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Archive for December, 2008

Announcing Dyce.

I recently mentioned that I had a nifty little dice library and parser sitting around, waiting to get cleaned up and released as open source. Well, thanks to the common cold, I spent a good portion of today sitting around the house.

When I wasn’t sleeping, I was learning how to package a python library for [...]

Using tags for metadata and lookup.

With my object system prototype, I wanted to explore the possibilities of tagging. An article in AI Game Programming Wisdom 2 (”A Flexible Tagging System for AI Resource Selection”, by Paul Tozor) spurred my imagination: the article poses the scenario of a first-person sneaker. The player sneaks up on two guards and overhears them complaining about the cold. The straightforward [...]

Building for persistence at a fundamental level.

One of the first problems I tackled in my prototype was persistence, because I foresaw the difficulties of object serialisation, and I feared them. Because I’ve chosen Python as my language of first resort, serialisation isn’t as big of an issue as it would be, say, in C++: it’s built in to the language as the pickle module. The mechanics [...]

Enabling data-driven object construction.

In my research, I’ve spent a lot of time reading what the developers of rogue-likes have to say. One of the more famous rogue-likes, Angband, uses text files to define just about everything in the game. This sounds a lot like the Pragmatic Programmer dictum: “put abstractions in code, details in metadata.”

Free Sky: Objects in Space

For a comprehensive RPG like Free Sky, we’re going to need a good object system. This system should be no more complicated than necessary, allowing for easy design of game objects and quick overhauls when the game design changes. This mini-series will be a quick sketch of my thoughts toward this end.

Some principles, before I get started:

Enable data-driven object [...]

Another abrupt hiatus.

I haven’t posted since the election. I’m afraid that an imperfect storm of events have kept me away. For one, I burned myself out on the internet in the ramp-up to the election. For another, I decided that November would be National Change Your ISP Month (NaChYoIspMo). I’m now quite happy with WebFaction, and just [...]