Currency on Hold, and Diner Done
I decided to put off currency stuff until later. There are still some questions without satisfying answers, and implementing a new system would probably delay new content for too long.
Plus, it turns out that there's a pretty easy way to check for and execute payments in encounters, just by using the existing "Money" stat. It postpones solving the problem of money being unrealistic, but I can continue creating content without interruptions, and that's a higher priority right now.
Diner First Draft
I managed to finish the first draft of the diner today. And I'm actually pretty surprised at how it turned out. I originally expected it to be a short-and-sweet vending machine for food (colorful food, mind you, but still fairly brief). Instead, I was able to inject it with some atmosphere, some history, a little bit of social commentary, and even a bit of the unexplained.
I originally pictured an intro node with three possible dishes to order. But in the end, I got a bit more creative, making the encounter a bit different on subsequent visits, and depending on the actions of the player.
It's also possible that some day I could add more encounters to this framework. Maybe when there's more time to add side plots, I could add a covert meeting branch to the encounter, or dialogue with another patron. I like knowing that a design can be added to incrementally later, if desired.
I'll probably read through it again tomorrow for a sanity check, and test it out to make sure the logic works. And then, it's on to the medical facility. There's room for quests and dialog there, too, but I have a feeling there will probably be more service options than the diner. So I might have to focus more on the practical in that location. We'll see.
Hope everyone has a good night!