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Lamplight text adventure editor + A Ghost Without Dying [in development]

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I know this is sorta reinventing the wheel, but I went down a rabbit hole with an idea for a text adventure game called "A Ghost Without Dying."  After sketching it out on paper, I realized it made more sense to create an editor first, to make the room data, descriptions, objects, and character dialogue trees, than it did to try to manually craft those files.  Lamplight is the editor.  It's about halfway done, and the game itself is mapped and written, but I still have a long way to go to add the objects and puzzles.


AGWD will be relatively small and short, but the idea is to make a few games with Lamplight, and get a little more ambitious each time, until it's sophisticated enough to release for anyone else who'd like to use it.


I hope to have a playable version of the game ready in a week or so.  




lamplight3 .jpg

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Brief update: the system I'm making has gotten a little more involved.


I'd originally planned to create an OBJECTS data file, containing up to three states for each object (for example, "Potion bottle" could also be "empty potion bottle" or "smashed bottle").  Each state can have an effect on one of your characteristics.  Separately, I have an NPC file, with dialogue trees that can affect the characters' actions (for instance, you can talk someone in to giving you an object, or a piece of information, or upset them to the point where they fight you).


I started creating movement pattern options, so that NPC's could actually travel around the game locations whether you see them or not.  Every move YOU make, an NPC could potentially also be on the move, either in a random pattern or in a set order of steps.


This led to the question of what an NPC would do upon finding, say, the "potion bottle."  I am now working on still another data file, this one called INTERAX, which cross-references NPC's to objects if there are any actions to be taken when they encounter each other.  So it's possible that, if you don't find the potion bottle quickly enough, you may "hear the faint sound of shattering glass" during a turn, and later come across "smashed bottle," with no idea you missed your chance to get the potion.


I'm starting to feel like the obsessed detective in the movies with the push pins and strings connecting all the strands of the case.  I'm partway through implementing the code.  As of now you can walk around in the game map, but that's all.  I'll have to get NPC, OBJECTS, and INTERAX all online at once to test them all together.


I know others have blazed this trail, but it's been a really interesting project for me so far and I'm hoping to sort of finish it 'with blinders on' and see how I solve the various issues that come up.  Hopefully I'll have a short video walkthrough after this weekend.

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This looks super interesting. I dabbled with text adventures previously, and the biggest challenge at the time was creating a natural language parser instead of the usual 2 word commands. [ Eons ]

NPC's add a nice element to any adventure, assuming they are smart enough. Looki g forward to your progress!

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As I mentioned some time ago, I'm re-playing the Infocom adventures now (after solving all of the Scott Adams series). The parser is still fascinating.


>drop all except sword, staff, and book              
 cloak: Dropped.
 hood: Dropped.
 ring: Dropped.
 vial: Dropped.
 torch: Dropped.
 strange key: Dropped.
 golden amulet: Dropped.

>go north and read the book
 North Corridor
 Your sword is glowing with a faint blue glow.

 The book seems to will itself open to a specific page. On it is a picture of eight small rooms located around a great circle of flame.
 All are identical save one, which has a bronze door leading to a magnificent room bathed in golden light. A legend beneath the picture
 says only "The Dungeon and Treasury of Zork."

>drop it and go south

Prison Cell
Your sword is no longer glowing.
Edited by mizapf
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I think my trade-off, at least in this incarnation, is a richer NPC experience instead of a more robust parser.  I'm in awe of Infocom's, especially given the time period they were working in, and I honestly don't know where to begin on making something that intuitive.  My thought is that, where I am, and still working in XB, whether I have 50 words or 200 words in the parser is almost irrelevant.  It'd have to be expanded by an order of magnitude I can't hit to make a difference, so I'm going to try to focus on core commands for now.  But who knows?  The more in depth I get, we'll have to see how it evolves and if I run out of space.

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