Bird's Eye View

Compared to the past week and a half, today's progress was a serious leap. The editor is getting very near a point where I can author content in it, and it's already useful for showing data relationships. It's impressive how fast stuff gets done when you're not struggling against the tools!

IMAGE(http://bluebottlegames.com/img/screenshots/screenshot-2015-10-08.jpg) It's also amazing how complex data gets when you're not paying attention.

The above is a composite shot of a whole interaction chain with an inset below it zoomed-in. Specifically, this shows the sleep interaction cycle, starting on the left and following a chain of interactions to the right until it reaches the far right, and either exits or loops back to the beginning.

Each of the nodes along the way include a name, a description (what the user sees, if applicable), a series of required and forbidden conditions us or them must have to see this node, and a series of triggers which control whether certain conditions are applied to us/them.

A lot of the stuff I added today involves these trigger and condition fields. I basically added some boxes to the UI that let me arbitrarily add or remove triggers/conditions in each category, as well as pre-populate the data the interaction already had defined in the xml.

I also started adding some code to let me add/remove whole interaction nodes (the big blue boxes between arrows). This should hopefully allow me to start building and modifying interaction chains.

Some of the stuff yet to come includes:

  • The ability to add a new arrow to an existing interaction (e.g. building chains)
  • The ability to write all the modified data back to XML. (And possibly modify the data format so it's easier to read/edit)
  • A way to add new interactions to the game data (i.e. create an empty interaction, fill-in with data, and save it)
  • A similar way to visually edit conditions and condition triggers

That last one might be complex, but hopefully easier than it was to get this first editor done. And I'd kind of like for it to be usable from within this editor (maybe as a pop-up or modal screen).

By the time I'm done, I'm hoping I can start authoring and reviewing interactions, conditions, and triggers in the game more quickly and error-free than I was via text-editing multiple XML files.

That's all for now. Have a good night, all!