Sunday, May 24, 2015

Roodylib 4.0 and Hugo Notepad++

So, official Roodylib 4.0 is out!  Here is my announcement from the couple places I posted about it:

"Roodylib," my collection of updates to the Hugo library files, just had its 4.0 update. I feel that it's come a long way and has plenty of nice bug fixes and added functionality. I'd hope that any Hugo author checks it out. I've uploaded it to the IF Archive (should be in "unprocessed" right now), but you can always download the latest official version here, too:

Windows Hugo users new and old may also be interested in a Notepad++ package I've put together for Hugo (this seems allowable by its licensing as it only insists that info remains intact for finding the official Notepad++ site and I did not delete any of the included readme's). It adds several toolbar buttons for easy compilation and running games, and it handles directory management (one of the trickier things, IMO, for the budding Hugo author). Best of all, it's a standalone program so it can be put on a USB stick and carried from computer to computer. Download Hugo Notepad++

As you can see, I didn't really go into new features and fixes.  For that, you'll want to take a look at the changelog text file in or even look at all of the new comments in roodylib.h.

I already have plenty of ideas for the next Roodylib release.  Some are:

  • Overhaul the entire pronoun system. I was going to do this for 4.0, but when I polled the public, I found there were too many competing theories on how pronouns should work. Instead of trying to sort it out all now, this task has been moved to "someday."
  • Add some commands with accessibility in mind (specifically, for the visually impaired).  One thought is a "STATUS" command that reiterates the information that is displayed in the status bar.  Another idea is a "PROMPT" command to change the prompt for people with text-to-speech software (something like >PROMPT "What now?"  so the prompt is "What now?" instead of ">").

    This idea has actually been on my mind for months, and I've tried to get in touch with the visually-impaired gaming community for their suggestions but my attempts did not work.  Luckily, a thread about this showed up on the intfiction forums, and one fellow in particular is going to research the issue to find out what more can be done.  I'll re-visit this idea then.
  •  I'd like to add FakePrompt to Roodylib, with some extra routines to automatically draw windows for whatever question is being asked (FakePrompt is a cool way to get the exact thing a player types without having to try to train them to put it in quotation marks).
  • I'd like to also just incorporate a handful of other extensions into Roodylib, just so authors don't have to go searching around for too many things every time they start a new project.  Much easier to just add a flag to their code, I would think.
  • It's not Roodylib, but I also need to re-visit Hugo By Example and update a ton of its pages.  The whole "replacement routines" category is pretty much what turned into Roodylib, and it'd probably be better to just have a nice Roodylib section where I explain how things work better.  That and just general updating all around.

So, I have all of those ideas, but I'm hoping to ignore them all for a while and spend some time on my own games.  I really neglect them when I have Roodylib things to work on, and it'd be good if I made some progress.  We'll see how it goes!

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