mine is PPP.)

I hope Cardinal T. sees the golden opportunity here.

"Flattered as I am, I should point out I'm really *Fred* Slonkier."
--Clyde Sloniker

;-)

Greg
--
This space for rent.


George Caswell

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Nov 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/20/96
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On 20 Nov 1996, Matthew T. Russotto wrote:

> In article <56t3fb$9...@nntp5.u.washington.edu>,
> Clyde Sloniker <pu...@u.washington.edu> wrote:
> }Which brings to mind the question (at least for me): what should the
> }Well-Dressed Adventurer be equipped with? I think we can fairly safely
> }identify the following items as essential to the adventuring trade:
> }
> [...]
> * A rucksack, backpack, or other pack capable of holding all the
> things he's err.. borrowed. Of course, this is an idea the Well-Dressed
> Adventurer got from a certain lean and hungry gentleman. The
> Well-Dressed Adventurer likes to carry everything around with him at
> all times, for he never knows when he might need it.

Unless, of course, the adventurer has found the object's 'true home', the
idyllic location or situation which adventurers know every inanimate object
tries to reach, the one that truly fits best-- and so adventurers continue
their crusade to put such objects in their rightful place...

Beej!

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Nov 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/20/96
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In article <wwan2wd...@bommel.math.ruu.nl>,

Bruce Stephens <step...@math.ruu.nl> wrote:
>Yes, and then they just carry them around. I mean, it would seem to
>make sense to wear a rucksack, but no...

But didn't you know? All adventurers automatically carry "implied
rucksacks".

-Beej


Julian Arnold

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Nov 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/20/96
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In article <56ttva$2...@colombia.earthlink.net>, Cardinal Teulbachs

<URL:mailto:card...@earthlink.net> wrote:
>
> --Cardinal T
>
> I mean, what the hell kind of villain thwarts the hero's
> progress with soup cans in the kitchen pantry?
> --Russ Bryan
>
> Are there any text games prominently featuring dinosaurs?
> If not, does anyone besides me think it would be cool?
> --Matthew Amster-Burton
>
> "Cyber-Babushka"
> --Bonni Mierzejewska
>
> "Bathroom? Yeah. Go through that door, on the end
> of the hall, on your left." "Pardon?" "South twice,
> than east." "Ah."
> --Clyde Sloniker

WHAT THE !$%# IS THIS?!? Clyde Sloniker, you've overstepped the mark
this time... I'll see you in hell...

Jools (Well, it worked once...)
--


Cardinal Teulbachs

unread,
Nov 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/20/96
to

professo...@pnx.com (Greg Falcon) wrote:

>I hope Cardinal T. sees the golden opportunity here.

> "Flattered as I am, I should point out I'm really *Fred* Slonkier."
> --Clyde Sloniker

Hey, you're good!

Yer not tryin' to muscle in on my business now, are ye...?

(But sorry, one per customer. Letting followups into the .sig could
have all sorts of nasty repercussions: infinitely recursing .sig loops
and what have you. Brr.)

Dan Dalton

unread,
Nov 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/21/96
to


Sourcerer <sour...@starbug.49.249.155> wrote in article
<sourcer...@starbug.49.249.155>...


> In a game set in a spaceship, directions such as north, south etc
don't
> make a lot of sense. Is there any prefered way to handle this? I was
> thinking about assigning directions with north-south along the central
axis
> of the ship, with up and down more or less arbitrary.
>
> has anybody else come up with a solution to this problem?
>

maybe use direction names used by aircraft
I don't know check your local library for books about planes
and names for directions.

Bruce Stephens

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Nov 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/21/96
to

But only "small" ones, capable of carrying five or so items.
(Admittedly, sometimes they seem able to store ladders and things.)

Dave Gatewood

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Nov 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/21/96
to

In article <erkyrathE...@netcom.com> erky...@netcom.com (Andrew Plotkin) writes:

>Sourcerer (sour...@starbug.49.249.155) wrote:
>> In a game set in a spaceship, directions such as north, south etc don't
>> make a lot of sense. Is there any prefered way to handle this? I was
>> thinking about assigning directions with north-south along the central axis
>> of the ship, with up and down more or less arbitrary.
>
>> has anybody else come up with a solution to this problem?
>
>I believe _Starcross_ allowed "f", "a", "sb", "p" as abbreviations for
>"fore", "aft", "starboard", and "port". But this was so annoying (and
>irregular, with a two-letter abbreviation) that everyone winds up using
>compass directions anyway. "fore" was north.

I think Leather Goddesses of Phobos did it best:

***

Hold
You are in the cargo hold of a giant spaceship. A tiny viewport is
set into the curving steel hull, and arched passageways lead in
directions that we will arbitrarily call south and southwest.

> SW
Long Corridor
You are partway along an "east-west" hall of mind-numbing length.
Rings of light pulsate along the corridor in rhythm with the ship's
throbbing engines. Openings lead "east" and "northeast."

***

From here on, LGOP puts all the directions in quotes. It makes for a
joke in this case, but it's also the easiest system for the player.
Whether you decide to use "port" and "starboard", or a system like
"turbolift, take me to the bridge", or the movement system proposed in
another thread, I think it's a good idea to allow the player to use
the old-fashioned compass directions if he chooses - they're quick,
easy, convenient, mappable... and at this point they're second nature.

Dave


Bill Hoggett

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Nov 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/21/96
to

On 20-Nov-96 Clyde Sloniker <pu...@u.washington.edu> wrote:

>Can anyone come up with additions to this list?

Well, I'm partial to a sprinkling of olive oil with a few radishes
and peppers scattered on top.

You can make those chillies but go light on the pepper, it makes
me sneeze. (...and you wouldn't like that)


Sparky the Dragon.


Greg Falcon

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Nov 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/21/96
to

card...@earthlink.net (Cardinal Teulbachs) wrote:

>> "Flattered as I am, I should point out I'm really *Fred* Slonkier."
>> --Clyde Sloniker

>Hey, you're good!

Well, thank you. (Even if I *DID* misspell Sloniker the first time.)

>Yer not tryin' to muscle in on my business now, are ye...?

Unfortunately, there's no way I *COULD*. Your .sig is one of those
rare great ideas. It's the kind of thing that everyone sits around
thinking:

"Wow. That's a great idea! Why didn't I think of that?"

Then they get pissed, because they know they could never do it. If
they did, everyone would accuse them of stealing your great idea. So
these people get really fed up.

(If you're curious, these people are the ones that complain about your
.sig being a waste of bandwidth. As if their posts asking you to stop
something that you have no intention of stopping AREN'T wastes of
bandwidth. Really.)

Come to think of it, there's really only one way someone could get
away with using your idea. It would only be useable for about two
days' worth of posts. If a person made their sig somehow referential
to yours, they could get away with it by claiming, "It's a homage, not
a rip-off!" Of course, only one person could use this plan, because
anyone else using it would be accused of ripping off the first
ripper-offer's idea...

Hey!!

I gotta run.

--Greg F

"Yer not tryin' to muscle in on my business now, are ye...?"

-Cardinal Teulbachs


Cardinal Teulbachs

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Nov 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/21/96
to

professo...@pnx.com (Greg Falcon) wrote:

>(If you're curious, these people are the ones that complain about your
>.sig being a waste of bandwidth. As if their posts asking you to stop
>something that you have no intention of stopping AREN'T wastes of
>bandwidth. Really.)

Go easy on Jools :) He was only taunting me in an effort to squirm his
way into the .sig. He managed, but now, since Clyde-aka-Fred's come
along, I've finally gotten my revenge...

>Come to think of it, there's really only one way someone could get
>away with using your idea.

> [snip]


> "Yer not tryin' to muscle in on my business now, are ye...?"
> -Cardinal Teulbachs

You're doing an admirable job of it, I'd say :) In fact, I'm a bit
awed by your grace. I may have to start looking for a job...

--Cardinal T

I mean, what the hell kind of villain thwarts the hero's
progress with soup cans in the kitchen pantry?
--Russ Bryan

Are there any text games prominently featuring dinosaurs?
If not, does anyone besides me think it would be cool?
--Matthew Amster-Burton

"Cyber-Babushka"
--Bonni Mierzejewska

"Bathroom? Yeah. Go through that door, on the end
of the hall, on your left." "Pardon?" "South twice,
than east." "Ah."

--Clyde "Fred" Sloniker


L. Ross Raszewski

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Nov 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/21/96
to

is it just m, or are those _really_ ugly words?

BTW, I worked out what to do about up and down on a ship: It's ventral
and dorsail, contrarespectively.

Dan Dalton

unread,
Nov 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/22/96
to


creating your own names for directions can cause problems
the players will want to play the game right away
and don't want to learn a new way to move about
you might want to keep it simple enough that you
don't have to read a bunch of manuals to figure out
(maybe a built in system in the game to teach players
how to pilote a ship)
and the directions ne sw ect.. should also be considered
esp in a vast open area (such as outer space).
an auto pilot feature might also be a good idea
for covering vast amount of space (such as the distance between
system and system)while the manual flight control could be used for
smaller things such as exploring the current area.

--
Dan Dalton
<rim...@shadetree.com>
Really...I have no Idea what I just said.

-

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Nov 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/22/96
to

The well-dressed adventurer either walks around stark naked most of the
time, or is completely unaware of most of his/her clothes.

Nicholas Daley
<mailto:dal...@ihug.co.nz>

Greg Falcon

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Nov 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/22/96
to

card...@earthlink.net (Cardinal Teulbachs) wrote:

>>Come to think of it, there's really only one way someone could get
>>away with using your idea.
>> [snip]
>> "Yer not tryin' to muscle in on my business now, are ye...?"
>> -Cardinal Teulbachs

>You're doing an admirable job of it, I'd say :) In fact, I'm a bit
>awed by your grace. I may have to start looking for a job...

You're awed by my grace?

See what I was talking about, folks? That "homage" story works every
time.

No, no. I have no intention of taking your job, your trademark. It's
too Teulish a thing for anyone else to use now, anyway.

Besides, you can't stop yet. Not until I've shown up in your .sig at
least once.

--Greg F

Brent A. Hayhoe

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Nov 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/22/96
to

>>> Bruce Stephens <B.Ste...@math.ruu.n> writes:
>>>>>> "George" == George Caswell <timb...@adamant.res.wpi.edu> writes:
>
>> ...They -will-, however, look for any objects that they can put
>> their stuff in.
>
>Yes, and then they just carry them around. I mean, it would seem to
>make sense to wear a rucksack, but no...

They also tend to leave all these containers open...

...ever tried walking around with an open briefcase!

---

Regards,

Brent Hayhoe.

Nortel Ltd., Tel: +44 (0)1279-402937
140 Greenway, Harlow Business Park, Fax: +44 (0)1279-405070
Harlow, Essex, CM19 5QD, U.K. Email: hay...@nortel.co.uk

George Caswell

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Nov 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/22/96
to

On 22 Nov 1996, Dan Dalton wrote:

>
>
> creating your own names for directions can cause problems
> the players will want to play the game right away
> and don't want to learn a new way to move about

I don't know- If a certain movement system is extremely alien to the
environment you're trying to implement, I'd say it's worth it.

> you might want to keep it simple enough that you
> don't have to read a bunch of manuals to figure out

Most often a good strategy for a game.

> Dan Dalton
> <rim...@shadetree.com>
> Really...I have no Idea what I just said.
>

Neither do I, but you just said it in two sentences. (I use the term
loosely.)

Den of Iniquity

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Nov 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/22/96
to

Sourcerer (sour...@starbug.49.249.155) reputedly wrote:
> In a game set in a spaceship, directions such as north, south etc don't
> make a lot of sense.

I can't believe no-one has yet supplied the obvious additions to the
normal compass directions:

uptynorth, uptysouth, uptyeast, uptywest, downtynorth, downtysouth...
uptynortheast...

(well, the phrases 'up north', 'down south' are already well established
in Britain...)

--
Den


-

unread,
Nov 23, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/23/96
to

Sourcerer wrote:
>
> In a game set in a spaceship, directions such as north, south etc don't
> make a lot of sense. Is there any prefered way to handle this? I was
> thinking about assigning directions with north-south along the central axis
> of the ship, with up and down more or less arbitrary.
>
> has anybody else come up with a solution to this problem?

If the spaceship rotates to produce artificial gravity, then you could
base directions on this. ie when looking at the earth from above the
north pole it spins anti-clockwise (?), so decide what direction (if you
looked at the ship from outside would it be spinning anti-clockwise (the
front would probably preferable).

Nicholas Daley
<mailto:dal...@ihug.co.nz>

George Caswell

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Nov 23, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/23/96
to

Huh? Why is the direction of spin important? (Unless, of course, you want
to describe what the player sees outside...)

Cardinal Teulbachs

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Nov 23, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/23/96
to

Den of Iniquity <dms...@york.ac.uk> wrote:

>(well, the phrases 'up north', 'down south' are already well established
>in Britain...)

As are "back east" and "out west" in the US.

At least we *have* an east and west <sniff>.

(Cardinal ducks)

George Caswell

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Nov 23, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/23/96
to

On Sat, 23 Nov 1996, Cardinal Teulbachs wrote:

> Den of Iniquity <dms...@york.ac.uk> wrote:
>
> >(well, the phrases 'up north', 'down south' are already well established
> >in Britain...)
>
> As are "back east" and "out west" in the US.
>

Don't forget 'down east'...

Captain Harlock

unread,
Nov 24, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/24/96
to

In <32966751.575@-.-> - writes:

> Sourcerer wrote:
> >
> > In a game set in a spaceship, directions such as north, south etc don't
> > make a lot of sense. Is there any prefered way to handle this? I was
> > thinking about assigning directions with north-south along the central axis
> > of the ship, with up and down more or less arbitrary.
> >
> > has anybody else come up with a solution to this problem?
>
> If the spaceship rotates to produce artificial gravity, then you could
> base directions on this. ie when looking at the earth from above the
> north pole it spins anti-clockwise (?), so decide what direction (if you
> looked at the ship from outside would it be spinning anti-clockwise (the
> front would probably preferable).

For additional realism, especially on a smaller spaceship, add aliases to the
standard north-south directions to the effect of fore, aft, port and starboard.
This would allow the user to pick his own realism, so to speak. If he preferred
to think in terms of north-south, he could use those; or if he preferred naval
directions, those would also work.
--
David "Captain Harlock" Scott
har...@ttu.edu
http://pegasus.acs.ttu.edu/~z5d31


John Hartnup

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Nov 24, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/24/96
to

George Caswell (timb...@adamant.res.wpi.edu) wrote:

: > If the spaceship rotates to produce artificial gravity, then you could


: > base directions on this. ie when looking at the earth from above the
: > north pole it spins anti-clockwise (?), so decide what direction (if you
: > looked at the ship from outside would it be spinning anti-clockwise (the
: > front would probably preferable).

: >
: Huh? Why is the direction of spin important? (Unless, of course, you want


: to describe what the player sees outside...)

Merely because it provides a point of reference in the same way as Earth's
axis of rotation does.

c.f. Discworld - where the directions are Rimward, Hubwise, Turnwise and
Widdershins.

John
--
-----------------------------------------------------------
John Hartnup | You can drink your weak lemon drink
sl...@ladle.demon.co.uk| now, or you can save it 'til later.
-----------------------------------------------------------


Gord Jeoffroy

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Nov 25, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/25/96
to

On Sat, 23 Nov 1996 13:07:45 -0500, George Caswell
<timb...@adamant.res.wpi.edu> wrote:

>> >(well, the phrases 'up north', 'down south' are already well established
>> >in Britain...)
>>
>> As are "back east" and "out west" in the US.
>>
>Don't forget 'down east'...

And the programming nightmare of "out yonder."

--Gord, mentally out yonder...

Bill Hoggett

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Nov 25, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/25/96
to

On 21-Nov-96 Dan Dalton <rim...@shadetree.com> wrote:

>Sourcerer <sour...@starbug.49.249.155> wrote in article
><sourcer...@starbug.49.249.155>...

>> In a game set in a spaceship, directions such as north, south etc
>don't
>> make a lot of sense. Is there any prefered way to handle this? I was
>> thinking about assigning directions with north-south along the central
>axis
>> of the ship, with up and down more or less arbitrary.
>>
>> has anybody else come up with a solution to this problem?
>>

>maybe use direction names used by aircraft
>I don't know check your local library for books about planes
>and names for directions.

What, you mean: "Bandits at twelve o'clock" ???

Seriously, it's the same convention for ALL ships, including aerial
ones: fore, aft, port and starboard.


Bill Hoggett (aka BeeJay) <mas.su...@easynet.co.uk>

IF GOD IS LIFE'S SERVICE PROVIDER WHY HAVEN'T I GOT HIS I.P. NUMBER ?


Bill Hoggett

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Nov 25, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/25/96
to

On 20-Nov-96 Beej! <be...@ecst.csuchico.edu> wrote:

>In article <wwan2wd...@bommel.math.ruu.nl>,
>Bruce Stephens <step...@math.ruu.nl> wrote:

>>Yes, and then they just carry them around. I mean, it would seem to
>>make sense to wear a rucksack, but no...

>But didn't you know? All adventurers automatically carry "implied
>rucksacks".

Nope. You obviously don't remember all those games where you can only
carry up to four objects, even if they're only four pebbles.

Here's something else that's always been bothering me: Why do all
adventurers insist on *carrying* their swords, when most people
would *wear* them in some way thus leaving their hands free ?

Carl Muckenhoupt

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Nov 25, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/25/96
to

mas.su...@easynet.co.uk (Bill Hoggett) writes:

>Seriously, it's the same convention for ALL ships, including aerial
>ones: fore, aft, port and starboard.

Try Brainscape (in the games/dos/educational at GMD) for the only
game I know that doesn't use N/S/E/W or fore/aft/port/starboard.
It takes place inside a human brain, and thus uses anatomical
directions: dorsal, ventral, rostral, caudal...

--
Carl Muckenhoupt | Text Adventures are not dead!
b...@tiac.net | Read rec.[arts|games].int-fiction to see
http://www.tiac.net/users/baf | what you're missing!

George Caswell

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Nov 25, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/25/96
to

<shrug> If there's gravity, 'up' and 'down' are just dandy. if not, well,
then no directions are going to have a whole lot of meaning without that
reference.

David Fletcher

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Nov 25, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/25/96
to

Bill Hoggett (mas.su...@easynet.co.uk) wrote:

> What, you mean: "Bandits at twelve o'clock" ???

> Seriously, it's the same convention for ALL ships, including aerial


> ones: fore, aft, port and starboard.

Pilots might also use upwind, downwind and crosswind. Still, that
won't be much use to you in space.

If you're in orbit, you could have planetside, spaceside, orbitwise
and antiorbitwise. And, er, depending on the orbit, maybe
thispolewards and thatpolewards. :-)

--
David Fletcher

"You can't go that way." - a quote from nameless-work-in-progress.

Matthew T. Russotto

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Nov 25, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/25/96
to

In article <801.690...@easynet.co.uk>,
Bill Hoggett <mas.su...@easynet.co.uk> wrote:

}Here's something else that's always been bothering me: Why do all
}adventurers insist on *carrying* their swords, when most people
}would *wear* them in some way thus leaving their hands free ?

Elvish scabbards didn't hold up nearly as well as Elvish swords.
--
Matthew T. Russotto russ...@pond.com
"Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in pursuit
of justice is no virtue."

George Caswell

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Nov 25, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/25/96
to

On Sun, 24 Nov 1996, John Hartnup wrote:

> George Caswell (timb...@adamant.res.wpi.edu) wrote:
>
> : > If the spaceship rotates to produce artificial gravity, then you could
> : > base directions on this. ie when looking at the earth from above the
> : > north pole it spins anti-clockwise (?), so decide what direction (if you
> : > looked at the ship from outside would it be spinning anti-clockwise (the
> : > front would probably preferable).
> : >
> : Huh? Why is the direction of spin important? (Unless, of course, you want
> : to describe what the player sees outside...)
>
> Merely because it provides a point of reference in the same way as Earth's
> axis of rotation does.
>

But no one takes their points of reference directly from the direction of
the Earth's spin... from the -results- of the spin, maybe, (such as the
apparent movement of stars and planets...) but not from the spin itself-- the
spin itself isn't apparent on Earth, and it probably wouldn't be from within
the centrifuge, either, unless you had a fixed point of reference outside that
frame.. so calling the direction of spin 'east' seems completely arbitrary.

Den of Iniquity

unread,
Nov 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/26/96
to

On Sat, 23 Nov 1996, Cardinal Teulbachs wrote:

> Den of Iniquity <dms...@york.ac.uk> wrote:
>
> >(well, the phrases 'up north', 'down south' are already well established
> >in Britain...)
>
> As are "back east" and "out west" in the US.
>

> At least we *have* an east and west <sniff>.

As a Lancastrian living in York, I'm more than aware of east and west,
thank you very much.

(Den swings a mighty blow)

> (Cardinal ducks)

(Den pirouettes comically, in an anticlockwise direction when viewed from
above, thus establishing a kind of arbitrary 'southness' at his head and
'northness' at his feet when compared with the planet Earth, as
hypothesised in an earlier thread...)

--
Den '...buttons...' - Cardinal T.


Stephen Granade

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Nov 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/26/96
to

In article <Pine.LNX.3.95.961125...@adamant.res.wpi.edu>
George Caswell <timb...@adamant.res.wpi.edu> writes:
> But no one takes their points of reference directly from the
> direction of the Earth's spin... from the -results- of the spin, maybe,
> (such as the apparent movement of stars and planets...) but not from the
> spin itself-- the spin itself isn't apparent on Earth

Pardon? Earth's spin gives rise to the "fictitious"* centrifugal and
Coriolis forces.

Stephen

* Not that these forces are really all that fictitious--think of the
British gunboats in the Faulklands in the 1980's.

--
Stephen Granade | "It takes character to withstand the
sgra...@phy.duke.edu | rigors of indolence."
Duke University, Physics Dept | -- from _The Madness of King George_

-

unread,
Nov 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/26/96
to

George Caswell (timb...@adamant.res.wpi.edu) wrote:
> > If the spaceship rotates to produce artificial gravity, then you could
> > base directions on this. ie when looking at the earth from above the
> > north pole it spins anti-clockwise (?), so decide what direction (if you
> > looked at the ship from outside would it be spinning anti-clockwise (the
> > front would probably preferable).
> >
> Huh? Why is the direction of spin important? (Unless, of course, you want
> to describe what the player sees outside...)

It doesn't matter. I just though that it would be a convenient standard
that would be consistent with the Earth.

Nicholas Daley
<mailto:dal...@ihug.co.nz>

George Caswell

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Nov 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/26/96
to

On 26 Nov 1996, Stephen Granade wrote:

> In article <Pine.LNX.3.95.961125...@adamant.res.wpi.edu>
> George Caswell <timb...@adamant.res.wpi.edu> writes:
> > But no one takes their points of reference directly from the
> > direction of the Earth's spin... from the -results- of the spin, maybe,
> > (such as the apparent movement of stars and planets...) but not from the
> > spin itself-- the spin itself isn't apparent on Earth
>
> Pardon? Earth's spin gives rise to the "fictitious"* centrifugal and
> Coriolis forces.
>

None of which are readily apparent to a person on the Earth-- and so none
of this really has much meaning to the player or player character in IF.

Stephen Granade

unread,
Nov 27, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/27/96
to

In article <Pine.LNX.3.95.961126...@adamant.res.wpi.edu>
George Caswell <timb...@adamant.res.wpi.edu> writes:
> On 26 Nov 1996, Stephen Granade wrote:
>
> > George Caswell <timb...@adamant.res.wpi.edu> writes:
> > > But no one takes their points of reference directly from the
> > > direction of the Earth's spin... from the -results- of the spin,
> > > maybe, (such as the apparent movement of stars and planets...) but
> > > not from the spin itself-- the spin itself isn't apparent on Earth
> >
> > Pardon? Earth's spin gives rise to the "fictitious"* centrifugal and
> > Coriolis forces.
> >
> None of which are readily apparent to a person on the Earth-- and so
> none of this really has much meaning to the player or player character
> in IF.

Depends on what you mean by readily apparent. If you mean the PC won't
notice the forces when he/she drops items, then I'd agree. If you mean
the PC won't notice that hurricanes are spinning...

Stephen

John Hartnup

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Nov 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/28/96
to

George Caswell (timb...@adamant.res.wpi.edu) wrote:
: On Sun, 24 Nov 1996, John Hartnup wrote:

: > : Huh? Why is the direction of spin important? (Unless, of course, you want

: > : to describe what the player sees outside...)
: >
: > Merely because it provides a point of reference in the same way as Earth's
: > axis of rotation does.
: >
: But no one takes their points of reference directly from the direction of

: the Earth's spin... from the -results- of the spin, maybe, (such as the
: apparent movement of stars and planets...)

Such as the bloody great magnetic field maintained by that spin....? Don't
forget that "north" *means* "towards the pole where the earth's axis meets
the surface" (as does "south").

: but not from the spin itself-- the
: spin itself isn't apparent on Earth, and it probably wouldn't be from within


: the centrifuge, either, unless you had a fixed point of reference outside that
: frame.. so calling the direction of spin 'east' seems completely arbitrary.

As are NESW on earth, unless you happen to either know about the spin, or
happen to have a free-floating magnet (and remember magnetic N != N)

George Caswell

unread,
Dec 1, 1996, 3:00:00 AM12/1/96
to

On 27 Nov 1996, Stephen Granade wrote:

> Depends on what you mean by readily apparent. If you mean the PC won't
> notice the forces when he/she drops items, then I'd agree. If you mean
> the PC won't notice that hurricanes are spinning...
>

I mean that people do not associate the direction of the earth's spin
directly with the cardinal points on the compass, so using this relationship
to define directions in a centrifuge as compass points is just as arbitrary
and meaningless as assigning them randomly.
Hurricanes have nothing to do with it... A person would notice the
hurricane, but -not- the cause. No way they're going to say 'ah, the
whatchamacallit forces at work.' The hurricane forms a good deal of time
before the person sees it, and a good distance away.