Wednesday, May 1, 2013

always more to do

I have to admit that recently, I've been yet again not working on my own games but have found a distraction. I've been applying Roodylib and my extensions to somebody else's already-released game-with-available-source-code. Mainly, I've been curious how well my code can integrate with other games and whether it helps the overall playing experience. So far, I'd say the results have been fairly promising, although the experience has brought some more issues to my attention

Objects Can Be Grabbed From the Possession of Friendly Characters Without Comment

I was kind of surprised to find out that a character has to be unfriendly to refuse you from taking its possessions, and when you do take possessions from a friendly character, you just get the default "Taken." message.

Now, without modifying Roodylib, there is this solution:
replace character
   type character
   pronouns "he", "him", "his", "himself"
   capacity 50
   holding 0
   is living, transparent, static
   exclude_from_all true
      parent(object) DoGet
         local l
         l = string(_temp_string,
         print "Nah, that is "; The(self);
         if _temp_string[l] = 's'
The above disallows taking things from friendly characters. To allow it, you'd have to replace the before routine with something that calls Acquire and prints its own "so-and-so lets you have the <blank>" message.

Just in thinking about the issue while I write this post, I think I will update Roodylib so that DoGet calls a character's after property to allow for different messages when you take objects from friendly characters.

EDIT: Actually, looking at DoGet closer, it already has a parent(object).after check, so I think I'll just give a default after routine to the character class.

Platforms Get No DescribePlace Love

While testing my code, I also noticed that contents of scenery platforms were not being listed by DescribePlace. The game (and others) have gotten around this by having code like this in a room's long_desc:
if child(self)
Perform(&DoLookIn, self)
"There's nothing on it."
Really, though, I can't think of a reason why you wouldn't want DescribePlace to handle platforms automatically. You can always deny content listing for &DoLookAround in list_contents, if you want.

The original scenery-contents check looks like this:
         if obj.type = scenery
            obj is known
            if player not in obj and
               (obj is open or obj is not openable)
My check now looks like:
if obj.type = scenery
if player not in obj and
! (obj is open or obj is not openable)
((obj is container and (obj is open or obj is transparent))  or
obj is platform) and obj is not quiet
There's probably some overkill in there, and hopefully I didn't introduce new problems.

Platform Problems Part 2

Another problem cropped up, where even looking at scenery platforms or containers like above didn't prompt a listing of their contents. Since I've run into a problem like this before, I quickly guessed that my DescribePlace had left those items with the already_listed attribute, which DoLook looks for before listing contents. At first, I tried updating DescribePlace to always remove that attribute from them, but the thing is, in my modular version of DescribePlace, I really want the author to be able to list objects in any order they want, and I didn't want to restrict them to always having to list scenery contents last.

In the end, I thought, huh, why does DoLook even care about already_listed, anyway? Those attributes will just be reset the next time DescribePlace is run. The only thing instance where I think the already_listed-check might be important is in the case of identical plurals, but in my cursory testing, removing the check has had no effect on identical-plural behavior. Guess I'll just keep the check off the next version of Roodylib and see what problems pop up.

Speaking of Roodylib, I should probably upload a new official release soon. I guess I've been putting it off. I think I'll probably do something about that DoGet issue mentioned above, and here is some other stuff that'll show up in the new version:
 * added a missing printed bracket in parser monitoring code
* added NEW_EMPTY system for more container/platform-emptying options
* added AMERICAN_ENGLISH flag to switch between quotation punctuation styles
* added NEW_DESCRIBEPLACE to give more DescribePlace options
* added WhatsIn replacement and ListObjects RLibMessage-call for more printing options
* updated CenterTitle to not draw extra window in simple, non-Glk terps
* Fixed some places in the supercontainer class that didn't work right with transparent supercontainers.
* Fixed a problem where non-door items with door_to properties weren't being accepted by DoGo. Probably still some perfecting to do on this one.
* Attachables DescribePlace code was missing some parentheses.

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