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Climb Tree

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Re: Climb Tree

Postby rovarsson » Tue May 19, 2020 1:06 pm

Lumin, I agree wholeheartedly. If the solution of a puzzle doesn't work because the author didn't think of a verb, that can be annoying but understandable. If the author did think of that verb but chose to insist that the player uses his choice of wording, he's being a jerk. If the intent and the logic are there, the solution should work.
I'm talking about a situation where the player tries to use a certain object to repair, hmm..., a swing in a playground for instance. The author can prompt the player to think a bit further: "Yes, that's what you need to do, but come on, did you think I would let you sacrifice your wedding ring to close a chain? Well, I wouldn't, so try some other chainlink-like object." (in less author-intrusive words of course.)

(this message does not implie a guarantee for succes if anyone tries searching the entire game for a missing wedding ring...)
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Re: Climb Tree

Postby rovarsson » Sun May 24, 2020 7:32 am

Each time I say the tavern is next, I open my game and realise there's something else to do first.

This time: implementing a sling to hurl pebbles at stuff or people. I made a sling-object and a satchel-object to hold the ammunition (i.e. pebbles).

-I do not think I will make an object 'pebble' or 'pebbles'. Instead I will make a General Task TAKE/GET PEBBLES (in a certain obvious location) and add an action to it: 'Set variable SatchelPebbles to 1' (some basic stuff like X PEBBLES and TAKE PEBBLE FROM SATCHEL will be handled with General Tasks, pointing the player to the relevant commands: LOAD and SLING)
-There is a LOAD SLING-task with action 'Set variable SlingLoaded to 1' and restriction 'Variable SatchelPebbles must be equal to 1'.
-And then there is a SLING PEBBLE AT %object%-task with restriction 'Variable SlingLoaded must be equal to 1'. When necessary for the game or just for fun, I will override this task (>SLING PEBBLE AT POLAR BEAR'S NOSEHAIR "You graze the bear's nosehair with a pebble, getting rid of an annoying drop of snot. The bear is very grateful.") and add an action 'Set variable SlingLoaded to 0'.

Thoughts, anyone?
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Re: Climb Tree

Postby rovarsson » Tue Jun 16, 2020 5:51 pm

About that sling: in the end I opted for an object 'some pebbles' that is transferred to the carry-all as soon as you TAKE PEBBLES and cannot be taken out again. This makes it easier to make all kinds of Specific Tasks the player would want to try with the pebbles. I still don't trust General Tasks for this. I do have a variable implemented that jumps between 1 (LOAD SLING) and 0 (SLING PEBBLE AT *). Creating a separate object 'a pebble' that can be loaded into the sling would be too much unnecessary realistic simulation.

And yes, I have finished the inn. Hearth and books and stew and all. (But not the conversations with the landlady and her son...)

The past few days I have created some chanting spiritual nutbags, a swimming pool and a whirlpool where PC has to find a way to get to the ammo-pebbles without being washed away.

Fun!
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Re: Climb Tree

Postby rovarsson » Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:20 am

Hi all!

Maybe I'm going ahead with the writing and programming too fast. I haven't tested anything since the inn and I'm still going forward with writing new locations and implementing new objects, tasks, characters and actions. Am I setting myself up for tons of problemfixing once I do test, or do at least a few of you do this too (programming way ahead before testing)?

Also, how do you feel about mostly unresponsive NPCs? Do they add to the atmosphere in your experience, or are they annoying because they won't respond to questions?

I ask because I'm making a washing basin with half naked men doing the laundry, and I'm wondering if they should have something to say.
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Re: Climb Tree

Postby Denk » Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:20 am

rovarsson wrote:Am I setting myself up for tons of problemfixing once I do test, or do at least a few of you do this too (programming way ahead before testing)?

Actually, I think it is a good thing to keep writing as long as you keep getting ideas. Whether you do a lot of testing as you go along, or wait with the testing and bugfixing until later is probably just a matter of taste, as long as you test it thoroughly before passing it on to some beta-testers. However, if a puzzle is very difficult to implement, you might want to test it right away to ensure that you won't have to change it significantly later, which could impact other areas of the game.


rovarsson wrote:Also, how do you feel about mostly unresponsive NPCs? Do they add to the atmosphere in your experience, or are they annoying because they won't respond to questions?

I don't mind unresponsive NPCs as long as it is obvious that you do not need to ask/tell them about something specific, e.g.:
>ask John about flower
John says "I don't have time to talk right now."
(or something similar)
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Re: Climb Tree

Postby rovarsson » Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:50 am

Aaargh! Washability bites!

So I have an item that needs washing before PC is able to use it. Now I wouldn't want to let the player to be only able to WASH RHINOCEROS HORN in the washing basin by the spring when there is a perfectly good lake only two locations away. (Something I have encountered more than once in other games...) So 'PC must be at location x' OR 'PC must be at location y'. So far so good.

However, as a player, I would expect that PUT RHINOCEROS HORN IN WATER at least wets it, if not also washing it. So I make the water in locations x and y containers and add a corresponding task. This means I also have to make another task keeping the player from putting just anything in the water, because I honestly can't be bothered to describe every item in a dry and a wet state. So: PUT %object% IN WATER x and PUT %object% IN WATER y "You see no reason to do that" (or something similar). Ok.

But wait! If PC is standing by a basin full of water, then surely she should also be able to PUT RHINOCEROS HORN IN BASIN to get a similar result, i.e. a washed rhinoceros horn. And the same is true for the lake, which is also full of water. (This is related to a great annoyance I have: PUT BOTTLE IN POOL should result in a full bottle. I cannot count the number of games that deny this.) So I have to repeat the same process: make the basin and the lake containers and prohibit the player from putting just anything in there.

So there. That's what I've been doing yesterday. (And implementing a praying mantis just for fun...)

Edit: I almost forgot the most obvious part (which I overlooked for the first three tasks.) For all of those tasks I have to put in a restriction so that it does not run when the rhinoceros' horn has already been washed another way.

BTW: There may or may not be a rhinoceros in my game. PC may or may not need its horn to complete a puzzle. I promise nothing...
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Re: Climb Tree

Postby rovarsson » Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:37 pm

Covid lockdown gave me lots of computer-time. Great.

Then...

I have just been on a week-long camping vacation. I had a notebook an a pen. Wonderful things happened.

When I am writing descriptions and scenes at the computer, I'm thinking about all the commands and tasks and restrictions that will follow, often interrupting my train of thought to implement just that one little sub-task, or that pearly detail I shouldn't forget. It keeps me from following my big picture.

So: unplug regularly, and just write descriptions and scenes without worrying about the technicalities.

(Two cents from a newbie sharing his experiences. I plan to write a longer piece on the balance between writing on-screen and on-paper...)

Thoughts?
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Re: Climb Tree

Postby rovarsson » Sun Aug 30, 2020 5:57 pm

Long time no post.

The diagnosis from the computerdoctor is in: a powersurge in combination with dustspecks has short-circuited the motherboard. Most raw data can be recovered and transplanted into a new device; all apps and installed software will have to be downloaded anew though.

Guess who didn't have a copy of his game on a USB-stick?... I will probably have most of the descriptions I wrote for The Tree (working title) as separate text-documents. The programming will be lost. This is not as big a problem as it sounds though. After working with ADRIFT for eight months now, I have gotten a feel for its possibilities, the different ways to get similar results. This means that I was getting somewhat annoyed at some decisions I took early on in writing TT. Also, there were some points in the story where I had to wriggle to get around something that had happened earlier in the story.

Without access to my computer I kept writing scenes, conversations, etc... with pen and paper, so I kept at it without having to implement my ideas right away.

With more knowledge about ADRIFT and a better overview of the chapters, characters and general flow of my story, I'm sure I will be able to grow a better Tree this time around.
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Re: Climb Tree

Postby Lazzah » Mon Aug 31, 2020 9:03 am

Hi Rovarsson,

Sorry to hear about your computer, it's happened to us all! Here's another idea - send your game to a friend to keep a backup copy in case of problems. :)
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Re: Climb Tree

Postby P/o Prune » Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:02 am

Lazzah wrote:Hi Rovarsson,

Sorry to hear about your computer, it's happened to us all! Here's another idea - send your game to a friend to keep a backup copy in case of problems. :)

Or do as I do: Save a copy on a USB or external hard drive... Just 20/20 hindsight ;-)
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Re: Climb Tree

Postby rovarsson » Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:03 am

Lazzah wrote:Hi Rovarsson,

Sorry to hear about your computer, it's happened to us all! Here's another idea - send your game to a friend to keep a backup copy in case of problems. :)


None shall see my preciousss until I have polished it so brilliantly it shines their eyes out.

(Or when I have to send it out for playtesting of course...)
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Re: Climb Tree

Postby Lazzah » Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:44 pm

You could send it to a friend who isn't into IF and won't have ADRIFT installed on their computer.
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Re: Climb Tree

Postby rovarsson » Tue Sep 01, 2020 6:31 pm

Lazzah wrote:You could send it to a friend who isn't into IF and won't have ADRIFT installed on their computer.


Praytell, where does one find such an improbable beast? I have quested through the lands of Agtaruth and dived the sunken caverns of Dra'uul. Ne'er have I laid eyes on such a thing you mention.
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Re: Climb Tree

Postby Lazzah » Wed Sep 02, 2020 12:38 pm

rovarsson wrote:
Lazzah wrote:You could send it to a friend who isn't into IF and won't have ADRIFT installed on their computer.


Praytell, where does one find such an improbable beast? I have quested through the lands of Agtaruth and dived the sunken caverns of Dra'uul. Ne'er have I laid eyes on such a thing you mention.

Your father? :whistle:
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