GX – messages, colours and continuous worlds

A big update for Germination X today.

The main new stuff includes:

The process of moving around the world is now more continuous, as the land is split into sub-tiles that are loaded 9 at a time. When you move out of the central tile the 3 at the back are discarded while the 3 at the front are loading. Spirits can also “see” into the tiles surrounding their current one, and so can navigate the entire world slowly, but independently.

Spirit emotional colours – both in their character design and in their messages. I’ll post more fully about this later.

The messaging system has been rewritten and now forms the major information source from the spirits. It’s probably a little too much right now, and some thought is needed on effective ways to communicate some of these things. All the spirit’s messages are triggered by actions driven by the FAtiMA agent. Here is an example of what happens when a “praise” action is received for an object:

(defn spirit-praise [spirit plant]
  (modify :log
          (fn [log]
             ; we can't exactly be sure why the fatima agent
             ; has triggered the praise action, but we can make
             ; an educated guess by looking at the plant
             ; if it's not the same type as the spirit
             (if (not (= (:name spirit)
                         (layer->spirit-name (:layer plant))))
               ; we're happy as it's providing a benefit to our plant
               (make-praise-msg 'spirit_helper_praise spirit plant)
               ; it's the same type
                (= (:state plant) 'grow-a)
                ; we're happy because a new plant is growing
                (make-praise-msg 'spirit_growing_praise spirit plant)

                (= (:state plant) 'fruit-a)
                ; our plant is flowering (first phase of fruiting)
                (make-praise-msg 'spirit_flowering_praise spirit plant)
                (= (:state plant) 'fruit-c)
                ; our plant is fruiting (last phase)
                (make-praise-msg 'spirit_fruiting_praise spirit plant)

                ; i give up!
                :else (make-praise-msg 'spirit_general_praise spirit plant)))))

The Haxe client then reads the messages which consist of these codes and a host of other information (eg. the spirit’s current emotional state and the players involved) and builds the text for display.

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