Linearity in Games

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Al

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Nov 24, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/24/97
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What is true linearity? Even in Riven,
after starting off receiving
the books from Atrus you are placed in
the cage.Upon exiting the
cage you can explore the telescope or go
to one of 3 initial places
The Gate Room, the other side of the
Gate room or the Temple.

It is only from there that the linearity
really branches out.
I suppose that every IF game ever
written has to have a straight
line theme until enough (at least 2 )
locations are attained.

Your throughts, threats, and flames are
welcomed on this subject.

Al


Wonder Boy

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Nov 24, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/24/97
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On Mon, 24 Nov 1997, Al wrote:

> What is true linearity?

Cool! A discussion on linearity! We haven't had one of these
yet, have we? Count me in! How 'bout the rest of you?
I'll type an adequate response after I'm done shuffling through
everything that Deja News has on the subject...
-jon
"I come not to praise Caesar, but to bust a move." -mamster,
Adventurer's Lounge
"inky comes not to praise Caesar, but to neuter him" -typed by
inky, Adventurer's Lounge
(Text game fan? Check out http://fovea.retina.net:4001)


Miron Schmidt

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Nov 25, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/25/97
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Wonder Boy <jdb...@csd.uwm.edu> wrote:
> Cool! A discussion on linearity! We haven't had one of these
> yet, have we?

Heh.

--
Miron Schmidt <mi...@comports.com> PGP key on request

WATCH TV... MARRY AND REPRODUCE... OBEY... PLAY INTERACTIVE FICTION...


Russell "Coconut Daemon" Bailey

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Nov 25, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/25/97
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Wonder Boy wrote:
>
> On Mon, 24 Nov 1997, Al wrote:
>
> > What is true linearity?
>
> Cool! A discussion on linearity! We haven't had one of these
> yet, have we? Count me in! How 'bout the rest of you?
Certainly. I'm working on implementing limited AI in order to control
character plot choices. One thing this seems to require, however, is
that the player be pushed through a few hoops at the beginning, making
choices so that the NPCs have something to start interrelating with.
Any thoughts on this method?

Russell

Edan Harel

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Nov 25, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/25/97
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Wonder Boy <jdb...@csd.uwm.edu> writes:

>On Mon, 24 Nov 1997, Al wrote:

>> What is true linearity?

Oh, just go read it in a book... :-)

> Cool! A discussion on linearity! We haven't had one of these
>yet, have we? Count me in! How 'bout the rest of you?

Well, not this week, anyways...

Edan Harel
--
Edan Harel edh...@remus.rutgers.edu McCormick 6201
Research Assistant Math and Comp Sci Major Computer Consultant
USACS Member Math Club Secretary

Emperor

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Nov 30, 1997, 3:00:00 AM11/30/97
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Russell "Coconut Daemon" Bailey wrote in message


>Certainly. I'm working on implementing limited AI in order to control
>character plot choices. One thing this seems to require, however, is
>that the player be pushed through a few hoops at the beginning, making
>choices so that the NPCs have something to start interrelating with.
>Any thoughts on this method?

It really depends on the exact sitiuation, and how you implement it. If the
NPC is a robot, it wouldn't be wierd at all to make it have outright "AI
Initial Questions" . If the NPC is human, (or Alien), he could follow the
player around and make "small talk" to get what you need. I don't really
know what kind of hoops you're talking about. Perhaps you could elaborate?

=-<The Almighty Emperor
thav...@usa.net


TDLewis

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Dec 1, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/1/97
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Russel "Coconut Daemon" Bailey wrote:

>Certainly. I'm working on implementing limited AI in order to control
>character plot choices. One thing this seems to require, however, is
>that the player be pushed through a few hoops at the beginning, making
>choices so that the NPCs have something to start interrelating with.
>Any thoughts on this method?

As a player, I find forced plot developments annoying. If the game designer
wants me to read a bunch of stuff, I'd rather have it printed out in one big
chunk.

Another thing that bothers me about my actions impacting the flow of the game
is that each time I restart the game, I have to start out knowing nothing (even
though I have really seen a lot).

For example, during exploration of a game I find a museum with the curator in
her office and later find a painting. Then I do something stupid and get myself
killed and decide to restart. In this "new" game I go to the museum and ask the
curator about the painting. Since I haven't seen the painting this time around,
I get a nonsense answer (and maybe even assume that's all I'll ever get) and
never get around to asking the curator about the painting after I've seen it
during the same game. Thus I've missed an important plot development.

Maybe there should be a player profile that keeps track of what the *player*
has seen and knows about that carries across multiple restarts (and can be
loaded). I want to distinguish between the player (the person sitting at the
keyboard) and the character that the player is controlling by entering
commands.

The game could even operate differently in an exploration mode where the player
is learning as much as possible than it does in a maximum points/winning mode.

Of course, this is a lot of work for a game designer. If someone builds this
perhaps they can put it into a library that others can use for similar effect.

___________________________________________________________________
Tony Lewis (tdl...@aol.com)
"We are sorry for the inconvenience."

Russell "Coconut Daemon" Bailey

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Dec 1, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/1/97
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> Of course, this is a lot of work for a game designer. If someone > builds this
> perhaps they can put it into a library that others can use for similar > effect.

Well, your request re-introduces a topic I think we've discussed here
before... separation of player and player-character. If we are asking
a player to be themself, then the notion of limiting what they can do
does seem silly. The graphic adventure Myst is an example of this.
However, if the player is role-playing a character, say, the heir to
Meldrew Hall (Curses), and they must discover a background story which
affects them, the character, rather than them, the player, it would
seem more logical to make them go back through the plot points, so that
character development is plausible.

All this is the converse of an old (and obviously solved) problem: not
to have to have played through a puzzle in a previous life to know the
answer. The question you're raising is how much prior knowledge we
should accomodate, while at the same time assuming none. I tend to
think that we should bias the game towards a first time player, while
providing enough plot twists that the game is replayable.

Russell

Sam Inala

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Dec 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/17/97
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Al <rad...@qadas.com> wrote in article <347A28B6...@qadas.com>...
> What is true linearity?

I've never seen a truly linear game. They always insist
on letting you see the full screen. A good gray scale
would help show intensity, making them somewhat
easier on the vision-impaired.

.

Soldier: "Where do you think you're going?"

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The rain falls evenly this damp Seattle evening.

On a modern display, you could play 400 to 800 games
simultaneously. In the face of such an compressed
representation, Edward Tufte would have to write
another book, "The Visual Display of Linear Games."

--
Sam Inala
MS NetShow


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