Adventure 430: Failure to Visualize   2 comments

From Level 9’s MSX port of Adventure. Via Mobygames.

I’m getting to the “understand all the parts, trying to get a full run together” phase of Don Woods’s 430-point version of Adventure. My next post will likely be the wrap-up.

However, I wanted to focus on a part that had me stuck, because the exact same issue (from a game design sense) came up in Mystery Fun House.

The forest thins out here to reveal a steep cliff. There is no way down, but a small ledge can be seen to the west across the chasm.

A small urn is embedded in the rock.

GET URN

The urn is far too firmly embedded for your puny strength to budge it.

Before I go on, please visualize the situation. What kind of urn is it? How is it positioned, exactly? How deep is it embedded? Then:

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
C
O
N
T
E
M
P
L
A
T
I
O
N
.
S
P
A
C
E
.
.
.
.

My own visualization was something like this:

an old-fashioned ceremonial ash-storing urn, stuck in the side of a rock, relatively deeply, so it is required to get it out before doing anything with it.

Sort of like this. Via Karthik M. CC BY 3.0.

However, it is apparently:

a.) Positioned upright, with the base the part inside the rock.

b.) Not a funerary urn that just holds ashes, but the kind you put oil in that burns.

c.) Placed in the rock only partway, so it’s possible to fully interact with the urn.

This is what’s supposed to happen:

FILL URN

Your bottle is now empty and the urn is full of oil.

LIGHT URN

The urn is now lit.

RUB URN

As you rub the urn, there is a flash of light and a genie appears. His aspect is stern as he advises: “One who wouldst traffic in precious stones must first learn to recognize the signals thereof.” He wrests the urn from the stone, leaving a small cavity. Turning to face you again, he fixes you with a steely eye and intones: “Caution!” Genie and urn vanish in a cloud of amber smoke. The smoke condenses to form a rare amber gemstone, resting in the cavity in the rock.

Failure of visualization may in text adventures be the most difficult of all situations to get unstuck from. The player might just be missing a possible exit (Adventure II had a bit that qualified due to text ambiguity, but this can happen on an entirely fair text that’s just misread) or the player might see the scene in a way different from the author, making it so certain actions are possible in the game which are impossible in the player’s mental model.

I’m not sure what to do with this knowledge yet, but it certainly qualifies as a Pattern of some sort.

Advertisements

Posted May 29, 2017 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

Tagged with

2 responses to “Adventure 430: Failure to Visualize

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Cleanup on aisle 4!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: