PROLOGUES (The When Play Begins Rule)
The question of what the player should be doing and why they are doing it along with context, goals, and perhaps some backstory may need to be provided to the player in order for them to be clear about what the game/story is about and what they need to be doing.
One of the ways to provide this information is through what I will call a prologue: a short piece of text that puts everything into some context before play begins.
Here is one way we do this:
When play begins:
say “In this short game, you will be rewarded 1 point for every new room that you enter. Type the word SCORE at anytime to assess your score. [paragraph break]Once you have visited each and every room, you will be notified that you have successfully completed the game.[paragraph break]”
At the beginning of your code, include the ‘when play begins’ rule by simply typing ‘when play begins’ followed by a colon. Then, on the next line, type ‘say” followed by the text you wish the player to see enclosed in double quotations.
PROLOGUES (Using a Room)
One thing I don’t like about the “when play begins” option is where it places the prologue from the player’s point of view (above the game details). So another way to make a prologue is to make it a room.
Prologue is a room.
The description of Prologue is “In this short game, you will be rewarded 1 point for every new room that you enter. Type the word SCORE at anytime to assess your score. [paragraph break]Once you have visited each and every room, you will be notified that you have successfully completed the game.[paragraph break] Go south to begin your adventure.”.
Entrance is a room. Entrance is south of Prologue.
North of Entrance is nowhere.
Note: I used a ‘one way exit’ so that the player can’t go back to the Prologue.
You may have noticed that the text within the double quotations also includes some additional information.
Note two things: the formatting command must be enclosed within square brackets and that this itself is included at the proper place in the text within the double quotations.
Here are a few formatting commands to be aware of:
• [line break] – creates a single-spaced line break
• [paragraph break] – creates a double-spaced line break
• [italic type] – changes the text to italicized text
• [roman type] – usually used to end italicized text and return text to normal
• To create quotations marks within the text, use single quotes (‘)
Look carefully at the following example which utilizes all of the above commands:
When play begins:
say “There are three goals in this game:[paragraph break]
1. Visit every room [line break]
2. Find the bluebird [line break]
3. Get the bluebird to speak to the politician [paragraph break]
And remember the words of the blue-eyed man: [paragraph break]
[italic type]’No one is alone who has a bird of blue.’ [roman type][paragraph break]”
Inform 7 works can contain more information about a game than just a title and author.
• The first line in bold is the story title. (It appears by default and is bold.)
• The second line holds a generic story headline followed by the author’s name.
• The third line displays the release number, followed by the serial number (which is simply the date the source was compiled in the format YYMMDD), then information of what version of Inform was used to compile the game.
You can change the story headline and the release number if you wish by doing the following:
“Large Spaces” by John Timmons
The story headline is “A Journey Through Immense Rooms”.
The release number is 3.