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§3.6. Windows

Calvin Coolidge once described windows as "rectangles of glass." For us, they have two purposes: first, they offer a view of landscape beyond. In the simplest case the view is of an area which will not be interacted with in play, and therefore does not need to adapt to whatever may have changed there:

The window is scenery in the Turret. "Through the window you see miles and miles of unbroken forest, turning from green to flame in the hard early autumn."

More interesting is to adapt the view a little to provide a changing picture: a forest may not change much, but a street scene will. Port Royal 4 allows us to glimpse random passers-by.

The trickiest kind of window allows the player to see another room which can also be encountered in play, and to interact with what is there. Dinner is Served presents a shop window, allowing people to see inside from the street, and even to reach through.

Vitrine handles the complication of a window misting up to become opaque, and thus temporarily hiding its view.

Second, windows provide openings in walls and can act as conduits. Escape shows how a "door" in the Inform sense can become a window. A Haughty Spirit provides a general kind of window for jumping down out of: ideal for escapers from Colditz-like castles.

* See Doors, Staircases, and Bridges for a door which can be partially seen through

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An electrochromic window that becomes transparent or opaque depending on whether it is currently turned on.

Window that can be climbed through or looked through.

**ExampleDinner is Served
A window between two locations. When the window is open, the player can reach through into the other location; when it isn't, access is barred.

**ExamplePort Royal 4
A cell window through which the player can see people who were in Port Royal in the current year of game-time.

***ExampleA Haughty Spirit
Windows overlooking lower spaces which will prevent the player from climbing through if the lower space is too far below.