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§3.4. Continuous Spaces and The Outdoors

Suppose we want to blur the boundaries between rooms, in an environment where there are no walls: out of doors, for instance?

The simplest cases involve making something exceptional visible in more than one place. Carnivale features an exceptionally large landmark seen by day; Eddystone an exceptionally bright one by night. Waterworld allows a very distant object (the Sun) to be seen throughout many rooms, but never approached. View of Green Hills gives the player an explicit command for looking through into an adjacent room.

Three systematic examples then present outdoor landscapes with increasing sophistication. Tiny Garden gives the multiple rooms of an extended lawn descriptions which automatically adapt to say which directions lead into further lawn area. Rock Garden provides a relation, "connected with", between rooms, allowing items in one to be seen from the other: an attempt to interact with a visible item in a different area of the garden triggers an implicit going action first. Stately Gardens provides a much larger outdoor area, where larger landmarks are visible from further away, and room descriptions are highly adaptive.

In an outdoor environment, the distinction between a one-move journey and a multiple-move journey is also blurred. Hotel Stechelberg shows a signpost which treats these equally.

* See Position Within Rooms for making the space within a room continuous

* See Windows for another way to see between locations

* See Doors, Staircases, and Bridges for still a third way to be told at least what lies adjacent

* See Passers-By, Weather and Astronomical Events for more on describing the sky

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A backdrop which the player can examine, but cannot interact with in any other way.

**ExampleTiny Garden
A lawn made up of several rooms, with part of the description written automatically.

**ExampleHotel Stechelberg
Signposts such as those provided on hiking paths in the Swiss Alps, which show the correct direction and hiking time to all other locations.

An alternative to backdrops when we want something to be visible from a distance but only touchable from one room.

Creating new commands involving the standard compass directions.

**ExampleRock Garden
A simple open landscape where the player can see between rooms and will automatically move to touch things in distant rooms.

***ExampleA View of Green Hills
A LOOK [direction] command which allows the player to see descriptions of the nearby landscape.

***ExampleStately Gardens
An open landscape where the player can see landmarks in nearby areas, with somewhat more complex room descriptions than the previous example, and in which we also account for size differences between things seen at a distance.