Journal Entry

Yesterday ended up being a pretty good day.

I got a lot accomplished at work. I had to tell my boss that I wouldn’t be able to finish a project by deadline (which is always uncomfortable to admit), but I learned that the larger project had slipped by two weeks, so my manual probably gets the same grace. Nice.

I also got a lot done on my game over lunch, and when I got home from the gym, I picked it right back up and kept going. I now have quests and timed events provably working — that is, I’ve got one of each happening so far. I have to write a bunch more, but I’ve built the framework for them, and I think I’ve built it in a versatile enough way to handle most of the other events I want to write.

In case you’re curious, what I specifically have happening is this: Once your character hits level three, it opens up the first event. One evening (exactly when is randomized) after a day of hunting, a group of other survivors stumble across his camp. He invites them to stay with him for the night, but they insist on pressing onward to the safety of the nearby fort. Before they go, they give him directions.

Essentially, this gives your character access to his first town. That’s always a pretty important point in an RPG. Since this game takes place after the absolute devastation of human civilization, there aren’t going to be a lot of towns. Most of the ones your character encounters will actually be founded by him, and that requires a pretty hefty chunk of resources. So, getting one for free like this is a pretty big deal.

Then, at level five, your character stumbles across some people who tell him they’ve escaped from the slave pens of the brutal Warlord Thauloc. They describe his stronghold, and you decide you should pay him a visit.

When you finally track him down (and defeat him in battle), you not only get access to another stronghold (this one is a village, one rank higher than the fort you found earlier), but also some leadership commands, such as having one of your followers join you in battle.

Getting these working accomplishes two things, really. First, it’s a vital part of the game creation process. It allows me to set up a major rewards system (loot and experience points making the minor rewards system), that will eventually drive the player to finish the game. It also, as you can see in the previous paragraphs, gives me my first real opportunity to insert storyline into the game. As I was a fantasy writer for over a decade before I ever wrote my first line of code, I’m sure you can imagine the appeal of finally being at the storyline part of the game.

I haven’t written magic into the game yet. That will be a major addition (I’m sure much harder to add than the EventsManager was). Still, apart from that I have all the pieces in place. I basically need to finish up the events stuff, and then spend however long it takes on magic, and then I have a completed game. That’s an exciting prospect.

Anyway, yeah, that’s all I did last night. After work we went to the gym (and I didn’t have any trouble doing my strength training, in spite of the five day break), and then grabbed some dinner on the way home and watched How I Met Your Mother and Rules of Engagement and Bones while I did my programming. Then we went to bed. There’s my day.