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Grotto

Grotto Test Server

Grotto is an experimental web space that treats html pages as rooms that human players navigate in real time. Since the beginning of the project it has taken on a few forms for a few different uses. Currently it is being adapted to an unusual purpose: to import genealogy data and turn a family tree into a dungeon

Grotto in principle isn’t very different from other web applicatins with users, pages and a database- however in Grotto, users assume the rolls of randomly generated characters, and explore pages which link together in a maze.

The Grotto web application serves as a sort of accessible substrate for building different kinds of weird and primitive online game spaces. The first game that was prototyped using Grotto was an implementation of Hunt the Wumpus. An API allows other applications to load data from a Grotto-built maze.

The malleability of Grotto could lead to unforseen uses by different communities depending on the culture of each user group and the new features that users want. My own motivation is to create something that acts as both a game and an archive, the former both concealing and activating the latter.

Grotto served as the underlying web framework for my project Mud Room, which is complimented by a custom tile drawing and animation tool.

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grotto


Posts:

items, eyes, maps

Today was a first planning meeting to resume developments on Grotto, the big project– the one I’m now calling Phantom Homeland (I got a good laugh out of calling it Dusičky for a little while, but come on). I think the big takeaway from the show was one that should’ve been obvious from the start– that the GUI view, which was based on the Atari 2600 game swordquest, is illegible to most players without a lot of handholding.

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/grotto/wumpus.png

wumpus

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/grotto/glyphs2.png

glyphs2

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/grotto/glyphs.png

glyphs

Last night I was thinking about how to evolve the gui for grotto. Specifically- taking the older text view and fusing some elements from the joystick-gui view into it. I’d like to add a div with a top down map view of the room you are in with glyphs signifying items and doors. I added some new tiles to my drawing tool and started playing with the most minimal way to represent objects. when I stopped trying hard to represent things and abstracted all the way down to two-tile glyphs, I immediately unlocked a memory- (another atari game eyeroll emoji). The creatures from imagic’s Cosmic Arc

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post crit roadmap session

Post mud room show spitball session

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1-22-22

A lot of development work and not a lot of reflection or documentation. I’ll take a moment here.

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Grotto 1-8-22

Grotto: Pair programming session on the Grotto codebase today.

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grotto api

Good day of work with @thismatters today, we installed the django-rest-framework which enabled api pages for rooms. This will enable abstracting the grotto data out into new UI’s. I had hoped to get the new html/css/vanilla js UI I started working on in time for Monday’s review, but it seems unlikely.

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Grotto 0.3alpha notes

Another pair session with @thismatters today, working on items and room attributes for Grotto/Mud Room.

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grotto and mudroom items

Grotto itemBuilder branch commit 519f103750178349cbf9d2e646e61744088f138c

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Grotto 0.1 alpha

An instance of Grotto is now up at grotto.wileywiggins.com

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grotto 2-9-21 exits

I got some assistance today with automatically connecting rooms by symmetrical exits from my friend Paul. Now, as you generate rooms they randomly link to up to three previous rooms, so that you get a repeating node pattern that balances out into shapes like the Hunt the Wumpus “squashed dodecahedron” I linked in an earlier post. I added a sidebar of exit links to rooms & made the bullets lil emoji doors because why not.

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grotto 2-8-21

libsass is installed and working. I started making some cursory room styles with a couple of fun background-image outliers for weird room color names. Login/registration page is next.

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grotto 2-6-21

Room detail pages are loading, room generator is working and creating rooms! Before I start writing any css, I want to figure out how to install sass. Django’s default system of lots of app-level static folders confuses the hell out of me when it comes to managing css, I’d like a single compiled stylesheet and sass partials can live at app-level if they have to.

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grotto-2-3-21

some grotto pomodoros- I got rooms listing at /mapBuilder/index.html and the button triggers the old room generator script, but the script still needs to be adapted to add rooms to the database not make flat html documents. right now markovify can’t find its corpus text document even though the path looks right to me.

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flowchart

Worlds crappiest page flowchart for grotto v 0.0000001

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jan 28 grotto

Had time for some Grotto pomodoros today. I am most of the way through the django tutorials but I still don’t really know what I am doing. The parts that are the main mystery to me atm are views and models.Today I am looking at views.py. I conceptually understand what a view is in MVC but I don’t really know anything about the python functions that views.py is using to construct those views. Today I’m starting here in my reading.

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grotto 1-14-21 pomodoros

I did 2-ish pomodoros for Grotto today, focusing on the Django tutorial project. I got here.

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zero players

I reposted Paolo’s Games Without Players piece yesterday because every time I think about how best to situate Thicket, I feel like it would be as a zero player mode simulation, constantly reseeding itself. I don’t think of Thicket as being a particularly healthy space to inhabit, it’s purposely about themes that bother me- predation, hierarchy, violence, manipulation.

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space

I’m back in Austin but I’m “bubbled” with my partner and her mom and sister. My Mother lives in Austin but I haven’t gone to go see her. We quarantined two weeks when we got here, and then my partner’s Mom had an exposure scare so we waited longer. My mother has gotten increasingly despondent, even though we had got her an iPhone and managed to show her how to facetime with us on it.

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Django

It occurred to me that since I’m already writing some python for this and I need a CRUD app with users and a database, maybe i should use Django for this.

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room descriptions

Today I repurposed one of my python random text generators to use as a grotto page generator. Pulling from a corpus made of these dungeon descriptions, this spits out 20 html pages, with hashid filenames and titles from a master color list I’ve compiled (part of which I scraped from Joyce’s Ulysses with another python script). Then I try to detect major color words in those names and assign a background-color to the page body (this is one of those times it would be great to know how to use more advanced machine learning 😒). For not a ton of work, this is creating some pretty cool results! The room descriptions are mushed up rpg-inspired poetry which I like, since this game wouldn’t have any room interactions really, just moving from room to room, looking for/avoiding other people.

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grotto links

This is the very first grotto post.

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