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Chris Crawford on Game Design by Chris Crawford

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First Draft Proposal

The central problem of Talk to the Animals lay in the language. How could I design a language that would permit the kinds of interactions I wanted between the player and the characters of the game? It was obvious to me that I could not use natural language; researchers had been struggling with the problem for years and had not come close to solving the problem on big computers, much less a little personal computer. This led to the conclusion that I would have to invent my own little language. I needed a system of subjects, verbs, direct objects, and so forth that would permit the player to Talk to the Animals.

Now, there already existed a solution to the problem of using language in games: the parser. Indeed, one of the more ...

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