Time Flies

I’m wondering how to make certain staged things to go on during a scene. I’ve read the chapter on scenes several times, but it doesn’t give me an idea of how to, for example, five minutes after the scene starts to close a door or say "you hear a creak down the hall.
Do I have to make all separate scenes and run them all together? That would be really tedious.

If I understand what you are saying correctly, then yes. It does need to be a separate scene (or perhaps in your case a simple “say” will suffice) if You want something to happen 5 minutes (which is equal to 5 turns unless specified otherwise) after the original scene.

Does it need to be a special scene? You can make things happen when scenes begin or end, and I believe those things include instructions involving timers.

There’s at least three ways to think of these; I’m sort of thinking hard-coded stuff that happens regardless of what the player does, results based on triggers of various kinds, and results based on actions or items the player interacts with.

[code]Factory is a room.
Test is a scene. Test begins when play begins.
A person is either content or not content.

When Test begins:
the timer dings in one turn from now;

At the time when the timer dings:
say “1!”;

Every turn when the time since Test began is 2 minutes:
say “2!”;

Every turn when Test is happening and the player is content:
say “3!”;

After waiting:
if we have waited 4 times:
now the player is content;
continue the action.[/code]

I’ve heard of fruit flies, bluebottle flies, black flies, and dry flies, but I’ve never heard of time flies.

Robert Rothman

From what I understand, they’re like an arrow.

So they don’t like bananas?

Maybe they’re like button flies.

Having done a bit more research, I have learned that time flies, like many flying insects, prefer to live near bodies of water. However, rather than choosing rivers or lakes, these particular bugs make their habitat in bodies of water bounded on two sides by land masses, and opening into the ocean on the other two sides. Hence, it is said that “Time flies like a narrows.”

Edit: Incidentally, near one such body of water, there is an entire industry devoted to catching the time flies, from which the local inhabitants are able to derive a pigment used for coloring cloth. That body of water is known as the Dyer’s Straits.

Robert Rothman

I think that the “narrows” theory has largely been disproven; the narrows are correlated with a higher rate of recreation than lakes or streams alone, and time flies flock to the pheromones released by the skin during pleasurable activities, or as Dr. Risenbach, MD PhD Entomology put it, “Time flies when you’re having fun”.

One of the legends of the time flies tells of a time fly named Anne who befriended a gnome, also named Anne, who lived near the narrows. The legend tells that they were exploring near the narrows once when the gnome slipped near the bank and was hanging precipitously. Even a gnome is too heavy for a time fly to lift, but the time fly cleverly looped a dandelion rope to a heavy rock and dragged it to where her gnome friend could grab it and pull herself up, or as the legend records: Time Anne tied weights for Gnome Anne.

Yes, its true that time flies can be loyal friends. However, they can also be quite nasty to those with whom they are not on friendly terms.

For example, the Greek hero Achilles, when he was young, once swatted away a time fly when he was playing near the narrows. The insect took its revenge by biting the young Achilles neer the back of his foot, causing an injury which would plague him until the end of his life. Thus, we are told that “time wounds all heels.”

Robert Rothman

And this, of course, was shortened to the term “gnomon.”

True. However after the massacre of countless time flies in the slaughter of Athens. Sparta eventually regretted their decision to kill the vermin. (Time flies of course help the production of grapes for wine, hence “time is ripe”, and without them great wines cannot be produced, and the Spartans had poor grape seasons.) Eventually they knew they had to make up for lost time.

Sorry guys. Couldn’t resist.

can I possibly bring this back to your attention?

The problem I’m having here is that I’ve put in"

Every turn when the time since Scream4 began is 5 minutes: say "The wind screams past your ears as you run away from the shadowy figure.".

But the in-game error message says

"Most problems are detected when Inform translates the source text, but this is one of the exceptions, a “run-time problem” which emerges only during play.

Suppose there is a scene called Second Stage. Asking for the time when Second Stage began or the time since Second Stage began only makes sense if Second Stage has happened (or is happening now). This problem turns up if you ask such questions about a scene which hasn’t happened. It’s easy to test for this: for instance, if Second Stage has happened and the time since Second Stage began is more than five minutes…"

It would be nice if Inform would assume that the scene you’re referring to has already started when you enter a condition like that, but it doesn’t. This will work:

Every turn when the time since Scream4 began is 5 minutes during Scream4: say "The wind screams past your ears as you run away from the shadowy figure."

Note that the “during” has to come at the end of the preamble. Don’t ask me why - it never made any sense to me. You can say “and scream4 is happening” if you prefer.

I don’t know off the top of my head if there is a phrase to check whether a scene has started at least once, regardless of whether it is still happening.

One other thought would be set a variable to the current time as part of the “when scene begins” code. Then, you test the time against that variable, rather than directly against the time when the scene began.

Robert Rothman