Unimplemented Actions

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The Unimplemented Actions pattern is a game-level pattern and is not to be confused with code-level pattern.

Definition

A player is stuck and does not know how progress in a game. This is not a deadlock - there is one or more logical and reasonable solutions that would progress the story, but the player has not thought of them. The player has only thought of trying some other command or sequence of commands, which do not progress the game.

The commands the player is trying may or may not have logical and reasonable responses.

Pattern Removal

Here is a list of suggestions for the author that will remove the anti-pattern from the scene:

  • Make the unimplemented action illogical. Change the description of any necessary objects or actions so that the user will not see this as a viable solution for progressing the game.
  • Implement the action logically. It may help game play by implementing multiple solutions to the same problem.
  • Change the response to the action so that the player knows this a game boundary. It's acceptable in interactive fiction games to setup a game boundary that the player learns and respects.
  • Remove the materials that create the anti-pattern.

Examples

 Kitchen
 You are in a small kitchen with cabinets, a refrigerator, a table, two chairs, and a clock.

 There is a cookie jar on top of the refrigerator.

 > TAKE JAR
 You can't reach the jar. It's too high up for you.

 > MOVE CHAIR TO FRIDGE
 You cannot move the chair.

 > MOVE TABLE TO FRIDGE
 You cannot move the table.

 > JUMP AND GET JAR
 You leap as high as you can just barely grab the jar before tumbling to the floor. Luckily, the jar is safe.

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