Quest 5.3 Development

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Quest 5.3 Development

Postby Alex » Tue May 15, 2012 6:21 pm

I've been working on Quest full-time since April 2011 and have been earning hardly any money from it. So, I've taken on some contract development work for the next few months.

This means I'm only able to spend evenings and weekends working on Quest, so the pace of development from my side may be slower than it has been lately.

I've also been sponsored to add some features to Quest 5.3 - features which I think are pretty cool. Most notably, a graphical map, and the ability to switch the "POV" character. I've been implementing these in a separate fork - now that Quest 5.2 is out I'll be merging this into the code on CodePlex. I'll also write some blog posts explaining these features soon.

My priority is to continue working on the sponsored features, and then I'll turn my attention to the other stuff for the Quest 5.3 release (well, before that, I also need to update the wiki docs to reflect 5.2 - could use some help here too!) I've already gone through and pruned the Issue Tracker a bit - currently 35 open items assigned to v5.3 (other items pushed back to 5.4 or 5.5 - not much distinction between the two and priorities will surely change yet again).

So, there's plenty of scope for people who are interested to make contributions! I would of course love it for anybody to pick up any of the items assigned to v5.3, but that's not the be-all and end-all, I'm happy for other features to be implemented too. It may be worth dropping me an email, or posting here, before doing loads of work though.

I think it would be good for the focus of v5.3 to be on features that enhance the look and feel of playing games in Quest. So I would particularly like to focus on these items:


Out of these I'm most keen on #985. Having really nice typography available to games will make a big difference I think.

It's probably time to revisit how the panes work, actually. Ideally the desktop version should render panes (inventory, places/objects, compass and potential new "user-defined pane") purely in HTML, just like the web version. And the command bar at the bottom of the screen, and location bar at the top should be HTML too - this will bring the two UIs closer together, reduce duplication of code, and make full interface customisation much easier.

Also, it would be nice to make it very easy to add images and sounds in the Editor, by integrating various APIs e.g. Freesound (http://quest.codeplex.com/workitem/955), Flickr (http://quest.codeplex.com/workitem/965) and YouTube (http://quest.codeplex.com/workitem/1044). I'm not sure how feasible it would be to add these to the desktop Editor - maybe these could be for the web version only.
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Re: Quest 5.3 Development

Postby Pertex » Wed May 16, 2012 7:03 am

Wonderful! Can't wait to see the mapgenerator. And the user-defined pane. When refactoring the old panes , please think of the possibility to enable/disable every single pane
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Re: Quest 5.3 Development

Postby Alex » Fri May 18, 2012 6:00 pm

Pertex requested a "nightly build" so I've uploaded one here: http://quest.codeplex.com/releases/view/77770

I'll try to keep it updated periodically. It's just a ZIP file containing the EXE, DLL and ASLX files - it will run happily from its own folder, as long as your machine has the .NET Framework is installed (which it will be if you have previously installed Quest from a setup file).
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Re: Quest 5.3 Development

Postby junichiro » Fri May 18, 2012 8:03 pm

I installed the nightly build and my description for "look at me" no longer seems to work, I always just get "Looking good."
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Re: Quest 5.3 Development

Postby Alex » Fri May 18, 2012 8:08 pm

The description for an object when it is the POV is now on the Options tab, under the Player section. The normal object description now only applies when the object is viewed "externally".
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Re: Quest 5.3 Development

Postby junichiro » Fri May 18, 2012 8:19 pm

might this break old games?
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Re: Quest 5.3 Development

Postby Alex » Fri May 18, 2012 9:41 pm

If you've started working on a game in an earlier version, you may need to make a few changes if you want to continue editing it in the new version. But any games published to a .quest file are fine, because the .quest file includes all the functions from the version of the Core library it was packaged with.
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Re: Quest 5.3 Development

Postby junichiro » Fri May 18, 2012 9:46 pm

ah, I didn't realise that, so no problems then
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Re: Quest 5.3 Development

Postby leckie1uk » Fri Jul 06, 2012 3:00 pm

Any plans to issue a mac version of Quest?
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Re: Quest 5.3 Development

Postby Alex » Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:23 pm

I have no plans myself (now we have a web version), but I'm happy to help anyone that wants to develop a Mac version.
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Re: Quest 5.3 Development

Postby The Pixie » Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:45 am

I appreciate 5.3 is not even in beta yet, but I get the impression some people are using it already, and already we are hearing "don't do this, it will break when 5.3 comes out", so I had a look at the version from the 9th, and have a few comments (in the hope someone takes notice before things are set in stone...).

Look-and-feel: I like it. In particular, the bigger text input box, and the way the right panes expand automatically to allow for any number of verbs are significant improvements.

Debugger: Very useful addition.

Fonts: Excellent, and so easy to use too.

Log: No idea how to use this.

HTML developer Tools: Looks good, no idea what it does, hope it will be documented properly when 5.3 comes out.

Replace (in code view): Great.

Clone method: Excellent addition.

Changing POV: Not played with it at all, but assuming it works, a good addition.

Difficulty rating: I would call this "cruelty", given it uses the cruelty scale. A game could be very difficult, but still be merciful.

CTRL-F4: Pressing this while playing the game only works when the focus is in the left pane, looks like a bug to me.

Lit objects: In my opinion this option should go on the Opotions tab. I originally I was going to write that it was missing because it is hidden amongst other stuff and I could not find it. On the options tab it will be clearer, and just makes sense there.

Disappointed that:
Still loses HTML comments.
Still loses inventoryverbs/displayverbs on types (frankly, this is a bug)
Still cannot edit libraries
Still no player comments

However, the big problem to me is the error response if a function is not recognised. In 5.2, we got:

Code: Select all
Failed to load game.
The following errors occurred:
Error: Error adding script attribute 'script' to element 'testcom': Function not found: 'MoveObject2'


Tells the author what was not recognised, and where the fault was. In 5.3:

Code: Select all
Error launching game: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.


No clue about what, no clue about where and your average user will have no idea what it means even.
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Re: Quest 5.3 Development

Postby Alex » Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:40 pm

It's not far off beta now. I'm finishing my contract work today which means I'll be full-time Questing again for a few months, so you can expect more frequent updates.

Glad you like the look and feel - the desktop version now uses the same UI as the web version, the aim being that it will be easier to customise and test locally.

The debugger has always been there!

You can write to the log using the new script command... not in front of a machine with Quest on it right now but should be easy to search for in the script adder. If I've remembered to add an editor for it, that is.

HTML developer tools are simply the Chrome developer tools. These are documented here: https://developers.google.com/chrome-de ... s/overview

Maybe we should have a separate difficulty dropdown, and rename the current one to "cruelty"? What should the options be - are "easy", "average" and "hard" sufficient?

Ctrl+F4: I think there's a bug in the version of Chromium we're currently using, that it doesn't propagate keypresses back up to the app.

The error when a function is not recognised looks like a bug - I will see if I can reproduce and fix it.
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Re: Quest 5.3 Development

Postby Pertex » Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:29 am

The Pixie wrote:Lit objects: In my opinion this option should go on the Opotions tab. I originally I was going to write that it was missing because it is hidden amongst other stuff and I could not find it. On the options tab it will be clearer, and just makes sense there.

If Alex agrees with it, I would move it

The Pixie wrote:Still no player comments

You mean this "* This is a comment" thing? If Alex agrees with it, I would add it :D
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Re: Quest 5.3 Development

Postby Pertex » Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:47 pm

Hi Alex,
I found two issues in Q5.3 while testing the version
1) The exit tab of rooms doesn't look good
exits.png
exits.png (100.61 KiB) Viewed 1776 times

Perhaps it would be better to move in/out and up/down under the other directions?
2) It seems not to be possible to remove the gridmap if you activated this feature in the game tabs. There are no script commands to enable/disable or hide/show this layer. Even setting game.gridmap=false doesn't remove the layer. I think most user want to create the possibility to show a map for a short time when the player types 'map'
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Re: Quest 5.3 Development

Postby Alex » Sat Dec 01, 2012 2:15 pm

For 1, I will add a horizontal scrollbar so you can see the other exits.

For 2, this is by design - it's quite early for the map feature at the moment, so think of it as Quest Map v0.1. I think the ability to toggle the map on and off is a good idea, but maybe for Quest 5.4. I'll add it to the issue tracker.
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