Discussions about interactive fiction

Archive for June, 2013

sizes for adventure items

I’ve been writing a text adventure creator that uses the old system where

the script has a list of adverts, nouns, messages, objects etc.

I need to define has much space is needed for items, for example Dim

Objects (100) as string. Which puts a limit of how many objects the

adventure can have.

What I’ve like to know if how many rooms and objects are used in adventures

these days on average?

Regards Brian

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3 Skulls RPG

Hi, has anybody ever played the full version of 3 Skulls RPG, which

you buy on the website, legendarytales.com?


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What I like and hate in Adventures

I started playing text adventures back in the 1980′s when Scott Adams

started to write adventures. I have seen good and bad adventures over the


This might help adventure writers.

I hate mazes. When I get stuck in a maze my interest in the adventure

starts to fall. To me mazes are boring as the scenery does not change and

going in a certain direction can lead you back to the same location.

I like adventures that help the player such as offering built in hints.

Some adventure companies use to sell the player hints which I feel is

wrong. Its a good thing you can freely get hints on the internet for most

games. Being stuck in an adventure after only going to a few room feels

like I have wasted my money as if I don’t solve the problem then I’m never

going to see that rest of the adventure I paid for.

I hate adventures that give more work to the player such as a sheet of

paper lying on the ground and you type in READ PAPER or EXAMINE PAPER. You

might get a response like "You have to pick it up first" or "There are

words on the paper".  What would be more helpful if the response you got

back was. "You pick up the paper and read it, the paper tells you that

there is a $100 award for catching the Unicorn".

I like adventures with a lot of description that feels like you are reading

from a book. That’s one thing I liked about the Infocom adventures which

made them entertaining. Also you could move an object and the description


I hate adventures that have bugs such as the player being able to pick up a

house or having a down direction As one of the direction I can go to when

I’m standing on the road. The writer should test the adventure more before

selling or giving it to the public.

I hate adventures that seem to be written for the super intelligent

Sherlock Holmes type player. They are too difficult to play for the average

player. If I have looked under everything and still have not found the key

then I don’t expect the key to full out of a bar of soap that I need to

break apart. Or the writer thinks the player knows what chemicals to mix to

 gun powder or some other chemical reaction.

I hate adventures that have become impossible to win as you have done

something wrong but you are not told that because of your actions its now

impossible to win the adventure so you continue to play the adventure

thinking that its still possible to win. The adventure writer should tell

the player this.

I like realism in adventures. If I have crashed an expensive plane then I

don’t expect my officer to say "sorry to learn of your plane crash, here is

another plane for you to fly". I expect my officer to be angry with me for

crashing the plane and maybe tell me to study the plane manual before he

lets me have another plane to fly.

I like sound to be used in adventures to provide clues. For example "you

hear something rattle inside he suitcase when you pick it up.", "You hear

footsteps in the next room".

I like adventures that offer the player a chance to continue from where he

was before he got killed so you don’t have to start playing the adventure

from the start. I don’t always remember to save the adventure in stages.

I like adventures that awards the player for his effects.

I hate adventure that mislead the player. For example nothing is found in a

locked box after you have finally found the key  or an unusual object is

found in the room making you think that it plays a part in solving the

adventure when it doesn’t.  You find a key but it does not unlock anything

in the adventure.

I hate adventures that lack good responses such as being told that there is

nothing unusual about the box when you examine it. A more descriptive

message would be more entertaining.

I like some clues to be easy so that you feel you are making progress in

the adventure such as finding a cleaning cloth and a dusty box in the room.

Cleaning the box reveals writing on the box needed to help solve the

adventure. Some clues can be more difficult but they don’t all need to be


I like helpful suggestions as if you have a partner with you on the

adventure such as "that hill looks too dangerous to climb unless you have

suitable climbing boots".

Regards Brian

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a lack of adventure type games being sold

I suspect that there are no text only adventures being sold these days like

Zork etc but I heard that Scott Adams was working on a new adventure.

Most of the games that claim to be adventures are just games that have you

finding hidden objects in different rooms.

Not much has been created since Myst was released.

If there are any good commercial adventure games then please let me know or

give me a link I can go to.

Regards Brian

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Calculation based math/statistics related games in Inform 7 (?)

Hi Guys,

Sorry if I sound stupid, but I am totally new to IF, but really fascinated by it. . I have a question: is it possible to make a game that includes calculations, say, puzzles that involve calculations? I am thinking of making math/statistics related games using Inform 7 but not like the ‘abstract’ kind of questions that you see in the textbooks. More like a math/statistics related problem that is embedded in a story (using all the IF structures like rooms etc), and which can be solved by inputting text and numbers.



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Looking for IF author of HallowEve from the IF archive


I’m new to Inform, and downloaded a bunch of IF games from the archive, mostly sources to see how things are done, but also compiled games.  I came across HallowEve, a z-code game, and played it.  

And got frustrated.  

I finished it, and wrote up some critiques for the author, listed in the ABOUT text as Michael Wayne Phipps Jr.  So, is Mr. Phipps around?  Or is there another way to get comments to the submitters of games on the Archive?

Thank you,

Tom A.

Trying to write an Inform game based on Harry Potter.  Just from corridors between towers, and towers, I could have about 150 empty rooms in Hogwarts Castle.  When I figured that out, I decided there had to be a better way.

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How does Inform get around this problem?

Lets take an example where you were writing an adventure where the player

had to collect three gold coins to complete the adventure.

If the player typed Get coin then would inform know which coin the player

is referring to? Maybe inform just checks to see if there is a gold coin in

the current room.

If the player is carrying the first coin and wants to pick up another coin

with the command ‘get coin’ then would Inform do an inventory and tell the

player that he already has a coin making it impossible to pickup another


If the player has more than one coin and types ‘drop coin’ then would

Inform drop all the coins and if Inform dropped one of the coins how does

it know which coin to drop?

If there are more than one coin in the room and the player types ‘get coin’

then does Inform get both coins and if it got one of the coins then how

does Inform know which coin to get?

When doing an inventory is each coin listed or are the coins listed as a

collection? eg ‘you have gold coins’

If you have more than one coin in the room and typed ‘examine coin’ then

does Inform give a description of a single coin or groups the coins

together in its description? Eg the coins are made of gold’. If a single

coin was to be described then how does Inform know which coin to describe.

I’m currently writing a adventure program (nothing like Inform) and these

are some of the problems I’m encountering. So I’m interested in knowing how

Inform gets around these problems.

Regards Brian

Regards Brian

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is the original program adventure writing of Inform worth learning

I have tried the new more modern natural language inform way of writing an

adventure but the results are sometimes unpredictable and often more code

is needed to try and narrow down exactly what you want to happen for

certain conditions in the adventure.

Is the original c style Inform adventure writing still getting support or

is it likely to die out in favour of the natural english adventure writing?

Regards Brian

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Inform 6 vs. Inform 7

Actually, this isn’t asking for a comparison.  It’s more I’m learning 6 now, and it is made easier by the Designers Manual and Beginners guide that present step by step examples of creating games while presenting the underlying ideas.  Does Inform 7 have anything like these books?

Also, is there any difference between the Inform 6 vs. Inform 7 libraries?  (I assume Inform 7 has a similar library structure to Inform 6.  If not, let me know).


Tom A.

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Inform 7: Nearly 2.5 years since an update.

We are nearly 2-1/2 years out from the last update. Are we going to see a new version or not?

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