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General and Everything Else => The Games and other Sierra Adventure stuff => Topic started by: troflip on June 30, 2016, 06:59:19 PM

Title: Explaining how SCI works to those not familiar with adventure games
Post by: troflip on June 30, 2016, 06:59:19 PM
I've recently had some random people try out my Cascade Quest project, and express utter confusion at the text parser interface.

One in particular remarked that they weren't sure when they were allowed to type. And several others were using the wrong words for things - when a simple "look" would have described the room and the things in it - someone who hasn't played this style of game before wouldn't know that. Of course, upon playing the game for a few minutes, people get used to it - but it can be a big turn off at first.

A couple of questions then:

- Didn't Sierra have some kind of booklet that briefly explained the kinds of things you could type? I seem to remember that coming with my games. Anyone have a reference to that?

- Given that the text parser input is hidden in SCI, what kinds of things can be done to indicate the user can type?
    - always showing it (like AGI) of course... but then it's taking up screen real-estate
    - maybe put some kind of arrow or icon in the lower left that indicates text can be input
    - maybe some kind of indication that text input is disabled (e.g. for cutscenes) by letter-boxing or something (but then we still have the problem that brand new players don't understand you can even type - even if you tell them).


Title: Re: Explaining how SCI works to those not familiar with adventure games
Post by: lskovlun on June 30, 2016, 07:22:52 PM
    - maybe some kind of indication that text input is disabled (e.g. for cutscenes) by letter-boxing or something (but then we still have the problem that brand new players don't understand you can even type - even if you tell them).
Some Sierra games (LSL3 comes to mind) show a keyboard-shaped cursor in situations where confusion might arise.
Title: Re: Explaining how SCI works to those not familiar with adventure games
Post by: troflip on June 30, 2016, 07:42:07 PM
Except I hide the cursor unless the player moves it, because moving with the mouse kind of sucks for a text-parser game :P
Title: Re: Explaining how SCI works to those not familiar with adventure games
Post by: Collector on June 30, 2016, 09:03:03 PM
- Didn't Sierra have some kind of booklet that briefly explained the kinds of things you could type? I seem to remember that coming with my games. Anyone have a reference to that?

Yes, often the manuals had such info. Fore example, look at "Tips for new adventure players" starting on page 10 of the KQ4 manual. http://sierrahelp.com/Documents/Manuals/Kings_Quest_4_-_Manual.pdf
Title: Re: Explaining how SCI works to those not familiar with adventure games
Post by: troflip on July 01, 2016, 12:26:46 PM
Thanks Collector, that's what I was looking for!