Problem-Solving Characters

version 2 by Ron Newcomb

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  • Section 9 - the Matching Key rules
    [ The “matching key” rules. These three check rules brought up quite a dilemma. While the AI could easily fetch and use a lock’s matching key, in-world, it makes no sense. While auto-taking any keys happened upon by the I-F player is natural, the kleptomaniac tendencies are less understandable in an NPC who lives in that world. The fundamental problem is one of differing kinds of prescient knowledge. Although a player easily knows keys are more valuable than anything in an I-F world, and will grab them immediately no matter who the in-world owner is, it’s stealing. And although the AI can easily peek behind the scenes to learn whether a given lock has a matching key, and where the key is, it’s cheating. Unfortunately, Inform doesn’t automatically track NPC knowledge, so any rules the AI needs will depend on what and how much the author implements. At the end of the day, I chose to leave these completely unimplemented. ][
    When hindered by the can't open what's locked rule: we could try unlocking the noun with the matching key of the noun.
    When hindered by the can't lock without the correct key rule:
    When hindered by the can't unlock without the correct key rule:
    [ Our final set of categories fall under the broad rubric of physics. While many earlier rules deal with ridiculous situations, silly commands, and ensuring necessary prerequisites, these last categories lend rigor to I-F’s physical world. Space and furniture sit alongside sentience and gravity in less than fifty rules. Generally, the AI won’t attempt a thing for any violations. If an author decides to make angry dragons edible, it’s on them to inform the AI that to eat is to defeat. ]