Multi-part IF games

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MFischer5

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Sep 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/9/99
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I'm reaching the point in my game where I'm concerned that everything I want to
do might not fit in a single game (Inform, but that's not really the point).

Yes, there are all kinds of memory games I can play. Yes, I could certainly
decrease the scope, depth, or details of the game. Yes, there is
Glulx/imem/TADS. But just for kicks (and to avoid the tedium of room
descriptions), I'm batting around the idea of using two z-files for a single
game.

Given the nature of the game, it can be convientely broken into 2 parts. What
little information that must be transfered between the halves should fit easily
into one or two 4-5 digit numbers that would be spit out of Part 1, and read in
by Part 2. Failure to enter the numbers would simply reinitialize those things
those numbers represent - no harm, no foul. I could enable players to "save"
at the end of Part 1 and easily retreive those magic numbers from a saved game.
The point of the numbers is not to prevent the players from skiping to Part 2
ahead of schedual, but to provide consistancy for a few randomized key items.

Note that the entire map and all objects are the same in both halves.

So the question is, has this been done? What do you think of this idea?

(a) Oooo, cool idea! You really must be genius
(b) Try it and I'll let you know if I like it
(c) Are you insane? That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard
(d) <xyz> did that it was great/ok/stunk
(e) ???

Kathleen Fischer

MFischer5

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Sep 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/9/99
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>First, it'd be a little annoying to have to write down a sequence of
>numbers and then enter them into the second game.

I know - it reeks of anti-piracy stuff :( The good news is that there is no
reason to have go back and replay the first half once you've made it to its
end. The game is guarenteed winnable at the start of part 2 - no matter what
numbers (if any) get entered.

Wise repeat players might learn to leave certain objects alone in part 1 (and
it should be pretty obvious to wise repeat players which objects are victimized
by this), and go with the default initialization at the start of part 2!
From: Nat Lanza ma...@cs.cmu.edu
>Overall, I think it'd be okay if the number entry wasn't an obvious
>"enter these numbers to properly set up this half" bit.

Hmmm... rather tough to do given my story, but certainly something to think
about!

>It might be better to set it up as a smaller game with a very
>tightly-connected sequel, though. Is this possible with the story you
>have? Or will there not be enough of an ending in the first half to
>make this workable?

If I could make it smaller, I wouldn't have this problem. :) Seriously, uh,
no. The few items requiring initialization are required in both halves, and
neither half will fly by itself.

Well, I suppose I could break it into *3* peices, 1 small and two large. Then
there would be only, uh, 1 small number to pass between part 2&3 and nothing
between 1&2. Is that any better? I somehow think the bulk of the extra game
outweighs the advantages of a using a single 2-3 digit number.

Kathleen Fischer

Ross Presser

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Sep 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/9/99
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alt.distingui...@aol.com (MFischer5).wrote.posted.offered:

Speaking as a player, not a writer, I'd prefer to have no numbers that I
need to enter. I'm sure inform is capable of saving stuff to arbitrary
files (see samegame.z? for an example -- it writes and reads a high score
list).

Andrew Plotkin

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Sep 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/9/99
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Ross Presser <ross_p...@nospamimtek.com.invalid> wrote:
> Speaking as a player, not a writer, I'd prefer to have no numbers that I
> need to enter. I'm sure inform is capable of saving stuff to arbitrary
> files (see samegame.z? for an example -- it writes and reads a high score
> list).

It's going to be a pain, though. While Z-code games can read or write to
any file, the Z-machine always prompts for a filename. So you're
exchanging "enter a small number" for "enter/locate a file", and it's not
much of an improvement.

TADS or Glulx Inform can do better.

--Z

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

Lucian Paul Smith

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Sep 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/9/99
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MFischer5 (mfis...@aol.com) wrote:

: Given the nature of the game, it can be convientely broken into 2 parts. What


: little information that must be transfered between the halves should fit easily
: into one or two 4-5 digit numbers that would be spit out of Part 1, and read in
: by Part 2.

It seems to me this is a perfect situation for the @save and @restore
opcodes. The only difficulty you may run into is that not all
interpreters support both. I know a lot of 'em support @save (since I use
it in Comp9x), but I'm not as sure about @restore.

If you made the file ASCII, you would allow people to make their own if
needed. Also, if the @restore didn't work, you could *then* prompt the
player for the number. And again, if the @save'd file was ASCII, they
could just read it in.

: So the question is, has this been done? What do you think of this idea?

: (a) Oooo, cool idea! You really must be genius
: (b) Try it and I'll let you know if I like it
: (c) Are you insane? That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard
: (d) <xyz> did that it was great/ok/stunk
: (e) ???

I'm gonna go with e): It's been thought of before, but AFAIK
unimplemented. It was even thought of for use in a collaborative effort
between some bits written in TADS and other bits written in Inform.

-Lucian

Gareth Rees

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Sep 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/9/99
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MFischer5 <mfis...@aol.com> wrote:
> Given the nature of the game, it can be convientely broken into 2
> parts. What little information that must be transfered between the
> halves should fit easily into one or two 4-5 digit numbers that would
> be spit out of Part 1, and read in by Part 2.

How much effort would it take to redesign the game so that there's no
need to take information from part 1 to part 2? You'd then really have
a pair of games related by theme and plot -- like the Zork trilogy, but
more strongly connected.

--
Gareth Rees

Stephen Granade

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Sep 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/9/99
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ross_p...@NOSPAMimtek.com.invalid (Ross Presser) writes:

> Speaking as a player, not a writer, I'd prefer to have no numbers that I
> need to enter. I'm sure inform is capable of saving stuff to arbitrary
> files (see samegame.z? for an example -- it writes and reads a high score
> list).

Do be aware, though, that all interpreters will prompt for a filename
regardless, and that how the @read/@write opcodes are handled vary
from interpreter to interpreter.

Stephen

--
Stephen Granade | Interested in adventure games?
sgra...@phy.duke.edu | Visit About.com's IF Page
Duke University, Physics Dept | http://interactfiction.about.com

Stephen Granade

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Sep 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/9/99
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lps...@rice.edu (Lucian Paul Smith) writes:

> MFischer5 (mfis...@aol.com) wrote:
>
> : Given the nature of the game, it can be convientely broken into 2 parts. What
> : little information that must be transfered between the halves should fit easily
> : into one or two 4-5 digit numbers that would be spit out of Part 1, and read in
> : by Part 2.
>

> It seems to me this is a perfect situation for the @save and @restore
> opcodes. The only difficulty you may run into is that not all
> interpreters support both. I know a lot of 'em support @save (since I use
> it in Comp9x), but I'm not as sure about @restore.

@restore is...problematic. I ran into this difficulty when trying to
create a library for sharing information between TADS and Inform
games.

Kathleen M. Fischer

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Sep 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/9/99
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Gareth Rees wrote:

>
> MFischer5 <mfis...@aol.com> wrote:
> > Given the nature of the game, it can be convientely broken into 2
> > parts. What little information that must be transfered between the
> > halves should fit easily into one or two 4-5 digit numbers that would
> > be spit out of Part 1, and read in by Part 2.
>
> How much effort would it take to redesign the game so that there's no
> need to take information from part 1 to part 2? You'd then really have
> a pair of games related by theme and plot -- like the Zork trilogy, but
> more strongly connected.

MFischer5 = me :)

I don't think so... imagine a game that takes place easter sunday
morning,
AFTER the easter bunny has hidden the chocolate eggs. Part 1 of the game
has the player involved with activities leading up the easter egg hunt.
Part 2 has the hunt itself. There is nothing to keep a player from
locating
the eggs in Part 1 (after all the bunny has already hidden them), though
first time player probably won't even know they are there (no, my real
story has nothing to do with eggs or easter, this is just an example -
you will just have to take it as a fact that the objects must be there
at
the start of the game).

As the player MUST be allowed to roam over the areas where the eggs
are hidden in part 1, I have to allow for the possibility they will
find some. Even though they are not hinted at, or required, until
part 2. To not carry that info over will be cruel to the industrius
player who locates the items early (which is perfectly find given
the game parameters), while not having the items in part 1 wouldn't
make sense.

<sigh>

I think all this is making it clear that I will have keep my
efforts confined to a single game. :) Oh well, twas just a thought.

Kathleen

--
*******************************************************************
* Kathleen M. Fischer *
* kfis...@greenhouse.nospam.gov (nospam = l l n l) *
** "Don't stop to stomp ants while the elephants are stampeding" **

Nat Lanza

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Sep 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/9/99
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Gareth Rees <gar...@cre.canon.co.uk> writes:

> How much effort would it take to redesign the game so that there's no
> need to take information from part 1 to part 2? You'd then really have
> a pair of games related by theme and plot -- like the Zork trilogy, but
> more strongly connected.

This seems like the best solution to me, especially if it's possible
to just start playing Part 2 with the default settings. The continuity
that the number entry allows you to have would be nice, but I'm not
sure it's nice enough to offset the annoyance factor.


--nat

--
nat lanza --------------------- research programmer, parallel data lab, cmu scs
ma...@cs.cmu.edu -------------------------------- http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~magus/
there are no whole truths; all truths are half-truths -- alfred north whitehead

Ross Presser

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Sep 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/9/99
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alt.distingui...@lepton.phy.duke.edu (Stephen
Granade).wrote.posted.offered:

>ross_p...@NOSPAMimtek.com.invalid (Ross Presser) writes:
>
>> Speaking as a player, not a writer, I'd prefer to have no numbers that
>> I need to enter. I'm sure inform is capable of saving stuff to
>> arbitrary files (see samegame.z? for an example -- it writes and reads
>> a high score list).
>
>Do be aware, though, that all interpreters will prompt for a filename
>regardless, and that how the @read/@write opcodes are handled vary
>from interpreter to interpreter.
>
>Stephen
>

Oh. Sorry.

okbl...@my-deja.com

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Sep 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/9/99
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In article <37D7DB43...@greenhouse.nospam.gov>,

"Kathleen M. Fischer" <kfis...@greenhouse.nospam.gov> wrote:
>
>
> I think all this is making it clear that I will have keep my
> efforts confined to a single game. :) Oh well, twas just a thought.

I'm confused. I was gonna go with option A (despite the hyperbole) and
I don't get the resistence. I think it'd be kinda cool to have a secret
code to carry into a new (but related) game.

I can see why these other options would be generally better. But if your
easter egg analogy holds, then the player can opt to use the code or
not. (I would also save it to a file in case the person forgets or
throws out the paper that its written on or whatever.)

I might be somewhat worried about players putting in random codes to see
what they got.
--
[ok]


Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Share what you know. Learn what you don't.

L. Ross Raszewski

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Sep 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/9/99
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On 09 Sep 1999 11:16:55 -0400, Stephen Granade <sgra...@lepton.phy.duke.edu>
wrote:

>ross_p...@NOSPAMimtek.com.invalid (Ross Presser) writes:
>
>> Speaking as a player, not a writer, I'd prefer to have no numbers that I
>> need to enter. I'm sure inform is capable of saving stuff to arbitrary
>> files (see samegame.z? for an example -- it writes and reads a high score
>> list).
>
>Do be aware, though, that all interpreters will prompt for a filename
>regardless, and that how the @read/@write opcodes are handled vary
>from interpreter to interpreter.
>
>Stephen

GLK-based interpreters won't, due to a fortunate/unfortunate limitation of
GLK's api (You can either insist upon a file name, or let the terp
automatically generate a suggested file name based upon the usage of the
file, but you cannot suggest a filename and give the user a chance to
change it. Great for stuff like high scores, but death for other stuff.
Unfortunately, the Z-machine can not make enough of a distinction for
this to be a case-by-case decision)

SteveG

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Sep 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/9/99
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On 9 Sep 1999 14:11:35 GMT, Andrew Plotkin <erky...@netcom.com>
wrote:

>Ross Presser <ross_p...@nospamimtek.com.invalid> wrote:
>> Speaking as a player, not a writer, I'd prefer to have no numbers that I
>> need to enter. I'm sure inform is capable of saving stuff to arbitrary
>> files (see samegame.z? for an example -- it writes and reads a high score
>> list).
>

>It's going to be a pain, though. While Z-code games can read or write to
>any file, the Z-machine always prompts for a filename. So you're
>exchanging "enter a small number" for "enter/locate a file", and it's not
>much of an improvement.

A filename is surely much easier to remember than a
telephone-number-sized number. Even better if the 'read/write a file'
procedure can provide a default filename like the save and restore
commands.

I don't think its not too taxing on the player to ask them to note a
down a five-digit number (or two) at the end of one game and key them
in at the start of the next anyway. If its such a big game that it has
to be split in two the player will probably already have pen and paper
or electronic notepads in use to map the game so a couple more things
to scribble down is no big deal.

So, Kathleen, I don't know if its technically feasible but I think
it's a feasible idea from the player point of view. Well atleast from
this player's point of view! :-)

--
SteveG
(Please remove erroneous word from address if emailing a reply)

T Raymond

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Sep 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/9/99
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mfis...@aol.com (MFischer5) spoke about :
[snip]

>Note that the entire map and all objects are the same in both halves.
>
>So the question is, has this been done? What do you think of this idea?
>
>(a) Oooo, cool idea! You really must be genius
>(b) Try it and I'll let you know if I like it
>(c) Are you insane? That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard
>(d) <xyz> did that it was great/ok/stunk
>(e) ???

I'll pick (e):

Ok, not being an Informer at all, not that that should matter, but
this sounds like a cool thing. Make copious notes on how you do it.
When it works successfully, how you did it will be helpful to others
who encounter the same problem or need in their future games.

That's my 5% for nothing ;)

Tom

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Tom Raymond adk @ usa.net
"The original professional ameteur."
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Dr. Weird Beard

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Sep 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/9/99
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Andrew Plotkin <erky...@netcom.com> wrote in message
news:7r8f6n$b...@dfw-ixnews9.ix.netcom.com...

> It's going to be a pain, though. While Z-code games can read or write to
> any file, the Z-machine always prompts for a filename. So you're
> exchanging "enter a small number" for "enter/locate a file", and it's not
> much of an improvement.
>

In that case, i'd use a one letter filename, and save it to the game
directory.

BrenBarn

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Sep 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/10/99
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>(a) Oooo, cool idea! You really must be genius
At least, the cool idea part. How well it'll work I can't say, but it's
definitely a unique concept.

From,
Brendan B. B. (Bren...@aol.com)
(Name in header has spam-blocker, use the address above instead.)

"Do not follow where the path may lead;
go, instead, where there is no path, and leave a trail."
--Author Unknown

Kevin Forchione

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Sep 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/10/99
to
Hmmm. I agree. Multi-part games are really separate stories (albeit with
possibly the same characters or environments). One possible solution is a
"cheat" and it's not very pretty, but you could ensure the exact contents of
the player object at the end of the first game.

You still have continuity problems galore though. What if the player eats an
"egg" in game one?

Stick with a single game. If you need more space consider reducing your
scope, breaking the story down into "chapters" which are independent of each
other: i.e. occur in different locations, use different characters, etc.

--Kevin

Kathleen M. Fischer <kfis...@greenhouse.nospam.gov> wrote in message
news:37D7DB43...@greenhouse.nospam.gov...


> Gareth Rees wrote:
> >
> > MFischer5 <mfis...@aol.com> wrote:
> > > Given the nature of the game, it can be convientely broken into 2
> > > parts. What little information that must be transfered between the
> > > halves should fit easily into one or two 4-5 digit numbers that would
> > > be spit out of Part 1, and read in by Part 2.
> >

> > How much effort would it take to redesign the game so that there's no
> > need to take information from part 1 to part 2? You'd then really have
> > a pair of games related by theme and plot -- like the Zork trilogy, but
> > more strongly connected.
>

> MFischer5 = me :)
>
> I don't think so... imagine a game that takes place easter sunday
> morning,
> AFTER the easter bunny has hidden the chocolate eggs. Part 1 of the game
> has the player involved with activities leading up the easter egg hunt.
> Part 2 has the hunt itself. There is nothing to keep a player from
> locating
> the eggs in Part 1 (after all the bunny has already hidden them), though
> first time player probably won't even know they are there (no, my real
> story has nothing to do with eggs or easter, this is just an example -
> you will just have to take it as a fact that the objects must be there

> at


> the start of the game).
>
> As the player MUST be allowed to roam over the areas where the eggs
> are hidden in part 1, I have to allow for the possibility they will
> find some. Even though they are not hinted at, or required, until
> part 2. To not carry that info over will be cruel to the industrius
> player who locates the items early (which is perfectly find given
> the game parameters), while not having the items in part 1 wouldn't
> make sense.
>
> <sigh>
>

> I think all this is making it clear that I will have keep my
> efforts confined to a single game. :) Oh well, twas just a thought.
>

David Glasser

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Sep 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/10/99
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MFischer5 <mfis...@aol.com> wrote:

> Yes, there are all kinds of memory games I can play. Yes, I could certainly
> decrease the scope, depth, or details of the game. Yes, there is
> Glulx/imem/TADS. But just for kicks (and to avoid the tedium of room
> descriptions), I'm batting around the idea of using two z-files for a single
> game.

Assuming that (a) you're not doing all sorts of wacky low-level stuff,
and (b) you don't plan on releasing your game for at least a few months,
I seriously think that you should consider Glulx Inform. It's at the
almost-usable point right now, and if you try to use your game with it,
it can help the glulxies find and fix glulx problems.

Of course, it'll be a *little* bit of a hassle, but it might be worth
it. Glulx is so much more portable than ZMachine filereading.

--
David Glasser: gla...@iname.com | http://www.uscom.com/~glasser/
DGlasser@ifMUD:orange.res.cmu.edu 4001 | raif FAQ http://come.to/raiffaq
"So, is that superior artistry, or the easy way out?"
--TenthStone on white canvases as art, on rec.arts.int-fiction

Kathleen M. Fischer

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Sep 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/10/99
to
David Glasser wrote:
>
> MFischer5 <mfis...@aol.com> wrote:
>
> > Yes, there are all kinds of memory games I can play. Yes, I could certainly
> > decrease the scope, depth, or details of the game. Yes, there is
> > Glulx/imem/TADS. But just for kicks (and to avoid the tedium of room
> > descriptions), I'm batting around the idea of using two z-files for a single
> > game.
>
> Assuming that (a) you're not doing all sorts of wacky low-level stuff,
> and (b) you don't plan on releasing your game for at least a few months,
> I seriously think that you should consider Glulx Inform. It's at the
> almost-usable point right now, and if you try to use your game with it,
> it can help the glulxies find and fix glulx problems.
>
> Of course, it'll be a *little* bit of a hassle, but it might be worth
> it. Glulx is so much more portable than ZMachine filereading.

Hmmm... No wacky low-level stuff, I'm no where near releasing (shooting
for next summer), and I would be more than happy to help the cause, but
at the moment it's not big enough to be of interest to you. However,
I'm finding my game size growing at an alarming rate each evening
(all that descriptive text, no doubt. With most scenes and dialog yet
to go!). At the rate I am currently going, I expect to have to turn
of strict error checking in a month or two and that has me quite
concerned.

I guess my problem with Glulx is that I have yet to see the "Glulx for
Dummies" doc's to see what is involved in its use and how it
can help me. :( :( :(

However, I shall keep Glulx in mind when the time comes, I really will.

One of the coolest things about this scheme (given the peculiarities
of my game), is that I should be able to control the generation of
either one game or two by changing just a single constant at the start
of the game. It's quite possible that I can use two games for
development
and testing, but still manage to fit it into one with SEC removed for
the final release. Or use Glulx.

Kathleen

--
***********************************************************************


* Kathleen M. Fischer *

* kfis...@no.spam (no.spam = g r e e n h o u s e . l l n l . g o v) *

Andrew Plotkin

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Sep 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/10/99
to
Kathleen M. Fischer <kfis...@no.spam> wrote:
> I guess my problem with Glulx is that I have yet to see the "Glulx for
> Dummies" doc's to see what is involved in its use and how it
> can help me. :( :( :(

http://www.eblong.com/zarf/glulx/inform-guide.txt

Kathleen M. Fischer

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Sep 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/10/99
to
Andrew Plotkin wrote:
>
> Kathleen M. Fischer <kfis...@no.spam> wrote:
> > I guess my problem with Glulx is that I have yet to see the "Glulx for
> > Dummies" doc's to see what is involved in its use and how it
> > can help me. :( :( :(
>
> http://www.eblong.com/zarf/glulx/inform-guide.txt

If that's the "for dummies" version, then I'm trouble! :) :) :)

No really, that was most useful - I think I actualy understood most
of the parts that seem intended for me to understand.

Of course when I read:

"In general, you should search through your code for the .# operator;
for each occurence, find the relevant "2" and change it to "WORDSIZE"."

...it took me a few minutes to recover - I have about 110 files
(if you're out there Graham, thanks again for uping that limit!)
and no multi-file search/replace ability! =8^O

Kathleen (really, I'm fine. I always look this palid green color)

David Glasser

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Sep 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/11/99
to
Kathleen M. Fischer <kfis...@no.spam> wrote:

> Of course when I read:
>
> "In general, you should search through your code for the .# operator;
> for each occurence, find the relevant "2" and change it to "WORDSIZE"."
>
> ...it took me a few minutes to recover - I have about 110 files
> (if you're out there Graham, thanks again for uping that limit!)
> and no multi-file search/replace ability! =8^O

(a) .# isn't used all that often by non-low-level stuff.

(b) If you're on unix, there's grep; when on a Mac, get BBEdit Lite,
even if all you use it for is the multi-file search/replace (URL in the
raif FAQ, but I think it's www.barebones.com).

'No, GLK is spelled "G L K". What is this Java you speak of?'
--Joe.Mason on that portable thing on rec.arts.int-fiction

Branko Collin

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Sep 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/13/99
to
On Thu, 09 Sep 1999 09:07:31 -0700, "Kathleen M. Fischer"
<kfis...@greenhouse.nospam.gov> wrote:

[is it OK to have players enter a code before they start playing
episode 2?]


>imagine a game that takes place easter sunday morning, AFTER the
>easter bunny has hidden the chocolate eggs. Part 1 of the game
>has the player involved with activities leading up the easter egg hunt.
>Part 2 has the hunt itself. There is nothing to keep a player from
>locating the eggs in Part 1 (after all the bunny has already hidden
>them), though first time player probably won't even know they are there
>

>As the player MUST be allowed to roam over the areas where the eggs
>are hidden in part 1, I have to allow for the possibility they will
>find some. Even though they are not hinted at, or required, until
>part 2. To not carry that info over will be cruel to the industrius
>player who locates the items early (which is perfectly find given
>the game parameters), while not having the items in part 1 wouldn't
>make sense.

So entering the code is actually a reward? And people can choose
wether they want the reward or not? Then go for it.

I would have said that anyway. I figure that if the players like part
1 enough to finish it, they won't mind entering a few numbers or a
file name to enjoy part 2 even more (than without having entered the
code).

--
branko
"As we discovered on ifMUD, it works quite well if you read
this article aloud, using the voice of the Emperor from
Return of the Jedi." (Lucian Paul Smith)

Kathleen M. Fischer

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Sep 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/13/99
to
Branko Collin wrote:
>
> On Thu, 09 Sep 1999 09:07:31 -0700, "Kathleen M. Fischer"
> >As the player MUST be allowed to roam over the areas where the eggs
> >are hidden in part 1, I have to allow for the possibility they will
> >find some. Even though they are not hinted at, or required, until
> >part 2. To not carry that info over will be cruel to the industrius
> >player who locates the items early (which is perfectly find given
> >the game parameters), while not having the items in part 1 wouldn't
> >make sense.
>
> So entering the code is actually a reward? And people can choose
> wether they want the reward or not? Then go for it.
>
> I would have said that anyway. I figure that if the players like part
> 1 enough to finish it, they won't mind entering a few numbers or a
> file name to enjoy part 2 even more (than without having entered the
> code).

Well, not so much a reward as a lack of punishment. That is, entering
the number(s) prevents you from having to relocate the (what was my
fictitious example? Oh yeah...) eggs. :)

One idea that did come to me was to have the (frantically searching
for an analogy correct component) easter bunny show up at the end
of part I and retrieve the eggs from you, scolding you mightily for
cheating and hopping away to hide them again. I was quite proud of that
idea, until I realized that I still have certain flags that must be
transferred (had the player asked Aunt Bertha about the easter bunny
yet? Fallen in the vat of egg dye? That sort of thing). <sigh>

And thanks to all who replied, this has been most useful! I think that
in general, the answers to my post have been non negative enough (ugh,
what a statement) to allow me to consider going with 2 games should
I run out of room as well as pursing the glulx option. Perhaps beta
testers can give the final answer to which is better :)

Kathleen (back in room description hell at the moment... almost makes
one look forward to writing dialogue. Almost)

Jim Aikin

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Sep 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/13/99
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MFischer5 wrote:
>
> Given the nature of the game, it can be convientely broken into 2 parts. What
> little information that must be transfered between the halves should fit easily
> into one or two 4-5 digit numbers that would be spit out of Part 1, and read in
> by Part 2. Failure to enter the numbers would simply reinitialize those things
> those numbers represent - no harm, no foul. I could enable players to "save"
> at the end of Part 1 and easily retreive those magic numbers from a saved game.
> The point of the numbers is not to prevent the players from skiping to Part 2
> ahead of schedual, but to provide consistancy for a few randomized key items.

Since I know a little about your scenario, may I take the liberty of
suggesting ASCII nonsense words instead of numbers? Even typing 'daaqr
spgmu' would be preferable to '46819 33381', IMO, to retain some
dramatic unity. Even better would be to give the player the opportunity
to inscribe them in a book at the beginning of Part II. Not a magical
book, of course, since you're not using magic in the scenario (am I
supposed to keep this under my hat? hope not) -- maybe a little
red-leather-covered book that the player is supposed to toss down a well
in order to get things started.

> Note that the entire map and all objects are the same in both halves.

Yes, but will all of the objects be in the same locations? Anything
portable is going to have to be positioned properly in the object tree
when you load Part II. This could be really tedious to code, depending
on the number of locations where things could end up. On the whole, if
you go this route I'd say use an opcode and tuck the data into a file.



> (a) Oooo, cool idea! You really must be genius

> (b) Try it and I'll let you know if I like it
> (c) Are you insane? That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard
> (d) <xyz> did that it was great/ok/stunk
> (e) ???

I'll go with (f). It's a cool idea if done in a sensitive, creative way,
and a hurdle for the player otherwise.

If I were doing it, I'd carefully code it so that certain NPCs would
check the secret code values in part ii and respond appropriately. For
example, the upstairs maid should 'know' that you didn't sleep in the
bed, or stabbed the troll, or whatever. If you choose about a dozen of
these little elements -- each simple in itself -- they will give the
player the _feeling_ that the characters are 'aware' of what happened in
the first half. Worth thinking about, anyway.

--Jim Aikin

Kathleen M. Fischer

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Sep 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/15/99
to
Jim Aikin wrote:
> Even better would be to give the player the opportunity
> to inscribe them in a book at the beginning of Part II. Not a magical
> book, of course, since you're not using magic in the scenario (am I
> supposed to keep this under my hat? hope not)

Oh no! The secret is out!!! Thousands of hours of effort down
the toilet. I might as well delete all 110 files and start over
from scratch. My gothic romance WIP is now ruined for all players
for all time because YOU couldn't keep a secret.

<sob>

Kathleen (yes folks, she is just kidding)

Gene Wirchenko

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Sep 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/16/99
to
"Kathleen M. Fischer" <kfis...@no.spam> wrote:

>Jim Aikin wrote:
>> Even better would be to give the player the opportunity
>> to inscribe them in a book at the beginning of Part II. Not a magical
>> book, of course, since you're not using magic in the scenario (am I
>> supposed to keep this under my hat? hope not)
>
>Oh no! The secret is out!!! Thousands of hours of effort down
>the toilet. I might as well delete all 110 files and start over
>from scratch. My gothic romance WIP is now ruined for all players
>for all time because YOU couldn't keep a secret.
>
><sob>
>
>Kathleen (yes folks, she is just kidding)

Turn it into a tragedy?

Or a murder mystery? (How did the IF author murder the
looseliiped beta tester?)

Sincerely,

Gene Wirchenko

Computerese Irregular Verb Conjugation:
I have preferences.
You have biases.
He/She has prejudices.

TenthStone

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Sep 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/16/99
to
On Wed, 15 Sep 1999 15:13:24 -0700, "Kathleen M. Fischer"
<kfis...@no.spam> wrote:

>Jim Aikin wrote:
>> Even better would be to give the player the opportunity
>> to inscribe them in a book at the beginning of Part II. Not a magical
>> book, of course, since you're not using magic in the scenario (am I
>> supposed to keep this under my hat? hope not)
>
>Oh no! The secret is out!!! Thousands of hours of effort down
>the toilet. I might as well delete all 110 files and start over
>from scratch. My gothic romance WIP is now ruined for all players
>for all time because YOU couldn't keep a secret.


Charles stands before you, the only man left between you and your
dearest love. His heart seems cold to many, but if your journeys
have told you one thing it is that love conquers all. Charles loves
and has always loved Cecilia but thinks she is wed to Raston -- and
so he suffers in silence.

>Tell Charles about Cecilia.
"Charles, what thou knowst of Lady Cecilia's marriage to Raston is
false. She could never wed herself to him, for this I know as a
friend: that she loves thee more dearly than a friend could ever."

Charles looks hopeful for a moment, and then scowls. "Thou mockest
my pain with thy gallanteries."

>Frotz me.
You begin to glow, and your assumed angellic grace is proclaimed unto
Charles. He falls to the ground. "No creature so divine could utter
an untruth. Oh, the joy you bring me!"

----------------
The Imperturbable TenthStone
mcc...@erols.com tenth...@hotmail.com mcc...@gsgis.k12.va.us

J.D. Berry

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Sep 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/16/99
to
In article <37e071a9...@news.erols.com>,

mcc...@erols.com (TenthStone) wrote:
>
> >Frotz me.
> You begin to glow, and your assumed angellic grace is proclaimed unto
> Charles. He falls to the ground. "No creature so divine could utter
> an untruth. Oh, the joy you bring me!"
>


> write note then mail note.
You pen a hasty note and hand it to a nearby gnome. "Quick, man,
deliver this at once to Lady Cecilia."

The gnome awaits payment.

> pay gnome
You lack the funds. There are, however, rumors that treasures abound
in the abandoned(?) troll lair...

> get torch and sword
(from the backpack of holding)
(putting in the boutonniere and compilation of poems by P.B. Shelley to
make room in your hands.)

Ironically, your sidekick Raston the Wizard is here ready for adventure.


Jim

Gene Wirchenko

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Sep 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/16/99
to
J.D. Berry <jdb...@my-deja.com> wrote:

[snip]

>> write note then mail note.
>You pen a hasty note and hand it to a nearby gnome. "Quick, man,
>deliver this at once to Lady Cecilia."
>
>The gnome awaits payment.
>
>> pay gnome
>You lack the funds. There are, however, rumors that treasures abound
>in the abandoned(?) troll lair...
>
>> get torch and sword
>(from the backpack of holding)
>(putting in the boutonniere and compilation of poems by P.B. Shelley to
>make room in your hands.)
>
>Ironically, your sidekick Raston the Wizard is here ready for adventure.

So much the easier for arranging unfortunate incidents:

A large, hungry troll is eying you. This does not look good.

>tell troll about raston
The troll drools.

>point to raston
The troll takes your hint and goes for a purposeful walk/stalk.

>wait
You hear a single scream then crunching sounds.

>think about lack of competition
You drool.

>compose alibi
"The troll was too much and... <sob> I'm sorry. Raston's dead."

>exit dungeon
You run to your treasure.

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