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§6.6. Looking Under and Hiding

Finding hidden objects is a classic puzzle in IF. Beachfront provides the most basic example, an object that becomes visible only when we have searched the papers on a cluttered desk. Beneath the Surface takes this further, giving all large furnishings the ability to conceal items, and allowing the player to put things underneath other things, as well as find them. Flashlight adds an extra twist to the puzzle by requiring that the player have a flashlight to shine under a bulky object in order to find what lies underneath.

Looking inside an object is generally handled by the searching action, and we could extend that to allow the player to search multiple or complex objects. Matreshka turns the puzzle on its head by allowing the player to search a whole room systematically with only a single command.

* See Kitchen and Bathroom for the related case of needing to look in a mirror

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An item that the player can't interact with until he has found it by searching the scenery.

A SEARCH [room] action that will open every container the player can see, stopping only when there don't remain any that are closed, unlocked, and openable.

Visibility set so that looking under objects produces no result unless the player has a light source to shine there (regardless of the light level of the room).

*ExampleBeneath the Surface
An "underlying" relation which adds to the world model the idea of objects hidden under other objects.