Adventure hint system ?

Since most adventure games are free these days, players tend to discard a game much faster if they go stuck. The argument is; Why bother when there’s another free game out there?
Walk-through’s or hint sheets are important if you want people to play your game.
I’m writing games using the Adrift platform which has a built-in hint system. But unfortunately this system only allows for two hints.
What I’m looking for is a system like the UHS (universal Hint System) where the player only gets a little information at a time. Problem with the UHS is that the people owning it decide whether a hint file is worth publishing or not.
So if there’s a programmer out there who’s bored in these long dark winter nights, it would be greatly appreciated if a free (or shareware) hint system was made…

You should be able to build the hint system into your game. There are several forms it can take, from trying to figure out what the player should be working on next, to just a one-after-the-other series of hints covering the whole chapter/section. Would something like that work for you, in place of an external program?

I’m not sure I can build a hint system into my game. I am using Adrift which is an “already made” platform meaning that the author doesn’t program anything (as such) It has a built-in hint system, but it only allows the author two hints, a sneaky one and a sledge hammer one…
So I believe that my best option would be an external program.

Don’t be so quick to give up! There are some pretty complex ADRIFT games out there. Surely you could build your own hints system independent of the one they give you? Even if you can’t override the system ‘hint’ command, you could implement it as ‘think’ instead.

In my current work in progress (in TADS 3) I’ve written my own hint command which displays different text depending on whether certain states are true, or gives out a sequence of increasingly explicit pointers if the player requests them during a particularly tricky state. Something like this:

(Or something like that, anyway.)

ADRIFT can surely check the state of the game and return a different piece of text for a given command depending on that state? I can’t believe it’s that limited. (And I’m pretty sure I can recall playing ADRIFT games with their own hint menus - The PK Girl, for example.)

Just to let you know that I finally finished the hint system for Ghost Town.
If you want to have a look at it feel free to do so.