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Re: Is the text parser extinct?

On Thu, 20 Jan 2000, Steve Baker wrote:

> 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
> thought.
> 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.

Maybe the mouse commands could be changed dynamically according to what is
being typed most frequently..for example if a player is fighting a monster,
the command 'fight' would be used often..so 'fight' would go to the list of
frequently used verbs and the commonly used weapons/spells would go to the
list of freq. used items..and these would be accessible with the mouse.
If this was done well, it might work, IMHO. If there were intuitive menus of
actions and items which would ie. put the last used items to the top or match
common pairs of words together automatically...
Well, I just wanted to throw this in, but I'm not a RPG player, so I don't
really know what I'm talking about here :)