Online text based games (4)

First things first: in my previous post I suggested that the use of frames would be better to be able to reload ‘pieces’ of pages. This is not completely correct of course: within a frameset multiple frames display pages, so in principle the page in a frame is reloaded although this page is of smaller width and / or height so that the frameset fits the screen.

And although the idea of frames is good (reloading parts of a website), it is not worked out great. You still have to reload a whole page. After a quick thought and some trying with Smarty it is way better to just use boxes as I already wanted to do. Let’s say I was blinded by the ‘reloading pieces of pages’ idea šŸ˜‰

So now we have a more prominent role for CSS. In the stylesheet you define the properties for your boxes. For some examples take a look at this small tutorial.

My previous post was also about the base of the game, the ideas, other online text based games and the image to have (and not to have). I need to place a little sidenote here as well as I’ve seen that the term online text based games can also be interpreted as games which are not played through a browser, but for example through Telnet. The latter is not what is discussed here. (Sorry!)

Ok, so now that’s all said and done, let’s see what I told myself to tell in this post.. “Next thing will be the database schema and game concepts..”

Hmm.. once again I see how inpredictable things (or is it just me?) sometimes can be: In all my other projects I’ve created the database scheme before I got to work on the code itself. Now I’ve done it the way around: I’ve written some code and the underlying database is to be created.

Concering game concepts: It’s important to determine your audience so you can adjust your application to those people. What’s your intended generation of people? Youngsters? Adults? Elder people? Are they (mostly) men or women? Education level perhaps? Interests?

For example: if you want to create a WarCraft-like game you might want to create this game for ages 12 and up (if it contains visual violence or something). Furthermore people interested in this genre are both males and females. Most of the time they already know similar principles and genres, so the depth of the game can use this type of knowledge to go more in depth instead of focussing too much on the people not knowing what a Night Elve is. The motto: know your audience well!

I’m not going to announce what I will discuss next as I failed to predict what I would have done by now in my last post.

As a last note (I have a lot to correct / state this post I must say): These posts are just informative during the development of my game. They are just thoughts that come up. There’s no guarantee that they are always the best solution or that they end up in my final version of my game or that you should do this. Finding out better solutions is always encouraged.

The other thing that I wanted to state is that I already have created quite a lot of code. Although I’m fond of Open Source, I have to keep the details of most of my scripts a secret as they would uncover how the game behaves and it would a) spoil the fun of exploring and b) give a very big advantage to people playing the game having read the code. Next to that I might use this code to gain income for maintaining servers / power and / or advertising. But I promise that if I don’t finish it and don’t use it, I will post it here under an OS license.

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