Encounters Built, Testing
I finished rigging up the encounters I've been working on, and was able to start testing them this afternoon. I sort of went off on a tangent with one of the "return to ___" encounters, adding a whole branch that I never planned to do. However, I didn't want to not add it if I had the idea. More content is good, so I ran with it.
It gave me an opportunity to look up the toxic effects of beryllium fluoride, heh heh :)
One side-effect of this recent encounter batch is a harsh reminder that NEO Scavenger's item code is tedious to work with. Right now, every possible item needs to be manually added as an option or the game ignores it. So if the encounter includes an opportunity to use binoculars, I have to manually add one case for each of the following:
- rifle scope
- rifle scope on rifle
- rifle scope on rifle with strap
- telescopically augmented eyes
It's a real buzz-kill when I think, "I'll add the ability to scout out this location!" and then remember that I'll have to scour the items list to make sure I include each applicable item.
Also, long-time players will recognize this as the same issue preventing easy addition of new crafting recipes. Building an item with ingredients that can be substituted means I have to write a recipe for each possible permutation.
So I'm thinking the time has come for me to deal with this problem. Or at least try. Once I wrap up these new encounters, and upload them, I'm going to start looking into a new way of handling items for encounter choices and recipes. It should line up with the highly-voted-for features of more crafting recipes, weapons, and adding other items to the game.
So far, I think the most promising approach is to see if I can make items property-based. So each item has certain properties assigned to it when I create it. A pair binoculars, for example, would have a "telescopic sight" property. So would the rifle scope, and all the rifles with the scope added.
That way, if there were an encounter that supported telescopic scouting, I could just say "any object with the telescopic property" instead of listing each one.
Similarly, I could forgo creating recipes for lighting a torch with every possible permutation of fire (tiny campfire, big campfire, lit crude torch, lit quality torch, lighter, etc.) and just say item with "fire source" property plus item with "crude torch" property produces a lit, crude torch.
It'll require that the list of properties be a good one, though, and easy to work with. I may also need some unique properties, such as "item is the urn from Seven Gables Road," for quest purposes.
That's the theory, anyway.
However, I still have to get these encounters wrapped up. So I won't jump ahead of myself :)