Is Cloak of Darkness illogical?

In Cloak of Darkness, your cloak absorbes light, so the bar is dark when you are wearing it. But when you remove your cloak and leave it in the cloak room, the cloak room does not become dark. Moreover, when you are still wearing your cloak in the foyer or the cloak room, it does not appear to be absorbing light because those rooms are not dark.

Since Cloak of Darkness is intended as the “Hello, World” of IF, is it also unintentionally symbolising a difficulty with much puzzle-based IF in general?


Oh yeah, I feel like someone points that out every few years. Searching will probably turn up a couple long threads about it.

It’s just a silly little example to show that your IF engine can do some very basic things: you’ve probably thought about it more than its original author did.


Just as light sources aren’t infinitely bright, maybe the cloak isn’t an infinite light consumer? But as the bar is only dimly lit, its light is within the cloak’s capacity.


Rather creative interpretation, but no, as Josh said, this has been discussed several times in other threads.

IMO, this should’ve been fixed. Either this is easy fix and should’ve been done long time ago, or this isn’t an easy fix and should’ve been replaced with a better example.

Personally, I like the Adventuron coding example. However, the one in ScottKit tutorial is pretty good, too. Although thinking about it too much, everything starts looking like a locked door puzzle. :man_shrugging:

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This is something that occurred to me, and seems like a viable explanation (much like Darwin’s peacock tail fix, or Einstein’s Constant).

Sorry to have brought up a common topic. I did notice another flaw, which different versions of the game treat differently. If you drop the cloak in the bar, the game either becomes unwinnable because you can’t see it to pick it up again, or the description for the room reads “You can see a cloak”, in a pitch dark room. Has this ever been solved?

I mean, the value of Cloak of Darkness (what little value it has) is that it’s an example that has been ported to a bunch of different systems. Because all those different ports exist, it lets you compare how different engines handle basic things like wearing and removing a piece of clothing, putting it on a hook instead of on the floor, turning a light on and off based on some unusual thing (not a light switch, but whether you’re wearing the cloak).

So to me, it’s a code sample: a very simple Rosetta stone. It’s only a “game” by accident. It doesn’t detract from that use if it’s illogical or has unwinnable conditions. These things are not problems, there’s no real need to solve them. There’s more value in having a bunch of implementations of the same thing, even if it’s flawed as a game, than to invent a better example and start over.

That said, there are plenty of people here who love discussing just this kind of minutia even though (especially because?) they don’t matter, and regardless of how many times they’ve been discussed before. So if that’s your jam, have at it, have fun.

But if you’re just using it as a first tiny “Hello, World” engine test, or using it to feel out someone else’s IF tool, don’t worry too much about it. I’ve always wondered if Roger Firth made it intentionally flawed in these ways to encourage authors and tool developers to think about how they want to handle these kinds of inconsistencies… but I suspect it was just a quick proof-of-concept and he didn’t think about it that much.


Perhaps the Cloak’s effects are only active when it’s worn?

Or perhaps the Cloak’s effects only affect the wearer… It may have belonged to a vampire who used it so he could go to the bank when it was open.

It’s not meant for logic, the text is just consistent as it’s intended as a world-model demonstration for

  • locations
  • navigation
  • objects
    • wearable
    • supporter
    • examinable
  • world-state with two endings

As @JoshGrams explained, it was only ever intended to allow you to compare the source code for the same game in different authoring systems and, to that end, it does a good job. However, it is a bit buggy and there are some illogical things going on. I seem to recall fixing the bugs in the Inform 6 version and I also did one in Adventuron, but neither of these are published anywhere.

The Spanish community had a similar project called Proyecto Vampiro (or Project Vampire), which is now defunct. It is a more substantial game that was ported to a dozen or so authoring systems. I translated this to English and used it as the inspiration for Carpathian Vampire, although my game was considerably expanded and thoroughly researched based on a true story.


If you drop the cloak in the bar, the game either becomes unwinnable because you can’t see it to pick it up again

Choice-based implementations solve this easily: You just don’t have the option to drop the cloak in the bar.

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