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§3.8. Sounds

It is too easily assumed that room descriptions are what the player sees, but as The Undertomb demonstrates, they might just as easily include ambient sounds.

So Inform's "listening to" action is the audio equivalent of "examining", rather than "looking". Despite this the player can type LISTEN, which Inform understands as listening to the everything in the location at once. A simple but effective way to handle this is shown in The Art of Noise.

Four Stars 2 adjusts the idea of "visibility" to make it behave differently for listening purposes: this introduces a formal idea of "audibility".

* See Lighting for heightened hearing in darkness, and the rest of "Four Stars"

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*ExampleThe Undertomb 1
A small map of dead ends, in which the sound of an underground river has different strengths in different caves.

*ExampleFour Stars 2
Using "deciding the scope" to change the content of lists such as "the list of audible things which can be touched by the player".

***ExampleThe Art of Noise
Things are all assigned their own noise (or silence). Listening to the room in general reports on all the things that are currently audible.