text adventure game problem

Neil Cerutti mr.cerutti at gmail.com
Wed Apr 16 17:26:14 CEST 2008

On Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 9:25 AM, Carl Banks <pavlovevidence at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Apr 11, 12:08 pm, "Neil Cerutti" <mr.ceru... at gmail.com> wrote:
>  > > such as so
>  > >  they're not stuck with a quasi hack of a language if they have to do
>  > >  something that doesn't fit the framework anticipated by the language
>  > >  designer.
>  >
>  > That's not a reason, it's FUD.
>  No, it's prudence.
>  If I am writing a banal, been-done-a-million-times before, cookie-
>  cutter text adventure, yes I'd just use a domain-specific language.
>  If I am writing a unique game that does new things, sooner or later
>  I'm going to want to do something the designer of the domain-specific
>  language and framework didn't anticipate.  And there is no uncertainty
>  or doubt about this: when it comes to that, I don't want to be
>  restrained by a narrow framework or domain-specific language, and I
>  would want to be using Python, and it isn't even remotely close.
>  The only question would be whether there's enough general purpose
>  programming required that it would outweigh the extra work.  Which,
>  let's be honest, is not all that much for a text adventure.

Thanks for the more detailed response.

Your reasoning is valid, but your understanding of the properties of
existing text game frameworks seem to be be out of date.

A usable, extensible, customizable text adventure library for use in
[b]any[/b] general-purpose programming language is still a pipe dream.
There aren't even very many [b]failed[/b] attempts.

The decent text adventures composed from scratch in a general-purpose
programming language are rare exceptions to the rule. Even among the
tolerable ones, I have personally never seen one that took advantage
of the general-purpose nature of its implementation language to do
something that couldn't have been easily done in the handful of mature
domain-specific languages.

Moreover, the small, but dedicated text-adventure-playing internet
community has developed expectations for the features, infrastructure
and portability of their text adventures that are not trivial to meet
when starting from (close to) ground zero. A few bold pioneers have
managed it. If you're keen to attempt it, Python is an OK choice.  The
most recent success I know of was "Aunts & Butlers" [1], composed in
Javascript, which made portability less of an issue than it would be
for Python. There are no completed text adventures in the wild
composed in Python, that I'm aware of. That doesn't mean it can't

[1] http://versificator.co.uk/auntsandbutlers/

Neil Cerutti <mr.cerutti+python at gmail.com>

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