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Posted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 6:59 pm
by Celebaglar
mandelbrot78 wrote:I have a question. I have the Winfrotz interpreter and Infocom games. While I can play them, I was wondering if anyone has done any modifications to improve the UI.

I'm interested in a UI like the one found in the Legend games, where you had a list of the available verbs, a list of the interactive items in a room, a list of your inventory present, an automapping feature and you could move by clicking on the compass (instead of typing n,e,w,s).

Or has somebody implemented the invisiclues inside the game, so you could type help at any given point and get a hint?
No one has tried to bolt on a Legend-like interface, though theoretically it might be possible. The reason is that I think most fans of the Infocom games would probably find that sort of interface spoils the game - kinda dumbing down the experience.

Depending on the version (each "story" file has actually had several versions released), some have clues accessible from within the game.

Posted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 5:48 am
by mandelbrot78
Too bad. I wouldn't consider it "dumbing it down"; it just facilitates the player to play the game. The difficulty of the puzzles would remain intact.

First time I came across a renovation in the text adventure UI was Demon's Tomb (1989), which could be played as a standard text adventure but it also had a menu driven system to enter commands with a mouse. It also supported macros, so you could define a shortcut of a command (like define x=examine). The parser even anticipated your commands and you could change the size and colour of text.

Needless to say I was blown away by it. Creating a user friendly UI, especially in this day and age ,where everybody expects things like automapping (we don't have the patience to draw maps on graph paper anymore), would make the games more approachable to modern audiences.

Posted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 6:09 am
by Celebaglar
mandelbrot78 wrote:Too bad. I wouldn't consider it "dumbing it down"; it just facilitates the player to play the game. The difficulty of the puzzles would remain intact.
Yes, but the story and prose would become virtually redundant. The interface would spoon-feed you all the important items so you wouldn't need to use your powers of observation.
First time I came across a renovation in the text adventure UI was Demon's Tomb (1989), which could be played as a standard text adventure but it also had a menu driven system to enter commands with a mouse. It also supported macros, so you could define a shortcut of a command (like define x=examine). The parser even anticipated your commands and you could change the size and colour of text.

Needless to say I was blown away by it. Creating a user friendly UI, especially in this day and age ,where everybody expects things like automapping (we don't have the patience to draw maps on graph paper anymore), would make the games more approachable to modern audiences.
Most of the Infocom games and the modern IF efforts support shortcuts for standard commands. There are mapping tools to help you map games but many games aren't map based anyway.

It's all a matter of personal preference I suppose.

Posted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 12:26 pm
by Antiriad2097
Frobnitz on Palm devices has some standard buttons that are clickable for the obvious things like N, S, E, W etc. Other words can be added and are user definable, so you can pick with the stylus instead of having to type every letter. A nice balance between making command entry easy and not giving too much away.