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Text Adventures

Christ PuncherChrist Puncher Registered User regular
edited December 2007 in Games and Technology
I just started playing Narcolepsy (downloadable here: http://adamcadre.ac/if.html) and am completely hooked. The last time I remember playing these things was when I was like 10 or something.

What have I missed out on?

(discuss text adventures in this thread)

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Christ Puncher on
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    JohnDoeJohnDoe Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Spider and Web - really fucking awesome. Just don't use a walkthrough or read about its story beforehand, you need to play through it on your own.

    Shade - By the same guy. Not quite as good, but still entertaining.

    JohnDoe on
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    stigweardstigweard Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    There was a thread started by a guy with a Dom Deluise avatar about interactive fiction. He had links to a text adventure engine and entires that you could load into it and play. There was one where you were in a grocery store and only got to do one move, there was one where you woke up and had to get ready for your cab... my memory sucks. I searched for the thread, but it was pruned.

    Here is a link to IF development tools.
    Here is a link to the IF archive.
    Here is a link to the IF Wiki.

    I'm sure there will be more people in with some of their favorites.

    stigweard on
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    BehemothBehemoth Compulsive Seashell Collector Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    What was the name of that one where you could only type in a single word? You were shopping for pasta in a supermarket and you could do all kinds of funny things....

    Anyone remember?

    Behemoth on
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    FireWeaselFireWeasel Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Behemoth wrote: »
    What was the name of that one where you could only type in a single word? You were shopping for pasta in a supermarket and you could do all kinds of funny things....

    Anyone remember?

    Aisle.
    JohnDoe wrote: »

    Shade - By the same guy. Not quite as good, but still entertaining.

    Shade is actually by Andrew Plotkin....but it's one of the best IF experiences you can have. Borderline art.

    And anything by Adam Cadre (who DID do Narcolepsy) is awesome, especially his "concept" pieces like Photopia, Shrapnel, and one of my favorites, 9:05.

    I'm waiting for Orikae to come in and school us all.

    FireWeasel on
    AC:CL Wii -- 3824-2125-9336 City: Felinito Me: Nick
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    stigweardstigweard Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Ailse and 9:05, those were the two I was thinking of. I need to play those again.

    stigweard on
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    schmadsschmads Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I've heard that Anchorhead is really good, and it's some sort of Cthluhu (I can't spell that) inspired mystery or something like that. I haven't played it, but I heard about it from a reputable source that knows the author and helped test it, and it also won an award or something.

    schmads on
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    JohnDoeJohnDoe Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    FireWeasel wrote: »
    Behemoth wrote: »
    What was the name of that one where you could only type in a single word? You were shopping for pasta in a supermarket and you could do all kinds of funny things....

    Anyone remember?

    Aisle.
    JohnDoe wrote: »

    Shade - By the same guy. Not quite as good, but still entertaining.

    Shade is actually by Andrew Plotkin....but it's one of the best IF experiences you can have. Borderline art.

    Who did Spider and Web - Which is what I was talking about.

    JohnDoe on
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    FireWeaselFireWeasel Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    JohnDoe wrote: »
    FireWeasel wrote: »
    Behemoth wrote: »
    What was the name of that one where you could only type in a single word? You were shopping for pasta in a supermarket and you could do all kinds of funny things....

    Anyone remember?

    Aisle.
    JohnDoe wrote: »

    Shade - By the same guy. Not quite as good, but still entertaining.

    Shade is actually by Andrew Plotkin....but it's one of the best IF experiences you can have. Borderline art.

    Who did Spider and Web - Which is what I was talking about.

    -5 to me for lack of reading comprehension.

    Either way, good stuff all around.

    FireWeasel on
    AC:CL Wii -- 3824-2125-9336 City: Felinito Me: Nick
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    cooljammer00cooljammer00 Hey Small Christmas-Man!Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    which is the one with all the sand?

    cooljammer00 on
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    Nimble CatNimble Cat Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    which is the one with all the sand?

    Shade. I just played through it. Wow.

    Nimble Cat on
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    Christ PuncherChrist Puncher Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Can't wait to play all these, thank you.

    I have no programming knowledge or experience, but great interest in creating one of these things. Feasible with one of these downloadable engines? Realistic?

    Christ Puncher on
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    DarmakDarmak RAGE vympyvvhyc vyctyvyRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    schmads wrote: »
    Cthulhu (I can't spell that)

    Actually, you can and you did. :P

    Darmak on
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    BlueBlueBlueBlue Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    >take boat

    BlueBlue on
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    VeritasVRVeritasVR Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Now I sit here and imagine why I can't get ye flask.

    VeritasVR on
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    mntorankusumntorankusu I'm not sure how to use this thing.... Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    BlueBlue wrote: »
    >take boat
    a wizard has turned you into a whale.

    is this awesome (y/n)?

    mntorankusu on
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    Randall_FlaggRandall_Flagg Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    a wizard has turned you into a whale...of a good time!

    Randall_Flagg on
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    cooljammer00cooljammer00 Hey Small Christmas-Man!Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    i played Habeas Dorkus on adultswim. it's unnecessarily confusing. like, you have to do so much to pick up something.

    cooljammer00 on
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    seabassseabass Doctor MassachusettsRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    'Slouching towards bedlam' is pretty swell, and the one about time travel, I believe its called 'All Things Devours', is an awesome idea if a little frustrating with the insta-death.

    As far as commercial offerings go, you can't go wrong with the Zork series.

    seabass on
    Run you pigeons, it's Robert Frost!
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    nyarlanyarla Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    The Lurking Horror is another great Infocom one... it's all Lovecrafty and good.

    I also really like a dos shareware text adventure called t-zero, by Dennis Cunningham.
    It has great atmosphere, and some interesting stuff you can do (eg there's an "imagine" command - though I never figured out what that was for). It's quite hard....lots of the puzzles involve wordplay. Luckily it has a good built in hint system with multiple levels of hints. Well worth playing if you enjoy words!

    Also I recently started playing with the text adventure creation language Inform 7. It's rather neat. Lets you code text adventures by typing in near-english sentences. Very simple, dumb example:
    The Shed is a room.
    "You are in your shed. The walls are corrugated iron, the floor is dirt."

    The workbench is here. The workbench is scenery. "The heavy wooden surface of the workbench is pitted and scarred, partly eaten away by the chemical spills of various experiments."

    The lawnmower is here. The lawnmower is scenery. "It's a classic Victa two-stroke. Its grass-catcher is still full of grass."

    The grass-catcher is on the lawnmower. The grass-catcher is a container.
    The grass is in the grass-catcher.

    The room called The Laundry is west of The Shed.
    "There are piles of moldy clothes strewn across the floor."

    etc...
    This is actual compilable source code! It'll generate 2 rooms, the shed and the laundry, east and west of each other respectively.. and..well it's pretty obvious what it all does. :)

    nyarla on
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    ChenjesuChenjesu Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I'll second Anchorhead. Extremely well written. Some tricky puzzles, but then there's only tricky puzzles and trivial puzzles in IF.

    Chenjesu on
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    FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy game is really fucking hard.

    Fencingsax on
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    LeumasWhiteLeumasWhite New ZealandRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Spider and Web is definitely awesome. I cheated and feel bad for it, but the twist was still great.

    One thing that always bugged me about Aisle: do you ever find out what happened in Rome?

    Edit: oh, Vespers is pretty rad, too.

    LeumasWhite on
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    Christ PuncherChrist Puncher Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    nyarla wrote: »
    The Lurking Horror is another great Infocom one... it's all Lovecrafty and good.

    I also really like a dos shareware text adventure called t-zero, by Dennis Cunningham.
    It has great atmosphere, and some interesting stuff you can do (eg there's an "imagine" command - though I never figured out what that was for). It's quite hard....lots of the puzzles involve wordplay. Luckily it has a good built in hint system with multiple levels of hints. Well worth playing if you enjoy words!

    Also I recently started playing with the text adventure creation language Inform 7. It's rather neat. Lets you code text adventures by typing in near-english sentences. Very simple, dumb example:
    The Shed is a room.
    "You are in your shed. The walls are corrugated iron, the floor is dirt."

    The workbench is here. The workbench is scenery. "The heavy wooden surface of the workbench is pitted and scarred, partly eaten away by the chemical spills of various experiments."

    The lawnmower is here. The lawnmower is scenery. "It's a classic Victa two-stroke. Its grass-catcher is still full of grass."

    The grass-catcher is on the lawnmower. The grass-catcher is a container.
    The grass is in the grass-catcher.

    The room called The Laundry is west of The Shed.
    "There are piles of moldy clothes strewn across the floor."

    etc...
    This is actual compilable source code! It'll generate 2 rooms, the shed and the laundry, east and west of each other respectively.. and..well it's pretty obvious what it all does. :)

    I think I may try this, and probably spend way too much time making a game then what it will be worth

    Christ Puncher on
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    XagarathXagarath Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Everyone, everyone should play Pick up the Phone Booth and Die

    Xagarath on
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    cooljammer00cooljammer00 Hey Small Christmas-Man!Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    but in that game, isnt someone making a code for you to use to make code to make a game? so meta.

    anyway, i played a text game once where i died of thirst or something. what a gyp.

    cooljammer00 on
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    RichardTauberRichardTauber Kvlt Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Rockstar is the best text adventure ever. The best rock star simulator ever also. The best game period. "Your granny offers you coke"

    RichardTauber on
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    StriferStrifer Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    stigweard wrote: »
    There was a thread started by a guy with a Dom Deluise avatar about interactive fiction. He had links to a text adventure engine and entires that you could load into it and play. There was one where you were in a grocery store and only got to do one move, there was one where you woke up and had to get ready for your cab... my memory sucks. I searched for the thread, but it was pruned.

    Here is a link to IF development tools.
    Here is a link to the IF archive.
    Here is a link to the IF Wiki.

    I'm sure there will be more people in with some of their favorites.

    Link fixed. Also, I am going to make some use of IF development tools. I am not exactly a programming genius, but I think I might be able to make this one print money.

    Strifer on
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    FremFrem Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Spider and Web is pretty freaking sweet.
    >open grille
    The ventilator grille isn't important.

    I LOLed.

    I could never really get into Zork. I get lost, or stuck, or both. Adventures with manageable, small worlds are nice.

    There's another one I rather enjoyed that was written for ifcomp a year or two ago. I forget what it was called, but you could summon items. Like, you started out in front of a door, and you summoned a key to open the door. I thought it was neat. Short and easy, but neat.

    Frem on
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    YoshuaYoshua Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    If you like text adventures, then it's worth mentioning MUD's (Multi User Dungeons). Text based, online multipayer RPG's. You play them a lot like a single player text adventure but it's all online with other players in the world.

    There have been many types of MUD's. The distinguishing features being what sort of driver and library is being used. Aside the talkers there are really only a couple base variants that are actual games, those being DIKU and LP (MUCK's, MOO's and the like are glorified chat rooms, not real games). There were also some commercial MUD's as well, but I know little about them since I refused to pay for something that I could have for free (actually I think Gemstone III is still around).

    Biggest advantage of MUD's in today's world is all you need is a computer or terminal with an internet connection and telnet (A tool for connecting to a computer over a network, pretty much every OS out there has it aside Windows 3.1 and below).

    Now if you're real high speed then you will get what is called a MUD Client. This is a specialized telnet client for connecting to MUD's. There are clients for every OS out there. Windows users should check out Portal (Not the Source engine game) or Z Mud (or C Mud, which is the newer version for XP and Vista). *NIX users will wand TF (tinyfugue). Name of the Mac client escapes me.

    MUD's are all built from scratch (or a base of stock areas) by volunteers (which you can choose to be if you wish). This means that the quality of a MUD isn't entirely consistant throughout the MUD. Best way I can get you to picture it is to think back to old Everquest areas compared to the newer ones they added later.

    So all that said, I still play one. My favorite is a MUD called Genesis. It is an LP based MUD with excellant areas based on Krynn and Middle Earth, as well as several unique areas that are also quite good.

    If you want to try it out, just point your client or telnet app to: genesis.tekno.chalmers.se 3011
    The last number is the port number if you are unfamiliar with telnet.
    My character's name is Remo and you can reach me via the post office. There is also a newbie helpers club you can join (maybe it's automatic when you make a new character, I am unsure, I started long before it was implemented). They have a chat line where you can ask questions (be careful what you ask about though, quest spoilers are considered forbidden).

    Yoshua on
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    PatboyXPatboyX Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Inform is actually really easy to use. Even without knowing how to program.
    An old Infocom classic I demand everyone play is
    A Mind Forever Voyaging.
    Pretty sure it is free now and can even be played on that Infocombot on AIM.

    PatboyX on
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    seabassseabass Doctor MassachusettsRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    PatboyX wrote: »
    Inform is actually really easy to use. Even without knowing how to program.
    An old Infocom classic I demand everyone play is
    A Mind Forever Voyaging.
    Pretty sure it is free now and can even be played on that Infocombot on AIM.

    Its... hard to call it a game though...awesome though it is.
    I gave up when
    I kept getting eaten by fucking wolves in the distopian future. It was too hard and depressing to go on from there.

    seabass on
    Run you pigeons, it's Robert Frost!
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    PatboyXPatboyX Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    seabass wrote: »
    PatboyX wrote: »
    Inform is actually really easy to use. Even without knowing how to program.
    An old Infocom classic I demand everyone play is
    A Mind Forever Voyaging.
    Pretty sure it is free now and can even be played on that Infocombot on AIM.

    Its... hard to call it a game though...awesome though it is.
    I gave up when
    I kept getting eaten by fucking wolves in the distopian future. It was too hard and depressing to go on from there.

    I don't know, I found it far easier than some of the other Infocom stuff when I was little. Not sure why. Maybe because of the multiple paths available for exploring.
    Trinity was for me the ultimate in video game frustration. Nord and Bert Couldn't Make Head Or Tail of It was a close second.

    I would like to also throw in that The Lurking Horror was a great game. And so creepy.

    PatboyX on
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    Qs23Qs23 Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Wow... Only one line about The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?

    You can actually play it now online here thanks to the BBC.

    I remember I tried that one, and Leather Goddesses of Phobos was the other... now that one I wish I could play again... in "Lewd" mode.

    Qs23 on
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    TrukkleTrukkle Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Registering and jumping in to say that Infocom's HHGTTG had a hand in helping me and my friends drop out of college the first time around (but only back in 2000, we love our classics around here).

    Had a go last year at making a game with Inform 7, which has FULL documentation, complete with in-depth examples. My trouble was, making rooms and items is so easy you'll laugh. Making them interact in interesting ways, or creating new actions is likely to make you cry. There is a point where the flowery "A house is a type of room. The brothel is a house. Bill is a man in the brothel" breaks down and you have to use arrays and a much more arcane language to do dynamically name things and generate pseudo-random results.
    I fell down when I tried to make the description of the room only mention the booming of my boots on the metal floor while I was wearing them, at the same time as randomising how loud the howling wind outside was and making day-night phases. :edit: I could never make containers locked shut only to the player, either. Memory sticks that let you 'take' the 'program' out of them and hold it in your hand area tad surreal.:/edit:

    Still, if all you want to do is make a deserted colony on Mars, flavour text for the broken machinery around you, bad memories that only pop up once and doors that only open when X is inside Y like I did. There is no reason not to try, none what so ever.

    I highly recommend:
    Delusions by C.E Forman. (delusns.z5) You're a bugtester for total-immersion video games. Trying to break a game, within a game is just the start of the weirdness. Full hint system.

    Photopia by Adam Cadre. (photo201.blb) A well written and touching interactive story. If you like Aisle, you'll like this.
    Whereas delusions gets hard as nails near the end, there is no 'wrong way' in photopia. A lot of the time you can just wait five or six turns and it'll move on and let you read the next bit, but that's not as fun. I can almost guarantee that after seeing the ending you'll take a deep breath and start again just to try the other options.

    I've got, but really can't get into a remake of the leather godesses of phobos in z5 format. Not sure where it came from though :/
    (Argh, that's a lot of words. Please don't kill me)

    Trukkle on
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    Christ PuncherChrist Puncher Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Trukkle I found your descriptions of your troubles with Inform a little hard to follow. I am interested because I have a month of nothing to do and was considering spending a lot of my time making a game with it, but don't want to waste my time if I can't make the game I envision.

    I'd like to give the player as many options as possible when they enter a given room. I want to be able to code a ton of different interactions with the objects in a room, from the intuitive to the intuitive only if you are an insane person. I'd like to have branching conversations with characters to some extent. I'd also like to be able to write grand, detailed depictions of areas and have the player be able to go to/examine these detailed areas. Not sure if that makes any sense.

    Basically I am asking if I will only be able to create a rudimentary, A-->B choice and consequences type system for the game, or if I can make it as deep as my obsession dictates.

    Not interested in making intricate puzzles at all, or any puzzles really. A semi-robust item system would be nice, but not a necessity.

    Christ Puncher on
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    Christ PuncherChrist Puncher Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Also about Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Is knowledge of the book required to get enjoyment out of it? I've only seen the movie.

    Christ Puncher on
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    Christ PuncherChrist Puncher Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Xagarath wrote: »
    Everyone, everyone should play Pick up the Phone Booth and Die

    Ugh. You have to tell me how to beat this now or it will drive me crazy.

    Christ Puncher on
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    W2W2 Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Xagarath wrote: »
    Everyone, everyone should play Pick up the Phone Booth and Die

    Ugh. You have to tell me how to beat this now or it will drive me crazy.

    If I remember correctly, all you have to do is push it over.

    W2 on
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    Christ PuncherChrist Puncher Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    W2 wrote: »
    Xagarath wrote: »
    Everyone, everyone should play Pick up the Phone Booth and Die

    Ugh. You have to tell me how to beat this now or it will drive me crazy.

    If I remember correctly, all you have to do is push it over.


    Damnit. I sort of figured it out, but with a different command than the game wanted.

    Christ Puncher on
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    Mr2001Mr2001 Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Trukkle wrote: »
    My trouble was, making rooms and items is so easy you'll laugh. Making them interact in interesting ways, or creating new actions is likely to make you cry. There is a point where the flowery "A house is a type of room. The brothel is a house. Bill is a man in the brothel" breaks down and you have to use arrays and a much more arcane language to do dynamically name things and generate pseudo-random results.
    When you get in that situation, it's usually a sign that either: (1) you've overlooked some part of the manual, (2) you've overlooked an extension on the I7 web site that does the thing you're looking for, or (3) you're trying something so new or unusual that no one else has thought of doing it yet. What you've described sounds like case #1...
    I fell down when I tried to make the description of the room only mention the booming of my boots on the metal floor while I was wearing them, at the same time as randomising how loud the howling wind outside was and making day-night phases.
    Something like this would do the trick:

    Time phase is a kind of value. The time phases are daytime and nighttime.

    The current phase is a time phase that varies.

    When play begins: change the current phase to daytime; night falls in 10 turns from now.

    At the time when night falls: say "The sun sets."; change the current phase to nighttime; day breaks in 10 turns from now.

    At the time when day breaks: say "The sun rises."; change the current phase to daytime; night falls in 10 turns from now.

    The player wears a pair of boots.

    Metaltopia is a room. "The floor of this room is totally metal, from the quarter-inch rivets to the spray-painted Anthrax logo[if the player is wearing the boots]. Your footsteps make a heavy booming sound as you walk upon it[end if].[paragraph break]The wind outside is [one of]annoyingly loud[or]tolerably gusty[or]an imperceptible whisper[at random].[paragraph break][if the current phase is daytime]The sunlight beams in through cracks in the ceiling[otherwise]Moonlight seeps in through cracks in the ceiling[end if]."
    Basically I am asking if I will only be able to create a rudimentary, A-->B choice and consequences type system for the game, or if I can make it as deep as my obsession dictates.
    Inform 7 is a very powerful system, capable of making a game as deep as you want. Of course, understanding it well enough to get to that point will take some effort.

    It's true that the syntax is deceptively familiar - it may look like plain English, but it's still a programming language, and coding complex interactions means you have to precisely say what you want to happen and when. On top of that, you have to do it with a rule-based system that may take some time to get used to, even for experienced programmers. But there's plenty of documentation, many many examples to look through, and a healthy community of developers (see rec.arts.int-fiction on Google Groups) in case you need help.

    Mr2001 on
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