TextWorld Project   Leave a comment

The TextWorld project is going to host my experiments with text based worlds. Text based games have fallen out of favor and into a niche, and I’m all about niches. Most text based games took the form of interactive fiction, where a story unfolded as a player solved puzzles. I might try that eventually, but my primary interest is in rendering worlds in text the way they’re currently rendered in graphics.

Rather than using a strict room layout, I intend to make a world filled with spaces and objects. Each space will have defined area, and connections to other spaces. Each object will have a definite location in the world, including the player. A specific example of how this would work would be the player entering a pub. The pub has a bar against the west wall, tended by a man, and there are three booths against the east wall. The player approaches the bar, and thus the player is near the bar, instead of the entrance, and he is in range to talk to the man.

There’s a lot of things to consider when exploring this format. The bar I just described didn’t have any bar stools, and it left a lot to the imagination. Just how much should be described? What could exist in detail, that you wouldn’t want in the overview? I look forward to experimenting with that.

I may also try combining text environments with graphics. Particularly simple graphics. I’m somewhat fond of roguelikes, but they leave a lot to the imagination. That can be good, but I think that some information would help a lot. You enter a room, what is the atmosphere? Is it damp? Is it smelly? Does it have an aura of terrifying evil that chills you to the bone? Smells, sounds, textures, these aren’t things you can easily translate with graphics, especially ascii or stylized tiles.

Coloured text is another thing I want to try. I think that can really draw out elements that are otherwise looked over. I know that when I’m playing a text game, a lot of material repeats and I end up skipping over it, and not noticing when something is new or different or important.

If there’s something dangerous in the room, it should be DANGER coloured. If there’s something usable in the room, it should be USABLE coloured. If there’s a Mobile, an Exit, etc, they should stand out.

Well, before I can do anything I need to decide what I have to do. I’ll do that in another entry. This entry is going to stay here and explain what the project is. Thanks for following me!

Posted March 8, 2012 by Arthur Payne in Current Projects, TextWorld

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