With the guts of the game system coming along, the job of
creating the actual content - cities, dungeons, and wilderness, not to
mention all the dialog and encounters - has become a weight on my mind.
At a minimum, meaningful game play will need:
- At least one "town" setting, where the player-characters can buy equipment, train, and encamp safely
- One or more "dungeons", areas where the PCs can have adventures and earn experience
- A "main map" - wilderness area that contains the town(s) and dungeon(s)
Now, the goal is to have multiple towns and cities, many more multiples of dungeons, and a nicely fleshed out world
map. But to get started, I'm going to settle for one tiny village, a small sub-section of the entire world map,
and a decent dungeon. Even with these limited goals, however, a lot of work lies ahead. Since the game (as presented
on this web client) is text-based, rich descriptions of every "room" location are mandatory. Even a hallway has to be
more than "You are in a hallway." In making a text game, I wanted to avoid the chore of creating graphics for everything.
But this is the trade-off. I have to write compelling prose.
One thing that would become apparent in actual game play is that full descriptions quickly become tiring, and the player
will stop reading. This problem as already been solved by text adventures long ago, however. The first time a player
steps into a room, they get the full description. The second time, they get a more succinct description, or possibly
just the "title" of the room. Subsequent entries are the title only, unless they issue a command like "look."
With that in mind, I am now working on the basic mechanics of moving about a map. I have 3 levels of description for
any room: a title, a short description, and a long description. Of course, these can be changed by events in the game, in
which case they fuller descriptions would have to come up again. A log will track the user and location, to keep track of whether
they've been there before.