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Admiral Jota

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Oct 30, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/30/96
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pat...@otn.net (Patrick Kellum) writes:

> 1. Scoring - does it distract from the game or add to it? If you think
> scoring is a good thing, what type of events should be rewarded?
> Treasure colected, puzzles solved, anything else?

I personally am tired of all these new games that don't include any
scores. Some writers can get away with it, but it's usually just annoying
to have no indication of my progress.

> 2. Puzzles - what is more important, a simple puzzle that fits into a
> game, or a hard puzzle that seems out of place?

One that fits into the game! Puzzles that don't fit into the game will
just destroy it. It doesn't really matter if they're hard or easy (it's
usually best to start out easy and get slowly harder), as long as they
fit with the game and make sense.

> 3. Game length - outside of the competition, how long should the average
> game last? Also, about how many locations are the average?

Uh... I dunno. :) I like ones that are short enough that I don't lose
interest, and don't become a *huge* affair -- but long enough that I feel
I've accomplished something when I finish the game.

> 4. Ending - I've noticed that nearly every game I've played had only one
> ending (besides the many deaths), is there a reason for this?

If the game has a goal, then any ending that doesn't accomplish that goal
is a 'death' (even if you don't actually die, *** You have missed the
point entirely ***). If it doesn't have a goal, what is the motivation to
keep playing?

More importantly, the author cannot write every outcome that could occur.
When he does try to create several endings, players will inevitably
consider one of them the best one, and hence the others are 'deaths'.

> 5. Emotions and Morals - would puzzles based on emotions and morals be
> considered acceptable?

Emotions? You have to make yourself happy, or else the troll won't let
you pass? (Actually, this reminds me a lot of a certain pantry in
HHGTTG.) I'm not sure what you mean by this question.

> 6. Eating and Sleeping - are these considered too anoying to use even if
> they are integrated into the story but not deadly? (i.e. no starving,
> no anoying messages)

Well, if there's no effect from them, then do they really matter? As long
as they're not issues which severely limit the play (like needing to find
food within 100 turns of starting the game, or only having enough food
available for the player to survive 2000 turns, or making the food a
bother to carry around), then the need to eat isn't a big problem. The
need to sleep should only be included if it fits the plot of the game --
but it shouldn't be a puzzle, per se.

> 7. Undo - what was the overall opinion on this subject (I missed most of
> that thread) should they be allowed?

If you don't mind 'em, then we certainly don't. (The thread was about
authors who didn't want the player to be able to undo, and the fact that
some interpreters will let the player undo whether the author allows it
or not.)

> 8. All - for verbs, see question 7.

As long as it doesn't give any information away, it's a good thing.

> 9. Non-Traditional puzzles - How far could an author stray from the
> standard puzzles before it's no longer considered a puzzle or even
> interactive fiction?

I believe that most authors attempt to make their puzzles as
un-puzzle-like as possible. I think the point is to make them blend away
into the plot, so that the player thinks he's just figuring out what to
do, and doesn't realize that he's solving a puzzle.

--
/<-= -=-=- -= Admiral Jota =- -=-=- =->\
__/><-=- http://www.tiac.net/users/jota/ =-><\__
\><-= jo...@mv.mv.com -- Finger for PGP =-></
\<-=- -= -=- -= -==- =- -=- =- -=->/

Nulldogma

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Oct 30, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/30/96
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> 1. Scoring - does it distract from the game or add to it? If you
think
> scoring is a good thing, what type of events should be rewarded?
> Treasure colected, puzzles solved, anything else?

It depends on the game. The important thing to me is that I have some
sense of how much progress I've made -- if there are other indicators of
this in the game, then I don't need a score.

> 2. Puzzles - what is more important, a simple puzzle that fits into a
> game, or a hard puzzle that seems out of place?

Definitely the first priority should be that the puzzle fits the game.
After that, I wouldn't think in terms of *difficult* puzzles but of
*satisfying* ones -- I don't get pleasure from wracking my brains to guess
what fiendish puzzle the author has set for me, but rather from being able
to piece together the clues that I've been left in the game for solving
it.

> 3. Game length - outside of the competition, how long should the
average
> game last? Also, about how many locations are the average?

[WARNING: GRATUITOUS SEXISM AHEAD]

My 9th-grade English teacher, when we'd ask how long a paper should be,
would always say "As long as a woman's dress: short enough to be
interesting, but long enough to cover the subject."

My 9th-grade English teacher was a jerk, but you get the point.

> 4. Ending - I've noticed that nearly every game I've played had only
one
> ending (besides the many deaths), is there a reason for this?

Two possible reasons: 1) It takes a lot more effort to write multiple
endings; 2) If you have multiple endings, you make it all but certain that
players will miss out on seeing part of your brilliant prose. If you do
have multiple endings, you should somehow make that clear to the player,
so that they have the option of going back and trying again.

> 5. Emotions and Morals - would puzzles based on emotions and morals be
> considered acceptable?

If it's done well. If it's a matter of "guess the moral lesson the author
is trying to make you learn," then, no.

> 6. Eating and Sleeping - are these considered too anoying to use even
if
> they are integrated into the story but not deadly? (i.e. no
starving,
> no anoying messages)

If they're necessary to the plot, I suppose. (Path to Fortune does this
pretty well, for example.) Still, remember that you're writing a game, not
a simulation -- if you make me find a bathroom every 50 turns, I'd
consider that taking things too far.

> 7. Undo - what was the overall opinion on this subject (I missed most
of
> that thread) should they be allowed?

There was no consensus. I think it's absolutely necessary, for what it's
worth.

> 8. All - for verbs, see question 7.

I disallow it for all verbs except "drop", "take", and "put" -- i.e, verbs
that only apply to a constrained list of objects in the first place, so
you can't cheat by typing, say "EAT ALL" to get a list of everything in
the room.

> 9. Non-Traditional puzzles - How far could an author stray from the
> standard puzzles before it's no longer considered a puzzle or even
> interactive fiction?

A really long way, I'd hope.

> Thanks for your help,

Sure thing. And remember to freely ignore any of this advice if you so
choose -- it's your game, and the most important person to please with it
is yourself.

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

Carl Muckenhoupt

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Oct 30, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/30/96
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pat...@otn.net (Patrick Kellum) writes:

> Ok, what is everyones opinion about thes subjects:

First, let me urge you to not take any responses too seriously.
Write a game that *you'd* like to play and chances are someone else will
like it.

> 1. Scoring - does it distract from the game or add to it? If you think
> scoring is a good thing, what type of events should be rewarded?
> Treasure colected, puzzles solved, anything else?

This depends on the game. I think it's enough of a convention of the genre
to not be distracting, except perhaps in the more introspective pieces
we've been seeing lately. The actions you choose to reward should be
appropriate to the story you're trying to tell. If it's a game about
treasure hunting, give points for collecting treasures. If it's about
exploration, give points for reaching hard-to-reach places. If you want
the player to adopt the role of a mass murderer, make the score be a body
count - gamers will do just about anything if it increases their score.
Just make a decision and be consistent about it.

The most common decision is to award points for puzzles solved. This has
the side effect of letting the player know when a puzzle is actually
solved - possibly a good thing, possibly bad, depending on how devious
your game is. ("A Change in the Weather" would definitely be the worse for
such a system.)

It should be pointed out that in adventure games, unlike other narrative
media, there's no built-in way to tell how close you are to the end.
The reader of a novel is always dimly aware of the thickness of the unread
pages. A theater-goer knows approximately how long the play is and how
much of that time has passed. This perception helps to shape expectations.
If the villain is killed in the last five minutes of a film, it's a
victorious ending; if the villain is killed only halfway through, it's a
shocking plot twist.

Adventure games lack this guideline. Scoring is one way of restoring it.
If I have 340 points out of 350, I'm going to be expecting a dramatic
climax. Of course, it isn't the only possible guideline. In Jigsaw, for
example, once you've gotten past the prologue you pretty much know that
there are going to be 16 chapters followed by an ending. Even without
clearly delineated chapters, a known set of sub-goals can provide a sense
of progress - I think of the middle section of Monkey Island 2, in which
the player seeks four fragments of a treasure map.

In some ways, it's a shame that those games that reject the typical
quest plots tend to also reject scoring. It becomes difficult to gague
whether you're well into the game or just beginning it, and endings can
take the player by surprise, inspiring questions like "Is that all?"
Well-tuned prose could help, butseems to be difficult.

> 2. Puzzles - what is more important, a simple puzzle that fits into a
> game, or a hard puzzle that seems out of place?

This could be debated endlessly. My advice is, if a puzzle is deserving
enough, the setting can be molded around it until it fits. Suppose you
have a game about the origins of Buddhism, say, and a really nice puzzle
based on computer programming. Fine! Throw in a scene where the player,
meditating on the nature of time, gains visions of the future. You could
even turn it into a warning about the seductive nature of technology and
how it distracts us from the pursuit of enlightenment.

Some will argue that throwing in extraneous material like this dilutes
the original vision. I reply that incorporating an alien element into a
strongly-themed work is exactly the sort of problem that inspires creative
thinking. The result is only cheapened if you fail to find a way to make
it work.

> 3. Game length - outside of the competition, how long should the average
> game last? Also, about how many locations are the average?

As long and as many as possible. I like 'em big. Of course, I also like
'em detailed, which puts a sort of tension on it all - you only have so
much time to waste writing this thing, after all.

> 4. Ending - I've noticed that nearly every game I've played had only one
> ending (besides the many deaths), is there a reason for this?

a) Programmers are lazy. (Not as lazy as non-programmers, though.)
b) Most games are geared towards Winning. In such games, there tends to be
an ultimate victory that is clearly best. Multiple endings just become a
different sort of death - if you chose to go home instead of slaying the
dragon, would you feel you had won?
c) The author is trying to tell a story. The player's sense of freedom is
a carefully-crafted illusion; all aspects of the story, except how fast it
goes and the order of certain plot elements, are preset. Thus, there is
only one true ending.

> 5. Emotions and Morals - would puzzles based on emotions and morals be
> considered acceptable?

It worked for the Ultima series.

> 6. Eating and Sleeping - are these considered too anoying to use even if
> they are integrated into the story but not deadly? (i.e. no starving,
> no anoying messages)

Use it if it fits. Anything completely irrelevant is annoying. The need
to sleep can be an obstacle and can provide dream sequences. Food can be
an obstacle and/or be used for atmosphere (witness the High Table scene in
Christminster.) They're only objectionable if they're thrown into a game
out of a misguided sense of realism.

> 7. Undo - what was the overall opinion on this subject (I missed most of
> that thread) should they be allowed?

Unless you have some overriding reason to not allow it, allow it. It's a
handy tool that helps us to explore the possibilities of your story. If
you have a puzzle where "undo" amounts to cheating, you can always disable
it temporarily.

> 8. All - for verbs, see question 7.

> 9. Non-Traditional puzzles - How far could an author stray from the


> standard puzzles before it's no longer considered a puzzle or even
> interactive fiction?

Pretty darned far. If you ask me, we have not yet strayed far enough.

--
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!

Avrom Faderman

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Oct 30, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/30/96
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In article <2030.6875...@otn.net>,

Patrick Kellum <pat...@otn.net> wrote:
>
> Ok, what is everyones opinion about thes subjects:
Well, here's mine:

>
> 1. Scoring - does it distract from the game or add to it? If you think
> scoring is a good thing, what type of events should be rewarded?
> Treasure colected, puzzles solved, anything else?

I think this really depends on what sort of game you're going for. If
you're going for a traditional collect-the-treasures sort of romp, or
even a more sophisticated but still essentially fluffy game, scoring
doesn't distract from anything and has some potential to add--it gives
the players a sense of progress, and gives them some idea how far into
the meat of the game they are.

If, on the other hand, you're going for a game that has some artistic
pretensions, scoring is obviously out of place--it draws attention to
the game-like aspects of whatever it occurs in, which you might want
to play down.

Now I personally don't think there's an answer to the question of
which of these sorts of games you should go for. I happen to enjoy
both, and I think a lot of people do, although lord knows there have
been a lot of recent complaints along the lines of either "All anyone
is writing are still boring old fantasy/sci-fi games with no artistic
merit" or "Nobody writes good old fantasy/sci-fi games any more;
everyone's so hung up on artistic merit." This is a decision you, as
author, are simply going to have to make for yourself.

> 2. Puzzles - what is more important, a simple puzzle that fits into a
> game, or a hard puzzle that seems out of place?

See above. Obviously, in a puzzle-oriented
dungeon dig, plot consistency isn't as important as giving the player
some good brain-teasers, so bring on any puzzle you can think of. If
you're trying to establish a definite mood, or demonstrate something
about a character or a world, integration of puzzles is paramount. So
I'd go for clever puzzles in "pulp" I-F, and relevant puzzles in more
"serious" I-F. Again, think about your goals: Are you trying to give
your players a bit of innocent fun, or are you trying to engage them
on a deeper level?

> 3. Game length - outside of the competition, how long should the average
> game last? Also, about how many locations are the average?

This is a bit like asking, "How long should a story be?" A story
should be somewhere between two pages and 3,000 pages. Similarly, a
game should last between 15 minutes and a year.

Now, this is maybe a bit glib. You might want to put _some_ limits
(in both directions) on game length, for this reason: A game that
takes too little time won't have been worth the download (I think,
BTW, that this was the primary problem with an otherwise very well
done competition entry that will remain nameless), and a game that is
too long will be certain to be riddled with bugs. But short of these
constraints, go for it.

> 4. Ending - I've noticed that nearly every game I've played had only one
> ending (besides the many deaths), is there a reason for this?

Absolutely not. This is something I've been thinking about for a
while, and if I ever seriously try my hand at writing, it's one of the
primary issues I'd like to explore. In fact, I think there's no real
reason why games should have one best ending, or, if they do have one
best ending, why it should be obvious when you've hit it.

One famous historical example of a game that doesn't fit into this
mold: Infidel. If it weren't for the scoring system, the only way to
tell when you had won would require you to get fully into the
character you are playing, to understand what he would have considered
winning.

> 5. Emotions and Morals - would puzzles based on emotions and morals be
> considered acceptable?

Certainly. Puzzles based on emotions, in particular, can be the most
interesting (and certainly the most realistic) puzzles there are.

You should be a bit careful, perhaps, with puzzles based on morals:
You don't want to come off as preachy.

Now, something interesting to do would be to combine puzzles based on
morals with your previous question, about there being only one
non-dying ending. I think this would be a very interesting form for a
puzzle:

Present the player with a serious moral dilemma. Make it hard--no
20 minute sit-com solution in sight. The game need never (even after the
player chooses) make it clear whether that choice was the right one;
it could simply explore the consequences of the choice and leave its
rightness to the player to decide.

You might not even want to call this a puzzle anymore, since there's
no single way of responding to it the game will accept above others.
For that matter, you might not want to call game events based on
emotions "puzzles" (unless you really want the players to think of
themselves as _manipulating_ NPCs as if they were levers or pulleys).
Call them obstacles, or a turning points. They're still legitimate I-F
devices.

> 6. Eating and Sleeping - are these considered too anoying to use even if
> they are integrated into the story but not deadly? (i.e. no starving,
> no anoying messages)

Do they lend something to the story, either to its plot or by creating
an interesting puzzle? If yes, throw them in. If no, don't. Think
of breathing: A game set in space should perhaps deal with it; one set
in Springfield presumably shouldn't, even though people in Springfield
need to breathe.

> 7. Undo - what was the overall opinion on this subject (I missed most of
> that thread) should they be allowed?

If your game allows saving and restoring, it should certainly allow
undoing--it is, after all, just like saving before every move and
restoring if something goes wrong, except much less annoying.

I'm partial to allowing it in general. The only thing you should
realize is that it puts an additional burden on you as author. If you
allow undoing, you shouldn't put in any puzzles that are easy to solve
by going through them, possibly dying or messing up, and undoing if
necessary. But then, you shouldn't put in any puzzles that are easy
to solve by going through them, possibly dying or messing up, and
restoring if necessary.

> 8. All - for verbs, see question 7.

Why not? It should only cover visible items, of course. You don't
want to solve puzzles for the players.

> 9. Non-Traditional puzzles - How far could an author stray from the
> standard puzzles before it's no longer considered a puzzle or even
> interactive fiction?

The former is simply a matter of terminology. As for the latter, why
does interactive fiction need to have puzzles at all?


-Avrom

Phil Goetz

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Oct 31, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/31/96
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jo...@laraby.tiac.net (Admiral Jota) writes:
>Date: 30 Oct 96 05:43:01 GMT

>
>pat...@otn.net (Patrick Kellum) writes:
>
>> 9. Non-Traditional puzzles - How far could an author stray from the
>> standard puzzles before it's no longer considered a puzzle or even
>> interactive fiction?
>
>I believe that most authors attempt to make their puzzles as
>un-puzzle-like as possible. I think the point is to make them blend away
>into the plot, so that the player thinks he's just figuring out what to
>do, and doesn't realize that he's solving a puzzle.

I wonder why we have not seen games which challenge the player with
decisions instead of puzzles. Let me call a "puzzle" something like
how to get a fish from a dispenser, or how to sneak past the
plainclothesman. By "decision" I mean something more strategic,
like what provisions to buy at the trading post, or who to hire
as your lawyer.

I propose a few guidelines that should help decisions have dramatic impact:

1. The results of the decision must eventually be made clear.

2. The results of the decision must not immediately be made clear.
If they are, then the player will not have any time for suspenseful
nail-biting. One "undo" and everything will be all right.

3. The results of the decision must be predictable, so that the player
can feel justified or condemned, but not cheated. If the player can
look at a good outcome and say, "That was lucky!", he doesn't feel
pleased with himself. If he can look at a bad outcome and say, "But it
wasn't my fault!", he experiences frustration (shallow) rather than
self-criticism (deep).

Here's an example in which the decision is whether to A) leave a child
behind on the ship for his own safety, or B) take him down to the
planet's surface because he might prove useful.

You and your team beam down to the planet, with some grumbling
from Worf about taking children.
The surface is strewn with enormous monotone grey boulders.

>examine boulder
"Fascinating," Data says, walking over to a boulder.
"This rock resembles Earth styrofoam."
A ravenous bugbladder beast rises up from behind the rock!

Good continuation:
Wesley aims his tricorder at the beast, which suddenly streaks away.
"What did you do?" Riker asks Wesley.
Wesley grins shyly. "I just determined the beast's position exactly
with my tricorder, then applied Heisenberg's uncertainty
principle, making his velocity infinite."
Worf turns to you. "I apologize, Captain," he says.
"Wesley was a useful addition to the away team."

Bad continuation:
Data feeds Wesley to the ravenous bugbladder beast.
It burps contentedly, then falls asleep.
Worf turns to you. "I apologize, Captain," he says.
"Wesley was a useful addition to the away team."

In the "good" continuation, the player can pat himself on the back for
a good command decision. In the "bad" continuation, the player may feel
pleased to have gotten rid of both the bugbladder beast and the ensign,
but can hardly feel self-satisfied about it.

4. Decisions should interact in a nonlinear manner. That is,
decision C might be good after decision A, but bad after decision B.
If the player could evaluate the results of each decision independently,
the game would degenerate into a choose-your-own-adventure book,
which for me don't have the same degree of immersion.

One of the reasons I want to create more intelligent NPCs is that I
think we would then see more decisions in IF. It's hard to make
strategic decisions about objects other than which ones to take.


Phil Go...@cs.buffalo.edu

Francis Irving

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Oct 31, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/31/96
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On 28 Oct 96 22:04:14 -800, pat...@otn.net (Patrick Kellum) wrote:

> 4. Ending - I've noticed that nearly every game I've played had only one
> ending (besides the many deaths), is there a reason for this?

There is an excellent competition entry with multiple endings. It
works well, and I played through each ending. It also explicitly says
that there are multiple endings, and they are, indeed, the whole point
of the game.

> 7. Undo - what was the overall opinion on this subject (I missed most of
> that thread) should they be allowed?

You have Save, so it is pointless not to have Undo.

> 8. All - for verbs, see question 7.

The more verbs it works with, the better. Of course, from your point
of view, you have to make it not give away extra information...

> 9. Non-Traditional puzzles - How far could an author stray from the
> standard puzzles before it's no longer considered a puzzle or even
> interactive fiction?

<sort of competition spoiler about Lists, but not really>

The competition entry Lists is a good example of this. It strays a
_long_ way from standard puzzles, and I do not class it interactive
fiction.

However, it is a superb Lisp tutorial.

I think your puzzles can stray as much as possible, as long as they
are still within the fiction. It's difficult to define this boundary
- the fiction could have the protagonist as a computer programmer.
But is it a good story, with interesting prose? The bulk of Lists
could hardly be described as such.

(actually the prose is well written... it's the story bit which it
isn't)

I look forward to playing your game...

Francis.

Greg Falcon

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Oct 31, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/31/96
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go...@cs.buffalo.edu (Phil Goetz) wrote:

>2. The results of the decision must not immediately be made clear.
>If they are, then the player will not have any time for suspenseful
>nail-biting. One "undo" and everything will be all right.

Right. Now, only frotz users have that benefit... fifteen "undos" and


everything will be all right.

>3. ...an example in which the decision is whether to A) leave a child


>behind on the ship for his own safety, or B) take him down to the
>planet's surface because he might prove useful.

>Bad continuation:


> Data feeds Wesley to the ravenous bugbladder beast.
> It burps contentedly, then falls asleep.
> Worf turns to you. "I apologize, Captain," he says.
> "Wesley was a useful addition to the away team."

Stating that feeding Wesley Crusher to a bugbladder beast is a "bad"
continuation hurts your credibility somewhat. ;-)

Another Insignificant Post from
Greg

-----

"It's a very modest game. When completed, it will have only about
fifty rooms, two significant NPCs, and only a couple of difficult
puzzles. However, with each programming setback I run into, I
wonder if it's going to become the next Avalon."
- Gregory Falcon
A quote about _Escape From Planet Thid_


Matthew Daly

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Oct 31, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/31/96
to

go...@cs.buffalo.edu (Phil Goetz) writes:
>
>Bad continuation:
> Data feeds Wesley to the ravenous bugbladder beast.
> It burps contentedly, then falls asleep.
> Worf turns to you. "I apologize, Captain," he says.
> "Wesley was a useful addition to the away team."
>
>In the "good" continuation, the player can pat himself on the back for
>a good command decision. In the "bad" continuation, the player may feel
>pleased to have gotten rid of both the bugbladder beast and the ensign,
>but can hardly feel self-satisfied about it.

SPOILER

If you had deciphered the strange radio signals coming from the
planet, you'd have discovered the message S.O.S -- WE ARE DYING.
THE ONLY FOOD THAT WE CAN EAT IS THE FLESH OF ANNOYING PEOPLE WHO
ONLY EXIST TO ADVANCE THE PLOT WITHOUT WORK ON THE WRITER'S PART.

The only puzzle is whether to use Wesley or Deanna :-)

-Matthew
--
Matthew Daly I don't buy everything I read ... I haven't
da...@ppd.kodak.com even read everything I've bought.

My opinions are not necessarily those of my employer, of course.

Art Gecko

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Nov 1, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/1/96
to

I'm sure they'll be plenty of answers to these...

Patrick Kellum (pat...@otn.net) penned:

> Ok, what is everyones opinion about thes subjects:

> 1. Scoring - does it distract from the game or add to it? If you think


> scoring is a good thing, what type of events should be rewarded?
> Treasure colected, puzzles solved, anything else?

I think it definately depends on the style of game. Games that aren't
meant to be taken seriously, or those that are specifically goal-oriented
(like treasure retrieval) probably benefit from a scoring system. Those
that emphasis the "fiction" end of the genre probably do not.
On the other hand, as a player I like to have some idea of whether
I'm moving in the right direction, either by having new locations open up,
or some other non-point-based indicator of advancement.

One of the competition games tries a system like the latter, and while
I didn't find it particularly helpful, it was a good attempt.

> 2. Puzzles - what is more important, a simple puzzle that fits into a

> game, or a hard puzzle that seems out of place?

I think this is a matter of personal preference for the player. I am
more of a story person, and prefer shorter, more integrated puzzles.
Others enjoy challenging problems even if their inclusion in the game
is somewhat arbitrary.

In the Old Days of i-f, I think authors could expect a great deal more
patience from their audience. Invisiclues were somewhat expensive,
especially after a $35 game purchase, and I know I was much more likely
to work at a tough problem before checking the hints. Today, even if
you as the author don't provide hints, _someone_ will, and it may be
to your advantage to keep the puzzles reasonable to avoid excessive
reliance on solutions and walkthroughs.

Not that I mean to discourage anyone from working out challenging puzzles -
you just may want to include your own hints to avoid production of
some onerous walkthrough (and there are plenty on gmd.)

> 5. Emotions and Morals - would puzzles based on emotions and morals be
> considered acceptable?

Of course! I'd be interested to see what you mean by this.

> 6. Eating and Sleeping - are these considered too anoying to use even if
> they are integrated into the story but not deadly? (i.e. no starving,
> no anoying messages)

Infocom seemed to abandon this idea after Planetfall and Enchanter - maybe
they concluded that it was annoying. I personally liked the implementation
in those two games - requiring food was especially sensible in Planetfall.
I also find that eating and sleeping remove that curious sense of timelessness
in most works, in which you can type "Z" endlessly without the game ever
changing.

On the other hand, it can be irritating if done "wrongly," or if finding
suitable places to sleep/things to eat overwhelms the true purpose of
the game.

I think that covers all the questions I haven't seen answered so far. :)

--Liza

--
ge...@retina.net http://fovea.retina.net/~gecko/
MSTie #69957 "I checked for mites, but could see nothing." - web comment


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