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Exit: Out of the blue!

Maps and menus and items, oh my!

December 15th, 2017 by Holey Moley at

I’m presently dividing my time between Sword of Moonlight and finishing a rewrite of the COLLADA-DOM library that began at Sony. A month ago (30 days or so) I took a break from the other project and so — of course — returned to this one. I never got around to complementing the previous release as I’d intended to do. I usually ease back into this work by taking on smaller, more varied appetizers before I settle in for a main course. I do a few of these more substantial jobs every year.

This blog-post is about a new release; The substance of which is hard to categorize. It came about as a surprise; In short, I bit off more than I could chew.

Currently I’m postponing the major finishing touch in order to return to the other project for a time. I think this release grew from my experience having explored the Moratheia 2.1 demonstration in the months prior. I experienced some difficulties with it that I thought ought to be addressed. This release addresses two areas of concern.

One of these two is how to better facilitate access to “items” that are buried deep inside menus. To ease this process this release remembers and returns to the place where a menu is left off. This way it’s more practical to do the same things over and over again. One class of “item” for which this is often required is a map of a game’s surroundings. I actually began working on this, partly out of curiosity, because I’ve never before surveyed Sword of Moonlight’s menus system. I felt it was high time to do so. This was unavoidable, and is why this release ultimately took so long to conclude itself.

In addition to saving places within menus, it’s now possible to work backward from the top of the itemized menus, and vice versa. And what really took much longer than anticipated is a new system for changing the ordering of items for these menus. It was when I began toying with this idea I realized what I’d gotten myself into. Still, it’s an especially important development, since the natural ordering for most projects is haphazard at best, and so unacceptable as finished product. The full plan called for end-users to be able to rearrange the ordering from inside the games’ menu, in order to easily accommodate personal preference.

The other of these two is not really for end-users, but is instead a real-time map display system for developers to use. But is also available to end-users who find themselves in a pinch. When we make a virtual world it’s difficult to supplement our natural sense of direction. In the early days of development a guide such as a map is essential. One interesting development to come of this is, map in hand, it was instantly more expedient to “click” the map in order to go anywhere, as opposed to navigating by it.

As always, several original bugs were encountered, and along with previously unreachable bugs (although exceedingly nitpicking nowadays) have been quashed. There are many details that will be elaborated upon in the linked to forums posts, very shortly.

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