general thoughts about scoring and hints?

In Jim Aikin’s Inform 7 Handbook, he suggests making sure integrated hints are available and talks about the idea of scoring.

I’m currently leaning towards having hints, but I’m on the fence about scoring. I’m not sure it adds anything to the game.

I’m curious what the current feeling is on both topics (hints and scoring) both from player’s perspective and the developer’s perspective.

Thanx in advance for your thoughts.

Hints are good provided they give you a push towards the right answer without giving you the actual answer. (Use a walkthrough)
Scoring would depend on the type of game you make. If it is a hunt for treasures / kill all the monsters to win, then a score system of some sort would be a good guide as to how far the PC has progressed. (or left to achieve) Can be especially good for playability if it is possible to win without getting all the possible points.
However, some games do not lend themselves to scoring but have other in-game achievements that can give a good indication. (eg having to change someone’s attitude from angry, to friendly)

I would suggest to play through some of the games in the IF comp or search for scoring games on IFDB to see what works and what could be left out without affecting the game.

Others may have different ideas or even better suggestions.

Don’t feel you need to shoehorn scoring into a game that doesn’t need it. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.

Old-school scoring as a game mechanic has fallen out of favor, and that’s primarily why Inform now defaults to turning off scoring unless the author opts for it. In the past, scoring was on by default.

That said, if you are able to do something clever with score or achievements, that’s always appreciated.

Hints, on the other hand, are expected, like soap in a hotel room, and it’s weird if they aren’t there.

At the minimum, if the player types HELP or HINT you want to give them a response…whether it’s an actual help menu, a paragraph of friendly suggestions, or a URL directing them to a walkthrough somewhere online. Even if the game is cruel–I had one game that responded something like, “No one can hear you.” in response to HELP. At minimum, it’s something people will try, and not having any response is akin leaving “As good looking as ever,” as the description of the player.

Scoring is useful as a progress meter. If there is no other way for the player to know how far through the story they have gone, I would include it.