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§11.5. Settings and Status Checks During Play

Several default actions allow the player some control over the presentation of the story, or permit the player to request information about what is going on. In addition to the standard commands described elsewhere in this section (SCORE, SAVE, UNDO, QUIT, RESTART, and RESTORE), Inform has the following actions that control the player's experience:

Preferring abbreviated room descriptions (SUPERBRIEF)
Preferring unabbreviated room descriptions (VERBOSE)
Preferring sometimes abbreviated room descriptions (BRIEF)
Switching score notification on (NOTIFY ON)
Switching score notification off (NOTIFY OFF)

The first three of these allow the player to change the way rooms are described on first and subsequent versions; the last two, when used in a story that provides a score feature, toggle on and off reports such as "[Your score has just gone up by three points.]" These are discussed elsewhere in the Recipe Book (see cross-references below).

These provide immediate feedback about the status of the story file being played:

Verifying the story file (VERIFY)
Requesting the story file version (VERSION)
Requesting the pronoun meanings (PRONOUNS)

VERIFY examines checksums to make sure that the story file being run is intact and correct. This is less often an issue now than it was in the days when story files were distributed by highly corruptible floppy disk, but the command persists and is very occasionally useful. VERSION gives the full banner text associated with the story, including title, author, release number, IFID, and other bibliographical data; it follows this with a list of the included extensions.

PRONOUNS announces to the player what the story is currently understanding as the antecedents of "him", "her", "it", and "them". This is often useful during testing, but sometimes also during play.

The following allow the player (when supported by his interpreter) to create a log of play:

Switching the story transcript on (TRANSCRIPT ON)
Switching the story transcript off (TRANSCRIPT OFF)

It is rarely a good idea to change the default performance of such commands: they are often finicky and closely tied to the interpreter in which the story runs. Moreover, disabling the "version" command means that the story file is not able to display attribution information for Inform and any included extensions, in violation of their respective licenses.

* See Looking for a way to set the story's verbosity level for the player

* See Scoring for a discussion of score notification

* See Testing for some examples of status-check commands created for alpha- or beta-testing of a story

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