|Comments on Tuesday 15 April 2003:|
|From discussion of Kevan's link to an analysis of what makes good text adventure games, I found myself at a sometimes-entertaining list of the various responses adventure games give to the ancient magic word xyzzy.|
I was inspired by the design-tips with several ideas for ways to fly in the face of the advice in ways that would remain entertaining. Most notably:
Practically speaking, this means that the player should in theory be able to complete the story without using any information gained from fatal dead-ends. An obvious violation: hiding a magic word at the bottom of a (full) well so that you see it just before you drown, and pass it on to your next game-incarnation.The above made me want to write a reincarnation-based adventure, where you would explicitly have to die repeatedly to solve some puzzles, and then would have to retrieve your previous corpses in order to reclaim necessary objects. No, wait, it didn't; it made me want to magically create such an adventure without having to spend time on it. XYZZY! [12:45]
|Then you remembered Planescape: Torment? ;)|
|Which doesn't have you retrieving your previous corpses, really.|
|Of course not, you are the corpse. If I feel like grabbing bodies, I'll play an MMORPG until xyzzy works on your end. I'll be waiting.|
|It's more fun to grab bodies in a non-online context, really.|
|"It's more fun to grab bodies in a non-online context, really."|
They taste better off-line as well. None of that static zip-zaz like when you lick the screen.
|I meant grabbing one's own body, but I suppose that's more fun off-line as well.|
|Well, in that case I guess we'll all just leave you alone with yourself, then.|
|The problem is that having your protagonist repeatedly die might make an interesting game, but it wouldn't necessarily make good literature. You're coming at it from a different point of view to the author of the article.|
Why are there so many necrophiliacs here? Even auto-necrophiliacs, which is a scary concept but should be made into a game. The Self-Fellating Zombies of Chronos Six Nine: Revenge of the Detachable Penis.
|Not really as you suggest - he's talking literature *and* game. But I am coming at it from a different angle, since I'm suggesting the deaths be part of the story, rather than reloading after using them.|
That said, there was, apparently, a game that used the reload/undo mechanism as a plot point, considering it as being like the character having precognition and luck.
|His basic point seems to be that the needs of literature should take precedence over the needs of the game. Having to die would break the mimesis.|
|But it wouldn't, if it's part of the story. You can have a character die repeatedly in a book, too.|