Friday, March 5, 2010

There's a Word I Can't Remember -- And It's Driving Me Nuts

Early video games were text games. They would say something like, "You see a rabbit," then you would type something like "chase rabbit," "kill rabbit," etc.

Your answers to questions would take you down branches predetermined by the programmer. I can't, for the life of me, remember the name for the branching quality of these and later games.

Kind of driving me nuts.
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Big Sky Daddy said...

I think it's just a "branching storyline."

June Casagrande said...

That captures it. But it's not the same as the one I'm trying to remember. I keep wanting to say "algorithm," but that's not it either.

Worse, I happen to be sitting next to the author of "The Art of the Videogame" -- and he doesn't know, either.

I'm starting to wonder whether I dreamed it or something.

Joel said...

"Interactive fiction" is one term. But I keep thinking there's another. They're also a form of RPG (role-playing game). I know they are sometimes called "narrative" or "text adventure" games. It still seems like there's some cooler and/or more concise word.

June Casagrande said...

In my head, the term is somehow connected with some basic principle of binary language.

Like: If one, then this. If zero, then that. For those who select one: If the next choice is one, then this. If the next choice is zero, then that. And so on.

All this is making me doubt my ability to distinguish dreams from reality. Is it possible that my teeth aren't really made of jellbeans and that I never had that tryst with Ryan Seacrest?

Anonymous said...

Are you looking for "boolean?"

June Casagrande said...

Hmmm. Now I'm not sure. I don't think that's it. But that's a dang good one.

Definitely closer than any I've been able to come up with.


nouhad said...

Event-driven gameplay?

Great, now I won't be able to sleep unless I figure it out. I will be back.

June Casagrande said...

Sorry it took so long to get your comments up. I was traveling.

I STILL haven't figured out what word I was reaching for with that whole gaming thing. I've begun to suspect that it doesn't exist and my memory was just playing tricks on me. Still, I can't let it go, either ... aaaaaah!


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