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Is an Introductory that requires ... - pressing any key - too long?

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Postby Richarius » Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:41 pm

I hope this question hasn't been asked by anyone else yet, with my missing it. :O

I had read in another thread that having to 'press any key' in length descriptions within IF games, can be irritating to some people. I've been trying to edit down the length of the Introductory in my 1st (small) real game attempt, without a huge amount of success.

See - I'm trying to provide the background for the player character, as well as setting up the emotional setting for the game, so that the person playing the game, comes into it with the proper frame of mind. Cutting out too much of it, I do believe, wouldn't make everything clear enough for the player.

Now - it's not such an excessive amount, that the player has to 'press any key' more than once, but I am concerned about this being a possible irritation to some players.

Thanks greatly for anyone's help or thoughts! :)
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Postby Duncan_B » Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:03 am

If it's going to be that in-depth, why not make it part of gameplay?
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Postby reelyor » Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:08 am

You can have a lengthy intro with several key presses if it is necessary to "set the basics" for the game, but I would suggest you allow the player to circumvent this at his/her option with a small initial menu:

1) Read Introduction
2) Play Game
3) Instructions (optional)
4) Credits

Please choose from above
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Postby Richarius » Fri Sep 18, 2009 2:21 am

Thank you both for your thoughts! :) I've managed to get around it by doing a strict rewrite / reforming, stretching it over the first two rooms that the person goes through. That allowed me to fill in more detail as well, without any troubles. :)

A menu! I like that idea as well though. I'll have to figure out how to make one. :) (Built through Tasks? Or would it be preferable through ALR? (Which I've still, to learn how to work with.)
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Postby Cowboy » Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:28 am

reelyor wrote:You can have a lengthy intro with several key presses if it is necessary to "set the basics" for the game, but I would suggest you allow the player to circumvent this at his/her option with a small initial menu:

1) Read Introduction
2) Play Game
3) Instructions (optional)
4) Credits

Please choose from above

This is pretty cool, Roy ;)
And it would save people from making a readme file that (probably) no one reads anyway...
Can you make a walk through on how to create it so new drifters can benefit from it. Maybe upload it onto the Demo page?
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Postby rotter » Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:49 am

This is one of those areas that you will never win. I like the menu and most my games have it, but some reviewers have complained about it. I always include a readme with the taf file as well, again not always well received.

A menu is dead easy to do and you have several ways to achieve one in ADRIFT. All my games do not have a passwords so have a look how I have done it. I prefer Intro room. The menu is set to only run in this room and all other tasks do not run in this room.

I would say do what you feel fits with the game BUT avoid text dumps if possible. Generally hated.
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Postby Richarius » Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:48 pm

As Rotter has said, I fully, from my personal experiences in others of life: you can never win. I would say, that general statement can be applied to, any single thing in life; there will always be someone who likes something and someone who does not.

It's way too early for me to decide, in game programming, which way of doing something that I myself prefer - menu or not; Intro or not; etc.

A big question for me here now though, is: how big, is a text dump? In the game that I've mentioned at the very start of this thread -

(now - tentatively named: S.N.A.K.E. )

- a combination of the background of the player character and initial purpose of the game, are detailed across a total of 2 'screens', as is visible in the Runner - requiring the user to 'press any key', 2 times.

Would that, be large enough to consider as a 'text dump'?

Right then. I'm off to find a game of yours (Rotter) to find and see how you've done a menu. :)
Take care,
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Postby Richarius » Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:12 pm

Wow! Thank you for suggesting looking at one of your games Richard. :) I downloaded Vague, to see if it had a menu and I was pleased to find that yes, it did.

That game's way of making a menu is very easy! The only bit that I would like to add to it, is taking care of incorrect key entry, which I didn't see any code for. I'm going to follow your example of that for now. It will require a little bit of reformatting / rewriting the Intro as I have it now, but that I think, should be ok.

I'm still open to suggestions from anyone as well. As Richard had just said - some may not like a menu at the beginning of a game. Though - with not being able to please everybody, I'm now also going to try and learn over time, to stay away from doing that which is, least liked. ;)
Take care,
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Postby Duncan_B » Fri Sep 18, 2009 3:57 pm

For the record, I happen to be one of the people who really likes Richard's use of menus. Some of David Whyld's games also have menus, I believe... but Richard Otter is the Menu Master.
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Postby Richarius » Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:04 pm

Duncan_B wrote:For the record, I happen to be one of the people who really likes Richard's use of menus. Some of David Whyld's games also have menus, I believe... but Richard Otter is the Menu Master.


:D

I had a look at Richard's menu and how to, in his game Vague and REALLY liked IT, a LOT! :) I'll combine that impression of my own, with your response to liking menus and go ahead with it, for now.
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Postby rotter » Mon Sep 21, 2009 11:15 am

Richarius wrote:The only bit that I would like to add to it, is taking care of incorrect key entry, which I didn't see any code for. I'm going to follow your example of that for now. It will require a little bit of reformatting / rewriting the Intro as I have it now, but that I think, should be ok.

Whoops, yeh bit of sloppy coding on my part. Although as it is in its own room the player can't do anything. As you can probably see I like that for the end game as well.

I would normally add a command that captures anything and just redisplays the location. Unauthorized Termination will probably have a better functioning menu.
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Postby Metron4 » Sat Oct 24, 2009 2:23 am

What a great idea. I had not thought about adding one until this post. Give the player the choice, especially if they've already played it before. Plus I like the idea of being able to give players a primer on how your game works (especially if it differs from others). Adrift 5.0 feature request!
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