Lea Stella Santner

Lea Santner is a student of the HTL Informationstechnologie in Villach and an associate student of psychology and informatics at the University of Klagenfurt. Her interests cover Software and Web development, as well as game engineering, virtual worlds, character design, storytelling, and game graphics. Lea was working with the Smart Grids group at the University of Klagenfurt in July 2023 on the analysis implementation of different text adventure systems. The work involved devising an Italian and German grammar module for the PunyInform library and the evaluation of money systems in interactive fiction games.

Wilfried Elmenreich (University of Klagenfurt)

Incorporating Monetary Systems Into Text-based Adventures

FROG 2023 – Talk

Text-based adventure games, also known as interactive novel computer games, allow players to engage with the game world by typing commands. These games often feature intricate puzzles that necessitate correct actions and the combination of specific objects to progress. Although the concept of money is infrequently encountered within these games, there are instances where a single coin becomes instrumental in operating machinery or serves as part of a puzzle. Incorporating a monetary system into text-based adventures presents a formidable challenge to the genre. The introduction of money can potentially disrupt puzzle complexity, enabling players to bypass cumbersome acquisition tasks by simply purchasing necessary objects. Despite these hurdles, some text-based adventures have implemented functional money systems. Notable examples include Zorkmids in Zork, Buckazoids in Planetfall, as well as Pennies, Shillings, and Echoes in Fallen London. In this presentation, we will delve into the intricate design and implementation challenges associated with introducing money systems into text-based adventure games. We will focus on detailing the implementation process using the Inform programming language. Furthermore, we will explore strategies for integrating the concept of currency into text-based adventures without compromising puzzle-solving intricacies. We will also address the issue that arises when puzzles traditionally have a singular solution while a currency system introduces a multitude of decision points. This leads to discussions about its impact on narrative choices, such as deciding between donating or retaining money, and how these decisions influence the overall storyline.


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