Successful integration of most adult materials into general files. So, if you poke, expect to run across some stuff that you might find offensive. Think bad fanfic sex with a decidedly "purple prose" approach. That turned out to be over a year of work just figuring it out - I highly recommend thinking several times before doing much besides "fade to black". Trying to implement player choice without dictating in something as subjective as that? Murder.
One sacrificial pre-alpha tester reported problems with weighting in inns, still backtracking.
Still to integrate and rework before beta test release:
- "Send him on to another place" materials need coordinates and coding to actually move him.
- bath in an inn romance materials (currently marked PLACEHOLDER)
- several swimming pathways, both male and female, are chopped off short.
- Quest materials and dialog for Teldra the Recruiter
- Revamp and integration of adult materials (the "booty call" PID stuff) into ToB
- ToB friend talks (still on the drawing board - may be very short (3) for the initial beta release.)
- Definitely not yet under control = marking all pathways with appropriate c-aranintimate registration - right now, there are plenty of places where you can kiss the lad (or do a heckuvu lot more) and it doesn't register to influence other talks.
Stuff to ask Beta testers to do when the beta is available:
- Pathway Check - as a male PC, is there any place where a gender check has been missed, and suddenly a male PC has Aran's hand exploring his pert breasts? As a female PC, is there any place in the friendship talks where there should be options for the female PC to swing the conversation into a flirtation/lovetalk? When does the Girdle of gender-Bender not get checked for and his reaction modified?
- Female PCs - is there any place where he goes from 0 to 60mph in less than two lines, unasked? [PC] "Heya. How are things" > [ARAN] (His rough cheek presses close to yours.) This is a real concern with ESL, too. Subtlety and language play does not always translate well.
- Pre-tester reported a good "negative" - some of the wordy back-and-forth banters are too much where they are leading into action with an NPC. Many of them could be controlled for player enjoyment by adding PC responses to the initial Aran statement, so when he gets rolling with several NPCs PC could just say "TO BATTLE!" and the rest of the sequence would be dropped. That would match the "silencer" action of PID.
- In Adult-Land, the creation of having many different encounters and trying to make them unique used randomness extensively. Are there pathways that have ended up missing the opportunity to just hold hands? just kiss? Say "no"? Vamp him? Jump his bones? Tell him to f*** off?
- In Friendship-Land, does he react well enough to conditions to maintain interest for PC?
Some ideas that will need to wait until after beta release;
- Traification will help cut codebloat/size dramatically, especially as I will be using the same master ,tra file for SoA and ToB. And help with spellchecking. But I am still tinkering, and don't want to mess with .tra yet.
- ToB Romance Pathway. I scrapped the whole run, and am starting over. It was all angst, no fun. Life is too short to be constantly depressed.
- So much detail, yet so many things that could be extended... the problem with being a hack amateur writer is there is no real edit/revision in the proper sense. Less is often more, but here, more is more and more and more.... luckily, I only have myself to please style_emoticons/default/smile.gif
- All those ideas about using the new inn as adventure initiation need to be set aside for a bit.
- resolution talks for romance in SoA (right now there are the standard Tree of life, but I haven't tackled the big "R Y T 1" finale. has to happen before beta, but will definitely need to be revised after feedback.
- Currently, when you ask him about the relationship, the player can create "revisionist history", changing the variables. This probably will stay in for the beta, so that when a playtester finds something that loops or doesn't like the way things are going, they have an additional way of changing stuff to new settings without using the console.
So, backup of current dialog files, decompiled via DLTCEP/WeiDU for troubleshooting/recheck, as of 08.28.2011
Depreciated - please follow on www.github.com
Notes to file under "never do this" - or at least recheck
1. WeiDU "unterminated comment" is the most frustrating thing ever to recheck - and it is not WeiDU's fault. It is entirely PEBCAK. I have started using both JEdit and NotePad++ auto-completion to make sure ( has ), [ has ], and most of all, there is no /* /* */ */
One useful regexp I found was \/\*.+\/\* very useful for finding where block commenting as taken a turn for the bizzare. I have given up on single line // commenting, finding it too easy for my non-programmer brain to forget that a newline in there is a PITA.
2. I like the use of a simple standard numbering of added states, a.k.a. a1 to a3799, but when working with multiple files make sure you have a master list that you keep up to date. That way you don't end up with a mess when you go back and mass-replace HAVE_A_NEW_BRANCH with a3500, only to find out the master number is already at a3770. With my memory challenges, the conversion serves as a re-check for pathway, making sure that a3770 is actually matching conversational flow, but that only works when you are very careful with your record-keeping. Of course, most NPCs don't require this level of OCD, as weidu accepts MY_YOU_LOOK_GOOD as a state label. In Aran, though, I'd be very likely to write that as a state label multiple times in multiple places.
3. I am now a big fan of the "compile early and often". It has been hard with Aran, as there are so many places where dialog is crosslinked. But I seriously am happy with WeiDU and DLTCEP compilation after every blasted added talk, if necessary, even if it is probably not needed. + +, missing tildes, ~~~, etc. all can be searched and fixed in a good programmer's editor, but something always seems to make it through that process. Nothing more frustrating than having a file that compiles, another file that compiles, merging them into a master file, and then having "unterminated comment" be the bane of your existence for a 4 hour modding session...
Edited by cmorgan, 23 November 2011 - 04:19 PM.