[CMP] Feedback needed

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Mike Berlyn

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Sep 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/1/98
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Hi, raifers.

I need your feedback on how to best prepare the hints for the hint booklets.
I've seen a lot of discussion on them lately, and would appreciate you
opinions on how they should work -- not on whether you'd buy one, or think
they're a sign of the coming downfall of civilization as we know it.

Invisiclues style (invisible ink) books, including the marker, will cost CMP
about $8.00 each, so unless you are willing to pay $19.95 for the map & hint
book, we'd better come up with a better solution.

Please vote on one of the following options:
1. Print the questions rightside up, the answers upside down, on the same
page.
2. Print the questions rightside up, the answers upside down, on a "jump"
page.
3. Print the questions rightside up, the answers upside down on the back of
the questions page.
4. Print all the questions in one section, with a number telling you where
to read each of the more-revealing answers.
5. Your suggestion here...

Things we thought of that might work, but we're waiting for the printers'
quotes:
1. Ink you rub with a coin which makes the answers appear. Similar to
invisiclues method requiring no pen.
2. A die-cut window which shows blocks out unwanted letters making the
answer appear in a block of seemingly random letters.
3. A red cellophane film which reveals the answers.

BTW, finished goods for _Once_and_Future_ will be in soon, so pre-orders
will stop within a week or so.

TIA,
-- Mike Berlyn
mailto:mbe...@cascadepublishing.com
http://www,cascadepublishing.com

Doeadeer3

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Sep 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/1/98
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In article <6sh9b0$r...@enews1.newsguy.com>, "Mike Berlyn"
<mbe...@cascadepublishing.com> writes:

>Please vote on one of the following options:
>1. Print the questions rightside up, the answers upside down, on the same
page.
>2. Print the questions rightside up, the answers upside down, on a "jump"
>page.
>3. Print the questions rightside up, the answers upside down on the back of
>the questions page.
>4. Print all the questions in one section, with a number telling you where
>to read each of the more-revealing answers.
>5. Your suggestion here...

All are fine, except 1.). Also 4.) could be too much work, if not done right.

>Things we thought of that might work, but we're waiting for the printers'
>quotes:
>1. Ink you rub with a coin which makes the answers appear. Similar to
>invisiclues method requiring no pen.
>2. A die-cut window which shows blocks out unwanted letters making the
>answer appear in a block of seemingly random letters.
>3. A red cellophane film which reveals the answers.

I don't care for 2.), too much work again. When I want a hint I want it fairly
quickly.

I used the red cellophane film in one game in the past, rather liked it. If you
do that, however, make sure that hints are widely spaced or that hints to the
same question are not together, because the cellophane can also accidentially
reveal other hints. There may be no way to avoid it (because the cellophane is
usually bigger than one line). But the advantage of the cellophane is it is
easy to use, the hints remain hidden until you use it, someone else can use
your "undamaged" hint book after you (for resell or trading) and the hints are
still readable years later.

Those old Infocom yellow markers dried out. And yellowed out hints eventually
fade. I still have lots of Infocom hint books (completely yellowed out, which I
would do after I finished each game, because just reading the hint books was
fun in itself). But most of the hints are now too faded to be readable (and
it's a crying shame).

Don't ignore the resell/trade aspects of hint books, 10 years down the road
collectors will appreciate that. And the goodwill maybe more important than
earning a few extra bucks now (selling more hints books 'cause using them
damages them).

Doe :-)

Doe doea...@aol.com (formerly known as FemaleDeer)
****************************************************************************
"In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane." Mark Twain

Andrew Plotkin

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Sep 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/1/98
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Mike Berlyn (mbe...@cascadepublishing.com) wrote:

> I need your feedback on how to best prepare the hints for the hint booklets.
> I've seen a lot of discussion on them lately, and would appreciate you
> opinions on how they should work -- not on whether you'd buy one, or think
> they're a sign of the coming downfall of civilization as we know it.

Oh, a *practical* question. :)

> Invisiclues style (invisible ink) books, including the marker, will cost CMP
> about $8.00 each, so unless you are willing to pay $19.95 for the map & hint
> book, we'd better come up with a better solution.

Damn. Well, I would probably lose the pen anyway.

> Please vote on one of the following options:
> 1. Print the questions rightside up, the answers upside down, on the same
> page.
> 2. Print the questions rightside up, the answers upside down, on a "jump"
> page.
> 3. Print the questions rightside up, the answers upside down on the back of
> the questions page.
> 4. Print all the questions in one section, with a number telling you where
> to read each of the more-revealing answers.
> 5. Your suggestion here...

Hm. I want to avoid seeing an answer except when I've asked the question.
That means that not only should the answers be occulted when you're
reading the question, they should be occulted when you're reading earlier
*answers*.

So, for example, 1 and 3 aren't too good -- you turn the page around and
there are all the answers staring at you. Easy to read one too far.

I'm not sure what you mean by a "jump page". Like, "The answers to these
questions are all on page 37, upside down?" That would have the same
problem.

One possibility is to have all the questions in the first half of the
book, and all the answers in the second, but have the answers in *random*
order. The whole game's list of answers, intermixed. That way if you
glance at the answers above or below the one you want, you probably can't
make any sense of it. Especially if the questions and answers are sentence
fragments with lots of pronouns.

I can't open the egg. (79)
Who is, then? (256)
How do I get it back? (141)
But I never succeed! (430)

253: Under the rug.
254: Try waving it.
255: What are its exact dimensions?
256: The thief.
257: Maybe he'd like to wash it down.

and so on. (I trust the other matching questions and answers are
obvious...)

Generating such a list is a semi-trivial Perl script or something. :)

> Things we thought of that might work, but we're waiting for the printers'
> quotes:
> 1. Ink you rub with a coin which makes the answers appear. Similar to
> invisiclues method requiring no pen.
> 2. A die-cut window which shows blocks out unwanted letters making the
> answer appear in a block of seemingly random letters.
> 3. A red cellophane film which reveals the answers.

I prefer 3. Rub-away ink is messy. The die-cut thing tears or gets lost
(and wastes huge amount of page space). Red cellophane also gets lost, but
you can buy some more. Should be cheap. You have to print the booklet with
two colors, but that doesn't sound too bad.

If the red cellophane solution is available, I prefer it overall.

--Z

--

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

Mike Berlyn

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Sep 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/1/98
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I should also mention this refers only to printed text, not to on-line,
in-game help or clues.

-- Mike
mailto:mbe...@cascadepublishing.com
http://www,cascadepublishing.com


Damien Neil

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Sep 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/1/98
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On Tue, 1 Sep 1998 10:05:06 -0700, Mike Berlyn <mbe...@cascadepublishing.com>
wrote:

>Please vote on one of the following options:
>1. Print the questions rightside up, the answers upside down, on the same
>page.

I don't like it. a) I can read upside-down text, and b) seeing the first
answer without seeing the second one is a pain. I could see printing them
backwards, perhaps. .siht ekiL

>4. Print all the questions in one section, with a number telling you where
>to read each of the more-revealing answers.

This could work. The answers would be suitably randomized, I presume,
with amusing fake ones interspised. "53. Have you tried immersing Galahad
in the vat of lard?"

>5. Your suggestion here...

In addition to the hint book, make a modified game file (or a password on
the standard one) with in-game Invisiclues-style hints.

>3. A red cellophane film which reveals the answers.

I like this one. Quite a bit, actually. Possibly more than invisible
ink, even.

>BTW, finished goods for _Once_and_Future_ will be in soon, so pre-orders
>will stop within a week or so.

Oh, I thought I had already missed the pre-order period. Time for me to
get around to ordering.

- Damien

Lucian Paul Smith

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Sep 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/1/98
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Mike Berlyn (mbe...@cascadepublishing.com) wrote:

: I need your feedback on how to best prepare the hints for the hint booklets.

<snip>

: Please vote on one of the following options:


: 1. Print the questions rightside up, the answers upside down, on the same
: page.

: 2. Print the questions rightside up, the answers upside down, on a "jump"
: page.
: 3. Print the questions rightside up, the answers upside down on the back of
: the questions page.

All of these options suffer from the 'wandering eye' scenario--the problem
is not separating the question from the answers, but separating the first
answer from the second answer from the third answer, etc., etc.

: 4. Print all the questions in one section, with a number telling you where


: to read each of the more-revealing answers.

Some company did this way back when, to fairly good effect (I'm told,
having never used the system myself.) Magnetic Scrolls, maybe? At any
rate, I like this better than my reading of the first three.

: 5. Your suggestion here...

Glad you asked!

There are many, many options that you could use. There was a thread on
raif I found once that mentioned several of them, but Steven Van Egmond's
raif archives seem to either be down or moved, and I can't find it, but
the URL *used* to be:

http://www.truespectra.com/~svanegmo/raif/05/msg00202.html

(This was pre-deja, so it can't be found there, either.)

At any rate, one method I remember was used by another company which
instead of encoding whole phrases, encoded words, so the answer "Put the
lemon in the cuisinart" might be encoded "221 - 10 - 93 - 56 - 10 - 624".

Another method thought up was encoding the answers 'in plain sight' by
either reversing the entire phrase ("tranisiuc eht ni nomel eht tuP"),
individual words ("tuP eht nomel ni eht tranisiuc") or pairs of letters
("uP tht eelom nnit ehc iuisantr"). (note that I flipped the spaces in
that last one as well--they could be even be left out entirely, if
needed/desired.) A simple computer program could be written to do this,
too (and probably should be--too much chance of error otherwise.)

Alternatively, you could always do a simple letter-substitution cipher--A
becomes B, B becomes C, and so on.

If you want to go the electronic route, there are a variety of options
available to you. You could have in-game hints (although I think TADS is
a little lacking in terms of menus, etc.), or even a separate game
'module' that was only hints (and use Inform for it, even). You could
give the user a bunch of html files, and have them use their browser as a
'decoder' (you could style them as individual .html files as I did with my
So Far hints, do funky things with the colors like Paul Krueger did with
those selfsame hints, at http://pages.prodigy.net/weird_beard/sofar.htm,
or do something with cgi scripts which I know nothing about.)

There are also a couple proprietary formats you might license; UHS
(Universal Hint System) at http://www.uhs-hints.com/, or THL (The Hint
Library), at ftp://ftp.gmd.de/if-archive/solutions/thl/. UHS is avaiable
for a variety of windows platforms, as well as an old version for the Mac;
THL is only available for Win95.


Whatever route you take, here are the forces at work (as I see them):

-The easier it is to get another hint, the more likely they are to go
ahead and get one, before thinking about the last clue.

-The harder it is to get another hint, the more likely they are to either
quit in frustration or skip directly to the walkthrough/final
hint/whatever. Or even just be annoyed.

If the player sees a hint they didn't want to, they'll be annoyed at you.
This should be avoided at all costs. If they see a hint and realize they
could have figured it out themselves from the previous hint, they'll be
annoyed at themselves--but there are things you can do to make this
scenario less likely (namely--making it more difficult to get the next
clue.) Still, if you make it extremely difficult, the player starts to
get annoyed at you again. And heck, from the tone of some of the recent
posts here, some people will be annoyed at you at virtually the first
hurdle you throw at them. So striking the right balance is important.
Personally, I wouldn't mind doing the letter-substitution cipher thing
myself, but I know there are others for which this would be too much.


: Things we thought of that might work, but we're waiting for the printers'


: quotes:
: 1. Ink you rub with a coin which makes the answers appear. Similar to
: invisiclues method requiring no pen.
: 2. A die-cut window which shows blocks out unwanted letters making the
: answer appear in a block of seemingly random letters.

Both of these options would be fine, if I'm envisioning them correctly.
Just make sure you can't accidentally see an answer before you want it.

: 3. A red cellophane film which reveals the answers.

I've seen a variety of games that use this, with mixed results. If you go
this route, make sure you do it well. Too often, again, it's easy to see
the answer without using the cellophane. (And this might be differently
true for different people--see the 'colorblind' thread ;-)

Some other random hint links:

"Cheat, Beg, Wheedle, Cajole" from XYZZYnews #12, at:

http://www.xyzzynews.com/xyzzy.12f.html

My own "IntFicHints" pattern at:

http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?IntFicHints


Wow. If that doesn't answer your question, I don't know what will! ;-)

-Lucian Smith


: BTW, finished goods for _Once_and_Future_ will be in soon, so pre-orders


: will stop within a week or so.

Yay!

John Francis

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Sep 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/1/98
to
In article <6sh9b0$r...@enews1.newsguy.com>,
Mike Berlyn <mbe...@cascadepublishing.com> wrote:
>Hi, raifers.

>
>I need your feedback on how to best prepare the hints for the hint booklets.
>I've seen a lot of discussion on them lately, and would appreciate you
>opinions on how they should work -- not on whether you'd buy one, or think
>they're a sign of the coming downfall of civilization as we know it.

But if I wouldn't buy one, why do you care about my opinion? :-)

>Invisiclues style (invisible ink) books, including the marker, will cost CMP
>about $8.00 each, so unless you are willing to pay $19.95 for the map & hint
>book, we'd better come up with a better solution.

That would be hard.

>Please vote on one of the following options:
>1. Print the questions rightside up, the answers upside down, on the same
>page.

Not very good. For a start, I can read upside down. But even if I couldn't,
there is nothing to stop me reading ahead and seeing the answer to the next
question. And I've probably already seen what the next question is . . .

>2. Print the questions rightside up, the answers upside down, on a "jump"
>page.

Still doesn't prevent me seeing the next answer.

>3. Print the questions rightside up, the answers upside down on the back of
>the questions page.

Still doesn't prevent me seeing the next answer.

>4. Print all the questions in one section, with a number telling you where
>to read each of the more-revealing answers.

Doesn't prevent me seeing totally unrelated answers. There would probably
be a spoiler in at least one answer unless you were *very* careful.

>5. Your suggestion here...

Ideally you wouldn't use a booklet - there would be some sort of
mechanical constraint that would only let you see a single answer at
a time. Perhaps something like an Infotater - all the questions
(on an outer ring) are visible, but there is a little flap you can
lift up to see (at most) one answer. Not a very good solution,
though - it imposes a maximum length on an answer.

If you *have* to use a booklet because of cost contstraints, then I'd
suggest having answers upside-down on a jump page, but not to put all
the answers on the same page (i.e. each answer page contains answers
to questions from multiple different question pages, and no two of the
questions on a page jump to the same answer page). That way I'd be
far less likely to see the answer to the next question.

>Things we thought of that might work, but we're waiting for the printers'
>quotes:
>1. Ink you rub with a coin which makes the answers appear. Similar to
>invisiclues method requiring no pen.
>2. A die-cut window which shows blocks out unwanted letters making the
>answer appear in a block of seemingly random letters.

>3. A red cellophane film which reveals the answers.

I don't like any of these very much (although (1) is pretty close to
an Invisiclues booklet). I think that, nowadays, it's hard to beat
the in-game hint systems we are used to.
--
John Francis jfra...@sgi.com Silicon Graphics, Inc.
(650)933-8295 2011 N. Shoreline Blvd. MS 43U-991
(650)933-4692 (Fax) Mountain View, CA 94043-1389
Hello. My name is Darth Vader. I am your father. Prepare to die.

Mike Roberts

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Sep 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/1/98
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Mike Berlyn wrote in message <6sh9b0$r...@enews1.newsguy.com>...

>I need your feedback on how to best prepare the hints for the hint
booklets.
>4. Print all the questions in one section, with a number telling you where

This is pretty much how we did the Deep Space Drifter and Perdition's Flames
hint books; I think it worked pretty well, but I guess you'd have to ask
someone who used the hint books how they liked it.

The specific way we did it was to have a section of questions and a separate
section of answers. The questions were grouped according to part of the
game, topic, and so on, so that you could home in on the question without
reading too many other questions.

Each question took you to the first hint for that question; the hints were
all numbered and randomly arranged. Each hint included the number of the
next hint for the same question - essentially a linked list. The first hint
was the least specific and each subsequent hint for the same question was
more specific.

We had a third section as well, for "spoilers." This section contained the
final one or two hints for each question. The link from the last
non-spoiler hint always said that the next hint was going to be a spoiler,
so you'd know not to follow the link if you didn't want the flat-out answer.
We thought it was worthwhile to segregate the spoilers into a separate
section so that your eyes wouldn't accidentally take in a spoiler while you
were reading an ordinary hint to another question - this seemed important
because the spoilers would spell out in detail the complete steps necessary
to solve the problem, so they might give something away even without knowing
what question they went with.

[question section]

Q. How do I steal the demon's ring? See hint: 114.

[hint section]

19. Have you seen the family tree yet? Don't go on until you have. Next
hint: 72.
...
72. It's his grandmother's. Next hint: 60.
...
113. You need something from the store. Next hint: 202.
114. Have you tried asking for it? Next hint: 19
115. It's hidden somewhere in the same room. Next hint: Spoiler 305.
...

[spoiler section]

...
305. Look under the doormat.
...

--Mike Roberts
Note: to reply by email, please remove the "-SEENOTE" suffix (including the
hyphen) from my username, and replace it with a single underscore.


Lucian Paul Smith

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Sep 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/1/98
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Lucian Paul Smith (lps...@rice.edu) wrote:

<a bunch of stuff>

Another method I forgot to mention: not having explicit hints, per se,
but instead a list of 'Things to try'. See

http://x13.dejanews.com/getdoc.xp?AN=176703788

I have a niggling suspicion that there was another one I forgot, but I
can't remember that, either. I'll remember it right after I post this
one, of course.

-Lucian

Adam J. Thornton

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Sep 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/1/98
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I already mailed this to Mike Berlyn, but....

What's wrong with Caesar or ROT13? Questions (including fake ones) in
cleartext, hints in cipher.

It's a bit irritating to decode, but not very hard, tough to read
accidentally, and trivial to produce.

Adam
--
ad...@princeton.edu
"There's a border to somewhere waiting, and a tank full of time." - J. Steinman

Weird Beard

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Sep 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/1/98
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My copy of Zak McKracken came with a free hintbook and it included a piece
of red cellophane, but it had a (What do you call that stuff that's a cross
between cardboard and paper?) shell around it except for a window just big
enough to see only one line at a time.

HarryH

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Sep 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/1/98
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In article <6shp8g$jt8$1...@joe.rice.edu>, lps...@rice.edu says...

>Alternatively, you could always do a simple letter-substitution cipher--A
>becomes B, B becomes C, and so on.

Yes! Yes!
Use a cipher, using shifts and shuffle. Use different configurations for each
questions. Sell the decoder rings separately at highly inflated price.

Alternatively, use the Enigma engine. Sell the plates as "collectibles".
There's no patent on the Enigma engine, right?

-------------------------------------------------------
Of course I'll work on weekends without pay!
- successful applicant


Lelah Conrad

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Sep 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/2/98
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Hi Mike!
I like the red cellophane option best -- takes me back to
playiing Password as a kid.

I also like the random numbered hint lookup list, as in the
board game 221B Baker Street. None of the hints around the one you
are looking at makes any sense to you at the time.

Ingame hints are great, of course.

Whatever you do, don't make it so hard that it's frustrating
to get a hint -- we're already frustrated at that point. (e.g., I
don't like those coded answer suggestions.)

Lelah

Iain Merrick

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Sep 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/2/98
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Mike Berlyn wrote:

[...]


> Things we thought of that might work, but we're waiting for the printers'
> quotes:
> 1. Ink you rub with a coin which makes the answers appear. Similar to
> invisiclues method requiring no pen.

This is a bit messy, as people have noted, but I like it when looking up
a hint is irrevocable. This solves the 'wandering eye' problem because
you want to prove to people that you really did only look at the first
hint for the puzzle with the lighthouse, the trained cormorant and the
Black Knight. And even if you're just playing the game yourself, your
pride stops you from irrevocably uncovering too many hints.

Then again, with irrevocable hints it's not so easy to pass the game on
to a friend... hmmm, is that a bug or a feature?

(Oh, and these coin-rubbing things are quite good fun in their own
right. I'm the sort of person who always pounces on junk-mail
scratchcards - the kind where you almost always win a cheap bag or
something and a FREE MAIL-ORDER CATALOGUE.)

--
Iain Merrick

Dennis....@delta-air.com

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Sep 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/2/98
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In article <6sh9b0$r...@enews1.newsguy.com>,
"Mike Berlyn" <mbe...@cascadepublishing.com> wrote:
>>snip<<
> 5. Your suggestion here...

iirc, I once had a hint sheet for the old Scott Adams adventures where the
answers were in a simple substitution code. For example:

HOW DO I OPEN THE LOCKBOX?
4 1 7 3 10

And then you have...

1 - it
2 - orange
3 - the
4 - give
5 - break
6 - water
7 - to
8 - is
9 - strawberry
10 - thief

You could, of course, include fake questions and unused words in the list.

Just a suggestion...

-----== Posted via Deja News, The Leader in Internet Discussion ==-----
http://www.dejanews.com/rg_mkgrp.xp Create Your Own Free Member Forum

Karen Litzau

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Sep 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/2/98
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In article <6shv80$s87$1...@cnn.Princeton.EDU>,

Adam J. Thornton <ad...@princeton.edu> wrote:
>I already mailed this to Mike Berlyn, but....
>
>What's wrong with Caesar or ROT13? Questions (including fake ones) in
>cleartext, hints in cipher.
>

<delurking>

My vote is for Caesar, Rot13, or the red cellophane. I *like* decoding
ciphers, though I'm sure other people would find this annoying. And I
wouldn't be as tempted to read the other clues.

If cipher isn't possible, then I would be happy with red cellophane.

</delurking>

--xnera


--
Karen Litzau | http://csweb.sxu.edu/klitzau/
ka...@sxu.edu | Try nyx! telnet://nyx.nyx.net - login "new"
kli...@nyx.net | "Gravitation cannot be held responsible for
----------------------+ people falling in love." - Albert Einstein

Kathy I. Morgan

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Sep 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/2/98
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Adam J. Thornton <ad...@princeton.edu> wrote:

> What's wrong with Caesar or ROT13? Questions (including fake ones) in
> cleartext, hints in cipher.
>

> It's a bit irritating to decode, but not very hard, tough to read
> accidentally, and trivial to produce.

ROT13 would work well and not be too much of a problem to decode, since
almost all newsreaders will decode for you.

--
Kathy

Kathy I. Morgan

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Sep 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/2/98
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Damien Neil <ne...@acm.rpi.edu> wrote:

> I could see printing them
> backwards, perhaps. .siht ekiL
>

> >4. Print all the questions in one section, with a number telling you where

> >to read each of the more-revealing answers.
>

> This could work. The answers would be suitably randomized, I presume,
> with amusing fake ones interspised. "53. Have you tried immersing Galahad
> in the vat of lard?"

It seems to me I had a game that combined these two, with answers
randomized and backwards. It worked pretty well. I didn't inadvertently
read hints before I wanted them. (And yes, I do appreciated some kind of
hint system, either online or printed. Not the UHS, though--I can't seem
to get it to work.) :-)

Kathy

Den of Iniquity

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Sep 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/3/98
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On Wed, 2 Sep 1998, Iain Merrick wrote:

>Mike Berlyn wrote:
>
>> 1. Ink you rub with a coin which makes the answers appear. Similar to
>> invisiclues method requiring no pen.
>
>This is a bit messy, as people have noted

Perhaps people are misunderstanding what Mike is talking about. A piece of
card with a silvery layer on it that can be scratched off - a scratchcard
- can be messy, but that's not what Mike's after. Read his words and take
them more literally. I'm not sure how the process actually works. Anyone
care to enlighten me?

--
Den


Andrew Plotkin

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Sep 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/3/98
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Den of Iniquity (dms...@york.ac.uk) wrote:
> On Wed, 2 Sep 1998, Iain Merrick wrote:

> >Mike Berlyn wrote:
> >
> >> 1. Ink you rub with a coin which makes the answers appear. Similar to
> >> invisiclues method requiring no pen.
> >
> >This is a bit messy, as people have noted

> Perhaps people are misunderstanding what Mike is talking about. A piece of
> card with a silvery layer on it that can be scratched off - a scratchcard
> - can be messy, but that's not what Mike's after. Read his words and take
> them more literally.

His literal words do describe a scratchcard (if you call the silver stuff
"ink"). That's what I assumed he meant, too.

If you mean that's *not* what he meant -- I guess there could be ink in
microcapsules. Exactly like scratch-and-sniff, except it releases color
instead of scent. I've never heard of such a thing before, but it's
possible. (It's just tiny plastic bubbles with stuff in them.)

I'd worry that the stuff would leak over time. A scratch-and-sniff device
tends to fade out as scents leak out and diffuse away. My guess is that
scratch-and-read would slowly become readable, even without being touched,
as the ink leaked out. Not ideal.

I also have a slight prejudice towards system that aren't one-use. I
realize a publisher has no motivation to increase the resale or
more-than-one-person-playing value, but if I'm going to pay for a
book/game/entertainment thing, I like to keep it in near-mint condition.

Edan

unread,
Sep 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/3/98
to
Well, I think invisiclue style hints, with the answers to the questions on a different page would be good. And perhaps have any important words/nouns (that might give away the clue if your eyes wander) encoded with each letter one up from the previous (a->b, b->c, etc) as this is easy todecode in ones head if you try (well, in my head). Also, something nice would have unnecisary clues questions as this avoids wandering eyes and makes the clues interesting. Also, please include a what-to-do-after-the-adventure-game-is-over list. Thats one thing I always try to do after I finish a game. Some other things that would be nice would be:

a) A list of ways that make the game unwinnable (not always possible, but)
b) organizing the clues by locasion/time/etc whatever fits the game
c) some details into the actual programming would be nice. ie, something
which details how things happen, or why characters do what they do. This makes
both for an interesting read and helps with dealing with player puzzles. (especially in games where walkthroughs can never be made cause characters interact and change the game world constantly)

A section with general playing suggestions, and perhaps, details on what kind of puzzles are in the game. ie, I dont want to go interacting with lots of people and get nowhere if I didn't realize that I should be SEARCHing everywhere (over, under, behind, yawn, etc), before I should...

Good luck

Mike Berlyn

unread,
Sep 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/5/98
to
The process is _not_ scratch-off ink -- rather, it looks like moiré patterns
or banknote encryption. You cannot see the words beneath the printing.
Rubbing the ink causes the encryption printing to reveal the answers. I am
awaiting bids from printers -- it's a two step printing process.

-- Mike
mailto:mbe...@cascadepublishing.com
http://www.cascadepublishing.com


Den of Iniquity wrote in message ...


>On Wed, 2 Sep 1998, Iain Merrick wrote:
>
>>Mike Berlyn wrote:
>>
>>> 1. Ink you rub with a coin which makes the answers appear. Similar to
>>> invisiclues method requiring no pen.
>>
>>This is a bit messy, as people have noted
>
>Perhaps people are misunderstanding what Mike is talking about. A piece of
>card with a silvery layer on it that can be scratched off - a scratchcard
>- can be messy, but that's not what Mike's after. Read his words and take

Todd Baumann-Fern

unread,
Sep 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/5/98
to
Mike Berlyn wrote:

> The process is _not_ scratch-off ink -- rather, it looks like moiré patterns
> or banknote encryption. You cannot see the words beneath the printing.
> Rubbing the ink causes the encryption printing to reveal the answers. I am
> awaiting bids from printers -- it's a two step printing process.

My kids got a "toy" in their Fruity Pebbles. It's a cardboard picture of the
Flintstones with special areas blacked out. If you rub the spot lightly with
your finger or just hold it (body heat), the black temporarily disappears
revealing what was underneath. This would be great for hints. And maybe too
expensive.
--
--Bud tf...@midstate.tds.net

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