Changes bugs

So I want to do a post-comp final cleanup of Changes. I don’t really plan to do anything in the way of a major overhaul, but typo fixing goes on forever…

So if anyone can remember anything obviously wrong with it which needs fixing, please let me know here!

Incidentally, if anyone wants to see why the game was so slow to play on the web players, the source code is available under a look-but-don’t-touch license here: http://cowlark.com/changes (Memo to self: test any future game on Parchment as well as on Gargoyle. I didn’t realise it was that slow until the competition had actually started.)

This isn’t really a bug, but it would be nice if you could see what was happening with an animal on the ledge while you were by the pool (or whatever room you can see the ledge from). It might be a bit tricky to implement, or maybe it’d be as simple as adding the ledge to scope in the other room.

Well, this toy example might suggest that it would be about that simple, but it might be some work to make the prose non-terrible. Maybe this is a feature request.

[spoiler][code]
The Beach is a room. “You can see a ledge to the east.”
The Ledge is east of Beach. “The beach is back to the west.” An otter is an animal in the Ledge.
A fish is a kind of thing. A fish is edible. The printed plural name of a fish is “fish”. The player carries ten fish.
Every turn:
if the otter can touch a fish (called herring) and the otter does not have a fish:
try the otter taking herring;
otherwise if the otter has a fish (called carp):
try the otter eating carp.

After deciding the scope of the player when the location is The Beach: place the Ledge in scope.

Test me with “e/drop four fish/w/l/l/l/l/l/l”.

[After printing the name of the otter when the otter is in the ledge and the location is the beach: say " (which is on the ledge)".] [commented this out because it looks horrible with the code for looking in the beach; maybe one could twiddle report rules so it printed “On the ledge” when you saw something happen on the ledge, but that seems like it’d be a lot of work.]

After looking in the beach when something is in the ledge:
say “On the ledge [is-are a list of things in the ledge].”[/code][/spoiler]

I think the response to ``dig sand’’ is a bug. At least, it threw me off track enough that I had to resort to the walkthrough.

[spoiler]Sandy Mound
Part of the canyon wall has fallen here, forming a huge bank of sandy rubble. This looks like it used to be part of the rabbit warren you can see to the south, but this section has been abandoned. Part of the mound has begun to be colonised by the woods that extend to the north. You can see the river in the distance down to the east.

The bank doesn’t look very stable and is full of partially collapsed burrows.

There’s that strange sensation again, of peacefulness from the south.

x burrows
They look like it would be fairly easy to dig the sand out, actually. How long they’ll stay that way is another thing entirely.

dig sand
You give the sandy bank a good whack. Small avalanches of sand start cascading down all over. The bank here is far too unstable to climb or safely burrow in. You’re not surprised the rabbits have abandoned this part of the warren.

dig
You go to work with your front paws and quickly clear the loose sand out of the burrow. It’s surprisingly satisfying work.[/spoiler]

Re ‘dig sand’: yeah, fair enough.

Re the ledge: I’m not sure an animal can actually get onto the ledge if the player’s in the water. There should be special cases to prevent the otter and the fox from straying onto the ledge unless the correct conditions are met. …although, there might be a race condition where the fox can chase you onto the ledge at the precise moment that you jump off, so resulting in the next turn having you in the water and the fox on the ledge. But it shouldn’t be there. I’d need to check.

How did that come up?

I was actually on the beach (or whatever it is), not the pool – I dropped a fish on the ledge while the otter was following me and immediately went back to the beach. I think the otter went to the ledge and ate the fish, but I guess I’m not sure what actually happened.

(I was playing on Parchment, so you may have a transcript of this. It’s the one with, um, a bunch of frustrated comments beginning with asterisks, in which I drown myself in the pool several times for no apparent reason. Boy did I get stuck.)

I don’t know if mine was one of the reviews you braved, but in it I said I tried to pick up a stick – a vitally important stick it would later turn out – and was told it wasn’t important or I should leave it, or something dangerously fob-offy along those lines.

  • Wade

First, I’d like to say thank you for this very well-written, intriguing story!

A transcript (comments marked with asterisks, as usual) is on its way through the ether to your e-mail address. I did not make a lot of comments (see below), but I thought I’d send it to you in case you wanted to take a look at how the entire playthrough went.

Some small issues:

Right at the beginning (although this was partly my fault for not immediately thinking of “OUT”, hehe):

[spoiler]Cocoon
You are immersed in a warm, comforting heap of something soft. It envelops you like an old blanket.

x cocoon
You can’t see any such thing.

x blanket
It’s not dissimilar to cotton wool, although feels both more fibrous and less clinging.

open blanket
That’s not something you can open.

pull blanket
You don’t have enough weight and traction to do that. You’ll have pick it up and drag it.

rip it
That’s not a verb I recognise.

tear it
That’s not a verb I recognise.

cut it
Cutting that up would achieve little.

out
You fight your way free of the cottony stuff. Dim light blinds you for a moment.[/spoiler]
Typos etc.:

[spoiler]- “peforated”

  • “you’re don’t have the energy”
  • “You’ll have pick it up”
  • “>x bones
    They’re old and bleached the sun […]”
  • “vaccum”
  • “a increasing”[/spoiler]
    The first message here was a bit strange:

[spoiler]>eat leaves
(the bundle of aromatic leaves)
Not when you’re carrying the bundle of aromatic leaves in your mouth!

drop bundle
Dropped.

eat it
(first taking the bundle of aromatic leaves)
You really don’t want to eat those.[/spoiler]
In one of my playing sessions …

[spoiler]… it seemed to be impossible to catch the lemur, because it went west across the dam, then immediately disappeared to the east again when I approached, so I didn’t have a chance to get it:

Boulder
A massive slab of rock has fallen into the woods from the canyon walls to the
west. It is halfway sunk into the turf and looks almost sculpted. The canyon
wall looms over you from the west. The woodlands parallel it, running north-
south, although the canyon steepens to the north. Water glints between the trees
to the east.

The huge boulder towers over the surrounding trees.

You can also see a dead fish here.

z
Time passes.

You sense a new feeling of anger from the east.

e

Beaver Dam
A haphazard but substantial dam has been built across the river out of logs and
fallen trees. Water pours through the many little gaps to form a delta of pools
and runnels, before joining back together into the main flow of the river, which
disappears into the woods to the south. Upstream of the dam to the north there
is a substantial lake, but everywhere else, all you can see are trees. The river
looks crossable, to reach the east side of the canyon.

The grisly remains of the dead beavers are scattered among the rocks.

Some fish flap about in the pools.

The lemur is painfully picking its way across the dam.

The lemur struggles up the bank and disappears into the trees to the east.

You can feel contentment from the south.[/spoiler]
The responses to “>PULL (something)” are slightly misleading/strange:

[spoiler]- At the Boulder:

push boulder
You don’t have enough weight and traction to do that. You’ll have pick it up and
drag it.

  • In the Shuttle Cockpit:

pull shard
The only way you’ll move it is to pick it up and carry it.

take shard
You gingerly take the end of the shard in your mouth, and, trying to ignore the
metallic taste of human blood, pull. It’s well wedged but you manage to work it
out. As you do so your body, released, suddenly slithers out of the acceleration
chair and onto the floor.

  • Ibid.:

pull body
You don’t have enough weight and traction to do that. You’ll have pick it up and
drag it.

take body
(first dropping the metal shard)
You take a deep breath, close your eyes, and take hold of your body by one boot.
It tastes reassuringly of plastic.[/spoiler]
It seems I found an alternative way …

[spoiler]… of getting the body from the shuttle to the tree, which might possibly be a bug (?):

put body on branch
(first taking your body)

You put your body on the broken branch.

[then drag the branch to the tree][/spoiler]
At the very end:

[spoiler]>x sparks
You push your awareness out towards the sparks. Those minds feel — not
distant, yet somehow remote. Separated from what you are now. You lightly brush
over them, and feel fleeting moments of terror, rage, panic, pain… there is
fire, and bright shapes spinning against dark, bravery and cowardice. There is
death there, and a lot of it, minds slowly evaporating from their cooling
brains.

You draw back, terrified.

take minds
You don’t want to interfere with them. They’re safe where they are, and they
feel very fragile, somehow.
[The game is referring to the animal minds already on Elysia, but this might be a bit confusing here.]

take sparks
Bracing yourself, you reach out towards the distant/remote/separated minds, and
gently lift them out of their dying bodies. They flow towards you.[/spoiler]