Writing:Your First Age

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Writing
Introduction

Your First Age

Basic Concepts

Working the Example

The Ways of Printing

Assorted Features

Reference Section

The Scripting Language

Best Practices

Code Samples

In the game, go to the Seltani District and head to the Book Gallery. (Along the shoreline, turn right at the fork.) Step into the niche marked by a cluster of balloons.

The linking book before you is the Age called Ascheta. It contains the tools you’ll need to create worlds. Link to Ascheta, and then open the book titled “My Worlds.”

This should open a new window (or browser tab) showing the build permission screen. Sign the form saying that you’ll be nice and not destroy the server. You will then see a link to the main build page, with a table titled Your worlds.

Alternatively, you could skip the walk and link directly to the “Your worlds” screen at this URL: http://dev.seltani.net/build. But don’t you feel more engaged if you begin by strolling through the City, travelling to your private study, settling down at the big desk, and getting to work? Sure you do.

Create the world

At any rate, it’s time to create your first Age. Press the Create New World button in the lower right. It will give you a confirmation prompt; press Create to continue.

The screen now shows a world named New World. Take a moment to check out the screen layout. The menu bar (beneath the Seltani banner) has links for Worlds (your list of worlds), New World (which you just created), and a menu of location (currently empty). Beneath that are tables showing various properties of the world, which are mostly still blank.

The first thing we’ll do is change the world name. New World is banal. Click on that text – the entry in the World table, next to the heading name. Turns out this is an editable text entry! Change it to Dusty Hill. When you begin typing, the entry row turns yellow and Revert/Save buttons appear. Press Save when the world name suits you.

Always be sure to Save entries when you are finished working on them! If you leave the page, any remaining yellow rows will be reverted to their original contents.

(Ignore the copyable and instancing entries for now.)

Create a location

At the bottom of the page is an empty “Locations” table. Press the New Location button. Presto, you are on a page titled New Location.

Still banal. Again, you have the ability to change the location’s name. Click on New Location in the table, change it to Foot of Hill, and hit Save.

While you’re at it, click on the string loc_0 (next to the key header), change it to foot, and save that. This is a short lower-case string which we will use to identity the location later on.

The second table on the page has one row: desc — Text — You are here. This is the description text for the location. Leave the first two columns alone, and edit the You are here part. Change it to say... let me see now...

You are standing at the foot of a hill in the middle of a dusty steppe. Stands of wicker-dry grass dot the landscape, rattling thinly in the breeze.

That’s it! We now have an Age with one nicely-described location. If you jump back to the world screen (click Dusty Hill in the menu bar), you’ll see foot — Foot of Hill listed in the Locations table.

Visit the location

A world is no fun if you can’t stand there and look around. How to do this?

Go back to the location screen if you’re not already there. (Select Foot of Hill in the Locations table, or from the pull-down menu in the menu bar.)

In the right middle of the page is a button Create Portal to Here. Press it and confirm. This adds a page to your character’s linking booklet, linking to the new location.

You can explore the game in one browser window while you build in another window. In fact, this is the best way to build. Try this now: open a second window, visit http://dev.seltani.net/, and enter the Cavern. You should see a new entry in your booklet pane: Dusty Hill — Foot of Hill. (If not, did you confirm the Create Portal command?)

Select this link. (The linking page will be hazy. We’ll fix that later. It’s functional, just not artistically embellished yet.) Now touch the page.

You are standing at the foot of a hill...

Try editing the descriptive text (in the build window) while you’re standing there (in the game window). You can see the room description updates every time you hit Save on the desc property.

Add a close-up view

In the build window, add square brackets around the word “grass”:

You are standing at the foot of a hill in the middle of a dusty steppe. Stands of wicker-dry [grass] dot the landscape, rattling thinly in the breeze.

The “grass” now appears as a hyperlink in the game window, but it doesn’t work yet. (If you click it, you’ll see a “Symbol not found” error.) To make this work, press the New Property button in the build window. This adds a new line to the Location properties table.

Change the key_0 entry to the word grass. Leave the Text selector as-is. In the third column, enter this text:

The grass is waist-high reedy stuff, dry and yellow, with feathery greenish tips. It’s scattered in sparse stands across the land around you.

Once that’s saved, the “grass” link in the game will pop up a close-up view window.

Sharing your work

Currently, you can do this by adding your link to the public bookshelf in the Book Gallery.

This is obviously not ideal – for one thing, anybody can delete links from the public bookshelf. You can also create linking books and shelves in your private ages, which only you will be able to edit, but we’ll do that later.