I disagree with this one. It is the ambience of detail that provides an engaging story, otherwise you have a threadbare plot with a only list of options. It is up to the author to avoid the default responses.
It sounds like you are agreeing with me. Significant details should have a proper description when examined and not the default.
Thanks for the second hint.
Just if someone stumbles over this, I used:
Rule for printing a parser error when the latest parser error is the can't see any such thing error:
Say "<my own version>".
Following WI 18.35
I don’t recommend that, though.
The standard “can’t see any such thing” error carries a lot of weight. Changing it has a high risk of unsettling the entire game.
If the player types “X LAMP” and the game replies “You don’t find that useful or helpful to you,” and then the player remembers that they left the lamp in a different room so that they actually can’t see it? The parser has seriously lost a lot of trust right there.
(It’s different for verbs like REMEMBER or CREATE, which are understood to not apply to things-you-can-see-in-the-room.)
You could say „That‘s not important.“ instead. But I am aware that there might be cases where this could have a bad side effect (for example, when the player is in the dark?), and wanted to catch that later if needed. The answers should be discouraging to players, to give them a hint that they are on the wrong track.
But I agree that it is a risky intervention.
Yes I agree with using good descriptions for significant objects, but sometimes a literate room description of scenery or objects has many many nouns, and sometimes it is important to say an item is not important or useful.
I like Ondricek’s suggestion for defining props with their own description, which avoids the default and is not too much trouble to insert.
Just if someone comes across this:
scenery is a property, that’s why inform threw an error for me for the code above.
A prop is a kind of scenery thing. works, and seems to be what HanonO meant.
You have saveed all the hair on my head that I have not yet pulled out with this snippet.
I have spent days trying to get that examine command right. I cut and paste this into my story and it worked first time!