Short essay question:
Suppose someone handed you a brand shiny new library for implementing conversation in IF. What kind of thing would you want to use it for? What options do you want to make sure have been accounted for? [more inside]
I’m not (primarily) looking for suggestions about interface (i.e., whether we use ASK/TELL or menus or TADS-3-style suggestions). I’m assuming that people will want to have available most of the existing common styles of conversation interface. I’m also trying to design so that alternative interfaces could be added by secondary extensions; this gets me off the hook of having to write all possible variations into my own code.
I’m also not (primarily) looking for really esoteric, one-game-only sorts of gimmicks, or complex AI scenarios where you’d be adding a conversation-goal-seeking engine to the back end of the library in order to dictate how NPCs decide what to say next. That’s interesting stuff, and I want to provide enough hooks that such things could in theory be grafted on, but it’s not the main point of investigation here.
What I’m primarily looking for are ideas short and universal enough that they’d make good test-suite material, and that focus on the quip-management level of the conversation model. Like:
- A scenario in which the player is not allowed to leave until the NPC has finished telling several turns’ worth of information.
- A scenario in which the NPC asks a question and the player is constrained to answer it before changing the subject.
- A scenario in which no matter what the player says, the NPC ignores it until some pre-condition is fulfilled.