Discussions about interactive fiction

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

years.

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

changes.

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

create
 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

difficult.

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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posted by admin in Uncategorized and have Comments (5)

5 Responses to “What I like and hate in Adventures”

  1. admin says:

    The modern IF community mostly follows the Player’s Bill of Rights, first posted to this very newsgroup by Graham Nelson back in 1993.

    It’s very similar to what you’ve already written. The full text can be found as section 3 of the Craft of Adventure (also by Graham Nelson), available here:

    http://www.ifarchive.org/if-archive/programming/general-discussion/Cr

    - Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -

    On Tuesday, May 14, 2013 7:32:29 PM UTC-7, Brian wrote:

    > 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

    > years.

    > This might help adventure writers.

  2. admin says:

    - Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -

    <redwood.rhia…@gmail.com> wrote:

    > The modern IF community mostly follows the Player’s Bill of Rights, first

    > posted to this very newsgroup by Graham Nelson back in 1993.

    > It’s very similar to what you’ve already written. The full text can be

    > found as section 3 of the Craft of Adventure (also by Graham Nelson), available here:

    > http://www.ifarchive.org/if-archive/programming/general-discussion/Cr

    > On Tuesday, May 14, 2013 7:32:29 PM UTC-7, Brian wrote:

    >> 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

    >> years.

    >> This might help adventure writers.

    Thanks, it was interesting to read that. We seem to be thinking the same

    things.


    Regards Brian

  3. admin says:

    On 05/14/2013 10:32 PM, Brian wrote:

    > 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 years.

    > This might help adventure writers.

    My own tidbits in something resembling this vein:

    I like exploration and discovery – poking around to see what I can find,

    and (once found) how it fits together. This covers a multitude of areas,

    and has numerous implications; some of them are below.

    Due to the above, I enjoy mapping.

    > 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 don’t enjoy mazes for themselves, but I do (or at least can) enjoy

    mapping them, when their interiors can be made sufficiently distinct for

    such mapmaking efforts to be practical.

    I dislike time limits, whether realtime or "number of turns" or similar

    – not so much for themselves, but because the limits they impose make

    spending the necessary time for exploration and discovery impractical.

    In games with "number of turns" time limits, I just end up issuing an

    UNDO after every command, till I’ve tried them all and decided which one

    I want to proceed forward with; in games with such time limits where

    UNDO isn’t available, I just wouldn’t play the game.

    I don’t generally like "conversation-based" or otherwise "social" games,

    again because of the limits they place on exploration and discovery;

    when you’re exploring a social/conversational space rather than a

    physical one, generally either you can’t go back to look around / do

    something different in a previous "location" or (because you can) the

    game tends to feel unrealistic.

    > 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 would put this as: I hate traps and dead ends.

    The first example of something like this which springs to my mind is

    from "Curses"; it’s been a long time since I played it, but I believe

    there is at least one place where there is an essential item which you

    cannot get without the right equipment, but there is no indication that

    you need that equipment before you go there, and (as far as I could ever

    tell) once you leave there you can’t return.

    This seems to be what is prohibited by points 3, 4 and 5 (or possibly

    just 4 and 5) of the Bill of Player’s Rights.

    I enjoy wordplay, although it’s extremely difficult to do it well in IF

    without tipping over into "guess the verb"-style gameplay (in violation

    of point 8 of the Bill).

    There’s probably more, but that’s all that’s rising to the surface right

    now, and in any case I think most of the rest would be parallel to

    excerpts from the Bill of Player’s Rights.


           The Wanderer

    Warning: Simply because I argue an issue does not mean I agree with any

    side of it.

    Secrecy is the beginning of tyranny.

  4. admin says:

    On Tuesday, May 14, 2013 9:32:29 PM UTC-5, Brian wrote:

    Although I agree with a lot stated, this I don’t:

    > 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.

    > Regards Brian

    First, I like mazes, the maze all alike and all different in Advent, the maze with the annoying thief in Zork I, etc.  

    I intend to add a maze to the game I’m working on.  However, it won’t be a "pointer maze", like these, it will be a description of a maze that could be in the real universe.  

    What I want to do is implement a circular maze, and implement directions "inward" "outward" "clockwise" "counterclockwise".  I don’t know if it will work (I’ll implement it, test it myself and give it to some other people to see if it works.)  

    Tom A.

    Tried "Ruins" as I’m reading the Inform Manual, and I think that game probably violates the players bill of rights.  Only figured out one puzzle myself.

    Or maybe I’m just bad at these games.

  5. admin says:

    - Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -

    Tom A <meteoricshipya…@yahoo.com> wrote:

    > On Tuesday, May 14, 2013 9:32:29 PM UTC-5, Brian wrote:

    > Although I agree with a lot stated, this I don’t:

    >> 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.

    >> Regards Brian

    > First, I like mazes, the maze all alike and all different in Advent, the

    > maze with the annoying thief in Zork I, etc.  

    > I intend to add a maze to the game I’m working on.  However, it won’t be

    > a "pointer maze", like these, it will be a description of a maze that

    > could be in the real universe.  

    > What I want to do is implement a circular maze, and implement directions

    > "inward" "outward" "clockwise" "counterclockwise".  I don’t know if it

    > will work (I’ll implement it, test it myself and give it to some other

    > people to see if it works.)  

    > Tom A.

    > Tried "Ruins" as I’m reading the Inform Manual, and I think that game

    > probably violates the players bill of rights.  Only figured out one puzzle myself.

    > Or maybe I’m just bad at these games.

    Good idea to test it out on others. I find most mazes boring as the scenery

    never changes and you can waste a lot of time
     In finding a way to the exit of the maze. If your maze is too complex it

    may be impossible for others to find the exit but its good that you are

    trying new ideas.


    Regards Brian

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