Hi Dark,
Well, when I wrote that article I was actually thinking more of designing roll playing games in general rather than my roll playing game specifically. In any case I understand what you are saying, and I could use text files to store stats, weapons, armor, and other items, but there are advantages to using an actual database for this. Plus, logistics asside, programming in C, C++, C-Sharp, Java, etc is also a lot more time consuming. Consider the two examples below.

C Example

// Header includes
#include <conio.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>

// Function prototypes
void LoadScreen(int);
void GetInput(int);

// Load and show the game screen.
void LoadScreen(int screen)

// Clear the game screen

// If this is screen 1091
// print the screen
if (screen == 1091)
printf("(%d)\n", screen);
printf("You are standing in a north/south passage.\n");
printf("You can hear the sound of dripping water up ahead.\n");
printf("What would you like to do?\n");
printf("Head North (n)\n");
printf("Head South(s)\n");

// Wait for the player to press a key

// Get keyboard input
// for the current game screen
void GetInput(int screen)

// Wait for a key press
char key = getch();

// If this is screen 1091
// handle keyboard input
if (screen == 1091)

// Head north
if (key == 'n')

// Head south
if (key == 's')

// The user pressed an invalid choice
printf("Error! Please press n or s.\n");
printf("Press any key to continue.\n");

html/php example

<title>Legends of Etheria</title>
<p align="center">(1091)</p>
<p align="left">You are standing in a north/south passage. You can hear the sound of dripping water from up ahead. What would you like to do?</p>
<br><a href="1092.php">Head North</a>
<br><a href="1090.php">Head South</a>
$options = file_get_contents('options.php');
$stats = file_get_contents('stats.php');
print $stats;
print $options;

What is probably quite clear in these two examples is my second example was far easier and quicker to create than the first example. While C is powerful it is not really suited to the game book style adventure. Assuming there were 1091 screens I'd have to do the same thing 1,091 times. In such an instance using html and php makes the job much easier to perform.

dark wrote:
Hi Tom.

Well I'm fully in favor of the frequent updates etc which a php script game could give, and I'm glad your stil thinking single player even if the logistics are much easier online, pluss, it'd probably be seen as more reasonable of you to charge for an online game in some way than for a downloadable text rpg, ----- though personally I'd be willing to pay for such a game if it fulfilled my needs.

But being as your also running a business (and to maintain the server costs of the game), either a subscription or account update fee for the game to gain full access would be seen as more reasonable by the public in general, ----- I know the huge amounts of markiting resources the commercial interactive fiction company malinch have to put into selling their games.

Btw, not to quibble over your decision (which I completely understand the logic of), but Angband, the roguelike I mentioned which will hopefully be having full accessibility features added in the future, has taken precisely the opposite approach.

I'm not certain what language the game is written in, but there are certainly several versions (windows mac os), and even source code for self compiling.

When new versions come out, they are symply stuck on the website and people are expected to update. Everything in the game, ---- the thousand or so monsters, the classes, items, and huuuuuuge amount of complex mechanics are contained in a series of text files which are easy to modify (one reason Angband has so many varients developed by other people). There is even a text file containing sound and display options.

Obviously there are some differences, ---- the most notable being that while Angband certainly uses lots of text for a roguelike (one reason why I'm fairly convinced it can be made fully accessible in the first place given some extra warning messages and coordinates), it does have a basically spacial interface with characters moving around a grid based, randomly generated dungeon rather than the environment being described gamebook style.

Stil, in terms of pure mechanics, ---- of which Angband has a truly mind bogling amount, everything is run through text file databases.

this isn't to say your decision is wrong, or to argue in the least, ----- as I said I can fully follow your logic, I just thought it was an interesting contrast, and sinse we're discussing rpgs I thought I'd throw it out for considderation.

Beware the Grue!


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