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IF in the Past Tense and Told by the Protagonist?

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Anonymous
June 20, 2004 5:36:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.int-fiction (More info?)

Hi,
This is my first post in this NG: I'm a visually impaired computer
enthusiast from Finland and rather new to interactive fiction in general.

Most of the IF games I've encountered so far are written in the present and
the protagonist is asked to do things with imperatives. I wonder, however,
if there are any games told in the past and by the protagonist (I picked up
....)? The input prompt could be "I " in stead of the more usual "> " and the
parser would require all verbs in the past, too (examined etc...). Of course
all prompts by the computer and "scripted dpassages" would be from the point
of the protagonist and in the past.

this kind of a verbal diversion from the usual form would give a game an
interesting atmosphere and make it seem as though the protagonist was in an
even more central role, telling a story which has already happened.

Has someone implemented this concept already and in which games? WOuld be
nice to try any of those out.


--
With kind regards Velli-Pekka Tätilä (vtatila@mail.student.oulu.fi)
Accessibility, game music, synthesizers and more:
http://www.student.oulu.fi/~vtatila

More about : past tense told protagonist

Anonymous
June 20, 2004 5:36:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.int-fiction (More info?)

"Veli-Pekka Tatila" <vtatila@mail.student.oulu.fi> skrev i melding
news:cb3pa1$aa6$1@ousrvr3.oulu.fi...

> Has someone implemented this concept already and in which games? WOuld be
> nice to try any of those out.

Emily Short keeps a list of theese sort of things. It's under Player
Character, Unusual Narrator.
http://home.mindspring.com/~emshort/literacy.htm
Anonymous
June 21, 2004 1:38:20 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.int-fiction (More info?)

Veli-Pekka Tatila <vtatila@mail.student.oulu.fi> wrote:
> I
> wonder, however, if there are any games told in the past and by the
> protagonist (I picked up ...)? The input prompt could be "I " in
> stead of the more usual "> " and the parser would require all verbs
> in the past, too (examined etc...). Of course all prompts by the
> computer and "scripted dpassages" would be from the point of the
> protagonist and in the past.

The one that spring immediately to mind is "Muse: An Autumn Romance," by
Christopher Huang. I recommend playing it if you are interested in this sort
of point of view. The corresponding entry on the world-famous Baf's Guide
is:

http://wurb.com/if/game/254

The prompts were normal ">" I believe, and I'm glad they were. I actually
liked the perspective: First person past tense was a definite change, but it
worked for this game. I think a major part of what made it work was that the
writing was generally high quality. So reading scripted passage felt a lot
like a good book.

Ooh, another one that comes to mind is My Angel, in the special mode that
has your input line in a separate part of the display, and outputs the text
as actual prose. This is worth a play too. I don't remember if it's past or
present tense, but it definitely experiments with the narrative voice.

> Has someone implemented this concept already and in which games?
> WOuld be nice to try any of those out.

Of course, just because it's been done before doesn't mean it should never
be done again. Yay for experimenting and testing things out!

-- Jess
Anonymous
June 21, 2004 12:27:57 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.int-fiction (More info?)

On Sun, 20 Jun 2004 13:36:29 +0300, "Veli-Pekka Tatila"
<vtatila@mail.student.oulu.fi> wrote:

> Hi,
>This is my first post in this NG: I'm a visually impaired computer
>enthusiast from Finland and rather new to interactive fiction in general.
>
>Most of the IF games I've encountered so far are written in the present and
>the protagonist is asked to do things with imperatives. I wonder, however,
>if there are any games told in the past and by the protagonist (I picked up
>...)? The input prompt could be "I " in stead of the more usual "> " and the
>parser would require all verbs in the past, too (examined etc...). Of course
>all prompts by the computer and "scripted dpassages" would be from the point
>of the protagonist and in the past.
>
>this kind of a verbal diversion from the usual form would give a game an
>interesting atmosphere and make it seem as though the protagonist was in an
>even more central role, telling a story which has already happened.
>
>Has someone implemented this concept already and in which games? WOuld be
>nice to try any of those out.

Also, there is Journey by Infocom. However, if you are visually
impaired it may not be what you are looking for because unlike other
Infocom games, Journey employs a menu system for player input.
Anonymous
June 27, 2004 7:05:41 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.int-fiction (More info?)

"Jess Knoch" <jessicaknoch@mindspring.com> wrote in message news:<2jmsgfF13b14vU1@uni-berlin.de>...
> Veli-Pekka Tatila <vtatila@mail.student.oulu.fi> wrote:
> > I
> > wonder, however, if there are any games told in the past and by the
> > protagonist (I picked up ...)? The input prompt could be "I " in
> > stead of the more usual "> " and the parser would require all verbs
> > in the past, too (examined etc...). Of course all prompts by the
> > computer and "scripted dpassages" would be from the point of the
> > protagonist and in the past.
>
> The one that spring immediately to mind is "Muse: An Autumn Romance," by
> Christopher Huang. I recommend playing it if you are interested in this sort
> of point of view. The corresponding entry on the world-famous Baf's Guide
> is:
>
> http://wurb.com/if/game/254
>
> The prompts were normal ">" I believe, and I'm glad they were. I actually
> liked the perspective: First person past tense was a definite change, but it
> worked for this game. I think a major part of what made it work was that the
> writing was generally high quality. So reading scripted passage felt a lot
> like a good book.

Nick Montfort's "Winchester's Nightmare" uses an alterante prompt that
makes your input look like part of a sentence rather than a simple
imperative. (As I recall, "Winchester's Nightmare" is third-person
rather than first, but you could try it out and see whether you like
the effect.)
Anonymous
June 28, 2004 6:19:09 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.int-fiction (More info?)

Veli-Pekka Tatila wrote
>
> Most of the IF games I've encountered so far are written in the present
and
> the protagonist is asked to do things with imperatives. I wonder, however,
> if there are any games told in the past and by the protagonist (I picked
up
> ...)? The input prompt could be "I " in stead of the more usual "> " and
the
> parser would require all verbs in the past, too (examined etc...).

If I remember correctly, "The Beetmonger's Journal" used something like
that.
Anonymous
July 2, 2004 12:33:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.int-fiction (More info?)

The two Cliff Diver text adventure games (can't remember the first one, but
the second's "purchased sight unseen") are done this way. An impressive
venture, considering they were both was written in AGT. They're very
filmneuar-y, too, and very funny, I got a blast from them. Give 'em a try
sometime.

--

_____

Why settle for the lesser evil? Cthulhu for president!
<emshort@mindspring.com> wrote in message
news:a69830de.0406271405.5e9a1dc6@posting.google.com...
> "Jess Knoch" <jessicaknoch@mindspring.com> wrote in message
news:<2jmsgfF13b14vU1@uni-berlin.de>...
> > Veli-Pekka Tatila <vtatila@mail.student.oulu.fi> wrote:
> > > I
> > > wonder, however, if there are any games told in the past and by the
> > > protagonist (I picked up ...)? The input prompt could be "I " in
> > > stead of the more usual "> " and the parser would require all verbs
> > > in the past, too (examined etc...). Of course all prompts by the
> > > computer and "scripted dpassages" would be from the point of the
> > > protagonist and in the past.
> >
> > The one that spring immediately to mind is "Muse: An Autumn Romance," by
> > Christopher Huang. I recommend playing it if you are interested in this
sort
> > of point of view. The corresponding entry on the world-famous Baf's
Guide
> > is:
> >
> > http://wurb.com/if/game/254
> >
> > The prompts were normal ">" I believe, and I'm glad they were. I
actually
> > liked the perspective: First person past tense was a definite change,
but it
> > worked for this game. I think a major part of what made it work was that
the
> > writing was generally high quality. So reading scripted passage felt a
lot
> > like a good book.
>
> Nick Montfort's "Winchester's Nightmare" uses an alterante prompt that
> makes your input look like part of a sentence rather than a simple
> imperative. (As I recall, "Winchester's Nightmare" is third-person
> rather than first, but you could try it out and see whether you like
> the effect.)
Anonymous
July 7, 2004 12:34:34 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.int-fiction (More info?)

"Veli-Pekka Tatila" <vtatila@mail.student.oulu.fi> wrote in message news:<cb3pa1$aa6$1@ousrvr3.oulu.fi>...
> I wonder, however,
> if there are any games told in the past and by the protagonist (I picked up
> ...)?

One interesting IF game that I remember from my childhood is "Sherlock
Holmes in Another Bow." It has been a very long time since I played
the game, so anything I say might be wrong, but as I recall it was
rather interesting, and had some of the qualities you're talking
about.

I don't know if it took passages from an actual Sherlock Holmes story,
but it seemed like it. You'd play along, and if you managed to trigger
one of the events that advanced the plot, you'd be rewarded with a
page or two of Victorian prose, saying what "Holmes did" -- saying,
that is, what you just told it to do.

The game is also interesting in that your companion, Dr. Watson, acts
as the game's parser. If you say something the game doesn't
understand, it's Watson who expresses confusion or tries to ask for
clarification. This was an interesting effect.

You can read more at:

http://www.the-underdogs.org/game.php?gameid=973

Greg
Anonymous
July 7, 2004 9:50:46 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.int-fiction,rec.arts.int-fiction (More info?)

Greg Boettcher <WRITETOgregAT@gregboettcher.com> wrote:

> The game is also interesting in that your companion, Dr. Watson, acts
> as the game's parser. If you say something the game doesn't
> understand, it's Watson who expresses confusion or tries to ask for
> clarification. This was an interesting effect.

> You can read more at:

> http://www.the-underdogs.org/game.php?gameid=973

This reminds me a bit of how the prose works in Infocom's "Journey". Has
anyone a clue how one might create that kind of gameplay in Inform?


--
David Griffith
dgriffi@cs.csbuak.edu <-- Switch the 'b' and 'u'
Anonymous
July 7, 2004 9:50:47 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.int-fiction,rec.arts.int-fiction (More info?)

dgriffi@cs.csbuak.edu wrote in message news:<ccg2vm$7mu7s$1@hades.csu.net>...
> This reminds me a bit of how the prose works in Infocom's "Journey". Has
> anyone a clue how one might create that kind of gameplay in Inform?

In principle, that is easy. You would just go through English.h and
modify the messages as you see fit. Then save it as EnglishPastTense.h
or something. Finally, to make Inform use EnglishPastTense.h instead
of English.h, read the comments at the beginning of English.h.

Actually, you'd want to check first to see if somebody has written a
library like that before. I didn't see any, but you'd think there
would be something like that.

Greg
!