A "consultable" object. This is an inanimate object that can be consulted about various topics, almost the way an actor can be asked about topics. Examples include individual objects that contain voluminous information, such as books, phone directories, and maps, as well as collections of individual information-carrying objects, such as file cabinets or bookcases.

A consultable keeps a database of TopicEntry objects; this works in much the same way as the topic database system that actors use. Create one or more ConsultTopic objects and place them inside the Consultable (using the 'location' property, or using the '+' syntax). When an actor consults the object about a topic, we'll search our database for a ConsultTopic object that matches the topic and is currently active, and show the response for the best one we can find.

From an IF design perspective, consultables have two nice properties.

First, they hide the boundaries of implementation, by letting the game *suggest* that there's an untold wealth of information in a particular book (or whatever) without the need to actually implement all of it. We only have to show the entries the player specifically asks for, so the game never has to admit when it's run out of things to show, and the player can never know for sure that there's not more to find. Be careful, though, because this is a double-edge sword, design-wise; it's easy to abuse this property to hide information gratuitously from the player.

Second, consultables help "match impedances" between the narrative level of detail and the underlying world model. At the narrative level, we paint in fairly broad strokes: when we visit a new location, we describe the *important* features of the setting, not every last detail. If the player wants to examine something in closer detail, we zoom in on that detail, assuming we've implemented it, but it's up to the player to determine where the attention is focused. Consultable objects give us the same capability for books and the like. With a consultable, we can describe the way a book looks without immediately dumping the literal contents of the book onto the screen; but when the player chooses some aspect of the book to read in detail, we can zoom in on that page or chapter and show that literal content, if we choose.

Also, note that we assume that consultables convey their information through visual information, such as printed text or a display screen. Because of this, we by default require that the object be visible to be consulted. This might not be appropriate in some cases, such as Braille books or talking PDA's; to remove the visual condition, override the pre-condition for the Consult action.

class Consultable :   Thing   TopicDatabase

Superclass Tree   (in declaration order)


Subclass Tree  


Global Objects  


Summary of Properties  


Inherited from Thing :
actorInAName  actorInName  actorInPrep  actorIntoName  actorOutOfName  actorOutOfPrep  aDisambigName  allStates  aName  brightness  bulk  canBeHeard  canBeSeen  canBeSmelled  canBeTouched  canMatchHer  canMatchHim  canMatchIt  canMatchThem  circularlyInMessage  collectiveGroup  collectiveGroups  contents  contentsListed  contentsListedInExamine  contentsListedSeparately  contentsLister  descContentsLister  described  disambigEquivName  disambigName  distantDesc  distantInitSpecialDesc  distantSpecialDesc  distinguishers  dummyName  effectiveFollowLocation  equivalenceKey  equivalentGrouper  equivalentGrouperClass  equivalentGrouperTable  esEndingPat  explicitVisualSenseInfo  getState  globalParamName  holdingIndex  iesEndingPat  initDesc  initNominalRoomPartLocation  initSpecialDesc  inlineContentsLister  isEquivalent  isHer  isHim  isInInitState  isKnown  isLikelyCommandTarget  isListedAboardVehicle  isMassNoun  isPlural  isProperName  isQualifiedName  isThingConstructed  isTopLevel  listName  listWith  location  lookInLister  moved  name  nameDoes  nameSays  nameSees  notTravelReadyMsg  objectNotifyList  objInPrep  obscuredInitSpecialDesc  obscuredSpecialDesc  owner  patElevenEighteen  patIsAlpha  patLeadingTagOrQuote  patOfPhrase  patOneLetterAnWord  patOneLetterWord  patSingleApostropheS  patTagOrQuoteChar  patUpperOrDigit  patVowelY  pluralDisambigName  pluralName  pronounSelector  roomDarkName  roomLocation  roomName  seen  sightPresence  sightSize  smellPresence  smellSize  soundPresence  soundSize  specialContentsLister  specialDesc  specialDescBeforeContents  specialDescListWith  specialDescOrder  specialNominalRoomPartLocation  suppressAutoSeen  takeFromNotInMessage  theDisambigName  theName  theNamePossNoun  tmpAmbient_  tmpAmbientFill_  tmpAmbientWithin_  tmpFillMedium_  tmpObstructor_  tmpObstructorWithin_  tmpPathIsIn_  tmpTrans_  tmpTransWithin_  touchPresence  touchSize  verbCan  verbCannot  verbCant  verbEndingSD  verbEndingSEd  verbEndingSMessageBuilder_  verbMust  verbToCome  verbToDo  verbToGo  verbToLeave  verbToSay  verbToSee  verbWill  verbWont  weight 

Inherited from VocabObject :
canResolvePossessive  disambigPromptOrder  pluralOrder  vocabLikelihood  vocabWords  weakTokens 

Inherited from TopicDatabase :
limitSuggestions  suggestedTopics  topicGroupActive  topicGroupScoreAdjustment 

Summary of Methods  

dobjFor(Consult)  dobjFor(ConsultAbout)  resolveConsultTopic  topicNotFound 

Inherited from Thing :
acceptCommand  addAllContents  addDirectConnections  addObjectNotifyItem  addToContents  addToSenseInfoTable  adjustLookAroundTable  adjustThrowDestination  afterAction  afterTravel  allContents  aNameFrom  aNameObj  aNameOwnerLoc  announceDefaultObject  appendHeldContents  atmosphereList  baseMoveInto  basicExamine  basicExamineFeel  basicExamineListen  basicExamineSmell  basicExamineTaste  beforeAction  beforeTravel  buildContainmentPaths  cacheAmbientInfo  cacheSenseInfo  cacheSensePath  canBeHeardBy  canBeSeenBy  canBeSensed  canBeSmelledBy  canBeTouchedBy  canDetailsBeSensed  canHear  canMatchPronounType  canMoveViaPath  cannotGoShowExits  cannotReachObject  cannotSeeSmellSource  cannotSeeSoundSource  canOwn  canSee  canSmell  canThrowViaPath  canTouch  canTouchViaPath  checkActorOutOfNested  checkBulkChange  checkBulkChangeWithin  checkMoveViaPath  checkStagingLocation  checkThrowViaPath  checkTouchViaPath  checkTravelerDirectlyInRoom  childInName  childInNameGen  childInNameWithOwner  childInRemoteName  clearSenseInfo  cloneForMultiInstanceContents  cloneMultiInstanceContents  conjugateRegularVerb  connectionTable  construct  contentsInFixedIn  countDisambigName  countListName  countName  countNameFrom  countNameOwnerLoc  darkRoomContentsLister  defaultDistantDesc  defaultObscuredDesc  desc  directionForConnector  distantSmellDesc  distantSoundDesc  dobjFor(AskAbout)  dobjFor(AskFor)  dobjFor(AskVague)  dobjFor(AttachTo)  dobjFor(Attack)  dobjFor(AttackWith)  dobjFor(Board)  dobjFor(Break)  dobjFor(Burn)  dobjFor(BurnWith)  dobjFor(Clean)  dobjFor(CleanWith)  dobjFor(Climb)  dobjFor(ClimbDown)  dobjFor(ClimbUp)  dobjFor(Close)  dobjFor(CutWith)  dobjFor(Detach)  dobjFor(DetachFrom)  dobjFor(Dig)  dobjFor(DigWith)  dobjFor(Doff)  dobjFor(Drink)  dobjFor(Drop)  dobjFor(Eat)  dobjFor(Enter)  dobjFor(EnterOn)  dobjFor(Examine)  dobjFor(Extinguish)  dobjFor(Fasten)  dobjFor(FastenTo)  dobjFor(Feel)  dobjFor(Flip)  dobjFor(Follow)  dobjFor(GetOffOf)  dobjFor(GetOutOf)  dobjFor(GiveTo)  dobjFor(GoThrough)  dobjFor(JumpOff)  dobjFor(JumpOver)  dobjFor(Kiss)  dobjFor(LieOn)  dobjFor(Light)  dobjFor(ListenTo)  dobjFor(Lock)  dobjFor(LockWith)  dobjFor(LookBehind)  dobjFor(LookIn)  dobjFor(LookThrough)  dobjFor(LookUnder)  dobjFor(Move)  dobjFor(MoveTo)  dobjFor(MoveWith)  dobjFor(Open)  dobjFor(PlugIn)  dobjFor(PlugInto)  dobjFor(Pour)  dobjFor(PourInto)  dobjFor(PourOnto)  dobjFor(Pull)  dobjFor(Push)  dobjFor(PushTravel)  dobjFor(PutBehind)  dobjFor(PutIn)  dobjFor(PutOn)  dobjFor(PutUnder)  dobjFor(Read)  dobjFor(Remove)  dobjFor(Screw)  dobjFor(ScrewWith)  dobjFor(Search)  dobjFor(Set)  dobjFor(SetTo)  dobjFor(ShowTo)  dobjFor(SitOn)  dobjFor(Smell)  dobjFor(StandOn)  dobjFor(Strike)  dobjFor(Switch)  dobjFor(Take)  dobjFor(TakeFrom)  dobjFor(TalkTo)  dobjFor(Taste)  dobjFor(TellAbout)  dobjFor(TellVague)  dobjFor(Throw)  dobjFor(ThrowAt)  dobjFor(ThrowDir)  dobjFor(ThrowTo)  dobjFor(Turn)  dobjFor(TurnOff)  dobjFor(TurnOn)  dobjFor(TurnTo)  dobjFor(TurnWith)  dobjFor(TypeLiteralOn)  dobjFor(TypeOn)  dobjFor(Unfasten)  dobjFor(UnfastenFrom)  dobjFor(Unlock)  dobjFor(UnlockWith)  dobjFor(Unplug)  dobjFor(UnplugFrom)  dobjFor(Unscrew)  dobjFor(UnscrewWith)  dobjFor(Wear)  examineListContents  examineListContentsWith  examineSpecialContents  examineStatus  failCheck  feelDesc  fillMedium  findOpaqueObstructor  findTouchObstructor  forEachConnectedContainer  forEachContainer  fromPOV  getAllForTakeFrom  getAllPathsTo  getAnnouncementDistinguisher  getBagAffinities  getBagsOfHolding  getBestDistinguisher  getBulk  getBulkWithin  getCarryingActor  getCommonContainer  getCommonDirectContainer  getConnectedContainers  getConnectorTo  getContentsForExamine  getDestName  getDropDestination  getEncumberingBulk  getEncumberingWeight  getExtraScopeItems  getHitFallDestination  getIdentityObject  getInScopeDistinguisher  getListedContents  getLocPushTraveler  getLocTraveler  getMovePathTo  getNoise  getNominalDropDestination  getNominalOwner  getObjectNotifyList  getOdor  getOutermostRoom  getOutermostVisibleRoom  getRoomNotifyList  getRoomPartLocation  getStateWithInfo  getStatuslineExitsHeight  getThrowPathTo  getTouchPathTo  getTravelConnector  getVisualSenseInfo  getWeight  hasCollectiveGroup  hideFromAll  hideFromDefault  initializeEquivalent  initializeLocation  initializeThing  inRoomName  iobjFor(AttachTo)  iobjFor(AttackWith)  iobjFor(BurnWith)  iobjFor(CleanWith)  iobjFor(CutWith)  iobjFor(DetachFrom)  iobjFor(DigWith)  iobjFor(FastenTo)  iobjFor(GiveTo)  iobjFor(LockWith)  iobjFor(MoveWith)  iobjFor(PlugInto)  iobjFor(PourInto)  iobjFor(PourOnto)  iobjFor(PutBehind)  iobjFor(PutIn)  iobjFor(PutOn)  iobjFor(PutUnder)  iobjFor(ScrewWith)  iobjFor(ShowTo)  iobjFor(TakeFrom)  iobjFor(ThrowAt)  iobjFor(ThrowTo)  iobjFor(TurnWith)  iobjFor(UnfastenFrom)  iobjFor(UnlockWith)  iobjFor(UnplugFrom)  iobjFor(UnscrewWith)  isActorTravelReady  isComponentOf  isDirectlyIn  isHeldBy  isIn  isInFixedIn  isListed  isListedInContents  isListedInInventory  isListedInRoomPart  isLookAroundCeiling  isNominallyIn  isNominallyInRoomPart  isOccludedBy  isOrIsIn  isOwnedBy  isShipboard  isVocabEquivalent  itIs  itNom  itObj  itPossAdj  itPossNoun  itVerb  listCardinality  localDirectionLinkForConnector  lookAround  lookAroundPov  lookAroundWithin  lookAroundWithinContents  lookAroundWithinDesc  lookAroundWithinName  lookAroundWithinSense  lookAroundWithinShowExits  lookInDesc  mainExamine  mainMoveInto  mapPushTravelHandlers  mapPushTravelHandlers  mapPushTravelHandlers  mapPushTravelHandlers  mapPushTravelHandlers  meetsObjHeld  mergeSenseInfo  mergeSenseInfoTable  moveInto  moveIntoForTravel  moveIntoNotifyPath  mustMoveObjInto  nameIs  nameIsnt  nameVerb  normalizePath  notePromptByOwnerLoc  notePromptByPossAdj  noteSeenBy  notifyInsert  notifyMoveInto  notifyMoveViaPath  notifyRemove  obscuredDesc  obscuredSmellDesc  obscuredSoundDesc  pluralNameFrom  processThrow  propHidesProp  propWithPresent  putInName  receiveDrop  remoteDesc  remoteInitSpecialDesc  remoteRoomContentsLister  remoteSpecialDesc  removeFromContents  removeObjectNotifyItem  restoreLocation  roomActorThereDesc  roomContentsLister  roomDaemon  roomDarkDesc  roomDesc  roomFirstDesc  roomRemoteDesc  roomTravelPreCond  saveLocation  selectPathTo  sendNotifyInsert  sendNotifyRemove  senseAmbientMax  senseInfoTable  senseObj  sensePathFromWithin  sensePathFromWithout  sensePathToContents  sensePathToLoc  sensePresenceList  setAllSeenBy  setContentsSeenBy  setGlobalParamName  setVisualSenseInfo  shineFromWithin  shineFromWithout  shineOnContents  shineOnLoc  showDistantSpecialDesc  showDistantSpecialDescInContents  showInventoryContents  showInventoryItem  showInventoryItemCounted  showListItem  showListItemCounted  showListItemCountedGen  showListItemGen  showObjectContents  showObscuredSpecialDesc  showObscuredSpecialDescInContents  showRemoteSpecialDesc  showRemoteSpecialDescInContents  showSpecialDesc  showSpecialDescInContents  showSpecialDescInContentsWithInfo  showSpecialDescWithInfo  showStatuslineExits  showWornItem  showWornItemCounted  smellDesc  smellHereDesc  soundDesc  soundHereDesc  specialDescList  specialPathFrom  statusName  stopThrowViaPath  superHidesSuper  tasteDesc  thatNom  thatObj  theNameFrom  theNameObj  theNameOwnerLoc  theNameWithOwner  throwTargetCatch  throwTargetHitWith  throwViaPath  transmitAmbient  transSensingIn  transSensingOut  traversePath  tryHolding  tryImplicitRemoveObstructor  tryMovingObjInto  useInitDesc  useInitSpecialDesc  useSpecialDesc  useSpecialDescInContents  useSpecialDescInRoom  useSpecialDescInRoomPart  verbEndingEs  verbEndingIes  verbEndingS  verbToHave  verbWas  verifyFollowable  verifyInsert  verifyMoveTo  verifyRemove  whatIf  whatIfHeldBy  withVisualSenseInfo 

Inherited from VocabObject :
addToDictionary  expandPronounList  filterResolveList  getFacets  inheritVocab  initializeVocab  initializeVocabWith  matchName  matchNameCommon  matchNameDisambig  throwNoMatchForLocation  throwNoMatchForPossessive  throwNothingInLocation 

Inherited from TopicDatabase :
addSuggestedTopic  addTopic  addTopicToList  compareVocabMatch  findTopicResponse  getTopicOwner  handleTopic  removeSuggestedTopic  removeTopic  removeTopicFromList  showSuggestedTopicList  showTopicResponse 



Our topic entry database for consultatation topics. This will be automatically built during initialization from the set of ConsultTopic objects located within me, so there's usually no need to initialize this manually.



If they consult us without a topic, just ask for a topic. Treat it as logical, but rank it as improbable, in case there's anything else around that can be consulted without any topic specified.

consult about a topic

resolveConsultTopic (lst, np, resolver)objects.t[1641]
Resolve the topic phrase for a CONSULT ABOUT command. The CONSULT ABOUT action refers this to the direct object of the action, so that the direct object can filter the topic match according to what makes sense for the consultable.

By default, we resolve the topic phrase a little differently than we would for conversational commands, such as ASK ABOUT. By default, we don't differentiate objects at all based on physical scope or actor knowledge when deciding on a match for a topic phrase. For example, if you create a Consultable representing a phone book, and the player enters a command like FIND BOB IN PHONE BOOK, the topic BOB will be found even if the 'bob' object isn't known to the player character. The reason for this difference from ASK ABOUT et al is that consultables are generally the kinds of objects where, in real life, a person could browse through the object and come across entries whether or not the person knew enough to look for them. For example, you could go through a phone book and find an entry for "Bob" even if you didn't know anyone named Bob.

'lst' is the list of ResolveInfo objects giving the full set of matches for the vocabulary words; 'np' is the grammar production object for the topic phrase; and 'resolver' is the TopicResolver that's resolving the topic phrase. Note that 'lst' contains ResolveInfo objects, so to get the game-world object for a given list entry, use lst[i].obj_.

We return a ResolvedTopic object that encapsulates the matching objects.

Note that the resolver object can be used to get certain useful information. The resolver's getAction() method returns the action (which you should use instead of gAction, since this routine is called during the resolution process, not during command execution); its getTargetActor() method returns the actor performing the action; and its objInPhysicalScope(obj) method lets you determine if an object is in physical scope for the actor.

topicNotFound ( )objects.t[1587]
show the default response for a topic we couldn't find

TADS 3 Library Manual
Generated on 5/16/2013 from TADS version 3.1.3