I have a lot of instances where I have text necessary to the plot that is triggered before a player goes somewhere. Like so:
Before going east to Next Room:
say "A bit of text here with important information."
I’ve had people tell me that they sometimes miss this text, though, because their eyes are automatically drawn to the bold text of the name of the room they’re going to, so they can simply skip over that.
I can put “PRESS ANY KEY TO CONTINUE” everywhere as a failsafe, but I have quite a few of these, and I think PRESS ANY KEY can get old.
Does anyone have suggestions for how to streamline this so that the player doesn’t miss the “before” information?
I’m glad you mentioned that because I always miss that text (and feel foolish for doing so). I’m just so used to Quill types of games where the screen clears with every change of location and if something happens before then there is a pause and a big fat flashing cursor before proceeding. The Inform equivalent isn’t quite prominent (ie flashy) enough for me, but at least it does alert the player that something worth reading is occurring.
I don’t want to do this, because I find that irritating in parser games. I’m always scrolling back up to read something again, and if the screen clears, now that information is gone.
This is going to be problem for me the way I have the game set up, where this happens all the time. I may have to rethink how I trigger changes.
I do have a few things like that, but I can’t do it for every instance. Grr. Again, I may have to rethink it, but if you have something like “As you pass over the bridge, you hear a voice calling “Beware!” from ahead”, it’s kind of hard to think of another way to do it.
I think this is probably reasonably straightforward to implement but I haven’t done a proof-of-concept.
Maybe on the first entry to a room, you could suppress displaying the bold-weight room name and instead have a normal-weight “You enter the Kitchen.” sentence at the beginning of the room description (without a paragraph break). So the “before text” isn’t visually broken from the other text and we can hope it won’t occur to the player to skip it.
Before going east to Kitchen for the first time:
say " As you enter the kitchen, the door slams shut behind you and you hear laughter on the other side. You're trapped!";
now the printed name of Kitchen is "";
Kname returns in zero turns from now.
At the time when Kname returns:
now the printed name of Kitchen is "Kitchen".
I find it fascinating how folks go about solving problems differently. As I was reading through this thread, I was troubleshooting a solution to this problem that was entirely too convoluted, although I suspect it might have worked.
I was thinking the first time a player walked through a door, it would send the player to an identical version of the room that had the before text as first lines of the room description.
Then, when the player tried to execute any command, the game would automatically transport them to the normal version of the room (idential other than the room description not including the “before text”) before executing the player’s command.
Basically, the doorway would work as a onetime use portkey before reverting to a door, and the room first visited would expel the player to the normal version of the room as soon as the player tried something, presumably after the player read the full room description text of the portkey room.