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Saabie's runner

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Saabie's runner

Postby P/o Prune » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:48 pm

Since Saabie has announced that he's working on a "new" runner for Adrift, i thought it would be appropriate to have a topic where people (we the merry few, the band of Brothers (and one sister rofl )) mcould ask questions regarding the runner and where he could (if he wants to) tell us about his progress.
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Re: Saabie's runner

Postby rotter » Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:25 am

Well, personally I'm hoping for a proper web runner. One of the great things about I7 is how easy it is to make it work online (basically a little bit of code). Also proper multi-platform to push out the playability.
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Re: Saabie's runner

Postby saabie » Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:37 am

The current progress is 429,529 characters of source code that compiles to a 3MB executable.
I had a bit of trouble getting expressions to work the same way as they do in ADRIFT, but I think I have it sorted now.
All the basic framework is done. The XML from the TAF file is read in and used to create objects (in the "object oriented programming" sense) for every item type. Most of the core code for expressions, restrictions, text boxes etc. is done.
The basic user interface is done. The output supports most HTML formatting including inline pictures and styles. The "Debugger" page is done.
I'm currently working on the parser itself, matching what the player types with task command lines and synonyms.

Lots still to do: Events, Actions, Text Overrides, the "Options" page, drawing the map, undo, save/restore.

Any comments on how the ADRIFT runner user interface could be improved are welcome.
Any extra options that could be added?
Once I get an alpha test version going I will post it here so that you can all try it out yourselves.
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Re: Saabie's runner

Postby David Whyld » Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:01 am

Things I'd include:

> A full screen option so I don't need to see toolbars, title bars, etc around the edge of the screen. The v5 Runner has a full screen option but all it does is hide the toolbar while leaving everything else visible. Old school text adventures in the 80's used full screen and it was a lot more immersive.

> Bring back the v4 shortcuts: INC FONT for increasing the font size, DEC FONT for decreasing it, etc.

> Put the text entry box inline with the game text instead of stuck in its own little panel at the bottom.

> Bring back v4's edit mode so you can easily select text off the screen without needing to start a transcript like you do in v5.

> Multiple commands on the same line is a must.

> Graphics inline with the text not floating off in their own little window.

> The v4 map as opposed to the v5 one. Up and down exits clearly labelled. The v5 map is pretty useless as it lists southwest and down as the same direction and often displays locations beneath each othe so you can't even see they're there.
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Re: Saabie's runner

Postby P/o Prune » Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:25 am

It's good to see that this thread is getting off as well as it is... :yeah:
One thing I'd like to know is how the runner is going to handle graphics and sounds. I realize that I'm probably a minority here, but I like having pictures and sounds in my games (whenever possible).
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Re: Saabie's runner

Postby Lazzah » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:32 am

David Whyld wrote:
> Bring back v4's edit mode so you can easily select text off the screen without needing to start a transcript like you do in v5.

While I agree with everything David wants, please do not leave out the transcript option. This is a valuable tool for playtesting and you should also keep the ability to insert comments in the transcript by pressing the # key.

Also keep the macro option. David would no doubt rather copy and paste from a text document every time he wants to run through a game, but I would rather have the macros so I only have to press one key to start the macro and play through your game.
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Re: Saabie's runner

Postby P/o Prune » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:47 am

Lazzah wrote:Also keep the macro option. David would no doubt rather copy and paste from a text document every time he wants to run through a game, but I would rather have the macros so I only have to press one key to start the macro and play through your game.

It's not necessary to point out what David wants or don't want, Lazzah. Just say what you would like to have implemented in the runner. :wink:
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Re: Saabie's runner

Postby Lumin » Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:27 pm

David Whyld wrote:
> Put the text entry box inline with the game text instead of stuck in its own little panel at the bottom.

> Bring back v4's edit mode so you can easily select text off the screen without needing to start a transcript like you do in v5.[/b]

> Multiple commands on the same line is a must.

> Graphics inline with the text not floating off in their own little window.


I agree with everything David listed but these especially. Selecting text off the screen is dearly missed and inline graphics by the way should be the default. Does anyone actually like having to shuffle that floating window out of the way or feel it adds anything but an annoyance to take away immersion? (And the inline warning of 'graphic intense games might slow down your computer!' is, uh...somewhat dated.)
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Re: Saabie's runner

Postby David Whyld » Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:18 pm

I have taken the liberty of deleting this post, David.
I have already commented on the post that you were referring to. 'Let's not try to escalate things no matter how deserved it may seem.
Sorry David. I did. P/o Prune.
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Re: Saabie's runner

Postby David Whyld » Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:51 pm

Er... who's deleted my post?

Fair enough. I just thought it was Lazzah again.
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Re: Saabie's runner

Postby rotter » Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:23 pm

I never understood why multiple commands and editing text disappeared. Now, I like the macro feature but it should be an addition not excluding the old functionality.
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Re: Saabie's runner

Postby David Whyld » Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:26 pm

No one, least of all me, is suggesting features should be removed. There's no reason all the existing features can't work alongside any new or improved ones and it's not like the Runner is in danger of suffering from feature bloat any time soon. The basic design hasn't changed much since the v3.8 days.
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Re: Saabie's runner

Postby Kennedy » Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:06 pm

Will the runner also support version 4 ADRIFT files?
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Re: Saabie's runner

Postby David Whyld » Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:08 pm

I think that's the intention. v5 to begin with, then added support for v4 afterwards. So it won't matter which game you're playing, it'll work just fine. Think of it as a universal ADRIFT Runner as opposed to one which only works with a single version
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Re: Saabie's runner

Postby David Whyld » Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:15 pm

Another addition, though I don't know how easy this would be:

> A feedback form build directly into the Runner. When the player finishes the game, or dies, they're given the option of sending feedback directly to the author via email. Did they like the game? Do they think it could be improved and if so how? How would they rate the game on a scale of 1 out of 10? All the author would need to do would be to fill in a little "author information" tab in the Generator and, hey presto, an easy way of providing feedback pops up in the Runner.
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