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Re: Is the text parser extinct?

Keith Lucas wrote:
> >I've been considering the idea of an adventure/rpg game where the player would
> be able to perform >simple or repetitive commands with mouse clicks, but the
> game would have a text parser for the more >complex commands.
> >
> >Text parsers seem to scare some people away though.  I don't think that it
> would be that hard to >program, but would it be worth it?
> >
> >P.S.  Ideally, a player would be able to complete the game without using the
> parser, but it would >allow much more creativity within the game.
> I don't think it would scare off that many people. The problem with have a
> combination is that you can make a richer environment more easily with a text
> based system (look at how complex the Magnetic Scrolls parsers used to be) but
> in order to use much of that richness you have to make the puzzles depend on it,
> and then you can't use the clicky interface.

Yep - doing the mouse-click-generates-text approach seems pretty

You can get a lot of bang for your buck with even a super-simple
'verb+noun' parser:"Open Bottle", "Drink Potion", "Smash Bottle"
and such would be pretty hard to convey with just mouse clicks.

More sophisticated full-English parsers are possible - but quite
hard to get right.  I played with writing one about ten years
ago, it wasn't a great success.

I had problems like:

   "Punch the Wizard on the nose"
      'Ouch!' Says the Wizard.
   "Stab the Dragon in the chest"
      The chest does not contain a dragon.


Steve Baker                (817)619-2657 (Vox/Vox-Mail)
Raytheon Systems Inc.      (817)619-2466 (Fax)
Work: sjbaker@hti.com      http://www.hti.com
Home: sjbaker1@airmail.net http://web2.airmail.net/sjbaker1