Having to Open Doors in IF: Bad Form?

March 9, 2009


I’ve been beta-testing Realm of Obsidian for a few weeks now, and two of my testers told me that having to open a door annoys them.

Many games allow the player to move through a door and into the next area, and the opening of the door is an automatic thing. The player doesn’t have to consider whether a door is open or closed. If it isn’t locked or barred in some way, they can just go in that direction.

In my game, you will be told that the door is closed, if trying to go in a direction where a closed door lies. My main reason for this? I have a sound that plays when a door is opened or closed. (Actually, it can be one of several sounds, depending on what door is being dealt with.) Sure, I could have the door open automatically on going north (for example), then play the sound and put the PC in the next location. But for me, there’s something special about entering the command “open door” and hearing a “creeeek” sound.

If enough people complain, I might change this. But for now, it remains. I’ll be submitting Realm of Obsidian to the Spring Thing competition with the “door issue” as is. Maybe I’ll get a point deduction of some kind, though of course, I hope not. I just don’t think it’s a big deal to type in “open door.” Any thoughts, anyone?