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Chris Crawford on Game Design by Chris Crawford

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Linguistic Input

This crude system permitted some surprisingly rich play, largely because the core input structure was linguistic: Orders are sentences. A player would enter “4x7” to say “Tank #4 ordered to fire at enemy Tank #7.” The display shown in Figure 13.3 was obtained by merely pressing the “3” key; any additional keypresses would have been added to its orders queue shown in the second line of the display.

The orders queue is the trickiest part of the user interface. Each tank may have up to five orders in its queue at any given time. This limit was imposed by the display; I could have stored more orders for each tank but then they would have been invisible or the display would have become cluttered. The problem was that the orders queue ...

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