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Listing a value property by its text value

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Re: Listing a value property by its text value

Postby P/o Prune » Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:59 am

Yep, the latter! no doubt.
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Re: Listing a value property by its text value

Postby Lazzah » Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:06 am

ElliotM wrote:Does anyone else have any thoughts on the puzzle design? Bobinator hasn't replied yet, but what would you all prefer to see in a game? Would you prefer to solve the floating key in the well puzzle by repeating the process of filling the bucket and emptying it in the well several times? Or would you prefer what I did in my demo where the process is summarized in narrative form once the player starts the process and we can reasonably assume that they understand the solution?

To MY way of thinking, the above would depend on what command the player typed in. In your example, you use EMPTY BUCKET INTO WELL and FILL WELL WITH BUCKET to achieve the same thing, but to me EMPTY BUCKET INTO WELL is only one trip to the well, and after the player has typed FILL BUCKET WITH WATER or FROM FAUCET. If the player typed FILL WELL WITH BUCKET or WATER then this would cover the commands FILL BUCKET WITH WATER and EMPTY BUCKET INTO WELL. BTW, If I had this situation in one of my games I would give the alternative command of POUR WATER INTO WELL.

I know this sounds pedantic, but it is the sort of thing that playtesters pick up on! :)
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Re: Listing a value property by its text value

Postby ElliotM » Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:38 pm

If it were my game I'd implement pour as an alternative word for empty as well, but I do think that overall the latter option of narrating the process is the better choice from a puzzle design and player experience standpoint. Most of us had focused only on the implementation, so I thought some comments on the puzzle design from the player experience side of things would be helpful as well for whenever Bobinator comes back to this thread.
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Re: Listing a value property by its text value

Postby Bobinator » Tue Sep 13, 2016 6:27 am

Oh, my gosh... I completely forgot about this thread until I started thinking about working with ADRIFT again. I'm really, really sorry about that. X_x I guess I was just so eager to work with the replies I had I didn't get around to checking this thread.

But, yes, narratively, I guess the idea of having the player only have to fill the bucket once would work better, so that you don't have to do the same action multiple times in a row. If you wanted to have it so you had to gather multiple sources of water, though, each being a puzzle in themselves, what would you do then?
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Re: Listing a value property by its text value

Postby Lazzah » Tue Sep 13, 2016 7:22 am

ElliotM wrote:If it were my game I'd implement pour as an alternative word for empty as well

Maybe, ElliotM, but you can also empty a bag or similar container and you wouldn't type POUR BAG to empty it.
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Re: Listing a value property by its text value

Postby ElliotM » Tue Sep 13, 2016 6:50 pm

I probably wouldn't try POUR BAG before EMPTY BAG but if someone playing one of my games were to think of POUR BAG first, I'd rather reward them for being on the right track than punishing them with an error message for not using the most correct verb in that situation. In my view, guess-the-verb is the greater game design sin than allowing less grammatical alternative command inputs.

For example, I would use something like this for an EMPTY OBJECT task:
adrift Code: Select all
[empty/unload/pour/dump] {out} %object%


and something like this for an EMPTY OBJECT INTO OTHER OBJECT task:
adrift Code: Select all
[empty/unload/pour/dump] {out} %object1% into %object2%


Are there some less grammatical or more awkward sounding versions of the input allowed/matched by that syntax? Maybe, but as long as I've caught the player's intention correctly, I feel this is an acceptable trade off.
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Re: Listing a value property by its text value

Postby Campbell » Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:53 pm

ElliotM wrote:Does anyone else have any thoughts on the puzzle design? Bobinator hasn't replied yet, but what would you all prefer to see in a game? Would you prefer to solve the floating key in the well puzzle by repeating the process of filling the bucket and emptying it in the well several times? Or would you prefer what I did in my demo where the process is summarized in narrative form once the player starts the process and we can reasonably assume that they understand the solution?
I was actually surprised that just filling the well once completed the puzzle. Given that it would be a task that would have to be repeated a fair number of times, I personally think it might work better if the first time you were told that the water level raised a little, then perhaps the second attempt would time-skip to completely filling the well. But perhaps I'm just a bit old school.
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Re: Listing a value property by its text value

Postby ElliotM » Fri Sep 30, 2016 7:34 pm

@Campbell, a lot of my puzzle design philosophy comes from Graham Nelson's The Player's Bill of Rights. I narrated the process after the player pours in the first bucket because of Right #7, which says the player has a right to not need to do boring things for the sake of it.

7. Not to need to do boring things for the sake of it

In the bad old days many games would make life difficult by putting objects needed
to solve a problem miles away from where the problem was, despite all logic - say, a boat in
the middle of a desert. Or, for example, a four-discs tower of Hanoi puzzle might entertain.
But not an eight-discs one. And the two most hackneyed puzzles - only being able to carry
four items, and fumbling with a rucksack, or having to keep finding new light sources - can
wear a player's patience down very quickly.


One common idea new authors sometimes have is to require the player to do every step because they think it is more 'realistic' that way. Taken to an extreme, this could be illustrated by the following pseudo-transcript where the player was required to explicitly do every step for the sake of realism. I added a paragraph break to show when the player starts repeating the process:

get bucket
put bucket under faucet
turn on faucet
<wait x>
take bucket
pour bucket into well

get bucket
put bucket under faucet
turn on faucet
<wait x>
take bucket
pour bucket into well

get bucket
put bucket under faucet
turn on faucet
<wait x>
take bucket
pour bucket into well

etc.


If the faucet weren't in the same location as the well you would need to add the trip back and forth to that list as well. That is six or more commands per trip for a single bucket of water. The original idea had been to require the player to do this five times but this process would take hours and many more trips in real life and ignores how underground water tables actually work as well, which is why I shortened it so much in my version. In an earlier comment I also suggested implementing a hose instead of the bucket solution but climbing down the well with a rope or making a long-armed scoop to get the wooden key are both far more likely to be attempted by an actual person in such a situation. As a player, I'm not sure I would have much incentive to keep playing and try a second trip if the first trip only raised the water level by a little, which by all appearances indicates that the author expects me to make multiple trips for the sake of realism. If other parts of their game indicated they understood right #7, or if the bucket filling/pouring process were streamlined to as few commands as possible, I might give them the benefit of the doubt and keep going but that really depends on whether I was having fun up to that point.

http://ifarchive.jmac.org/if-archive/in ... enture.pdf
http://agiwiki.sierrahelp.com/index.php ... r's_Rights

@Lazzah, I was reminded of player's right #8 in regards to our discussion on whether EMPTY BUCKET INTO WELL and FILL WELL WITH BUCKET should have the same or different results.

Not to have to type exactly the right verb

For instance, "looking inside" a box finds nothing, but "searching" it does. Or consider the following dialogue (amazingly, from 'Sorcerer'):
>unlock journal
(with the small key)
No spell would help with that!

>open journal
(with the small key)
The journal springs open.

This is so misleading as to constitute a bug, but it's an easy design fault to fall into. (Similarly, the wording needed to use the brick in 'Zork II' strikes me as quite unfair, unless I missed something obvious.) Consider how many ways a player can, for instance, ask to take a coat off:

remove coat / take coat off / take off coat / disrobe coat / doff coat / *shed coat
* (I was skeptical when play-testers asked me to add "don" and "doff" to my game 'Curses', but enjoyed a certain moment of triumph when my mother tried it during her first game.)
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