Hooking Up Encounters

I spent most of the day today hooking up the encounter I've been drafting in a document.

Before I could start, though, I had to wipe some cobwebs off of the editor. It appears that the recent addition of more images for the higher resolution modes broke a limit in the editor, and it was failing to load everything when I started it up. I had to write some code to load the data and images in batches, so it didn't get stuck.

Once that was out of the way, though, I was off and editing. It didn't take too long to transfer what I had written in the document into the editor, and to start hooking the nodes up to each other. A quick test saving the data out again seemed to work, so I kept going.

Fast-forward a full day, and this is what the encounter looks like:

IMAGE(http://www.bluebottlegames.com/img/screenshots/screenshot-2013-03-20.png) Not quite done, but most of it is there.

It's actually pretty hefty, overall. There's still a branch that needs to be written (the lone node in the bottom center represents an unfinished branch), but it's coming along.

And that's when the trouble hit.

I was saving the data, and wrapping up, and I noticed that the data wasn't being saved completely. It looks like the encounter editor got through about 945 of the 981 nodes in the game, and then just petered-out. That sucks. I guess I should've been checking the database to make sure each save throughout the day was working, since it looks like I broke a limit in the save function.

I tried a few last ditch methods to trick the editor into saving the data (basically, pausing it a few times during the save process, to try and unclog the database request queue), but no dice.

So I went in there and copy+pasted all the node text from the editor into my document. At least the writing is safe. I'll have to rebuild the node map, though, and re-pick all the input items, etc.

First, though, I'm going to need to figure out what happened to the save. Probably a case of having to do it in batches, like the load.

Anyway, mixed progress today. Hopefully, this is just a minor speed bump, though!


UltimaVirus's picture

Man, I can't wait to see those! For some reason encounters have been exceedingly rare for me. I think in all the hours I've played I've only seen maybe 3 or 4.

orbitneo's picture

Great news! It's very exciting to see a visual representation of the encounter tree.

dcfedor's picture

Thanks guys!

I'm actually considering making a few encounters more common. Right now, there is a trio of encounters that gets randomly selected from each game, and only one is active. What I may do instead is to make most or all of them always active, but only enable certain branches in each game.

Given that the locations aren't mobile, it just seems to make sense that they'd always be there. Just a matter of more or less options on a given visit.

Overall, though, there just aren't many large encounters in the game. So not running into them is probably normal. The random encounters are more numerous, but less frequent. And short.

I'm hoping that this new encounter, plus the always-on changes to the trio will make Michigan seem just slightly less empty :)

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games