Old school adventures, new school IF, and player's bill of rights

I’ve seen a lot of discussion about old-school vs new school on here over the years but also recently, with Adventuron, AI dungeon, parser comp, and other communities and developments bring up the topic.

Background

I’ve struggled to understand why different groups categorize games in different ways and find appeal in different things. For instance, in the IFComp community, graphics have popped up but aren’t common, while in Adventuron, graphics are very common.

I think a big split (and several people have posited this) is Infocom vs British games/Spectrum. Infocom specifically eschewed graphics in many games, while the British scene had The Hobbit and Magnetic Scrolls with images.

Different expectations

While the historical background is interesting from an academic viewpoint, I’m more concerned about the personal effects of the ‘split’. I’ve had hurt feelings, caused hurt feelings, and have seen hurt feelings from a game being labelled as ‘old school’ in a bad way or being labeled as ‘interactive fiction’ in a bad way (i.e. a touchy feeling game).

I think this comes from players having different expectations. People find different things fun, and communities develop their own expectations.

IFComp and XYZZY awards have a fairly unified set of expectations. Where did they come from?

I realized, I think a lot of it comes from Graham Nelson’s Bill of Rights, which was really influential here a couple of decades ago, and then trickled down later. Let’s look at it.

Graham Nelson’s Bill of Rights

  1. Not to be killed without warning
  2. Not to be given horribly unclear hints
  3. To be able to win without experience of past lives
  4. To be able to win without knowledge of future events
  5. Not to have the game closed off without warning
  6. Not to need to do unlikely things
  7. Not to need to do boring things for the sake of it
  8. Not to have to type exactly the right verb
  9. To be allowed reasonable synonyms
  10. To have a decent parser
  11. To have reasonable freedom of action
  12. Not to depend much on luck
  13. To be able to understand a problem once it is solved
  14. Not to be given too many red herrings
  15. To have a good reason why something is impossible
  16. Not to need to be American to understand hints
  17. To know how the game is getting on

The origin of ‘new school’?

Let’s look at these. Many games that are self-identified as ‘old school’ gleefully break these rules. And why shouldn’t they? While one community gathered together and generally agreed that these rules are good, that doesn’t make them inherently good. Let’s see some examples:

  1. Not to be killed without warning
    While not common in the Adventuron/Adrift groups, a lot of homebrew parser creators like to throw this one in. Even in parsercomp there were some games that had early random deaths.

  2. Not to be given horribly unclear hints
    The example Graham Nelson gave was having a trapped door that killed you with lions carved above it. The players were supposed to know that ‘pride goes before the fall’, so the pride of lions was a warning for a trap.
    Again, this isn’t super common in all ‘old-school’ communities, but I’ve seen a lot of Adrift games which required some big leaps of logic. When you figure them out, they can be satisfying, which is why I think some people prefer that style.

  3. To be able to win without experience of past lives.
    Goes with #1.

  4. To be able to win without knowledge of future events
    This shows up in a lot of old-school games, where a lot of times you’re expected to collect things and interact with things even though you have no clue in-game why that would be useful. Again, this isn’t bad (I break this rule a lot) but it’s definitely more common in ‘old-school’.

  5. Not to have the game closed off without warning
    I feel like this is more of a difficulty thing. Graham Nelson himself broke this rule quite a bit! I’ve heard several people say this is why they don’t like Curses!.

  6. Not to need to do unlikely things
    This is, for me, a hallmark of games that are described as ‘old-school’. The moments where you have to make a giant leap of logic or unlogic. A lot of of the new-school sensibility is the idea of using only basic verbs (or even constraining users to a small set of verbs) or giving leading hints to players, so that all actions are ones that are clearly expected. This means that new-school games get their complexity primarily from complex systems (like Plotkin’s technology and magic or Short’s conversations). Old-school games often have actions that are simple in hindsight but weren’t really spelled out. An example might include the Plover room in Adventure.

  7. Not to need to do boring things for the sake of it
    In parsercomp there is a game (which prompted this essay) that explicitly says something like ‘This is an oldschool game where you will need to LOOK UNDER or LOOK BEHIND or SEARCH things.’ A beta tester of that game pointed out: “The big emphasis on hidden objects (LOOK UNDER and BEHIND, X WALL etc) is not everyone’s cup of tea. It has other puzzles too but this is a significant part of the game. However, I also want to clarify that this is the author’s style, not something related to ADRIFT. ADRIFT games can be very different.”.
    I’ve seen this a lot with some punyInform authors, too, where you’ll type something like ‘PUSH DOOR’ and they’ll program it to say ‘Don’t you mean OPEN THE DOOR?’ or something similar, where it’s completely clear the game knows what you are trying to do but wants you to type it in a different way. Or requiring you to manually open doors that are unlocked.
    This is something I’ve done many times myself (my own parsercomp game involved a ton of running up and down stairs for one particular puzzle).

  8. Not to have to type exactly the right verb

  9. To be allowed reasonable synonyms
    These two go together. One thing that really annoys a couple of Adventuron, Adrift, and homebrew authors is when Inform players complain that they can’t just refer to objects by adjectives. Which is a fair point of view; if you see a white shirt, ‘GET SHIRT’ is more grammatically sensible then ‘GET WHITE’. But Inform, based on Nelson’s bill of rights, has trained us to expect this.

  10. To have a decent parser
    This really hits homebrew parsers hard. Most established languages can parse just fine (look at the recent Houghtonbridge game in parsercomp!), but people who make their own usually are flooded with complaints about the parser not recognizing things like X (for examine) or G (for again).

  11. To have reasonable freedom of action
    This is less of an old-school/new school thing and more a personal author thing. Many newer games actually have less freedom of action.

  12. Not to depend much on luck
    Random chance/rpgs don’t really show up in new-school IF. Even when they do, like in Kerkerkruip, strategy is a major component that can override chance.

  13. To be able to understand a problem once it is solved
    A lot of old-school games, when I play them, I feel like I get by through random guessing. This can be amazing (beating the dragon in Adventure was a huge serotonin rush), but can also be frustrating, especially when you look at a walkthrough and think ‘how was I supposed to figure that out?’

  14. Not to be given too many red herrings
    He gives the example of Sorcerer. Not every old-school game has this, but, for example, in the game mentioned earlier where you have to LOOK UNDER or LOOK BEHIND things, 80% of places to look are empty, making them red herrings.

  15. To have a good reason why something is impossible
    I’m playing an old-school game right now where you have a pickaxe for a different puzzle and you are also trying to get through the front door. Typing ‘BREAK DOOR’ just says ‘The door resists your attempts’.

  16. Not to need to be American to understand hints
    As an American, I think I’m not qualified to comment on this.

  17. To know how the game is getting on
    This is something I wish way more games would do in general. But I don’t think it’s necessarily an old-school vs new-school divide.

What do you think?

Do you think that Graham Nelson’s Bill of Rights influenced the past and current IFComp community? Do you agree with the bill of rights or find it limiting? If you had a ‘manifesto’ or ‘bill of rights’ of what you think makes a game good or what should be banned from games, what is it?

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This list is pretty good, but as with all creative rules, one needs to comprehend the rules and why they exist to be able to break the rules.

For example: Rule #1 - Not to be killed without warning. Random deaths are frustrating, but this does not necessarily apply if the game is about the afterlife or being a ghost. The first scene could include an unexpected death that is integral to the plot. Or a game might be a time-loop similar to Final Destination or Russian Doll which are full of unexpected but non plot-ending deaths. Hopefully the author understands this means the game ending by random chance is neither a challenge nor fun gameplay and that breaking a rule should be a feature and not a frustration.

I think this Bill of Rights kind of applies to all gaming. The list might even be distilled to “If it isn’t fun for the player or extends gameplay needlessly, it doesn’t belong”

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Thanks for posting this – as you say, I think this distinction has been in the background of some recent conversations so it’s nice to bring it out for explicit discussion!

I don’t have time to say too much right now (will likely circle back later), but one thought I wanted to put in the discussion early is that beyond the Player’s Bill of Rights as such, a lot of the new-school approach came out over time from the late 90s/early aughts conversations in rec.arts.int-fiction – many of the authors we most associate with the new school were very active in design and craft discussions there, and I think the Bill of Rights was a critical jumping-off point for a lot of that conversation. But game-creation and theory discussion kind of fed into each other, eventually crystallizing a different set of practices and expectations.

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Too bad, I just misplaced my manifest folder again, but I would like to add a few points:
Think about whether it makes sense in your game to have a Game Over at all. Why kill someone if it doesn’t add any gameplay value?
Avoid deadends at all costs. A game must always remain solvable.
Gameplay must always be seen from the player’s perspective. A game is not primarily designed to make its creator happy (the worm must please the fish, not the angler). Admittedly, this is a very difficult point, where I also like to be wrong sometimes.

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I’ve thought a lot about The Craft of the Adventure over the past year, and perhaps no part of it more than “A Player’s Bill of Rights.” My essay about Zork II’s infamous “Bank of Zork” and “Baseball” puzzles----both are mentioned in “The Craft of the Adventure”—engages with the “Bill of Rights” directly.

I think a good piece of theory does two things. First, it gives us a new way to interpret or experience something. Second, it gives other critics a point of departure for arriving at further insights. “A Player’s Bill of Rights” is good theory in both senses. However, it hasn’t been iterated upon in any meaningful sense, has it? There is no new Bill of Rights, 27 years later (forgive me if my dates are off). I think that some of its phrases have practically become slogans, and as a result the document becomes not a point of departure but rather a tool to close off discussion. For instance: if a game requires learning from dying (right #3), one might preemptively declare it a bad game, case closed. In truth, there might yet be something interesting to experience in such “bad games.”

The “Bill of Rights” might be a conversation starter rather than a preemption. That is up to critics and players.

I would also say that, like most craft theories, they are guidelines rather than strict laws. They are good to think about and are a solid framework for discussing IF, but ultimately artists must choose whether they want to create within that framework.

So far as old school vs. new school goes: I see art as an intertextual continuum. IF has a cultural and historical context. Whether people enjoy old games or not, new games are made in a context shaped by old games. An author doesn’t have to like Zork or even play it to be influenced by it. Someone who was influenced by it may have influenced them all the same. It’s impossible to escape one’s own context. It’s useful to understand and appreciate the way things evolve and change over time when it comes to critiquing work. There is value in understanding the broad craft conversation at work between new games. I try to meet games where they are.

In that sense, I think calling an influential old game “bad” misses the point. It does not need to be “good” to be influential. Not every important thing is fun, and vice versa.

I may say more later.

As one point of departure, I suggest that the prohibition against being American (Right #16) could use more discussion. While I wouldn’t defend the “American” part so rigorously, I think authors should be able to create in their own cultural context. I’m thinking in particular of protecting the voices of people from vulnerable groups. #16 just doesn’t work as a general principle. I think there are problems the author might consider, but ultimately art comes from someplace rather than no place.

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I think there’s a few things going on here.

A lot of people who are relatively new to IF have no idea about the implicit expectations within various categories and genres within IF (it being a medium rather than something so specific as a genre or style). This means that many relatively new players go into a game without quite realising everything they’ve signed up for. This is especially true if the author is new, didn’t playtest enough, tried to create something experimental, or if they really intended their game for enthusiasts of a particular type of game and did most of their pre-download signalling to attract such players with implication and genre convention. (The latter generally will get the players they want, but also some players they perhaps didn’t - it’s OK for some games to be laser-focussed on specific types of players’ needs and desires; one job of good marketing is to allow those who are in those “types” to filter themselves in and those who are not to filter themselves out).

However, I’ve definitely enjoyed some IF that deliberately breaks some of the Bill of Rights. These tended to be by authors who knew what they were doing, stated what they were doing and coded the gameplay in such a way that it was fun partly because (rather than despite) the breach of Rights.

Also, the Bill of Rights is not circulating in its original form in all IF spaces, only some of them. Discussions in other IF spaces may well couch their concept of good game design in different terms, leading to confusion when playing games written to a different set of rights (perhaps as much as when they weren’t written to any set of rights at all).

I think the Bill of Rights is an excellent guideline (especially for new creators) and less good as an iron policy. Any single item in the Bill can reasonably be broken by a game set up appropriately. However, it’s as good a list of any of the sorts of circumstances where such set-up needs to be considered.

At this point, I don’t have a precise personal manifesto, but a loose set of ideas:

  • The player should be able to tell what sort of IF they are playing right now. (Ideally, the player should also be able to tell what sort of IF they are considering playing, though that’s not always possible even for games which want to put all their cards on the table. Also note that it’s OK for players not to be sure what sort of IF it will become, provided there’s a good reason for concealing that information).

  • The player should know their current goal in the IF.

  • The player should be able to use the interface provided.

  • The player should not encounter show-stopping bugs if it is not a beta version.

  • Output should be comprehensible.

  • Input should be understood if provided in the manner requested by the IF. Input methods should be reliable (this tracks with the Bill of Right’s requirement to have a decent parser in the case of parser games, although a parser that spells out its limitations and never requires the limits to be broken is perfectly entitled to subsequently remain in those limits).

  • In general, instructions should work.

  • Strange rules (i.e. ones that aren’t part of genre or medium conventions) should be explained ahead of, or at, the time of application.

  • Players should not be punished for doing what the IF asked them to do.

  • Hints, infodumps and the like should not be a complete waste of everyone’s time - if they are not useful, at least make them interesting, amusing or otherwise contribute to the IF.

  • Reasonable effort should be made to make the game accessible (what constitutes “reasonable” will vary according to many factors).

  • Solutions, deaths, game-overs and dead ends should make sense in the logic the IF is using, at least in retrospect. It’s OK for them not to make sense at the time, but if you find the solution and then think, “Why did that work?”, something went wrong.

  • Dead ends should be avoided or detected and the means to remediate it provided as much as possible.

  • The IF should be fun for both the creator and the player. I have a theory that players can detect crunch, stress-related apathy/despair/frustration and developers falling out of love with their game. There is more solid evidence to suggest that players who don’t have fun play something else. Both developer and player need to have fun with the game.

  • It should be possible for someone experienced in the type of IF the game is in to finish the game using the resources provided by the game, any outside resources the game recommends, plus the skills the player has developed playing IF. It should not require a third-party walkthrough for an expert of the type of IF of which a given IF is an example to finish the IF. (It is acceptable for this or similar resources to be needed for 100% completion, or to get deeper context into the IF).

  • Tutorials should be at least somewhat helpful to learning how the IF works.

  • The IF should have some sort of coherence of theme (note that this need not be prescriptive; “kitchen sink” IF has a theme of “kitchen sink”, which doesn’t necessarily exclude very much).

  • The IF should have some sort of coherence of character (note this doesn’t mean that IF has to have much character, just that what is there is reasonably consistent).

  • IF should not be written under the assumption that every player will think exactly like the author. (How that is dealt with is a negotiation between the IF, the author and the player, and is too much a developing field to make too many concrete rules at this point).

  • Where railroading is used, the player should have been given motive (of their own or their player character’s) as to why they would take that specific action. (Note that this does not need to justify why other reasonable courses of action were excluded).

  • Any repeated actions must have motive (either the player’s or the player character’s).

  • Reasonable synonyms should be accepted, if free-form input is offered. (“Reasonable” varies according to the specific IF’s structure and expectations).

  • The solution space for any puzzles should be reasonably-sized. Enough clues should be given that one can solve the puzzle using the means it was meant to be solved, in a timeframe that makes sense given the size of the IF and the importance of the puzzle to the IF.

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I wouldn’t agree with that. Plenty of US games had graphics, plenty of UK games were text-only. The fact that the UK had mostly tape-based micros, with limited memory, compared to the disk-based micros in the US, shaped the development of text adventures in the UK.

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As someone who grew up on random IF that their father downloaded from the Internet (I have not played Zork, or other Infocom games; mostly stuff like Lunatix, Anchorhead, Dreamhold, etc), it’s a little jarring and terrifying sometimes to be really passionate about IF as a medium, but feel I’ve been completely absent for the entirety of IF history before 2022, which is when I joined this forum.

However, I have a LOT of experience making visual games, writing fiction, and modding Doom (which gives you a surprising amount of game dev experience), so I am banking as hard as I can on my ability to take what I’ve learned in game design and writing fiction.

Even if I make something that falls outside of the norm (as I seem to do in everything), I still need to make sure that my game correctly sets expectations, because that’s Pillar Number One in writing fiction and introducing game mechanics. Pillar Number Two is then sticking to those expectations, so the player or reader can maximize their ability to work through a situation.

It’s very reassuring that a lot of what I’ve learned is also being brought up here. Helps a lot to know that my work won’t seem too alien or frustrating, too…

It definitely seems like IF culture has developed almost wholly-separated from the larger game design community, and has all of its own trends, tropes, and internal knowledge. Again, this is terrifying when you’re really shy like me, and haven’t been following the culture that closely before. But as one of my inspirations said: If you work really hard to make something really good, then even if it breaks a lot of convention, you will still find your audience.

It’s just about having a player’s perspective, and maintaining respect for the player as well. Any configuration of tropes, guidelines, and design will usually overlap there.

(Don’t mind me, taking notes on what everyone writes in this thread, though. This is an excellent opportunity to catch up!)

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There’s lots of internal culture and history in the IF world. But it’s not separate from the larger game-dev world. Other forms of adventure games (point-and-click, etc) have discussions about design which are in pretty much the same terms as Graham’s rights – aside the bits specifically about the parser, of course.

(And the “not need to be American” line, which can 100% be read as “I am still upset about the baseball diamond puzzle.”)

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Ha ha. You know, it occurs to me, it could be a reasonable trial and error puzzle, if looked at right. The design might be faulty, but a person might notice–hey, going this way makes one square glow, then that way makes another square glow.

The “not need to be American” one is tricky for me as I’ve written wordplay games about words with alternate spellings. With the Internet, it’s easier to detect alternate spellings. So maybe that’s another reason 16) is a bit outdated.

That said I can see how it would turn people off–I wrote an EctoComp entry a few years ago people said was about baseball, when it wasn’t, even though I tried to signpost that it was a puzzle. I think Brian Rushton did a better job of this in Grooverland, where no, you don’t have to know Chandler Groover’s works to play it – and in fact Grooverland probably made people look into his stuff, whether for the first time or because they miss it. So it feels like 16) can be too restrictive, and I suspect others have said this better for me, before.

So maybe “don’t force people to use niche knowledge to solve a critical puzzle” is a way to go, unless you have a specific target audience. Or maybe allowing an inside joke as an alternative solution is nice.

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That’s one rule that applies strongly outside IF - look for the angry tweets whenever Wordle uses an American spelling!

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Honestly, this seems like the more reasonable way to solve it. There was some good discussion of this back when Zork II came up in “All the Adventures”. The maze tells you when you’re moving in the right direction (the glow gets brighter), so trial and error will get you the right sequence of directions without too much tedium.

The real problem isn’t that it depends on knowing it’s a baseball diamond. The real problem is that a bit less than 50% of the rooms in the maze are valid starting points. If you start from one of the other rooms, no direction will give you any clues. And the transitions between the rooms are all randomized.

Interestingly, the source makes it look like an earlier version of the puzzle was totally deterministic. That got changed in the release version, I guess to make it harder to brute-force? But the real result was just to make it nigh-impossible to solve if you lost track of where the club was found, since that’s the one reliable indication of a valid starting point room.

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As with a lot of design decisions, “it depends.”

If you create a solid story and puzzles, add great humor and NPCs, you can break every one of those rules.

Planetfall, The Enchanter series, Hitchhikers all broke those rules and are still loved by many.

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That might be my problem with lists like this. Every time I see people saying things like, “Modern IF shouldn’t do this; we’ve moved beyond that.” I get defensive. My favorite games didn’t follow these rules; therefore they’re not required for a game I’ll love.
And I’m solidly in the old-school camp. I want to explore an environment, maniuplate obejcts to solve interesting puzzles, and eventually figure out how to beat the game–like I did with Voodoo Castle or Planetfall. I’m not interested in merely reading a game like a book, or watching it like a movie. I want to solve it, to overcome a challenge.

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But Graham’s Player’s Bill of Rights is all about puzzlefests. It’s just about an opinion (shared by many players) about what makes puzzles fair and fun. Extremely difficult puzzle games can be created which fully meet this bill of rights. And any of them can be violated, as long as the game itself sets out its own expectations for the player.

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That we’re still discussing it is a leading indicator of its influence. I’m hesitant to use these rights to delineate between old-school and new-school, though (whatever those terms may mean).

As far as being limiting, I wonder how many game designers consciously refer to the list for guidance. My guess is that few do. So, I don’t know that they’ve slowed anyone down. (I might be wrong!)

I view Nelson’s rights more as a verbalization of player frustrations that perhaps had gone unstated for too long before. They remind me of the Detection Club’s rules. Although their list was formulated mainly by authors, the rules come across like a laundry list of gripes an avid reader might make about mystery stories “cheating.” (And Agatha Christie delighted in breaking those rules left and right, usually successfully.)

If it works, it works. If it doesn’t work, rip it out or fix it. (And listen to others’ views on the matter.)

If I feel cheated, or that an author wasted my time, I reserve the right to avoid their output in the future, and to tell others of my experience.

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More on the Zork II baseball puzzle, and some thoughts on more current player “rights.”

  1. Jason Dyer did solve it by just using the lights in the floor, but that is still not a “fair” solution since exits appear and disappear. The player cannot get consistent feedback.
  2. The really bad thing is that it fails as a “baseball” puzzle. The player enters the field at the mound, walks to home, then circles the mound. No batter in baseball starts on the pitcher’s mound.

The puzzle is not internally consistent. Since the region does not look like a baseball field, the player has to perceive it conceptually. This requires internal consistency. I personally knew it was a baseball puzzle, but I never would have guessed that the starting point was the pitcher’s mound. I would suggest that a puzzle ought to have internal consistency, even if it is not “logical” in a strict sense.

So far as culture-specific knowledge goes: I’ve always told students, teachers, and workshop participants that a writer owes a reader a clean web search. That is, a writer ought not expect a reader to know everything, and ought to make sure that good faith efforts to research a problem or topic will be productive. I think this is a good consideration for game development today.

Finally—I said this last year when I wrote about Zork II—while a player might be too frustrated to celebrate failed attempts at innovation, a critic really ought to try and acknowledge them when possible. Yes, the baseball puzzle sucks. It’s bad for many reasons. It is also Dave Lebling’s (and Infocom’s) first attempt at the “looks like a maze but is solved like a puzzle” trope. This particular feature can be found all over the place now. In that sense, it is a deeply flawed but highly productive failure.

So (trying to stay on topic), there is a lot to learn from the baseball puzzle, and I don’t think its applications are limited to interactive fiction games.

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“The poster has a picture of a grey haired (and bearded) dwarf with a political slogan underneath that reads:
Vote for Gringo Baconburger
Help him in his campaign to rid dungeons of phosphorescent moss, magic teleporting words, unrealistic use of verbs and mazes of any form or description.
Remember, a vote for Baconburger is a vote for sensible, no-nonsense dungeons.”

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Seeing Graham Nelson’s Bill of Rights years ago led me to consider some rights for non-IF games I play. The first rule is non-negotiable (I won’t play otherwise). The others would be nice, but most games fail to uphold one or more of them.

  1. You can Save anytime/anywhere.
    Real life intrudes and not being able to save progress on demand is incredibly unfair to players. I don’t care if your game’s difficulty is based on not being able to save. In that case, in my opionion, your game is broken and I won’t play it.

  2. All dialog and cutscenes are skippable.
    Like the ones you’ve seen twenty times right before that big boss battle you keep losing.

  3. The game can be paused at any time, even mid-cutscene.
    The phone or doorbell will always ring right after that big boss battle, during the ten minute cutscene explaining everything.

  4. All dialog and cutscenes are re-playable on demand, in an easy to access fashion.
    For when you inevitably miss a vital piece of story, due to the afforementioned doorbell, or a poorly timed sneeze

  5. No level or loot grinding (this is like #7 from Graham’s list).
    Nothing says fun like doing the same five minute sequence of actions 500 times in a row to get the random number generator to spit out a reward.

    I probably have a few more I haven’t yet put into words. Lately I’ve grown really tired of ever larger games having more and more hidden ‘collectibles’ which take an insane amount of time to find, either with or without a commensurate reward. This is somewhat like #5, but seems slightly different.

Sorry for the derail…

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If you had a ‘manifesto’ or ‘bill of rights’ of what you think makes a game good or what should be banned from games, what is it?

I have two preferences that I think might be unpopular.

  1. I’m against step-by-step undo and back systems. Solving most IF puzzles is not step by step in the way that puzzle games are. In parser games, maybe some player attempts are step by step. In Twine games, it almost never like this.

    Either way, it is better to restore to player to a position where they are in a good state to make another attempt at the puzzle.

  2. I’m in favor of blocking the highlighting and copying of text. This part of the game and should be kept out of sight.

    Getting rid of selectable text makes room for new ways to interact with the game, such as mouse gestures, different effects on left click vs. right click, and tooltips. You can do all that without getting rid of selectable text, but it’s better to get rid of everything irrelevant.

    Game text for reviewers etc. who want to copy and paste sections of the text should be provided in transcripts and source code. With parser games, the interface depends on the interpreter, so this mostly applies to Twine and HTML games.

Actually, I am almost certain these ideas are unpopular since my beta testers have commented on them in the past…