How far, how big, what color?

I’m working on creating a simple one room scene with a gazebo in it. I’ve been struggling with questions like:

How far is it?

How big is it?

What color is it?

It being the gazebo.

For values of color, distance, and size I’ve done something like the following:

A gazebo has a color. The gazebo is white.
Say “The color of the gazebo is [color of gazebo].”

But haven’t figure out how to ask “What color/how big/how far is the gazebo?”

Thanks for your time,
–Rick

If you are asking these questions to the player, I wouldn’t’t recommend this idea.

Quote me:

If you are asking these questions to yourself, try firing up Google Image Search.

Why not, incidentally? Some games and experiments have done some interesting things in that direction.

Methinks this is the exception to the rule. If the game explicitly is a “god game”, then it’s fine, but if it’s a regular game, then allowing the player to create the game world is a bit like allowing him to set pieces up for a chess puzzle which he is then supposed to solve… It’s more appealing if you solve some other person’s puzzle. (Not to mention the fact that for you, the author, it’s easier to stay consistent in your world image.)

Cheers,

syzygy

I was thinking it wold be fun to create “The Dreaded Gazebo” as interactive fiction:
netfunny.com/rhf/jokes/98/Jul/gazebo.html

Eric was playing a Neutral Paladin in Ed’s game. He was on some lord’s lands when the following exchange occurred:

ED: You see a well groomed garden. In the middle, on a small hill, you
see a gazebo.
ERIC: A gazebo? What color is it?
ED: (Pause) It’s white, Eric.
ERIC: How far away is it?
ED: About 50 yards.
ERIC: How big is it?
ED: (Pause) It’s about 30 ft across, 15 ft high, with a pointed top.
ERIC: I use my sword to detect good on it.
ED: It’s not good, Eric. It’s a gazebo.
ERIC: (Pause) I call out to it.
ED: It won’t answer. It’s a gazebo.

It continues on for about 16 more lines. It seems really simple. I’ve got everything working except for the What color, how far, and what color part.

Can I just create commands for what color, how far, and color?

–Rick

Okay, I see what you were asking.

You can create new commands, and it’s quite easy: see chapter 16.1 of the manual. (Assuming you’re working in Inform.) It has an example of a “photograph [something]” command. You could create a “what color is [something]” command in the same form.

However, this leads to the deeper question: would any IF player actually type that? The conventional IF command to find out what color the gazebo is is “examine gazebo”. This is also the conventional IF command to find out how large it is, how far away it is, how angry it is… You see the problem. No experienced player is going to type “what color is the gazebo”.

(And if the player isn’t familiar with IF conventions, she’s even less likely to type it.)

You have a script which reads well on paper, but the player’s job isn’t to follow your script. Designing an IF scene from that end rarely works out well.

There are games where the player has a part in the creation of a world, like Calm.

I dunno, that’s a bit reductive, isn’t it? Lots of games have the player take at least some part in the creation of the world. Technically, any time there are selectable difficulties the player plays a part in creating the world (albeit mostly of the preplanned variety).

Anyway, I’d just like to echo what zarf said, and add that you might want to look at Cheeseshop, an IF game based on a sketch that works.