Suveh Nux feedback? (possible spoilers)

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David Fisher

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Jan 2, 2008, 5:16:38 AM1/2/08
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(There are no actual spoilers in this post, but I thought I'd give a warning
in case there are any spoilers in the replies ...)

I was wondering if people could give some feedback about a few things in
Suveh Nux (an entry in the One Room Game Competition --
http://www.ifwiki.org/index.php/Suveh_Nux) ...

Is the "spelling US / UK" option actually useful? Or is the IF community in
general just used to games using non-American spelling?

"Think about" was added more for flavour / characterisation (there's some
non-American spelling for you!) ... did that seem to work? Or did people
stop using it after finding that it didn't give very much useful
information? (Disclaimer: as the "about" text says, it may actually be
useful sometimes).

I am only aware of one person who has attained a score of 100% (apart from
Beta testers). The last 5% involves some non-essential, almost-unclued
actions. I wanted there to be something extra for players to find that
wasn't included in the walkthrough or hints, as a reward for
experimentation. Does this type of game design seem to work?

Thanks for any input,

David Fisher


Smoov...@gmail.com

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Jan 2, 2008, 8:01:08 AM1/2/08
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Hey David,

I sent you some feedback on the game awhile back (right after it was
released, I think), but thought I'd get the ball rolling here.

Myself (and most of my friends who play IF) are voracious readers, and
I don't think we're as likely to be slowed down by non-American
spelling. This is probably particularly true of fantasy fans. It was
an interesting option, though.

I recall using "think about" quite a bit, probably searching for
pertinent information. But I don't recall being displeased that it
was mostly flavor. If you implemented it in another work, I think it
would be best to add a little more "useful" (in terms of finishing the
game) information. If there's the occasional half-hint in there that
helps keep people away from the blatant hints, they'll use it more
often and get the flavor text (helping with immersion).

No 100% here, but I think I'll go back and try one of these days. It
was a very enjoyable game :)

Also: both as someone writing IF and playing it, the invisible
creature was brilliant. A solid reason why it can't be targeted, plus
a source of tension before you know it's nature. I was actually happy
not to find out what it looked like (although I imagined it as some
kind of fuzzy cat/vole-looking thing).

-chris

Jason Dyer

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Jan 2, 2008, 8:49:40 AM1/2/08
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On Jan 2, 3:16 am, "David Fisher" <davidfis...@australiaonline.net.au>
wrote:

> Is the "spelling US / UK" option actually useful? Or is the IF community in
> general just used to games using non-American spelling?

No. Just pick the one you normally use and run with it.

> "Think about" was added more for flavour / characterisation (there's some
> non-American spelling for you!) ... did that seem to work? Or did people
> stop using it after finding that it didn't give very much useful
> information? (Disclaimer: as the "about" text says, it may actually be
> useful sometimes).

A hint from "think about" directly helped me solve one of the puzzles,
so it was
appreciated.

> I am only aware of one person who has attained a score of 100% (apart from
> Beta testers). The last 5% involves some non-essential, almost-unclued
> actions. I wanted there to be something extra for players to find that
> wasn't included in the walkthrough or hints, as a reward for
> experimentation. Does this type of game design seem to work?

Sure, although I find in general it's more pleasing to have a goal and
overcome it
rather than stumble across something. (To be more specific, I can't
think of
anything that was left undone. If the extra points were just from
getting shiny
fireworks with an unusual spell combination I'd be disappointed; if it
was an
extra plot relevation I'd be happy.)

-- Jason Dyer

David Fisher

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Jan 2, 2008, 10:42:56 PM1/2/08
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"Jason Dyer" <dit...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:13da44f4-51fc-4212...@t1g2000pra.googlegroups.com...

On Jan 2, 3:16 am, "David Fisher" <davidfis...@australiaonline.net.au>
wrote:
>> I am only aware of one person who has attained a score of 100%
>> (apart from Beta testers). The last 5% involves some non-essential,
>> almost-unclued actions. I wanted there to be something extra for
>> players to find that wasn't included in the walkthrough or hints, as
>> a reward for experimentation. Does this type of game design seem
>> to work?
>
> Sure, although I find in general it's more pleasing to have a goal
> and overcome it rather than stumble across something. (To be
> more specific, I can't think of anything that was left undone.
> If the extra points were just from getting shiny fireworks
> with an unusual spell combination I'd be disappointed; if it
> was an extra plot relevation I'd be happy.)

The AMUSING notes mention some (literal) Easter Eggs -- the last 5% of the
score comes from acquiring all of these.

For an obscure clue, try contemplating Easter Eggs ...

David Fisher


Emily Boegheim

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Jan 3, 2008, 4:12:30 AM1/3/08
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Jason Dyer <dit...@gmail.com> wrote in
news:13da44f4-51fc-4212...@t1g2000pra.googlegroups.com:

I think I'm with Jason here. Getting the Last Lousy 5% was fun in an
abstract puzzle-solving way, but it would have been good to have been
rewarded with something more than points and Easter eggs. Being able to
develop a sort of relationship with the invisible creature once I'd got
the Easter eggs was cool, but that's not necessary to finish the game
with full points.

I would have liked to be able to find out why I got locked in the vault
in the first place, since the game gives several tantalising hints that
something odd was going on there. (In fact, I'm still turning this over
in my mind occasionally and trying to figure out what really happened.)

Emily

David Fisher

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Jan 3, 2008, 6:11:32 AM1/3/08
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"Emily Boegheim" <emily.b...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:Xns9A1AB93ACCB...@194.177.96.78...

>
> I would have liked to be able to find out why I got locked in the vault
> in the first place, since the game gives several tantalising hints that
> something odd was going on there. (In fact, I'm still turning this over
> in my mind occasionally and trying to figure out what really happened.)

Well, if you really need some closure ...

(spoiler space)
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A bell suddenly rang out somewhere in the house, surprising the two
intruders. Arnon knocked over the earthenware jug beside him, and lunged for
it desparately, catching it just in time. "Careful, you fool!" said his
companion in a harsh whiper. Arnon looked back at him glumly and replaced
the jug on the table.

"Ready? Alright then ... wait! Someone's coming!" The pair quickly hid
themselves behind a curtain and waited breathlessly. The sound of footsteps
slowly faded away again.

"Did you get a look at him?" Arnon's companion asked. Arnon shook his head
slowly, then slapped his forehead. "The servant! It must be his personal
servant. What are we going to do, Gerat?"

Gerat motioned for silence, and listened intently for a moment. "He's
sending the servant downstairs. You follow and ... I don't know ... use your
initiative. But no killing, mind you!" Arnon looked back at him
reproachfully. "As if I would!" he grumbled, then snuck towards the stairs.

Gerat waited a few moments and then walked purposefully through the archway.
The wizard looked up from his manuscripts in surprise. "Who are you?? Aveh
haiak tola-" But Gerat seized him and covered his mouth before he could
utter another syllable.

"Ropes, ropes ... where did I ...? Ah, here they are." Gerat made quick work
of tying the old man to the chair and gagging his mouth, and sat opposite
him gloating. Arnon soon appeared again through the archway, looking pleased
with himself. "Locked him in the vault, I did!" he said, with smile on his
face.

Gerat nodded approvingly, and turned his attention to the old man. "Now then
... a few simple questions, and we'll be on our way. It's said -- it's said
that you can perform -- magic!" He waited for a response, but the old man
showed no reaction. "Well, that could be mighty useful ... mighty useful
indeed."

Again there was no response. "So, if you would just share a little of that
... knowledge, we won't have to kill you, will we?" The old man looked
distinctly unimpressed. "I said, we won't have to *kill* you. As in, dead."
The wizard rolled his eyes and sighed.

"So ... you just tell us the secret, and we'll be on our way, like I said."

The wizard motioned with his eyes towards his mouth. "Oh, yes ..." said
Gerat, "the gag. Now don't try anything funny ... just tell us your secret,
OK?" He carefully pulled the gag down from his mouth.

"Aveh tia amo-" he began, and Gerat covered his mouth again with his hand.
"None of that, now! Just the secret of the magic, understand!" He was
growing quite red in the face. "Now ... we're going to try that again. And
if you do any of that funny business again ...!"

He removed his hand slowly from the wizard's mouth, who sat in stony silence
staring at his captors. Then as quickly as he could, he said, "Suveh haiak
mi-" -- but Arnon knocked him on the head before he could finish. The
wizard's head lolled to the side.

"What did you go and do that for?!?" Gerat shouted. "He's completely out
cold now!"

Arnon said apologetically, "Well, I had to do something! He was going to
turn you into an insect or something."

After a moment's silence, he asked Gerat, "Er, now what?"

Gerat stared at him and said, "I guess that's it then."

"What?" asked Arnon.

"Well, I can't see us getting any more out of him now. Being unconscious and
everything," Gerat replied.

"No ... I guess not," said Arnon. "We off then?"

"Yeah. Put the gag back on him again ... just in case."

"And leave him -- just like that?" asked Arnon.

"The cleaner'll untie him. He must have a cleaner ... big house like this."

"Yeah. OK."

David Fisher


Adam Conover

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Jan 5, 2008, 8:57:35 PM1/5/08
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On Jan 2, 5:16 am, "David Fisher" <davidfis...@australiaonline.net.au>
wrote:

> I am only aware of one person who has attained a score of 100% (apart from


> Beta testers). The last 5% involves some non-essential, almost-unclued
> actions. I wanted there to be something extra for players to find that
> wasn't included in the walkthrough or hints, as a reward for
> experimentation. Does this type of game design seem to work?

I'm going to allow myself to spoil the game a bit here, since it's
included in the subject.

I reached 100% by myself, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I agree, however,
that the easter eggs would have felt more natural if they arose from
unsolved questions or loose threads that the player noticed. For
instance, the first time I completed the game, I did so with a 90%
score. As a player, this says to me "Well, you finished, but you could
have done better", a message which was reinforced by the master's
disappointment that I hadn't captured the creature. The last 5%,
though, works against this expectation, by assigning a task that
doesn't come from the plot or the scenario, but rather just awards
arbitrary experimentation. On top of this, the tasks weren't clued
very well. Once I figured out what the tasks were, I had great fun
trying to complete them, but it was a frustrating while before I
stumbled upon the command that allowed me to figure it out.

As a result, since the tasks were arbitrary and quite difficult to
find, I thought it was odd that the easter eggs were necessary to
reach 100%, since the optimum ending, plot-wise, is actually reached
at 95%. This seems a bit unfair to a player who, remember, has done
everything the game has asked of him. A fairer scoring method would be
to award a player who escapes with the creature a score of "100%, no
easter eggs found." This would give the casual player a feeling of
accomplishment, while still giving curious players the motivation they
need to keep experimenting.

An alternate solution would be to integrate the easter eggs puzzles
into the game better: for instance, the master could tell the player
"Ah, but you're only an apprentice... too bad you couldn't read the
instructions on the scroll!" Once the player solved the (hypothetical)
making-the-scroll-readable puzzle, the scroll would provide the same
instructions given by "think about easter eggs". This is just an
example, of course, but something along these lines would better
justify the scoring system currently used.

Phew! That's a lot more than I meant to write on the subject. All of
that said, I really found the game a delight to play -- the puzzle
design was wonderful, and the magic system was a joy. Great work, and
thanks for sharing it with us!

- adam

Ryusui

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Jan 6, 2008, 4:05:37 AM1/6/08
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I got 100% as well. That binary cipher kept me occupied for quite some
time. ^_^ I also loved the magic system and its grammar.

Adam Conover

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Jan 6, 2008, 3:43:22 PM1/6/08
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On Jan 6, 4:05 am, Ryusui <TheRyu...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I got 100% as well. That binary cipher kept me occupied for quite some
> time. ^_^ I also loved the magic system and its grammar.

Yeah, speaking of which: having seen binary text encodings like that
before (they're often used to obfuscate messages in discussion
forums), I just googled "binary translator" to solve the cipher, since
there's a million and one web pages that do it automatically. If I
hadn't, I think I probably wouldn't have enjoyed doing the cipher by
hand -- pen-and-paper puzzles always feel like an odd fit for
interactive fiction. Not a huge criticism, though.

Victor Gijsbers

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Jan 6, 2008, 4:50:25 PM1/6/08
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Adam Conover wrote:

> Yeah, speaking of which: having seen binary text encodings like that
> before (they're often used to obfuscate messages in discussion
> forums), I just googled "binary translator" to solve the cipher, since
> there's a million and one web pages that do it automatically. If I
> hadn't, I think I probably wouldn't have enjoyed doing the cipher by
> hand -- pen-and-paper puzzles always feel like an odd fit for
> interactive fiction. Not a huge criticism, though.

But surely the cipher was trivial?

S


P


O


I


L


E


R


S

To convert any number into the ma-to system, all you have to do is
reverse the order of its binary form and assign 'ma' to each 0, 'to' to
each 1. Calculating the binary form of small numbers is not the kind of
thing you need to grab pencil and paper for.

Here goes: 13.

13 = 8 + 4 + 1 = 1101 binary.

Thus, 13 is tomatoto.


Regards,
Victor

David Fisher

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Jan 6, 2008, 5:37:48 PM1/6/08
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"Adam Conover" <acon...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:e81bf001-3528-4414...@s8g2000prg.googlegroups.com...

There is a simpler way to do it ...

(spoilers)

Just as you can "think about binary", you can also "think about decimal".

(Or octal or hexadecimal if you want to be weird ...).

David Fisher


rpresser

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Jan 7, 2008, 11:16:33 AM1/7/08
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Agreed. I never even thought of it as a "cipher" -- just a way to
express numbers in a foreign language.

David Fisher

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Jan 7, 2008, 6:05:28 PM1/7/08
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"rpresser" <rpre...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:d67b6955-0902-4039...@41g2000hsy.googlegroups.com...

> On Jan 6, 4:50 pm, Victor Gijsbers <vic...@lilith.gotdns.org> wrote:
>> Adam Conover wrote:
>> > Yeah, speaking of which: having seen binary text encodings like that
>> > before (they're often used to obfuscate messages in discussion
>> > forums), I just googled "binary translator" to solve the cipher, since
>> > there's a million and one web pages that do it automatically. If I
>> > hadn't, I think I probably wouldn't have enjoyed doing the cipher by
>> > hand -- pen-and-paper puzzles always feel like an odd fit for
>> > interactive fiction. Not a huge criticism, though.
>>
>> But surely the cipher was trivial?
>
> Agreed. I never even thought of it as a "cipher" -- just a way to
> express numbers in a foreign language.

I believe Adam was referring to something else in the game (to do with the
last 5%), and not to the numbering system in the book ...

David Fisher


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