A question to fix a puzzle

I have a room that can’t be escaped from, unless that character has the key from the other side. It’s a quasi-19th century room. So the character searches and finds a swizzle stick, which he can poke through the keyhole, pushing out the key. An observant person picks up the key and puts it back into the keyhole.

The trick is, the player finds a poster, which she places under the door, then pushes out the key, then retrieves it by pulling the poster back into the room… voila. The observant person is obviously on a break at this point.

I have it all worked out, except what verb to use to push it under the door. I am a bit new at this point to slide the poster under the door and have it work in the room “You see a poster (slid under the door)”. So be gentle (i.e., not miles of code) but I’ve never been able to figure this one out.


Here’s a way.

  1. Give the poster an either/or property: The poster can be under the door. You can use that property to adapt text output: After inserting the stick into the keyhole: say "You hear the key fall from the keyhole[if the poster is under the door] onto the poster[end if]."
    2)Define a ‘sliding it under’ action that sets the ‘is under the door’ property, when sliding the poster under the door (and that politely refuses to do anything when trying to slide anything but the poster under anything but the door).

  2. Write a rule for taking the poster that keeps track of whether or not the poster is currently under the door and whether or not the player just poked the key from keyhole and that gives the player the key as well as the poster if those conditions are met. E.g., if poking the keyhole results in the key ending up in the room the other side of the door, you can write a rule more or less like: After taking the poster when the poster is under the door: now the player carries the poster; say "You retrieve the poster[if the key to freedom is in the outer room] – and with it the key[end if]."; if the key to freedom is in the outer room, now the player carries the key to freedom.
    I’m sure to have overlooked several details, but this general approach should work.

I cannot help you in the implemenation of this puzzle, but I need ask if it is really necessary, as it is a pretty classic puzzle we’ve all seen many times. I can’t speak to IF appearances specifically, but in other game genres it’s been used, off the top of my head in eg. Alone in the Dark 2 and Pepper’s Adventures in Time… and I bet those are just the tip of the iceberg. Ah, here we go – tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/M … ievalTrick


I know, I know. However, it was meant to be pretty easy to solve as is literally the first thing to do in the game, and is really just a prologue to help familiarize the player with how things are going to work. It was to introduce the character during the course of a few basic moves through flashbacks.

I dunno. I may not continue with this one, but I was annoyed that I couldn’t satisfactorily finish the puzzle.

I think that’s a good rationale, mancko. After getting lots of feedback on A Killer Headache, I really wish the first puzzles in the game were more predictable! And the descriptions of the swizzle stick and the poster can tell the player a lot about the setting of your game.

Just checking in to make sure that the instigator of this thread wasn’t the author of this year’s comp game The Wizard’s Apprentice, which is credited to “Alex Freeman” … which I cannot extrapolate “mancko” from.