Addressing a thing by multi-word properties: Is it possible?

Here’s what I mean.

In the attached example, I make a traffic light kind, which has a traffic light status value. The default value for a traffic light is ‘red circle’.

I create the first traffic light. I want the player to be able to type ‘x red’ or ‘x circle’ to be able to refer to it, or any other traffic light showing a red circle, but in the default properties setup, the game only recognises the whole phrase ‘red circle’.

What’s a good way to get the effect I want, where I can change a value on a thing and, automatically, more than one word is ‘turned on’ to refer to it (or turned off, if we switch away from that value).

Street is a room. "You see the first traffic light here. It displays a red circle.".

traffic-light-status is a kind of value. The traffic-light-status are red circle, yellow square, green arrow.

A traffic light is a kind of backdrop.

A traffic light has a traffic-light-status.

Understand the traffic-light-status property as describing a traffic light.

the first traffic light is a traffic light in street.

Test me with "x red/x circle/x red circle".


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You can say:

Understand "red", "circle" as red circle.

Now the value has several synonyms and you’re where you want to be.

One caution: the last time I tried this, it went to hell if the names had overlapping synonyms. Inform’s regular disambiguation broke. But that was in Heliopause, which was before 6G60, so this might be fixed now.

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Thanks, it works. I’m mildly disturbed though, I guess I never thought you could “Understand…” for something other than an object.

Could you elaborate on what you mean by ‘overlapping’?


I mean if you tried:

Understand “red”, “circle” as red-circle.
Understand “red”, “square” as red-square.
Understand “blue”, “circle” as blue-circle.
Understand “blue”, “square” blue-square.

Now that I try it, it seems to work okay. But I don’t remember what the exact problem was with Heliopause.