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Point-and-click text interface?

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Anonymous
August 7, 2004 1:25:30 AM

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

I was just having a discussion about interactive fiction with someone
who played the Infocom games back in the day and found them frustrating.
He has an idea in his head of how he would like an interactive fiction
game interface to be played, and while the idea doesn't appeal to me at
all, I didn't see why it couldn't be done, so it made me wonder if it,
in fact, *has* been done. (I wouldn't be that shocked.)

His idea was essentially that you could have a region of the screen that
listed all the verbs that the interpreter knew, then another region of
the screen that listed all the currently available objects (perhaps
separated into objects in your inventory and objects in your region that
weren't in your inventory). Perhaps another element which showed all
the available navigation directions and then something for
save/load/etc. would also be required to make it complete. The idea
would be that you could just click on the words in the lists and have
that drive the game.

I believe that his chief aim in all of this was to solve possible
frustation with not knowing what word to use in a given situation.

Anyway, I thought I'd inquire about whether something like this had ever
been done, or if not, if it seemed plausible (assuming that you wanted
this thing to be able to drive story files from some existing system
like inform or tads or something, rather than being a whole new deal).
Anonymous
August 7, 2004 1:25:31 AM

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

Irfon-Kim Ahmad wrote:
>
> His idea was essentially that you could have a region of the screen
> that listed all the verbs that the interpreter knew, then another
> region of the screen that listed all the currently available objects
> (perhaps separated into objects in your inventory and objects in your
> region that weren't in your inventory). Perhaps another element
> which showed all the available navigation directions and then
> something for save/load/etc. would also be required to make it
> complete. The idea would be that you could just click on the words
> in the lists and have that drive the game.

Sounds like Wandmaster. Or possibly Quest games, of which I haven't played
many, so I could be wrong. For Wandmaster, see http://wurb.com/if/game/1946.

> I believe that his chief aim in all of this was to solve possible
> frustation with not knowing what word to use in a given situation.

I think it definitely made it easier to see which objects could be used, but
there can still be frustrations with bugs, puzzle design, and the
point-and-click interface. Oh, you know what would be even better than
Wandmaster? See Sweet Dreams from last year's Comp:
http://wurb.com/if/game/2188
That was actually a neat little game.

--Jess
Anonymous
August 7, 2004 4:01:24 AM

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

"Irfon-Kim Ahmad" <irfon@ambienautica.com> skrev i melding
news:eHSQc.4$9x61.3@news04.bloor.is.net.cable.rogers.com...

> His idea was essentially that you could have a region of the screen that
> listed all the verbs that the interpreter knew, then another region of
> the screen that listed all the currently available objects (perhaps
> separated into objects in your inventory and objects in your region that
> weren't in your inventory).


Eric the unready http://www.the-underdogs.org/game.php?id=375
and the spellcasting series
http://www.the-underdogs.org/game.php?gameid=1027
does this.
Anonymous
August 7, 2004 11:18:36 AM

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

Irfon-Kim Ahmad <irfon@ambienautica.com> wrote in message news:<eHSQc.4$9x61.3@news04.bloor.is.net.cable.rogers.com>...

> Anyway, I thought I'd inquire about whether something like this had ever
> been done, or if not, if it seemed plausible (assuming that you wanted
> this thing to be able to drive story files from some existing system
> like inform or tads or something, rather than being a whole new deal).

While it's not "interactive fiction" under the strictest definition,
you might be interested to know that one text-based multiplayer
roleplaying game has adopted this ability (GemStone IV --
www.play.net/gs4). It's part of their StormFront front end, and,
while I don't personally use point-and-click (I type faster than I
point-and-click through drag-down menus) I know that a large part of
the customer base finds it quite useful. This is particularly true of
those just starting out in the game -- something about being able to
point-and-click instead of type is very encouraging to new players.

I went looking for more information about it on the website, but I
couldn't seem to find anything geared toward explaining StormFront in
detail, unfortunately. (The FAQ is at
http://www.play.net/gs4/play/sf/faq.asp , but it's intended for a
player already familiar with their Wizard FE, and, as a result, it
doesn't make a lot of sense at a glance.) GemStone does have a 30-day
trial period, though, so, if you're particularly curious, you could
peek in and see how it's been implemented without any obligation.

Carolyn
August 7, 2004 4:24:15 PM

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

"Irfon-Kim Ahmad" <irfon@ambienautica.com> wrote:

> His idea was essentially that you could have a region of the
> screen that listed all the verbs that the interpreter knew, ...

Labyrinth for the C64 did this, and I think Maniac Mansion (C64) did as
well. These were animated graphical adventures, but the interface was text
based. There were other elements to the interface as well (in Labyrinth:
walk with joystick, press the button to call the command menu).

I found it worked pretty nicely in Labyrinth. The game seemed to handle
the scope of each noun properly. No time was really saved, because you had
to scroll through the lists of verbs and nouns to construct your command,
but it did make typos and spelling errors impossible.

For a graphical game where you used the joystick to walk around, I
enjoyed the interface because it kept my hand on the joystick. For a
pure-text game, I'm not sure I'd like it -- I'm a fairly fast & accurate
typist, so it would more than likely slow me down. A 20wpm, hunt-and-peck
typist might really appreciate it. I certainly have nothing against it.

S.
Anonymous
August 8, 2004 4:07:38 AM

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

The AGT Big game about Sherlock Holmes acted this way. (Personally, I think
that it was more as an excersise proving what the language could do than an
actual game, as it isn't exactly all that great.) Also< I believe that the
Multi-Dimentional Thief had a point/click interface in one of the versions.
Finally, if I do recall, a good part of Adam Cadre's _Lock and Key_ could be
solved by doing some mouse clicking, if one so desired. (And if not, to be
honest, maybe it should.)

--

_____

Why settle for the lesser evil? Cthulhu for president!
"Irfon-Kim Ahmad" <irfon@ambienautica.com> wrote in message
news:eHSQc.4$9x61.3@news04.bloor.is.net.cable.rogers.com...
> I was just having a discussion about interactive fiction with someone
> who played the Infocom games back in the day and found them frustrating.
> He has an idea in his head of how he would like an interactive fiction
> game interface to be played, and while the idea doesn't appeal to me at
> all, I didn't see why it couldn't be done, so it made me wonder if it,
> in fact, *has* been done. (I wouldn't be that shocked.)
>
> His idea was essentially that you could have a region of the screen that
> listed all the verbs that the interpreter knew, then another region of
> the screen that listed all the currently available objects (perhaps
> separated into objects in your inventory and objects in your region that
> weren't in your inventory). Perhaps another element which showed all
> the available navigation directions and then something for
> save/load/etc. would also be required to make it complete. The idea
> would be that you could just click on the words in the lists and have
> that drive the game.
>
> I believe that his chief aim in all of this was to solve possible
> frustation with not knowing what word to use in a given situation.
>
> Anyway, I thought I'd inquire about whether something like this had ever
> been done, or if not, if it seemed plausible (assuming that you wanted
> this thing to be able to drive story files from some existing system
> like inform or tads or something, rather than being a whole new deal).
Anonymous
August 8, 2004 1:58:10 PM

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

"Irfon-Kim Ahmad" <irfon@ambienautica.com> wrote in message
news:eHSQc.4$9x61.3@news04.bloor.is.net.cable.rogers.com...
>
> Anyway, I thought I'd inquire about whether something like this had ever
> been done, or if not, if it seemed plausible (assuming that you wanted
> this thing to be able to drive story files from some existing system
> like inform or tads or something, rather than being a whole new deal).

Maybe this gives you some idea?

http://groups.google.com/groups?threadm=90a69809.040525...

Cheers, Roger
--
/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\
You'll find all my IF pages at http://www.firthworks.com/roger
WARNING: aggressive spam deletion -- use a meaningful Subject!
Anonymous
August 8, 2004 3:01:18 PM

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

Irfon-Kim Ahmad <irfon@ambienautica.com>, you wrote on Fri, 06 Aug
2004 21:25:30 GMT:

>His idea was essentially that you could have a region of the screen that
>listed all the verbs that the interpreter knew, then another region of
>the screen that listed all the currently available objects (perhaps
>separated into objects in your inventory and objects in your region that
>weren't in your inventory). Perhaps another element which showed all
>the available navigation directions and then something for
>save/load/etc. would also be required to make it complete. The idea
>would be that you could just click on the words in the lists and have
>that drive the game.

Didn't one of the later Infocom games have clickable directions?

>I believe that his chief aim in all of this was to solve possible
>frustation with not knowing what word to use in a given situation.
>
>Anyway, I thought I'd inquire about whether something like this had ever
>been done, or if not, if it seemed plausible (assuming that you wanted
>this thing to be able to drive story files from some existing system
>like inform or tads or something, rather than being a whole new deal).

There has been some discussion on how to avoid the dreaded disease of
"guess the verb". I cannot remember the particulars, but undoubtedly
Dejanews, er, Google Groups can help you there:
<http://groups.google.com/groups?q=%22guess+the+verb%22+...;.

Also, it seems that a system in which you have Monkey Island type
discussions with NPCs has enjoyed some success recently.

--
branko collin
collin@xs4all.nl
Anonymous
August 8, 2004 7:20:35 PM

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

On Fri, 6 Aug 2004 17:58:49 -0400, Jess Knoch <jessicaknoch@mindspring.com> wrote:
(snip)
> See Sweet Dreams from last year's Comp:
> http://wurb.com/if/game/2188
> That was actually a neat little game.
>
> --Jess
>

It was an interesting game, but the engine needed a bit of work due to the
author's rush to release in time for the comp; did Papillon ever do a
post-comp release?

--
------------------------
Mark Jeffrey Tilford
tilford@ugcs.caltech.edu
Anonymous
August 8, 2004 7:20:36 PM

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

Mark J. Tilford <tilford@ugcs.caltech.edu> wrote:
> On Fri, 6 Aug 2004 17:58:49 -0400, Jess Knoch
> <jessicaknoch@mindspring.com> wrote: (snip)
>> See Sweet Dreams from last year's Comp:
>> http://wurb.com/if/game/2188
>> That was actually a neat little game.
>
> It was an interesting game, but the engine needed a bit of work due
> to the author's rush to release in time for the comp; did Papillon
> ever do a post-comp release?

I got a second version of it, with some fixes for font sizes. Other than
that, I don't recall any. It'd be nice though; there were definitely a few
issues with moving around and such.

--Jess
August 12, 2004 11:22:48 PM

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

Hi. Just lurking ...
I've made two such games. Both short and simple. One last year; and I
finished the other last week. They are not quite like what you mention. But
you have only a mouse interface. They are more like the "Create Your Own
Adventure" style. They are in HTML. I found it interesting the things you
could do with just HTML links. I'm just experimenting and having fun with
this. Take a look and let me know what you think. They are at:
http://myweb.cableone.net/lwmurphy/lis.htm
and
http://myweb.cableone.net/lwmurphy/los.htm

Best regards,
Lyle



"Irfon-Kim Ahmad" <irfon@ambienautica.com> wrote in message
news:eHSQc.4$9x61.3@news04.bloor.is.net.cable.rogers.com...
> I was just having a discussion about interactive fiction with someone
> who played the Infocom games back in the day and found them frustrating.
> He has an idea in his head of how he would like an interactive fiction
> game interface to be played, and while the idea doesn't appeal to me at
> all, I didn't see why it couldn't be done, so it made me wonder if it,
> in fact, *has* been done. (I wouldn't be that shocked.)
>
> His idea was essentially that you could have a region of the screen that
> listed all the verbs that the interpreter knew, then another region of
> the screen that listed all the currently available objects (perhaps
> separated into objects in your inventory and objects in your region that
> weren't in your inventory). Perhaps another element which showed all
> the available navigation directions and then something for
> save/load/etc. would also be required to make it complete. The idea
> would be that you could just click on the words in the lists and have
> that drive the game.
>
> I believe that his chief aim in all of this was to solve possible
> frustation with not knowing what word to use in a given situation.
>
> Anyway, I thought I'd inquire about whether something like this had ever
> been done, or if not, if it seemed plausible (assuming that you wanted
> this thing to be able to drive story files from some existing system
> like inform or tads or something, rather than being a whole new deal).
Anonymous
August 13, 2004 5:09:18 PM

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

Heya.

Lyle wrote in message <10ho24pjcjq3tfe@corp.supernews.com>...
>Hi. Just lurking ...
>I've made two such games. Both short and simple. One last year; and I
>finished the other last week. They are not quite like what you mention. But
>you have only a mouse interface. They are more like the "Create Your Own
>Adventure" style. They are in HTML. I found it interesting the things you
>could do with just HTML links. I'm just experimenting and having fun with
>this. Take a look and let me know what you think. They are at:
>http://myweb.cableone.net/lwmurphy/lis.htm
>and
>http://myweb.cableone.net/lwmurphy/los.htm
>
>Best regards,
>Lyle

The first one gives a 404, the other one is like the old DOS batch adventure
Marvin. It works like yours: just choose and hope it is the right way...;).
Like that.

Greetz, Katzy.
August 13, 2004 11:25:29 PM

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

"Katzy" <katzy@noname.at.all> wrote in message
news:10hp89ngt0i4847@corp.supernews.com...
>
> Heya.
>
> Lyle wrote in message <10ho24pjcjq3tfe@corp.supernews.com>...
> >Hi. Just lurking ...
> >I've made two such games. Both short and simple. One last year; and I
> >finished the other last week. They are not quite like what you mention.
But
> >you have only a mouse interface. They are more like the "Create Your Own
> >Adventure" style. They are in HTML. I found it interesting the things you
> >could do with just HTML links. I'm just experimenting and having fun with
> >this. Take a look and let me know what you think. They are at:
> >http://myweb.cableone.net/lwmurphy/lis.htm
> >and
> >http://myweb.cableone.net/lwmurphy/los.htm
> >
> >Best regards,
> >Lyle
>
> The first one gives a 404, the other one is like the old DOS batch
adventure
> Marvin. It works like yours: just choose and hope it is the right
way...;).
> Like that.
>
> Greetz, Katzy.
>
>
>
>
>
>

Sorry about the 404. I deleted the games as it was a parody on a copyrighted
material. If anyone knows this Graeme Cree fellow tell him thanks or send
me his email. I doubt there really is a problem anyway. But it is now
changed and still just as funny and quirky. It is back up there as
http://myweb.cableone.net/lwmurphy/lis.htm
The other as http://myweb.cableone.net/lwmurphy/los.htm. (I'm biting my lip
on this game. I would loved to have talked to Mr. Cree first.)

Lyle
Anonymous
August 14, 2004 6:01:29 AM

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

"Lyle" <lwmurphy@cableone.net> wrote in message
news:10hqmlp58l697ec@corp.supernews.com...
>
> If anyone knows this Graeme Cree fellow tell him thanks or send
> me his email. I doubt there really is a problem anyway. But it is now
> changed and still just as funny and quirky. It is back up there as
> http://myweb.cableone.net/lwmurphy/lis.htm
> The other as http://myweb.cableone.net/lwmurphy/los.htm. (I'm biting my lip
> on this game. I would loved to have talked to Mr. Cree first.)
>

He's still around. Reaching him may take a while though:

http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&c2co...
Anonymous
August 17, 2004 2:25:52 PM

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

On 2004-08-06, Irfon-Kim Ahmad <irfon@ambienautica.com> wrote:
> His idea was essentially that you could have a region of the screen that
> listed all the verbs that the interpreter knew, then another region of
> the screen that listed all the currently available objects (perhaps
> separated into objects in your inventory and objects in your region that
> weren't in your inventory). Perhaps another element which showed all
> the available navigation directions and then something for
> save/load/etc. would also be required to make it complete. The idea
> would be that you could just click on the words in the lists and have
> that drive the game.

Legend's _Gateway_ games did this, and they're considered classics (although I
never used the list myself).

Joe
August 22, 2004 7:46:27 AM

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

"Irfon-Kim Ahmad" <irfon@ambienautica.com> wrote in message
news:eHSQc.4$9x61.3@news04.bloor.is.net.cable.rogers.com...

> His idea was essentially that you could have a region of the screen that
> listed all the verbs that the interpreter knew, then another region of
> the screen that listed all the currently available objects (perhaps
> separated into objects in your inventory and objects in your region that
> weren't in your inventory). Perhaps another element which showed all
> the available navigation directions and then something for
> save/load/etc. would also be required to make it complete. The idea
> would be that you could just click on the words in the lists and have
> that drive the game.

Sounds almost exactly like "Tass Times in Tone Town" by Interplay. The
interface used graphical icons for the inventory items and verbs, but it was
true interactive fiction and you could type all of your commands if you
prefered.
!