I’m introducing a new parser system for my new game tentatively titled, “Quest”.
The parser accepts single words. For example, instead of typing, “tie rope to tree”, you simply type “rope” to use the rope.
Currently looking for beta testers. If you like the game enough and want to keep testing it through development (the demo is 5% of the total game) please sign up to my forum so I can keep you updated.
There’s already a system named Quest.
I think from the download site he means the game is called Quest.
Won’t that make it rather easy to guess puzzles? I mean you could just walk from place to place typing in the name of everything in your inventory until something happens. Also, does your parser cope with objects that have more than one function? There is an annoying tendency for objects in adventure games of all kinds to be of use once and once only, then vanish. Personally I’d like to see more stuff that sticks around and has multiple uses.
There was a point and click text game online a year or two ago, essentially accomplishing the same thing. For the life of me, though, I can’t remember what it was called. Seems like it was a 4-letter word or acronym.
You might want to check out Ferrous Ring that was entered in the 2007 IFComp. It has an option to use an exactly similar system you’re proposing, so you might want to read what reviewers thought of it (see http://www.ifwiki.org/index.php/Ferrous_Ring for links to reviews).
Many if not most graphical adventure games have a similar system where you just click hotspots, possibly with inventory objects. The number of combinations you can use grows exponentially so I don’t see a problem with using only single words. Puzzles aren’t generally solved by typing one single command; for example if you want to boil water, you have to open the CUPBOARD, take the POT, fill it with water from the FAUCET, turn on the STOVE… etc. in the correct order.
IF and graphical adventures are very different disciplines. Selecting a command (i.e. ‘Use’) and an appropriate hotspot (i.e. ‘Faucet’) is the graphical adventure equivalent of typing ‘Turn on the Tap’. The command for what to do with an item is implicit in the command that is selected or the button that is pressed. Some graphical adventures really do let you do stuff just by clicking on them, but by clicking on them you are really telling your on-screen persona to use them. Also, puzzles are far more likely to involve the using of an item from the inventory upon a hotspot on the screen, or on another item in the inventory, which is the equivalent of ‘Use Hosepipe On Faucet’ or similar. This one-word-command system is the equivalent of a graphical adventure wherein you enter a particular room, click on an item in your inventory and your onscreen persona automatically seeks out the relevant hotspot on screen and does the necessary. How difficult would Monkey Island be if all you needed to do was walk from room to room clicking on each inventory item in turn until something happened? Sure you can try each item in turn on each hotspot, but that takes time if there are a lot of hotspots, plus first you have to find the hotspot, find the item in question and so forth.
I’m all for making games easier to play, but there has to be some kind of challenge or the game will be a) boring and b) short-lived with little replay value. The closest I’d get to this level of simplification in IF is to abstract all commands to either ‘Go to Place’, ‘Use Object’, ‘Use Object On Object’, ‘Talk to Person’ (with maybe a multiple choice conversation system) or ‘Examine Object’. This seems a bit of a waste of potential to me, since the ability to attempt to do anything that you can think of, even if it fails, is the one major advantage that IF has over graphical adventures.