A question about syntax

I’ve created (admittedly, it’s a prologue, but I need to start sussing this stuff out now) an adventure where a character needs to get out of a locked room… it’s set in Victorian times, so the key is left in the lock and can be pushed from behind.

So I want the character to find a poster in a magazine (this is more steampunk, so that’s ok) and put it under the door, then take a swizzle stick and push the key through and have it fall on the poster and then it’s pulled through and… well, the adventure begins, but…

I’ve not been able to make “Take the poster, put it on the floor, push it under the door” work in a way that seems fair? I keep having to create routines that say, “Well, you can’t do that, buy try:” and etc. I think it worked out ok, and if you want to see if you can work it out, see: docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid= … JiNjkzNGQw

It’s a zblorb there… I just want to start with a decent puzzle… And I think I have the right idea, but it’s not working with the program…



One suggestion: The floor is a sort of default area in Inform games, and you don’t really need it. Just ‘take poster’ and ‘put poster under door’ should work fine. You’ll need to fix up a location that corresponds to “under the door” – Eric Eve’s Underside extension should work for that.

Make the keyhole a container that will only accept the swizzle stick. Then ‘put stick in keyhole’ sort of “arms” the poster. At that point the key is still not in scope – it may actually be off-stage – but ‘take poster’ (if the poster is “armed”) will move the key into the room.

Does that help?

For what it’s worth, I haven’t even been able to find the swizzle stick. But if I could, this is the series of commands that I would expect to be able to use to accomplish this:

put poster under door
put stick in keyhole
push stick (if just putting it in there didn’t do the trick)
take poster (or maybe “pull poster”)

As it stands now, “put poster under door” is giving me “You can’t see any such thing,” which is strange since I’m carrying the poster and the door is clearly visible.

To add a twist to Jim’s idea, you might want to make the poster a supporter. Then, when you pull the poster back into the room (after having put the key into the keyhole while the poster was under the door), you could move the key on the poster.

Robert Rothman

One further thought:

If a player pushes the key through the keyhole without having the poster in place, if you set it up to work consistently the key would drop outside and the player would have no way of getting out. Allowing the game to get into an unwinnable state, particularly if its the very first puzzle, is something that a lot of players might not view favorably. You might want to come up with another way out, or, alternatively, come up with a plausible explanation for blocking the player from putting the swizzle stick in the keyhole unless the poster is in place.

Robert Rothman

A bit contrived, but I went for it because I believe in the Monkey Island ideal of adventure… you insert the (spoiler) and push out the (spoiler)… a constable reinserts it and complains about drafts… That presumably pushed out the key… I MEAN SPOILER

So you aren’t gonna lose that way, at least not in the prologue… :slight_smile: