Sunday, 19 November 2017

A difficult decision

Several areas in NPC Engineer could benefit from a dropdown menu of choices, in the same style as selecting weapon attacks. Unfortunately, in all of these places the creature's name/gender/uniqueness becomes an issue:

"Nimble escape: The goblin can take the Disengage or Hide action as a bonus action on each of its turns."

"The drow is a 10th-level spellcaster. Her spellcasting ability is....." 

Now that's ok in a programming sense - I have routines in place to deal with this in the spellcasting sections. However, for users to set up generic reusable actions/reactions/traits, they would have to input codes to replace names and pronouns:

"Nimble escape: <NAME> can take the Disengage or Hide action as a bonus action on each of <GU3> turns."

The name part will probably work ok, but the generic pronouns won't because there are 4 different ones depending on the situation (he/she/it, him/her/it, his/her/its, himself/herself/itself). Forcing someone to learn this is (a) open to all sorts of 'hilarious' screw-ups that will be blamed on the program and (b) enough to put people off. It negates the ease of use it is trying to inject.

A 3rd option is a far less attractive option, both for user and programmer. Whatever is typed is dumped into the action box as is, and the user then edits it. Again, this will look like a programming fault, when in fact I am trying to be helpful.

So what do we think, folks?

  • Option 1: Don't allow dropdown selections
  • Option 2: Allow dropdown selection, but generic text is added that will need to be edited
  • Option 3: Fully cusomisable, but users need to learn the difference between pronouns 1, 2, 3, & 4, and understand the codes used to achieve them?

Let me know in the comments, please.