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Working towards v0.91

After the first beta release of v0.9, I’m naturally working on the next increment towards a truly usable engine.

v0.91, on which I’m currently working, has already benefited from that:

  • I’ve rearranged the scenario initialization code. Now the information for hooks is read before the data of scenario items. This might sound trivial (and even illogical), but it holds a big advantage:
    The absolute line numbers for data entries are irrelevant, only their order counts. While the hook code is placed comparatively early in the program, the data sections for items are at the very end. This means that now it’s possible to place the hook data entries side by side with the actual hook code, while until now the hook definition was separate from the code to be executed. This should make for more readable code.
  • Dodo now also features a rudimentary hinting system. If the author wants, Dodo will give the player a number of hints regarding particular items.

I also have a few ideas the implementation of animated characters. At a minimum, I’d like to introduce a simple conversational system in Dodo which lets the player talk to the NPCs.

Let’s see how this will turn out. October will probably pass before this is done, and then it may take a few more weeks until I’ve updated the documentation accordingly.

V0.9 of Dodo released!

You probably have noticed — I have put the first “releasable” version of Dodo on the download page, and am immensely proud of it!

After all, this is the first time after several aborted open source projects that I finally have something to show — though this is of course still to be considered a beta version: I don’t expect the V0.9 to be anything like “final”. Rather, I present it as a starting point for “serious work” on it, hoping to encourage discussion of good/bad points of its design, and missing features, etc. which in time will lead to a fully-fledged Dodo (pun intended).

I also ponder in the long run a port of Dodo to a more contemporary programming language (I’m currently thinking of Squirrel). As opposed to the current version which is limited to the CBM 64, this would make it available and appealing to users of modern PCs as well — not so much because I believe the world requires another IF authoring system (I think Inform 6/7 and TADS are already pretty good at that), but simply for the fun of it.

But a beast like a “Dodo with Wings” would of course be far in the future.