IF in the Past Tense and Told by the Protagonist?

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
9 answers Last reply
More about past tense told protagonist
  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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.)
  5. 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.
  6. 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.)
  7. 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
  8. 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'
  9. 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
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