March 01, 2009

Emergent Puzzle Solutions

My post about procedurally generated text adventures prompted Richard Tew to tell me about a rec.arts.int-fiction discussion about object properties. That, in turn, linked me to a post by Emily Short about emergent puzzle solutions that... er, emerge from such systems.

They both bring up this gem:
Talk of current IF development drifted on to whether it's possible to create a game in which the player is not really constrained by the author's intentions. Michael noted that Magnetic Scrolls games were kind of like this-for example, if an object had the "sharp shards" bit set, dropping or throwing the object would cause it to shatter into many sharp shards. In total, 128 bits were used to describe a more or less working universe that the player could interact with in ways that hadn't been anticipated. As an example, Michael described an unintentional situation in which one could put a rat in some liquid nitrogen, snap off its tail and, for a few turns, use the tail to puncture feed sacks and obtain food.


Anyway, Short made a behemoth of a post and then the first comment started with:

This sounds like the convergence of IF with Roguelikes.


Well yes. Combne it with the idea in my other post and you have what looks a lot like a text-entry roguelike.
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