I had hoped to get in a burst of wordcount over the Epic Night of Writing Epicly (ENOWE) all-night event put on by my local NaNoWriMo folks, but it turns out staying up past the witching hours and successfully coding/writing puzzles… isn’t a thing for me anymore.
I did get a lot done, but I still find myself staring down a pretty large word count gap. So (reluctantly) I’m going to start including the coding as words. There was just too much research wrapped up in the coding and it cut into my actual writing time too much.
Ah well, such is life for some NaNos!
On a good note, I now have a working (rough) game engine that I can reuse for later events.
I’ve finally gotten the inventory system up and running and it correctly hides actions depending on what you have in your pockets. This was the last piece that I needed before I could declare the backend ‘done’, so I’ve uploaded it to GitHub and added it into the worcounts.
Thanks to the inventory system changes I now also have the ability to only show room actions (beige) that meet requires/forbids checks against what the player has in their pockets (tan).
This means things like not showing the small rock in the creek when it’s in your pocket– or letting you toss the rock into the pool as long as you have it.
I’ll be changing the colors back to green (they were just colored this way for testing) but I do need something to denote the ‘pocket area’. This is why I’m a programmer and not a UI designer…
I also did rough out the Game Master’s front end that will allow easier manipulation of the game world, but I’m not including it in the project (or the NaNoWriMo word counts).
The Story Thus Far
Thanks to the ENOWE I was finally able to hash out the ‘winning steps’ as well as a few new clues. The problem I ran into was that what I did get out of those writing sprints wasn’t always coherent.
But that’s the point of NaNo, to fill up the sandbox with lots of things that can be used to build sandcastles later. The problem, of course, is that I’m trying to build sandcastles now.
So the rest of the month is probably going to be filled with new rooms, new hints, and only the vaguest idea of how they all lock together. Which is pretty much the same way I write novels, so… all good! 🤣
I did come up with a fun way to layer on the sense of deja vu both within the single player’s actions and within the multiplayer actions. For right now it’s just cosmetic, but I may link it into a hint later down the line.
Setting up a true multiplayer where everyone can influence the world all players see is… a bit of a headache.
I want everything that happens to have a reasonable explanation. Thus players should never get in a position where they can’t figure out why something happened. Which means changes other players make to the world should be obvious as something caused by an outside force.
Now some of what they do will seem like it was caused by the player in a previous reset (see the cosmetic effects from above), but some of it is meant to be non-cosmetic… only I’m not sure how to keep that from breaking things.
Having a world setting be critical to the gameplay will cause no end of issues if there are enough people playing so the setting is constantly changing.
My thought for the moment is that each of the world settings will do mainly cosmetic things, like change the description of a room without changing the actions. That would allow the players to find different hints depending on the setting, but the hints would all lead back to the same places.
Oh well, I’m going to keep writing for it anyways and maybe I’ll drop it once I get back to editing the whole mess.
Rooms and Actions
Now that I can successfully move around in the game world, it’s time to start making sure the rooms and actions are connected properly. Because when I started testing after uploading all the prose… yeah, so many dead ends. 🤦♀️
Post-November I’m going to be going in and finish writing a proper Game Master UI but for now, I’m using Google Sheets to keep track of everything.
The green columns in the screenshot are lookups to a second tab that lists all the actions (and the action commands/results). Since I have a lot of duplicate action names, it was the only way I could make sure I had things setup correctly.
As you can see there are a LOT of actions still missing because I put in placeholders for rooms that I haven’t really gotten around to writing yet. (Fun times.)
I’ve added a lot of rooms and actions since last update (at 62 rooms and 70 actions right now) and am planning on adding a bazillion more during my wild dash towards the 50k mark this holiday week/weekend.
I may not make it all the way to the finish line this year, but I’m gonna give it a good shot!
Tomorrow’s To-do List
- Write all the things
- No, serious, all of them… I am so behind in word count! 😅🤦♀️