Narrow Parsers

Creating n00b-friendly interactive fiction by deliberately reducing the number of available verbs? Intersting… Though I rather liked the results when I experimented with diegetic (in-game) hints delivered by an NPC who gets more and more specific to help the player accomplish some orientation tasks.

imageParser IF is fundamentally driven by player action, by game verbs, in a way that’s not necessarily the case of choice-based IF. When you’re designing a protagonist, a world, a story, a gameplay experience, it’s useful to ask: what kind of action is this story about? What kind of activity is important in this world? What does the player-character do, and how does that reflect on them? That’s true of any game, but in parser you have the opportunity to really foreground that design decision, to turn it into something that the player sees and feels. This is particularly useful if your game doesn’t concern itself much with medium size dry goods. —These Heterogenous Tasks