Santharian Development

Organization and General Discussions => General Santharian Discussions => Topic started by: Artimidor Federkiel on 01 September 2006, 04:40:35



Title: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 01 September 2006, 04:40:35
Jonael has experimented a bit with Flash yesterday... He made some sort of rough draft to give you an idea how he could imagine the site tour introduction to be like, click here (http://stuff.santharia.com/jonael/walkthrough.swf) to get the interactive idea.

Quote from his mail:

"The idea is basically to transfer the walkthrough introduction into an interactive one. I did the first small bit.
Now the artwork and design is junk, but that wasn't my intention. I thought that it would be fun to ask some of the santharian artists to draw out the separate backgrounds that appear.
The programming has glitches, I realise that..."


Comment from my side:

Well, the initial idea in general of course sounds cool - and it's nice to see that you can put something together very quickly so that people get the idea. But as with many Flash projects you shouldn't forget: There's much more required to make it work. For example we simple do not have the artistic resources, as we don't have voluntary artists (except perhaps Judy and Faugar who could theoretically help), but there's no guarantee on that neither. And you might need a bunch of pictures plus some sort of interface icons and such. The whole thing would need to be planned meticulously until the last detail. I assume you have the knowledge to do the Flash, but still it would be quite some work to get it all right should we have such pictures.

Flash realization is though, you need to rely on the sources...  :huh:


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Kareesh Valendar on 01 September 2006, 05:29:59
I think it's a pretty cool idea. I know nothing about flash or anything. I would have fun playing with it..

And I pick dibs on the random NPC right there *points vaguely to the screen*


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 01 September 2006, 05:53:14
I don't know how much you're into more complex Flash stuff, Jonael, but with this "talk to a Santharian celebrity" there surely are interesting possibilities...

Just imagine you could e.g. pick such a celebrity (we have several key persons illustrated!) and then you could post a question in a textbox, which means: ask a person about a certain keyword. The movie could then try to load the text from a textfile and if the filename is found it could display something. This way quite a bit of interaction would be possible, it wouldn't need to be very complex - plus, if such a general scheme could be programmed, the persons could get more answers to keywords in the course of time, we then would just have to add more textfiles with the name of the keyword. Well, that's the theory. But I like that idea :)


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Baromosa on 01 September 2006, 07:07:02
well it looks like your getting there. a step in the right direction. tell me, are you thinking of expanding this further besides an intro?


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 12 September 2006, 05:59:41
How about such an expandable "dialogue" idea, Jonael? Do you have that much Flash proficiency to make something like that work?


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Jonael Tomeskrift on 12 September 2006, 23:19:35
Sorry for hte late noticing of this thread, somehow it escaped my view...

But as with many Flash projects you shouldn't forget: There's much more required to make it work. For example we simple do not have the artistic resources, as we don't have voluntary artists (except perhaps Judy and Faugar who could theoretically help)

As for that, Im doing the labourous task of going through the entire Artist Workshop section of the forum (currently on pg 8) and checking all the artwork available... As a matter of fact, most of the stuff is there, just some chunks would actually have to be done from scratch. I can actually salvage areas of other wrtworks and in photoshop modify them in such a way to fit the walkthrough, eg: people standing around, wall decorations...

The whole thing would need to be planned meticulously

Definetly, but if others are interested in it, and would be willing to help out with the work, I would definetly go through all the plannign involved with pleasure. Big projects with multiple people involved make it worth doing a lot of planning and work.

I don't know how much you're into more complex Flash stuff, Jonael, but with this "talk to a Santharian celebrity" there surely are interesting possibilities...

Just imagine you could e.g. pick such a celebrity (we have several key persons illustrated!) and then you could post a question in a textbox, which means: ask a person about a certain keyword. The movie could then try to load the text from a textfile and if the filename is found it could display something. This way quite a bit of interaction would be possible, it wouldn't need to be very complex - plus, if such a general scheme could be programmed, the persons could get more answers to keywords in the course of time, we then would just have to add more textfiles with the name of the keyword. Well, that's the theory. But I like that idea :)

That sounds quite complex. I'd have to see into that and research a bit, but I got contacts ^^ I can surely check out whether that is doable for such a project

well it looks like your getting there. a step in the right direction. tell me, are you thinking of expanding this further besides an intro?

Actually the project would only span across the introductory walk through that is available on the site already. If many people are interested though and this initial plan goes smooth, then some expansion could definetly be worth looking into

---

There thats a reply to all questions. This 'demo' i provided is only about the first few frames, and very very very rough... as you can see I used website icons and cursors, and the backgrounds are simple sketches... I got some images that i picked up from the website to update and give it a bit more of a 'feel'.

Artimidor, as you said this would require planning, and Im aware of that and if necesary will get it all done (will be on paper as most projects should be planned) and Im sure it would work out just fine. As for your speech option, there I dont quite follow what goes on. If you could please specify a bit more the idea? It sounds like a quite intricate and complex programming structure... Otherwise, programmed conversations such as:

"blah blah"

[]You respond yes
[]You look at the man strangely and walk on

(With more options ofcourese) would already create a very friendly and fun environment for the tester.

PS: The file you uploaded... its not original size is it? Or is it because of my screen's dimensions that its all 'pulled big' and lagy?


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Kareesh Valendar on 13 September 2006, 03:03:47
Just a question. I know that this is still in the works, but who all would be "characters" in it? Would it be a "members only" type deal (if so then, even though he's not a member, then I vote that Jonael be in it) or would we allow apprentices?

That's just my question. Yup. *nods*


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 13 September 2006, 03:06:58
The file I uploaded is precisely the file you provided, Jonael - you can resize Flash movies of course, so if you click on the link to open it, it will display probably fullscreen initially, for which it wasn't necessarily designed. You can resize the browser window accordingly.  I don't see any real lag though, even if I open the movie in full size.

To make this talk idea more precise: This doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the introduction movie (here we could have predetermined dialogues through which the user just clicks through). The talk by keyword idea was just an idea I had to make Santharia more interactive. So I try to explain:

At the role playing board people lately thought (or already introduced) a concept where each member has a thread, a "house thread", and people visit his/her house and talk to get some information. So I thought: It could be possible to put readymade answers to specific questions in files, which are displayed when someone asks about this keyword. Flash offers a bunch of possibilities to play with, so it shouldn't be too difficult to realize that. Such a dialogue could be combined with more complex Flash stuff (map e.g.), so that you can pick a location and then talk to someone, but it isn't necessary. I'll try to sketch a very basic dialogue/Flash movie how that could work:

Imagine a Flash movie that displays a combobox on top, if you open it, you'll find three names. E.g. Bard Judith, Artimidor, Talia etc. Below you see a character portrait - once you select a name, the picture below changes. To the right you see a scroll or something, and below the scroll a textbox where you can enter a word, and a "submit" button or something like that. If you select "Artimidor" you get some introductory text displayed: "You see the wise sage, blah, blah, blah..." Now the user can type a word in the textbox whatever he/she likes and the character will know something to reply to that or not. If not, something like "Artimidor looks at you quizzically and doesn't seem to have an answer to your question." could be shown. You can ask Artimidor for example about "Santhala" and he might tell you a few lines. While doing so you might hear some more keywords, e.g. he might mention the "Library". Then you can enter "Library" and get another response. And so on. The keywords don't necessarily need to be obvious, you can try your luck asking this and that. But the discussion could be guided to a certain degree by suggesting further keywords one might ask. E.g. Artimidor could answer: "Well, good question, but I guess the dwarves are more Judy's domain. You might try asking her about the dwarves." Then the user can click on the combobox, select "Bard Judith", get her picture displayed and continue talking with her.

The discussions would be simple. All what would be required is that the relation between selected name and keyword files is there, there wouldn't be any counter questions from the Santharian character etc. It could be further expanded later if needed, but you'd get enough interaction with that kind of stuff already. You could make funny and weird guys, we still have a lot of characters to use from the started Nepris game (see here  (http://www.santharia.com/mud_npcs/nepris_npcs.htm) for a bunch of faces). Depending on how we do the dialogues we could even make little "adventures", even if we don't have any inventory etc. But people could send you around from one person to the other.

Technical stuff:
- The combobox would be filled by reading a textfile (e.g. "people.txt").
- The character picture is loaded by the Flash movie - it tries to load a file with the same filename as the name displayed.
- The Flash movie also tries to access a folder with the name of the character and searches on startup for a textfile called "intro.txt" for example. If it finds it, it is displayed.
- Every time the user enters a keyword, the Flash movie tries to load a filename with that name in the e.g. "artimidor" folder , e.g. "santhala.txt". If it finds it, the contents are displayed, otherwise the file "dontknow.txt" is loaded and displayed.
- If we do it that way, the Flash movie itself would never have to change and remain extremely small and therefore fast to load. One can easily upload more texts to expand the "question vocabulary" of persons, a new person would be added by adding another line in the "persons.txt" file, a new picture would be uploaded with the character's name, and a bunch of textfiles according to selected keywords. Each member could expand his/her repertoire over time and give other people the fun of discovering other Santharian characters more and more.


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Kareesh Valendar on 13 September 2006, 05:20:31
Arti, just a quick comment on the home threads....heh....that's kinda mine and thus, I'm the one holding it up. Still have to finish the example one....heh...


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 15 September 2006, 03:51:12
Concerning your previous question, Kareesh: It's much too early to tell who will be able to add a character etc. - we don't even know if it is workable, it is just an idea yet. Personally I think that it should be possible to do, and if had the time I'd try it myself because I think it could be really a funny experience - and something I haven't seen anywhere else yet. But yeah, way too early for any specifics yet.


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Jonael Tomeskrift on 15 September 2006, 04:27:35
Im currently working on the desigs and idea stage of the project, all of this on paper so far though.

What I would be interested in though, is whether anyone on the forum or of the santharian dream project would be interested in working with me on this. As far as creation of the file itself, I will do that alone to keep it simple, but ideas and artwork from others would be greatly apreciated. Conversation scripts, or other such ideas for example would be greatly apreciated. In summary, this could become one of those projects involving many memebers and could turn out to be great fun


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Irid alMenie on 15 September 2006, 06:52:48
I'd be interested, Jonael, but I don't know how much time I will have. Right now, I don't even know which lessons I will have to take, and they start on monday :S But yeah, if I can, I'd definitely like to help :)


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Kareesh Valendar on 18 September 2006, 03:43:43
I think the convo thing would be better, me thinks, if like, you actually had the person's own words....if that made any sense.

I offer my services to you but I'm no artist nor do I do any flash stuff. Ideas I could help with.


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 18 September 2006, 04:06:01
Person's own words?  :huh:


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Jonael Tomeskrift on 18 September 2006, 04:35:26
Nice, how lovely of some people to show interest. :grin:

Alright some mini-briefings:

Project Name: A chat with Artimidor Federkiel
Interface: Flash

Requiered:

[] Background Image - Preferably some artwork of a study, quite close up considering the image of Artimidor used is also very close up. If you know of any image that would qualify for this, or wish to do one, let me know

[] Conversation Transcript - Basically the plan is to have 5 basic 'strings of conversation'. the is:

Arti: The world of Caelereth is filled with wonderful things
User: []Ask about the gods []Ask about the empires []Ask about fauna
Etc...

5 individual transects should be planned. Afterwards, once the basics have been set up, we can then further branch into the conversation strings to make it more expansive. Please remember that at the end of the 'string' you have designed the conversation should be able to link to the beginning to the conversation so that the user can be redirected to the first 'frame' where he/she can then select a different thread of conversation.


I understand this may all sound a little more complex than it is, but feel free to ask any questions or have a go at it.


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Kareesh Valendar on 18 September 2006, 12:11:43
Like....instead of coming up with words for them to say, we put our (or rather our character's) words. Well, this would only work for those of us still here, but yeah....does that clear things up? Also it would give everyone a chance to help out and make it feel more...uh...personal, I guess.


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 18 September 2006, 19:40:31
Hmmm... Still don't know what you mean, Kareesh - can you give an example?

I guess we have to distinguish also between the two different ideas mentioned above.

a) What Jonael obviously tries to plan is a dialogue as part of a Santharian introduction movie. Here the dialogue would be completely guided and you won't see a lot of characters integrated, just a few basic ones - at least as far as I understand it.

b) I have proposed a completely different concept, and it would be an own independent movie, though much more flexible and expandable, offering the chance for masses of characters being part of it. It would go way beyond an introductory movie, while the concept remains relatively simple.

Both movies have very different requirements and possibilities. As Jonael tries his hands on a) I could try to experiment with b) on the side and see how workable the concept it is.


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Jonael Tomeskrift on 18 September 2006, 20:25:18
Yes, definetly there are two different ideas above. The a) on is Artimidor on his own. Since it is just a trial, to see how it all works out.

It would be great to see how you get along with yours Artimidor, and once you have something set up, Id be glad to take a look at it and work on that too (you see, Im still not 100% sure about how your idea would work. Once you work a bit on it though, Im sure Ill get more of the picture)

In general I think it would be good to have the small "artimidor conversation only" project done, which shouldn't take too long, and then once we have that, and hopefully more people are interested in this sort of project, and they will have gotten a feel for it all, we can pick up on your b) option wherever you will have gotten up to Artimidor. Sound reasonable?


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 19 September 2006, 03:14:10
Well, it's not much yet, but the important thing is to try out the techniques... See here (http://stuff.santharia.com/flash/santhtalk/santhtalk.swf). This movie loads the picture and the text from external files, so that's not much of a problem, and a first step is made... But if one picture and one text can be loaded, we can theoretically let masses of texts and pictures load - if we can make the connection between user and display work. So now the rest will only take years... :lol:


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Kareesh Valendar on 19 September 2006, 03:56:43
Hm....*thinks of how to explain her point* Let's see....for instance, when a person wants to talk to the Artimidor character, the words that he speaks would have been written by Arti himself. Or, if someone wanted to ask Bard Judith about Dwarves, then the words used would be "hand written" by the great bard herself.

Does that make things clearer?


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 19 September 2006, 04:05:56
Yeah, that's the whole idea, isn't it?  :grin:

Artimidor will write the answers to the Artimidor questions, Bard Judith to the Bard Judith questions, Gean to Gean's keywords and Kareesh to Kareesh's. Additional characters are also possible. At least the possibilities will then be there to do that, nobody will be urged to write something ;) But whoever wants to breathe more life into his/her Santharian alter ego should be able to alter and expand the texts at will.

Only thing I already see coming is: The pictures included in this dialogue thingy would need to be unique Santharian art, as it will be part of the site then, and we cannot use material where we don't have explicit permission. But first we need to clarify the technical stuff anyway, and I've only just made a small, but important step.


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Jonael Tomeskrift on 19 September 2006, 04:36:19
I asked around about havign your idea realised, Artimidor, and apparently the commentary didnt seem too positive. It would involve quite some time and programming.

I like the idea of having different people tell you about diefferent things though. Thus, wouldn't it suffice to just have the different characters and their text in a flash file all together? Programmign a search function that will go look for external documents doesnt seem too easy.

What we could do is have is a scenario where the characters and the user lead a prgrammed conversation but with a wide variety of options and various areas, and then within the posts have links to the corresponding entries in the santharian dream. EG:

<After having selected artimidor's figure, a conversation with him is started (others will appear in the room too for other areas of expertise)>

Artimidor: Yes, Santharia is filled with multiple beasts of all sizes and forms

User: [(a)] Oh, sweet. What sort of big monsters do you have? [(b)] Intriguing, have these animals learnt to handle magic similar to the races?

<on selecting [(a)] the user is moved to the frame about larger beasts, in which an explenation about them and links to example entries of large beasts will be, so that on pressing the linked name of the beast, Internet opens and the entry of the respective beast from the compenium appears.>

<on selceting [(b)] similar process happens, except that the user is transfered to a frame with information about magical creatures. Once again with links>

(the conversation doesnt have to end there though, the information within each of the frames will be structured in such a way that the conversation can lead on to different areas. EG:

Artimidor: ... however not all large creatures live on the lands of santharia. Yes, some of the fercest beast house the dark waters of our oceans

User: (well basically they then get to choose to continue to sea monsters, etc...

(ofcourse within every frame there is then an option to return to a main point of conversation so that they can return backwards whenever they want.

****

All this text and info would be kept within a single flash file, which due to its dimensions and such I dont htink should exceed to be a very big size.
This would take away the problem of having to program hardcore, and still allow for differnet people to appear, each representing their area of expertise.


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 19 September 2006, 04:52:00
I object, Jonael - I guess it's actually quite simple. Even though I've asked nobody yet, as I don't know anyone with proficient Flash skills. As you can see in the example above, picture and text are already loaded in this example from an external file.

There's only very few to code "hardcore". Stringing a few variables together I think I can still manage with the little knowledge I have (and even with Flash 5 I use!). The key idea is to make it completely developer independent, you know. Otherwise it will stay a singulary effort - the movie is completed and will remain unchanged. The innovation is to give it in the hand of the role players - they can do what they want, send me a simple textfile, and voilá, their character can talk instantly like a barmaid who cannot keep her mouth shut. Give me some time and I'll talk to you over a completely dynamic Flash movie that doesn't need to be predefined.  :evil:


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Jonael Tomeskrift on 19 September 2006, 05:23:34
Sweet, sounds cool enough!  :grin:

I sent you a flashfile with what I thought could be used as a layout ^^ Hope its alright (some modifications obviously still needed, due to limited graphics available)


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 19 September 2006, 06:38:40
Ok, guys... While Jonael's flashfile for some reason doesn't work, I've made some more progress on the dialogue thingy, just to have a few tiny thing to play around with and give you an idea and a feeling how it will work.

I've substituted the file above, so just click this link to see the new version (http://stuff.santharia.com/flash/santhtalk/santhtalk.swf).

Now you see a bit more text within a border, below you see on the bottom left a textbox and an OK button to the right. Click in the textbox. It is meant that you put a question word in here and then press OK. This will in the final version change the text displayed above.

At the moment I've implmented a little picture switch option. You can enter the following names and a different picture will be displayed:

gean
ilbeth
terlano
pinn
dala
artimidor or arti

No check for uppercase and lowercase stuff, so "Dala" won't work at the moment, you need to write in lowercases. Anyway, so much for a first preview of today. Hope you like it so far and get a rough idea how it might turn out eventually.

Feel free to resize the movie the way you like, Flash movies always adjust properly.

And the best of all from the programmer's point of view: our Flash file is - all in all - a whole 4 KB in size! :)  :grin:


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Bard Judith on 19 September 2006, 11:36:29
Oh, what a great idea! I don't know anything about how to produce the technical side but I can talk your ear off - er, write whatever is necessary about my beloved dwarves or how to conjugate archaic grammar or compose a sarcastic poem....

 I wonder if SL avatar faces are copyright or not?  (if you don't understand, don't worry, I'm rambling to myself. I'll go find out and if so.... could be very useful as a 'face' to talk to if people don't have portraits.   Let's see....


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 20 September 2006, 03:44:26
@Jonael: Ok, I discovered what was the problem, why the movie didn't work here - because I simply tried to open it, and if you have Flash installed, the movie doesn't open in the Internet Explorer, but with the allocated Flash program. And as I only have Flash 5 installed, a Fnew Flash file didn't open. Anyway. It opens properly in Internet Explorer now, so here it is for everyone to take a look: Walkthrough Concept II (http://stuff.santharia.com/flash/walkthru/layout.swf).

Comment: Ideas look nice, though of course it all has placeholder character still. But one can sense the atmosphere already a bit :) - Would say that the picture we have at the mainframe and which is displayed on top here is unnecessary though, because it's visible on the site and the movie would be displayed within the Santharian mainframe. We'd need pictures though, to go with the movie.

As the dialogues will be displayed pretty much in a similar way as in my Santhtalk movie we could use the same background scroll there, or the same picture border for the character portraits. Maybe Faugar has some time to help out here ;)

I've also uploaded an updated version of the Santhtalk movie, check it out here (http://stuff.santharia.com/flash/santhtalk/santhtalk.swf). Now we're really getting somewhere from the technical side. Recommed to take a look, and be aware that this is still a work in progress with problems here and there, so here are a few things:

- You now see character name and profession to the bottom right.
- You can now lead a little discussion with the Artimidor character. Watch careful for a keyword you might ask him about. It's not that difficult to miss.
- You go to other persons now by typing in "go to" and the character's name.
- You can restart a discussin with a person by typing in "greeting" (temporary).
- Everything is loaded dynamically, no static code in the Flash file. The dialogues can already expanded endlessly by uploading more pictures and more texts. :)

Known problems so far:
- Always type in words in lowercases, otherwise the Flash probably won't understand what you want.
- If you type in a work the character doesn't understand you get a blank page.
- If you type in "go to" plus a name that doesn't exist, the picture disappears as well.
- You have to click on OK, ENTER doesn't work.
- No " in use yet, this should be changed.
- Clicking on the textbox doesn't mark the text, the text is also not removed at the moment. You just have to select the text and write over it.

Well, check it out!


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Jonael Tomeskrift on 20 September 2006, 04:01:22
@Artimidor:

+ Nice of you to have solved that initial problem

+ The top image will be removed

+ What I was thinking, is to have the frame where the portraits are in replaced with your system. See, both projects are basically towards the same aim, so I dont see why we shouldnt merge them. One opens the file like in mine, sees the characters standing there (Ill make the hall larger and the figures smaller to fit all the people you mention in your system, and then on selecting the character, your system appears. Ill modify my layout to fit your system ideas.

I'll use the guidelines and the example you posted to modify my layout to fit... I suppose then it would be easiest if you could pass on a copy of the flash-file, so that i can incorporate the graphics, and then you can go on programming and such I guess ^^

Does that sound reasonable?


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels on 20 September 2006, 04:42:04
What walkthrough would you want to use then for the initialpart, Jonael. The one you started in this last example, or the one I wrote ? For I would need to continue it then fairly soon.


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Jonael Tomeskrift on 20 September 2006, 04:46:48
Well, if yours is the "walkthrough" that currently exists on the site, Talia then no, I think that if I will create a 'front part' to artimidor's idea then it should be much simpler, like in the newest one


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels on 20 September 2006, 04:54:02
Well, then mine gets a bit dispensable I fear. Who needs two of them?


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 21 September 2006, 04:25:11
Well, this new Flash walkthrough doesn't necessarily need to be a substitution for the Site Tour thingy we have at the moment. It could be a supplementary introduction called "A Stroll through the Library" or something similar. Could have introductory character, but could also serve mainly to get to know a few key members.

The dialogue thingy I'm building could indeed be used as part of your movie, Jonael, the texts could be quite different here compared to the Santhtalk simulation however, serving more mainly this introductory purpose. Once I've sorted everything out I could send you the files, however we're not that far yet.

I found out that Flash 5 which I'm still using has very limited possibilities to deal with errors (something I badly need) and that Flash 8 can also store a bunch of variables on the user's computer. This could be important to give the dialogues a touch of an adventure character, so that you can fulfill certain conditions and get another text etc. The sky's the limit if this works, but it's all future's music still.

Anyway, with these prospects in mind I had the opportunity today to try my hand on Flash 8. Looks very different at certain parts to me, and the Actionscript, though compatible, is quite hard to follow for me at this point - I definitely need a book to read up a bit on all the changes, don't expect a new version anytime soon. In short: This will take a while. But there are a lot of serious issues Flash 8 should be able to handle much better once I know how, that is... Continuing with Flash 5 would be unnecessarily complicated at certain problems.


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels on 21 September 2006, 05:19:32
That looks all great, but somehow I have the feeling we are investing again time in something which is fun to do but does not really help the site, but draws again time and work force from the project. If there is not a decent couple of questions you can ask and get answered in the dialogs, it makes no sense. And writing them takes time.


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 21 September 2006, 15:06:35
Personally I think an innovation every now and then deserves time to spend with it. It doesn't hurt making experiences with Flash 8 either for me - at some point we need to make the leap from the stone age version of Flash 5 to something modern as well. This will help us in future projects, so I don't consider it a waste of time. Dynamical things also are the most powerful stuff you can create as a programmer, because once the mainframe is done you give all the opportunities in the hands of those who want to help building.

Additionally - for the user - this isn't something you need to download, install, see if it works on your computer etc. like the LT game. It is there instantly, takes away no space at all and will be expandable by users at will, who are willing to invest a bit of time for their characters (providing they can call a Santharian picture their own). It's also not a game, so you don't have to think about quests and conditions (unless we integrate something like that within the next years), but just can contribute without having to think about too much consequences. Still think it to be a revolutionary concept, whether people will pick it up is another issue, but the interactivity you can create with it has been unseen so far in Santharia.


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 22 September 2006, 06:51:55
Short update: I've converted the functions by now pretty much all to Flash 8 in the meantime, changed everything to final format as we need it, and have integrated proper error handling, can display quotation marks and there's a scrollbar now as well possible at the textbox :)

A few more hours in the next days and I'll be satisfied with the results for now, providing ample room for developers to play with it. I'll then see to make some nice examples as well, reviving our old Nepris guys.

File on the server has not been updated - I'll see to complete the version first.


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Jonael Tomeskrift on 22 September 2006, 22:52:43
Sounds really good, and a real success.

? When you say "changed everything to final format as we need it" does that mean graphic wise as well>?

^^ Just checking whether I will still be able to do something for it.


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 23 September 2006, 00:04:33
Nope, didn't mean graphics - I meant solely how the data should be loaded, just from the technical point of view, not the artistic one. Flash 5 was more complicated in this respect. So the new version looks pretty much the same, but the code was completely rewritten.

Here it is BTW, it can be posted at the Forum as well (could e.g. made a sticky topic at the RPG Forums). Contains only the characters Artimidor and Dalá in this version, it's just a test if it works on the Forum as well:

http://stuff.santharia.com/flash/santhtalk2/santh_new4.swf

Things included in this version:
- Cataneo font is included
- Scrollbar lets you scroll when needed
- Quotation marks work now
- if you want to go to a person you now have to type in "visit dala" for example (instead of "go to", this should bring you to a location at the next version, with a list of characters you can talk to there, e.g. "go to Nepris")
- proper error handling is integrated, you can type in "visit hugo" and the movie will catch it, or you can ask about "asdasldlasjkd" and the movie can react to that without crashing :)
- input is not case insensitive. You can type in "purpose" or "PURpose" or "PUrPoSe", the program will react in the same way.
- Very important (though not obvious for the user) is the fact that the browser's cache is now completely ignored and the data is always retrieved from the server. This was a problem, because I could change texts later and nobody would be able to see the changed text as the movie always took the cached version.
- Cursor is now immediately placed into the textfield and stays there after pressing ok
- Textboxes are now locked, giving it a bit more a professional appearance.


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Faugar on 23 September 2006, 05:03:30
neat :)

I'd add recognition of Enter key and give it the same function as the OK button, so I wouldn't need to click on OK after I type something.


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Miraran Tehuriden on 23 September 2006, 07:29:25
ooooh! fun toy! WHEEEEEEEE!

*bouces* Me like! Arti big much clever person!


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Kareesh Valendar on 23 September 2006, 08:14:31
*notes the random letters* It says "sad" quite a number of times on there. I like it and I like the idea of having the enter button work. It's kinda a pain (ok, not a huge one but still) to have to click OK everything I say something.


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 23 September 2006, 14:38:56
Yes, yes, I'm aware of the ENTER button issue and also have dug up the code for it. I can already catch it, but don't know yet how to directly jump into the OK button code without having it twice. Flash is a bit weird in this respect, but I'm sure I'll find that out as well.

[Edit] This problem is now fixed as well and will be available in the next version.


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Jonael Tomeskrift on 23 September 2006, 16:47:38
Looks really amazing and fun, and most of all, its interactive!

Cant wait to add some graphics later and give it as completed ^^

Im sure both dev and rp forums will find this very useful


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: ishmaelion on 23 September 2006, 18:41:19
this is great! Would really be a great help to the site :thumbup:

one thing though: If I type "earth" it is approved, but if I type "earth " with a space behind earth it doesn't respond, is this fixable?


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 23 September 2006, 20:44:36
Also already taken care of in the next version, Ish.

The movie now can interpret inputs like without a problem:
"       word" or "word         "


Title: Re: "Flashy" Walkthrough
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 24 September 2006, 03:50:09
Latest news here:

First of all I'm sorry that programming this movie frame takes its time, I will be back with regular comments and partipate in Forum discussions again on Monday. It just needs a bit of time to get the basics done, and then the movie is operable at its own.

That said, I'd say I'm already basically done with those things this first version needs. It's not perfect, but it will fully serve the purpose. The key problem for the user is for example that the suggested keywords aren't displayed somewhere or checked so that you know what you still forgot to ask and which ones you have already asked. Though it shouldn't be that complicated I'll leave that for a later date as this function doesn't make it necessary to store data differently - it would just make things easier for the user.

Instead I've focussed on the comboxbox feature, allowing the user to give short replies to questions posed by the character, e.g. "Yes" or "No", and from there other branches of the dialogue are possible. This works already and I'm happy with it :) - The final design will have to wait until we have a decent background, though.

Tomorrow I'll finish the work for now by integrating example dialogues and a bit of a technical tutotrial, where the Santhtalk movie takes care of explaining how to use it and how to build own dialogues. Further expansion of the project will depend on contributions by the users.

I'll put the next version up tomorrow evening - stay tuned!  ;)