Ib - Inventory system

Ib - Inventory system

Last night I played Ib, a 2012 horror game made in RPG Maker.

The inventory system is interesting in that it doesn’t allow you to choose to use an item; it is automatically used when you interact with an object.

But instead of choosing an item, you can swap between characters with different items so some deliberate choice is still required.

(For example: There is one interesting puzzle where Gary passes an umbrella to Ib in a different room by hanging it on a painting with fishhook; Ib retrieves the umbrella by looking at another painting with a fisherman in a boat. )

This lends itself to a comfortable balance where puzzles can be solved with either trial and error or through reasoning.

I think this sort of inventory system would be pretty easy to implement in Twine and choice-based IF as opposed to a full inventory system.

Is anyone aware of any IF games (choice or parser) that do something like this?

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I can’t for the life of me find it, but I distinctly remember playing a game in the last year where two school kids helped a third to escape from a classroom where he was imprisoned. They had to pass items back and forth through windows and such, and it had some illustrations. I thought it was a recent Twine or Adventuron game but I can’t find one on IFDB published in the last couple of years that fits that description. I think it was entered in one of the small competitions.

I think the idea is cool and it worked well in that game!

Edit: @StJohnLimbo was able to find it: it’s Barry Basic and the Quick Escape: Barry Basic and the Quick Escape - Details

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Thanks, I got around to playing it and had some trouble but overall I thought it worked well. I wrote a review here.

In terms of theory, I think the system would be better suited to Twine or another choice-based system. Managing inventories and characters is a bit much unless both of those systems are very restricted.

For example, with Twine, you would have options that show up only when characters are in certain configurations. Still enough possibilities to require deduction from the player, but not enough possibilities to require commands.

I don’t have any plans to actually do something like this, but maybe someday.

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Thanks for giving Barry Basic a go and for your review!

I made the game because I absolutely love the whole concept of multiple characters and inventories in parser IF (I have several more similar projects in the pipeline because I enjoyed making that game so much!). It’s really interesting to hear other people’s views on the mechanism.

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Absolutely! I looked into Adventuron some more and it looks interesting since it is apparently not too hard to code with and I like the multimedia features.

If I can ask, how long did it take you to make the game?

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It would have been somewhere between four and six weeks, although a good week and a half of that was the graphics. In hours probably 50-70. I remember it being a bit of a rush towards the end (jams always are in my experience) but it was fun!

It’s also worth noting that, in Adventuron, Dee worked out and coded all the multi-protagonist and inventory-switching routines from scratch - but since then (and probably inspired by this game) native functions have been added to do all that for you. So it would be quicker to do it now, if not quite as much fun.

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Good to know, thanks.

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By the way, was there a way to enter the phone number in its entirety into the prompt?

From my code:

call number; phone number; dial number; call 555-7202; phone 555-7202; dial 555-7202; call 5557202; phone 5557202; dial 5557202; 555-7202; 5557202; call control; phone control; call kingdom; phone kingdom; call institute; phone institute; make call; call phone

should all have worked.

I just tried it again…I think I typed in the wrong number the first time because I got the ‘unknown noun’ error.

The error made me think that the game didn’t recognize phone numbers at all, but it just didn’t recognize that number.

I’ve updated my review to reflect that.

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I hadn’t considered mistyped numbers! I might add a response for that next time I update the game :slight_smile: