§3.11. Two descriptions of things

The player's first sight of something is the text used as its "initial appearance":

The plain ring is here. "Cast aside, as if worthless, is a plain brass ring."

This text appears as a separate paragraph in the text describing the Painted Room. It will continue to be used until the first time player picks the ring up (if this ever happens), so it normally describes things in their original, undisturbed context. (Inform uses an either/or property called "handled" for this: something is "handled" if it has at some point been held by the player.)

Thus when a piece of text stands alone as a sentence in its own right, then this is either the "description" of the most recently discussed room, or the "initial appearance" of the most recently discussed thing. Either way, it is used verbatim as a paragraph in the text shown to the player visiting the room in question.

But a thing also has an ordinary "description", which is used to give a close-up look at it. This text is ordinarily only revealed to the player when a command like "examine ring" is keyed in:

The description of the plain ring is "No better than the loops of metal the old women use for fastening curtains."


* See Creating a scene for the description of a scene, which is set in the same way


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*ExampleDisenchantment Bay 4
Disenchantment Bay: fleshing out the descriptions of things on the boat.

**ExampleLaura
Some general advice about creating objects with unusual or awkward names, and a discussion of the use of printed names.