Room & Dimension

version 1 by Sebastian Rahn

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    This extension provides the possibility to put an extra 2D layer upon rooms. This can be handy, if visual feedback is required while moving the player or other things inside a room manually.

    It requires both the Glulx Text Effects and Basic Screen Effects by Emily Short to run properly. The extension uses one Glulx custom style (special-style-2) and defines say "[default letters]" as say "[roman type]".

    First, we will need to create a Table to save objects and to print the map of the room we want to visualize. For this we can use one of the templates that are provided within the extension (look the last example below), depending on how broad we want the room to be (in this version it is limited to 28 sectors maximum). The width is both visible in the name of the table, in case of the templates, and the actual Width Entry.

    The Width Entry is crucial for the program to determine the columns it has access to and must always fit the actual map width otherwise it will create a bug (this is also true for the Height Entry in the current version).

    There are two types of templates that can be identified by the bracketed number next to the table name: extended (the one with the 0. and 1. numeration) and normal (with no punctuation). Since the number of columns seems to be limited in Inform 7, the program is tricked to jump from one table to another. Therefore, the table with the (0.x) number represents the left side of the map and the one with the (1.x) the extended right side.

    It is important for both tables to have a correct Height and Width Entry.

    We must then signalise that this room is actually printable. For this we use the location name and connect it with one or more table names. This happens in a continuation of the Table 997 - 'Sectors' which looks like this:

        Table 997 - Sectors (continued)
      Sector Room   Table   Table 2  
      My Room    Table 100  
      My Room 2   Table 101  Table 102  

    'My Room 2' uses an extended table with the table in the Table Entry representing the left side of the map and the one in the Table 2 Entry the right side.

    After we decided on Height and Width and established a connection between rooms and tables we can start to fill the map with objects. Every thing has two parameters to save its current coordinates: X-Axis -> a number representing the current row position and Y-Axis -> a text representing the current column position. We don't have to declare those manually however. It is sufficient if we place the objects on the map and make sure our source code includes:

        When play begins:
        Spread coordinates.

    The program will then run through all maps and give coordinates to every object it can find automatically. It should be noted however that an object on a map doesn't have to be in the room that it is corresponding to (and won't be moved there with any of the commands this extension provides except for "switch maps" which is not supposed to be used by ourselves). This might cause confusion within the program so we always have to make sure that an object on a map of a room is actually in said room.

    Since we want to see those objects on the map, we will have to provide them with Avatars (we can hardly want to use its printed name or its description for that matter).
    To do this we have to continue yet another table:

        Table 991 - Avatars (continued)
      Entity  Avatar  
      Dummy  "D"  

    The program differs between the Avatar of a person and of anything else. A person's Avatar will always be printed in extra bold letters while the ones of others will not.

    Whenever the truth state 'Show Map' is true, the program will print the map of the location in which the player is moving (he himself is always represented by an arrow).

    Next to the objects that we create for our program, there are three special kinds of things that are provided with the extension. They all have in common that they've actually no coherent position on the map, since they are either not suppose to represent one entity or their presence is only temporary (in case of Entrance Points).

    1. None -> Is a thing and refers to empty space. An object on the map can move on a None field without anything happening.

    2. Wall -> Is a kind. Every object, that is a Wall, will not allow anything to take its place. If an object tries anyways, a short message will appear (can be avoided by changing the truth state of 'uncommented' to true) and the action will be stopped.

    3. Entrance Points -> Again a kind. They enable the player to switch between rooms, while 'Show Map' is true. It should be noted that the coordinates of an object will currently not change if it should go into another room while 'Show Map' is false.

    There are also two new kinds of persons: hostile person and friendly person. A friendly person will switch places with the player if the player walks into him while hostile ones serve as another kind of wall in a sense. If the player walks into an object which the extension doesn't know for certain (that would be anything that wasn't mentioned above) it will create an ugly bug.

    The extension differs between dark rooms and normal rooms when printing the map. A normal will always show the whole map while a dark room without a light source will only show the actual surroundings of the player.

    It should be mentioned that the status line will undergo slight changes once 'Show Map' is true. It will then show the current position on the map where the player is standing. To remove this effect either ignore the Map headline rule or change Table 801 - Map Headline in section 2.6. In case the player is in a dark room a question mark is used instead of coordinates.

    The following examples should serve as a quick overview about what is possible with the extension as it will explain several important commands in a more practical way.