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Building Your First Room

Welcome Builders!

Today we’re going to look at the Room Editor.  We’re going to cover everything you need to know to be able to make your first room today.

  • We’re going to learn how to enter the room editor mode in the game and how to exit it.
  • We’ll create a new room, rename it, and edit the properties of the room.
  • We’ll briefly look at the sectors and flags that can be set for a room.
  • We’ll use the text editor mode to write the descriptions of the room that the players will see when they’re in our new rooms.  We’ll also use the extra description editor to add details to our rooms.
  • We’ll look at is how to add echos to a room.  Room echos send messages to the player occasionally. They’re useful for flavor messages like sounds or ambiance.

This is the Build Port.  If this is your first time logging into the build port, you will find yourself standing inside Room #1.  Since you don’t have permission to edit room #1, let’s move to the Sandbox area by going north to room 1000.  You’re able to freely edit the rooms from 1000 to 1999. After you have experimented in the sandbox for a while and you are ready to build your own area, I can set you up with a new area file very easily. For today’s tutorial, we’ll stick inside the bounds of the sandbox.

Currently, you should see a normal prompt with information about health, mana, movement, etc. You are not working inside of an editor.  When you enter editor mode, your prompt will change drastically to show you information that builder needs instead of what a player wants to know.  

For this tutorial, the commands that you will need to enter into the game engine are in bold.

Enter the Room Editor by typing the following command: redit

First, you’ll see a notification that you’re editing the room.  Then below that will be your OLC editor prompt. You can now see which area text file you are working inside of and which room number you are currently editing.  You should see that you’re editing room #1000 now.

To see a list of commands available to you inside the room editor type: commands

To see the details for anything we’re in edit mode for, we need to type the command: show 

Now we can see how this room looks.  You can see on line one this is Vnum 1000 in the Builder Sandbox and it’s currently set to City for its sector.  We won’t edit this room since this room is a landing place for brand new builders. Earlier we had used the redit command without an argument to start editing the room we were standing in.  

Now we’re going to check the room list to which Vnums are not being used.  Every room is given a unique number and we need a blank one that hasn’t been used yet.  To check the rooms in the area file you’re currently located in type: rlist

Depending on how much the sandbox has been edited, your screen will look a little different than our screenshot here.

Looks like in my screenshot the only two rooms being used are 1000 and 1001.  We can use any number between 1002 and 1999 for our new space. Let’s choose 1500 so we’re off by ourselves for now.  You can find another empty number of your choice: redit create 1500

Notice that your prompt now shows that you are editing Vnum 1500 (or whatever number you chose).  Once again, we want to see what we’re editing. We need to use the command: show 

We’ll look at everything here line by line.  

Line 1

Vnum

We can see we’re editing Vnum 1500.  Once the room’s Vnum has been created, it can’t be edited (but we can delete the room or copy it to another room and we’ll learn about that later).   

Area

The next field we see is the Area file.  Our new room is located in the Builder Sandbox area file.  This is not editable either but it’s good to look at it to confirm that you’re working in the correct file.

The last field we can make changes to.  The variable Sector Type has been given the default value of inside.  

Sector

The room’s Sector Type has defaulted to inside.  To see what options are available type: sector

The sector type you chose affects gameplay for players.  Lava will burn them if they don’t have some way to combat the heat, underwater rooms will drown them, inside rooms don’t give them weather messages for outside, etc.  Let’s create a small cave this time. Type sector cave and then show

Line 2

Name

Changing the room’s name is very simple.  The command is name <whatever name you want>.  For our little cave, we’ll keep it simple:  name A Dark Cave

Owner and Clan

These fields designate a room as the property of a player or a clan.  We don’t need to use that for our cave so we’ll skip those today.

Lines 3 and 4

Created by and Last editor

These fields are not editable.  You can look at them and move on.

 

Line 5

Description

This is the heart of the room, the description that players see when they walk into the room or look around.  You can see it’s blank right now. We’re going to change that by using the description’s text editor: desc

This takes us to an editor inside an editor… kinda trippy, eh?  This is how we enter long strings of text that need to be formatted.  Whenever you’re in the text editor you’ll notice each line beings with the symbols @> as a visual reminder that you’re inside the text editor.

You can’t use normal commands inside the text editor.  Almost everything you type in here shows up in the room you’re editing.  The text editor has its own special commands. They start with a period /dot and then a letter or two.  They are very short commands to help you edit and format the string of text you’re writing. To see a full list of the commands that are available inside the text editor type: .h

We don’t need to use too many of these today.  Let’s start off by typing:  The constant sound of water dripping into puddles as it cascades down the cave walls echos around this cave eerily.

To check how your string looks so far, type: .s

Wow, that is a terrible room description!   I don’t like using the word cave twice in the same sentence. Ok, I tricked you on purpose to show you how to edit your strings… Don’t be mad.  It was for your own good, I swear! Let’s fix it quick. To make this quick edit you’ll type: .r 'cave walls' 'cavern walls'

To exit the text editor type: @ then take a look to see how our room really looks.

That looks okay but I know you could do better if you wrote it yourself.  You’re about to get creative! To delete the boring cave we need to get back into the description’s text editor.  Type: desc then .c to clear the string and .s to see how it looks now.  It should be blank.

Now you can type a room description of your own.  Play around and use .h to see what you can do.  I recommend using .w when you’re all done so that the text wraps nicely.  To exit the text editor use @.

We should be back in the room editor now and you should see the redit prompt information.

To get back to editing the other fields for the room type: show.

Line 6

Health recovery and Mana recovery

Unless there is a reason that players should recover health or mana faster in this room, these should be left at 100%.  Usually, these are only increased in temples, taverns and player homes.

Lines 7 and 8

Room Flags

Room flags are toggles, options you can switch on or off.  The default is having none set. Most rooms only need one or two flags set.  Many rooms don’t need any. The room editor has too many flags to store in a single list, so there are two sets of flags that you can toggle.  To see the first group of room flags type: room

For our cave, we’re going to set the room flag dark because we want the player to either have darkvision or a light source to see in here.  To do this type:  room dark

To see the second list of available room flags type: room2

For our cave, we want a player using a pickaxe to be able to mine for precious metals here.  Let’s turn that flag on by typing: room2 mine.

Lines 9 and 10

Characters and Objects

These lines display the characters and objects that are currently present in the room as you’re standing in.  These lines aren’t editable fields, they’re just for your information only.

Line 11

MSP

This field allows you to set a sound file to play for this room.  To see the syntax type: MSP.

Our cave doesn’t need to trigger a sound file to play, so we’ll skip over this for now.

Line 10

Line 10 is just a reminder for builders. You can use the command usedby to see what rooms have exits that lead to this room.  Try it now: usedby.

As you can see no rooms connect to our cave.  That’s fine. We’ll talk about linking rooms, creating doors and working with locks in another tutorial.

Lines 11+

addecho

Echos and room descriptions are displayed after line 11.  Let’s add a room echo. These are little flavor text messages that pop up occasionally when a player is in a room.  They’re fun and easy to add. To see the syntax type: addecho

We want to remind the player that the cave walls are dripping.  The sound provides ambiance. Let’s add some noise! Type:  addecho 0 23 10 Water drips from the cave ceiling.

Now the players will see this message for about 10% of the ticks that they experience in this room.

ed

Extra descriptions are strings of text that a player sees when they try to look at a keyword or examine a word in the room description that they are curious about.  We want our players to be able to look at the puddle and the water described in the room. We don’t want them to think there’s a drinkable fountain or spring here. To see the syntax type: ed

Let’s add an extra description for the keywords water and puddle.  (If you have a different room description, chose different keywords.  Have fun with it!). Type:  ed add water puddle.

This is just like the Description Editor.  You can put whatever description you want into your Extra Description Editor.  I’m going to type: The water is brackish and unfit for consumption.  Then I’m going to exit the extra description editor by typing: @.

Now if we type show we will see our finished room.

Congratulations on making your first room!  This is the first step on a great journey of creative exploration.  I’m excited to see what you make next. If you’re ready to start building in your own area, please send a note in-game to Melissa or through the community forums.  

 

Where to go from here?  Next, you’ll want to learn about Linking Rooms with Exits and Portals.