Thursday, August 23, 2012

tales from the script

I've been fixing up "newmenu.h" again. I've got the screen-clearing mentioned in another post all sorted out; lately, I've just been touching up transcript behavior again.

In Hugo's original menu code, menus are kind of funky in game transcripts since most of the options are printed in the status window, which means that they don't show up in the transcript, so you get clumps of unlabeled text. In my menu update, I've been trying to make it so transcripts are easier to read by printing "invisible text" that only shows up in the transcript.

Here is how menu currently looks in a transcript:
Transcription on.

[MENU CHOICE: “BB Studios”]

[MENU CHOICE: “Fatty Arbuckle”]
Blah blah hooray!

[MENU CHOICE: “The Chase”]

[MENU CHOICE: “Whoa, a Helicopter!”]
Blah blah blah


Returning to the story...

BB Studios
  According to local signage, one of the giant buildings that holds several of the lot’s stages is to the north. A fancy building for the top brass is to the west.
The "blah blah" parts are where there would be a page of menu text. All lines enclosed in brackets only show up in the transcript.

I'm happy with how it's shaping up. At one point, I had it print the name of the current page, too, but that made the transcript really ugly fast so I cut it down to just writing something when you make a choice.

I like how it is now, but if people have suggestions on how menus in transcripts could look better, I am open to suggestions. Let me know.

Huh, I just learned something as I was writing this post. I was going to post a transcript of how the menu looks in a simple interpreter where things like colors aren't supported. Throwing a transcript together just now, I was kind of surprised to find out that despite the environment's hacky way of showing the status window, it follows the default behavior of not-printing-status-window-text-to-the-transcript-file. Since "invisible text" (where I print text with the same foreground and background color) is not a possibility in a simple interpreter, I'll have simple interpreters automatically get the "cheap mode" treatment.

Anyhow, that is good to know, as I had been wondering whether I should do that anyway. This thing might actually be finished one day!

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