What am I doing? I’m making a mess. That’s what I’m doing.
I spent a great part of the weekend redoing what was supposed to be a system to create dialogue in the game. It’s become something else entirely.
Yes, the thing that was supposed to make and maintain a text file, containing lines of dialogue, has turned into some kind of poor man’s state machine!
I started thinking that the functionality to create conversations (like turning on and off dialogue options, and responses based off choices) could be used for other stuff too. Like adding conditions and triggers.
The upside is: if it does work, it’ll make complex tasks more manageable – without actually having to hard-code them into the game. (pickup(key), setCondition(gotKey, true) type stuff.)
The downside is: ALL of it is saved in that text file I was talking about earlier. I’ll have to deal with that later. I’m not sure what a 100,000 line text file will do. Specifically how much memory it will take up, and what kind of performance hit there’ll be – trying to maintain it through the whole game. When the time comes, I might start thinking about only loading part of it at a time, but right now it’s OK.
I don’t know if this is a bad idea, or a terrible idea. Only time will tell.
I’m very close to being able to make a playable scene, but it doesn’t look like I’m going to finish it tonight. I actually have the tool part working, but I still haven’t integrated it into the game yet. (It creates the data, but the game doesn’t know what to do with it.)
So, this week I’m going to finish what I’m calling the Sequence Builder, start working on defining the main character a little bit, and create a rough environment for one of the locations in the game.
I’m not sure if I should take one scene to a high degree of finish, or if I should worry more about getting the whole game in a rough playable state first… I’ll add that decision to my to do list for this week.