FWIW, I like the idea here, and I’ve often appreciated pre-game instructions in games that have them. (The ABOUT text of Hunter in Darkness clarifies that no mapping is necessary, so players know right away that they’re not supposed to exhaustively explore the enormous maze. That could conceivably function as an unwanted hint or mild spoiler, but I think it was a good idea to put it in.) The problem is that the newbies who most need these instructions are least likely to read them. Authors can beg players to type ABOUT all they want, but many people will assume this is akin to reading the preface of a book, i.e. distinctly optional. Creating truly inviting parser interfaces requires respecting and working around that fact.
There’s been some discussion about a “tutorial mode” to teach basic interactions like examining, taking, looking, etc. Making the tutorial discoverable for newbies, unintrusive for experienced players, and not overly burdensome on authors is a problem that requires some thought. I’ve toyed with the idea of tracking the frequency of parser errors, and offering the tutorial if the player seems to be flailing around. But I’m afraid that might come across as condescending, or generate angry Clippy references in reviews.
The basic principle for a parser interface is: Everything that’s not a puzzle should be effortless and seamless. Parser game culture needs to internalize this to a greater degree than it has. Wasting the player’s time on “Sorry, you can’t go through this unlocked door because it’s closed” or “You can’t read that book because it’s on the desk in front of you instead of in your hands” should never happen. When the player walks into a room with Joe, SAY HELLO, SAY HI, SAY GOOD MORNING, GREET JOE, and WAVE AT JOE should all work.
At this point I’ve strayed away from the original question, and none of this necessarily applies to @AmandaB’s game. I’d just say kudos to you for asking questions like this, because that’s the kind of thinking we need more of.