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CavemanJoe
 Thursday, June 09 2011 @ 07:44 PM UTC (Read 55419 times)  
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Okay folks, it's time to rewrite the dwellings system. We're going to replace it with a Structures system, that'll be a lot more flexible and will let you add much more detail than you could previously. In addition to implementing the vast majority of your suggestions in Buddleia's thread, Currently there are two Big Differences between the new system and the current system that aren't detailed in that thread.

The first change is a third level of location precision. Whereas before we had:

-Map Square
--House
---Room

Now, we'll have:

-Map Square
--Structure
---Room
----Page

What are Pages useful for? Two examples.

Let's say you have a room with a desk and a grandfather clock. The desk and grandfather clock are Pages, with their own descriptions, that the player can explore by clicking a nav link. In the current system, to put in this level of detail, the clock and desk would have to be Rooms of their own - they'd have to have doors, and chat rooms, and be built with carpentry and masonry kits, which doesn't really make sense. Here are the chat options for a Page:

1. Unique (this Page has its own chat).
2. Room (this Page shows chat from the Room it's in)
3. Disabled (no Chat)

Similarly, Pages can be shown in nav links or be hidden, according to the whims of the building owner.

Second example. Text adventures! There's no bloody reason at all to have the effects of "EXAMINE MOOSE HEAD" take you to an entirely different room, when Pages will make much more sense. This way, we get rid of the cognitive disconnect that happens when the program thinks you're moving to a different room, and the player (and building owner!) think you're staying in the same room and looking at something.


And speaking of text adventures, that brings us nicely to the second Big Change, which is Structure Programming. Without having to learn any code, you'll be able to set up events and experiences that happen to players based on criteria you choose, including a new system of Structure Prefs - data unique to player, structure, room and page, that building owners can change depending on whatever criteria they like. This is very powerful, but the easiest way to think of it is as though it were an invisible Memento, one that represented something that happened to you or something that you did, rather than something that you own. FOR EXAMPLE:

Player enters a room.
Your program - which you made via a simple point-and-click interface inside the room, no coding required - checks a pref that you called "howmanytimesentered".
If the pref is less than ten, then the program increments it by one.
If the pref is ten or more, then the program appends the following text to the room description:

"Good afternoon, {playername}," says Igor. "It's good to see you again."


I'm going to try to build this programming system in such a way that we can expand it easily later. For now, here's a quick list, taken from my notes, of things you'll be able to do when the system is released:

COMPLETE LIST OF STARTING CONDITIONS
Player has / does not have Memento X
Player's structure pref x for this room is equal to Y
Player's structure pref x for this room is equal to or greater than Y
Player's structure pref x for this room is equal to or less than Y
Player's structure pref x for this room is greater than Y
Player's structure pref x for this room is less than Y
The last room that the player visited was X
The weather outside is condition 1 (repeat to 7)
The time of day is inside time slot 1 (repeat to 7)
Player entered commentary command matching X
Player entered commentary command containing X

COMPLETE LIST OF STARTING EVENTS
Append X to the room/page description
Replace room/page description with X
Alter nav to room x to read y (climb up / drop down)
Unlock door X
Lock door X
Add link to Page X
Set Structure Pref X to value Y
Increment Structure Pref X by Y (or -Y)
Dispense Memento X
(admin only) Require PHP file
(admin only) Call PHP function


...yeah, those (admin only) functions are there so that I can replace every building in the game with Structures. Smile That's how powerful this new system is going to be - Sheila's will be a Structure, eBoy's will be a Structure, and we'll be able to easily add detail any time we like.

I'll be working on this new system for... oh, quite a while, I'd imagine, but we've got some cool other stuff in the works to keep you going in the meantime, including a new Watcher story. Watch this space and wish me luck! Mr. Green


 
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Zolotisty
 Thursday, June 09 2011 @ 08:08 PM UTC  
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*froths with excitement*

*or maybe that's just rabies*


BARK BARK BARK.
 
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Maniak
 Thursday, June 09 2011 @ 08:15 PM UTC  
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Oh my. Exciting!

Does likely means more RP spaces, such as in restaurants, doesn't it?
And a chat page in the entrance of the PSK? And people could rent a private room in the PSK?
And clan halls could get a banter/RP space?



Thank you and GOOD LUCK!


http://maniak.cu.cc/
 
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Ebenezer
 Thursday, June 09 2011 @ 08:19 PM UTC  
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*Throws confetti*

HUZZAH! Thank you, CMJ! This new system sounds like it will be awesome!

Are Clan Halls going to be Structures too, by chance? Big Grin (Edit: Oh! Maniak asked this already too! Ha!)


 
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CavemanJoe
 Thursday, June 09 2011 @ 08:43 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Ebenezer

*Throws confetti*

HUZZAH! Thank you, CMJ! This new system sounds like it will be awesome!

Are Clan Halls going to be Structures too, by chance? Big Grin (Edit: Oh! Maniak asked this already too! Ha!)



Yes, we'll figure out a way for Clan Halls to be Structures. Smile


 
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Hairy Mary
 Thursday, June 09 2011 @ 08:53 PM UTC  
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Good lord! And good luck to you sir, as requested.

I've been slowly (very slowly) trying to design a puzzley type dwelling, not quite a text adventure, but certainly containing elements along those lines. Secret rooms in particular have been crying out for this for ages.

What you're talking about is exactly the areas that I was having problems with. Rooms and secret rooms work, but pages would be better.

I'd considered using memento, but decided against it. What you're talking about is amazing.

Now all I need is more imagination. Short of learning brain surgery and then coming round to give me a brain transplant, there's not much you can do about that. Wink

Small question, I'm guessing that the navigation options from a page will be the same as those from the main room of which it's a part? Possibly with the link to that page shaded out or some such?

Also, could there be some way to include clan membership in structure prefs? I can imagine some clans wanting to build their own HQ with a public area for everyone, and a private area for clan members only, possibly changing this for special occasions.

Had to say that, even though it makes me feel like somebody's offered me my own tropical island, and I'm grumbling because the six inch wing span butterflies are a slightly different colour of red to my ideal. Oops!


 
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Count Sessine
 Thursday, June 09 2011 @ 08:57 PM UTC  
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Eek! This is going to be amazing. Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin


 
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Iriana
 Thursday, June 09 2011 @ 09:56 PM UTC  
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THIS SOUNDS SO COOL. CMJ, you rock!


 
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Matthew
 Thursday, June 09 2011 @ 10:14 PM UTC  
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ALL OF THIS IS AMAZING

Just, you know, in case that hadn't been said yet. (It has.)

Though, question: will pages be visible through a menu, or will they be hidden through keywords? Or, it sounds like, an option for either or?


 
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CavemanJoe
 Friday, June 10 2011 @ 03:24 AM UTC  
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Holy shit there are going to be nine database tables for this. :-/

Pages can be set to visible or hidden. When visible, they'll be seen in the nav links - when hidden, the player will have to access them through one of your Conditions.


 
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Hiraniva
 Friday, June 10 2011 @ 04:54 AM UTC  
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This all sounds amazing. I'm super excited.


 
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Anonymous: Artist+Dragon
 Friday, June 10 2011 @ 08:13 AM UTC  


OOOOOOOH MYYYYY GOOOOOOOOOOOD

this will be so awesome!

i need to donate more!

MAKE IT!!!!


 
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CavemanJoe
 Friday, June 10 2011 @ 08:26 AM UTC  
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CAVEAT:

This is progressing nicely, now - I've got the basic getter and setter functions for a faster, more stable Places system underway.

However, here's the bad news. The current Dwellings in the game will likely not be compatible with the new system. It's looking like there's not going to be a reliable way to convert them over.

So, we'll handle the changeover like we handled the Dwellings Cataclysm - with a Stamina item giving free building actions for a day. Combined with new "build x5/x10/until exhausted/until the job's done" options, it shouldn't be too painful - and this'll give you a chance to reconfigure your Dwellings and rebuild them with the benefit of the awesome new things right from the start. Which is cool. Smile

This is probably gonna take about a month.


 
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Matthew
 Friday, June 10 2011 @ 09:43 AM UTC  
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Honestly?

I'm okay with this.


 
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Ashtu
 Friday, June 10 2011 @ 11:01 AM UTC  
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Quote by: CavemanJoe

CAVEAT: ....here's the bad news....

Call me weird, but I think this is the part I like best....

....although I really feel sorry for the Dunbardings.

Urban renewal, yeah.


Thank you.
 
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Buddleia
 Friday, June 10 2011 @ 01:42 PM UTC  
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This is going to be holy shit levels of awesome. Big Grin

Is there anything we can do to help? Ideas, typo-hunting, testing, staying out of the way?

And, I'm ok with the rebuilding too. I'd been meaning to reorganise my house ... I assume houses won't just die, that owners will have an option to convert if they want. (Also, I bet there'll be such a huge flurry of everyone building that everywhere except IC will go into breach!)


Improbable Reference Links - goo.gl/MRBnb -------------- Land Registry (map of Places) ---- goo.gl/bpkRR
 
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Awesome Fred
 Friday, June 10 2011 @ 02:18 PM UTC  
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I am impressed. Very impressed. This is the big stuff!


 
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Anonymous: Artist+Dragon
 Friday, June 10 2011 @ 03:22 PM UTC  


if our current dwelling aint compatible, we must have free building for a day items for the big ones! oh, and make it a everything-item. masonary, woodcutting and decorating in one so that we dun have to use ciggies all the time and get failboated so much. like me. i am building an Improbable inn at 22, 12, and thanks to Sylvie it has progressed extremely much. I NEED IT TO STAY! FIND A WAY TO SAFELY CONVERT THEM! I DONATED 40 USD JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE DOING THIS! FIIIIIIND A WAAAAAAY!


please.


 
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Maniak
 Friday, June 10 2011 @ 03:29 PM UTC  
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Artists Dragon, I suggest reading what CavemanJoe wrote before screaming. There will be a Stamina item giving free building actions for a day. From what I know of the cataclysm, people with an effected dwelling were given an extremely powerful Builders Brew and nigh-infinite stamina.


More on topic, will we have the option to export and save our dwelling when the time comes?


http://maniak.cu.cc/
 
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Makiwa
 Friday, June 10 2011 @ 03:46 PM UTC  
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I'm dizzy with the prospects of all this coming wonderment!

Question about clan halls as dwellings. Will they still exist on some ethereal plane as they do now? Accessible from other dwellings?

We have a quite a large project in the works - thankfully nothing built yet so the timing is perfect.
Mr. Green


It's not an optical illusion. It just looks like one.
 
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