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Monday, 22 September 2008

Keeping A Date

Talking of dates: First I would like to apologise to the AME group for missing the IRC that was scheduled last Saturday (20th September), to which I had been invited to attend. Somehow, I got so engrossed with a scripting problem I was trying to resolve, that by the time I remembered the chat, it was too late. I did still go along and joined the AME channel to see if anybody was still around, and I was pleased to find a few of the guys still there: Skunkeen, Starlight, Axe Murderer. We all chatted for a while, and later that evening, I also had the chance to chat with a few from the CTP (Community Tileset Project) crew. So, my apologies once again to Tyler, and a thanks to those who shared a good evening of unexpected chat.

With respect to "Keeping A Date" in the campaign itself, I can announce that I finally managed to work in Edward Beck's (aka 0100010) Custom Calendar GUI into my campaign. I say "finally" as there was a problem with the original scripts not keeping track of a year properly when it crossed into a new one. I did request extra information from Edward, but I think he must be busy (or not around anymore) as I did not receive any replies to my contact attempts.

In the end, I had to write my own code to accurately keep track of passed time and re-apply it in a different way. I used campaign variables as the main synchronisation method, which actually works out well, as it also allows additional modules to refer to these records. As it happens, I also had to alter the XML code, as I needed a larger "window" to show special notes for my world. I also altered the code to show just "moon phases" rather than "sun movements", as the sun movement is already handled by the OC anyway.

Finally, I did away with the leap year section, as it does not serve any purpose in my campaign and adds a level of complication I did not think was worth the effort to keep. However, I am still intrigued as to why my module did not work like the example module, and am still in the process of trying to discover why. If I do learn why, then this may change slightly.

If you take a closer look at the image, you can see that I have enabled both the OC clock, which shows sun/night and time only on the left hand side of the screen. And on the right hand of the screen is the small clock that acts as a button that opens and closes the date window from its left hand side. (The image shows the date window currently open giving details of the date and current moon-cycle.)

This shot (and information given above) actually gives away a little of the New Era changes that have taken place. For those that would not know, Althéa (prior to the New Era) had four moons! Since the Darkening, however, this is no longer the case, and Althéa has had its three colour moons taken from it. I won't go into any more details now, but for those interested, they will learn more when they play the module.

More On The Life System

The Life System met with some favourable comments the last time I posted on it, and so I thought I would give an update on some of its final stages of development. I have now added a new condition that checks if a player continues to attack innocent NPCs within the same area. In my last blog entry, I explained that onlooking NPCs would stop their attack if the player did not continue to attack an innocent NPC. Now, the onlookers will remember if a PC has already attacked and killed an NPC in the area already, and if they see them kill another, then they will no longer view the death as an "accident", and all will turn hostile to the PC.

However, if the PC manages to escape the area, then the NPCs will return to a non-hostile state, but will remain wary with the returning PC, ready to turn hostile again if the PC should kill another NPC. If the PC remains good and no longer attacks the NPCs, then leaving and returning to the area a second time resets their status.

Furthermore, I have made it that guard and defender types actually improve in status as the PCs develop. Therefore, they should remain relatively strong enough to deal with any potentially growing antagonists.

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