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Re: Is the text parser extinct?

Erik wrote:

> how much of a difference would the keyboard make? diablo and I think uo already
> allow relatively large action sets using the mouse, and clicking a monster is a
> lot faster than typing "attack monster<enter>"... :/

The difference is that in *good* adventure games, you have
to think.  That means that there have to be a LOT of options.
If the only choice is basically to click on the monster
or run away, that's *not* an "adventure" game in the classic
sense.  The time it takes to type the commands is not
usually an issue - except for the really mundane stuff like
'inventory', 'get <something>' and 'go <direction'...and those
CAN be mouse-driven.

You can't even put in a list of icons to click on to represent
the additional actions because those give the solution away.

eg In the original Collosal Cave adventure, you are faced with
a giant snake which can only be defeated by releasing a small
(but evidently ferocious) bird.  There is no way that clicking
on the snake to attack it could require any kind of additional

In a text setting, you can talk to the snake, attack it with
a weapon, ignore it, say "XYZZY", release a little bird at it,
kick dust in it's eyes, kiss it, you name it.

If there was a list of icons for doing those things, it would
become a mindless process of clicking on each icon in turn
until you happened to hit 'release bird'.

I don't see any way - other than text input - to offer the
player a seemingly infinite range of possible actions, only
a few of which will actually work.
Once you remove the element of thinking, creativity and puzzles,
you end up with a mindless killing 'action' game - which leads
inexorably to Quake et al...fine games...but not at all in the
same genre as the "thinking" games.

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