Tips/Advice on creating an Exorcist(for hire) setting

newb here
I’m currently browsing some IF engines, and despite all of them having nice features, i’m still on a decision fatigue about choosing the appropriate one.
What would be the best or recommended engine for a setting that primarily focuses on exorcisms and creating your own spells/rituals?
This also includes having the user explore certain areas to find journals and/or grimoires that contain miniature instructions to perform rituals and spells

specifically for creating a parser that can accept any spell/chant, as long as they’re in the same category.
This simply means any of these examples will work for an exorcism:

-“Exorcizamus te, omnis immundus spiritus, omnis satanica potestas. In nomine et virtute nostri jesu”
-“fi asm allah , nahn tard alnajs”
-" I charge thee, foul spirit, whatever thy corrupt nature to depart and burn forever in the outer darkness that awaits thee and thy benighted kin!"

and something like this:
-“in solomon’s name, reveal all hidden concealments”

will have no effect.

If you want the player to input such complicated incantations, my first suggestion would be to use a choice engine.

Typing all that in would be absolutely tedious to implement and play.

In a choice engine, you could give a multiple choice list with wrong answers and humorous (or deadly) responses to the wrong choice. Consider the insult swordfighting in Monkey Island.

If you really want the player to type spells in an interesting combinatorial space, you’re looking at short commands of one-to-three words, perhaps naming an object in addition. This has nothing to do with what engine you select; it comes from the nature of the parser interface and how players expect to engage with it. You’d have to think carefully about what kind of spells are possible and how the player would construct them.

If they’re not constructed – just learned as complete units from journals – then you might as well keep the typed command to one word. You’re then back to Infocom’s classic Enchanter model.

A menu-based system like HanonO described is a possible alternative.

It looks like a menu system would be a better choice(and i can already think of ways to work around it). But text input always comes to my mind because i’m slightly worried that some people might say the game isn’t ‘immersive’(i.e being able to type whatever they want), if you get what i mean.

thanks for the replies :slight_smile:

You don’t have to limit your game to one or the other, in a parser game you can have a command like “cast spell” which then lists all of the options like in a choice game and lets you choose one by typing a number.

I have no coding tips but if your game has an exorcist for hire and does not include the line “If you do not keep up payments, your home may be repossessed” it will not be all it could have been.

I’m the resident AXMA Story Maker freak, and it does offer really nice input differences between “make a choice” “make a choice where you can only select one or multiple things” (like a radio button) and “type your input in the box below” which goes to a variable if you wanted that kind of flexibility. I can see easily making a “spell interface” where your incantations are three words each, and offering separate boxes for “word1/word2/word3” and a “CAST!” button, which would make parsing individual words a bit easier, and also creating a story reason why the input must be in all caps. SPELLS WORK BETTER WHEN YOU SAY EACH WORD LOUDLY!

(I’ll do this so nobody else has to:) You can also do this in Twine, Hanon! Why don’t you ever use Twine, Hanon! :laughing:

haha, i’ll keep that in mind :smiley:

thanks for the tips.

what i do had in mind is having both choice and input options, but make the spells and rituals based on culture with in-game books and journals explaining the nature of it.

so for example, necromancy and exorcism would require verbal dexterity(gamewise, the user must be able to type the exact words) and long wordy ones like in my first post are for powerful demons/spirits.

While egyptian or mayan are choice based so you can juggle words to create a spell.

(ra - bless - light – ‘in Ra’s name, bless this light’)
a spell to use on an electrical light source to turn it into sunlight to use against vampires

Sorry, but that sounds totally like Inform 7.

How so?

I’d suggest looking at Suveh Nux for inspiration. It has a magic system based on learning special words and building them into phrases, while still fitting nicely into the parser paradigm.