Text parser adventures

Posted by: Fireflower

Text parser adventures - 08/26/17 03:57 AM

Why aren't more text parser adventures made nowadays?

Would you play a text parser adventure if it was made today?

Do you prefer pointing and clicking over writing commands or vice versa?

Do you think a game with a mix of pointing and clicking and text parser commands would be viable/possible?
Posted by: BrownEyedTigre

Re: Text parser adventures - 08/26/17 09:40 AM

I'm actually amazed that I am seeing more of them lately. I was never really a fan back in the day, I was always a visual person.

It does have its fan base though!

Ana wave
Posted by: Mad

Re: Text parser adventures - 08/26/17 10:21 AM

I'm not a fan - and never have been.
In the early games I could never type in the right thing !! lol
Posted by: oldbroad

Re: Text parser adventures - 08/26/17 10:28 AM

I haven't played much of the text games but I don't care much for trying to type in the right thing. I'm not a wordy person.
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: Text parser adventures - 08/26/17 11:15 AM

I don't mind parsers -- as long as they're good parsers.
But I like having some type of graphics too.
Despite all the claims that a text description can adequately describe a scene so you can visualize it, in my case it can't, and I think most people can't. Even a small, pixelated image as was used in the early Legend Entertainment games is much better than a text description alone, with no picture at all. For me anyway.

Parsers have a bad reputation because of the bad ones.
Here's an example of a bad one:

You get a description of a scene with a walnut in it:

"You enter a small room. There is a green table with a purple walnut on it."
So you type
"Get walnut."
and the parser comes back with
"I don't understand walnut."

It doesn't understand a word it used in its own description.

You try
"Get nut"
and it comes back with
"There is no nut here."

So what word is it looking for?
Are you not supposed to pick up the walnut?
If not, why did the game mention it?

"Get table."
"The table is too large to pick up."
"Clean table."
"I don't understand clean."

What does this @#%! game want?

So much fuss to do such a simple thing.
It's no wonder most people would rather just click their mouse on the walnut to pick it up -- or quickly find out for sure that they aren't supposed to pick it up and it wasn't that they hadn't chosen the right word.
That's why the quality of the parser is so important.
You need one with a good vocabulary that isn't a hassle to use -- one that understands the words it uses in its own descriptions.

Originally Posted By: Fireflower
Do you think a game with a mix of pointing and clicking and text parser commands would be viable/possible?

I think it's possible to do.
But I don't know how many people would use the parser.
Would it be worth all the extra work of developing a good parser when many players would just use the point-and-click without even trying the parser?
Posted by: Fireflower

Re: Text parser adventures - 08/27/17 06:32 AM

I grew up playing games like Police Quest, Leisure Suit Larry etc and I liked them, even if they could be a bit frustrating sometimes. smile For example when you had to write fast in certain situations.

There's a game currently in development that looks quite interesting, Cascade Quest, it has a text parser that "uses a contextual auto-suggest algorithm as you type", which might be a bit better than the old kind of text parser.
Posted by: Jarkeld

Re: Text parser adventures - 08/27/17 08:11 AM

If you want combo text/graphical parser: the Legend Entertainment games. For example: Gateway
Edit: Unfortunately they haven't been around for ages.
Posted by: Marian

Re: Text parser adventures - 08/27/17 10:49 AM

Bob Bates of Legend and Infocom fame has a text adventure coming out soon:

Thaumistry

The game was going to be released by now, but he broke his hand, setting the release date back about six to eight weeks.

The game was funded on Kickstarter.


Posted by: gavoid

Re: Text parser adventures - 08/27/17 12:05 PM

We have a new one coming out in the near future: Village of Evil. My brother (the programmer) is a big fan of the genre and has taken great pains with the word recognition so hopefully it will not disappoint. Do please check out the facebook page for more info and screenshots.

https://www.facebook.com/VillageEvil/
Posted by: Krispi

Re: Text parser adventures - 08/27/17 01:10 PM

Text based adventures are still going, they are part of what is generally called Interactive Fiction (IF) and most can be played for free.

There is an annual competition:
https://ifcomp.org/

A database of all the games with links to many of them here:
http://ifdb.tads.org/

You can often play them in a browser, for instance this is the one that won last year:
http://versificator.net/detectiveland/
Posted by: ViktorTheBoar

Re: Text parser adventures - 08/29/17 04:47 AM

One thing I never get arount to try: Play text adventures through voice input. And if they're pure text, with voice output. That could be a lot of fun if it worked smile

Only time I tried looking for a finished solution was when I found that some evil person patented the concept of using voice input to control MUDs :(
Posted by: Fireflower

Re: Text parser adventures - 09/03/17 04:27 AM

Originally Posted By: ViktorTheBoar
One thing I never get arount to try: Play text adventures through voice input. And if they're pure text, with voice output. That could be a lot of fun if it worked smile

Only time I tried looking for a finished solution was when I found that some evil person patented the concept of using voice input to control MUDs :(


Yeah, an adventure with voice input would be interesting to try.
Posted by: Mikael

Re: Text parser adventures - 09/05/17 12:21 AM

I started in the late 80's with Sierra's graphical adventures with text parsers. I remember being hesitant to play their "Manhunter: New York", since it had a point and click interface (sort of). Making an adventure game without text input was surely a bad idea? I'm glad to say I was wrong, but still like the text parsers. But, as pointed out above rather explicitly by Jenny100, they have to be good.
Posted by: flotsam

Re: Text parser adventures - 09/10/17 07:48 PM

I came across this the other day

https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2016/06...ssing-the-verb/
Posted by: Fireflower

Re: Text parser adventures - 09/12/17 05:39 AM

Originally Posted By: flotsam


Interesting
Posted by: Aubrey

Re: Text parser adventures - 09/17/17 11:40 PM

Hey, I actually just made a game like this! http://store.steampowered.com/app/586660/Trackless/
If you have a blog or do videos and want a review code let me know!
Posted by: BrownEyedTigre

Re: Text parser adventures - 09/18/17 09:10 AM

Great! Thanks for sharing Aubrey!
Posted by: ViktorTheBoar

Re: Text parser adventures - 09/18/17 10:09 AM

This game looks lovely smile