I'm one of a team of two software engineers (Microsoft, Adobe) and an IT pro who have been spending their free time to develop an entirely new online text game over the past few months. We're calling it "Tohm" (pronounced "Tome"), and it's not based on any existing codebase. I hope you all in the text gaming community support us with your suggestions and criticisms so we can make Tohm the best it can be! We'd really appreciate your honest and thoughtful feedback, especially now while we work toward our open alpha release, when even big changes are still doable.
To prove this isn't just another pipe dream, I've started a series of videos demonstrating our progress. Here's the first:
1. Tactical combat, with emphasis on decision making and risk management over speed of execution. 2. Fewer rooms with a very high level of detail, including dynamic text for day/night, regional weather patterns, and four seasons. 3. Combo-based skills and spell-casting, so players can experiment and discover while memorizing fewer verbs. 4. Very low barrier to entry - flexible command line syntax, lots of verb aliases covering common diction. 5. Fewer, more significant battles (grinding sucks). 6. Epic quests, not lists of chores. 7. Skills grow based on usage alone - no tables to study or skill points to allocate.
Thanks, I'm glad you think so. I started the youtube video series because I figured lots of people would otherwise assume that our project is just another doomed to die a slow death or never get off the ground - this way, we can show that we're making concrete progress. :) The next video will be on the flexibility of the command line interface (new-player friendly, we think). Please let me know if you have any suggestions to make the game more fun for players!
So, I was looking at your wiki page on command processing. The last example indicates an intent/design to support multiple commands in a statement. It gives this example:
"Say "Goodbye", then put on my coat and head west."
So, how far does that extend? How does it know which coat and whether it's yours or not? I.e. is 'my coat' fluff or will it be used to determine which coat? If you lumped the statement together with "stand", assuming chairs that can be sat on and have things placed on them, would it be able to infer that the coat on the back of the chair you were sitting in was the one being referred to?
Hi, Nathan! Thanks for your interest. I added that command line as an example to show off the multiple commands per command line, as you mentioned. Our inventory isn't implemented yet, but you have the general idea. In case there's more than one coat available for you to wear, adding "my" could help you get the correct coat on. Items will also have adjectives and variety in nouns, making collisions less likely (brown coat, dirty coat, tattered coat, tattered jacket). When we're closer to having inventory implemented, I'll add details about inventory management to the wiki. The tentative plan is to allow OCD players to micromanage their inventory if they like, but to automate as much as possible for players who don't want to quibble over details like whether they store their coins in their coat pockets or in their backpacks.
Another multi-command example without inventory that works today is:
say "goodbye!", then go outside and look at the sky
The user can add or remove "fluff" (unnecessary words) from that to create several variations. The next video will demonstrate some command-processing features.