When time travels at 1s/s, things are confusing.
Today's update is powered by the Year 2019! We've been very quiet since the last update for a number of reasons - firstly, we've started working on the project which A Tale in Time started as a helper for (we're excited) and also because we ran into a number of issues with tooling along the way.
Good things first, as we mentioned at the start of A Tale in Time, this was originally a story telling tool for a much bigger project which we were in the planning stages of. Since then we have made a huge amount of progress not only on A Tale in Time but also our primary project, let's call this Project Storm for now.
Unfortunately, once we had our internal tooling working for Project Storm, work on A Tale in Time has slowed due to our main focus being directed elsewhere - we do hope to have more on Project Storm to display later this year. Enough of that for now.
The next issue came in terms of tooling, our aim has always been to allow anyone to create stories for the TextPanda engine which powers A Tale in Time. A lot of the work we show and discuss in updates is actually on the TextPanda engine, A Tale in Time is simply a QRS (Quantum Reality Story) which is loaded into the engine and wrapped in a custom application with some additional expansion.
We want anyone to be able to create their stories and share them, which is why we planned on creating the QRS Editor, letting anyone create a story without typing (literally) thousands of lines.
Some perspective on this, the story for A Tale in Time currently sits at 865 lines and has:
- 17 Locations
- 9 Quests
- 1 NPC
- 27 Items
That may seem like a lot of things, but those make up a current total of 2% of the game.
This is where we run into issues, basically because we chose platform compatibility as our focus on the engine, we created a bunch of problems when it comes to using some of the core libraries for purposes other than reading stories. External tooling is quite complicated because of this and at present a lot of work will need to go into getting the core model and libraries needed to create a story integrated into another tool, which we currently can't afford. However, we have found a potential solution to this which we are investigating and will hopefully be able to implement, getting us a step closer to a functional tool! Until then, we do plan on adding more to TextPanda.
That's not all!
We do have some updates, for one - TextPanda now supports NPCs! As can be seen above and in the screenshot, it's now possible to enable the player to interact with NPCs in game, with conditional dialogue options.
Gotta have a quest to talk about something? We got you covered. Need an item? No worries. Just want some sarcastic comments? Done!
We've also fixed a fair few bugs with the way some language was identified and tested command chaining, a little too far. We can confirm that it is indeed possible to complete a game in a single command entry (containing a whole bunch of connectives). Speed runs are no longer a case of how quickly can you get through the game, but how quickly can you type of the correct list of commands to get to the end*!
On that note...
As of now, we won't be releasing A Tale in Time as a game, instead all work going forward will be on the TextPanda engine, which we will be releasing along with documents, technical info and more.
*Note: We aren't encouraging this, please take time to enjoy stories!