Post mud room show spitball session

The joystick interface, one of the most difficult parts of development up till now, no longer needs to be maintained, since it was specific to the context of Mud Room. Now the work turns to the larger project, which involves importing genealogy data and making a much larger maze with a more gamelike structure and narrative. The ui becomes a merging of the textmode and gui mode, adding a js canvas powered map view like a roguelike, that incorporates the “handdrawn pixels” style I developed in mud room, but builds a top-down view of each room and its exits, and also serves as a space for the cutscene animations of the gui mode, but now plays them in a grid of tiles in a canvas element rather than huge animated gifs or png’s.

We talked a lot about the idea that everything in Grotto going forward is item-based. Class abilities can be carried out with unique undroppable items for each class, these could also give access to seeing the descriptions of items without violating the “one verb per item that changes with context” rule. Just like the arrow changes exit verbs from “go” to “Fire”, an eyes object could change the verb of any object with a description to “look”. Each class could start out with its own sensory item and action item.

I talked through the idea of rooms above the dungeon that represent a future imaginary where characters come from, some posthuman civilization that is looting the past for symbols. This would replace a lot of the crone quiz character generation with something that has more detailed worldbuilding that ties the themes of the game together. It would incorporate new quizzes with tutorial rooms that acclimate each player. We’d also now have up and down stairs for each generational level, doors for siblings, portals for partners.

Paul and I took a look at the gedcom data format and parser together. Gedcom is an unruly format and the parser is going to do a lot of the heavy lifting of import. We talked about the need for a design for a data-generated cenotaph. In this new paradigm of “everything is an item”, the oral histories become items that can be semi-permanently affixed to the room. Players would be able to create notes in-game that could serve as suppliments or counter-histories to the data.