Directions on a ship

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John Eriksson

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Nov 19, 2002, 9:21:31 AM11/19/02
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If I were to put the PC on a ship, which directions should I use?

Stick with the North(N),South(S),West(W),East(E) system or use
something like
Fore(F), Aft(A), Starboard(S) and Port(P)?

I guess I could implement them both... but then the short for
Starboard and South would be mixed up.

Any sugestions, experience?

Thanx
/John

perwil

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Nov 19, 2002, 9:36:41 AM11/19/02
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I would say, as a default only allow the nautical directions, then implement
"landlubber on/off" to allow the player to switch to (and from) ordinary
directions.

/Per

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Lucian P. Smith

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Nov 19, 2002, 10:34:25 AM11/19/02
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John Eriksson <jo...@wmdata.com> wrote in <7734a9b2.0211...@posting.google.com>:
: If I were to put the PC on a ship, which directions should I use?

: Stick with the North(N),South(S),West(W),East(E) system or use
: something like
: Fore(F), Aft(A), Starboard(S) and Port(P)?

: I guess I could implement them both... but then the short for
: Starboard and South would be mixed up.

Well, you could have the ship sailing east ;-)

Other options:
-abbreviate 'starboard' to 'SB' and 'star', not 'S'.
-allow the user to switch modes (as someone has suggested already)
-Respond to the cardinal directions with "you head to the port", so the
player doesn't get (as) confused when the ship changes directions.

If you can swing it, I'd recommend using both. Cardinal directions are a
useful abstraction in IF--too useful to discard just because it's not
'realistic'.

IIRC, most existing games with boats either allow both or just use the
classic n/s/e/w. A google search of the ng. for 'port' and 'starboard'
might reveal a bit more, since I know the subject's come up before.

-Lucian

Gadget

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Nov 19, 2002, 10:50:56 AM11/19/02
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Actually, I have never found the compass directions to be
'unrealistic'. They are a tool to move around, much like a joystick.
I'd just use the compass rather then using some 'non standard'
directional system, since that would actually draw people *out* of
the game. If you have to think about which directional commands you
have to use you become aware of the interface which breaks suspension
of disbelief.


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It's a plane...
No, it's... Gadget?
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Paul Drallos

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Nov 19, 2002, 11:04:03 AM11/19/02
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John Eriksson wrote:

Take a look at HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It used both
when appropriate Heart of Gold.
-Paul


L. Ross Raszewski

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Nov 19, 2002, 12:41:48 PM11/19/02
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Make the boat be going east.
:-)

Jonathan Penton

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Nov 19, 2002, 2:42:25 PM11/19/02
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"John Eriksson" <jo...@wmdata.com> wrote in message
news:7734a9b2.0211...@posting.google.com...

I seem to be in the minority opinion here, but I vastly prefer (F)ore,
(A)ft, (S)tar(B)oard (SB, that is), and (P)ort. Cardinal directions are not,
for me, an abstraction; they're tied into my concrete perception of the map
of the game. I have a hard time drawing and remembering maps, and I find it
much easier to orient myself on an IF boat if the directions make sense to
me.

--
Jonathan Penton
http://www.unlikelystories.org


Tommy Herbert

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Nov 19, 2002, 3:44:47 PM11/19/02
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> Actually, I have never found the compass directions to be
> 'unrealistic'. They are a tool to move around, much like a joystick.
> I'd just use the compass rather then using some 'non standard'
> directional system, since that would actually draw people *out* of
> the game. If you have to think about which directional commands you
> have to use you become aware of the interface which breaks suspension
> of disbelief.
>

Graham Nelson used "fore" and "aft" on the ship in Curses. When you
typed n, s, e or w you got a message along the lines of "Those
landlubber directions are no good here." I liked it.

Nikos Chantziaras

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Nov 19, 2002, 4:32:01 PM11/19/02
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The Tads 3 library has them. No need to invent them (but a need to learn
Tads 3, that is.)


-- Niko


Jacqueline A. Lott

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Nov 19, 2002, 9:36:34 PM11/19/02
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Well, darn it all. Two people beat me to the
"have the boat sail east" reply!

Darn, darn, darn.

I guess I'd prefer F, A, P, S, but that may
be because I spend lots of time in boats and
planes. I am in the minority in that respect -
most folks keep their feet on land most of the
time, so I guess I also agree with those who
say you should try to implement both. S/SB
was a good suggestion for differentiating
south and starboard, but I also liked the idea
of choosing which scheme to use. Perhaps you
could give the player a choice before the game
really even starts... similar to:

Do you want color? _

Just a thought.

- Jacqueline A. Lott

Don Quixote

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Nov 20, 2002, 10:46:57 AM11/20/02
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Jacqu...@MountainMemoirs.com (Jacqueline A. Lott) wrote in
news:d4b6f29f.02111...@posting.google.com:

> I guess I'd prefer F, A, P, S, but that may
> be because I spend lots of time in boats and
> planes. I am in the minority in that respect -
> most folks keep their feet on land most of the
> time, so I guess I also agree with those who
> say you should try to implement both.

I would love to see F/A/P/SB on ships. One benefit that I haven't seen
mentioned is that you can use cardinal directions to steer the vessel,
and have yourself move in nautical directions.

That would make for an interesting piece of IF... a story that took
place in some island chain (say, the Caribbean), and the only way
between islands was by a steerable boat.

David Thornley

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Nov 20, 2002, 1:10:14 PM11/20/02
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In article <574B9D9CB2551FD7.91F40B09...@lp.airnews.net>,

Don Quixote <donqui...@hotmail.takethispartout.com> wrote:
>Jacqu...@MountainMemoirs.com (Jacqueline A. Lott) wrote in
>news:d4b6f29f.02111...@posting.google.com:
>
>I would love to see F/A/P/SB on ships. One benefit that I haven't seen
>mentioned is that you can use cardinal directions to steer the vessel,
>and have yourself move in nautical directions.
>
Except that most of the time I'd rather not be steering a boat.
Wondering if you're going to clear that point on this tack is
much more exciting with the wind and the spray and the heeling
than sitting at a keyboard typing it in.

--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
da...@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-

John W. Kennedy

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Nov 20, 2002, 1:23:37 PM11/20/02
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Jonathan Penton wrote:
> "John Eriksson" <jo...@wmdata.com> wrote in message
> news:7734a9b2.0211...@posting.google.com...
>
>>If I were to put the PC on a ship, which directions should I use?
>>
>>Stick with the North(N),South(S),West(W),East(E) system or use
>>something like
>>Fore(F), Aft(A), Starboard(S) and Port(P)?
>>
>>I guess I could implement them both... but then the short for
>>Starboard and South would be mixed up.
>>
>>Any sugestions, experience?
>>
>>Thanx
>>/John
>
>
> I seem to be in the minority opinion here, but I vastly prefer (F)ore,
> (A)ft, (S)tar(B)oard (SB, that is), and (P)ort.

That is the traditional system, as established all the way back in
"Starcross", except that "a" cannot be used as an abbreviation for
"aft", which is therefore not abbreviated at all.

And I agree that it should be used. Infocom simply defined "fore"
as an alias for "north", "aft" for "south", "port" for "west", and
"starboard" for "east". DM4 explains another, more elegant approach,
which is enabled by Inform.

--
John W. Kennedy
"The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly;
the rich have always objected to being governed at all."
-- G. K. Chesterton, "The Man Who Was Thursday"

Don Quixote

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Nov 20, 2002, 4:44:03 PM11/20/02
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thor...@visi.com (David Thornley) wrote in news:3ddbd006$0$4436$a1866201
@newsreader.visi.com:

>>I would love to see F/A/P/SB on ships. One benefit that I haven't seen
>>mentioned is that you can use cardinal directions to steer the vessel,
>>and have yourself move in nautical directions.
>>
> Except that most of the time I'd rather not be steering a boat.
> Wondering if you're going to clear that point on this tack is
> much more exciting with the wind and the spray and the heeling
> than sitting at a keyboard typing it in.
>

Yes, but how many times in the real world are you going to be hunting for
buried treasure?

Adrien Beau

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Nov 20, 2002, 11:32:03 PM11/20/02
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John W. Kennedy wrote:
>
>> I seem to be in the minority opinion here, but I vastly
>> prefer (F)ore, (A)ft, (S)tar(B)oard (SB, that is), and
>> (P)ort.
>
> That is the traditional system, as established all the way
> back in "Starcross", except that "a" cannot be used as an
> abbreviation for "aft", which is therefore not abbreviated at
> all.
>
> And I agree that it should be used. Infocom simply defined
> "fore" as an alias for "north", "aft" for "south", "port" for
> "west", and
> "starboard" for "east". DM4 explains another, more elegant
> approach, which is enabled by Inform.

Well if you do that, be very sure to explain it clearly to your
users. As a non-native English speaker, I would be hard-pressed
to recall these words if and when I need them.

--
adrie...@yahoo.guess

Jacqueline A. Lott

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Nov 20, 2002, 11:35:17 PM11/20/02
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> >>I would love to see F/A/P/SB on ships. One benefit that I haven't seen
> >>mentioned is that you can use cardinal directions to steer the vessel,
> >>and have yourself move in nautical directions.

Yes! That sounds pretty interesting. I think I'd be really
interested in playing something like that (assuming it was well
written, proof-read, and tested, of course!). That's a pretty
neat idea. Has it been done before? Anyone know?

> > Except that most of the time I'd rather not be steering a boat.
> > Wondering if you're going to clear that point on this tack is
> > much more exciting with the wind and the spray and the heeling
> > than sitting at a keyboard typing it in.

How true. I'd rather not be sitting at a computer typing
E, N, S, W, etc. when I could be holding a topo map and really
navigating the country on foot. But such is modern life for
most of us.

> Yes, but how many times in the real world are you going to be hunting for
> buried treasure?

Heh. Exactly.

- Jacqueline A. Lott

perwil

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Nov 21, 2002, 3:59:48 AM11/21/02
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----------
wilhelm...@NOSPAM.hotmail.com
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"Jacqueline A. Lott" <Jacqu...@MountainMemoirs.com> wrote in
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Also, I'm not an expert on naval navigaion but I guess there is a small
difference in meaning for these system:

N S E W is of course relative to the magnetic North/South Pole.
F B L R is of course relative to where your nose is pointing.
F A P SB is relative not to your nose but to where the ship is directed.

So you can say "port side of the ship", but can you say "turn ship ten
degrees port"? Hmm yes I think you can. And if your standing facing aft, and
then say "turn ship port", it would still turn not to your left but the
ship's.

Correct me if I'm wrong! :)

/Per Wilhelmsson


David Thornley

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Nov 21, 2002, 10:37:01 AM11/21/02
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In article <3ddbd006$0$4436$a186...@newsreader.visi.com>,

David Thornley <thor...@visi.com> wrote:
>>
>Except that most of the time I'd rather not be steering a boat.
>Wondering if you're going to clear that point on this tack is
>much more exciting with the wind and the spray and the heeling
>than sitting at a keyboard typing it in.
>
Excuse me, I botched that first sentence. Most of the time,
I'd rather be steering a boat*, or at least sitting around in
the cockpit. (Of course, I only get to do that once a year,
and it probably wouldn't be the same if I did it all the time.)
However, no computer sailing simulation I've ever tried did
anything for me anywhere near what a real sailboat does, so
I don't want to have to worry about navigating a fictional
boat in any detail. It would start to feel too much like a maze.

*Under sail, of course. I'm not nearly as fond of motoring.

Paul Drallos

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Nov 21, 2002, 5:00:08 PM11/21/02
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Adrien Beau wrote:

> John W. Kennedy wrote:
>
>>>I seem to be in the minority opinion here, but I vastly
>>>prefer (F)ore, (A)ft, (S)tar(B)oard (SB, that is), and
>>>(P)ort.
>>>
>>That is the traditional system, as established all the way
>>back in "Starcross", except that "a" cannot be used as an
>>abbreviation for "aft", which is therefore not abbreviated at
>>all.
>>
>>And I agree that it should be used. Infocom simply defined
>>"fore" as an alias for "north", "aft" for "south", "port" for
>>"west", and
>>"starboard" for "east". DM4 explains another, more elegant
>>approach, which is enabled by Inform.
>>
>

I've noticed that no body has mentioned the intermediate directions
which would be equivalent to NW, SE, etc. I guess, for example,
Northeast could become Fore Starboard. But nobody says that on a
ship. They would say Starboard Bow, Port Stern, etc. Starboard and
Port remain, but Fore and Aft become Bow and Stern.

Paul

Keith A. Marrocco

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Nov 21, 2002, 7:17:56 PM11/21/02
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Port side foreward, starboard side aft.

I watch Star Trek. I know these things.

K.

Paul wrote:
>I've noticed that no body has mentioned the intermediate directions
>which would be equivalent to NW, SE, etc. I guess, for example,
>Northeast could become Fore Starboard. But nobody says that on a
>ship. They would say Starboard Bow, Port Stern, etc. Starboard and
>Port remain, but Fore and Aft become Bow and Stern.
>
>Paul

--
Keith A. Marrocco - Computing and Information Services
Texas A&M University - (979) 845-1037 - http://lt.tamu.edu/~keith/
Co-Advisor - Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists

Paul Drallos

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Nov 21, 2002, 10:33:59 PM11/21/02
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Keith A. Marrocco wrote:

> Port side foreward, starboard side aft.
>
> I watch Star Trek. I know these things.
>
> K.
>

You could do that, although after 30 years of sailing,

it doesn't sound natural to me. I would use the phrase
'port side aft' to refer to an area of the ship, like
where one could find the head or something. But if I were
just trying to convey a direction, I would use 'port astern'.

However, your suggestion has the very important advantage
of preserving the names of the cardinal directions which will
avoid confusion especially if abriviations are used. So I
would agree with you.

-Paul

John W. Kennedy

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Nov 22, 2002, 7:51:09 PM11/22/02
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Paul Drallos wrote:
> I've noticed that no body has mentioned the intermediate directions
> which would be equivalent to NW, SE, etc. I guess, for example,
> Northeast could become Fore Starboard. But nobody says that on a
> ship. They would say Starboard Bow, Port Stern, etc. Starboard and
> Port remain, but Fore and Aft become Bow and Stern.

Those are used for points _off_ the ship. If it is a question of
navigating the ship, the regular compass points might as well be
used. The "fore", "starboard", "aft", "port" system is historically
for navigating the PC on board the vessel, and is best used there.
And, on the ship, apart from the odd grand ballroom, the diagonals
can be safely ignored for game purposes.

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