I showed my thesis project at the NYC interactive fiction meeting to get some feedback from interactive fiction enthusiasts. The feedback contrasted with the types of advice I usually get from playtesters in that it had more to do with content and possible interactions than the text presentation of the game.
Some suggestions were to emphasize directionality in the descriptions of objects in the world. I really like this suggestion because it adds meaningful variety to different approaches the player can make to objects in the world. For instance, if the player enters a room from the east they might see something that they wouldn’t if they entered from the south, west or north.
Another suggestion was to allow players to run around game objects to generate multiple descriptions. For instance, running around a tree in a visual game would yield a variety of compositions of the frame in the image on screen, so why not incrementally emit different descriptions of varied detail as the player encircles a space in the game to yield a similar effect.
Another suggestion encouraged over verbosity in the output, which is something I had heard before from several playtesters and classmates.
However, I currently need most to develop the content in my game to support the narrative and worldbuilding work that I’ve already done. Back to writing.