Compound Verbs

Since I can no longer utilize plastic sentence structure, I must instead build single verbs that contain both verb elements. I shall work from the ground up.

A player needs to know two basic sets of facts: how others feel about him, and how many auras they have. Let’s build upward from there.

1. Reveal Aura-Count


“Socrates reveals to Merida that Mad Scientist has 3 tanagas.”

This is the pay-dirt verb. The WordSocket numbers are shown next to their words; this indicates the order in which the user fills them in. I’m a bit uncertain as to the direction of the connector-arrow between #3 and #4; since #3 is an Actor-Attribute, it should be thought of as modifying the Actor in #4. 

This does, however, raise an issue with the Acceptable script for #5. In the original game, it was impossible to lie, so the correct version would be automatically inserted for the player. So, do I want to permit lies? 

That would open up a huge can of worms. But what is the point of the trust Actor-Attribute if everybody always tells the truth? No, the existence of shial necessitates the option of lying. 

That was easy.

2. Ask about Aura-Count


“Socrates asks Merida how many tanagas Mad Scientist has.” 

I’m a bit leary of this construction because it consumes the interrogative verb for this narrow purpose. I’ll see if I can’t extend it to cover other cases:

3. Ask about feelings


“Socrates asks Merida how much Mad Scientist trusts (him).” 

This construction works only if you can only ask about how other people feel about you. Socrates could not ask Merida (in this construction) how much Mad Scientist trusts Darth Maul. Is such third-party information important? It was certainly important in gossip – and in fact it has to play an important role in the game. So I suppose that we have a conflict over the use of the verb “ask”. I need two versions of the verb: one for aura-counts and one for feelings. How about this:


I suppose that this works. Here’s another version:


OK, I’ll go ahead with these, except that I’ll rework them so that the speech bubble is a pixel or two closer to the face. That will make a bit more room free for the subicons.

With that, I have solved the problem of the two asks. Onward.

4. Offer deal


This one conflicts with “reveal aura-count”, because there the Actor and the Interrogative Quantifier both modify the Actor-Attribute, while here they modify in a sequence that is not the same as previously. Now, the first approach follows the conventional order in English, but I would expect that the sequence of thought would bring up the third actor (Mad Scientist), then the quantifier, then the aura type, as in “Mad Scientist has three tanagas”. In interrogative form, it would be “Mad Scientist has how many tanagas?” This, it seems to me, is cognitively neater. But how do we organize it on the screen? Do we conflate all forms into a single clause structure? If so, we’d have to use the vertical clause structure, which would be problematic. Here’s an alternative layout:


This is probably better for most people. “Ask about aura” would use the same layout, as would “Ask about feeling”.

So far, so good. Time to take a break.