"The Craft of the Adventure" is a series of essays by Graham Nelson on the design of Interactive Fiction Adventure Games. It is divided into the following sections:
- In The Beginning
- Bill of Player's Rights
- A Narrative... Click for subsections
- ...At War With a Crossword Click for subsections
- Varnish and Veneer Click for subsections
Contains or discusses the following tropes:
- Book Ends: Brought up at the end of "A Narrative…", when discussing end game design:
But a good rule of thumb, as any film screenplay writer will testify, seems to be to make the two scenes which open and close the story "book-ends" for each other: in some way symmetrical and matching.
- Creator In-Joke: Warned against in "…At War With a Crossword", which lists "The 'In-Joke' syndrome" as one of the three big pitfalls in making puzzles.
- Creator Provincialism: One entry in the "Bill of Player's Rights" warns against this: "Not to need to be American". It gives an example of the diamond maze in Zork II, which stumped many non-Americans who couldn't figure out that it was a baseball diamond.
- A Million Is a Statistic: Discussed in "Narrative…":
[…] it's more interesting and dramatic to save a small number of people (the mud-slide will wipe out the whole village!) than the whole impersonal world (but Doctor
, the instability could blow up every star in the universe!).
- You Can't Get Ye Flask: Brought up a few times. One item on the "Bill of Player's Rights" is "Not to have to type exactly the right verb". Another is "To be allowed reasonable synonyms". And "…At War With a Crossword" lists "The 'What's-The-Verb" syndrome" as one of the three big pitfalls in making puzzles.