(HOWTO) Building an area

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Dalvyn
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(HOWTO) Building an area

Post by Dalvyn » Fri Oct 27, 2006 4:23 pm

First-time builders

You can find lessons about area code and how to create one on the web page http://www.forgottenkingdoms.com/builde ... sons.shtml. As described on those web pages, use #QQ00 up to #QQ49 as vnums for a 50-vnum area, and #QQ00 up to #QQ99 as vnums for a 100-vnum area. The exact vnums will be assigned later, once the area is ready to be loaded on the test port.

If you have any question, please ask them in this forum, so that all builders can actually benefit from it and from the answers. If the question itself contains IC information that you do not want to become public knowledge, you can also send a mail to builders@forgottenkingdoms.com.

There are several ways you can check that your work is correct.
  • Use a text editor with syntax-highlightning like Textpad (you can read more about the syntax highlightning here). Textpad is useful in several ways: it is possible to number the lines and easily find a line from its number (that is especially useful when an error is reported on line 1203 and you do not want to count the lines from 1 up to 1203), and it automatically colourises correctly spelled keywords (which already helps spot many small mistakes).
  • Use the area checker from here. Note that you need to have a complete area file, with all required sections, before you can use this checker. Also, this checker is now outdated, and is not compatible with #QUESTS sections. That means that you will have to copy your QUESTS section out of your file before using this area checker (otherwise, the checker will report an error).
Once your area is ready to be put on the test port (make sure that you have checked it with the area checker before proceeding), send it as an attached file to builders@forgottenkingdoms.com. At this point, your area will be assigned real vnums (replacing the QQ in your file) and will be loaded on the test port. It will also be given its final name (something.are). You will get back an updated file, with the QQ replaced with numbers, and will be given a god character on the test port to visit and check your area.

You might find small mistakes, or things you want to change in your area. Here is how to submit a new version of your file:
  • Open a browser and go to http://www.skynet.ie/~martin/fk/builder/.
  • Use builder as your login and funk42 as the password.
  • Select the area file you want to upload. Note that you should keep the name that was assigned to the area, and not modify it in any way (e.g., don't add version number to the file name). Uploading a new version overwrites the previously-uploaded file.
  • (NEW!) Go in game on the test port, and go to room 1 (goto 1). You will find the Builder board there. Post a message indicating the name of your area file to be updated (you don't need to buy quills or paper as a god; they will automatically appear in your hands as you type "note write"). Once the area is updated, the note will be removed from this board.
For testing purposes, you might want to consider the following ideas:
  • Add a version number in the description of the first room of your area, so you can know when it has been updated (though, in the new system, you might already check that by seeing if your note has been removed from the board in room 1).
  • Add a program to reset your quest bits in the first room of your area, perhaps an intercept_prog resetme
  • If you need objects or mobs from other areas to test your quests, add programs to the first room of your area to load those objects or mobs.
  • Make sure to remove those testing devices when the area is ready to be reviewed though!
Once your consider that your area is ready to be reviewed, send a mail to builder@forgottenkindgoms.com. A reviewer will then examine the area, and most likely send you a list of things to change, along with suggestions and advice about your area. At this point, you can change your file and submit new versions as described above. The reviewing process is repeated till the reviewers have no comment left. The final review must be done by an area admin.

As soon as the review process is done, your area will be updated to the game and you will become a Journeyman builder, and will be allowed to use OLC to build your next areas.
Last edited by Dalvyn on Sat Jan 06, 2007 5:32 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Dalvyn
Sword Grand Master
Sword Grand Master
Posts: 4708
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2003 9:26 pm
Location: House of Wonder, Waterdeep

Post by Dalvyn » Fri Oct 27, 2006 4:49 pm

OLC Builders

Once you have at least one area in game, you are allowed to (a) build other areas with OLC (OnLine Creation) and (b) directly update your own areas on the test port.

Starting work on a new area

Before starting to work on a new area, make sure that you first apply for it, by sending a mail to builders@forgottenkingdoms.com. Once the area is approved, you will be given vnums for it (no need to use the QQ method anymore). Mention at that point whether you want to build this area online or offline.

Building online

If you want to build the area online, with OLC, you will be assigned the vnums at this point. From there on, you can log on the test port at any time, load your area, and start adding rooms, objects, mobiles, and so on. The (main) OLC commands are listed and explained here.

You are theoretically able to do everything with OLC, but some things are much easier to edit in the file directly. So, at some point, you will want to have the area "installed". Having the area installed means that (a) it is turned into an .are file and sent to you for editing, and (b) you can NO LONGER edit it with OLC: all further modifications have to be done in the file directly. Once you are ready to install your area, contact an area admin (who will also determine the final name of the area at that time, and assign it to you so you can upload new versions on your own). From this point on, you basically act as if you had been building offline.

Building offline

If you prefer to work offline, you will be given the final name for your area at this point, and will be assigned this name. That means that you will be able to update this area (and only it) to the test port, whenever you want.

Updating an area

You no longer to post on the Builder board to ask for your area to be updated: you can do it yourself. You still need to upload the area as before though, only the updating process on the test port changes.
  • You first need to download the file to the test port. To do this, use the download command (check the help file for more information). If you have been assigned more than one file name, you might have to indicate which one you want to download at this point.
  • Then, you need to remove the current version of the file from the list of areas to be loaded. Removing the current version is done with alist remove filename.are. If you have been building offline and this is the first version of this file, you can omit this step.
  • At this point, a copyover is necessary, to remove the previous version and make room for the new version. Ask around on godtalk if everybody is fine with your making a copyover. This is very important: if you copyover while someone is building online, all their modifications will be lost, so make sure you get an answer from everybody before doing the copyover. This is why people shouldn't idle on the test port; if you are not actually doing something (or waiting for your area to be updated), DO NOT IDLE ON THE TEST PORT. If you are logged on the test port, you should be paying attention to the screen and answer questions from people who might want to copyover. To copyover, simply type copyover. If you have been building offline and this is the first version of this file, you can omit this step.
  • After the copyover, it's time to add in the new version. For that, type alist add filename.are. At this point, two things can happen: either the mud will display errors (along with line numbers), or the area will be added to the mud.
Note that, after the copyover, all the areas except the one you are updating, are loaded. That means that connections going from other areas INTO your area, or objects/mobiles from your area normally loaded in other areas will not appear at that point. Imagine that your area is the Font of Knowledge in Waterdeep. After the copyover, Waterdeep area is loaded, but not the Font of Knowledge. That means that the connection west from Waterdeep into the Font will not be there (since the room where this connection is supposed to go is not loaded!). Later, when you alist add your area, the mud does not go back through all the other areas to add those missing connections. The connection from the newly added Font of Knowledge into Waterdeep will be there, but not the backward connection. If those backward connections are needed, a second copyover is required. This should only be done in the rare cases when this is really needed though.

Review and next steps

The review process and moving the area to the game port are done as for the first area.
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Dalvyn
Sword Grand Master
Sword Grand Master
Posts: 4708
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2003 9:26 pm
Location: House of Wonder, Waterdeep

Post by Dalvyn » Sat Jan 06, 2007 2:12 pm

Building a temple

Building a temple area. (by Mystra)

A temple for a god is an ideal first area for a new builder. It is one we encourage you to do. We tend to limit god temples to no more than 50 rooms, 50 mobs and 50 objects in size. We encourage also if you have a character of the faith that you are building the temple for to incorporate it into the characters roleplay. If you would like to build a temple please contact builders@forgottenkingdoms.com. Temples that need building are listed in this forum. Also remember that deities often have more than one temple so if you have a temple in a specific temple in mind to do just let us know. So if the temple you want to do is not there, that does not mean you cannot build it, just run it by us.

The temples are to be between 20 and 50 rooms. It is encouraged that you incorporate the following features into your temple if it is IC to do so:


A stables near the entrance so that mounts can be left there and not walked into the temple. Specialist mounts for the faith are encouraged to be sold just to members of the faith. Make sure to allow at least 3 rooms for your stables, 4 is better. One for where the stablemaster would sell pets. One room to store the pets for sale (needed for code and must be the next consecutive vnum), one room to store players pets who stable their mounts at the stables, and ideally another room where a mob will sell feed and barding for the mounts.

Shops that sell deity specific items and order specific items. These shops would only sell to the faith or the particular order in question. They should not be super duper magical items, but rather good quality items to be worn for the roleplay. They should be readily available to the faith. Magic items should still be the result of quests.

Quests for followers and a quest for potential followers. For the quest for potential followers, this is not to be an automatic follow the god quest like Lloth has for her priestesses. But rather you would allow the high priest of the faith to load up an object they can give to the person who wants to follow and that object will then trigger the quest. The quest would teach them about the god and what is expected of a followers. Part (or all) of the reward should be some sort of object they can give to the High Priest to prove that they have completed the quest (like a note or a token etc). Eventually it is up to the high priest (in communication with the god) as to if the PC is acceptable and giving them a symbol. (If coding a quest is too much then do not worry as we have builders who would happily code the quest for you if you detail to them what you want it to do). We want to see quests that tell PC's about the faith that they can earn a knowledge_religion point in as well.

Trainers, especially for the priests of that faith. Make sure your temple is not a one stop shop. It is never our intention that one area will provide all the trainers a PC needs. They should still travel the kingdoms looking for trainers. Some skills/spells are quest only, so you might want to consider making certain trainers only train on the completion of a quest.

There is plenty of information on the web and available in print form about FR temples and we will do all to help you get all the information that can be found.

There are lessons available on the Builders page that will help get you started.
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