After learning a bit about IF and playing a few games, you might think to yourself: hey, I could do this! And the best part is: you’re right. The modern IF scene is so vibrant largely because it’s quite possible for a single author to build a game from start to finish. It’s easy for new authors to get discouraged, however, so here’s some advice to make sure your creation makes it to the finish line. —Vestal and Maragos —Magic Words: Interactive Fiction in the 21st Century — Make Your OwnBrass Lantern | 1Up)
A few months ago, I was looking for the illustration found on this page… I think it’s a great introduction to the concept of attaching descriptions to individual objects.
When my students created IF games, they sometimes had trouble understanding the difference between a textual description of an event that should only happen once, a description that the computer would produce in response to a command such as “examine thing,” and what to leave out (such as lists of things that are contained by other things, or the status of things such as doors and such) because the computer automatically keeps track of such things.