Design and documentation journal for my interactive fiction (text games); also reviews and other miscellaneous stuff.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Weight and Volume Extension

Finished first draft of a weight and volume extension last night. It is currently strongly based on Eric Eve's Bulk Limiter. That is, the volume piece is currently cribbed from it, and the weight piece is an easy amalgam of that and the weight stuff in the new version of Inform 7.

Here's how the weight stuff works now:
- Every thing has a weight called mass, which is how much it weighs. (WOW!)
- Weight is currently handled in kg, but can be printed in lbs, which is how I generally think of things, so is helpful to me, while maintaining the deliciously natural internal logic of the metric system.
- Every container and every player has a weight called strength, which is how much it can hold. Anything over than that is refused using the blandest reply ever.

Here's what I want to consider:
- I don't think there's much advantage to handling density, but I certainly could, especially if I get an idea of how much volume one "bulk" is. The only thing I can think of is whether something sinks or floats when you throw it in water, which is interesting, but maybe not a gameplay necessity. Anyway, it should be a fairly easy thing if I decide to use it.
- I expect furniture will be made of materials - almost exclusively wood. It might be nice to model basic size and strength for supporters.
- Ways to manipulate heavy things. So you can't lift a log, but can you roll it? You can't lift an animal - can you push it instead?
- Strain limits. I can pack 50 lbs in my backpack, but the odds the bottom will tear out increase pretty dramatically. I can carry that pack around all day, but it will get more challenging, and my back will hurt tomorrow, and I'll be sore. Also, I might wrench a muscle or something.
- Things of near-negligible weight and size. Mostly these will be handled by bundling them together (a handful of feathers still has negligible weight but noticeable volume), but I should keep an eye out for exceptions.

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