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Postby Duncan_B » Sun Jul 26, 2009 3:52 am

I don't want the player to pick up everything they see, despite the fact that there are lot of objects in the average house that are technically portable.

A drawer has spoons in it (spoons are dynamic). One event repeats every turn and executes a #master task which in turn executes tasks for all untake-able dynamics such as the following for the spoon:

If spoon is held, move spoon to inside drawer. ALR:

You take the spoon.|This is no time to start a spoon collection.

Now you can include the spoon & the player can't pick it up.
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Postby Lumin » Sun Jul 26, 2009 4:02 am

djchallis wrote:First-person vs Second-person
I've decided that whilst I'm confident I can write static fiction well in first-person, I'm not so sure I can do the same for IF. I agree with all your points about what can happen in first-person that turns the reader off. I'm leaning towards second-person on the basis that it's a lot harder to get wrong, but I'm still not entirely sure because of my PC.

Personally I've never had a problem with a character having a strong 'voice' even in second person.

I've never taken 'you' to mean 'the person behind the keyboard', and as long as there's enough information available about who they are/how they think (I don't necessarily mean an info dump or overly long intro, when so much can be included as a natural part of ordinary descriptions) I find it simple and enjoyable to get into the role.

Just avoid things like convoluted puzzles to get into your own home or figure out the password on your computer or whatever please - I really hate those.




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Postby Ren » Sun Jul 26, 2009 9:48 am

Duncan_B wrote:A drawer has spoons in it (spoons are dynamic). One event repeats every turn and executes a #master task which in turn executes tasks for all untake-able dynamics such as the following for the spoon:

If spoon is held, move spoon to inside drawer. ALR:

You take the spoon.|This is no time to start a spoon collection.

It might be easier to leave them as static and change the you can't take %theobject% error messages with either bespoke tasks or the ALR (the latter won't work in SCARE).
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Postby Duncan_B » Sun Jul 26, 2009 2:50 pm

It might be easier to leave them as static

Agreed. For the spoons example, I just figured dynamic because the spoons were IN a drawer, and you can't put static objects IN or ON things. You could spend some time to create the illusion of a static object being inside something, but I'm not sure that'd be the easier route.

But again, overall, you're right. Statics are generally the easier way to go here because they'd get around the need for the untake-able event/#master task set.
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Postby Ren » Sun Jul 26, 2009 3:00 pm

Duncan_B wrote:For the spoons example, I just figured dynamic because the spoons were IN a drawer, and you can't put static objects IN or ON things.

Would you not just put them in the description of the drawer? I suppose it becomes more complex if the drawer in openable, but I'd be tempted to either override the open drawer response to give a full of spoons answer, or ALR the drawer is open to the open drawer is filled with spoons.

But enough of spoons. As long as the puzzles in a detective game are designed to logically fit into the game world, you (IMO) should be able to get away with having the pc ignore anything he wouldn't ordinarily be interested in, i.e. spoons, unless the spoons were a murder weapon, or the victim is some kind of immoral spoon collecting champion against whom the spoon collecting community hold a whole series of grudges.
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Postby djchallis » Sun Jul 26, 2009 6:30 pm

Ren wrote:But enough of spoons. As long as the puzzles in a detective game are designed to logically fit into the game world, you (IMO) should be able to get away with having the pc ignore anything he wouldn't ordinarily be interested in, i.e. spoons, unless the spoons were a murder weapon, or the victim is some kind of immoral spoon collecting champion against whom the spoon collecting community hold a whole series of grudges.

That still doesn't solve the issue though. If the player goes to the kitchen draw and finds they can't pick up the spoon but he can pick up the fork, they instantly know that the fork has some importance (either plot-wise or for a puzzle).

I want to create a house full of objects such that it takes the player's intelligence to work out what's appropriate to pick up, but one where they can't pick up everything and mess about.
As I've said, the most common solution is to only allow the player to pick up objects once they know the relevance (find lock, then pick up key). I don't really like this.
I'm not even sure if there is an alternative solution, but that's what I'm asking for.
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Postby Ren » Sun Jul 26, 2009 8:17 pm

djchallis wrote:That still doesn't solve the issue though.

Yes, sorry, I was horribly distrated by spoons.

Other than the aforementioned idea by which the character can't pick up the object which you don't like*, I'm not sure of an all encompassing world solution. There may be ones for individual puzzles though.

It will depend on whether you are using everyday objects like standard cutlery in your puzzles (as opposed to the standout 'bloodstained knife').

*you could go with a variation on this, which would be more work, but it depends on why you don't like this approach, and whether or not the approach would make your puzzles too simple. You could make it slightly more intuitive by using tasks and variables to:

-not allow the pc to pick up/realise they can pick up an object until something gives it legitimacy
-if the player examines something which they will later be able to pick up, run a background task which flicks a specific variable to seen.
-when the object becomes legitimate, have a task check the variable, If is is set to seen, a second task will run 'remembering' it for the pc.

edit:

djchallis wrote:Can't the game designer specify the font and layout for their game when played in the runner?
Do you recommend I use a particular style to make it easier to read in the runner?


Missed that. Yes they can, but it annoys some people. I can't get the runner to look as pretty a gargoyle, so I've mostly given up trying.

Image




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Postby djchallis » Sun Jul 26, 2009 8:35 pm

Ren wrote:*you could go with a variation on this, which would be more work, but it depends on why you don't like this approach, and whether or not the approach would make your puzzles too simple. You could make it slightly more intuitive by using tasks and variables to:

-not allow the pc to pick up/realise they can pick up an object until something gives it legitimacy
-if the player examines something which they will later be able to pick up, run a background task which flicks a specific variable to seen.
-when the object becomes legitimate, have a task check the variable, If is is set to seen, a second task will run 'remembering' it for the pc.

That solves one of the issues I have with the idea (the fact that you're likely to not realise when you've triggered the task that lets you pick up something you've already seen).
It still feels a bit forced though. This version actually tells the player what they should use to solve the problem.

I'm aware that there may not be a solution that fills all my criteria, but I thought I'd get some other people brainstorming on the off-chance. Not sure what I'll go for if I don't find something though.
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Postby Ren » Sun Jul 26, 2009 8:47 pm

djchallis wrote:It still feels a bit forced though. This version actually tells the player what they should use to solve the problem.
Yes, though I was thinking specifically of the detective setting. I suppose it depends on the puzzles. If they are a of the detective-collects-evidence-for-crime distinction, then it sort-of makes sense. I agree it is very clued for a standard puzzle.




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Postby djchallis » Sun Jul 26, 2009 8:56 pm

Ren wrote:
djchallis wrote:It still feels a bit forced though. This version actually tells the player what they should use to solve the problem.
Yes, though I was thinking specifically of the detective setting. I suppose it depends on the puzzles. If they are a of the detective-collects-evidence-for-crime distinction, then it sort-of makes sense. I agree it is very clued for a standard puzzle.

Yeah, sorry, I should clarify. The gameplay in Clocks is roughly split between:
1) Looking for clues and analysing observations (classic detective work)
2) "Regular" puzzles
3) Clocks-specific puzzles that work slightly differently

I can see what you're getting at now. If I stripped out section 2, the system where you can only pick up certain objects (clues) would make perfect sense.
I'm tempted to do that, and have the gameplay just observation and my extra puzzles, but I'm not sure if I could pad out the game enough with that.
Game in the works - Project Clocks - on hold for a bit.
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Postby Ren » Sun Jul 26, 2009 9:09 pm

Two points:

(a) given that your stated main focus is the story, whether you can tell the story without (too many) section 2 puzzles is peraps a stronger starting point;

(b) you wouldn't necessarily need to get rid of all section 2 puzzles, just to focus on ensuring that any section 2 puzzles utilised objects that would naturally stand out, e.g. a single sheet of paper on an othrwise empty desk, rather than a fork in a cutlery drawer (unless it was a fork amongst spoons).

Yes, that wouldn't fix the kleptomania side of things, but it would mean that any dynamic object arguably had a logical reason for being dyanmic.
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Postby djchallis » Sun Jul 26, 2009 9:17 pm

a) I can tell the story without too many section 2 puzzles, but I need events to occur between scenes to trigger new scenes with new, drip-fed pieces of information. Particularly at the beginning of the game (before I bring in Clocks' own puzzles) I feel I need something to trigger new events.
You're quite right though. I should look through the story and work out where puzzles actually work well, and then think about what puzzles to put there.
(Not sure if I made any sense there)

b) On reflection, that's the most sensible idea I've heard so far. It's not perfect, but if I minimize the section 2 puzzles then it could work well.
Game in the works - Project Clocks - on hold for a bit.
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