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Parser vs. Point & Click (not just KQ)

posted by Anakin Skywalker on - last edited - Viewed by 678 users

Is there anyone else here who prefers the parser system to point in click? I don't just mean for KQ, but for adventure games in general.

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  • I've never had a strong connection to one or the other.

  • Most of the graphical adventures I've played have used some kind of "point-and-click" interface. I don't mind the parser approach either, though.

  • They lend themselves to different kinds of puzzles. In a parser game you can have puzzles that require the player to come up with specific actions like holding their breath or waving their hands or singing a song, actions which would be hard to implement in a point-and-click game without making them easy, obvious dialogue or drop down menu options. Point-and-click games on the other hand lend themselves to complicated inventory manipulation and combination puzzles that are easy to understand conceptually but difficult to describe verbally. A lot of people had trouble figuring out the correct wording for the "sling rock at guard with jockstrap" puzzle from SQ2. If it were a point-and-click game, you could easily just click the rock on the jockstrap and then the jockstrap on the guard.

  • The way I see it, parser text is harder than P&C, you had to extrapolate from the base command "look around" to find out what to do. It definitely pushes the mind.

    While I prefer P&C, I'd love to see parser text make a return purely to raise the difficulty, I'd certainly give it a shot.

  • Both sides have pros and cons. Parser gives the programmers a lot more freedom--instead of just one all-purpose response for clicking "hand" on an apple, there can be different responses for "touch apple", "take apple", "feel apple", "eat apple", "squeeze apple", "bounce apple", and so on. But then, it also adds challenge and difficulty for the players (and I imagine for the programmers). Challenge can be good, but guessing the right words to use can be more tedious than challenging.

    While I enjoy old parser games, I can't say that I ever thought any point and click games would have been better if they had been parser instead, so I guess I have no preference.

  • I like both interfaces. I kind of like the feel of the parser interface, but that is probably not going to make a return :). I'm ok with any kind of point and click interface.

  • The main problem I see with parser is that it's really only full practical for a PC release. Sure people have keyboards for other systems, but they're not especially common. And doing both methods would take a lot of extra time so I don't see parser ever making a return.

  • @wilco64256 said: The main problem I see with parser is that it's really only full practical for a PC release. Sure people have keyboards for other systems, but they're not especially common. And doing both methods would take a lot of extra time so I don't see parser ever making a return.

    True, but the game can be set to detect if the needed item is attached and prompt the player which they'd like to use if available. Then again, they could always do it like Larry 7 did, make it integrated into the interface (again, only if the perpheral is found). They hid some easter eggs in the game that could only be found through its use.

  • @ScreamingFalcon said: True, but the game can be set to detect if the needed item is attached and prompt the player which they'd like to use if available. Then again, they could always do it like Larry 7 did, make it integrated into the interface (again, only if the perpheral is found). They hid some easter eggs in the game that could only be found through its use.

    Right, it's the time involved with making that possible more than the actual detection itself that I don't see happening. Telltale isn't exactly known for putting more effort into their games than is needed to get them out the door.

  • Parser is fine as an interface as it gives plenty of options what to do, however when I'm playing older Sierra's parser games I always keep thesaurus at hand, because it makes guessing right words less frustrating. I often knew what I had to do, but didn't know which synonym was correct.

    Point and click is also a good system, although I must say that I'm not particularly happy with the current trend that you can either use or look objects or even worse you have just a single cursor for everything. In old Sierra and LucasArts point and click games there was several ways to manipulate or examine the objects, some SQ games even gave you choice to smell everything which you encountered. The old system was much better, because it gave you more choice.

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