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Runner Enhancements

This forum is the place to learn about and discuss ADRIFT 5. Feel free to mention any bugs you find here, but please also add these to the Bugs & Enhancements list.

Please also refer to the ADRIFT 5 Wiki for more information.

Runner Enhancements

Postby David Whyld » Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:06 pm

I haven’t written a game with ADRIFT in a long time but I still find myself wanting to play ADRIFT games. There's just one big problem. I don’t like the v5 Runner. I've wanted to like it but no matter how hard I try, I'm always left with the feeling that it’s lacking a lot of functionality of the v4 Runner. Does anyone else feel the same way or is it just me?
 
On the off chance others feel the same way, I thought I’d suggest a few enhancements / improvements:
 
The map
The one in v4 clearly displayed up and down exits with arrows which were nice and easy to see. At a glance you could tell which way you could go. The v5 map displays down exits in a southwesterly direction which is confusing because it often looks like there's an exit to the southwest when really there isn't. The v5 map also has this weird 3D thing going on where locations are often displayed under other locations so it’s not possible to see them properly. In order to actually see which way you can go, you need to click on the map and drag it around to see the exits. Can this be disabled? Can we please have an option to use the v4 map instead? The v5 map might look prettier, but it's not as useful as the old one.

I can drag the map to cover the entire screen – the way it was set up in v4 – but when I exit out of the map, the screen has scrolled back to the top and I need to scroll back down each time to get back to where I was. Shouldn't the screen stay where it is? Is it a bug that it scrolls back to the top each time I exit the map?

Could we also have the old v4 shortcut back for the map? Pressing F2 is easier than CTRL + M. F2 doesn't seem to do anything in v5.
 
Multiple commands
In v4, you could type in multiple commands on the same line separated by a comma and the Runner would understand them. In v5, you can’t. You get an error message saying it doesn’t understand the command. Why? In v5, I've heard people mention the same kind of thing can be done with macros, but this seems like a lot of hassle compared to the v4 way of doing things.

Text entry bar
This is probably just an issue for me but I thought I'd raise it anyway. I override the default font sizes on my computer. The v4 Runner would automatically resize the text entry bar, but the v5 Runner doesn't so half the text is hidden and you need to manually drag the bar up to reveal it all.

Shortcuts
The v4 Runner had them but the v5 Runner doesn't. INC FONT and DEC FONT to increase and decrease the font size came in very handy.

Edit mode
v4 had a handy feature called edit mode which allowed you to select text on the screen and copy and paste it into other documents. To achieve the same result in v5, you need to start a transcript then scroll through it to find the text you want.

That's just a few things off the top of my head. Does anyone else have any possible suggestions to improve the v5 Runner?
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Re: Runner Enhancements

Postby Po. Prune » Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:33 pm

Hi David.
I've taken the liberty of pasting your suggestions into the bug / enhancement section. Hopefully people will vote them up.
I'll be the first to admit that I have absolutely no idea how the runner works (I just use it) but I can't see why your enhancement suggestions shouldn't be implemented.
Even if some of them can't be implemented, maybe Campbell will offer a reason why.
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Re: Runner Enhancements

Postby Lazzah » Tue Jan 24, 2017 2:20 pm

David Whyld wrote:I haven’t written a game with ADRIFT in a long time but I still find myself wanting to play ADRIFT games. There's just one big problem. I don’t like the v5 Runner.

Well there's a surprise! :haha:

David Whyld wrote:I've wanted to like it but no matter how hard I try, I'm always left with the feeling that it’s lacking a lot of functionality of the v4 Runner. Does anyone else feel the same way or is it just me?

Having never used the v.4 Runner...it's just you! rofl
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Re: Runner Enhancements

Postby David Whyld » Tue Jan 24, 2017 9:55 pm

Funnily enough, Lazzah, it was one of your games I was trying to play. Considering the lack of activity on the forum these days, I might well be the only person to attempt that feat in the last decade.

I doubt I'll ever write another ADRIFT game again, but I'd still like to be able to play them and unfortunately the v5 Runner is really off-putting for me. Maybe Campbell will see this thread and decide to implement some of the changes, maybe not, but I thought it was at least worth the effort.
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Re: Runner Enhancements

Postby Kennedy » Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:20 am

David Whyld wrote:Edit mode
v4 had a handy feature called edit mode which allowed you to select text on the screen and copy and paste it into other documents. To achieve the same result in v5, you need to start a transcript then scroll through it to find the text you want.


From what I remember you can click on any word on the screen and it will appear in the input window. Then you can drag and copy all the text in the input window and paste it in your desired document. But unfortunately you can't copy whole phrases directly from the window.
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Re: Runner Enhancements

Postby David Whyld » Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:59 am

You see, that's one of the things I never really got about v5. v4 has an option to select text and copy and paste it into another document whereas to achieve the same thing in v5, you need to click each word in turn and copy it from the input window. There could be a few hundred words overall you might want to copy.

Same general idea in both cases, but it's much quicker and easier to do in v4.
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Re: Runner Enhancements

Postby Lazzah » Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:13 pm

David, you said about the v5 map:

David Whyld wrote:The one in v4 clearly displayed up and down exits with arrows which were nice and easy to see. At a glance you could tell which way you could go. The v5 map displays down exits in a southwesterly direction which is confusing because it often looks like there's an exit to the southwest when really there isn't.

It just goes to show how little you used v5. The up-down connections are from the centre of the location, not from the corners. Also, the locations can be moved around the map by the game author so that the up-down connection is more clear, as here:

Map.JPG
Map.JPG (3.66 KiB) Viewed 689 times


Mind you, it would be great if the up-down connection lines were in a different colour, e.g. red.

David Whyld wrote:The v5 map also has this weird 3D thing going on where locations are often displayed under other locations so it’s not possible to see them properly.

This is due to bad map design by the game author. Unless you define the exits BEFORE you click on Apply or OK, each new location will be displayed on a new map page by the developer. In this case, if you want the new location on the same page as the one it is joined to, you have to move it by right clicking on the location on the map view and selecting the map page you want it on. When it is moved it could end up covering other locations, as in this image:

Overlap.JPG
Overlap.JPG (9.41 KiB) Viewed 689 times


I don't think many authors bother to make sure that their maps are readable, so you end up with a "weird 3D thing" all over the place.
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Re: Runner Enhancements

Postby David Whyld » Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:42 pm

To be honest, in your first screenshot it's not really obvious whether you can up up or down from locations 2 and 3. Which way is up? Which is down? Why not have arrows clearly defining the directions or the up and down hands we had in v4?

This is the map in v5:

Image

It looks like you can go northeast from the dining room to the landing but in fact going northeast actually takes you to the entrance hall which is beneath the landing. Very confusing. I also don't see any indication of there being up and down exits and the connector doesn't come from the center of the location but the edge.

This is the same map in v4:

Image

and:

Image

Now, granted that the v5 map might be more colourful but it's a lot less useful as an actual map. At least in the v4 examples, you can clearly see the exits and which way is up and which is down.

This is due to bad map design by the game author. Unless you define the exits BEFORE you click on Apply or OK, each new location will be displayed on a new map page by the developer. In this case, if you want the new location on the same page as the one it is joined to, you have to move it by right clicking on the location on the map view and selecting the map page you want it on.


That... just seems like bad design full stop. Why have it such a convoluted way? How is that better than the v4 way of doing things? Aside from it looking a little prettier, I'm struggling to see a single way in which the v5 map is better than the v4 one.
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Re: Runner Enhancements

Postby Lazzah » Sat Jan 28, 2017 6:31 am

Hi David,

I have to agree with you that there should be better indication of up/down directions on the map. I would favour a simple U or D at either end of the connection line, like I used to write on my hand-drawn maps in the good old days.

I wouldn't have said that the v5 map is more colourful than v4, from the looks of it the reverse is more accurate - is that Dining Room location really in LILAC!? :shock: And as for the little pointing hands to indicate up and down, I would be embarrassed if those were plastered all over my game map! :blush:

Anyway, all this is moot, because you've probably got more chance of winning the lottery than any of your suggestions being implemented, judging from the present rate of progress with the debugging and upgrading of ADRIFT. I just wish Campbell would be more honest with us about his intentions for the future of ADRIFT. He hasn't visited the forum since the beginning of December last year (unless he hasn't been logging in) and we have got no idea of when - or if - there will be another upgrade anytime soon. :cry:

BTW, I don't know what version of ADRIFT you are using, but the up-down lines are definitely drawn from the centre of each location on the map, not the corner, both in the developer and when playing.
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Re: Runner Enhancements

Postby David Whyld » Sat Jan 28, 2017 7:57 am

Lazzah wrote:And as for the little pointing hands to indicate up and down, I would be embarrassed if those were plastered all over my game map! :blush:


I'm not fond of the hands myself to be honest but at least it's clear which way you can go. Maybe arrows would be better.

Lazzah wrote:Anyway, all this is moot, because you've probably got more chance of winning the lottery than any of your suggestions being implemented, judging from the present rate of progress with the debugging and upgrading of ADRIFT. I just wish Campbell would be more honest with us about his intentions for the future of ADRIFT. He hasn't visited the forum since the beginning of December last year (unless he hasn't been logging in) and we have got no idea of when - or if - there will be another upgrade anytime soon. :cry:


I didn't think he was very active on the forum these days, but then I don't post here that much myself so for all I know he could still be here every day. I know development has slowed to a crawl, though, because from a quick check of the main site the latest version is from last June, the previous from November 2015 and the one before that from May 2015. In fact, it looks like there's only been five updates to ADRIFT in the last four years, which is pretty depressing news. Maybe he's done an Alex Warren but hasn't got around to telling anyone yet.

Still, I figured it was worth mentioning a few things. There are still people who want to play ADRIFT games and maybe there'd be more if the tools to play them got a nice update.

Lazzah wrote:BTW, I don't know what version of ADRIFT you are using, but the up-down lines are definitely drawn from the centre of each location on the map, not the corner, both in the developer and when playing.


That's strange. The version I'm using is 35 which is the latest one according to the main site. The screenshots in question are from an old v4 game I had on my hard drive which I opened in the v5 Runner so maybe that's why the connector is in a different place.
Last edited by David Whyld on Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Runner Enhancements

Postby Po. Prune » Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:20 am

Just a quickie regarding Campbell.

I've "talked" to hime not so long ago, and he hasn't given up on Adrift. Just to make that perfectly clear.
Like most people with a wife, house, baby and a job to take care of, I would imagine that a hobby like Adrift is not at the top of the priority list like it used to be.
I know from my own situation that it's not always easy to find time to do hobbies when you also have a house and family to take care of, and I'm so previledged that I have every other week off.

Ok, back to the V.5 Runner discussion :wink:
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Re: Runner Enhancements

Postby Lazzah » Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:55 pm

Po. Prune wrote:Just a quickie regarding Campbell.

I've "talked" to hime not so long ago, and he hasn't given up on Adrift. Just to make that perfectly clear.
Like most people with a wife, house, baby and a job to take care of, I would imagine that a hobby like Adrift is not at the top of the priority list like it used to be.

Maybe not, but I just wish he would TELL us something! Surely it isn't going to take more than a couple of minutes to log on to the forum and post a message saying "Hi guys, I'm still around!" The silence from Edinburgh is deafening! :x
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Re: Runner Enhancements

Postby ralphmerridew » Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:27 pm

Advantages to the ADRIFT 5 map over ADRIFT 4 map:
1) A4's map was regenerated each turn. The location of each room on the map could depend on which room you were starting from if the rooms weren't all the same distance apart (and sometimes you'd get the "map too complicated to display" message). A5 determines that at build time and stores it in the .taf file. The appearance of the map will be consistent.
(For example, IIRC, "Monster in the Mirror" by Mystery had five rooms looped so that going N,E,E,S,W would take you back to the start. If you viewed the map in room 3, it placed everything correctly. If you were in room 1 or 5, the map would be messed up.)

2) If a room is connected through non-compass means (such as a closet with accessed through IN/OUT), A4 would display that room on a map by itself. IIRC, A5 will let you position that room wherever you want (such as right by the room outside it).
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Re: Runner Enhancements

Postby David Whyld » Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:07 pm

Those seems like pretty small advantages compared to the disadvantages I listed above.
Last edited by David Whyld on Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Runner Enhancements

Postby Kennedy » Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:05 pm

For the map, would an option to only display rooms at the same z level be acceptable? Then rooms that are above or below would not be displayed.
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