Asciargo dev notes


Okay, I’ve been thinking lately about starting to release my IF development logs, which I always keep as a text file when I’m writing a game. They’re essentially blog posts about how it’s going, except I never actually post them to a blog, which seems wrong.

I may have to start a separate blog just for these, but here’s a starter one: the dev notes from Ascii and the Argonauts.

03-08-03 6:54am

Let's see.

So there are seven treasures you give to Zeus, and he gives you help at
each step, sort of.

You can't get the golden fleece itself until you get zeus all his treasures.

One of the things zeus does for you is tell you about using a dove to get
past the crashing rocks on the sea. Maybe that happens after the 7th treasure,
just to simplify things.

There is a one-eyed hag who will give you a sleeping potion to use on the
dragon guarding the fleece if you give her a glass eye. Or wait, to simplify
things again, maybe she gives you one of the treasures. What happens is, you
have to give her something wrong (say, the rock) and then she gets mad and
shrinks you to the size of a mouse (or turns you into a mouse). Then you 
run away from a cat into a mouse hole, and there is a glass eye in there.
You push it out and then leave, and poof, you return to normal size, and
can pick up the eye. I wonder if you need the cat for something else?

Let's see. Maybe there's a big dog guarding another treasure. So you drop
the cat and it chases it away, and you get that treasure. So that's two 
treasures.

I feel like there should be a merchant you have to buy something from.

I'm not sure where the magic word comes in. Maybe since the witch doesn't
give you a potion, you use it to put the dragon to sleep.

How else could you use the rock to get a treasure? Maybe there's an 
alchemist or a wizard who will turn it into treasure if you bring him
something. Maybe a newt from a swamp. Why can't you get the newt right
away? Maybe you need a basket, and that's what the merchant sells you.

So where do you get a coin from? Maybe it's also in the mouse hole.

So that's three treasures. Hrm.

Maybe the coin is also a treasure. Which means you need to spend it and
then figure out how to get it back. Maybe the merchant will take something
in trade, like an urn.

Simplifying, maybe the urn is just sitting in the oracle room.

Maybe there's a vat of wine. Or a big barrel of it. IE, a treasure too
heavy to pick up. So how do you get it to the temple? It seems more likely
that you'd just fill the urn with wine and deposit that.

So then what could you give the merchant instead to get the coin back?
Now I'm thinking fine silk cloth, but that's also a treasure. Maybe
that's just sitting in the boat.

Maybe there'd be a precious statue as another treasure. Maybe there's 
a couple of locations out at sea, like an island. Maybe there's a cyclops,
but you can kill him with the rock. Heh.

Oh yeah, forgot about this. Another treasure is honey, which is found
along with beeswax, which you have to stick in your ears to get past
the sirens. Maybe you can't take either of these because there are
bees. So how do you get rid of bees?

Hm, this is a direct steal from Adventureland. Oh well. The solution 
there is that there's swamp mud which prevents bees from stinging you,
but I don't want to do that. Maybe you could wear a suit of armor. 
Maybe that's also a treasure, and it's found in the court of Pelias.

Okay, let's tally this up again.

Vineyard: *wine*
Court : *armor*
Cyclops: *statue*
Hag: *jeweled flute*
Argo: *silk*
Dog: *bowl*
mouse hole: *silver coin*

Wait, if there's a flute, you could play that to put something to
sleep. Hmmm. Or maybe charm the bees! That'd be weird, huh? So that
makes the armor kind of useless. Oh, maybe it's a red herring. You
have to travel through the swamp to get to the bees, and the armor
rusts.

Hey, that's seven. Okay, so that's the list. Here's the other thing.
The alchemist guy can turn the rock into a *gold rock* for a time, but
he tells you it's just an illusion, and will wear off. So you just 
take it to the merchant for a trade (perhaps the merchant will 
accept: coin, silk, urn at any point), the sucker. If you give the
gold rock to Zeus, he'll accept it, but he'll be unhappy and will
kill you when it wears off.

Hey, this is basically the whole game. Awright.

Hrm, wait. Maybe the dog is guarding the wine. In which case, why
would he be also guarding the bowl? Oh heck, maybe he guards both.
Never mind.

7:31am
03-08-03

-----

! ASCII and the Argonauts
! Scott Adams tribute speedIF
! Started 03-08-03 3:49am
! Progress:
!	6:50am - 	First five rooms implemented.
!			Pelias and Zeus implemented.
!			Oracle not implemented. Can't sail anywhere.
!
!	8:37am - 	Implemented Vineyard, Dog, Vat, Urn
!			Implemented Armor (well, it exists)
!			Implemented Old Hag, changing into Mouse, Flute, Cat
!
!	1:00pm - 	All seven (8 counting the gold nugget) Treasures implemented
!		***	Note: Merchant doesn't disappear after you give him the nugget
!			I am just starting to implement the sailing part of the game
!			I am also getting kind of dizzy headed and empty stomached
!
!	2:04pm - 	Fixed the Hag a bit so that she will curse you in all non-treasure cases
!			Fixed the Merchant so he kills you with the rock for tricking him
!			Fixed the Temple because there are actually eight possible treasures
!			Implemented the cyclops island
!			And now I simply must quit because my brain is shutting down
!			Still to go: Sirens, Crashing Rocks, Dragon island
!
! Day 2 - Starting ~7am 03-09-03
!	7:40am - 	Decided to put it back so that you have to give Rock to the hag
!			Implemented Ocean2 - Ocean5
!			Implemented Sirens
!			Implemented CrashingRocks and the DoveDrop
!
!	8:23am -	Implemented everything, am now playtesting the whole game
!
!	9:01am - 	Hmm, I think the whole game is working. One more test...
!
!	9:17am - 	I can win! Yay! Still a couple of tiny issues to iron out.
!
!	10:13am -	Ok, it's winnable and all. Am just now realizing many items
!			that should be static are takeable. I am also trying to remind
!			myself that I haven't implemented the Oracle at all. Hrm.
!
!	10:41am -	Making first attempt at Oracle code, using some borrowed
!			Ask/Tell stuff from Colours. Hope it kind of works.
!
!	11:14am -	Rar! Ask/Tell is such a stupid mess in Inform. Also in TADS.
!			Why do they all default to passing strings instead of objects?
!			And this weird scope stuff. Bleah. So I ripped out the library
!			handling and put in my own. Now maybe I can write stuff. Although
!			I think the idea of having a built-in help system is dumb, and
!			really beyond the old-school genre I'm using. So maybe I'll just
!			put a few vapid things into the system and leave it at that.
!
!	12:12pm -	Okay, I think I'm ready to call this done. Oracle mostly cycles
!			through a set of ten standard "hints" (none particularly helpful), 
!			with a few specific messages generated by some items/people. Who
!			knows how it'll work in practice, but since it is supposed to just
!			be a speed effort, I think it'll do. So let's see, it was ten hours
!			yesterday and five today. 15 hours? Okay, yeah, that's not bad.
!			And it was a heck of a lot of fun to write.

,

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