§9.15. How many turns?
So much for "times" - spells in which a condition is true. We can also test the length of time, in turns of play, that something has been true. Thus:
if ... for three turns;
means that the condition holds now, and held at the start of this turn, at the start of last turn, and at the start of the turn before that. In particular:
if the floppy hat has been worn for three turns ...
will be false if the hat is not currently worn (even if it has been often in the past) and, on the other hand, will be true if the hat has been worn for twenty turns. Here again we can be more specific. These are synonymous:
if the floppy hat is worn for the third turn ...
if the floppy hat has been worn for only 3 turns ...
if the floppy hat has been worn for exactly three turns ...
all requiring that the hat wasn't worn four turns ago. As before, "more than", "less than", "at least" and "at most" so forth can also be used - say, "for at least 21 turns".
A warning: we must be careful when writing something like
if the noun has been open ...
since this tests whether it has ever been true that the noun of the then action was open: not whether the current noun-object has ever been open.
Lastly, note that the beginning of play - when (usually) initial text and a banner is printed, followed by a room description - counts towards these counts. In effect, this is a turn: one in which the player compulsorily performs the looking action, rather than being asked for a command. (By convention it is numbered as turn number 0, and doesn't contribute towards the turn count.)
|Start of Chapter 9: Time|
|Back to §9.14. How many times?|
|Onward to Chapter 10: Scenes: §10.1. Introduction to scenes|
The Minivan is a room. The Open Road is outside from the Minivan. Pete is a man in the Minivan. "Pete [if the player has been in the Minivan for 3 turns]is starting to look bored[otherwise]is playing with his travel activity book[end if]."
if the player has been in the Minivan for 5 turns, say "'Are we there [if saying no]now?'[otherwise]yet?' asks Pete.[end if]"
Instead of saying no:
say "'Oh,' says Pete. There is a blessed, momentary silence."
Instead of going to the Open Road:
say "You leap to your death.";
end the story.
Test me with "z / z / look / g / g / g / no / z / z / z / no / z / out".