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Re: [Adonthell-devel] Item spec

From: Kai Sterker
Subject: Re: [Adonthell-devel] Item spec
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 2003 14:53:55 +0100

On Mon, 13 Jan 2003 20:33:29 +1100 David White wrote:

> Kai,
> Good idea to come up with a spec, and the detail you went to is even
> better. I agree with most of it, but I just have a few comments below:
> >   Of course, it makes no sense to have categories that are not used
> >   throughout the game. For convenience, it should be possible to add
> >   or remove categories throughout an items lifetime. (Like a burned
> >   out torch could have the "Lightsource" type removed, but still act
> >   as"Club" or "Weapon")
> I am guessing that this example is mildly contrived, but I still
> thought I would comment: I think that 99+% of the time in the game,
> the player is going to have a weapon that is far more powerful than a
> burnt-out torch. Thus it seems to me that one can use a burnt out
> torch as a club is a detail that is going to end up irritating players
> far more than enhancing the game: i.e. most players will immediately
> drop a torch after it becomes burnt out, since it will simply be
> taking up space/weight in their inventory. Having to continuously drop
> annoying items like this (and I would say ditto with your
> potion/bottle example) is going to detract from the game more than any
> enhancement that I can see.

Sure, for sake of gameplay we cannot make everything completely
realistic. I just picked the example that came first on my mind. Once we
put the game together we'll probably find plenty of cases where those
features can be put to a good use.

> In principle I agree that an item may 'transform' into another item as
> you suggest, I'm just saying that I think it'd be best to specifically
> avoid getting bogged down in minutae with thousands of unimportant,
> irrelevant items.

True. Results of transformations should have a use of their own. If you
can't do anything but throw them away, it'll become annoying.

What I was mainly thinking about was for example enhancing existing
items or combining items into something completely new. That sort of
thing. However, some details for that to work are missing yet, so I
started with the easy stuff first :).

> > * value (int or float)
> >   How much the item is worth compared to other items. This attribute
> >   does not define the items price when buying or selling, but it is
> >   the base for calculating the price. Other attributes, like the
> >   player's barter skill or a merchant-specific modifier will play a
> >   role here.
> A possibility is that different towns/localities might have different
> 'supply' and 'demand' rankings for different items or types of items.
> For example, town X might specialize in making weapons, and so weapons
> are cheaper there.


> > As far as I can tell, those five 'actions' cover everything we'll
> > ever need. Note that these methods affect items, but would be
> > implemented on character level. I.e. you'd have 'character.use
> > (item)', not 'item.use(character)'.
> What about someone firing an arrow from a bow?
> One possible solution is to have the arrows as 'charge' of the bow.
> Presumably only one type of arrow can be usefully fired from a certain
> type of bow (i.e. longbow arrows from a longbow, crossbow bolts from a
> crossbow and so forth). That way, the arrows need not be a seperate
> item, they can just be a charge; but if two characters have bows, can
> we transfer some of the 'charge' from one character to the other? Also
> we'd have to make bows'rechargeable' (i.e. go to a shop and buy more
> arrows), and as well as a charge weight there'd have to be a charge
> cost.
> Of course, we might want to make some kind of 'special' arrow (a magic
> one maybe?) and this would rule out that; but I'm not sure we really
> want to do that. Making arrows a 'stackable' item seems like an
> attractive approach, but would need work in that they are used in
> conjunction with a bow.

Well, apart from magic arrows I could imagine different materials like
wood, steel or silver arrows (latter for werwolf hunting). Those would
do different damage or be especially effective against certain
creatures. One could as well enhance ones arrows by poisoning them. So I
think arrows would rather be a stackable item. 
I am not quite sure how we'd handle them exactly. I'll think of

> Just a stylistic comment here: is there a reason why item isn't a
> reference instead of a pointer? Is it something to do with Swig not
> liking references? Otherwise, item should probably be a reference
> since it presumably can't be NULL.

Yeah, a reference should work as well. As with string passing, this is
probably an area where quite a bit of improvement could be made to the
code. I'll try to keep that in mind, at least when writing new code :).


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