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[BDTH] Beginner's Guide to BDTH

 
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Ben
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2002 2:38 pm    Post subject: [BDTH] Beginner's Guide to BDTH Reply with quote

Burning Down the House is the revolutionary new Hugo game from Pinback Enterprises. It's a large, complex, unweildy program, probably not worthy of your time. At least, it would have been, had it actually been finished.

But luckily for you, no such thing occurred! Now, since (as you might have guessed, given its incomplete nature) there is no actual way to blow up the house. Blowing up the house, in fact, was going to be the result of solving what I considered an incredibly difficult, somewhat clairvoyance-requiring puzzle. However, that puzzle also doesn't exist.

What does exist is some of the "sub-puzzles" which would later have been key elements of the "uber-puzzle", resulting in one large exploding house.

Therefore I encourage you to try to accomplish the following goals, and really get the most out of your new computer game!

Can you:

- Get the girl off the street?
- Empty the toilet bowl?
- Drop things down the chimney? (That's not actually part of the puzzle, but it's fun to do anyway.)

That second one is somewhat difficult, and requires at least one fairly sizeable leap in logic.

Enjoy!!
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Ben
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2002 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Now, since (as you might have guessed, given its incomplete nature) there is no actual way to blow up the house.


This is not a complete sentence, and unfortunately ANONYMOUS POSTERS CANNOT EDIT THEIR OWN POSTS, which is very bad.

But anyway, that sentence should read something like "since there's no way to blow up the house, you might be wondering what the hell the point is".
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Ice Cream Jonsey



Joined: 27 Apr 2002
Posts: 20088
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2002 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought I'd be able to blow up the house by closing the fireplace, putting the books in the fireplace and then shooting them with a flamethrower.

But then I realized:

1) There's no flamethrower
2) I'd hardly need the books and the fireplace if I had a flamethrower.

Why not make it so that you can blow up the house, then, by closing the fireplace and starting a fire with the books that -- upon reading them in-game -- have utterly failed to help you? Then the game could be "finished" and we'd have a fine addition to the Hugo stable.

Or, since I have the source, I could just do all that myself.

Oh, and I mailed you your password so you could login and, y'know, edit your posts. I think the reason you currently can't is due to a problem between the keyboard and chair. HTH! HAND! ROOFLES! IANAL!
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Ben
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2002 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How would burning some books "blow up the house"? I mean, it might end up burning down the house, but (interestingly enough) the goal of "Burning Down the House" is not to burn down the house, but rather to BLOW THE FOKKER UP. Like, big-explosion-like.

Anyone could burn the place down. It takes a real man to blow it up. And I already know the whole puzzle, and everything that's left to be coded, I just don't feel like doing it. I could email you the whole idea in private if you wanted to take up the programming duties, but I think we'd all just rather you went on coding your own games.

Also, anonymous posters should still be able to edit their posts. They could on the JQW place. What if the bug, bless his tiny heart, makes a typo?
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Ice Cream Jonsey



Joined: 27 Apr 2002
Posts: 20088
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2002 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ben wrote:
How would burning some books "blow up the house"? I mean, it might end up burning down the house, but (interestingly enough) the goal of "Burning Down the House" is not to burn down the house, but rather to BLOW THE FOKKER UP. Like, big-explosion-like.


Ah, this is where I stumbled in your cunning ruse of puzzlement!!



Quote:
I could email you the whole idea in private if you wanted to take up the programming duties, but I think we'd all just rather you went on coding your own games.


E-mail me your idea. I will (eventually) code it but not put any of the clever bits of pinback-style writing in it so that when the code is finished all you have to do is type in phrases and sentences that are insulting and belittling to the players. I think that is what we would call the "hook" of a typical Pinback Productions game. If you find that you have vicious, unused retorts left over when it's all finished you would then just need to ask yourself, "self, was I as much of a prick to my players as I could possibly be?"
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Ben
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2002 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The idea has been mailed.

Now that I think about it, I wasn't too far from being done. Why did I stop? I almost accomplished something, and then at the last minute, ran away like a block of tofu at a vegetarian party.
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Ice Cream Jonsey



Joined: 27 Apr 2002
Posts: 20088
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2002 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you fear success. If people liked this game, they may expect more from you in the future. They may slather you with prizes, compliments and nice reviews. This would mean that you would be held with high esteem in this "scene," and I think that such a thing makes you quake with fear.

Either that, or you stumbled upon a treasure trove of high-quality Elisa Bridges scans back when you were working on this and never fully recovered from it. Elisa is dead, now, friend -- and with the death of novelist George Alec Effinger and the death of playmate Elisa Bridges we have both lost someone that inspired us. I think both George... and Elisa... would want you to finish the game and reap all the accolades.
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Ben
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2002 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did he have a great ass too?

I was going to jokingly suggest that "I fear success", and while I believe that's certainly the case in most other aspects of my life, I'm not sure it applies here. I think I just got to that point in the development where I said:

"Boy, even though Hugo is, by a wide margin, the absolute best of all IF development platforms -- and I am not saying that just trying to get Kent to send me a free t-shirt or coffee mug or something -- it's still really, really tedious. And as enthusiastic as I was at the beginning of this project, I really could not possibly care less right now, since I plan on getting laid off from my job in about two months, at which point I will take a few months off and play a shitload of golf and just forget about all this geeky crap."

And darned if that all didn't come to pass.
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AP HILL
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2002 2:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. You're text adventure is really good. I would like to invite you to join Santoonie Corp. as our new Head Of Abuse. Your job would basicaly involve posting obnoxious and condescending slanders on R*IF.

Let me know if you're interested.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2002 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I should mention that your particular writing style is what prompted our decision to request your services. No one else can be quite as abusive in so little space.
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Eric



Joined: 29 Apr 2002
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2002 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is some funny stuff here! First you captured the real essence of bad IF writers, and now beginners! Another triumph. (And what I say, my idea for a game is whatever it turns out I can code. Great plotting device.)


Ben wrote:

"Boy, even though Hugo is, by a wide margin, the absolute best of all IF development platforms -- and I am not saying that just trying to get Kent to send me a free t-shirt or coffee mug or something -- it's still really, really tedious.


Right. See, that’s the TRUTH. You and I know it, but these other guys, they just keep writing these long games, because they haven’t figured this out yet. Suckers!

But—two words (or is it one?) – IntroComp!

Where was this for the IntroComp?

So it is totally impossible to write a decent sized game –- and esecially in a new language – agreed -- so what you do is just the write the beginning and -- get this -- the beauty of it is, if you don’t put your name on it, no one hassles you to complete the thing which you can’t do at any rate!

But, yeah, I would like to blow up the house.
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Ice Cream Jonsey



Joined: 27 Apr 2002
Posts: 20088
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2002 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, for anyone joining the thread late, no, that was not the real Hill. Dammit, (name of poster deleted), you're killing me over here!

Secondly, yes, this would have crushed at the IntroComp. Actually, with At Wit's End II and the Fellowship of the Ring game (among others), I can safely say that that comp held a higher percentage of authors whose games I generally slob the knob of that many previous text adventure competitions.

I want to apologize in advance if this takes me more than two days to code up (Ben's stuff). He has been quick and energetic regarding his new game here. I just did a double-check last night, and have not written a line of IF code in a week (usually I try to get at least a little bit done every day). Mostly, this is because I have been trying to get in shape for the new softball season. But as I failed in getting the "Pinback's Web Central" posts into a .z5 format, I will try for shining success in this.
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Eric



Joined: 29 Apr 2002
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2002 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I liked the IntroComp. In addition to the “games” being short enough to fit my available time, as intros they didn’t (and shouldn’t have IMHO) contained any really difficult puzzles. Plus, I’ve always found that often the *IDEA* of games, text and otherwise, is more amusing than actually playing the whole thing. This is why I download stuff off Underdogs and elsewhere and poke around, appreciating the cool concept, but knowing if I tried to actually play the whole thing it wouldn’t be anywhere near as interesting as I imagine.

But HOUSE doesn’t need to be much longer –- put an end on it and stuff in some more jokes and it is a small gem of commentary on the IF experience of trying to learn a new language.

Speaking of languages, I like the look and feel of Hugo games, and the idea of Hugo not being one of the Big Two and, of course, the Official Language of the Trotting Krips, but I just found Inform to be very unfriendly (attractive manual notwithstanding)and Hugo too Informish to undertake learning. All I know is Alan. (Adrift hardly counts -– although, when you venture beyond the pull down menus the work arounds are more mind bending than Alan) TADS is, in some important ways, much more similar to Alan than Hugo is. In the way verbs are constructed, for example. So I’d have to go that way.
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Ben
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2002 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
But HOUSE doesn’t need to be much longer –- put an end on it and stuff in some more jokes and it is a small gem of commentary on the IF experience of trying to learn a new language.


I've seen several comments like this -- "BDTH really reflects what it's like to write your first game in an IF language", or my new favorite of all time, "It's like an MS-DOS batch file." While I am all for people enjoying the game on whatever level they are able to, I should state for the record that this was not the intention of the humor. Rather, the humor is intended to convey nothing but a very distinct lack of respect for the player. As such, accusations that BDTH excels at abusing the player are much closer to the mark.

For instance, none of the objects in the bedroom are coded. The game explains this, not as "coding these things is too difficult," but as, "of course I could code these things, but I just don't feel like it, so screw you."

Similarly, author comments in the bathroom referring to the difficulty and/or quality of coding some of the various objects is not intended to invite the player into the author's world to gain some sort of warm, happy mutual sympathy. On the contrary! It is instead to draw the player's attention away from the game (where he would probably prefer), and focus it squarely on the author, thereby interfering as much as possible with the player's attempt to have fun playing the game!

I think I can sum it up like this:

BDTH is... a large, hateful game.
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Ice Cream Jonsey



Joined: 27 Apr 2002
Posts: 20088
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2002 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Furthermore, I would say that with the creation of the "Annoyotron" franchise, and various other comments to be found in Apartment F209, that there is no author with greater contempt of his audience than Mr Parrish. But the thing is, this is how text adventures used to be. Looking into the mirror in Zork I gives you the reply "an ugly person is staring back at you." Typing something other than "Y,""N," "yes" or "no" at the restore-game yes/no prompt in Knight Orc results in, "YES or NO, dummy." I think that only with the creation of Spellcasting 301 (where you are helpfully told by the author that you can just type FILL BUCKET when you enter "put the water from the fountain into the bucket") and, later, the non-professional text adventure explosion did your average IF programmer think of the player as more a comrade or a friend rather than someone who should be loathed.

Mr Parrish harkens back to those old days of yesteryear, and does so in a condescending, abrupt, and oftentimes downright mean manner. While you worst you normally see nowadays is some poorly programmed console action game putting, simply, "LOSER" up on the screen, Mr Parrish is prepared to simulate the experience of holding his player's head into a filthy urinal, and then flushing it amidst cruel taunts.
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Tdarcos



Joined: 16 May 2008
Posts: 4441
Location: University Park, Maryland

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ice Cream Jonsey wrote:
Furthermore, I would say that ... there is no author with greater contempt of his audience than Mr Parrish.

This also includes Don Rogers, too!
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