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Author Topic: "Flashy" Walkthrough  (Read 9500 times)
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Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #30 on: 20 September 2006, 04:54:02 »

Well, then mine gets a bit dispensable I fear. Who needs two of them?
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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #31 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.
« Last Edit: 21 September 2006, 04:28:42 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged



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Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #32 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.
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"For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path  that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length. And there I travel looking,  breathlessly. ~Don Juan"
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« Reply #33 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.
« Last Edit: 21 September 2006, 15:16:46 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged



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« Reply #34 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.
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"Between the mind that plans and the hands that build there must be a mediator, and this must be the heart." -- Maria (Metropolis)
Jonael Tomeskrift
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« Reply #35 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.
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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #36 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:

<a href="http://stuff.santharia.com/flash/santhtalk2/santh_new4.swf" target="_blank">http://stuff.santharia.com/flash/santhtalk2/santh_new4.swf</a>

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.
« Last Edit: 23 September 2006, 00:17:49 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged



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« Reply #37 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.
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Miraran Tehuriden
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« Reply #38 on: 23 September 2006, 07:29:25 »

ooooh! fun toy! WHEEEEEEEE!

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

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Kareesh Valendar
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« Reply #39 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.
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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #40 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.
« Last Edit: 23 September 2006, 16:06:14 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged



"Between the mind that plans and the hands that build there must be a mediator, and this must be the heart." -- Maria (Metropolis)
Jonael Tomeskrift
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« Reply #41 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
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ishmaelion
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« Reply #42 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?
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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #43 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         "
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« Reply #44 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!  ;)
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"Between the mind that plans and the hands that build there must be a mediator, and this must be the heart." -- Maria (Metropolis)
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