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look and /or search

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Re: look and /or search

Postby P/o Prune » Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:14 pm

DCBSupafly wrote:I think I understand where you're coming from Prune, you have clues or items on someone's body but they are hidden or tricky and you know the casual player (read: lazy detective, unobservant guard, etc.) will type examine or look and that shouldn't give away your clues/hidden item. On the other hand, requiring a differentiation between search/examine is cumbersome, feels artificial, and is unreasonable to expect.

You hit it right on the nose the first time. :wink:
It's a little like a book object. Look at book gives you the overall description of it, while >Read book will assume that the player opens the book and read it.

Some suggestions: Use the narrative to get the player in the mindset of 'searching' and/or use a synonym for search that doesn't feel as vague or as close to 'examine' and 'look.' For example, a scene before the search in question where someone sends you to find something in a room, and you can't, so they tell you to 'search under the bed'.

Perhaps a buried clue: John is wearing a leather jacket with a bunch of zippers
> look zippers
The zippers are standard brass YKK, but poking out behind one of them is a secret clue item!

Or to use the synonym idea:
The tall man walks up. He is wearing a jacket and whistling.
>look tall man
He's just some guy, albeit tall. He's wearing a jacket and whistling to himself.
>frisk man
You pat the tall man up and down and feel a bulge at his waist. Careful, it might be a cleverly obscured firearm!

If the player is put in a position where they are told they need to use a special 'look' verb, they won't be playing GTV, but you will require them to be observant in a manner of speaking.

Your suggestions are well thought, and I will most surely take a closer look when I get to that part in the game.
Thanks a lot.
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Re: look and /or search

Postby ralphmerridew » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:25 pm

In your game, is there any reason why the player might not want to do the more thorough search?
Such as:
- there's a time limit, and a careful search would take up more time than a cursory look
- the player is supposed to avoid leaving traces
- there is obvious danger in searching (reaching into a dark hole)
- the owner of the thing being searched is present

If not, it's probably more convenient to make the actions identical.
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Re: look and /or search

Postby saabie » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:02 am

I have included 'search' in my game purely as a shortcut to save typing "open draw" "Look in draw" lots of times.
I have a desk with three drawers and "search desk" will open all of them and examine everything inside them.
"search room" will open and look inside every object and on every surface in the room.
Mostly i put this in for testing, but some people just want to get on with the story and want to bypass all the repetitive open/examine commands.
But its use is completely optional, you don't have to use search, you can do the same thing with the traditional commands, just slower.
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Re: look and /or search

Postby P/o Prune » Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:29 am

The reason I raised this topic was more or less out of curiosity. What do a player expect when typing command >Look and what approach do the author have to the command >Search.
It was more like, is command >Search a valid command in a game, or will a player automatically assume that the two commands are the same?
In my game the question arose because there are places where the player will come by dead soldiers. Looking at them will give one response and searching them will give another. I was just worried that I, maybe, was going too deep into details.

I like the idea of using search as a shortcut to open drawer etc.
It’s a matter of how troublesome you want to be, I guess. Like you say having the player to open each and every drawer in a desk. The command >search desk should give a more detailed response than just >Look desk.
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Re: look and /or search

Postby Lazzah » Sat Feb 04, 2012 7:27 am

Hi Guys,

This topic has been the cause of much heated debate as long as people have been playing IF - or text adventures, as we knew them in the good old days, so you are talking 25 - 30 years! I can remember discussing the subject on more than one occasion at the Adventurer's Conventions we used to hold in Birmingham and Coventry.

It is actually a very grey area, as if you LOOK AT something, I would interpret that as being the same as EXAMINE, i.e. you are looking at and examining the object to find out more about it.

However if the prepostion you use is IN/INTO/UNDER, etc, I would equate that with SEARCH, i.e. you are looking into or under, etc, the object in order to find other objects within or under it.

It is important that the game author should specify in their game "Playing Instructions" what verbs they intend the player to use whilst playing, as I do, it's no good assuming the player will know that Examine and Search have different meanings, you have to tell them. How many ADRIFT game authors reading this include a page of "Playing Instructions" within their game which can be accessed at any time by the player?
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Re: look and /or search

Postby DCBSupafly » Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:18 pm

Lazzah wrote:How many ADRIFT game authors reading this include a page of "Playing Instructions" within their game which can be accessed at any time by the player?

While my quick and dirty pieces tend to lack it, in a full-featured game (GMYLM or Mangiasaur) I co-opt the /Help command, useable at any time. I think complex command syntax is a great thing to list. If it has a preposition in it, people are likely to say it all kinds of ways!
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