Walking to the Moon

That’s what this project feels like. Every day I get up and work on it. Every day I do some solid work and every day I make significant progress. And yet, every day I feel just as far away from completion as I did the previous day. I feel like I’m walking to the moon: it’s just so far away that all the work I do is still a tiny step towards completion. It seems, sometimes, as if I’ll never get there.

Consider the amount of work that remains to be done. I must get all the conversational verbs tuned. Currently the storyworld has only 25 verbs, yet it seems to take forever just to get those working right. I’d say that, out of the 25 verbs, I have only about 10 close to final shape. And there remain plenty of verbs to be added to the system. 

Once I get all the verbs working, I’ll have a functional system, possibly good enough to show as a demo. However, major pieces of code will remain. I will need to get the interstitial stories system up and running, and I’ll need to add to the roughly 100 interstitial stories inherited from the old Siboot, many of which will have to be retired.

Then there’s the whole combat system. Not only does it require a major bit of animation, but it also requires a completely different user interface. I’ll need to show the user his complete state of knowledge about all the other actors. That’s a lot of information to fit into that window, large as it is. 

Another major issue will be the possibility of seeking crowd-funding to get the graphics done. I’m really torn about this. To do it properly, I’ll need to devote at least a month of full-time effort to the preparations, and probably two months. If I devoted the same amount of time to improving the game itself, would it be good enough to attract some other support? 

Of course, there are lots of goodies I could add to a plea for crowd funding: naming characters; better access to the early stages of the open-sourcing of the code; sponsorship credit in the game itself. 

I doubt that this project will be ready to ship until early 2016. That’s a long time.

Back to petty problems
Getting back to work, I fix a few trivial issues and then discover a more difficult problem in playtesting: Gaustusu seems unduly resistant to gossiping with Caronycoork. Here’s the desirable script for choosing the ‘gossip’ option:

desirable script for gossip

This boils down to “If I trust you and I haven’t already gossiped with you too much, then I’ll gossip with you.” But is pHonest the sole factor to consider at first? What about a combination of all three pValues? I could call it ‘esteem’, which would actually be pGood + pHonest - pPowerful. 

Yes, I think that will do better.