Well, I keep talking about Bring Me A Head! because it’s a specific example, I know why I wrote it that way, and the idea that compass directions would’ve made it easier to navigate kinda beffudles me.
The room descriptions are written like basic parser room descriptions, with exits listed at the bottom in their own paragraph. In the vestibule, for instance, it says: “You can enter the Duc’s sanctum or the hangman’s gallery.” The words “Duc’s sanctum” and “hangman’s gallery” are special hyperlinks to move into those rooms.
In a parser game, this would probably say something like: “You can go north to the Duc’s sanctum or south to the hangman’s gallery.” But since the hyperlinks take you to these places, there’s no need to know if they’re north or south. All you need to know is the relationship between the rooms: the vestibule connects the sanctum and gallery.
I could go back and add compass directions to the descriptions, but it wouldn’t express new information about how the rooms connect (that information is already in the game), and it wouldn’t change how navigation actually happens with hyperlinks. It would just provide raw data to create a castle blueprint, which isn’t important.
This is what I mean about people processing space differently. It sounds as though some people need a blueprint, no matter what, because they feel disoriented unless they know exactly where they are. Whereas I think that having a blueprint for Bring Me A Head! would make the environment more mundane. Not a nightmare castle. Just another building with a floorplan. And when games like The Dreamhold do use compass directions, that doesn’t make navigation easier for me anyway.
Yeah, whenever there’s a flashback, that’s from his memory. I think he mentions, during the burnt stationery one, that he was in the room when it happened. You can assume he’s been most places in the house, but even those he’s re-smelling in the present. And of course he was never at the opera or anywhere like that.