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Author Topic: Why doesn't anyone use the text parser?  (Read 9309 times)

Why doesn't anyone use the text parser?
« on: 01 Aug 2012, 14:14 »
Hi, I want to know where I can find any games made with AGS that use the text parser and NOT point and click.
I searched the games section but all the games use the point and click interface.

Are their any games at all that use the text parser? I'm so sick and tired of point and click!
I wanna kick it old-school like sierra's mystery house with no need for a mouse.

thank you.

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Re: Why doesn't anyone use the text parser?
« Reply #1 on: 01 Aug 2012, 14:17 »

Re: Why doesn't anyone use the text parser?
« Reply #2 on: 01 Aug 2012, 15:07 »
This should probably go to Adventure Talk & Chat?

Anyway, never heard of any text parser AGS games except for Trilby Notes. That's a shame.
Before playing that one I was afraid it will be difficult for me, but in fact most commands were found in a pretty intuitive way.

To answer the question in topic title, "Why doesn't anyone use the text parser?", I think that:
1) it requires alot of work to make a good dictionary and put it into use;
2) it requires good knowledge of language and some effort to play (at least some effort to make yourself try :)).

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Re: Why doesn't anyone use the text parser?
« Reply #3 on: 01 Aug 2012, 15:15 »
hehe, then hear about Secret of Hutton:
http://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/Games.aspx/Detail/1305/Secret_of_Hutton_Special_Edition

And agreed, this is Adventure Talk&Chat :)

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Re: Why doesn't anyone use the text parser?
« Reply #4 on: 01 Aug 2012, 18:04 »
Rodekill made a game with text parser. And Earl Bobby something something used a text box for some dialogues, if I'm not mistaken.

To answer the question in your thread title: It's really time consuming to implement a good text parser function. Moreover, these days, people will expect very clever uses for it. I mean, if all you're going to do is type "look at" and "get" all the time, there's no real point. But if you can implement it in a way that actually adds a dimension of gameplay, like typing special verbs, then go ahead.

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Re: Why doesn't anyone use the text parser?
« Reply #5 on: 01 Aug 2012, 19:02 »
There's also Infinite Monkeys, which has more verbs than some text parsers I could mention :)

Anyway the thing is, graphic adventure games were always known for their crappy text parsers (there are some exceptions, of course, but this is their reputation). So most people who want a text parser game instead look for IF systems. And there are lots of such game being made, they're just not graphical.

Re: Why doesn't anyone use the text parser?
« Reply #6 on: 02 Aug 2012, 12:25 »
There's also Second Face which combines point'n'click and a text parser, and Living Nightmare: Freedom which uses text parser and keyboard steering.

Re: Why doesn't anyone use the text parser?
« Reply #7 on: 02 Aug 2012, 12:44 »
I played the Secret of Hutton and Trilby's Notes and I'm convinced that text parser's are definitively NOT user friendly compared to point and click but, they do offer a bit more "flexibility" and thought-process for the player than instead just clicking a bunch or stuff to see what happens. text parser's are funner IMO, you get to mess around and write stuff like "look in ass" or "use gun on self" and then laugh at the strange comments the avatar says or end up killing yourself for kicks. In point and click, you can only do what's actually intended for the game.
Hutton crashed when I said "take cupboard" in the janitors room, so I'm guessing that using a text parser opens up a Pandora-box of errors and difficulty trying to anticipate what the user might type in. Like I said, users type in some really stupid stuff just to see what happens.
What I think sucks though is the guess the noun or verb for of text parser's while in point and click you get stuck less often since all you need to do in such situations is click every single pixel on the screen until something happens.
I am thinking though of using a text parser since I intend to make a static adventure game, like princess tomato in salad kingdom ( one of my favourite NES adventure games, that and De javu ) just without the user interface for the NES, I think a UI can really obstruct the visuals and force them into a tiny box.
I want to make a visual novel styled game with static images and text parser technology, no animation, no walking around,no collision detection or physics or whatever, no fancy User interface with a bunch of look,take,examine buttons, just text and static-pictures and a command prompt for the player to input commands.

sort of like Steins;Gate: Hen'i Kuukan no Octet visual novel...


I tried making an engine like this from scratch with LOVE2d in Lua but coding the text parser was murder so I gave up (-_-).

I think this is very possible in AGS right guys? AGS has a built in parser, that cuts the work down by 90%, I just have to learn how to use AGS-script ( which looks very similar to Javascript, wish I could use the text parser in Lua though since I already know a bit of Lua...alas)
« Last Edit: 02 Aug 2012, 12:53 by Echo »

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Re: Why doesn't anyone use the text parser?
« Reply #8 on: 02 Aug 2012, 15:04 »
We're planning to use a combination thing like in Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail.  That is, it's normally point 'n' click, but you can also do a sort of 'other' thing, which lets you type in a verb to perform on an object when you click on it.

Writing parser games is very hard to do well.  I made an AGI clone (The Lion's Den) for one of the first One Room, One Week competitions, and it was hard enough doing that for one room, let alone for a larger game.  You need to be able to think of anything and everything people might want to do, different synonyms for every object, different ways of phrasing things.  Plus the parser in AGS is less than great, which means handling complicated actions is difficult.

Re: Why doesn't anyone use the text parser?
« Reply #9 on: 02 Aug 2012, 16:00 »
In point and click, you can only do what's actually intended for the game.
Now, that does not make much sense. In any game you can do only what's intended (except for what may be achieved by exploiting bugs/design flaws). If you may kill yourself by typing "kill yourself", that means that it was intended, isn't it?
I guess scripting text parsers may actually make adding random behavior much easier than scripting various interactions. On other hand that may be only AGS-specific.

Quote from: Echo link=topic=46517.msg625924#msg625924 date=1343907890
wish I could use the text parser in Lua though since I already know a bit of Lua...alas)
There's now a Lua plugin for AGS!
http://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/yabb/index.php?topic=38765.0

« Last Edit: 02 Aug 2012, 16:01 by Crimson Wizard »

Re: Why doesn't anyone use the text parser?
« Reply #10 on: 02 Aug 2012, 20:30 »
Nice! ( Lua Pluggin, Awsome (^0^) )

I played one Leisure Suit Larry game on game boy not to long ago, it was the land of the lounge lizards.
I like how lighthearted and fun the game was. No text parser but you had to choose actions from a list
of commands and then associate them with an object: for example in the first bar, you can walk up to a
woman aka lovely legs and command Larry to "Kiss woman". It does't work so well for Larry if you do.

I then came to a conclusion, perhaps its better to use an interface instead of have the player guess what
to type, You still get to prepare for more "random" commands and it should be a lot more controlled and easier
to code that working with a flat out parser. Like AGA said, a good text parser is actually difficult to code
and it's also difficult for the player to use ( unless you make sure they read the game manual thoroughly )
but "kids" these days don't care for reading manuals.it's just plug and play.

« Last Edit: 02 Aug 2012, 21:01 by Echo »

Re: Why doesn't anyone use the text parser?
« Reply #11 on: 03 Aug 2012, 04:00 »
If you're interested I made a module to add text parser functionality to point and click games. You can download it from:
http://duals.agser.me/Modules/Automated_Text_Parser_v2.0.rar
Personally I like the extra options the text parse provides. Though you may want to consider a VERB or VOCAB command that lists the various words the parser would accept as valid input.
« Last Edit: 03 Aug 2012, 04:07 by mkennedy »

Re: Why doesn't anyone use the text parser?
« Reply #12 on: 03 Aug 2012, 04:57 »
(I haven't read the posts in this thread.. I'm guilty)
I think the best system would be something that shows the words you type as red if they aren't in the game's dictionary. Or words that aren't necessary as yellow.
Like "look at book"
Or: "look at bookk"

I'd likely just use a dynamic sprite and draw the text at certain colors or fonts. With the text box being invisible. That way you don't have the "I do not understand: bookk" garbage. Instead you find out as you type.

Re: Why doesn't anyone use the text parser?
« Reply #13 on: 03 Aug 2012, 15:00 »
If you're interested I made a module to add text parser functionality to point and click games. You can download it from:
http://duals.agser.me/Modules/Automated_Text_Parser_v2.0.rar
Personally I like the extra options the text parse provides. Though you may want to consider a VERB or VOCAB command that lists the various words the parser would accept as valid input.

By any chance are you willing to share the source code mkennedy?

(I haven't read the posts in this thread.. I'm guilty)
I think the best system would be something that shows the words you type as red if they aren't in the game's dictionary. Or words that aren't necessary as yellow.
Like "look at book"
Or: "look at bookk"

I'd likely just use a dynamic sprite and draw the text at certain colors or fonts. With the text box being invisible. That way you don't have the "I do not understand: bookk" garbage. Instead you find out as you type.

The great thing about that is the player will eventually stop making mistakes and cursing the developer for making a "bad" parser.
however yellow is a bit too bright unless the text is over black.

Re: Why doesn't anyone use the text parser?
« Reply #14 on: 03 Aug 2012, 17:38 »
If you're interested I made a module to add text parser functionality to point and click games. You can download it from:
http://duals.agser.me/Modules/Automated_Text_Parser_v2.0.rar
Personally I like the extra options the text parse provides. Though you may want to consider a VERB or VOCAB command that lists the various words the parser would accept as valid input.

By any chance are you willing to share the source code mkennedy?

The AGS module IS the source code :). It is imported into game project and you can do whatever you like with it (unless that restricted by some license, but I never met an AGS module protected from editing by a license).
(In fact you can read *.scm files in notepad. That's plain text, except for some lines that contain auxiliary binary data.)
« Last Edit: 03 Aug 2012, 17:41 by Crimson Wizard »

Re: Why doesn't anyone use the text parser?
« Reply #15 on: 04 Aug 2012, 04:58 »
I'd likely just use a dynamic sprite and draw the text at certain colors or fonts. With the text box being invisible. That way you don't have the "I do not understand: bookk" garbage. Instead you find out as you type.

That would be cool, but is it doable with AGS?

As for the source code, you can examine it within AGS editor by choosing "module scripts" from the script menu than choosing "Edit Automated Parser Module script."
« Last Edit: 04 Aug 2012, 05:16 by mkennedy »

Re: Why doesn't anyone use the text parser?
« Reply #16 on: 04 Aug 2012, 06:33 »
I haven't looked at the text parser in AGS so I have no idea how simplified that process is or how it works. As for the colored words, that can be done. Not with your traditional GUI label - or at least not with a single label. Using drawing functions to draw text would be my approach.

Re: Why doesn't anyone use the text parser?
« Reply #17 on: 07 Aug 2012, 19:59 »
I made a text parser module (based on an earlier one by Magintz) a few years back: http://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/yabb/index.php?topic=9435.msg462815#msg462815 Unfortunately no one seems to have made a game with it. :sad:
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Re: Why doesn't anyone use the text parser?
« Reply #18 on: 09 Aug 2012, 20:31 »
I'll be releasing the code I use for my game Text Quest soon, as a template. It's still in production but I always worked more on behind the scenes stuff than the actual game...

Anyway, hopefully it will precipitate some nice text adventures! People could make a text game in one afternoon with it.

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Re: Why doesn't anyone use the text parser?
« Reply #19 on: 11 Aug 2012, 04:00 »
As mentioned above, I did make one. That said, I'll be the first to admit the parser I programmed is just awful. The reason I'll never make another parser game is because it over-complicated things and slowed productivity to a crawl. It didn't help that I had to make up for plot holes that I dug as a freshman in high school, but the parser and the game itself were probably doomed from the start.