Inform 7 Home Page / Documentation

§12.6. Spontaneous actions by other people

The player's actions happen not only when he types a command, but can also happen spontaneously as a result of a "try" phrase.

try going west
try asking Will to try going west

The latter might, of course, result in Will trying going west: or it might not - that depends on the persuasion rules. But as the author, we have the ultimate powers of persuasion, and can make Will act in any way we like, without asking:

try Will going west

Nobody in the simulated world requested this: it is an impulse felt by Will alone, so that - from the player's point of view - Will is acting spontaneously. The player need not be anywhere nearby, and may never know what happened. Recall that when actions work their way down through the flow-chart, they are stopped before reaching the "report" stage - when the player is told about them - if they are running "silently". This is also where Inform stops an action which is not witnessed by the player.

To repeat a point in the previous section: "unsuccessful attempt" rules do not apply to actions which the author has caused to happen, using "try". When such actions fail, they invoke no special set of rules. Indeed, when "try" causes somebody other than the player to try an action, nothing will be printed to report back on success or failure. If Will can't go west, that's his problem.

Note that the text "try Will going west" involves the actor's name immediately placed next to the action he is to try, which in a very few cases might cause ambiguities. If the actor's name contains a participle like "going" - say, if Will's full name turned out to be Mr Will Going - then we would have to write out the action name in full, using "trying" to clarify matters:

try Will Going trying going west

arrow-up.png Start of Chapter 12: Advanced Actions
arrow-left.png Back to §12.5. Unsuccessful attempts
arrow-right.png Onward to §12.7. New actions

*ExampleIQ Test
Introducing Ogg, a person who will unlock and open a container when the player tells him to get something inside.

****ExampleBoston Cream
A fuller implementation of Ogg, giving him a motivation of his own and allowing him to react to the situation created by the player.