How many verbs are perfect?

We have discussed this question several times here in the forum. So I thought it would be time to create a new topic. :slight_smile: We all like the old SCUMM verb interface. But how many (and which) verbs are perfect? Are the 9 verbs used in TWP the best compromise?

Would you like to have …

  • One (only “use”)
  • Nine (like in TWP)
  • 14 (like in Indy 3)
  • 15 (like in Maniac Mansion)
  • Other (please explain in the comments)

0 voters

… verbs in the UI?

(I don’t like the “use” verb at all. It would interesting to produce an adventure game with the SCUMM interface without that word. I guess the missing “use” would drive most younger players crazy. :wink: )


Nine like TWP!
I can’t comprehend having more than nine verbs that’s insane!

Nine as it was introduced in Monkey Island 2.

Some in Maniac Mansion were really redundant like “fix”.

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Aren’t all verbs redundant if you have a “use” verb? :slight_smile:

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Try to talk to Delores as Ransome if you only have the use verb. I think you might get a restraining order (or she´ll just pepperspray you, which is something she certainly has in that bag).

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Ok, and what about open, close, push, pull and pick up?

pick up wouldn´t make much sense because you can use something that while it´s still on the floor or the table, so you have to differentiate.

pull and push are relative to the position of an object, the whole trampoline puzzle in TwP is based on differentiating between those two, when you just had use you wouldn´t know if you want it on left or right side from where you looking at it.

Open and close has to be different from use in cases where you have something like the microwave that can be opened closed AND used.

Anyway, you know all that, are you playing the devil´s advocate here?

With only “use” you can let Ransome push the trampoline in the direction he is looking. And if he should “use” the trampoline (in the sense to step on it), you can make the black surface (the fabric) and the surrounding of the trampoline two separate hotspots.

Before you can turn the microwave on (Aha!) you have to open it. So it is clear what “use” means in the different “states” of the microwave cooking process. :slight_smile:

Yes. :wink: Because I would like to have more verbs. I think that 14 verbs in Indy 3 were perfect: Not too much but enough to give me a higher degree of freedom. The choice of the verbs are a different question - that depends on the story (beside that I think that the verbs in Indy 3 are OK for a “traditional” adventure game. :slight_smile: ).

The redundancy of the “fix” verb I was refering to comes mostly from the fact that you only use it once or twice in the whole game, once in most cases I think. I guess that´s why it was the first to go. It didn´t even make it to Zak.

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Ah, Ok, here I agree with you. :slight_smile: (And that’s why I would chose different verbs in different games.)

Sure, why not? Different stories put different focus on certain activities. Why not consider that when building the verbs?

LA and now Terrible Toybox used the same nine verbs for their games. (With small exceptions like Franklin.) So it seems that these verbs are universal. It would be interesting to know why the developer teams haven’t introduced other verbs and/or more verbs. Especially the “repair” verb had been useful in Indy 4.

If I recall correctly, Ransome just pushed the trampoline even if I said “pull”.

Wasn’t that a bug?

It was just generally confusing.

I guess it was, because you could stand both on the left and on the right of the trampoline. It didn’t take long until I got it.

I still never really did what I wanted it to do.

Nice poll. I voted for other. For me increasing the number of verbs is a bit redundant in the sense that it won’t change the gameplay significantly. However adding a set of prepositions would make more interesting puzzles in my opinion. Having to combine 2 (or more) items to complete an action beyond the “use A with B” would enhance the gameplay and make the puzzle solving more rewarding.

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That’s a really interesting idea! But wouldn’t be such an interface too complex?

I think it would be good to have a game with some unusual verbs in it, where you have to get creative to solve the puzzles.

“Swipe” would be an example. You could use it to knock over an object, or dramatically flip a switch. If you Pick Up a marker pen and then use the verb, you could draw a line on a whiteboard.

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