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Better way of doing things?

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Better way of doing things?

Postby PHatDriver » Sun Mar 19, 2017 4:52 am

Hi all,

Your thoughts and input on this would be appreciated, thank you…
How would you recommend going about this set of objects and tasks?

I have:
Main Items:
a PIECE OF STRING
a small plastic pipe
Together they make a
a bow drill

Sub Items:
a live crab
a dead crab
a chopped crab
a cooked chopped crab
chopped raw eel
chopped cooked eel
a dead fish
a hard dead fish
and many others… egg, plastic bag…

I would like to automatically remove the string from the bow drill for player comfort :whistle:
You can basically tie almost anything to the string.
Need to swop objexts in and out.
Variables are attached to the eel, crab and coconut!
I’ve got it in my head there must be an easier way than suffering making all these individual tasks?
I’m about 3 quarters done with these tasks but it looks an ugly way of doing things.
What am I missing here? What don’t I know, enlighten me, please!!!!
-----
>put crab on string
Inform player:
[removed string from bow]
[plastic pipe to held]
[crab on string to held]
You have tied crab to string

>put fish on string
[removed crab from string]
[fish attached to string]
You have tied fish to string

>make bow
[crab removed string]
[bow made]
You have made a bow

On a side note. Any idea how to remove these spaces?
[room discription isn't finshed yet! ignore the errors pls]

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Re: Better way of doing things?

Postby Lumin » Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:34 am

You should just need one task for tying things to the string.

[put/tie] %object% {to/on} string

Then set your restrictions and actions however. Text output would be something like 'You tie the %object% to the string.'
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Re: Better way of doing things?

Postby Denk » Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:27 am

Lumin wrote:You should just need one task for tying things to the string.

[put/tie] %object% {to/on} string

Then set your restrictions and actions however. Text output would be something like 'You tie the %object% to the string.'

Though Lumins proposal is definitely possible, I would say that in ADRIFT 5 you should always use specific tasks whenever it is possible. There are many good reasons for doing this. Since "put" is already in the standard library but "tie" isn't, you should first set up a general "tie"-task which takes care of the most general form: [tie] %object1% [to] %object2%. The most common general response would be something like "you cannot tie %object1% to %object2%."

You also have to make a design choice: Will you continue to have things which are tied together as separate objects or do you create a new combined object, such as "a dead fish with a string tied to it". I would say that it is less complicated to create such a combined object, otherwise you need to ensure that the player does not drop the string in one location and the object which it is tied to in another location (and similar problems). But if you create such combined objects it will not be easy to make a single specific task which can handle all tieable objects in one task. Thus you will probably have to make a specific task for each combined object. So roughly speaking it is a choice between complexity and more work.
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Re: Better way of doing things?

Postby Lazzah » Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:56 pm

Hi folks,

I do believe that if you want to write a decent text/IF game, you must be prepared to spend the time to get it right. Attention to detail is, I think, quite important. I've lost count of the number of times I have played a game where there are various scenic objects mentioned in the location text of the very first location and the response to examining any of them is "You can't see any 'such-and-such'!" because the author, in his/her eagerness to get the game finished, has not bothered to create objects for the scenery mentioned in location texts. IMHO this is just sheer laziness.

I see posts from Drifters like your one saying "there must be an easier way" of doing something, but if you want it to work properly THERE ISN'T.
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Re: Better way of doing things?

Postby Lumin » Sun Mar 19, 2017 2:14 pm

Yes, go with Denk's advice there. I wasn't thinking that through. Swapping the objects in and out for the completed one simplifies things in a lot of ways, and makes the tasks where you're actually doing things with your things on a string easier to work with.

Sometimes it really is just a matter of making a lot of fiddly tasks to cover all your bases, especially in a situation with so many object combinations and outcomes.


A wilderness survival game is definitely something is be interested in playing so good luck with this.
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Re: Better way of doing things?

Postby PHatDriver » Sun Mar 19, 2017 9:58 pm

Okay chaps. Tasks it is.

I’ve changed things around now and that got rid of a lot of tasks. Might have to put them back later tho. Not sure yet - nightmare: )

It’s not really a survival game in it’s entirety, wouldn’t know how to stretch that out? Maybe you have to invent concrete and build a house! I jest: ) Thanks for vote of confidence and the encouragement. Chapter one is plodding along tho, I’m surprised. I’ll try not to disappoint. At this rate tho, it’ll be finished from the grave.

I have a folder with a small group called foliage. Palm tree – kinda interactive. Clump of bamboo – interactive, if you attack/kill/… it will fight back lowering health. I will change that later so random, in player favour, you get a small boost in health but that’s another day. Just ruffing it out at the mo and learning as I go. Leaning how to write like an IFer too – kinda! But I take it you mean:
>ex cliff
>ex sand
Etc…

Thank you, all, for all your help and patience.
-----

If you’re still here, your thoughts on MAZES would be helpfull?
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Re: Better way of doing things?

Postby Lumin » Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:28 pm

PHatDriver wrote: Leaning how to write like an IFer too – kinda! But I take it you mean:
>ex cliff
>ex sand
Etc…


You'll learn pretty quick that IF players are obsessive and will attempt to examine literally ever noun mentioned in a room description. And then, they'll want further descriptions of the nouns mentioned in the description of the objects. (>x tree, followed by >x roots, trunk, branches, and leaves, if those are mentioned at all.)

Of course there are shortcuts and ways to write in order subtly avoid that insane layering effect. As for me, if we're just talking scenery, I say screw it, spew words onto a screen, decide they've got plenty for their imaginations to work with already and then fold in all the further details as aliases of the main object.

The REMOVE issue is that already being the default verb for removing clothing or other worn objects. You'll need to override it.


If you’re still here, your thoughts on MAZES would be helpfull?


If you say 'Mazes' three times in a thread you summon the Devil. Don't use that word around an IF player ever again.

And, you're putting in a combat system? Interesting. Can't actually say I've seen too many examples of that working out. Not saying it can't be done but the way it works by default can be incredibly tedious and frustrating.
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Re: Better way of doing things?

Postby ralphmerridew » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:51 am

Combat systems: I recommend against them. A poorly balanced randomized combat system is one of the biggest fun-killers I've seen in IF games. I can't think that many IFs with significant randomized combat that have a decent reputation. Offhand: Beyond Zork, ToaSK, and Kerkerkruip. (Combat is too small a portion of Zork I and Zork III.) (It's odd: I love games like Dragon Quest for all their grindiness, but the same things just don't work in IF.) I'll going into further detail on that if you want.

MAZES: Strongly recommend against. The maze was an original puzzle when Colossal Cave did it. It was a knockoff when Dungeon did it. It's tedious and boring whenever almost anyone else did it. If you put a maze in anyway, I recommend you make sure that:
1) The solution for your maze is original.
2) The solution is not tedious and boring to go through.
3) The player has reason to trust that 1 and 2 are true.
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Re: Better way of doing things?

Postby Lumin » Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:22 am

Combat works in MUDs because it proceeds automatically once you trigger it so you're not spamming >kill goblin over and over, and because MUDs are built around interesting and varied combat and combat-based skills and stats from the ground up. Definitely the one thing that doesn't translate over well into IF though, as alike as they are in other ways.
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Re: Better way of doing things?

Postby David Whyld » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:15 pm

Lazzah wrote:I see posts from Drifters like your one saying "there must be an easier way" of doing something, but if you want it to work properly THERE ISN'T.


I think it's always worth asking if there's an easier way of doing something, particularly if you're new to a program and not sure how everything works. You might well end up spending hours doing something a certain way and then one day realise you could have done it a different way and saved yourself a whole lot of time and hassle.
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Re: Better way of doing things?

Postby David Whyld » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:18 pm

Lumin wrote:Combat works in MUDs because it proceeds automatically once you trigger it so you're not spamming >kill goblin over and over, and because MUDs are built around interesting and varied combat and combat-based skills and stats from the ground up. Definitely the one thing that doesn't translate over well into IF though, as alike as they are in other ways.


Thinking about it, there's no real reason why you couldn't have combat in IF games work like it does in MUDs. It's still just text scrolling down a screen at the end of the day. Of course, it'd be one heck of a lot of work but it could certainly be done.
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Re: Better way of doing things?

Postby Lumin » Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:20 am

I've fiddled with the idea a time or two but was always kind of lacking in the technical know-how. I'm sure it is possible, it would just be a huge undertaking. Even beyond the actually getting it to work part, there's all kinds of balance issues.
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Re: Better way of doing things?

Postby David Whyld » Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:19 am

Oh yeah, a huge amount of work. Just the basics would take an age, and balancing the whole thing would likely take several ages. There's an old combat demo I did years ago on the main site (well, credit where credit's due, someone else actually put together the basics, I just added a bit more complexity to it) and that was pretty time consuming. It would certainly be possible in ADRIFT, though whether it would be much fun in a full size game I don't know. Rows and rows of text scrolling up the screen along the lines of

YOU HIT THE GOBLIN FOR 4 POINTS OF DAMAGE!
THE GOBLIN HITS YOU FOR 2 POINTS OF DAMAGE!
YOU HIT THE GOBLIN FOR 3 POINTS OF DAMAGE!
THE GOBLIN HITS YOU FOR 5 POINTS OF DAMAGE!

probably doesn't make for riveting gameplay.
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Re: Better way of doing things?

Postby PHatDriver » Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:44 am

Okay.
No maz… I mean twisty little passages – check.

Have two folders: Scenery and Foliage. I’ll pad and fluff that as I go – check.

Got all to work with the string now, thanks. Made general tasks for nearly everything but not much happening in the way of puzzles yet and need to fluff the descriptions. Where do you get your inspiration for puzzles? Any going free? [smirks] PM ME :whistle:

Already had the thought of doing something along the lines of Lazzah combat style. Mixed with a real/ish combat system. Would love to sit here for a year and smash out a real, proper, combat sys but that aint gonna happen – wouldn’t even know where to begin to tell yous the truth. Basically was goona cheat as such! If you aint got the item it takes to successfully dispatch your foe, you will have to fight them to continue and not just be killed if you havn’t. I’ll now try to make it short and more automatic.

My thinking is, I want the player to be able to just brute force their way through, if that’s their thing. If you wanna hack and slash, you can. If you wanna stealth, you can. If you want to puzzle your way through, you can. Just a concept at the mo.

Copyright (c) phatgames <- don’t be nicking my game plan! :)
Spollers…

My initial idea was to make the beach area the only place you could die. Survive the night type thing, before the adventure really kicks off! <- big hopes!

Wake up next morning and head in land. Meet someone (exchange of items) and they tell you where to go, what’s happening etc… I’ll cross that one another day. Still working on the beach.

This is all just a work in progress. When I was a lad… Ever since I first played Zork on a c64 cover disk, all them moons ago, I’ve had this cr*p in my head! It would be nice just to get it out and it feels nice to be doing that, for good or bad! I would rather the good end but lets be realistic. :haha:

Much love people…
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Re: Better way of doing things?

Postby David Whyld » Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:27 am

PHatDriver wrote:My thinking is, I want the player to be able to just brute force their way through, if that’s their thing. If you wanna hack and slash, you can. If you wanna stealth, you can. If you want to puzzle your way through, you can. Just a concept at the mo.

Copyright (c) phatgames <- don’t be nicking my game plan! :)


Almost everything's been done before, no matter how original it might seem at the time. I remember someone on another forum once commenting about how their first game was going to have randomised combat, time-based puzzles, hunger puzzles and mazes, and seemed quite surprised to find that people had been doing that kind of thing in games for years. I did a similar thing to your idea in a game years ago myself :)
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