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

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Productive Weekend

The holiday weekend was good; I spent a significant amount of time every day on various stuff. The most obvious thing was actually pretty easy, considering the time I'd put in on graphics last week, but all those small things are good, too. I didn't make a full list, which I should have, but I:

- downloaded the new I7, which fixed a nasty bug I was having. (See, sometimes the bugs aren't my fault!)

- played with borders. I had toyed with the idea of doing a border on every side of the screen. Gargoyle HATES that. White gaps appear by magic. Windows overlap in weird ways. The bottom border would mirror a strip of color under the status bar. This does not appear to be tweakable - no matter what I did, the borders remained deeply weird.

- reworked what I wanted to do with the screen appearance. I still like the idea of a window with the room description in it, but I'm not doing it for now. Right now, there's a temperature bar over the status bar, and a couple others, basically doing a 3/4 frame of the screen, leaving the right side open. This seems to test well, and can be turned off easily.

- tweaked Ish McGravin's Weather Extension to better reflect the weather of Minnconigan. For some reason, Inform 7 would not let me amend the Table of Months, so I had to go in and directly tweak. Sorry, Ish.

- made the temperature change throughout the day, rather than having night and day temps only. Now it changes hourly.

- set up a temperature bar that indicates the current temperature by displaying a color. This is actually pretty neat, and something I'm proud of. The programming was simple, but it actually does improve my experience, even only in a test room.

- made the temperature scale depending on the time and expected high. 3 pm and 3 am are the hottest/coldest parts of the day, although some very slight randomization means that it might vary slightly.

- made the story track snowfall rate (how much snow is falling per hour, in mm) and accumulated snow (how much snow is on the ground, in mm)

- made accumulated snow melt if temperature rises over freezing (10mm per hour, plus 10mm/10 degrees over freezing)

- added snowdrift and snowfall backdrops, so descriptions of snow can be elaborated on. (The current descriptions are bare bones.)

- added rainfall rates, and checks for whether it's raining lightly, moderately, or heavily

- added weekdays. Now it can be Monday in the apocalypse!

- added negative checks to a slew of weather conditions, so now it's possible to say "if it is not snowing". Excruciatingly boring, but saves a lot of coding irritation down the line.

- created recordkeeping for rain. It will track 12 individual days, plus monthly and yearly totals. This was a pain, just because I couldn't quite envision what I needed coding-wise. What I have isn't quite perfect, but it is more than adequate.

- cleaned up the worst of the color table, adding a range of grays. It still needs some work - I think I'll discover more missing shades I want as time goes on, but is it workable now? Yes.

- cleaned up a few errors in weather - for instance, before, the arrival of precipitation meant the game would decide it was no longer cloudy. Yeah.

Things I just thought of over the weekend that should be added:

- fiddle with temperature extremes (I'm betting that there's very little temp variation from average right now, and that's an issue)

- make snow rate vary (right now it is a flat .3 inches/hour)

- add a "path plowed" toggle for rooms, or maybe a path_snow depth (?)

- dynamic snow description, based on depth, rate of snowfall, whether there's snow falling or on the ground, whether a path's been cleared, etc.

- way to tell what the condition of the ground is, based on recent rainfall history - i.e., if there's been 2 weeks of rain, there should be mud. If there hasn't been rain in 3 months, everything is a drought.

- decide whether cloud cover should lower temperature

- think about wind. Are random messages enough, or should I be looking at something *slightly* more robust?


I am going to do at least 3 trees' worth of data entry today. I've got to at least start back on that beast. After that? By next Tuesday, I want to have:

- automatic dynamic generation of trees for every wild location. Nothing fancy, just trees - a number and species appropriate to the location. They don't have to have any special characteristics.

- mapped out a few different auto-generate maps to see if I can see ways they could be less awful

- some thoughts about underbrush. At least 3 ideas for handling, and a core list of what it should be good for or do.

- basic rules for trees: fixed in place, inedible, etc.

- At least two rewritten responses to the most egregious action results (I suspect these will be "climb" and "take") for trees.

- At least five random atmospheric messages written for weather. (They don't have to be in the game yet, just written and ready for insertion.)

- looked at library message replacement extension.

All this is doable, I think - let's see if I can stay focused. Trees first, though. (I WILL get through that damn list.)

1 comment:

  1. The Gargoyle layout bug you encountered should be fixed in the forthcoming release.