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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:15 pm 
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I'm writing a satirical commentary on common tropes in IF games that starts with the player being dropped in West of House. They open the mailbox, revealing a leaflet that says something. I want to keep the overall narrative style of the game's original leaflet, but mislead the player at the same time (this is a game about games, it might as well have an unreliable narrator.). If any of you have ideas, I'd love to hear them. Thanks!

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:24 pm 
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Not an answer, but I'm reminded of Acheton, a horribly cruel and unfair game where you can follow a stream down from a well house to a locked grate. Opening and going down beneath the grate leads to…drowning in a frigid well that you can't escape from.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:38 pm 
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I think some good unreliable narrator things you could do are:

-having a simple phrase in the leaflet that is usually just a saying be actually important (like MIT Zork telling you to send away for a brochure, which actually works). Maybe something silly like "Don't forget to enjoy the view, it will change everything!" and have ENJOY teleport you when you're on a cliff that mentions a great view.
-Have the leaflet blatantly lie (No hidden doors! No need for additional light sources!)
-Have the leaflet lie about itself (It could say it's unimportant or inflammable, but some puzzle requires you to burn it.)
-Have the leaflet be folded but don't mention it in the description. Later find something like a folded map you have to UNFOLD or an abandoned leaflet-folding machine, to help the player realize that you can unfold it, changing every meaning like an old Mad Magazine foldout. (The Dungeon area is exciting and relaxing!->The Dungeon area is anything but exciting and relaxing, but more clever.)
-Have the leaflet be the narrator, which you eventually discover, and it confronts you at some point, narrating a battle between you (as a weakling) and the leaflet (as intelligent and superior). In the middle of the battle, the leaflet is sacked a la Monty Python and you get a new narrator.
-Have the leaflet be a help system that changes every time you read it, but don't tell the player explicitly. Typing HELP will mention that you can read the pamphlet for more information, but players assume that means the same thing every time.

Many of things are things I would find obnoxious as a player, but maybe they could give you some ideas.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:04 pm 
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I don't know what to put in the pamphlet, but not long into the game you should be required to slip it under a locked door so as to catch the key you're pushing out of the keyhole on the other side.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:14 pm 
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craiglocke wrote:
-Have the leaflet lie about itself (It could say it's unimportant or inflammable, but some puzzle requires you to burn it.)

"Inflammable" is nice, because it actually means the same as flammable, but looks like it doesn't.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:56 pm 
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Some implementations already in the game if this helps you think of ideas:
  • When using >xyzzy, >plugh, or >plover, the narrator scolds you in a Magic Room for using the aforementioned word, leaving you to keep using the word to continue to get scolded by the narrator, eventually getting out after one of the three is used three times.
  • The score is counted in zorkmids and is increased by reaching endings that don't kill the player and easter eggs.
  • The narrator initially resists giving the player >help, but gives them the actual command for help after they press a key.
  • The game is styled like a standard Windows command prompt.
  • If the player uses >win or >lose, they die.
  • Undo prevention is active.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:11 pm 
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iamcitee wrote:
Undo prevention is active


Don't do this. I did this my first few games. I've learned UNDO is a courtesy you should always extend to your players.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:24 pm 
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Good point, MTW! I'll remove undo prevention.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:38 am 
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This is a very interesting idea. I've often considered making such a game for a while; a zorkian cave crawl with every sword-and-sorcery trope (from IF, as well as novels and films). And of course, since this is an IF pastiche, you could have the game end inside a space ship, which opens the possibility for a sci-fi themed sequel.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:29 pm 
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I've been working on an (unending) project to do something in a similar vein - the traditional 'white house' opening, but in a land where there's been a 'gold rush' of adventurers by the time you get there. The accessible areas are stripped clean of real treasures, leaving only minor valuables or fakes. There's a nearby town whose general store is sold out of most of the 'traditional' adventurer gear. There is treasure available in other areas, but they are inaccessible unless you are an official member of the Adventurers Guild... but you need to provide at least one real treasure to get membership. The initial portion of the game is to do just that.
Ultimately the idea is that as the game progresses, there are other options of paths to follow rather than just being an adventurer collecting treasures; but, even if you continue along that path to the end, there's more to do and choices to make.


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