More about the wiki adventure game...

I've started to implement the wiki adventure game idea from last week. I plan to contribute it to CodePlex, and maybe make a site. It's being written in Javascript mostly, but with C# on the server side. Some JSON, some regex. I considered and ruled out using Ruby, Volta, Silverlight, MVC and a bunch of other technologies I don't understand, for reasons that Pseale has elucidated nicely.

I've got a benchmark in mind for what constitutes the 1.0 version of the game. Basically, once you're able to create a simple game akin to Pug Wars (see also, Drug Wars, Dope Wars)... that would be 1.0.

That game can be composed as a two-page game, with trading, banking, some randomness and an ever decreasing number of days remaining.

I've got ideas for what would be in a 2.0 and 3.0 version.

Here's the general concepts leading up to version 2.0...

A player has four lists (keyvalue collections, perhaps)

  • SimpleAttributes, such as name and avatar.
  • InventoryList, your useful items
  • SkillList, graded abilities that get you places, unlock certain possibilities in the game.
  • VitalsList, your score, your health, your hunger, your wisdom, charm and so on.

What actual items are in these lists depend on the game authors.

Inventory, would be composed of items that are intrinsically tradeable. Each item has an item-type, e.g. "Gold" and a qty, e.g. "57".

Say you visit a witch who is willing to sell you 1 donkey in exchange for 57 gold pieces. Very good. Trading is a built in feature of the platform. Normal fair trading applies: you can't spend more than you have. You can't buy the donkey and keep the gold. You can't buy more donkey's than the witch is selling.

Now, here's the clever bit: all tradeable items are, in theory, capable of becoming weapons. You may have noticed this from watching Jackie Chan films. That's not just a park bench! It's a weapon!

Given the appropriate skill, any item can be used as a weapon. If you don't have the crossbow skill, then that crossbow you just found is nothing more than a tradeable commodity to you. But once you bump into that wise old cross bow trainer, and acquire the cross bow skill, you will suddenly be able to employ it in any future fight. (Some items can act as weapons even if you have no skill -- the seal club for example)

Similarly, all tradeable items are capable of acting as 'food'. And what is 'food' in the general sense? It's a thing that can be consumed and thus its quantity diminished, but the consumption of which will alter one of your vital signs in some way. So this category really covers Foods, drink, poison, potions, medicines and the like. A keg of spirits may increase your drunkedness from 0 to 100. A bottle of poison, will decrease your health from 42 to 0. You can't dimish a vital sign below zero, but you can certainly try.

Can a tradeable item be both weaponry and food? Certainly! A well timed pretzel to the eye can disable many an attacker.

What weapons can be used on what adversaries?

That depends how a creature is defined. Some creatures can be attacked equally with any and all weapons.

But many creatures are impervious to all but a few weapons. Superman for example: Impervious to all, vulnerable to: "kryptonite".

Okay, that's the basic mechanics that will go into the game. I think it will game authors a lot of flexibility in the text adventures they can construct.

Writing the javascript is an alarmingly fun process. I'm beginning to agree with Justice Gray's famous retort he uses whenever someone complains that javascript is a terrible language:

Javascript doesn't suck, you do

See ya later. Dodgy pre-alpha Prototype here


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