Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sweet is the Scene

For those of you developing any project, videogame or otherwise, save yourself future pain and use some sort of version control. Groundling uses Subversion for the same reason we use Torque - we know it. ...Ok, that and my friend, Seth, has given us some server space and he uses Subversion. For that, I thank him.

I implemented level locking. Assuming Robot continues into future scenes, I don't want every scene as its own executable. Instead, I want scenes to be able to flow into each other relatively seamlessly. But if certain players don't start playing until Scene 3 arrives, I still want them to start at Scene 1 while still having Scenes 2 and 3 on their computers. After Scene 1 is completed, then Scene 2 unlocks. Easy enough.

The complexity is when players return to an earlier scene. For example, assume that you have played up to Scene 5. For some reason (e.g. experimentation), you want to replay Scene 1. Normally, this action wouldn't be inconsequential, but because reputation carries from scene-to-scene, some action needs to occur. Either the player can play through the scene again and reputation will or will not be saved. If the reputation is to be saved, then a certain question must be asked: "What happens to future scenes?" I could think of 2 options. (A) Future scenes are locked as if players are going through the story again; or (B) future scenes use their prior reputation saves until replayed. While (B) provides more freedom to the player, it also creates possibility of multiple story threads occurring simultaneously within the same save file. Because of that complexity, I implemented option (A). That said, I would like to know what people's thoughts are about the matter. Which option would you prefer I implement?