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Postby Campbell » Sat Feb 28, 2004 7:39 pm

As initially put forward by Mystery here, I would like to know what people think 'is visible' should mean.

If an object is visible to the player, that means it is in the room and possibly in or on another object, but not in a closed object. My main question is, should objects that are in the room but on or in an open object, but haven't yet been seen, be marked as 'visible'?
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Postby KFAdrift » Sat Feb 28, 2004 8:19 pm

It's a good one, as it could ideally do with being configurable.

Something on a table would normally be easily visible, something on a wardrobe would need more examination.

Perhaps there are two possible changes that could be made:

1. Have a task action of make objects on/in object visible/unseen.

2. A tick box by the surface and container options in the object definition that makes the objects on or in it visible.
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Postby davidw » Sat Feb 28, 2004 9:00 pm

I think the way I'd have it is that if an object is inside another object (say a key inside a box) then it's invisible until the player actually examines the box. But if you have an object that is just on top of another object (maybe the key this time is on top of the box) then it should be considered visible.
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Postby KFAdrift » Sat Feb 28, 2004 9:01 pm

I agree with DavidW that should be the default, with the ability to change the flag if needed.
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Postby Mystery » Sat Feb 28, 2004 9:13 pm

The option to mark things as seen would be a good idea. If you had a bowl on a table with fruit in it, they would likely be visible.
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Postby reelyor » Sat Feb 28, 2004 10:18 pm

However we get to the point of whether an object is "open" or "closed". I don't think anything that is in a closed container should be visible. Things that are in an open container may or may not be visible based on their location in the room with relation to the Player. If the player looks at or examines the container, then the optional "tick" would be nice to allow the items inside being seen.
The bowl of fruit: it's in the room on the top of a bookshelf across from where the player stands. Can he see what's inside (it's an open container)? Maybe not. Make that optional to allow more realism. If it's up high, chances are he couldn't see inside. If the same container is on a desk, voila - visible.
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Postby Campbell » Sat Feb 28, 2004 10:43 pm

Thanks. I'm trying to get a default for now.

In v4.1 I'll add restrictions on objects being seen/unseen, and allow setting of this variable too.
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Postby 30otsix » Sat Feb 28, 2004 11:06 pm

I agree with DavidW in that by default things that are "in" objects should not be visable until examined and things "on" objects should be visable.

It would be nice to have a "visable" class that could be turned on or off so that one could "hide" small things on large objects or make things visable inside transperent objects.
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Postby 30otsix » Mon Mar 01, 2004 9:30 pm

I just re-read Mystery's request, and think I missed the point of the question. In terms of "is visible" within tasks and restrictions I would think that that would be defined as- if the PC is able to "get" the object, the object is "visible".
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Postby NickyDude » Sat Mar 06, 2004 11:15 pm

I would have defined 'visible' as something the player can see from where he's stood, but then that poses the question of 'what happens when something is behind something?' Like a key behind a vase, from one angle the key can't be seen, but from another, it can.
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Postby Marno » Mon Mar 08, 2004 1:04 pm

I think it would not be a good idea to have things visible that the author has not mentioned in some way, either in the room description or in some other way.
1 - This would be drastically different from the other mainstream IF systems. ADRIFT needs to be MORE in line with, not deliberately LESS so, IMO, with TADS, Inform, etc.
2 - It would change previously written games.
3 - It would change how game be thought out, planned and written.
Finally, I'm not so sure it would change in any appreciable way how the games are played, unless the player can intuit the presence of items not yet mentioned or described. I can think of major disadvantages, but only a single minor advantage to changing the system in such a radical way as this.

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Postby KFAdrift » Mon Mar 08, 2004 5:36 pm

I don't think that Campbell is looking to make more than a minor change at this stage, making things on a visible object visible.

Anything further, such as the ability to define an object's visibility flag, would wait until a new version, eg ADRIFT 4.1. This makes sense as it would probably be a point where other changes were implemented to file structure etc and the last version 4.0 runner would be there to run old games (although we would all like to see a one version fits all runner for all games).
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Postby Mystery » Sun Apr 04, 2004 2:24 pm

I could really use a few opinions here. My game is in testing and the testers are split on how a couple of objects should be presented. I have a fewdynamic objects that are either located in or on something- thus they are not mentioned in the room description.

One tester would rather the objects be mentioned in the room description. I'm not sure what to do at this point because I feel that listing them in the room description would be handing it to them on a silver platter. Merely walking around would give you the important objects you need to have.

On the other hand, the tester mentiones how tedious and frustrating it is to have to examine every object to discover the one that is important- and had to resort to the walkthrough to find the locations of the necessary objects.

To me, that is uinacceptable. If the game is written well, and natural logic applied, I see no reason a player should ever have to use a walkthrough. Which means I have failed at this point.

I don't want to hand the player the important objects on a silver platter, but I don't want the player to die of boredom trying to find them either. Does anyone have any suggestions that perhaps would meet in the middle, satisfying the author and the player?
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Postby KFAdrift » Sun Apr 04, 2004 4:46 pm

One way of doing it would be to have the surface object described in a way that actually says that there are things on it. In this way you flag it's importance while not actually handing over the objects.
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Postby NObodyNOWHERE » Sun Apr 04, 2004 5:03 pm

Mystery wrote:I don't want to hand the player the important objects on a silver platter, but I don't want the player to die of boredom trying to find them either. Does anyone have any suggestions that perhaps would meet in the middle, satisfying the author and the player?

Boy, that's really hard. If truly neither of those two setups will work for your game, that leaves you in a tough spot. It's hard to give an informed opinion without knowing the specifics, but what I tend to do in that situation is think in terms of information available to the player at a given time. Your object is visible, too much info. Not visible, not enough. The best I would come up with is to have the object not visible, but provide some other information, in the form of a subtle hint or unusual description in the text, to put them in better shape to fiigure things out. Of course, if this too is not workable, I tend to err on the side of too easy.




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