Wednesday, January 28, 2015

FissureVerse... Organized

I've started uploading FissureVerse cards to Google Drive, which should be freely accessible if you have a link (clicky clicky).  I've added the link to the main FissureVerse page as well for easy access.  I'll be uploading more cards as they get created, replace cards that get updated, and of course adding instructions.  Each card has been individually uploaded, so if you're playing and one of your cards gets damaged and you want just that one, you don't have to waste any ink printing out a page of eight cards.  Though, I'll probably also add each full set as a PDF as well, so you can print out a whole set if you like.  I've also organized the drive so there's space set up for new expansions, when they come out.  At present, there are no Location, Frenzy, or Red cards, but of course that'll change as I get more permission from artists to use their work (or find new artists).

Think of the Google Drive as the current definitive versions of the cards; everything previous to that is old stuff.  Of course I'll continue to make blog posts about FissureVerse, and make note whenever any cards get added, changed, etc.

Currently, I've got a total of 32 files uploaded (including card backs and tokens) out of an expected 195 for the base set... so I have a long way to go.

Part 41: New Art...

Friday, January 23, 2015

Latchkey #65 - Drop Command

Fixed the Drop command to work with the new parser function.  Should work, and I haven't yet needed to make it any shorter or longer, so that seems like a plus.

That's about it; no testing yet since I need to get the Take command working first, and preferably all the others.  What I really need to do before this gets too deep is get the parser to take adjectives so it can determine which of multiple kinds of the same item/barrier is the one being talked about.  Right now I'm reading in multiple items/barriers in the verb functions, but I'm only taking the first listed and assuming that's what the player wants.  I think I'm gonna need a whiteboard for that, so I can make some flowcharts and then some pseudocode.  It seems like a mess.  But perhaps, like a lot of the things I dread, it'll be easier than I expect.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Latchkey #64 - Parser Work

I went back and split the enormous parser function into bite-size pieces.  That way I just get to the verb first, and check for other things as necessary.  I figure, if the player types a command that in no way could reference barriers, there's no point in checking for barriers in the player's command, yet normally that's one of the first things to be checked.  This new way of putting the verb first might possibly reduce unnecessary steps, but at the very least it should make things easier to understand at a glance.  That parser command is big and nasty and I had trouble understanding what I coded, even with comments in place.  This new change isn't fully implemented yet, but the functions exist without syntax errors, so it's a start.

It ends up chopping the parser command into five functions: the main one that gets the verb, then one for checking barriers, one for checking items in the room, the one for checking items in the player's inventory, and one for checking direction words.  I'll also need to check for adjectives, which so far has been half coded in horrendous way, but that code should be scrapped and recreated in a smaller function, which will hopefully be easier and less confusing soon.  Maybe.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Latchkey #63 - Take & Drop Commands

I fixed the take command (in a haphazard way, as I do everything) so the player can't pick up an item they've already picked up, so now there's no more duplicated items.

Next, I recoded the drop command, so the player can now drop items again.  Fortunately, that went off without a hitch (well, without many hitches).

I then discovered two more bugs in the take command when testing. First, if the player tries to take an item that's untakeable, he gets the proper message first ("It's too big or heavy"), followed by the wrong message ("Your hands are full").  This is due to some reworking of the take command which eliminated an extra if statement I no longer needed... or so I thought.  The bigger bug (which I think comes from the same removed if statement) is a crash when you try to take anything that isn't there, including items not in the room, non-items ("take gobbledegook"), or nothing at all ("take").  But I think what I actually need to do is stop that stuff from happening before it even gets to the take verb, and instead blocks these from happening while in the main parser.

Perhaps, instead, I need to break down the rather large parser function into smaller bits, called upon by the verb functions themselves.  That way there isn't much wasted time when parsing.  For instance, there's no need to check for items if the player is just walking to the next room.  That will take some time to recode, while I'm in the middle of recoding all the verbs.

I wouldn't want to be me right now.

Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year's Resolutions 2015: Monthathons

For 2015, I'm going to attempt themed months.  Each month will focus on just one project, other than the occasional review or article or other standalone post.  Mostly, I feel like I get a lot more work done when I focus on things for a month at a time, rather than a week.

So one month might be focused on Latchkey, another might be focused on DOOM level design, etc.

For FissureVerse, things are at a crawl while I search for placeholder art and get permission from artists, so there will be no month-long sets for FissureVerse; that'll have to be restricted to updates whenever I can get to them.  I don't have the funds to pay for commissions, so the art will have to be restricted to excellent hobbyists who are happy to see their old work used.  Naturally, that's rare, so I have to get lucky in a lot of cases.  Perhaps when FissureVerse gets enough playtesting and balance to be ready for a Beta release (at least the first set), I'll consider a Kickstarter or something to replace the placeholder art with commissions, and whatever is left over would go into the next sets.  But that comes far into the future.  For now, I just want it to look good to get people playtesting it.

As far as post scheduling goes: I'm going to push myself to do twice a week posts again.  Sometimes it burns me out a bit, but, like doing month-long themes, I feel like I accomplish more with two posts a week. (Perhaps I even accomplish, dare I say, twice as much?)

So, for January, expect a month of Latchkey work.  We'll see how long I can stick to that resolution.

A cop walking through trashed Times Square on New Years,
Happy New Year.