The Instrumental Game

Full Disclosure: the free Android smart phone application is available for download.

You cannot play (or even see) this Java applet on the Android smart phone default web browser (surprise!). I have no idea if there is another Android web browser that is Java enabled. I assume that this is a security issue. You should be able to play with this game on a Java V1.5 (AKA Version 5 [blame marketing]) enabled browser on a desktop or laptop computer.

If you have any other problems with this game, please let me know so that I can fix them.

General Information

This is a prototype for a series of games that use the Instrumentation language. The 'glyph' (the big round thing) is an ideogram that represents a 'term' (one or more English words) depending on its 'aspect' (how it looks).

Right clicking anywhere near the glyph will display a cheat sheet for the buttons on the left side of the page. Some of the functions are only explained there. The more complicated or less obvious details are belabored below.

Left clicking on the *center* of an 'element' (a line or the triangle) will make it disappear or reappear. For the 'laths' (the curved elements), the *center* is where the lath touches a 'spoke' (they look like spokes). Enter a '-0' (a negative zero) in the Index field and press the "Index" button to make all elements vanish. The dots show where the *centers* of absent elements would be if you hadn't just made them vanish. The 'hub' (the small innermost circle) around the 'plug' (the central triangle) never disappears. Please stop clicking on the hub.

After clicking, the layer counts and pronunciation at the top of the page, the Basic and Syntax parts of a term (above the drop-boxes at the bottom left) and the Index (in the "Layer, Index, Add, Find" field on the right) will all change to reflect the new aspect of the glyph.

The "Layer, Index, Add" counts are hexadecimal (or base 16, the digits are '0' to '9' and 'A' to 'F'). You can generally ignore the counts. The 'Find' button will search within the drop-boxes for an entered string. 'Find' ignores case.

About the Instrumentation Glyph

The four layers of a glyph are:

  1. inner spokes (Term Creation),
  2. inner laths (Term Description),
  3. outer spokes (Term Articulation) and
  4. outer laths (Term Specialization).
    (The outer laths are not used yet.)
The hub means 'true' when plugged and 'false' when unplugged. Plugging is explained here, or you can just click on the triangle at the center of the glyph above and see what happens (I dare you!).

Basic terms (singular nouns) are Created by combining the base meanings of the inner spokes. Inner spoke #7 means 'self' when the hub is plugged and 'not self' when unplugged. Self plus time is 'life'. Self plus thought is 'mind'. Self plus time plus thought is 'agenda'. Time plus thought is 'history'. The basic terms for Creation are here.

The inner laths modify (or Describe) these 256 basic terms to create 65 thousand nouns or 32 thousand adjectives or 32 thousand adverbs. This is explained here. We don't actually have all 65 thousand terms nailed down just yet, but you get the idea. You can help add terms, see game #7 below.

The outer spokes add grammar and syntax with prepositions, pronouns, articles, conjunction and verb conjugation. An Articulated term is ready to be part of a sentence. The terms for the Articulation layer are here.

The outer laths will add eight and a half billion Specialized terms such as penicillin. That might take a while. In the meantime, try to stay healthy. Example specialties for the Specialization layer are here.

Hinting around

The 'Hint' button displays the eight Type meanings and provides hint colors for each of the four layers in turn. The hint colors have the following meanings:

In other words, click on a yellow or blue element to see a nearby term.

Using the 'Add' function

'Add' will add the number in the "Layer, Index, Add, Find" field to the value of the current Index. You can use this to step past consecutive terms and only show one type of term. If you 'add' a negative number (such as -1) you can step backwards.

For example, if you enter 8000 in the "Layer, Index, Add, Find" field and then press 'Index', you will see the term "be". If you then change the "Layer, Index, Add, Find" field to 100 and press 'Add' repeatedly, you can step through the "Dog Verbs".

Alternately, you can enter 3E01 and then repeatedly add 1, to see the majority of the current conversational phrases. If you set the 'Hint' to layer two, you can also see if there are any 'Active' or 'Plural' versions of the phrase shown. This is the best way to see how the phrases are arranged.

Demonstrating Instrumentation

The 'Demo' and 'Review' buttons can be used to view examples of the Instrumentation language in action.

If you press 'Demo', you will be presented with a list of the current demos. A Demo listed as Reserved is not available for viewing just yet. I will be adding more demos for various situations from time to time.

If you press 'OK' on the demo selection panel you will be placed at the start of the selected demo. If you press 'Cancel' you will retain the current location in the current demo. If no demo has ever been selected, you will view the very first demo. The demo glyphs are not actually displayed until you start pressing 'Review'.

Each time you press 'Review', the next glyph will be shown. The first glyph displayed always contains "Start Paragraph" to let you know that this is the beginning of the demo, because the demo starts over when it reaches it's end.

You can go directly to a specific glyph within the demo by entering a question mark followed by the glyph number (like '?11') before you press 'Review'. This function is mostly intended to help me locate changes within the demo text, but you’re welcome to use it if you can think of a reason.

The game will also display the name of the 'speaker' to the right of the term. The numbers following the speaker's name are:

(current glyph) / (end of this speaker's 'turn')

Hopefully, these numbers will help you to follow the flow of the conversation.

Playing the Games

You can play with just the inner spokes and then add the other layers as you become familiar with the game. Enter 1, 2 or 3 as the "Layer" before you press "Bee", "What?" "Score" or "Hint" to limit the elements in that game.

Game #1 - Glyphing Bee

Press 'Bee' - a term is displayed and you construct its glyph.

One point is given for each correct layer one element. The point values double for each surrounding layer. Pressing 'Score' at any time will display the current score without ending the game. Pressing 'Term' will automatically pick the correct elements (and forfeit the game).

Maximum scores are:

Game #2 - Glyph says what?

Press 'What?' - a glyph displayed and you select a matching term.

Points are given based on the correct elements in the selected term. Game #2 is scored in the same way as game #1. Search function use is crucial to this game. Left clicking near the glyph will display the term and end the game.

Game #3 - Juggle an Idea

The player enters elements using the mouse or enters a number and presses the 'Index' button and a term is displayed. The term changes as elements are added and removed using the mouse. The hint colors show if removing or adding an element will display a term for the new aspect of the glyph. (works best with inner spokes)

Unfortunately, this game also shows the defects in the prototype vocabulary.

Game #4 - Dissect a Term

The player selects terms from the drop-down lists in the lower left corner, presses 'Term' and its elements are displayed. It's a short game, but a good one.

Game #5 - Decoder Ring

This function lets a user communicate with their friends using games #3 and #4. The texting of glyphs (glyphting) will be expanded as fluency with instrumentation spreads.

: This game is only available with the smart phone version of Instrumentation.

Game #6 - Fortune Teller

Press' Fortune' - elements are generated randomly and a term is displayed. You can think of a question or something first, if you like.

Disclaimer: The Instrumentation Fortune Teller is for entertainment purposes only. It works about as well as any other method of predicting the future by arbitrary random means (IE not very). Instrumentation is not responsible for your poor life choices. If you do not read disclaimers you are a fool and probably prone to poor life choices anyway.

Game #7 - Submit a Term

Do you have what it takes to build a language? If you think that a term should be added, moved, removed or changed, submit your rationale here. (free registration required to discourage spammers. ask your parents before going on-line. some restrictions apply. you know the drill, right? your parents are welcome too. you don't have to tell them that part.) If your term is accepted your User-ID will be enshrined for all time as the originator of the term. (or until someone has a better idea. Sorry.)

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