HI tom
Your idea of Creating text adventures sounds exciting. 
You wrote:
First thing, is input. Most of the text adventures out there use
various commands like "grab sword," "grab torch," "light torch.," etc.
I could continue this tridition, but it seams to me there is an easier
way to do this. For example, what if you pressed g for grab item, and
then a menu popped up with a list of items in the room. You could then
select the item you want to grab from a list. This would save a bunch
of typing by effectively doing the same thing.
My reply: I think g for grab and the menu of items popping up  is an
excellent idea.
AS far as I am aware of, no text adventure games such as frots  currently
uses this method.
You wrote:
 For moving around the level asining directions to n for north, s for south,
e for east, and w for west would certainly be preferable to ttyping out
"north," "south," "east," or "west." What do you think about this approach?
My reply: I think its an excellent idea to only hit the first letter of each
direction.
You wrote:
Second, is output. Again there is a couple of ways of doing this. We
could certainly have everything be printed directly out to the
console, text directly to the screen, which you can use your screen
reader for. The other way is to use a Speech API like Sapi,
Speech-dispatcher, etc that would automatically read out the
information on the screen. This would make the games slightly less
portable, but would have the advantage of automatic speech output by
default. Any thoughts weather you would like to use a screen reader or
use Sapi directly?
My reply: Persoanlly I strongly  prefer using my screen reader.
At this stage I cannot afford buying better quality voices, and mary and
mike, not to talk about sam, often  pronounces words incorrectly.
I talk  with experience, I played many interactive fiction games with frots
and often I could not understand what sappi is saying. 
It would rock if you could use a similar screen output method used by
Braille soft in their games camel and 23 bricks  where jaws automatically
read the game's response after entering a command; this would be better than
to  use the jaws cursor all the time. 
I agree that  it's a good idea to use a programming language like c or c++.
If I may make another suggestion, start off with simple adventures before
going into advanced adventures [interactive fiction] where a  long
narrative like a novel or detective have to be solved.
If you start off with simple adventures, where the player have to locate for
example a letter by finding a few rooms, it would make the player used to
entering commands before going to advanced adventures like  interactive
fiction.    
 Are you planning a synbian port for these games in the future for mobiles
such as the n66?
hth


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