Yet More Miscellany

It’s time for me to step back and go through all the previous design essays. I write these essays and then forget them, causing me to re-invent or lose wheels. Here I shall simply write up reactions to previous essays.

Art Specifications provided a pretty good statement of the project’s artwork needs. Although I have changed the screen layout since then, the basic descriptions there remain valid.

I certainly did meander about regarding the handling of aura counts and dream combat. I eventually settled on the last-man-standing approach (suggested by a reader).

Another big change was the shift from unipolar hexagonal numbers to bipolar triangular numbers. Instead of counting from 0 to 6 using a hexagonal glyph, I count from −3 to +3 using a triangular glyph. Here are the two numbering systems:

I think that the triangular system is clearly superior.


I just finished working on setting up the relationships among the Actors. I realize that, given the fact that they’ve all known each other since birth, their relationships should have settled down to something very close to the true values (as adjusted by their Accord values). Therefore I have used the built-in algorithms to initialize relationships. 

However, this also makes much of the gossip unnecessary. Each Actor would have a pretty good idea of personality values, so there’d be no need for gossiping about those personality values. Which pretty much blows away a large part of the conversation cluster. I suppose that’s the way the aura fades. 

So now I need a new way to keep people busy. Should it be only deals and threats? I suspect that we need Actors talking more about Events. That’s going to be nasty; not only will I need to come up with Verbs that directly address old Events, but I’ll need a way of displaying them, a way of asking about them, and a good way to search for them. This means that I’ll need to speed up the HistoryBook search algorithms, lest the whole thing bog down. HistoryBook searches, I fear, will be time-consuming. Or am I just locked into the old 1 MHz ways of thinking?

I need to go back to the basics to consider this.

Postscript, November 7th, 2013
Christopher Conley wrote with a beautiful suggestion for a better way to handle numerals. Here’s his idea:

This is clearly superior to my scheme. Good for you, Christopher! The Midnight Stalker just made off with your idea!