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: I'm writing this from the Internet kiosk at Berkeley. Sumana has a Java applet that runs SSH, so she was finally able to view Seth's (Cyberware-censored) diary from this kiosk. In a little while the two of us are going off to see Merrily We Roll Along; I'll let you know how it goes.

: Merrily We Roll Along turned out not to be very interesting, so we left at intermission. I fear that I just watched Degeneracy: The Musical and that my reactions are similar to the reactions of others upon playing Degeneracy. However, there were several good things about the production. The main one was that the Dave Foley-esque guy who played Charlie stole the show. Charlie was my favorite character, and had by far the best song that we heard. There was also a guy who played a lawyer and who looked and dressed exactly like Seth, except that he was black. In other doppleganger news, the female lead looked and spoke exactly like my cousin Shannon, except that Shannon is a lot taller.

Anyway... tomorrow afternoon I'm picking up Susanna from the airport. Welcome back, Susanna!

: I spent the evening writing a magic system for the new game. I started out with the sample Enchanter-style magic system that comes with Inform and that I used in Guess the Verb!, but now there's almost none of it left. It has almost the same interface, but the implementation is completely different.

The main change I had to make was to add support for NPCs who could learn and cast spells, the same as the player. The default system had two big things standing in the way of this:

  1. Every spell had an object containing the number of times the player had memorized it. I moved this into the object representing a spellcaster's memory.
  2. When you memorized a spell it would change the spell's location in the object tree, making it a child of your memory object. The location of the spell in its spellbook was a mere reference to the spell object. Now it's the other way around; spells are always located in the object tree underneath the spellbooks or whatever containing them, and people who memorize spells get references to the spell objects in their memories.

I really like text adventures with spellcasting systems, and this one's going to be great; lots of spells, lots of fun magic toys, lots of incredibly evil puzzles. Mwahaha!


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