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EvanClark

How can i make a text based game fun and enjoyable

11 posts in this topic

I am currently working on a text based game i feel its not fun and enjoyable so could some actual game designers or just hobbyists with some experience point me to the right direction of how i can make a graphicless game enjoyable.


(yes i realise that graphics does not make a game fun)
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You might want to post more info about your game, "text based" only really tells us the format you use to present information to the player (A text based game can be anything, roguelike, adventure, simulation, strategy, whatever)
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its a western game set in the 1890's Mexico with cowboys and such. its adventure type game think Red Dead Redemption is pretty linear with the structure there’s no turning back but there is many ways to approach the goal (killing or speech) depending on your morality for example you need to fine information about a certain bountyhunter you could talk to the man and get the information or you could kill him and find you information by looting his body.

1—Talk to Old-Man (this will gain you Good)
2—Kill Old-Man (this will gain you Bad)

However this will end with the same rough outcome of finding the getting information
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[size=4][sup]Using your brain and Viewing the requiring of the players can greatly lead you to creat a fun and enjoyable game !!Friends[/sup][/size]! Edited by MotorBully
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I think you should focus on letting the player quickly "see" the world through text because thats probably your main problem in making it interesting.

It should be very quick to find out where you are, what options you have, what you have in your backpack etc. without too many commands. Also it would probably be nice to see important or related things states without having to use some command to look each one up separately.

That way the player can more easily imagine the world. If it takes 2 minutes to get an accurate picture of your and your surroundings state it breaks da immersion.



Though ive probably never played a text based game. I dont classify DF as text based.
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That's not what he's asking.
he's asking for people to actually play his game, and review it. Sadly I cannot since I have very little experience of text-based games. I'm afraid my input would be useless.
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You were right that graphics do NOT make a game, I don't think the issue is with it being text based, OP - I think the issue is with your gameplay.

The problem with being linear in a text based game is the fact that it goes against the genre. People need descriptive environments, lots of choices, building relationships,crafting,deviation from the storyline, and more.

Give it another run through and ask yourself if the path you chose in development is really the best one.
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If you think about it, a typical RPG is really a text base game with some visual aides. Describing each step is a must. For Example :
" You stand in the center of town. You hear gunfire coming from the Saloon to your East" What do you do....

This allows the player to use their own imagination to visualize your story like an author does in any Western Novel
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[quote name='ShiftyCake' timestamp='1355834161' post='5012014']
That's not what he's asking.
he's asking for people to actually play his game, and review it. Sadly I cannot since I have very little experience of text-based games. I'm afraid my input would be useless.
[/quote]

If he wants people to play his game he should provide a link to it.

For some more generic advice (Since that is all we can provide) i'd recommend that the OP takes a look at the Zork games: http://www.gog.com/gamecard/the_zork_anthology ($3 for the full package, 6 games, highly recommended if you want to play some really amazing text based adventures).

The thing that makes those games stand out even today is the quality of the writing. (The writing for games section of these forums might be able to provide more hands on advice in that department) Edited by SimonForsman
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Make sure the story has depth and is interesting. You are essentially writing an interactive book. I'm sure you have played the popular text adventure games of the time, so you should know what to look for.

That being said, don't limit yourself to the constraints that were imposed on the programmers of the first text games. Use multiple text windows. Have an inventory window, list of commands, a command prompt, and a window detailing the current room. One of my biggest frustrations with text adventure games is forgetting what I have in my inventory, what commands to use and how to use them, where I am in the world and what obstacles I am currently facing.
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Poigahn and MarkS make good points.

Most games rely on text to some degree. As Poigahn said, RPGs rely on text a lot. And even spoken dialogue isn't that different from text, in terms of gameplay. So there are lots of examples of how to use text.

As MarkS said, it's important to consider the game environment. Very few people consider a purely text-based user interface to be "normal", unlike when the first text adventures were released. Are you thinking of 100% text-only game? That would seem very antiquated today.

A console-like input system where the user has to type everything is missing out on all the benefits of and knowledge about contemporary UI and UX design. Text input requires memorizing or guessing commands, and can be very frustrating.

I recommend separating the content from the interaction when you design. Even word processors use buttons, tables, lists and other modern UI elements, although the content is predominantly text.

One thing you can't avoid in a text-centric game is that you will have to do a lot of writing. And ideally, the writing will be good on its own: with memorable characters, an evocative setting and convincing dialogue. This will go a long way to ensuring your game is fun.

Ultimately, you have to think of your audience—your players—and what they like, and what they will want to do in the game. Will they want to do a lot of typing, or would they rather click buttons every now and then? How much interaction is required? I mean, how much time is spent reading versus actively inputting commands (either typing or mouse-based)? Different people will like or dislike different designs.
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i would like to thank each and everyone of you for you help and all of your ideas/input has been put into deep consideration.
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