Hi Dark,

Ah, yes. The infamous Emily Short. Her games absolutely rule. I love
her if adventures.

Anyway, I think there is another solution to your problem of "guess
the verb" and it would be just to provide a commands.txt file with the
game so if you really get stuck with a puzzle, can't get passed
something, you can look up the command to type. Plus there is the
possibility of adding them to the hints system. I think there are
probably work arounds for some of those problems like that.

As for combat if games really are lacking on that end of things.
However, I did discover that Adrift, Inform, etc do allow you to
declare integer variables so it certainly is possible to add stats
such as health, stamina, speed, etc. Not as good as a full blown
programming language like C++, but it certainly provides some
flexability in declaring stats, number of items, etc. Still like you I
find the battle systems pretty primative all things considered.

Something else that is lacking is randomly setting up levels and
things like that before the game starts. It could be something small
like you walk into your office and need to speak to your secratary in
order to get some important piece of mail required to solve a puzzle
element somewhere in the game. When you examine her one game she might
be waring a blue blouse with white lace on the sleaves, a white cotton
skirt, and blue pumps, and in the next game she might be waring a
white shirt, dark gray jacket, dark gray skirt, and brown sandles.
This really doesn't effect the game play, but it does make things
different from game to game. The if game toolkits I've played with
this weekend don't seam to have that degree of flexability in randomly
selecting stuff.

On 2/20/11, dark <d...@xgam.org> wrote:
> Hi Tom.
>
> Well that is true reguarding the carelessness of developers, but even in
> games which had a very good review score I often found myself frustrated by
> guess the verb puzles like that, which is the reason for my concern.
>
> Certainly though I've seen menue driven conversations where you choose from
> a list of responses what your character says and these have very well driven
> some of my favourite games like Emily short's game Pytho's mask (one I
> highly recommend actually tom), and the earth and sky series.
>
> Also, i do wonder how successful a standard if language would be for
> handling such things as hitpoint tracking and combat, particuloarly if you
> want to insert such things as learnable combat techniques spells, treasure
> which boosts stats and the like.
>
> Some implementations of combat I've sen in if games, ---- such as in
> shaddowland has proved rather buggy and randomized, particularly when for
> instance, the enemy attacks you when you mistype a command or try a command
> the game doesn't recognized (most frustrating for someone like me who tends
> to try of different actions in combat than just the standard attack attack
> attack).
>
> Beware the Grue!
>
> Dark.
>
>
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