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Game Design Theory / 2007 Text Adventure Competition

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Dazzag
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Posted: 5th Jul 2007 11:39
Or put it in the command prompt. Eg. "H58E77>examine sword"

Cheers

I am 99% probably lying in bed right now... so don't blame me for crappy typing
Current fave quote : "She was like a candle in the wind.... unreliable...."
Matt Rock
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Posted: 6th Jul 2007 21:18 Edited at: 6th Jul 2007 21:19
I like Dazzag's solutions to this issue, either of these would be ideal. Technically, you can't win any prizes (as a MISoft team-member I mean), so really you could go-for-broke with this . But it's good that you asked because others might wonder about this as well.

Quote: "You feel tired and weak from your wounds" type comment. Better than a fixed number if you ask me as it fitted better with the whole story aspect of it. Plus there was a bit more skill in it about when to use the health potions and what not."

In my opinion, this is the best solution. You could call a function that determines what your health is like and sets a variable that could be read in an engine, like so:


Or something . Just a super-fast example to show what I mean, by no means a technical instruction, hehe.

tha_rami
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Posted: 7th Jul 2007 03:05 Edited at: 7th Jul 2007 13:36
So the HUD isn't a good idea? I personally liked it (it sounds rather unique for a text-adventure), but I want to make an entry within the rules (limits make creative). It's nothing more than the coin things in EE, a number near something that indicates what it represents (a red square and a blue square).

But, you haven't answered the question: Can I or can't I?

Dazzag
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Posted: 7th Jul 2007 14:09 Edited at: 7th Jul 2007 14:12
Quote: "it sounds rather unique for a text-adventure"
Yeah, but thats the whole point. Having a platforming shoot-em-up mini games is also unique for a text adventure...

Quote: "But, you haven't answered the question: Can I or can't I?"
He said you can't win a prize anyways, so you could go for broke. It is pretty much what I am doing by making a MUD (not trying to win the competition). In other words do whatever you want, as it won't make any difference to the competition. Hell, make a point and click adventure, or a 3D FPS text adventure (one actually exists). It still wouldn't effect your entry or the competition, just sort of floats around the edges...

Cheers

I am 99% probably lying in bed right now... so don't blame me for crappy typing
Current fave quote : "She was like a candle in the wind.... unreliable...."
tha_rami
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Posted: 7th Jul 2007 14:32
Quote: "Yeah, but thats the whole point. Having a platforming shoot-em-up mini games is also unique for a text adventure..."

I think we can all see the difference between a Health/Mana indicator in a HUD (much alike the coin indicator in EE) and a platforming shoot-em-up mini games.

Quote: "He said you can't win a prize anyways, so you could go for broke. It is pretty much what I am doing by making a MUD (not trying to win the competition). In other words do whatever you want, as it won't make any difference to the competition. Hell, make a point and click adventure, or a 3D FPS text adventure (one actually exists). It still wouldn't effect your entry or the competition, just sort of floats around the edges..."

I want to stay within the rules just to challenge myself around a bit. This entry is for fun, and I'd love to have it at least checked by the judges. They're MISoft men as far as I understood, so I hope they'll do me that favor. I'm floating around the edge, but I'm trying to fall in the good way instead of out. I'm doing a text-based battlefield, an idea I had for quite a while. Staying within the compo is just the motivation I needed.

Dazzag
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Posted: 7th Jul 2007 15:01
Quote: "I think we can all see the difference between a Health/Mana indicator in a HUD (much alike the coin indicator in EE) and a platforming shoot-em-up mini games."
Not as the rules of the competition current stands.

Quote: "text-based battlefield"
You don't mean like one of those old Trek games? Hope not as they were completely different to IF games.

Cheers

I am 99% probably lying in bed right now... so don't blame me for crappy typing
Current fave quote : "She was like a candle in the wind.... unreliable...."
tha_rami
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Posted: 7th Jul 2007 20:11
Quote: "You don't mean like one of those old Trek games? Hope not as they were completely different to IF games."


How would I know? All I know the rules state I must create a text-based, text-driven and keyboard controlled game without media in any form except for a static HUD. I'm working within those rules creating a textbased battlefield. If it resembles 'those old Trek games' I wouldn't know unless you provide an example.

Basically, I'm asking Matt to answer my question - I'm wishing to stay within the rules. That's all. I got your 38H12M idea implemented (good one, BTW), and the textual thing, but I like the HUD idea better. For short, let's see what Matt says.

Matt Rock
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Posted: 7th Jul 2007 21:59
If you're trying to stay within the confines of the competition's rules, then the HUD would be a major no-no (unless you had an option built into the game that turns the HUD off, and it's default setting is "off"). The allowance of a HUD is to be used to partition the screen, and can't participate/ play an active role in the game whatsoever, other than that of being a static partition.

I can't remember who said it in the GC thread, but someone mentioned that Eternal Equinox would actually get disqualified from this competition, lol. It's true, EE has images, music, a HUD that acts as more than a partition... it very much breaks the rules of the competition. But it would still qualify for Kudos awards, hehe.

Dazzag
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Posted: 8th Jul 2007 13:06
Quote: "How would I know?"
Fair enough. Something like this:-



Cheers

I am 99% probably lying in bed right now... so don't blame me for crappy typing
Current fave quote : "She was like a candle in the wind.... unreliable...."
Gamefreak
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Posted: 8th Jul 2007 16:30
Are we allowed to make DLLs for use in this competition? I've been working on one to keep track of data (after finding how to write them and relearning C++) and I figured that I should probably check if they are allowed. (Please say they are )
Tom J
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Posted: 8th Jul 2007 21:26
Quote: "The "no media" rule is targeted directly at 2D or 3D assets, music, or sound effects... none of these can be used. This rule DOES NOT extend to text files, dll's, source files, or anything else not defined as media here"


You can use DLL's in your game

Matt Rock
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Posted: 8th Jul 2007 21:26 Edited at: 8th Jul 2007 21:27
You're allowed to use DLL's, so long as they don't violate any other rules .

Edit: Yeesh, post at the same time why don't ya lol.

tha_rami
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Posted: 9th Jul 2007 04:40
Quote: "
Fair enough. Something like this:-

Cheers"


No, nothing like it. Check the WIP thread to see what it will be like.

Blastwave man
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Posted: 11th Jul 2007 17:35
The competition looks great and I plan on entering. I think I'll do something from the Horror genre, maybe with a little sci-fi aspect in it. I plan on doing a small parser, not a complex one, but good enough to perform all your actions. No stats, pure adventure

BWM


"I wish I was a wizard, becuase then I could wave my wand and perfect code would just appear."
FireFog
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Posted: 12th Jul 2007 17:27
This contest a very good idea
I'll try to make something
FireFog
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Posted: 13th Jul 2007 09:11
Can the text make a bar like this ?
Matt Rock
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Posted: 13th Jul 2007 23:30
That would technically be against the rules, falling under the GUI category. Even though you wouldn't be using bitmap images per-say, you'd still show a graphical representation of statistics. I recommend scrolling up and looking at the suggestions made by Dazzag as to how you might get around this rule... the concepts he brought up won't violate the rules of the competition . I may have poorly worded the rules, but basically, you can use a GUI/ HUD only as a means of partitioning the screen... you can't list statistical data, especially with a bar system as you've shown. You could alternativey append a sentence to the end of each unit of text that explains your health situation to you (and other statistics as well)... in my opinion that is the best alternative, keeping with the idea behind the competition that is.

tha_rami
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Posted: 14th Jul 2007 19:13 Edited at: 14th Jul 2007 19:15
How about we keep a list of entries in tops, by the way? That should be rather useful to check for the competition. I am getting the feeling I should've waited with posting Wartorn, though... I'm giving away too much. But whatever, I'm not officially competing anyway - just would like to be judged tho' .

Matt Rock
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Posted: 15th Jul 2007 19:31
That's a good idea, I'm going to post submitted entries to the first post in the thread as they're given to us over time.

Dazzag
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Posted: 17th Jul 2007 10:15 Edited at: 17th Jul 2007 10:16
Darn. My life is going to hell when it comes to free time at the minute. Still, even though I'm also not really going for the competition (more like a tech demo), put me down for DarkMUD. Probably won't have the time to do most of what I want, but will be worth a laugh.

Cheers

I am 99% probably lying in bed right now... so don't blame me for crappy typing
Current fave quote : "She was like a candle in the wind.... unreliable...."
Dazzag
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Posted: 23rd Jul 2007 10:00
I just remembered that World of Spectrum have all the old text adventures (use a spectrum emulator). Pretty much the golden age of text adventures at the time.

http://www.worldofspectrum.org/textadv/index.html

Just trying to remember a few classics, but anything by Level 9, Magnetic Scrolls, or Infocom is brilliant. Also games like Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, and Valhalla were right up there. Always wanted to try that Discworld one too, but never did. The colour of Magic I think it is called. Got good reviews. Oh, checkout Rigel's Revenge for a decent budget sci-fi game I used to like. For something funny try Bored of the rings or the Quest for the golden eggcup off the top of my head. Think there was something called Boggit too...

Heh, and for a laugh try swearing in some of them. Valhalla (which has animated graphics too) has Mary the dwarf appear and hit you over the head. Rigel's revenge puts you in prison (you can get out the first time, but try and find a way the second time). Always good.

Cheers

I am 99% probably lying in bed right now... so don't blame me for crappy typing
Current fave quote : "She was like a candle in the wind.... unreliable...."
Matt Rock
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Posted: 24th Jul 2007 22:10
That's brilliant, thanks Dazzag! I strongly recommend that anyone who isn't quite sure what a text adventure is or how they work should go to that link and play some of those games

Jimmy
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Posted: 27th Jul 2007 19:54 Edited at: 27th Jul 2007 19:54
Would this be an acceptable UI? I know it appears to be animated, but I assure you, it's not.





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Matt Rock
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Posted: 28th Jul 2007 03:28
To elaborate on the ui (gui/ HUD) rule, it can't contain any moving part(s). I meant for the "can't be animated" thing to encompass that as well, I should have defined that better.

Tom J
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Posted: 30th Jul 2007 21:05
Quote: "Yeesh, post at the same time why don't ya lol."


Mwahaha... I just about beat you to the answer Although I'll probably let you answer the questions from now on, just to avoid more same time posts like above and also you are more of an expert than me when it comes to rules and whether certain things are allowed, after all... it is your competition

After having a look at the WIP board, it seems there are a couple of text adventures coming along nicely... and also it looks like there will be quite a lot of entries this year

Charlie
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Posted: 31st Jul 2007 00:28 Edited at: 31st Jul 2007 22:47
Erase this post, please.

Have a nice day
j enigk
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Posted: 31st Jul 2007 07:08
Quick question (well the response shall be quick, the question a bit longer):

Can we have an opening sequence with animation? By this I mean, I want to have a little introduction with scrolling text, or fades, just for the intro, but all text. Is this okay?
Charlie
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Posted: 1st Aug 2007 01:09
Wonderful competition. Although I'm a quite late, I think I'll enter. Only 4 quick questions.

-Am I allowed to use built-in images in my text game? I mean, images created with the same code like with the <get image> command or something similar.

-Am I allowed to show 3D landscapes or objects using matrices or other prefab commands?

-Can I use images that can be turn off/on in my game for a further extra judging?

-Can I include one image just as a splash screen for my game?

Thank you for your answers. Good luck to everybody

Carlos

Have a nice day
tha_rami
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Posted: 1st Aug 2007 07:25
This is how I understand it. Matt will tell me wrong or right. Don't take these as 100% correct.

Lets see. Frontend you're free to do whatever you want. Anything'll do as intro, main menu, ect. The game itself may feature one static background image which may NOT depict any game-thing, location ect. The HUD is just there to pretty up the screen or seperate console from text.

They're may be no other things than plain text story (thus no ASCII images, health bars made up from I's, ect) unless they can be switched off and are off by default.

To Charlie
- Dont understand. You can use one image as static HUD, and as many as you wish if you add a way to turn them on/off with default to off.
- Not ingame, again, unless turned of by default.
- Yes, if off by default.
- Yes, or two. Or three. Or a fully CGI-rendered threedimensional movie. In the FRONT-END, you're free to do as you wish. As long as the game itself is text only with ONE STATIC IMAGE as HUD.

Matt Rock
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Posted: 4th Aug 2007 00:16
Sorry about the delayed reply, it's been pretty hectic around here lately with us moving and all that.

Quote: "Can we have an opening sequence with animation? By this I mean, I want to have a little introduction with scrolling text, or fades, just for the intro, but all text. Is this okay?"

As Rami pointed out, if this intro is in the front-end (before the game's main menu), it's perfectly fine to use it. But if you intend to use this after the menu and before the game begins, then you should have an option to turn it off, and the default for this option should be set to "off."

Quote: "-Am I allowed to use built-in images in my text game? I mean, images created with the same code like with the <get image> command or something similar.
-Am I allowed to show 3D landscapes or objects using matrices or other prefab commands?"

You can't use media of any kind in your game, including (but not limited to) 2D art, 3D art, static or animated, or music, sound effects, etc. If you use media, you need to include an option to turn that media off or on, and as a default setting this must be set to "off."

Quote: "-Can I use images that can be turn off/on in my game for a further extra judging?"

You can use any type of media in your game as long as there is an option to turn it on or off, and that option is defaulted as off. You can win the Kudos Award for Best Media if you include media and the option I just described, but if you don't have an option and the media is always running, you'll only be eligible for the best media award and no others.

Quote: "-Can I include one image just as a splash screen for my game?"

Anything before, up to, and including the Front End can include any sort of media you'd like, including splash screens (static or animated).

Also, I should elaborate on what I mean by "Static." Take a look at my signature image down below, of Slappy the Pwnage Penguin (yes, I named the characters in my signature, don't laugh!). Obviously that's animated. Now take a look at Rami's "Seadome" signature image... it doesn't move, and thus it's static. I'm elaborating because someone emailed me recently asking what the difference was, so I hope this clears it up if anyone else had questions

tha_rami
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Posted: 4th Aug 2007 00:22
Oh boy, I just had a great textadventure idea...

"The Adventures of Slappy the Pwnage Penguin"

The game would revolve about finding the 'Master Slap' hidden deep within Pwnrule to stall Penguinondorfs evil plot to kidnap princess Pengda. Wow.

OMG L0lz0rZ Th1S g4M3 1s G0nn4 B3 t43 b3st OMG L000000000LLOLOLOLO!

Naah. Wartorn: Jarod's Fall it is, then Seadome, and I've got another project standing in techdemo stage.

Matt Rock
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Posted: 6th Aug 2007 03:59
hehe I was thinking about making a 2D platformer about Slappy, a freeware game. It's been in the back of my mind for months now, lol.

Ezeakeal
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Posted: 28th Aug 2007 21:54
Hey...
When you say no animation, would that include a fade in and fade out type thing?
Ezeakeal
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Posted: 28th Aug 2007 22:01
Sorry...
I just posted asking about fading in and out being aloud... I mean fading in and out of text only... just to clarify.

All text is in grey, unless there is a bug.

Oh yeah, I plan on entering this if possible.
I have been programming dark basic for one or two years now, but only got the internet(to a decent standard) recently.
My internet was terrible... 2.4kbs

Yes KILOBYTES!! I couldn't load web pages without it timing out!
entomophobiac
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Posted: 7th Sep 2007 14:46
There are a thousand fragments of comments concerning GUI -- what's the exact deal?

Can I have, as I had in Melody Machine last year, an "H" letter for each point of health or a "Cash" statistic with a numerical value?

Or are the only solutions to this to make something else of it?

I mean, just a numerical value and a piece of text shouldn't be a problem, should it? It's not graphical in any way?
Tom J
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Posted: 16th Sep 2007 01:19
entomophobiac, a simple H or $ sign used for recording health or whatever should be OK, after all it's not representing anything relating to the storyline, it isn't animated (beyond the fact that the number of H's can go down/up) and it is not graphical - in the sense that it does not represent any particular object, shape (besides the letter H), image etc.

Ezeakeal, I would consider fading in/out text OK - and I think the no animation thing relates to the HUD/GUI and also the media rule (as in movie animations) only, so I think very basic animation like that would be alright for the text. Although other judges will have different opinions and it may be the case that I am wrong about the animation rules. I would advise that you:

1. Just put the animations (fading in/out text) in BUT include the option to enable and disable it - meaning that if it is unallowed, we can stil configure the game to make it playable for judging.

2. Email Matt and ask him for his opinion on the situation - they're his rules and it's his competition - so he knows best

Matt hasn't been around on TGC for a while, maybe I can find him on the MISoft forums.

tha_rami
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Posted: 16th Sep 2007 04:32
I think fading text would do, but I think you can't use anything to represent anything except for text. You can't use H's to represent health (as this would represent something else than plain text, it would represent a healthbar). The cash thing should also be in the text itself I think (that's what they told me), so instead of using Cash:2000, just add a line "You've got 2000 credits".

But I'm not the boss, it's what they told me.

And yeah, where is Matt anyway?

Tom J
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Posted: 16th Sep 2007 15:19
Haven't got a clue I tried answering those questions due to the fact that I feared Matt wasn't going to here to answer them.

Matt Rock
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Posted: 22nd Sep 2007 00:04
Sorry guys, I'm still alive! My internet has been uber-shaky since my girlfriend and I moved into our new apartment. I had to contact the cable company a bunch of times to get it working properly... turns out it was something wrong with the surfboard . It took me over an hour just to update the MISoft website in preparation for its one-year anniversary, and all of the internet trouble slowed down my game-making efforts considerably . But I'm here again and now I'll go over all of these questions that I've missed:

Quote: "When you say no animation, would that include a fade in and fade out type thing?"

Animating text with fades is fine. You'd start to bend the rules if you had the text moving around the screen forming images and whatnot, but fading text is acceptable. Beyond that, I'd be careful, as a judge might deem moving text as un-acceptable. Not that anyone was mentioning moving text, but I figured I'd mention that anyway

Quote: "Can I have, as I had in Melody Machine last year, an "H" letter for each point of health or a "Cash" statistic with a numerical value?"

We discussed this a while ago, and as Rami already mentioned, Cash Curtis had two really great solutions to the issue, work-arounds really. You could display these statistics in a paragraph with various descriptions of health states... something like this:

Another work-around that Curtiss came up with, would be to include stats in your input area. So at the end of your text, you might have something like this:
H10 $50>
Another idea you might consider trying: In Eternal Equinox II, we're going to have a system in place where the player will always have an interface option to check their inventory (after being criticised for not having an inventory system in EE1... heaven forbid you should need to write things down, lol jk). So, the options might look like this (I'm laying this out assuming you've all played the EE demo and know how the options system works):

1. Talk to the High Priest
2. Leave the Village
3. Check your Inventory

When you input "3" as your option, the screen will clear and present you with your options in written form. So it might say something like this:

Rummaging through your travel pack, you find a lantern, a hunting knife, a rusty iron key, and 37 coins.

Press any key to continue


Just an idea if you'd rather avoid the blatently-obvious displaying of statistics. And as an additional note, as I've said before, display statistics in GUI format at your own risk, as judges will ultimately have the final say in what breaks the rules and what doesn't.

Again, sorry for being abscent for so long! I promise I'll be around more frequently from now on, hehe.

tha_rami
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Posted: 24th Sep 2007 21:16
My unofficial entry, Wartorn: Jarod's Fall, has reached Beta stage. Anyone interested, contact me on the WIP thread:

http://forum.thegamecreators.com/?m=forum_view&t=109499&b=8


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Darth Kiwi
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Posted: 25th Sep 2007 22:13 Edited at: 25th Sep 2007 22:13
Hi, I just found this thread... Woah, only 1 month to make a game! Gotta get cracking.

One query: this is a screenshot of my inventory page.
http://img510.imageshack.us/my.php?image=inventoryuk1.jpg
As you can see (just), it says "You are carrying:" and then lists the items in typical fashion. (I could use a more book-like method, ie. "You are carrying a gun, a shoggoth, a rope" but I prefer this: it makes it easier to see immediately what you have.) My question is this: when you press a button corresponding to the item, a little box pops up saying "Press L to look" and "Press U to use". To make it look nicer, I put 4 lines (forming a box) around that bit. Now, I can't imagine anyone claiming that I've violated the rules by putting that box in, but I just want to be sure: it'd be a shame to be disqualified for a mere aesthetic detail, and it's easily removed.

3D game making is a combination of pc crashes, yelling and coffee.
I'm not actually a Kiwi, I just randomly thought it up one day.
tha_rami
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Posted: 25th Sep 2007 22:49
I think that accounts as media, everything that is NOT a static HUD is considered media. You could put it in the static background HUD, I think, but not as a box popping up.


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Darth Kiwi
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Posted: 25th Sep 2007 23:00
Hm, ok. I'll take it out anyway, since it's not really necessary. Currently, my "HUD" is comprised entirely of words: a bit at the top that tells you what chapter you're in, and a bit at the bottom that says "press H for help, press i for inventory, press m for menu". I think that'd be alright, wouldn't it?

3D game making is a combination of pc crashes, yelling and coffee.
I'm not actually a Kiwi, I just randomly thought it up one day.
tha_rami
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Posted: 25th Sep 2007 23:11
Thats what I do, so I hope so, lol.


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Matt Rock
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Posted: 26th Sep 2007 20:49
Rami's answers to these questions are perfect, and save me from having to write one of my epic posts .

tha_rami
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Posted: 26th Sep 2007 21:38
Can't you make a textadventure about trying to host a textadventure contest? Could be hilarious, as inspired by the briliant banner, for example:

"Someone asks if he can use a HUD with bars to indicate health and mana. What do you do?"
"Use Holy Handgrenade"


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tha_rami
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Location: Netherlands
Posted: 27th Sep 2007 09:51
Wartorn has gone into open beta's. Anyone interested, check out the thread at:

http://forum.thegamecreators.com/?m=forum_view&t=109499&b=8


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Darth Kiwi
17
Years of Service
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Joined: 7th Jan 2005
Location: On the brink of insanity.
Posted: 27th Sep 2007 19:59
I would, but mine ain't even past chapter 1 yet! Sorry... Why is there never enough time?

3D game making is a combination of pc crashes, yelling and coffee.
I'm not actually a Kiwi, I just randomly thought it up one day.
tha_rami
16
Years of Service
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Joined: 25th Mar 2006
Location: Netherlands
Posted: 1st Oct 2007 04:00
Wartorn: Jarod's Fall is done. I hereby offer it for judging, although I think I'm not allowed to officially enter I do hope to be let in on the actual judging - just for fun. If that's okay, I'll send it in as described by above procedure.

I hope everyone likes the alternate approach to Interactive Fiction and thank Matt Rock for this competition, it motivated me to make my first complete game.

Click here to go to the Program Announcements post.


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Matt Rock
17
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Joined: 5th Mar 2005
Location: Binghamton NY USA
Posted: 5th Oct 2007 22:48
How is everyone else doing on their projects? We're nearing the October 19th deadline pretty quickly!

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