Annual IF Comp 2020

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P/o Prune
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2020

Post by P/o Prune »

So it is worth all all the trouble and work. :yeah:
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2020

Post by Lazzah »

P/o Prune wrote: Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:41 am So it is worth all all the trouble ad´nd work. :yeah:
Yes, they are great reviews. I wish they were all like that!
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2020

Post by Denk »

You have already read Stian's reviews on intfiction.org, I guess. He has now copied them to IFDB so they have been given a score too. Both ADRIFT games got 3 stars:

https://ifdb.tads.org/viewgame?id=gs0kj ... view=56344
and
https://ifdb.tads.org/viewgame?id=l5o46 ... view=56343
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2020

Post by P/o Prune »

Thanks Denk. :yeah:

I must admit that I simply don't get it! This post is not a rant towards Tads or Inform. But merely a point showing the importance of Denk's combined library.

"The reason I did not get very far in two hours is mainly down to the verbs. Perhaps Adrift has a different set of standard verbs than Inform and Tads; a lot of the ones I'm accustomed to were not recognised,"

I guess my question is: Has IF changed so much over the years that people have forgotten the most basic verbs? I realize that our languages change over time, but I can't for the life of me find any verb in JaFT that isn't commonly used in IF.
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2020

Post by Denk »

P/O Prune, I agree that you are more or less using only standard verbs, though see more comments below to "Just Another Fairy Tale".

The choice of verbs is rarely caused by the program's library, but by the author. For instance, the verb "shoot" is not a standard verb in Inform. Still, a lot of Inform games understand the verb "shoot" because the author has added that verb. That is easy to do in both ADRIFT and Inform.

I have just looked at the walkthrough of "Just Another Fairy Tale". The most "exotic" verbs/phrases I could find were these:
"Remove mortar" ("exotic" because the verb "Remove" normally is reserved for worn objects)
"Shoot pebble at the bees nest" (I think simply "Shoot nest" would have worked, but this is not a standard verb)

But the problem is not the new verb that the author added (in this case "shoot"). The problem is something like this:

Example from Just Another Fairy Tale:

Code: Select all

>shoot
"Sorry, I didn't understand that command."
Thus, the player now thinks that the verb "shoot" is not understood, even though it is required later on.

If the author implemented the verb "shoot" in Inform, the game would automatically ask:
"shoot what?" or something like that, depending on how it was implemented (e.g. just "shoot object" or "shoot object with object" etc.

You can have similar behaviour in ADRIFT but that requires that you implement verbs as Campbell intended.

Lazzah's games seem to have most verbs implemented the "intended" way. On the other hand, they tend to have some more "exotic" verbs. They are not "exotic" from a language perspective, but from an IF perspective.

Examples from "Return to Castle Coris" walkthrough:
shine light at walls (just as "shoot" in Just Another Fairy Tale, "shine" isn't implemented as intended)
wave arms (here, the problem isn't "wave" but the noun "arms")

Last but not least, British adventures from the 80s and early 90s usually required more accurate responses (such as "wave arms") whereas "wave" or "wave object" would be more in the spirit of American (Infocom) adventures.

I think it would help if you discussed your walkthroughs with a tester, so you apply only the most common verbs/phrases in the walkthrough. Otherwise, the player can get the impression that only "exotic" verbs/phrases will work.

Also, you should implement all verbs as Campbell intended, even though it takes a little more work.
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2020

Post by P/o Prune »

Ok. I see what you mean, Denk.
But I must say, that if someone wouldn't think about using "remove mortar" (admitted, I could have added more verbs) or different ways of using the command shoot, something is very wrong.
Yes, I know. I'm from the beginning of text adventures and have probably frozen in time :wink: But when I played IF in the 80's & 90's I learned to try numerous ways to get the action I wanted. (guess the verb)
I would never have thought that someone would be using the command >shoot, and then expect the game to know what the player was shooting at, and with what. Or >remove mortar. What other ways are there to tell the game that the player wants the mortar taken away?

I am taking into consideration the reasons mentioned here, and I will do my best to implement them into my next entry. Including sending the walkthrough to be tested as well as the game itself.
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2020

Post by Denk »

P/o Prune wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 4:04 pm Ok. I see what you mean, Denk.
But I must say, that if someone wouldn't think about using "remove mortar" (admitted, I could have added more verbs) or different ways of using the command shoot, something is very wrong.
Yes, I know. I'm from the beginning of text adventures and have probably frozen in time :wink: But when I played IF in the 80's & 90's I learned to try numerous ways to get the action I wanted. (guess the verb)
I would never have thought that someone would be using the command >shoot, and then expect the game to know what the player was shooting at, and with what. Or >remove mortar. What other ways are there to tell the game that the player wants the mortar taken away?

I am taking into consideration the reasons mentioned here, and I will do my best to implement them into my next entry. Including sending the walkthrough to be tested as well as the game itself.
I actually agree with you, that REMOVE is the most natural verb for taking away the mortar. That the game accepts REMOVE in that situation is only a good thing. I was just trying to figure out which verbs were a bit uncommon. There were not many. So I think it is more about the parser's behaviour than the actual verbs.

Some of the people who play lots of Inform games may expect that REMOVE doesn't work, and thus try other things, such as TAKE AWAY or DIG MORTAR etc.

The command SHOOT was just an example where the parser can help the player as it does in Inform games. For instance, in JaFT, if you examine the clearing, some figures are mentioned. But if you e.g. type SHOOT FIGURES, you get "I don't understand what you want to do with the figures."

So the parser tells the player that the noun "figures" is understood but not that "shoot" is understood. If you had implemented the verb "shoot" the intended way, the game could say something like (your choice): "You see no reason to shoot the figures." or something like that. Then the player knows that "shoot object" works.

Some have mentioned the verb "make". I like it, but it may not be a common verb to Inform games. So perhaps the game should somehow propose that verb without giving the specific puzzle away.

But I agree, that JaFT didn't have a lot of special verbs. I think it is more about the behaviour of the parser.
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2020

Post by R2T1 »

I haven't checked JaFT, but do you provide a list of known Verbs/Commands at the start? ( I think Lazzah's game does) Then there should be no reason for the player to complain.
Unfortunately, the "modern" generation of IF players want everything handed to them on a plate and are not willing to THINK for themselves. Admittedly, this was a competition and time was of the essence, so the hurried approach became a necessity and if the first verb tried wasn't right, few would go the extra mile to try a different one.
I'm from the same background as you P/o and prefer the unhurried approach, thinking through puzzles and checking out my surrounds for clues.
Now I will have to play JaFT to see what all the kerfuffle is about.
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2020

Post by P/o Prune »

R2T1 wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 10:07 pm I haven't checked JaFT, but do you provide a list of known Verbs/Commands at the start? ( I think Lazzah's game does) Then there should be no reason for the player to complain.
No, I haven't provided such a list. And my must confess that I can't see that I should. I know that Lazzah does it in his games, and I willingly admit that it has helped me through more than a few tight spots when playing his games :wink:
R2T1 wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 10:07 pmUnfortunately, the "modern" generation of IF players want everything handed to them on a plate and are not willing to THINK for themselves. Admittedly, this was a competition and time was of the essence, so the hurried approach became a necessity and if the first verb tried wasn't right, few would go the extra mile to try a different one.
Absolutely! There is a huge difference between us "oldtimers" and the new generation. The solution is to find a way to build a bridge between the generations. We simply had to think creative to solve the puzzles back in the early days
I think it's a sad mistake that authors/players get so stuck in their preferred developer that they are unable to see other "solutions" to the puzzles than what they are used to from their preferred parser.
Even though this was a competition and there was a time limit, shouldn't the judges evaluate the game for contents, playability, entertainment etc. rather than "oh the parser isn't what I expected" Don't get me wrong, please I am truly happy about the reviews and I see that Adrift games are slowly beginning to ascend to recognitions as a developer to be reckoned with.
R2T1 wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 10:07 pmNow I will have to play JaFT to see what all the kerfuffle is about.
So that's what it takes to get ones game played? rofl
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Results are published tonight

Post by Denk »

Hi all,

Tonight the results of IFComp 2020 are announced.
This happens:

US (EST): 3:30pm
London: 8:30 pm
Denmark: 21:30

First, top 10 is revealed through a live transmission here:
https://t.co/R8SXLGF9Tn?amp=1

Shortly (30 min?) after, the results will be available at the IFComp site:
http://www.ifcomp.org
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2020

Post by P/o Prune »

Thanks for keeping us up to date, Denk.
I appreciate it. :bravo:
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2020

Post by rotter »

Denk wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 5:10 pm The command SHOOT was just an example where the parser can help the player as it does in Inform games. For instance, in JaFT, if you examine the clearing, some figures are mentioned. But if you e.g. type SHOOT FIGURES, you get "I don't understand what you want to do with the figures."
This is very interesting and I'd not thought too much about this before. I've not released a V5 game yet. I had a look again at my Inform 7 entry into the IFComp from a few years ago. I guess from the way I7 works you have to tell it about SHOOT as part of the coding. So, the game is going to know how to answer to just "shoot" by default or shooting something which you don't want the player to. It would have an answer for SHOOT FIGURES, maybe "You can't shoot the figures".

I did use one non-standard verb, "SCAN" but this was mentioning when the object was first examined.

Modern IF players are different and have different expectations I guess.
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2020

Post by Denk »

IF Comp is over, and the results are here: https://ifcomp.org/comp/2020

Congratulations to all. The ADRIFT games came in at 84 and 86 out of 103 games:

Just Another Fairy Tale: 84th place (average score: 4.31)
Return to Castle Coris: 86th place (average score: 4.25)
(If anyone is interested, I entered with an Inform game: https://ifdb.tads.org/viewgame?id=o21a3qlh4yw8fpgv )

Don't forget that there were 103 games in the competition and many good ones. Still, we can always try to learn something from it.

I am glad that "The Impossible Bottle" won the competition (tied with "Tavern Crawler") as it is an amazing parser game with excellent puzzles.
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2020

Post by P/o Prune »

Thanks for the update, Denk. :thanks:
I guess 84th place out of 103 isn't all that bad. I would have liked seeing an (any) Adrift game higher on the scoring list, though.
I'm not unhappy by the place, though. The most important thing is that my game was played, and I got some nice reviews. :D
Hopefully, with the new combined library, we will get a higher score next year.
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2020

Post by Lazzah »

P/o Prune wrote: Sun Dec 06, 2020 8:33 am Thanks for the update, Denk. :thanks:
I guess 84th place out of 103 isn't all that bad. I would have liked seeing an (any) Adrift game higher on the scoring list, though.
I'm not unhappy by the place, though. The most important thing is that my game was played, and I got some nice reviews. :D
Hopefully, with the new combined library, we will get a higher score next year.
Ditto. :haha: At least I wasn't last. Now the challenge, for me, is to produce a small game that could completed in an hour or two with commands that these modern erks won't have any trouble with! They obviously don't like having to actually THINK about the solution to a puzzle.
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