Thursday, 2 May 2019

Descriptions

Every object in Kaduria has some kind of description of what it is. Some games have descriptions for monsters, but often not much else. I think descriptions are a nice way to clarify what the object is, because it's not always obvious. I know this myself, because I'm not a native speaker of english which is the de facto language for most roguelikes.

It's a good guess that descriptions are also a problem, because it's surprisingly hard to write good descriptions if you have a large number of objects in the game. I've mostly tackled that with kind of comical output, because it's the easiest approach in my mind. This is also something roguelikes tend to have, maybe for that same reason.

Item descriptions have been a stark reminder why it's a bad idea to create large amount of items before cementing their data structure. Kaduria doesn't have a impossible amount of items, "only" 233, but it gives plenty of work when something changes. In this case copy-pasting descriptions from C++ files to external text file. It's not even 233 copy-pastes (you can try that line by line from some random text file and get an idea) but also cleaning the source code's struct data after that. Lot's of selecting by mouse and deleting with backspace.

Some of the descriptions aren't yet written, so it's even slower than that. If there is something "technical" in the description it also has to match the game's features. Which in some cases is not yet there. Both items and monsters are a great example of overdoing and lack of planning skills. What you should do is start from a small number of items from each item/monster class and work with that before adding lots of them.

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