Mazes for or against?

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michael gerwat

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Sep 28, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/28/00
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Another little thought, mazes first are they still in fashion? What's
the longest maze you've ever found? What game has the most mazes. Which
maze has caused us the most heart ache? Have there been games written
entirely of mazes? Text only I mean? What do you all think?
--
michael gerwat

Lazza

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Sep 28, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/28/00
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Whistling merrily, you typed the following.....

I don`t know about them still being in fashion (I suspect not), but I
myself used to love mapping mazes. The first text adventure I ever
played - Sphinx Adventure on the old Acorn Electron - had three
interconnected mazes that, once I sussed out how to map mazes by
dropping objects, took me ages to map.

The "Netherton Village" maze in one of the "Rick Hanson" adventures on
the BBC had 12 locations, each with 12 exits - all the compass
directions plus up and down *and* in & out! I recall I felt an immense
glow of satisfaction when I finally mapped out that maze, as I had less
than 12 objects to use.

I included a maze in the first adventure I wrote, "Magnetic Moon", but
it wasn`t a "drop object" type maze, you found your way around by a
different method. Very few of my friends liked mazes, in fact many of
them would not play a game if it had a maze in it. As soon as they found
a maze, the adventure was shelved and never played again.

Larry Horsfield

Co-Organiser, Adventure2000 - the convention for all adventure enthusiasts.
Visit our website at www.adventureconvention.fsnet.co.uk

Larry`s own website, detailing the history of FSF Adventures, is at:
www.fsf-adventures.ic24.net
Please sign the guestbook if you visit!

Emily Short

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Sep 28, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/28/00
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----------
In article <Zg4PrFAL...@grate.demon.co.uk>, michael gerwat
<mic...@grate.demon.co.uk> wrote:


>Another little thought, mazes first are they still in fashion? What's
>the longest maze you've ever found? What game has the most mazes. Which
>maze has caused us the most heart ache? Have there been games written
>entirely of mazes? Text only I mean? What do you all think?


Auggh. Against, against, against. I've done my time with mazes, and I'm
not interested in them any more. I don't want to have to drop things. I
don't want to have to do a lot of laborious note-taking. "Hunter, in
Darkness" can get away with having a maze, but only because mapping is not
the solution. Any maze that does not have a clever, non-mapping solution, I
don't care about.

The same principle applies to other kinds of puzzles as well. This is why I
also don't want to see inventory management puzzles, elaborate towers of
Hanoi, fifteen games of any description, or puzzles where I have to try
eight different keys in the same blasted lock. I don't want to replenish my
light source, and I don't want to have to eat periodically. You get the
picture. These are pretty common complaints in the community, so yes, I
know I'm not covering any uncharted territory here.

So what is a good puzzle? One that, in retrospect, has the quality of
obviousness; one based on the discovery of patterns and analogies, rather
than raw grunt work.

I think it's possible to write such a puzzle in a way that turns on
locations and mapping. But I'd want it to be a deductively soluble puzzle:
one where, say, based on the arrangement of locations you were able to
deduce the presence of a secret room or passage. Or one where the
arrangement of locations had some analogical significance: a correspondence
between places and parts of an object, say. The information on which this
puzzle is based ought to be easily and non-laboriously acquired. I should
not find myself banging my head against the wall in fury because I have run
out of objects to drop. And (and this is KEY) I should never, ever be
annoyed by a puzzle that I've already solved. Games where you have to keep
notes at your side so that you can run forward and back through the mazes
are Evil.


ES

PS. Okay, so I digressed a lot. I'll go back to the original question, but
my answer is mildly spoilery for Zorks II and III and for Curses:


The most exasperating maze I've ever played is the "baseball diamond" maze
in Zork II -- and I don't even have the excuse of not being American. I
just didn't get it. And I went on not getting it for prolonged periods of
time. Any game that irritated me that much now would be instantly shelved.

The most satisfying was the moving-walls area in Zork III, which was
something between maze and the abhorred fifteen puzzle, and yet managed to
escape the tedium of either. But that was because you could figure out the
parameters of the situation pretty easily, then sit back and think about the
solution, and then implement it. It wasn't an exercise in mindless
repetition.

Also good was the Hedge Maze in Curses. But there again the point was not
to figure out the configuration of the maze, but to adapt it appropriately.

Richard Bos

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Sep 29, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/29/00
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michael gerwat <mic...@grate.demon.co.uk> wrote:

> Another little thought, mazes first are they still in fashion?

If they're done well, fine. In fact, despite what many people say, I
find a _good_ maze actually enjoyable. Unfortunately, a bad maze is a
real pain in the unmentionables, and too many mazes are excruciatingly
bad.

Richard

James M. Power

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Sep 29, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/29/00
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I remember way back in Adventure (Zork?) when the light went on and I
realized I could map the maze by dropping objects. It was great fun.
However, it is only fun once. Now, if I find a maze, I just quit and go
looking for another game.

I remember watching my toddler-aged daughter realize her blocks had
different shapes and they each could go in the appropriate hole and none
other. It was a revelation for her. She is now three and half and has
no interest in such things. Been there, done that. Her pleasure came
from the revelation, not the mechanics of the action.

I think some game writers confuse the moment of revelation with the
mechanics of solving the puzzle. You only get the revelation once, but
the mechanics can go on..and on...and on...and on.........

-Jim

michael gerwat wrote:
>
> Another little thought, mazes first are they still in fashion? What's
> the longest maze you've ever found? What game has the most mazes. Which
> maze has caused us the most heart ache? Have there been games written
> entirely of mazes? Text only I mean? What do you all think?

> --
> michael gerwat

Jon Ingold

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Sep 29, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/29/00
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> Another little thought, mazes first are they still in fashion? What's
> the longest maze you've ever found? What game has the most mazes.
Which
> maze has caused us the most heart ache? Have there been games written
> entirely of mazes? Text only I mean? What do you all think?

A maze as a framework for a puzzle is fine. The actual business of a
solving a maze is getting a bit tedious though.

That said though, I've not seen a dropping-objects maze in a new game
for a while... Hmm...

Jon

James Marshall

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Sep 29, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/29/00
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In article <8r2hee$o9i$1...@newsg3.svr.pol.co.uk> "Jon Ingold" <j...@ingold.fsnet.co.uk> writes:

>A maze as a framework for a puzzle is fine. The actual business of a
>solving a maze is getting a bit tedious though.

Yeah, I've never been a real big fan of mazes. Sometimes there are plenty
of other puzzles in the games I have to deal with and wandering through a
maze on top of them just seems like an annoyance. I guess overall mazes
aren't too bad, but I'd prefer to see them on the shorter side. The longer
and more complicated they get, the more frustrating it can be.

>That said though, I've not seen a dropping-objects maze in a new game
>for a while... Hmm...

Maybe because people don't like mazes? :)

--
. . . . -- James Marshall (ORI) * ,
,. -- )-- , , . -- )-- , mars...@astro.umd.edu
' ' http://www.astro.umd.edu/~marshall '''
"Astronomy is a dyslexic's nightmare." , *

Knight37

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Sep 29, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/29/00
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Quoting mic...@grate.demon.co.uk (michael gerwat) from Thu, 28 Sep 2000
20:39:39 GMT:

>Another little thought, mazes [snip]

Suck.

Next question. ;)

Knight37

Robb Sherwin

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Sep 29, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/29/00
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In article <8r0i66$9rm$1...@slb3.atl.mindspring.net>,
"Emily Short" <ems...@mindspring.com> wrote:

>The same principle applies to other kinds of puzzles as well. This is
>why I also don't want to see inventory management puzzles, elaborate
>towers of Hanoi, fifteen games of any description, or puzzles where I
>have to try eight different keys in the same blasted lock. I don't
>want to replenish my light source, and I don't want to have to eat
>periodically. You get the picture. These are pretty common
>complaints in the community, so yes, I know I'm not covering any
>uncharted territory here.

Yes. Yes, yes -- this is a good beginning of a list that we all need to
read. I think those puzzles suck because if you had to face them
outside the construct of a game you would always use a solution that
the author didn't think of. Then you're just fighting the author and
who wants that?

Mazes: In real life? Get chalk. Write on walls. Repeat. I know of no
game that lets you actually do that, though. And those games that move
the crap you've placed on the ground never fail to elicit a deep belly
laugh from everyone. Right.

Eating Puzzles: Apparently the guy in "Enchanter" had some sort of
protein imbalance where if he went a day without eating he'd drop dead.
How can you add the realism of "eating" and not add the realism of the
possibility of missing a few meals? If you rolled this PC's
constitution in a D&D game your Dungeon Master would tell you it's
impossible because you can't roll a "2" with three die.

Clicking: More a problem in graphical adventure games where it is the
equivalent of the old David Letterman bit called "Network Time
Killers." Anyone who puts a clicking puzzle into a shipping game ought
to buy the devil they sold their soul to an extra round of brew to
soften him up, as they are going to be spending the eternity of their
afterlife burning in hell.

Peg Jumping: Those wooden peg jumping things are used by girls when you
take them to dates at a "Friendly's" to non-verbally tell you they are
dumping you as soon as you leave the place. Oh, and occasionally they
are useful in preventing the mass termination of Great Underground
Empires. Either/or.

Key Puzzles: The door and the key are to IF what the "crate" is to
first-person shooters. A lot of times you're not even sure why you're
putting a door in your game but it doesn't hit you until someone who
doesn't regularly play IF asks you "how did that grue get me when I
locked the door behind me? This is pants."

Light Source: A good light source puzzle can make its player very aware
of the dwindling amount of time left to solve the game and increase
dramatic tension. It can also make its player quite aware of the fact
that there are 1,500 other games on the archive three clicks away.

(Someday I'm going to make a game with ALL those puzzles in it... and
then sign Ben Parrish's e-mail address to it. )

Robb


--
Robb Sherwin, Fort Collins CO
Reviews From Trotting Krips: http://ifiction.tsx.org
Knight Orc Home Page: www.geocities.com/~knightorc


Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.

Carl Muckenhoupt

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Sep 29, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/29/00
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On Fri, 29 Sep 2000 11:32:51 GMT, in...@hoekstra-uitgeverij.nl (Richard
Bos) wrote:

>If they're done well, fine. In fact, despite what many people say, I
>find a _good_ maze actually enjoyable. Unfortunately, a bad maze is a
>real pain in the unmentionables, and too many mazes are excruciatingly
>bad.

I rather liked the treatment in Crobe. It was basically a standard
drop-to-map maze (with the additional problem that you couldn't leave,
and the number of rooms exceeded your maximum inventory), but it
spiced things up by giving you tasks to perform.


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Carl Muckenhoupt

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Sep 29, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/29/00
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On Fri, 29 Sep 2000 20:00:13 GMT, Robb Sherwin <robb_s...@juno.com>
wrote:

>Yes. Yes, yes -- this is a good beginning of a list that we all need to
>read. I think those puzzles suck because if you had to face them
>outside the construct of a game you would always use a solution that
>the author didn't think of. Then you're just fighting the author and
>who wants that?

Arguably, _Zork Zero_, which consists almost entirely of puzzles of
this kind, actually was about fighting the "author" (Megabozz). I
thought it worked well in that context: as a prequel to Zork, it used
classical puzzles to symbolically bridge the gap between Zork and what
had existed before Zork. But I'll agree that it's something of an
exception, and that making the player solve the towers twice was a bit
much.

Wonky metaphor time: Mazes are to IF what Daleks are to Doctor Who.
They're considered an essential element of the character of the thing,
but after a while, it became clear that pretty much all Dalek episodes
were more or less the same. My underestanding is that, at some point
in the 1980's, the producers adopted a policy that writers were
forbidden to use Daleks in a story unless they actually did something
new and different with them. (Having them climb stairs, for example.)
A similar policy would probably be good for mazes and other classical
puzzles.

>Mazes: In real life? Get chalk. Write on walls. Repeat. I know of no
>game that lets you actually do that, though.

The badger maze in Bob Bates' _Arthur_ does something very similar.

Cody Sandifer

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Sep 29, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/29/00
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> >Mazes: In real life? Get chalk. Write on walls. Repeat. I know of no
> >game that lets you actually do that, though.
>
> The badger maze in Bob Bates' _Arthur_ does something very similar.
>

I almost threw my computer out the window when I ran across the maze in
Tryst of Fate (tryst.z5?). But then I happily discovered that the maze
isn't solvable in the traditional manner (dropping items, swearing,
etc.). Instead, the player has to use some of the objects in the game
to cleverly figger his way out. (The game was popular a few years
back. Fun, too.)

Cody

Adam Atkinson

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Sep 30, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/30/00
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On 28-Sep-00 20:39:39, michael gerwat said:
>Another little thought, mazes first are they still in fashion?

Probably not. I think they've been out of fashion for years. Certainly
"drop the objects" mazes are way past their sell-by date. And
"indicator object" mazes are only slightly less passe'. I think a maze
with a genuinely novel twist might still be acceptable. See later.

>What's
>the longest maze you've ever found?

The pillar maze in Acheton? The snake maze in Acheton? The lower
levels of the mine in, er, Acheton? Not sure which maze is the longest
I've seen, but I think I know which game probably contained it.

>What game has the most mazes.

Well, some of the expanded versions of ADVENT / Colossal Cave contain
quite a few. As does Acheton.

>Which maze has caused us the most heart ache?

Mere size doesn't cause heart ache. Nasty twists can do. For instance,
the utterly evil "black hole maze" in Murdac, in which light doesn't
work, and dropped objects vanish: you have to work out which room is
which based on which exits exist, and where you end up by using them.
There are enough rooms with identical patterns of available exits that
mapping the black hole maze is pretty tough.

Other nasty twists: the air tunnels maze in one of Peter Killworth's
"Doom" games. I'm not sure the Muu birds puzzle or the sliding
exploding shapes puzzle count as mazes.

Again, we have the snake maze in Acheton as an example of a nasty
twist.

There's a large maze in Fyleet with an annoying twist: sometimes the
game adds an extra move command for you, and/or randomly decides to pick
up or drop an object just before you move. That's extremely annoying
and doesn't make the maze more interesting, just more aggravating.

I suppose I have to mention the endgame of Nidus as well. Of course,
I've not had to solve it myself but people who've played it have
threatened me in such creative ways that I think they must have
experienced "heart ache".

The endgame of Nidus works as follows:

There is fairly normal maze. Some of the rooms contain magic spells.
You can only cast spells you have seen. Each spell may only be cast by
using certain verbs. For example, you might have to "cast wibble",
"incant wibble" or "declaim wibble". There are sixteen to twenty verbs
available, let's say. When you successfully cast a spell, it creates a
new exit somewhere in the maze, and may destroy some of the other
spells - you get sound cues when spells are destroyed. Also, the
rulers of the dimension Nidus takes place in amend the rules of the
universe each time you cast a spell so that the verb you just used
can't be used to perform magic any more.

So, to finish the endgame of Nidus you need to work out which order to
cast the spells in, and which verbs to use. Plus you have to extend
your map each time a spell is used. There are more than 10 spells:
check the source to find out exact details, if you really want to
know.

--
Adam Atkinson (gh...@mistral.co.uk)
You mean, you'll put down your rock, I'll put down my sword, and
we'll try to kill each other like civilized people?


Karl Ove Hufthammer

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Sep 30, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/30/00
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ems...@mindspring.com (Emily Short) wrote in message
<8r0i66$9rm$1...@slb3.atl.mindspring.net>:

>In article <Zg4PrFAL...@grate.demon.co.uk>, michael gerwat
><mic...@grate.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>

>Auggh. Against, against, against.

Agreed, agreed, agreed.

>I've done my time with mazes,

Yup. Me too.

>The same principle applies to other kinds of puzzles as well. This
>is why I also don't want to see inventory management puzzles,

Agreed.

>elaborate towers of Hanoi, fifteen games of any description, or
>puzzles where I have to try eight different keys in the same blasted
>lock. I don't want to replenish my light source,

*That* is irritating. It's even worse if you *can't* replenish it. I
really like games you can't get into an unwinnable state. Makes me
feel more relaxed; more willing to experiment.

>and I don't want
>to have to eat periodically.

Neither do I. I dislike all time-based puzzles, really.

>So what is a good puzzle? One that, in retrospect, has the quality
>of obviousness; one based on the discovery of patterns and
>analogies, rather than raw grunt work.

Yup! Though easier said than implemented ... :/

--
Karl Ove Hufthammer

11dig...@my-deja.com

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Sep 30, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/30/00
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In article <Zg4PrFAL...@grate.demon.co.uk>,
michael gerwat <mic...@grate.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> Another little thought, mazes first are they still in fashion? What's
> the longest maze you've ever found? What game has the most mazes.
Which

> maze has caused us the most heart ache? Have there been games written
> entirely of mazes? Text only I mean? What do you all think?
> --
> michael gerwat
>
-----------------------------------------

In general, I dislike any sort of puzzle at all that requires you to
take notes. I want to be able to *enjoy* games, not be taking notes.
Note-taking is too much like school. The only time I did not mind
mapping a game was when I made a *very primitive* map of a game that I
was constructing, to make sure I did not make mistakes. The purpose
of the map was to keep track of the room numbers more than anything
else. If it were not for the fact that I had to NUMBER the rooms,
there would have been no need for a map, for I would have been able to
keep track of everything in my head. You will never see this game, most
likely, because of AGT's irrational bias: "only the player can have an
inventory".
As for mazes in particular: "You are in a maze of twisty little
passages, all alike." Who needs that?! Why not: "You are in a maze.
There are exits to the north and southeast." If you *must* have a maze,
for the love of sanity PLEASE list the exits!

One reason for not requiring the player to take notes to solve the game
is realism. Would you expect your adventurer to be equipped with pen and
paper before setting out on her quest? If she can't take notes, why
should you have the player do so???

Again: THE MAZE IS NOT THE PROBLEM. THE REQUIREMENT THAT THE PLAYER TAKE
NOTES IS THE PROBLEM.

11dig...@my-deja.com

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Sep 30, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/30/00
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In article <8r0i66$9rm$1...@slb3.atl.mindspring.net>,
"Emily Short" <ems...@mindspring.com> wrote:
>
> ----------

> In article <Zg4PrFAL...@grate.demon.co.uk>, michael gerwat
> <mic...@grate.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>
> >Another little thought, mazes first are they still in fashion? What's
> >the longest maze you've ever found? What game has the most mazes.
Which
> >maze has caused us the most heart ache? Have there been games written
> >entirely of mazes? Text only I mean? What do you all think?
>
> Auggh. Against, against, against. I've done my time with mazes, and
I'm
> not interested in them any more. I don't want to have to drop things.
I

> don't want to have to do a lot of laborious note-taking. "Hunter, in
> Darkness" can get away with having a maze, but only because mapping is
not
> the solution. Any maze that does not have a clever, non-mapping
solution, I
> don't care about.
>
> The same principle applies to other kinds of puzzles as well. This is
why I
> also don't want to see inventory management puzzles, elaborate towers

of
> Hanoi, fifteen games of any description, or puzzles where I have to
try
> eight different keys in the same blasted lock. I don't want to
replenish my
> light source, and I don't want to have to eat periodically. You get

the
> picture. These are pretty common complaints in the community, so yes,
I
> know I'm not covering any uncharted territory here.
>
> So what is a good puzzle? One that, in retrospect, has the quality of
> obviousness; one based on the discovery of patterns and analogies,
rather
> than raw grunt work.
>
---------------------------------------

The only time I'd put a maze in a game would be if I left, say, some
fishing line in the game.

Vincent Lynch

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Sep 30, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/30/00
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In rec.arts.int-fiction Karl Ove Hufthammer <huf...@bigfoot.com> wrote:
> ems...@mindspring.com (Emily Short) wrote in message
> <8r0i66$9rm$1...@slb3.atl.mindspring.net>:
>>In article <Zg4PrFAL...@grate.demon.co.uk>, michael gerwat
>><mic...@grate.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>>I've done my time with mazes,
> Yup. Me too.

>>The same principle applies to other kinds of puzzles as well. This
>>is why I also don't want to see inventory management puzzles,
> Agreed.

>
>>elaborate towers of Hanoi, fifteen games of any description, or
>>puzzles where I have to try eight different keys in the same blasted
>>lock. I don't want to replenish my light source,
>
> *That* is irritating. It's even worse if you *can't* replenish it. I
> really like games you can't get into an unwinnable state. Makes me
> feel more relaxed; more willing to experiment.

Hold on. I think this is a different issue here.

The main problem with mazes, as well as some of the other things mentioned
here, is that they often fall into the category of "making the player do
tedious things for the sake of it". And they're tedious largely because
they've been done before so many times, as well as being time-consuming.

The winnable/unwinnable question is more difficult. I think there are lots
of games which wouldn't work in the same way if it was impossible to put them
in an unwinnable state (Varicella, say) - that's a conscious design decision,
and it has a huge impact on how the game works as a whole. It's not on a
level with putting in an arbitrary maze just to pad the game out a bit.

>>and I don't want to have to eat periodically.

> Neither do I. I dislike all time-based puzzles, really.

So not a fan of Varicella, then? ;-)

-Vincent

Vincent Lynch

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Sep 30, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/30/00
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11dig...@my-deja.com wrote:
> In general, I dislike any sort of puzzle at all that requires you to
> take notes. I want to be able to *enjoy* games, not be taking notes.

I don't see why the two have to be mutually exclusive. For large scale games,
the may well be too much information for me to keep in my head at once, and
there I'll put up with having to take notes. For smaller games, it should
probably be unnecessary; I wouldn't want to be spending more time note-taking
than playing or thinking about the game.

> You will never see this game, most likely, because of AGT's irrational
> bias: "only the player can have an inventory".

I've no idea what you mean here. Are you saying that AGT doesn't allow NPCs
to carry objects? That's certainly not true.

> As for mazes in particular: "You are in a maze of twisty little
> passages, all alike." Who needs that?! Why not: "You are in a maze.
> There are exits to the north and southeast." If you *must* have a maze,
> for the love of sanity PLEASE list the exits!

That would kind of defeat the point of having the maze in the first place...
They're meant to be confusing and difficult to map! (To be clear, I'm not
saying I like mazes.)

> One reason for not requiring the player to take notes to solve the game
> is realism. Would you expect your adventurer to be equipped with pen and
> paper before setting out on her quest? If she can't take notes, why
> should you have the player do so???

That may apply to a sword-wielding cave explorer. It doesn't apply to
"adventurers" in general. If the PC is a detective, I *would* expect them
to have a pen and paper. (c.f. Dangerous Curves, where the PC is provided
with an in-game notepad.)

And realism isn't necessarily that important, anyway. It's suspension of
disbelief that's the crucial thing, and so far I've not had that dispelled
just by having to take notes for a game. (I might decide I can't be
bothered, but that's another matter.)

> Again: THE MAZE IS NOT THE PROBLEM. THE REQUIREMENT THAT THE PLAYER TAKE
> NOTES IS THE PROBLEM.

-Vincent

11dig...@my-deja.com

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Sep 30, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/30/00
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In article <8r50u2$bnp$1...@wisteria.csv.warwick.ac.uk>,

Vincent Lynch <ma...@mimosa.csv.warwick.ac.uk> wrote:
> 11dig...@my-deja.com wrote:
> > In general, I dislike any sort of puzzle at all that requires you to
> > take notes. I want to be able to *enjoy* games, not be taking notes.
>
> I don't see why the two have to be mutually exclusive. For large
scale games,
> the may well be too much information for me to keep in my head at
once, and
> there I'll put up with having to take notes. For smaller games, it
should
> probably be unnecessary; I wouldn't want to be spending more time
note-taking
> than playing or thinking about the game.
>
> > You will never see this game, most likely, because of AGT's
irrational
> > bias: "only the player can have an inventory".
>
> I've no idea what you mean here. Are you saying that AGT doesn't
allow NPCs
> to carry objects? That's certainly not true.
>
--------------------------

OK, so how do NPCs carry objects in AGT??? Without making multiple
versions of the NPC!!!!

--------------------------

--
Qwertyuiop asdfghjkl zxcvbnm!!

Karl Ove Hufthammer

unread,
Sep 30, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/30/00
to
ma...@mimosa.csv.warwick.ac.uk (Vincent Lynch) wrote in message
<8r4v59$af2$1...@wisteria.csv.warwick.ac.uk>:

>> *That* is irritating. It's even worse if you *can't* replenish it.
>> I really like games you can't get into an unwinnable state. Makes
>> me feel more relaxed; more willing to experiment.
>
>Hold on. I think this is a different issue here.
>
>The main problem with mazes, as well as some of the other things
>mentioned here, is that they often fall into the category of "making
>the player do tedious things for the sake of it". And they're
>tedious largely because they've been done before so many times, as
>well as being time-consuming.

Yes.

>The winnable/unwinnable question is more difficult. I think there
>are lots of games which wouldn't work in the same way if it was
>impossible to put them in an unwinnable state (Varicella, say) -
>that's a conscious design decision, and it has a huge impact on how
>the game works as a whole.

Yes. Though it doesn't *have* to have such an impact. Compare Sierra
(graphics) adventures (Police Quest, Space Quest, King's Quest) with
LucasArts games (Monkey Island, Sam & Max). In the former games you
died all the time ("Die early. Die often."), while in most LucasArts
games it's impossible to die or to put the game in an unwinnable state.
I liked games from both companies, but would like Sierra games better
if it wasn't possible to put them in an unwinnable state (you forget to
pick up something important in the beginning of the game (perhaps you
didn't find that object), and at the end figure out you can't solve the
final puzzle.

*If* it's possible to put the game in an unwinnable state, it should be
pretty obvious when you've done it. Dying is OK, but putting the game
into an unwinnable state is not, if you aren't aware of it.

>It's not on a level with putting in an
>arbitrary maze just to pad the game out a bit.

No.

>>>and I don't want to have to eat periodically.
>> Neither do I. I dislike all time-based puzzles, really.
>
>So not a fan of Varicella, then? ;-)

I haven't played it, actually. But I probably will, sometime after the
competition. I've heard many good things about it ... :)

--
Karl Ove Hufthammer

Carl Muckenhoupt

unread,
Sep 30, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/30/00
to
On Sat, 30 Sep 2000 16:07:45 GMT, huf...@bigfoot.com (Karl Ove
Hufthammer) wrote:

>Yes. Though it doesn't *have* to have such an impact. Compare Sierra
>(graphics) adventures (Police Quest, Space Quest, King's Quest) with
>LucasArts games (Monkey Island, Sam & Max). In the former games you
>died all the time ("Die early. Die often."), while in most LucasArts
>games it's impossible to die or to put the game in an unwinnable state.
>I liked games from both companies, but would like Sierra games better
>if it wasn't possible to put them in an unwinnable state (you forget to
>pick up something important in the beginning of the game (perhaps you
>didn't find that object), and at the end figure out you can't solve the
>final puzzle.

If you ask me, it's a bigger concern in graphic adventures, because
replaying them from a previous save can be so time-consuming, due to
both the animated cutr-scenes and time spent simply walking yout
avatar from screen to screen. If you're not seeing anything new along
the way, it gets dull. Text adventures suffer from this problem much
less.

Vincent Lynch

unread,
Sep 30, 2000, 3:00:00 AM9/30/00
to
11dig...@my-deja.com wrote:
> In article <8r50u2$bnp$1...@wisteria.csv.warwick.ac.uk>,
> Vincent Lynch <ma...@mimosa.csv.warwick.ac.uk> wrote:
>> 11dig...@my-deja.com wrote:
>> > You will never see this game, most likely, because of AGT's
>> > irrational bias: "only the player can have an inventory".
>> I've no idea what you mean here. Are you saying that AGT doesn't
>> allow NPCs to carry objects? That's certainly not true.
> OK, so how do NPCs carry objects in AGT??? Without making multiple
> versions of the NPC!!!!

I don't know anything about AGT, but I'm sure I've seen AGT games where NPCs
carry objects, so it must somehow be true.

Can you not manually keep track of which objects an NPC is carrying?

-Vincent

Geoff Bailey

unread,
Oct 1, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/1/00
to

In article <8r2sc7$e43$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,
Robb Sherwin <robb_s...@juno.com> wrote:
> [ ... ] "how did that grue get me when I locked the door behind me?
> This is pants."
^^^^^
Is this some in joke I don't know, or a new catchphrase in the making? :)

Cheers,
Geoff.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Geoff Bailey (Fred the Wonder Worm) | Programmer by trade --
ft...@cs.usyd.edu.au | Gameplayer by vocation.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


Joachim Froholt

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Oct 1, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/1/00
to

11dig...@my-deja.com wrote:

>
> OK, so how do NPCs carry objects in AGT??? Without making multiple
> versions of the NPC!!!!

This depends on how advanced you want the game to be. Since I was the one
answering your first question about this, and you seemed less than happy
with my answer, I'll try giving you some more options. My understanding was
that you wanted the object to be mentioned in the description of the
npc. If you don't need this, then you also don't need two versions of the
npc. Unless you have some good way of letting the player know that the
object is present in the npc's inventory, you'll then need to make the
object visible to the player at all times.

Example:

NOUN 203
frisbee
yellow <- 1
The woman is carrying a frisbee. <- 2
LOCATION 302 <- 3
UNMOVABLE <- 4
END_NOUN

1. You don't need an adjective fixed to every noun. You can make an empty
line instead.
2. You could also have a normal "there's a frisbee here", but that would
look a bit silly in the game.
3. The location is the woman.
4. You can drop this line if you want the player to be able to grab the
frisbee whenever he/she wants to.

This is how this will look in your game (as viewed through AGiliTy):

---

Room descr.. you're in a newsgroup message about AGT NPC's
Blah, blah, blah.. exits everywhere (this message is also a nasty maze, see)

There is a woman here.
The woman is carrying a frisbee.

---

I hope this helps you to restart work on your game (I am sorry if my answer
last time around turned you off - I should have given you this info, but I
got too hung up in your request to have the frisbee mentioned when you
examine the npc).

You will probably still need two versions of the frisbee, though (and the
metacommands needed to swap the two frisbee-objects). 'The woman is carrying
a frisbee.' should not be the line the player gets when the woman isn't
carrying the frisbee anymore. Also, the frisbee should
be movable when the player has got it, but if you don't want the player to
just grab the frisbee and run whenever he/she first encounters the npc, you
need to make the object unmovable. Ofcourse you can also create some meta
commands which will tell the player that "The woman doesn't want you to
steal her frisbee." if he/she attempts to take it when it's in the woman's
posession.

Finally, all this have only been tested with Magx and AGiliTy. If you're
serious about your game, you should drop the old AGT compiler and use this
instead. You won't have to change much of the source code in order to
compile your game using Magx, but you will probably encounter a lot of bugs
which the AGT compiler never bothered to tell you about.
Check out:
http://www.ltlink.com/~jgoemmer/agt.html
You might also like to subscribe to the AGT Authors e-group (follow the
link from the site). There's more than 30 AGT programmers listed there.

Joachim


11dig...@my-deja.com

unread,
Oct 1, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/1/00
to
In article <39D7217B...@c2i.net>,

----------------------

Let's see: So the game "knows" that if the woman has the frisbee and she
is in the room with me, then the frisbee is in the room?

Karl Ove Hufthammer

unread,
Oct 1, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/1/00
to
ca...@wurb.com (Carl Muckenhoupt) wrote in message
<39d65fad....@goliath2.usenet-access.com>:

>>I liked games from both companies, but would like Sierra games
>>better if it wasn't possible to put them in an unwinnable state
>>(you forget to pick up something important in the beginning of the
>>game (perhaps you didn't find that object), and at the end figure
>>out you can't solve the final puzzle.
>
>If you ask me, it's a bigger concern in graphic adventures, because
>replaying them from a previous save can be so time-consuming, due to
>both the animated cutr-scenes and time spent simply walking yout
>avatar from screen to screen. If you're not seeing anything new
>along the way, it gets dull. Text adventures suffer from this
>problem much less.

Yes. Though I guess it's easier to find things you've missed in graphics
adventures (than it is, to remember to type 'look under bed' in a text
adventure).

(And of course, it should be possible to skip cut scenes, dialogs
(speech), and making your avatar "jump" to an exit by double-clicking on
it (the exit) in graphics adventures.)

--
Karl Ove Hufthammer

Karl Ove Hufthammer

unread,
Oct 1, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/1/00
to
ma...@mimosa.csv.warwick.ac.uk (Vincent Lynch) wrote in message
<8r50u2$bnp$1...@wisteria.csv.warwick.ac.uk>:

>11dig...@my-deja.com wrote:
>> In general, I dislike any sort of puzzle at all that requires you
>> to take notes. I want to be able to *enjoy* games, not be taking
>> notes.
>
>I don't see why the two have to be mutually exclusive. For large
>scale games, the may well be too much information for me to keep in
>my head at once, and there I'll put up with having to take notes.
>For smaller games, it should probably be unnecessary; I wouldn't
>want to be spending more time note-taking than playing or thinking
>about the game.

Yes. And it depends on the game. In a detective game (e.g. Dangerous
Curves) you probably have to take notes (unless you have good memory),
while in a game like Muse or Mother Loose, you don't have to.

And some puzzles may require note-taking (perhaps drawing simple
diagrams). That's OK, IMO.

--
Karl Ove Hufthammer

Karl Ove Hufthammer

unread,
Oct 1, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/1/00
to
11dig...@my-deja.com wrote in message
<8r4mep$oco$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>:

>In general, I dislike any sort of puzzle at all that requires you to
>take notes. I want to be able to *enjoy* games, not be taking notes.

I like both types of games.

>Note-taking is too much like school.

Ouch!

>The only time I did not mind
>mapping a game was when I made a *very primitive* map of a game that
>I was constructing, to make sure I did not make mistakes.

Well, I don't like mapping, but I also have a terrible sense of
locality ... I usually end up not mapping -- and getting lost! :(
Though this isn't really a *very* big problem.

What I really dislike, is "illogical" maps. 'South. West.' should take
you back to where you started. If you go south, you shouldn't have to
type NW to get back (and N shouldn't take to some new location). This
makes games much more enjoyable.

I have recently discovered nitfol, and it's automapping feature is very
useful (though the rest of the program (especially the UI) isn't very
good).

>As for mazes in particular: "You are in a maze of twisty little
>passages, all alike." Who needs that?! Why not: "You are in a maze.
>There are exits to the north and southeast." If you *must* have a
>maze, for the love of sanity PLEASE list the exits!

The system Irene Callaci uses, where all exits are shown at all times
is very useful. Makes the games more user friendly in a way.

--
Karl Ove Hufthammer

mathew

unread,
Oct 1, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/1/00
to
Geoff Bailey <ft...@staff.cs.usyd.edu.au> wrote:
> In article <8r2sc7$e43$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,
> Robb Sherwin <robb_s...@juno.com> wrote:
> > [ ... ] "how did that grue get me when I locked the door behind me?
> > This is pants."
> ^^^^^
> Is this some in joke I don't know, or a new catchphrase in the making? :)

Neither, it's an English slang expression.


mathew
--
No taxation without representation!

Dan Poirier

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Oct 1, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/1/00
to
In article <D5FB5.727$Vk6....@news.world-online.no>,

Karl Ove Hufthammer <huf...@bigfoot.com> wrote:
>Yes. Though I guess it's easier to find things you've missed in graphics
>adventures (than it is, to remember to type 'look under bed' in a text
>adventure).

I disagree. One of my biggest gripes with Sanitarium was having to
resort to walkthroughs to discover that there were objects I needed
that didn't appear distinctly enough on my screen to be visible.

Whereas, in a text adventure, if I examine or manipulate everything
that the room description mentions, I can feel pretty confident I
haven't missed anything altogether, even if I might not recognize
its importance.

--dan p.

Lindy

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Oct 1, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/1/00
to
Dan Poirier <poi...@pobox.com> wrote:

>In article <D5FB5.727$Vk6....@news.world-online.no>,
>Karl Ove Hufthammer <huf...@bigfoot.com> wrote:
>>Yes. Though I guess it's easier to find things you've missed in graphics
>>adventures (than it is, to remember to type 'look under bed' in a text
>>adventure).
>
>I disagree. One of my biggest gripes with Sanitarium was having to
>resort to walkthroughs to discover that there were objects I needed
>that didn't appear distinctly enough on my screen to be visible.

My favorite problem in the graphical-game-with-text-parser system was when
there was clearly SOMETHING on the screen, but you couldn't figure out what
the graphic was supposed to be, and you had to address said item by name to
be able to 'look' at it or pick it up... and naturally, 'look on ground'
didn't help a bit....

So I guess the best happy-medium would be the games that still accepted
reasonably intelligent typed commands, but allowed a point-and-click for
looking. :)

("That's supposed to be a MASK? I thought it was a toaster!")


Karl Ove Hufthammer

unread,
Oct 1, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/1/00
to
poi...@pobox.com (Dan Poirier) wrote in message
<39d73...@news1.prserv.net>:

>In article <D5FB5.727$Vk6....@news.world-online.no>,
>Karl Ove Hufthammer <huf...@bigfoot.com> wrote:
>>Yes. Though I guess it's easier to find things you've missed in
>>graphics adventures (than it is, to remember to type 'look under
>>bed' in a text adventure).
>
>I disagree. One of my biggest gripes with Sanitarium was having to
>resort to walkthroughs to discover that there were objects I needed
>that didn't appear distinctly enough on my screen to be visible.

I think the Goblins (Gobliiins, Gobliins II and Goblins III) games had
a nice solution to this problem. Everything (background+objects) are
drawn with any outlines, while objects you can pick up or manipulate
have black outlines.

Also, I think at least some Sierra games had somewhat blurry background
graphics with "sharp" objects.

>Whereas, in a text adventure, if I examine or manipulate everything
>that the room description mentions, I can feel pretty confident I
>haven't missed anything altogether, even if I might not recognize
>its importance.

Another pet peeve: Important objects that aren't mentioned in the room
description (or aren't inside/under/on objects mentioned in the room
description).

--
Karl Ove Hufthammer

Andrew Plotkin

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Oct 1, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/1/00
to
In rec.arts.int-fiction Karl Ove Hufthammer <huf...@bigfoot.com> wrote:
> ca...@wurb.com (Carl Muckenhoupt) wrote in message
> <39d65fad....@goliath2.usenet-access.com>:

>>>I liked games from both companies, but would like Sierra games
>>>better if it wasn't possible to put them in an unwinnable state
>>>(you forget to pick up something important in the beginning of the
>>>game (perhaps you didn't find that object), and at the end figure
>>>out you can't solve the final puzzle.
>>
>>If you ask me, it's a bigger concern in graphic adventures, because
>>replaying them from a previous save can be so time-consuming, due to
>>both the animated cutr-scenes and time spent simply walking yout
>>avatar from screen to screen. If you're not seeing anything new
>>along the way, it gets dull. Text adventures suffer from this
>>problem much less.

> Yes. Though I guess it's easier to find things you've missed in graphics

> adventures (than it is, to remember to type 'look under bed' in a text
> adventure).

> (And of course, it should be possible to skip cut scenes, dialogs

> (speech), and making your avatar "jump" to an exit by double-clicking on
> it (the exit) in graphics adventures.)

In my experience, even if the game allows this, it's still slower than
replaying a text game.

And it feels even slower than it is. Because you're still waiting for
CD loading delays and animation swapping -- the computer is slower
than your input. When you're playing a text game[*], the limiting
factor is how fast you type -- you never wait for the computer.

[* This doesn't apply to PDAs, interestingly.]

--Z

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

Andrew Plotkin

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Oct 1, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/1/00
to
In rec.arts.int-fiction Dan Poirier <poi...@pobox.com> wrote:
> In article <D5FB5.727$Vk6....@news.world-online.no>,
> Karl Ove Hufthammer <huf...@bigfoot.com> wrote:
>>Yes. Though I guess it's easier to find things you've missed in graphics
>>adventures (than it is, to remember to type 'look under bed' in a text
>>adventure).

> I disagree. One of my biggest gripes with Sanitarium was having to


> resort to walkthroughs to discover that there were objects I needed
> that didn't appear distinctly enough on my screen to be visible.

> Whereas, in a text adventure, if I examine or manipulate everything


> that the room description mentions, I can feel pretty confident I
> haven't missed anything altogether, even if I might not recognize
> its importance.

You're both right.[*]

If the game is well-constructed, it's easy to examine everything and
be confident you haven't missed anything. Obviously, the techniques
for constructing a game are *totally* different in the text and
graphical realms, but the techniques do exist.

If the game is badly constructed, the player will miss important
items. Finding examples from text and graphical games is left as an
exercise.

--Z

[* This is more polite than saying "you're both wrong". :-)]

Chris Marriott

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Oct 1, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/1/00
to

Geoff Bailey <ft...@staff.cs.usyd.edu.au> wrote in message
news:8r72mo$7...@staff.cs.usyd.edu.au...

>
> In article <8r2sc7$e43$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,
> Robb Sherwin <robb_s...@juno.com> wrote:
> > [ ... ] "how did that grue get me when I locked the door behind me?
> > This is pants."
> ^^^^^
> Is this some in joke I don't know, or a new catchphrase in the making? :)

Geoff,

It's a fairly common English slang phrase meaning "rubbish", "no good", etc
etc.

Regards,

--
Chris
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Chris Marriott, SkyMap Software, UK (ch...@skymap.com)
Visit our web site at http://www.skymap.com
Astronomy software written by astronomers, for astronomers


michael gerwat

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Oct 1, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/1/00
to
Well, I've read the very long thread on this subject and others so I
thought I'd just put in something myself. I never thought it would get
so involved.

First, As I'm Blind and Deaf, mapping is more than a pain. Mazes to me
are a nightmare. However, I don't mind if there's some hidden clue,
secret, or other device to at least give one a lead.

I find mapping in general hard for obvious reasons and use my memory
most of the time. I save the game a lot!!

Puzzles, well, as long as we gamers are given a fare chance of solving
them, yes they are fine too. Sleeping and eating, sleeping is a real
pain, take Supernova. I've wanted to solve that game for years. I know
what to do but keep getting tired all the time, just when I'm in to the
swing of it. Also, in that game there's a place where you aren't
informed, at any time of a return exit, even when you list them. There's
no puzzle or object blocking your way. I nearly destroyed two keyboards
working that one out. I consider something like that a bit unfair.

Keys and locks, There's some good ones in Jigsaw, however in general I
don't want to have loads of blasted keys either.

I can't of course comment on games with graphics COs I can't use them,
am I missing all that much, probably yes.

To finish I think all the authors and game players are kind, they have
been to me anyway and, whatever we think, let's keep cool heads folks. I
wouldn't want to cause enmities.


--
michael gerwat

Dan Poirier

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Oct 1, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/1/00
to
In article <97041601...@rexx.com>,

Andrew Plotkin <erky...@eblong.com> wrote:
>If the game is well-constructed, it's easy to examine everything and
>be confident you haven't missed anything. Obviously, the techniques
>for constructing a game are *totally* different in the text and
>graphical realms, but the techniques do exist.
>
>If the game is badly constructed, the player will miss important
>items. Finding examples from text and graphical games is left as an
>exercise.

Hard to argue with that. :-)


Carl Muckenhoupt

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Oct 1, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/1/00
to
On Sun, 01 Oct 2000 15:23:09 GMT, huf...@bigfoot.com (Karl Ove
Hufthammer) wrote:

>I think the Goblins (Gobliiins, Gobliins II and Goblins III) games had
>a nice solution to this problem. Everything (background+objects) are
>drawn with any outlines, while objects you can pick up or manipulate
>have black outlines.
>
>Also, I think at least some Sierra games had somewhat blurry background
>graphics with "sharp" objects.

Early versions of AGI (the game engine used in the first few King's
Quest games) drew the backgrounds via linedraw and floodfill commands
directly to the screen. You could tell what was takable or animated
because it appeared instantly after the rest of the room was drawn.

At some point, they switched to drawing to an offscreen buffer
instead. But you could still usually tell by what looked like it had
been done with linedraws and what looked like prefabricated bitmaps.

Anders Hellerup Madsen

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Oct 1, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/1/00
to
Lindy wrote:

> So I guess the best happy-medium would be the games that still accepted
> reasonably intelligent typed commands, but allowed a point-and-click for
> looking. :)

The last Sierra text/graphics games did this. In Codename:Iceman,
Leisure Suit Larry 3 and a couple more you cold look at things by
right-clicking on them, wlak to them by left clicking, and everything
else was done by typing stuff in a fairly good parser. Too bad Sierra
games just went downhill from there :-(

--
Anders

Downtime is good, it gives the servers time to rest!
- Stef, Userfriendly.org

Joachim Froholt

unread,
Oct 2, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/2/00
to
>
> Let's see: So the game "knows" that if the woman has the frisbee and she
> is in the room with me, then the frisbee is in the room?

Yes.

Joachim


Philip Goetz

unread,
Oct 2, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/2/00
to
> Eating Puzzles: Apparently the guy in "Enchanter" had some sort of
> protein imbalance where if he went a day without eating he'd drop dead.
> How can you add the realism of "eating" and not add the realism of the
> possibility of missing a few meals? If you rolled this PC's
> constitution in a D&D game your Dungeon Master would tell you it's
> impossible because you can't roll a "2" with three die.

I wrote a game which required you to eat and drink periodically.
There was food and water easily available, but it was drugged;
so the real puzzle was not where to get food and water, but to
find out that it was drugged, and to avoid the drugs. If I wrote it
again today I would make getting the food and water even easier,
to make it clear that it wasn't a puzzle.

Phil Goetz

Matthew T. Russotto

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Oct 2, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/2/00
to
In article <3151.308T2906...@mistral.co.uk>,
Adam Atkinson <gh...@mistral.co.uk> wrote:
}On 28-Sep-00 20:39:39, michael gerwat said:
}>Another little thought, mazes first are they still in fashion?
}
}Probably not. I think they've been out of fashion for years. Certainly
}"drop the objects" mazes are way past their sell-by date. And
}"indicator object" mazes are only slightly less passe'. I think a maze
}with a genuinely novel twist might still be acceptable. See later.
}
}>What's
}>the longest maze you've ever found?
}
}The pillar maze in Acheton? The snake maze in Acheton? The lower
}levels of the mine in, er, Acheton? Not sure which maze is the longest
}I've seen, but I think I know which game probably contained it.

The lower levels of the mine is the largest of those three. 20
identical rooms, plus an entrance and two dead ends. The maze
contains a (actually, several) Hamiltonian path from the entrance to
the exit. The snake maze has 15 rooms, and can be mapped without objects.
The pillar maze has only 6 identical rooms, plus two dead ends and the exit.
--
Matthew T. Russotto russ...@pond.com
"Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in pursuit
of justice is no virtue."

Richard Bos

unread,
Oct 3, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/3/00
to
russ...@wanda.vf.pond.com (Matthew T. Russotto) wrote:

> In article <3151.308T2906...@mistral.co.uk>,
> Adam Atkinson <gh...@mistral.co.uk> wrote:
> }On 28-Sep-00 20:39:39, michael gerwat said:
> }>What's
> }>the longest maze you've ever found?
> }
> }The pillar maze in Acheton? The snake maze in Acheton? The lower
> }levels of the mine in, er, Acheton? Not sure which maze is the longest
> }I've seen, but I think I know which game probably contained it.
>
> The lower levels of the mine is the largest of those three. 20
> identical rooms, plus an entrance and two dead ends.

In that case, the Monkey Palace in Ballerina is larger. 104 rooms, with
a best path of 27 rooms. To its defence, it is easily mappable (and I'm
still thinking of trying to draw an actual map instead of a connection
table) because most rooms are similar but not identical.

Richard

Lucian Paul Smith

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Oct 3, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/3/00
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Carl Muckenhoupt (ca...@wurb.com) wrote:

: Early versions of AGI (the game engine used in the first few King's


: Quest games) drew the backgrounds via linedraw and floodfill commands
: directly to the screen. You could tell what was takable or animated
: because it appeared instantly after the rest of the room was drawn.

I remember using that technique for 'The Black Cauldron'--I think it was
the only way I would have ever found where to use my magic word.

-Lucian

Bob Reeves

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Oct 3, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/3/00
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> Mazes: In real life? Get chalk. Write on walls. Repeat. I know of no
> game that lets you actually do that, though.

ARTHUR does. (Sort of.)

Bob Reeves

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Oct 3, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/3/00
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I see I'm in the minority of those who're quite fond of mazes, even the old
object-dropping variety (& a recent reviewer of one of my games criticized
me for having one--aw c'mon, it was only five rooms!). Mazes with
interesting kinks were always exhilarating to solve, like the glass maze in
"Sorcerer." Mazes that require some arbitrary magic solution, on the other
hand, tend to piss me off--I'm thinking, of course, of a certain Infocom
game whose copy-protection is currently under discussion in this newsgroup.
I also like taking notes & drawing maps, so De gustibus I guess. For the
truly perverse fans of mazes, I wrote a little ALAN game called
"Mazemapper" that starts out like this:

"When you spotted this prairie of shoulder-high grass you knew what it was,
and you were ready for it. You've done this sort of thing before, so you
went home and picked up everything you could carry, especially things you
didn't consider good for anything else."

One of the tricks is that some places in the tall grass contain holes that
lead to other rooms, so dropping an object doesn't necessarily mark the
place where you are. Pretty damn annoying, ey?


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