No POV. Opinions?

OurJud
Needless to say the traditional narrative for TA is written in second-person, although I have seen first used once or twice. Personally I prefer second, by and large, but with my current project I'm experimenting with having no POV... easier said that done, believe me.

Describing locations without referring to the player is simple enough, but when it comes to giving a response to an action, things get tricky. For instance, if a player eats or drinks, how do you get the game to respond to this without referring to the player? (that's not a question I'm actually looking for an answer to, I'm just throwing it out there, rhetorically, to demonstrate how tricky it can get).

I'm also using very short descriptions, which is hard for me as I naturally want to try and create a strong atmosphere in my games. Hopefully I can do both.

I was inspired to write like this when searching the iPhone app store for TA games. There was a screenshot for a game called A Silent Wood, showing a black screen and the words:

vision befriends darkness.
a pile of wood in the middle of the room.
fire is dead.
room is silent.



I was instantly hit by the starkness and simplicity, and found it very refreshing for a genre that's flooded with games that give us long and massively detailed passages. It intrigued me, and I think that's what I want from these games nowadays.

The Pixie
If you are trying to remove the player as an object (as far as the narrative goes), why would you have EAT and DRINK as options?

OurJud
The Pixie wrote:If you are trying to remove the player as an object (as far as the narrative goes), why would you have EAT and DRINK as options?

It's not so much that I'm trying to remove the player, but rather describe the locations and events without directly referring to them using possessive nouns.

It's difficult to explain, but the best analogy I can come up with is to say that I'm trying to create the text adventure equivalent to a computer game played with a first-person perspective, rather than third. Just to expand on that, take Skyrim - a game which can be played in either a 3rd or 1st person perspective - I see the traditional "You are in the courtyard. A large farmhouse looms over you." as playing Skyrim in 3rd person, while I'm trying to give a 1st person POV by saying, "A courtyard. A large farmhouse looms."

Man, that doesn't even make sense to me, but I know what I mean.

In other words, I want to 'show' the player what they're seeing, rather than 'tell' them.

The Pixie
Okay, how about the passive voice? If you use the grammar checker in MS Word it frowns on the passive tense, but it is standard in scientific papers (in the past tense).

>GET WATER BOTTLE
The water bottle is picked up.

>DRINK WATER
The water from the bottle is consumed.

>FILL BOTTLE
The water bottle is filled from the stream.

OurJud
Not really sure what you're asking. For the above examples I'm using:

>GET WATER BOTTLE
Taken.

>DRINK WATER
Cool and delicious. Bottle is now empty (if drunk from bottle)

>DRINK WATER
Cold and slightly metallic, but welcome all the same. (if drunk from source)

>FILL BOTTLE
Water bottle is now full.

Marzipan
I can definitely see the appeal of a minimalistic approach. Less is more and all that.

Slouching Towards Bedlam deliberately avoided the use of 'you', ('The draw slides open.' instead of 'You open the drawer' and so on) though it definitely wasn't what you'd call sparsely written.

OurJud
Marzipan wrote:Slouching Towards Bedlam deliberately avoided the use of 'you', ('The draw slides open.' instead of 'You open the drawer' and so on) though it definitely wasn't what you'd call sparsely written.

Is this one of yours? Do you have a link?

davidw
http://ifdb.tads.org/viewgame?id=032krqe6bjn5au78

It's an Inform game by Star Foster and Daniel Ravipinto.

OurJud
Games on ifdb get blocked by my Malware detector when I try to access them via third-part links, but I found it on here. Thanks.

Godsquito

This caught my attention cause I'm trying to build a game right now that uses a first person perspective and I'm having trouble with it from a technical aspect. Not sure how I can set a first person perspective as the default language because sometimes in testing I'll use a verb that I didn't write a script for and the game will switch to standard second person voice and use "You" instead of "I" as in "You can't do that" ect. Sorry if this is interrupting the thread, but I really love the idea of using non-standard perspectives.

Edit: I literally just now noticed these were all posted in December omfg oops


Deckrect

I am not sure, but I guess it still third person. No?

I mean, it is not POV free. It is the perspective of someone outside.


hegemonkhan

Godsuito:

The more knowledgeable people ehre can help you with changing from using "You' to 'I' and etc narration wants/needs you got, as it does involve some knowledge of the built-in programming, and/or maybe (if lucky) just the GUI~Editor's Tabs' options, both of which I don't have too much of yet.


Jay Nabonne

Here is a link to a third person replacement library: http://textadventures.co.uk/forum/samples/topic/5341/third-person-english-library

You might be able to take that and convert it to first person with some simple text substitutions. Then just drop it into your project folder, and the project will use it in place of the normal Quest one.


Godsquito

Jay, thanks a lot! This will definitely help.


This topic is now closed. Topics are closed after 60 days of inactivity.

Support

Forums