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Re: TOA - getting nerds to junkyard
Posted By: gremlinn, on host
Date: Tuesday, March 30, 2010, at 03:51:39
In Reply To: TOA - getting nerds to junkyard posted by MissPippa on Monday, March 29, 2010, at 18:35:58:

> If that doesn't work, I'll have to disguise them so the jock doesn't recognise them. There are 3 nerds and 3 unused costumes (tiger, mouse, bear) left in the auditorium.

I never thought of that approach. Too late now, but if I had thought of the nerds using disguises when writing the game, I probably would have dealt with it properly (e.g., having the nerds fall down from nervousness when passing Thorius and getting discovered that way.

Taking them there in the car, too. I guess in my mind the campus's geography doesn't permit it, with the junkyard being walled in except for at one entrance point, and there being no road leading directly to this access.

In the end it's unavoidable that a game author will miss thinking of some more-or-less viable solution to one of the game's puzzles, so there will be frustration at times. Sorry!

> Trouble is, the game keeps telling me, "You don't think you need another costume." Wrong! I **DO** think I need it to disguise the nerds! So how can I convince the game that it isn't psychic and I'm the only one who really knows what I'm thinking?

I've heard this type of objection once before, years ago, when reading someone's review of a text adventure game (not an AGL game and not associated with RinkWorks). I had the following sort of response in mind back then, but I never actually replied, so I'll give my thoughts now.

I don't see a problem with the prose having statements of the form "You don't think...." After all, it's clearly *not* meant to convey an assertion of what "you" as the real-life player of the game do or do not think, but what "you" meaning the character in the game does or does not think.

It's a linguistic shortcut for saying "Kendra doesn't think...", which, while being literally accurate, doesn't quite ring as well to the ears for prose in interactive fiction, in my opinion. (Granted, a minority of non-AGL game authors opt to write third (or even first!) person points of view in their games.) I think this has a lot to do with the fact that you tend to experience the vast majority of most games from a single point of view, where traditional stories tend to be freer to jump to other characters' perspectives at will.

In other words, it's not the game (or, rather, me as the author) trying to be psychic. "You" doesn't really mean you, the person playing, in *any* of these games. If it did, the games' stories would be outright lies from start to finish!

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