Scene-based IF

I once attempted to write an IF game based on a shakespeare play, but was really stuck on how to move the player to the correct areas and trigger the appropriate scenes in the proper order. I eventually gave up, being out of ideas.

How could this be done, short of actually presenting a play on a stage?

Graham Nelson did that with The Tempest.

I’m probably biased, but I think that idea would be much easier to implement in a multiple-choice format like Undum or ChoiceScript.

I can only speak to Inform 7, which has a construct called “scenes” that allow for checking and restricting information in a fairly straightforward manner.

I think it would depend on the play. In some cases, it might make sense to break things down literally: Act I would be a scene in Inform, possible with Act I Scene I.

Sometimes room divisions can work: if you only visit the witches once, you don’t need changing constructs. Spatially organized plays make spatially organized games easy; you just need to set cut points so the player can’t wander backwards through the action.

Some plays might be best organized by relationships: kissing produces one response if Romeo loves Juliet, another if he loves Rosalind.

Some plays might be best organized by character knowledge, which is a little tricky, but there’s some extensions to help out; it may be easier to track whether Hamlet knows that his father is dead than wall things off by relationship or rooms or even time.

It really depends on the structure of the story, and how closely you need to cleave to the linear progression of events, and what sorts of agency you want to give to the player.

Interesting ideas. Maybe when I complete my WIP I will revisit the idea.