Basic Text Adventure Exposition

New to text adventure games, sort of ( I made one a few years ago in a summer program). Would it be okay to use short paragraphs (1-3 sentences) to describe the opening scene of my game and even shorter ones throughout?

You can do whatever you like bud! It's entirely up to you.

People will want to feel invested in an adventure, but at the same time they don't want to read eight paragraphs every time they pass through a room.

As long as it's compelling to play, create your own style you feel comfortable with.

In a few of my paragraphs, I make use of the {once:} code, so the first time entering a location you get a much more verbose description compared to following visits.

Here's a simple made up example, not actually from a game:

You are standing in the cellar of the house. {once: The first thing you notice is the smell - a combination of sewage and rot. It takes all your effort not to wretch, but you have to push on. If they were going to hide the body anywhere, this would be it. Gradually your eyes become accustomed the the gloom, and you begin to make out your surroundings. The glistening walls, thick with damp and mould, only exacerbate the dread you feel. You steel yourself, determined to explore. }Opposite from where you're standing is a stone slab, built into the brick of the subterranean wall. Right by it is the plastic casing of the building's fuse box. The stairs you entered by ascend behind you, the only obvious exit.


sorry, I know this is off topic, but...
The use of the phrase 'the only obvious exit' implies there might be a concealed exit somewhere. Or am I wrong in my assumption.

It could certainly imply that, yes. But the above example is just that - something written off the top of my head. It's not from anything, it was just to illustrate the Once function.

So, in the above example, you might want to put the room description as a script rather than just a message.
The first part of the script would be to print everything up to the final sentence as written above, then you could have an IF statement to check if that's the only exit you've found.

In the editor it might look something like:

If - object has flag - object - trapdoor - flag name - found

Print - The stairs behind you ascend into the building above, whilst the trapdoor you discovered leads deeper down beneath the cellar floor

Print - Wooden stairs ascend behind you, the only obvious exit.

Well, you get the general gist ^_^

I am not sure if the original question was a matter or formatting or coding. But if you are concerned about formating, it is a tricky thing. Interactive Fiction became famous by its vagueness and short descriptions. Part of this comes from the problem that when you are trying to pretend the player is the character, the less you say, the less conflict you get, as you reduce the chance of conveying any trait or information tha conflicts with the player him/her/it-self. I, personally, find it somewhat limiting, because the less information the player gets, there is a problem about creating blind choices. At other hand, there is the Wall of Text. Every time a player faces too much text poping up at a page, the reading interest gets stressed. If the players is already very invested, there are high chances of he/she/it wanting getting through a whole full page. But, if you try doing this at the very beggining of a story, there is almost no investment from the player yet, so it is quit probable quitting the game at all.

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