non-human POV

1 view
Skip to first unread message

Felix Lee

unread,
Jul 10, 1994, 12:08:34 AM7/10/94
to
Someone in alt.wolves just announced a forthcoming PC game that lets
you can roleplay a realistic timber wolf. Sounds very interesting,
though it's more of a simulation/RPG than an IF game.

I'm wondering, are there any IF games that put the player in a
non-human character? It's an idea I've toyed with, but it seems like
it would be very hard to do well.
--

I could tell you but then I'd have to kill you...

unread,
Jul 10, 1994, 12:31:35 AM7/10/94
to

Well, technically, there are the two times in HHGTG, when you play
Ford and Zaphod, but that's probably not what you were thinking, huh?

Oh well,

--
------------------------------------------------------------------
| zeeber |(They never give enough .sig room)|
| zb...@silver.ucs.indiana.edu | Finger for PGP 2.6 public key... |
------------------------------------------------------------------


Felix Lee

unread,
Jul 10, 1994, 5:28:19 AM7/10/94
to
zb...@silver.ucs.indiana.edu:

>Well, technically, there are the two times in HHGTG, when you play
>Ford and Zaphod, but that's probably not what you were thinking, huh?

Nope. Ford is essentially humanoid. Zaphod is supposed to have two
heads and three arms, but I don't remember this actually being
important to the scene you play.

I'm looking for some sort of character that's not just a different
role to play, but involves a different way of perceiving or
interacting with the world.
--

Andrew Lewis Tepper

unread,
Jul 10, 1994, 10:21:47 AM7/10/94
to
Excerpts from netnews.rec.arts.int-fiction: 10-Jul-94 Re: non-human POV
by Felix L...@cse.psu.edu
> I'm looking for some sort of character that's not just a different
> role to play, but involves a different way of perceiving or
> interacting with the world.
>
A while back we were discussing IF from a blind person's perspective. As
a matter of fact, I think someone who _is_ blind got in on the thread. I
don't think anything ever happened with it.

You are standing on concrete. A cacaphony of cars roars by, seemingly
feet in front of you.

The smell of baking bread drifts by.
> feel around

Your hand runs into a tall metalic object. It seems to be a pole of some sort.

The smell of baking bread drifts by.
> smell pole

It smells just like any other pole.
> I

You are carrying:
A $20 bill
A walking stick
> feel pole

There is a box on the pole with a button on it.
> Push button

You hear the cars screeching to a halt. A loud beeping sound can be heard.
> north

As you cross the street the smell of baking bread gets stronger.

"Get your fresh baked pretzels here. Pretzels, $1"
> Buy pretzel

"That'll be one dollar"
> Pay vendor

The vendor hands you a pretzel and some bills.
> I

You are carrying:
A pretzel
A walking stick
Some money
>

Bruce Mardle

unread,
Jul 10, 1994, 11:31:30 AM7/10/94
to
In article <FLEE.94Ju...@colossus.cse.psu.edu> fl...@cse.psu.edu
(Felix Lee) writes:
> Someone in alt.wolves just announced a forthcoming PC game that
> lets you can roleplay a realistic timber wolf. Sounds very
> interesting, though it's more of a simulation/RPG than an IF game.

> I'm wondering, are there any IF games that put the player in a
> non-human character? It's an idea I've toyed with, but it seems
> like it would be very hard to do well. --

As luck would have it even as I read your message I was playing a game
on the Web in which one plays a Bostonian dog. Its URL is:
http://www.mit.edu:8001/afs/athena.mit.edu/user/j/b/jbreiden/game/entry.html

Ville Lavonius

unread,
Jul 10, 1994, 11:25:25 AM7/10/94
to
Felix Lee (fl...@cse.psu.edu) wrote:
: I'm wondering, are there any IF games that put the player in a

: non-human character? It's an idea I've toyed with, but it seems like
: it would be very hard to do well.

Hmmm... Infocom's Arthur lets you play a badger. That's about it.

--
Ville Lavonius | Do not mistake lack of talent / '49ers |
lavo...@cc.helsinki.fi | for genius / in 94, for |
http://www.helsinki.fi/~lavonius/ | Type O Negative / symmetry |

I could tell you but then I'd have to kill you...

unread,
Jul 10, 1994, 9:50:38 AM7/10/94
to
In article <FLEE.94Ju...@colossus.cse.psu.edu> fl...@cse.psu.edu (Felix Lee) writes:

Oh, I was just teasing, but, like I said, _technically_, they were not
_human_ they were Betelguesean. And Zaphod's extra appendages were add
on's...

By the by, did anyone else notice that for _Mostly Harmless_, Adams
used the parrot cage on the shoulder (from the Infocom game) for
Trillian's alternate encounter with Zaphod - the one where she doesn't
go with him? I just thought it was pretty cool...

Ciao,

Gerry Kevin Wilson

unread,
Jul 10, 1994, 1:52:30 PM7/10/94
to
In article <Qi80Dvm00...@andrew.cmu.edu>,

Andrew Lewis Tepper <at...@andrew.cmu.edu> wrote:
>Excerpts from netnews.rec.arts.int-fiction: 10-Jul-94 Re: non-human POV
>by Felix L...@cse.psu.edu
>> I'm looking for some sort of character that's not just a different
>> role to play, but involves a different way of perceiving or
>> interacting with the world.
>>
>A while back we were discussing IF from a blind person's perspective. As
>a matter of fact, I think someone who _is_ blind got in on the thread. I
>don't think anything ever happened with it.

[example text deleted.]

Au contraire. I'm just still working on Avalon. And I think that your
example probably portrayed blind folk a bit more helplessly than I'm
going to. I've made several blind friends since I've been to college.
The thing to remember is that once you've practiced something enough, you
get good at it. When you're blind, you are used to being blind, and you
don't need anyone to tell you about the crosswalk button. My friends
would just walk right over to it, feel about on the pole for a second or
two, and push the button. But anyways, back to the thread. Both
Suspended and A Mind Forever Voyaging fit the bill here. Unusual,
non-human points of view. That's all I can think of, but Suspended
REALLY fits the bill.

--
<~~TREV ERA~~~~~~~~~~~~~SIGHT~UNSEEN~~~~~~~~NO~RELEASE~DATE~YET~~~~~~|~~~~~~~>
< I W In the jungle of the big city, a predator stalks one | ~~\ >
< GO SOFT he considers easy prey, a blind student. Feel the fear | /~\ | >
<_______________________...@uclink.berkeley.edu__|_\__/__>

Ivan M CaveroBelaunde

unread,
Jul 10, 1994, 8:02:01 PM7/10/94
to
fl...@cse.psu.edu (Felix Lee) writes:

I wasn't going to answer this (since I figured someone else would have
mentioned it already), but Suspended does this for all practical purposes -
you *are* a human, but are in cryogenic suspension and have the ability
to mentally control six different robots, each of which has different
perceptive and manipulation capabilities (sound, vision, touch, etc).
Everything you see and do is through the "currently active" robot.
Absolutely *loved* it, although it was a bitch of a game.

-Ivan
---
Ivan Cavero Belaunde (iva...@world.std.com)
Avid VideoShop Project Lead
Avid Technology, Inc.

Erik Max Francis

unread,
Jul 10, 1994, 5:04:21 PM7/10/94
to
Andrew Lewis Tepper <at...@andrew.cmu.edu> writes:

> A while back we were discussing IF from a blind person's perspective. As
> a matter of fact, I think someone who _is_ blind got in on the thread. I
> don't think anything ever happened with it.

I would think that if such a game were done well it would be
absolutely fantastic, but if it were done not so well (not even
necessarily badly), it would be nothing but extremely difficult.

At the very least, I'd think it would be a good idea to have a walking
dog, or some sort of help. Of course, your first puzzle would
probably be to find the dog (or the other help).

Which brings up something about how things should be treated in IF
games. Let's say that the blind person starts in her apartment.
Presumably she's been living there for long enough to get used to it,
and would know where everything in the house is -- including the
placement of rooms and objects. How would the room be described? It
shouldn't be described with minimalist information, because the
interpreter is designed to tell the player what she sees, or, failing
that, what she knows about her surroudings.


Erik Max Francis, &tSftDotIotE ...!uuwest!alcyone!max m...@alcyone.darkside.com
USMail: 1070 Oakmont Dr. #1 San Jose, CA 95117 ICBM: 37 20 N 121 53 W _
H.3`S,3,P,3$S,#$Q,C`Q,3,P,3$S,#$Q,3`Q,3,P,C$Q,#(Q.#`-"C`- ftmfbs kmmfa / \
Omnia quia sunt, lumina sunt. ("All things that are, are lights.") -><- \_/

Brendon Wyber

unread,
Jul 11, 1994, 7:27:05 PM7/11/94
to
Howdy,

Well in Zork Zero you can be turned into a violin! Not much game play in that
though.... :-)

Be seeing you,

Brendon Wyber Computer Services Centre,
b.w...@csc.canterbury.ac.nz University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

"Ph-nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn."

Felix Lee

unread,
Jul 11, 1994, 10:57:03 PM7/11/94
to
Bruce Mardle:

>As luck would have it even as I read your message I was playing a game
>on the Web in which one plays a Bostonian dog. Its URL is:
>http://www.mit.edu:8001/afs/athena.mit.edu/user/j/b/jbreiden/game/entry.html

What a bizarre little game. Silly, but fun.

minireview:

You're supposed to be a dog, but the POV isn't particularly
consistent. It's used more for laugh value, and for the
simplification that the limited POV gives you.

The implementation in HTML is interesting, since it's awkward to keep
complex state (like an inventory) in this form. The game is basically
a cross between a linear story and a hypertext tour of Boston.

Your progress in the linear story is encoded in the URL, like:
.../jbreiden/game/level-1/rooms/foo.html

If you find the right place and follow the right links, then you go to
level-2, which is essentially a copy of the whole hypertext map, with
a few changes made. And so forth, until you reach the end.

There are a few too many locations that are just scenery. A lot of
the time, there's no way to tell where you're supposed to go to
advance the plot. You almost have to do an exhaustive search. But it
gets easier as you go along, because there are advance clues for the
"critical" locations, and you only need to visit each critical
location once.

It's a little sluggish to play. WWW isn't really designed to give you
good response time for something like this.

xmosaic's navigation features provide you with an indefinite
undo/redo.

tangent topic: any more HTML-based or gopher-based games out there?
I'm not really sure *why* you'd want to do a game this way, given that
there are plenty of easier ways...
--

Whirl-Jack

unread,
Jul 12, 1994, 10:04:48 AM7/12/94
to
I'm following up to this because the original article has expired off of
my site.

Andrew Lewis Tepper (at...@andrew.cmu.edu) wrote:
: Excerpts from netnews.rec.arts.int-fiction: 10-Jul-94 Re: non-human POV


: by Felix L...@cse.psu.edu
: > I'm looking for some sort of character that's not just a different
: > role to play, but involves a different way of perceiving or
: > interacting with the world.

...I seem to remember a game called "Breakers" (or something similar) where
you were either a cyborg or an alien life form. 'Twas from the same company
who put out M&M Berlyn's _Ooo Topos_ (tho' I can't remember if they did this
one as well).

--r.
--
...i'm dreaming of the light
and the lemon and the yellow...

Andrew C. Plotkin

unread,
Jul 13, 1994, 10:12:20 AM7/13/94
to

> It's a little sluggish to play. WWW isn't really designed to give you
> good response time for something like this.
>
> xmosaic's navigation features provide you with an indefinite
> undo/redo.
>
> tangent topic: any more HTML-based or gopher-based games out there?
> I'm not really sure *why* you'd want to do a game this way, given that
> there are plenty of easier ways...

I maintain a list of WWW-based games. A couple of IF type games are
there, including the dog game you mentioned.

http://www.cs.cmu.edu:8001/afs/cs.cmu.edu/user/zarf/www/games.html

--Z

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

Carl Muckenhoupt

unread,
Jul 14, 1994, 2:02:24 AM7/14/94
to
domi...@ucunix.san.uc.edu (Whirl-Jack) writes:

>...I seem to remember a game called "Breakers" (or something similar) where
>you were either a cyborg or an alien life form. 'Twas from the same company
>who put out M&M Berlyn's _Ooo Topos_ (tho' I can't remember if they did this
>one as well).

I remember that one. You play a more-or-less humanoid alien. The only
significant difference in the way you deal with the world is your height
(about 3 feet, I think), and that isn't relevant most of the time.

Someone back there mentioned Infocom's _Arthur_, where you get to turn into
a badger, an owl, a salamander, a turtle, and an eel. (Hmm, any I missed?)
It greatly effects your abilities and how the game can be approached. A
good basis for puzzles, anyway, and used well. I don't think it
significantly effects perception, though, the way they handled it.
The owl could see in dark areas, and that was about it.

Then there was Magnetic Scrolls' _Fish_, but that just made a joke of
the whole thing. For about half the game, you are a sort of humanoid
fish on a world inhabited by sort of humanoid fish. It isn't really
used as anything but a basis for puns, though.

Carl Muckenhoupt

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages