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Synonym tip from Jones!

 
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Ice Cream Jonsey



Joined: 27 Apr 2002
Posts: 20088
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 11:50 pm    Post subject: Synonym tip from Jones! Reply with quote

OK, for the game I am working on now, I am going through thesaurus.com and pulling out synonyms for every item I can find. Granted, saying this will probably ensure that I have these giant holes in getting different words down for people, but I thought that more experienced and competent game developers could benefit from this brainstorm of mine.

Then again, for all I know people already do this.

"It's a matter of opinion, just like everything else." -- Handbook, Guild of Thieves
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Worm



Joined: 24 Aug 2002
Posts: 3626
Location: tucked away between the folds of your momma, safe

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, do you want some input? Or is this just a statement?

No one is going to care if they can use "turn in" instead of "get in bed, sleep". Frankly the only problem I've really had with IF games are items with similar names. I think doing this for every item is going to make it feel wierd.
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bruce



Joined: 04 Jun 2002
Posts: 2547

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Worm wrote:

No one is going to care if they can use "turn in" instead of "get in bed, sleep". Frankly the only problem I've really had with IF games are items with similar names. I think doing this for every item is going to make it feel wierd.


Although I would find this annoying:

Code:

> X HAT

Which hat do you mean, the Norse helmet, the baseball cap, the iron crown, the bowler, the derby, the top hat, the yarmulke, or the propellor beanie?


That's way preferable to:

Code:

The dresser is on fire!  You will burn to death in three turns!

> EXTINGUISH DRESSER

I don't know the word "dresser."

The dresser is on fire!  You will burn to death in two turns!

> EXTINGUISH BUREAU

I don't know the word "bureau."

The dresser is on fire!  You will burn to death in one turn!

> EXTINGUISH CHEST-OF-DRAWERS

I don't know the word "chest-of-drawers."

AAAAARGH!  The FLAMES!

 **** YOU HAVE DIED ****

[The word I was looking for was "portmanteau".  RESTART, RESTORE, or QUIT?  You bet your ass there's no UNDO now that you know the word!]


Bruce
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Ice Cream Jonsey



Joined: 27 Apr 2002
Posts: 20088
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Worm wrote:
So, do you want some input? Or is this just a statement?


Statement.

Quote:
No one is going to care if they can use "turn in" instead of "get in bed, sleep".


Unless you happened to type in "turn in" first and it didn't work. Then you care. Then you write, in your review, that "there weren't enough synonyms."

I've frankly had my fill of writing games like that, so instead I am going to write games that have been helped with a thesaurus.

(One thing I do not do well is think of alternate verbs. It occurs to me that the thesaurus could help there, as well, as many verb actions have synonym listings in handy places in Hugo.)
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Debaser



Joined: 25 Jun 2002
Posts: 878
Location: Aurora, IL

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now, I may be proven wrong when I actually get a program up to the beta testing/release stage, but I think noun synonyms are rarely a problem. In Bruce's example, for instance, no one would actually describe something as a dresser and then not implement the word dresser, unless they were being intentionally mean-spirited. And if something is described to you as a player as a dresser, and you try to call it an armoire then, to some degree, you're the one being intentionally mean-spirited.

Generally speaking, I just try to implement the nouns and adjectives I actually use in the long and short descs and obvious synonyms if they're significantly shorter ("bags" might be implemented for a "luggage" object, for example).

Verbs, generally speaking, are a much bigger deal. Hence the phrase "guess the verb". If you're going to spend time like that on implementation, I would definitely focus on verbs over nouns.
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bruce



Joined: 04 Jun 2002
Posts: 2547

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Debaser wrote:
no one would actually describe something as a dresser and then not implement the word dresser, unless they were being intentionally mean-spirited.


Didn't play the IFComp games this year or read the reviews, eh?

Bruce
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Debaser



Joined: 25 Jun 2002
Posts: 878
Location: Aurora, IL

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bruce wrote:
Debaser wrote:
no one would actually describe something as a dresser and then not implement the word dresser, unless they were being intentionally mean-spirited.


Didn't play the IFComp games this year or read the reviews, eh?

Bruce


I'm pretty much down to one game each comp. Apparently I chose well. But still, if you're lazy/incompetent enough not to implement the very words you choose, then a thesaurus is unlikely to fix all the glaring problems you have as an author, programmer, and human being.
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