Chapter 9: Props: Food, Clothing, Money, Toys, Books, Electronics
9.1. Food

Inform provides an either/or property called "edible" and action, "eating", for consuming edible things:

The lardy cake is edible. After eating the lardy cake, say "Sticky but delicious."

One of Inform's rules is that a person can only eat what he or she is holding - normally realistic, but it does prevent, say, eating a cherry off the tree. A procedural rule can override this: see Lollipop Guild. Delicious, Delicious Rocks, on the other hand, adds a sanity check which prevents the player from automatically taking inedible things only to be told they can't be eaten.

Inform does not normally simulate taste or digestion, but to provide foods with a range of flavours, see Would you...?; to make eating different foods affect the player differently, see Stone, or for the extreme case of poisoning foods, Candy. In MRE, hunger causes the player problems unless he regularly finds and eats food.

* See Liquids for things to drink

* See Dispensers and Supplies of Small Objects for a pizza buffet table from which the player may take all the slices he wants

*** Example  Lollipop Guild
Overriding the rules to allow the player to eat something without first taking it.

*** Example  Delicious, Delicious Rocks
Adding a "sanity-check" stage to decide whether an action makes any sense, which occurs before any before rules, implicit taking, or check rules.

* Example  Would you...?
Adding new properties to objects, and checking for their presence.

* Example  Stone
A soup to which the player can add ingredients, which will have different effects when the player eats.

* Example  Candy
One of several identical candies chosen at the start of play to be poisonous.


Suppose we want to give the player a bag of candies, of which a random one is poisonous. We can pick which one should be poisoned at the start of play, like this:


The plural of piece of candy is pieces of candy. A piece of candy is a kind of thing. A piece of candy is always edible. Four pieces of candy are in the Halloween bag.

Toxicity is a kind of value. The toxicities are safe and poisonous. A piece of candy has a toxicity. A piece of candy is usually safe.

The Porch is a room. The player carries the Halloween bag.

After eating a poisonous piece of candy:
    say "Oh, that didn't taste right at all. Oh well!"

When play begins:
    now a random piece of candy is poisonous.

Test me with "eat candy / g / g / g".

* Example  MRE
Hunger that eventually kills the player, and foodstuffs that can delay the inevitable by different amounts of time.