The Tower of the Elephant and Railroading (spoilers)

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Dan Shiovitz

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Nov 18, 2006, 12:02:23 AM11/18/06
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This thread will probably have spoilers for The Tower of the Elephant,
so skip it if you don't want that.

I saw a lot of people complaining about railroading in this game,
and I was curious about why that was. The game is pretty linear, but
is that the same as being railroady? Did people who griped about that
realize you could kill the thief when you meet him at the beginning,
and then deal with the lions/climb yourself?

It sounds like the deal may be just that too much of the game has an
NPC telling you to do something (the thief and then Yag-kosha). Is
that right? Is it possible to do a game where an NPC takes the lead
for a while without it being railroady? I got into this a bit in
Max Blaster and Doris de Lightning, and didn't hear any complaints,
but the lead switched back and forth pretty quickly there.

Is the issue more precisely that people don't like having to hit >Z
repeatedly while an NPC accomplishes stuff? Did the second section
feel less railroady than the first, since it didn't really have that?
I realize this is hard to answer, but would people have felt better
about the first section if they'd had something to do while the thief
was dealing with the lions?

How much did knowing it was an adaptation of a piece of static fiction
make it feel linear?

How about the scene with the spider and jewels at the top of the
tower? That struck me as kind of underimplemented and unclued -- did
that contribute to a feeling of railroading?

As is probably obvious, I was a little surprised by the fairly
negative reception this game seemed to get, and I'm curious to find
out why. I know for some people the prose was also a turnoff, but I
didn't see that mentioned much in reviews.

--
Dan Shiovitz :: d...@cs.wisc.edu :: http://www.drizzle.com/~dans
"He settled down to dictate a letter to the Consolidated Nailfile and
Eyebrow Tweezer Corporation of Scranton, Pa., which would make them
realize that life is stern and earnest and Nailfile and Eyebrow Tweezer
Corporations are not put in this world for pleasure alone." -PGW

JDC

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Nov 18, 2006, 12:47:23 AM11/18/06
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Dan Shiovitz wrote:
> This thread will probably have spoilers for The Tower of the Elephant,
> so skip it if you don't want that.

My comments will.

> I saw a lot of people complaining about railroading in this game,
> and I was curious about why that was. The game is pretty linear, but
> is that the same as being railroady? Did people who griped about that
> realize you could kill the thief when you meet him at the beginning,
> and then deal with the lions/climb yourself?

Also, as I found in my second playthrough, if you climb over the wall
as soon as possible (having already examined everything the first
time...) the guard will still be alive. Something to check out.
Also there are a couple of ways to go after meeting Yag-kosha, which
lead to slight differences.

> It sounds like the deal may be just that too much of the game has an
> NPC telling you to do something (the thief and then Yag-kosha). Is
> that right? Is it possible to do a game where an NPC takes the lead
> for a while without it being railroady? I got into this a bit in
> Max Blaster and Doris de Lightning, and didn't hear any complaints,
> but the lead switched back and forth pretty quickly there.

This didn't bother me.

[snip]


>
> How much did knowing it was an adaptation of a piece of static fiction
> make it feel linear?

I found it particularly less linear than MANALIVE, which I didn't
finish because I felt I either needed to read the novel first (which I
didn't have time for then) or follow the walkthrough directly (which
seemed like it would be less satisfying than simply reading the novel).
Tower of the Elephant seemed to make a good effort to accomodate
deviating from the original story (which I haven't read, so I'm sort of
guessing about the original narrative, although I'm pretty sure). Your
earlier actions do affect some of your later conversation, for
instance.

> How about the scene with the spider and jewels at the top of the
> tower? That struck me as kind of underimplemented and unclued -- did
> that contribute to a feeling of railroading?

This was my second-favorite spider battle of the comp. :)

-JDC

d...@pobox.com

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Nov 18, 2006, 5:34:04 AM11/18/06
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On Nov 18, 5:02 am, d...@cs.wisc.edu (Dan Shiovitz) wrote:
> This thread will probably have spoilers for The Tower of the Elephant,
> so skip it if you don't want that.
>
> I saw a lot of people complaining about railroading in this game,
> and I was curious about why that was. The game is pretty linear, but
> is that the same as being railroady? Did people who griped about that
> realize you could kill the thief when you meet him at the beginning,
> and then deal with the lions/climb yourself?

Whilst I knew the game was an adaptation I didn't initially realise
quite how closely Andersson had followed the original text both in
story and literal text.

Initially I thought the "sidekick" (the thief) was quite neat, and
whilst I did think that waiting around watching the thief did all the
hard work was a bit lame (that is, linear and railroady) I also thought
it was quite a useful device. I had (generously) assumed that there
would be a way for me to do all the stuff that the thief was doing, so
in effect I was being offered two choices by the game: either sit back
and watch; or, intervene and push the story forwards yourself. I think
in this case the game suffers from it being not clear how I could
intervene if I wanted to take over from the thief.

When I got stuck, getting past the spider, I restarted and I think it
was at this point that I also consulted enough of the original text to
see how closely Andersson had followed it.

The second play through I observed that I could kill the guard and the
thief and get past the lions myself. I appreciate the possibility of
the branching here, but I think the way it is presented makes it
difficult for a player to realise that there is a branching possibility
and then also difficult to realise how to take the alternate branch.

Here's a note I made at the time:

An NPC in the game clearly exists because the author couldn't be
bothered with the necessary clueing and programming to make it so that
the player can solve the puzzles that the NPC solves for you (assuming
the NPC is in a fit state to do so).

That sounds a bit bitter (and I probably was, given the prospect of
scoring all those games), but I feel that it still reflects something
that's wrong with the way the gameplay works. I can't remember, but it
looks like I wrote that note before realising that the thief exists in
the game because he's in the original text.

Without the thief (imagine an alternate where the guard and the thief
kill each other for example) the games leaves insufficient clues to get
past the lions. The only way I knew how to defeat the lions without
the thief was by watching the thief defeat them in an earlier
playthrough. This might be interesting on some sort of meta-level, but
it's not the sort of thing we expect in text adventures.

The thief also presents a further problem (also present in Max Blaster
and Doris de Lightning Against the Parrot Creatures of Venus): the
player can use the thief as a crutch, solving the early puzzles on
autopilot without really having to do anything. This isn't even the
fault of the lazy player; the game strongly encourages you to take this
approach. That means that by the time the player gets to a puzzle that
they _have_ to solve alone they haven't had any practice at solving any
of the game's puzzles.

I never got past the spider, possibly because The Traveling Swordsman
had coloured my idea of what spider fights should be like.

Sorry I didn't answer your questions more directly.

drj

dgen...@hotmail.com

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Nov 18, 2006, 6:51:50 AM11/18/06
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d...@pobox.com wrote:
> On Nov 18, 5:02 am, d...@cs.wisc.edu (Dan Shiovitz) wrote:
> > This thread will probably have spoilers for The Tower of the Elephant,
> > so skip it if you don't want that.
snip

> The second play through I observed that I could kill the guard and the
> thief and get past the lions myself. I appreciate the possibility of
> the branching here, but I think the way it is presented makes it
> difficult for a player to realise that there is a branching possibility
> and then also difficult to realise how to take the alternate branch.
>

Not if you're a player like me whose first response to every puzzle is
"kill" and "destroy". It took me a second look at the game to realize
I could actually "talk" to the thief.

Another point of interactivity: Players who choose to kill the thief,
are not limited to killing him when they first meet. My choice the
third time was to kill him just before he entered the spider chamber.
Why make the poor spider do all the hard work?

As has been pointed out, the game offers a number of opportunities for
interactivity and choice (maybe still not enough, but a number). So I
think the "railroady" comments come from the fact that there aren't any
significant branch points in the map itself. Solve a puzzle. Go to
the next location. Solve a puzzle. Go to the next location.

As a player, I prefer big map games (more similar to the layout of
traditional IF) in which the player can have several different puzzles
in their mind at once, and can choose which order to tackle them. That
said, I've become accustomed to the more linear structure of some
modern IF naratives, and didn't feel it detracted significantly from
"Tower of the Elephant".

I didn't take very many notes while playing Tower, but gave the
following scores:
3/5 technical quality
4/5 narative quality
4/5 scope and depth of implementation
4/5 personal enjoyment
Competition score: 7/10

"technical quality" lost points because of some "guess the action"
problems in the spider fight, and later dialogue with the elephant.

Dave

crow...@gmail.com

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Nov 18, 2006, 10:05:33 AM11/18/06
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Dan Shiovitz wrote:

> Is the issue more precisely that people don't like having to hit >Z
> repeatedly while an NPC accomplishes stuff? Did the second section
> feel less railroady than the first, since it didn't really have that?
> I realize this is hard to answer, but would people have felt better
> about the first section if they'd had something to do while the thief
> was dealing with the lions?
>
> How much did knowing it was an adaptation of a piece of static fiction
> make it feel linear?


Personally, I think that's precisely it. It is certainly possible to
have an NPC leading the way, without being completely bored. I think
the key is to make the NPCs not omnipotent or omniscient. The NPC
should share a common goal, and perhaps have more ideas on how to get
there-know the exact way, perhaps, have advice for obstacles, but the
NPC should not accomplish all the tasks. In this, you were somewhat
hampered by the fact that you were dealing with an established story,
and so could not create difficulties that did not in fact arise. Were
you writing an original piece, I think this would have been much
easier.

Personally, I really don't like adaptations of static fiction in IF
entries. I can be interested in IF stories which take place in a
nonoriginal world created by static fiction, but adaptations really
don't seem that interesting to me-I can read the piece of fiction
faster than I can take two hours to review the game, and it's likely
written better, if it's of the calibre to inspire imitators. I have yet
to see an IF game modelled off static fiction that significantly added
to the piece, with the exception of oral histories and fireside tales
collected in written books, which do not, I think, fall into quite the
same category.

For example, had you written an original adventure about Conan, I
likely would have thought it quite clever, and been much more eager to
read it. You also would not have been hampered by the fact that the
bare-bones stories of Conan are rarely that interesting, when reduced
in that fashion. They generally need either the comic visual effects or
the thick writing of the books to make them interesting. In a sense,
this medium makes it easy to see how much more ridiculous some of the
things are in the original stories.

Of course, just my two cents.

-S.

d...@pobox.com

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Nov 18, 2006, 10:23:14 AM11/18/06
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On Nov 18, 3:05 pm, "crowhe...@gmail.com" <crowhe...@gmail.com> wrote:
> For example, had you written an original adventure about Conan

By the way, Dan Shiovitz didn't write The Tower of the Elephant. I
admire his dedication to the cause of self-improvement (analysing
criticisms of someone else's work in order to shed light on perceived
failings in his own).

drj

d...@pobox.com

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Nov 18, 2006, 10:30:50 AM11/18/06
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On Nov 18, 11:51 am, dgengl...@hotmail.com wrote:
> d...@pobox.com wrote:
> > On Nov 18, 5:02 am, d...@cs.wisc.edu (Dan Shiovitz) wrote:
> > > This thread will probably have spoilers for The Tower of the Elephant,
> > > so skip it if you don't want that.
> snip
> > The second play through I observed that I could kill the guard and the
> > thief and get past the lions myself. I appreciate the possibility of
> > the branching here, but I think the way it is presented makes it
> > difficult for a player to realise that there is a branching possibility
> > and then also difficult to realise how to take the alternate branch.
> Not if you're a player like me whose first response to every puzzle is
> "kill" and "destroy". It took me a second look at the game to realize
> I could actually "talk" to the thief.

Aren't you confusing "taking the alternate branch" with "realising that
there was a branch"? By your own admission you say you didn't realise,
on the first play through, that was an alternative to killing the
thief.

drj

PTN

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Nov 18, 2006, 2:21:51 PM11/18/06
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Dan Shiovitz wrote:

> I saw a lot of people complaining about railroading in this game,
> and I was curious about why that was.

I was very surprised, too. Railroading is when the player can't do
anything, the game forcing you into specific choices whether you want
them or not. I never saw any evidence of this in Tower of the Elephant.

I considered this story as a possibility for adapting to IF a while
back, but I couldn't see how to do it well. First there's the fact that
the other thief does a lot of the work, but then I couldn't see how to
code the player doing the same thing very easily or without a lot of
clue-ing. I thought the way the author set up this early section was
something of a masterstroke in terms of adaptation - allowing you to
watch the thief, but then to play again and do it yourself, as well,
thus providing its own built in walkthrough for the early part of the
game.


> How much did knowing it was an adaptation of a piece of static fiction
> make it feel linear?

Doesn't seem like there's a lot of love for adaptations. Which is too
bad, really, because they offer their own set of unique and interesting
challenges to the writer. We need a Best Adaptation award category for
IF.

>
> How about the scene with the spider and jewels at the top of the
> tower? That struck me as kind of underimplemented and unclued -- did
> that contribute to a feeling of railroading?

I don't know -- I thought the spider scene was very well done as well,
as at first it's hard to know what's going on. When playing, I killed
the spider immediately, then had to UNDO to see if in fact the command
I typed was really responsible for killing the spider, or if you could
simply keep typing ATTACK SPIDER to defeat it, which it seems like you
can't.

> As is probably obvious, I was a little surprised by the fairly
> negative reception this game seemed to get, and I'm curious to find
> out why. I know for some people the prose was also a turnoff, but I
> didn't see that mentioned much in reviews.

It was one of the highlights of the Comp for me, and I'd love to see a
sequel. QUEEN OF THE BLACK COAST, perhaps?

-- Peter
http://www.illuminatedlantern.com/1893

dgen...@hotmail.com

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Nov 18, 2006, 2:29:29 PM11/18/06
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Point taken. Our first time through the game, we each made a choice
(if only subconsciously) which seemed natural to our respective styles
as players. The game responded appropriately to both styles of play.
And when we came back for a second play, we both realized that another
option might be available.

But isn't that flexibility a desirable feature in a work of interactive
fiction? Getting back to the original topic of "railroading", I think
this encounter with the thief is a positive example of the player NOT
being railroaded toward a particular outcome. For judges who
criticized the game for being too rail-roady, I think there must have
been some other problem with the game. I personally think the flaw was
in laying out the puzzles in too linear a sequence, rather than an
absence of fairly obvious alternate paths within the individual
locations.

Dave

> drj

Dan Shiovitz

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Nov 18, 2006, 4:44:00 PM11/18/06
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In article <1163863393.9...@h48g2000cwc.googlegroups.com>,

Yeah, I'm not the author, although
1) I was a beta-tester and
2) I think Conan is awesome (the Howard stories, anyway)
so this game is at the top of my "why'd this game place so low in the
comp?" list, and I'm curious to find out why it ended up there. Many
of the replies on this thread seem to be by people who actually liked
the game, which isn't as helpful for answering that, although the real
answer may be just that they liked other games more.

>drj

d...@pobox.com

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Nov 18, 2006, 5:28:46 PM11/18/06
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On Nov 18, 9:44 pm, d...@cs.wisc.edu (Dan Shiovitz) wrote:
> In article <1163863393.968815.224...@h48g2000cwc.googlegroups.com>,


>
> <d...@pobox.com> wrote:
>
> >On Nov 18, 3:05 pm, "crowhe...@gmail.com" <crowhe...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >> For example, had you written an original adventure about Conan
>
> >By the way, Dan Shiovitz didn't write The Tower of the Elephant. I
> >admire his dedication to the cause of self-improvement (analysing
> >criticisms of someone else's work in order to shed light on perceived

> >failings in his own).Yeah, I'm not the author, although


> 1) I was a beta-tester and
> 2) I think Conan is awesome (the Howard stories, anyway)
> so this game is at the top of my "why'd this game place so low in the
> comp?" list, and I'm curious to find out why it ended up there. Many
> of the replies on this thread seem to be by people who actually liked
> the game, which isn't as helpful for answering that, although the real
> answer may be just that they liked other games more.

Ah well, you asked the wrong question then. :)

I liked the game, but I gave it a low score.

I think the Conan stories (I've not read any by the way) make really
good material for converting to text adventures. They're focussed on
action and adventure, and Conan is a larger than life hero that makes a
great PC. I really liked Howard's writing, it's not high-brow, but
it's competent and evocative.

When I checked the original text I saw how much Andersson had taken
Howard's words and dropped them into the game. This left me in a real
dilemma about how to score. I did like the game, but I didn't honestly
feel that I could judge this entry the same way I judged the others,
other entries where the author had done the programming _and_ the
writing. I appreciate that it's a non-trivial task for Andersson to
take Howard's text and arrange it in a text adventure, but I don't
think it really compares to the task of having to create original text
from scratch. On the other hand I think it's a clever way to make the
task of creating games easier, perhaps especially for people whose
writing is not their strong point (though there's plenty of evidence to
suggest that Andersson has no problem with his writing).

I don't award points of the basis of sweat and tears, but all the same
I thought Andersson hadn't been through the same crucible as other
entrants.

Outside the context of the competition I would recommend The Tower of
the Elephant, but in the context of the competition I docked it. I
still don't know whether that's a reasonable way to score, but I've
already shown myself to be a bit of a maverick in that regard. But
this time I'm genuinely interested in what people think. Did anyone
else consider docking points (for this or the other literary adaption)?

drj

Emily Short

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Nov 18, 2006, 5:39:27 PM11/18/06
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d...@pobox.com wrote:
> Outside the context of the competition I would recommend The Tower of
> the Elephant, but in the context of the competition I docked it. I
> still don't know whether that's a reasonable way to score, but I've
> already shown myself to be a bit of a maverick in that regard. But
> this time I'm genuinely interested in what people think. Did anyone
> else consider docking points (for this or the other literary adaption)?

Hm. I wasn't giving out points myself, obviously, but it wouldn't have
occurred to me to dock the game for that reason. I'd say the *design*
challenge of making static fiction work as IF probably makes up for the
writing challenge of composing that much text.

But then I don't tend to score games for effort as such anyway.

JDC

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Nov 18, 2006, 6:17:47 PM11/18/06
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Dan Shiovitz wrote:
> 2) I think Conan is awesome (the Howard stories, anyway)
> so this game is at the top of my "why'd this game place so low in the
> comp?" list, and I'm curious to find out why it ended up there. Many
> of the replies on this thread seem to be by people who actually liked
> the game, which isn't as helpful for answering that, although the real
> answer may be just that they liked other games more.

That's true in my case; I ranked it 14th on my list (roughly where it
ended up), but I quite enjoyed the game. Part of my ranking may be due
to having played it near the end (31st of the 36 games I played,
according to my notes) when I was just sort of tired; I also ranked
Delightful Wallpaper (the penultimate game I played) lower than I
otherwise might have, partly because I didn't have the energy at that
point to explore it as fully as I should have.

-JDC

Jerome West

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Nov 19, 2006, 11:50:57 AM11/19/06
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d...@pobox.com wrote:
> Did anyone else consider docking points (for this or the
> other literary adaption)?

I didn't dock points as such. On the other hand, I wouldn't award a
game extra points for excellent writing, just because the work on which
the game was based was well written. Maybe this is the same thing in
the end, but somehow I feel better thinking about it this way.

Stephen Gilbert

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Nov 20, 2006, 4:06:52 AM11/20/06
to
On Sat, 18 Nov 2006 14:28:46 -0800, drj wrote:

> Did anyone
> else consider docking points (for this or the other literary adaption)?
>
> drj

(Disclaimer: I didn't get a chance to play The Tower of the Elephant.
These are just general comments.)

An adaptation of any work from one medium to another comes with its own
set of challenges. I don't think it's any easier than original writing;
the difficulties have simply been shifted.

It does seem, however, that when people do IF adaptations of static
fiction they feel the need to follow the source material very closely. I'm
not sure why. When a movie is based on a book, changes have to be made,
because what works in a novel may not work for a film. For example, a
novel often has lengthy narration. A movie doesn't need this because it
can show things visually. I think the lack of love for literary
adaptations in IF stems from forcing the player to follow the plot of the
original material, instead of changing certain aspects to fit the new
medium. MANALIVE I (which I did play) certainly suffered from this. Even
after I shifted my playing style to match the PC's state of mind, I still
could make no progress without resorting to the hints, and then the
walkthrough. The eccentric actions that *I* attempted produced no results.
The player has to read the original book in order to advance an identical
plot in the IF adaptation. Personally, I'd rather just read the book.

I think potential adaptors should take a look at a successful early IF
adaption: Infocom's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The
characters were basically the same, but the plot was loosened enough for
it to fit into a text adventure. In it's previous incarnations,
Arthur is a largely passive, bemused observer with no control over
what happens to him. In an interactive game, however, Arthur must
become the prime mover, figuring out puzzles and solving problems. Instead
of Ford sticking a Babelfish in Arthur's ear, you have to figure out how
to get one yourself, and thus was born one of the most outrageously
devious puzzles in IF. The Hitchhiker's Guide worked as a game because
Adams didn't try to ram the player through a plot identical to the book
(or radio series) with identical pacing.

d...@pobox.com

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Nov 20, 2006, 4:41:12 AM11/20/06
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On Nov 20, 9:06 am, Stephen Gilbert <stgilb...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sat, 18 Nov 2006 14:28:46 -0800, drj wrote:
> > Did anyone
> > else consider docking points (for this or the other literary adaption)?
>
> > drj
> (Disclaimer: I didn't get a chance to play The Tower of the Elephant.
> These are just general comments.)
>
> An adaptation of any work from one medium to another comes with its own
> set of challenges. I don't think it's any easier than original writing;
> the difficulties have simply been shifted.
>

> I think potential adaptors should take a look at a successful early IF
> adaption: Infocom's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The
> characters were basically the same, but the plot was loosened enough for
> it to fit into a text adventure. In it's previous incarnations,
> Arthur is a largely passive, bemused observer with no control over
> what happens to him. In an interactive game, however, Arthur must
> become the prime mover, figuring out puzzles and solving problems. Instead
> of Ford sticking a Babelfish in Arthur's ear, you have to figure out how
> to get one yourself, and thus was born one of the most outrageously
> devious puzzles in IF. The Hitchhiker's Guide worked as a game because
> Adams didn't try to ram the player through a plot identical to the book
> (or radio series) with identical pacing.

HHGG is a rare blessing alas. It was also written by the same author
as the book. I think you're probably right, a text adventure based on
traditional fiction will work better if it doesn't follow the original
text too closely. These days the non-commerical nature of text
adventures would make it difficult to entice a published author to
co-author one. So if people were going to do text adventure
adaptations that didn't closely follow the original, then what you
would end up with is more like fan-fic.

drj

Maureen Mason

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Nov 20, 2006, 10:47:07 AM11/20/06
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In article <pan.2006.11.20....@gmail.com>,
stgi...@gmail.com says...

> I think the lack of love for literary
> adaptations in IF stems from forcing the player to follow the plot of the
> original material, instead of changing certain aspects to fit the new
> medium. MANALIVE I (which I did play) certainly suffered from this. Even
> after I shifted my playing style to match the PC's state of mind, I still
> could make no progress without resorting to the hints, and then the
> walkthrough. The eccentric actions that *I* attempted produced no results.

I have a soft spot for games that make you climb into a freshly-realized
and slightly crazy character, particularly if it's funny. It would have
been so satisfying if those "eccentric actions" were better clued
instead of coming across as entirely random.

> The player has to read the original book in order to advance an identical
> plot in the IF adaptation. Personally, I'd rather just read the book.

Not necessarily. Take a look at the GK Chesterton story, and you'll see
what I mean.

> I think potential adaptors should take a look at a successful early IF
> adaption: Infocom's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Nice example!

Maureen

Maureen Mason

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Nov 20, 2006, 10:47:42 AM11/20/06
to
In article <1164015672....@f16g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,
d...@pobox.com says...

> HHGG is a rare blessing alas. It was also written by the same author
> as the book. I think you're probably right, a text adventure based on
> traditional fiction will work better if it doesn't follow the original
> text too closely. These days the non-commerical nature of text
> adventures would make it difficult to entice a published author to
> co-author one.

Boy, I wouldn't mind seeing a collaboration like this on the Jaspar
Fforde/Thursday Next/Well of Lost Plots universe, whose style makes it
something of a HHGTTG for humanities geeks.

Really, what I think I want to play are more games like Dennis Jerz'
Fine Tuned :-)

Maureen

d...@pobox.com

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Nov 20, 2006, 11:27:05 AM11/20/06
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On Nov 20, 3:47 pm, Maureen Mason <maureencma...@gmail.com> wrote:
> In article <1164015672.081671.34...@f16g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,

For no particular good reason at all I find myself thinking of
non-fiction:

INNER CONDYLE

The inner surface here presents a rough convex eminence, the inner
tuberosity. The outer side here forms a lateral boundary with the
intercondyloid notch, and gives attachment, by its anterior part, to
the posterior crucial ligament. Its inferior (or articular) surface is
convex. Just above the articular surface is a depression for the
tendon of origin of the inner head of the Gastrocnemius.

>X TENDON
(Assuming you mean the tendon of origin of the inner head of the
Gastrocnemius)

The tendon corresponds with the back part of the inner condyle, from
which it is separated by a synovial bursa, which, in this case,
communicates with the cavity of the knee-joint. The tendon spreads out
from her into an aponeurosis, which covers the posterior surface of
part of the Gastrocnemius.

>D
You arrive at the Upper Extremity (Head) of the Tibia.

...

Text roughly adapted from my Gray's.

drj

Dan Shiovitz

unread,
Nov 20, 2006, 11:53:33 PM11/20/06
to
In article <1164040025.0...@m7g2000cwm.googlegroups.com>,

<d...@pobox.com> wrote:
>
>For no particular good reason at all I find myself thinking of
>non-fiction:
[..]

>>D
>You arrive at the Upper Extremity (Head) of the Tibia.
>
>...
>
>Text roughly adapted from my Gray's.

Actually, as bizarre scenarios go, this one is pretty well-covered in
IF, both with last year's Cheiron (not quite the same, but same
subject), and Stephen Granade's Pumping! in Textfire.

>drj

Mark Tilford

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Nov 21, 2006, 8:16:35 AM11/21/06
to
On 2006-11-21, Dan Shiovitz <d...@cs.wisc.edu> wrote:
>
>
> In article <1164040025.0...@m7g2000cwm.googlegroups.com>,
> <d...@pobox.com> wrote:
>>
>>For no particular good reason at all I find myself thinking of
>>non-fiction:
> [..]
>>>D
>>You arrive at the Upper Extremity (Head) of the Tibia.
>>
>>...
>>
>>Text roughly adapted from my Gray's.
>
> Actually, as bizarre scenarios go, this one is pretty well-covered in
> IF, both with last year's Cheiron (not quite the same, but same
> subject), and Stephen Granade's Pumping! in Textfire.
>
>>drj

Brainscape would probably be a closer adaptation.

Richard Bos

unread,
Nov 28, 2006, 5:38:52 PM11/28/06
to
d...@cs.wisc.edu (Dan Shiovitz) wrote:

> This thread will probably have spoilers for The Tower of the Elephant,
> so skip it if you don't want that.
>
> I saw a lot of people complaining about railroading in this game,
> and I was curious about why that was. The game is pretty linear, but
> is that the same as being railroady? Did people who griped about that
> realize you could kill the thief when you meet him at the beginning,
> and then deal with the lions/climb yourself?

Coming late to this thread, but... I don't understand this. In fact, I
would dispute the claim that TTotE is railroaded at all. As I noted in
my (typically short) Comp review of the game, I was particularly taken
by the way in which you can choose different ways through the game, some
deviating quite a bit from the "expected" path.
Yes, you can let the NPC take the lead and follow his every move; IOW,
you can _let_ yourself be railroaded; but OTOH, you can also kill him at
your first opportunity, deal with the problems in the garden yourself,
and, for example, (spoilers here) whfg jnyx guebhtu gur qbbe arne gur
sbhagnva. The only bit which is still fixed is the conversation.

Richard

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