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Changing the size of the playing field...


SlothMan
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It looks like this place is a total ghost town, but I've been quietly enjoying the Exile games in the background ever since I was a kid and the first one came out. Crap-no-one-cares-about aside, I have a question which might now be able to be resolved since the source codes out and it's all edittable (beyond my talent of course). I've noticed that even though my resolutions and monitors are getting bigger over the years, Exile games still only ever have the same 9 by 9 grid of squares in your view. Surely there must be a remotely simple or obvious way to widen it to fill the screen or... maybe there's some gameplay-destroying reason I cant think of as to why it's not an option?

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It wouldn't really break gameplay, since you can already use the Look command to look several squares away in any direction. At worst, it'd mess up a couple of cutscenes where you're only supposed to see a specific distance around you. I guess it wouldn't be impossible to implement, but I'm not sure there's a tremendous demand for it.

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I don't know how many scenarios use these restrictions, but if there currently is a restriction on the rainge of ritual sanctify and on talking to the screen area, if the playing screen is expanded, the rainge of these things would have to still be restricted, or else a scanario might be ruined because you can sanctify or talk to something you arn't supposed to yet, just see. (Say, through a window or gate)

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ROS has a hard-coded range of 4 IIRC, as does Mindduel. It shouldn't be a problem.

 

(Another vote for expanding the grid size, if it doesn't take too much effort.)

 

Also, in a similar vein... It would nice to have some changes to the automap. Currently the map only updates itself with squares that have been in the displayed grid. It would be more logical to have it update all illuminated squares that are in line of site of the player - if you can see them, why not map them? I'm not sure if this would slow things down excessively, or if it would take a large amount of coding, but if it's practical I don't think it would break gameplay - just make it less annoying.

 

(There's also the possibility of allowing certain terrain types to not show up on the automap until within a certain range, set to "always show" by default for compatibility reasons. This way, you could for instance have squares of quicksand that only showed up on the map when you were two spaces away - players with their noses in the automap could blunder into it without noticing and get stuck, etc.)

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In this vein, if a special node changes the terrain on a space, the automap does not update until you walk on the space. With small changes this is not a problem, but if you're wrecking a building...

 

Basically it should map all squares in sight even if they've already been mapped.

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That would also be good; what I wonder is how it will impact performance. The automap already slows down some things hugely (try entering the end movie in Tomorrow with it enabled, for example)... As bizarre as it may sound for such an old game, speed might be a problem with updates like that.

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I don't expect performance would be a problem, but if it is you could just update the automap (in an area that has already been mapped) when a terrain changing node is executed.

 

I think the other way would be better though.

 

Speaking of the automap, it would be nice to make that window resizable so that you could, if you wished, view the whole of a medium town (or even a large town) at once.

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