The Notebook


I've begun adding a notebook object. The notebook lists your next objectives:

Some might cringe at the thought of having such an object. It could become a real crutch for game development, in that no matter how bad your game is designed you've got this silly "next objective" thing leading you onward.

I think if you are a bit more thoughtful with how the notes are constructed, however, it can compliment the game nicely. The notebook can provide instructions, or it can provide clues.

More, Texas is always going to suffer from "noise"; part of the fun of the game and part of my philosophy in general is that providing players with too narrow of options is actually very heavy handed. If every object in the game has a definite purpose, the game could devolve into a "try everything everywhere"-a-thon, which you can't argue is good design.

Some people have regarded all the extra detail and objects in Texas as "red herrings". I'ev seen not-too-few players try and use the pamphlet on the parkade machine, just because both are there. But I contend this is only because players have been trained to do so by many poorly designed adventure games.

The notebook should help me to break the player out of this thinking, by providing clues and focusing their gameplay on what actually matters. Even if they don't read the text quite right, or it doesn't scan, they will end up with a clue in their notebook and their job then can be putting these clues together, rather than trying every possible combination.

2009-10-16


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