how to limit the player's commands

I’m trying to limit the commands the player is allowed to type to the most basic: going, examining, taking, etc. The purpose of this is to keep the player from having to guess which verb to use (the last game I tried writing was the complete opposite of this, and it didn’t turn out so well, so now I’m going in the other direction).

Initially I thought about blocking every unneeded command (like how eating, drinking, or sleeping are blocked), then realized that would take forever. So then I tried:

Before doing something:
Unless the current action is going or the current action is looking or the current action is… (etc.)

But as I’m sure you already know, that led to a translation error, I’m guessing either because I accidentally blocked out something I shouldn’t have or because the list was too long.

I also tried looking in the recipe book under the Commands chapter, but that wasn’t much help for this purpose, either.

What is the most efficient way to achieve my goal?

…or maybe this plan isn’t even a very good idea to begin with. What do you guys think?

Looks like there’s a previous answer:

Which links to this page:

Oh man, that was awesome. Okay, so I sort of had the right idea, I just implemented it incorrectly. Instead of creating a “before doing something” rule, I should have done “understand nothing as” instead. Thanks for that! :slight_smile:

My take on this is, why block? (no offense, I understand what you are doing.) All of the verbs in Inform7 have a standard response unless you specifically define otherwise, and often they deny the action if you don’t. I think it’s constructive to try to think of as many possible ways that the action desirable in the situation can be done as you can, and write rules accordingly. Remember, a lot of the verbs in Inform break down into the basic actions anyway.

On the flip side, if you do allow only a limited number of verbs in your game, it might be a good idea to let the player know, somewhere at the beginning of the game or in the game literature what the allowable verbs are. If the player doesn’t know them, then s/he might get frustrated at the computer not understanding what was typed, thus defeating your purpose.

Just an opinion.

No problem, though I do agree with IFaddicted quite a bit. At the very least, you’ll want your intro to let people know what your limited vocabulary is :slight_smile:

IFaddicted, have you ever played Treasures of a Slaver’s Kingdom (lol, I think this is the third time I’ve mentioned having played this game in the forums in the past week… that’s how much I loved it :stuck_out_tongue:)? That game is where I got the idea to limit the player’s commands. I liked its actions mechanic because then I didn’t have to sit around trying to play “guess the verb” like i often do. Also, it created a USE command that encompassed a whole bunch of different actions: giving it to, taking, wearing, etc. which I found nice, especially for novice players like myself.

I also previously wrote a game called “A Cock and Bull Story” where the commands (and descriptions/responses) were euphemisms i.e. “Toot your own horn” or “Cry over spilt milk” or “Break the ice”. But beta-testers got quickly frustrated with the infinite possibilities of what commands they could use, so now I’m trying things in the other direction to see how that goes.

I realize limiting the player to only a certain number of actions cuts down on the realistic nature of the game, but I think I’m okay with that. Back in the day, Mario could pretty much only jump, and that game is still super fun.

Anyway, that’s my long-winded answer to your question, “Why block?” lol