# Moving an entity around

I have a monster.

I need said monster to move in the “map” (not a picture, in the game itself) while the player is wandering around looking for X.

How does one code this?

Rules:

• It cannot move randomly, it must move from one connected room to an adjacent room. If Rooms A and B are connected and B and C are connected, it can go from A to B but not A to C (without going to B first).
• The creature should only be moving one room at a time, never two.
• Code must track the creature’s exact location (for descriptive text to let you know it’s in the room)
• Ideally, there should be a way for you to know if the creature is in the adjacent room so that you know to hide (if player is in room A, creature is in room B, code must know creature is in B while also knowing the player is in room A)
2 Likes

How many rooms do you have? Are they placed in a grid-like fashion? You can also post a sketch if it’s easier.

I haven’t decided quite yet. I’m not sure it’s possible (code-wise). I’m guessing by your response, it’s possible?

The rooms would likely be in a grid-like fashion though, yes. They just wouldn’t all connect to each other. I can’t imagine drawing a map any other way. For the number of rooms, let’s assume 25 total but this is including hallways and empty space so we’ll subtract 7 (because yes) for 18 total occupiable rooms.

Edit:

If you do write a code for this, please explain to my dum dum brain HOW the code works.

What you want to do is a pathfinding algorithm on a graph. I wouldn’t say it’s an advanced topic for someone familiar with computer science, but if you are new to programming, you will have difficulty understanding the algorithm and data structure. The fact that choice script doesn’t have loops and pointers would make the implementation significantly harder.

You can check out the A* algorithm to see what it entails:

My suggestion would be to scale back on the computational difficulty of this puzzle if you are not a computer science student/ don’t have a background in programming.

On a scale of 1 to How the hell are you an engineer?, how difficult would you say this would be to figure out and wing it?

I would say it’s impossible to wing it. You need a solid understanding of data structures and algorithms to pull this off. However, the puzzle doesn’t have to work in “real time”. You can make it look like the monster is chasing the player through the maze. It’s the experience that matters after all. The player doesn’t care if it’s all just smoke and mirrors.

1 Like

Anyway, my suggestion is to think about it within the limitations of choicescript. What that means, it means you should lie - every time the player does something you move the monster. You can then change the flavour text based on how close it is.

Just:

*label start
*if (spooky > 1)
Oooo
*choice
Go left
*set monstermove + 1
*set flavourtext spooky + 1
*goto start
Go right
*set monstermove + 2
*set flavourtext spooky + 2
*goto start

Loop it and you should be good. You can bother with the mini map but choicescript is not a visual medium - in any case, it’s possible to have a minimap, not sure about a moving element.

1 Like

Lie? I’m not sure I understand.

Oh.

I don’t need the map itself to be visualized. I just need the mob to move around the “map”. It’s still all text based.

My proposal is to stop thinking about maps. Maps don’t exist in choicescript Objects don’t exist in choicescript. Just rattle the chains based on wherever PC “goes” and it’ll have the same effect.
Or switch to Unity/Ren’py/maybe RPGmaker.

1 Like

Ahem, but they do exist in Inform 7 or TADS 3 or ADRIFT. This scenario is admittedly more suitable for a parser game than a choice based one. Sorry if that is the case…

I think if you’re working with such a large number of rooms, world modelling like this will be very tricky in ChoiceScript (if it was more like four rooms, it would be more easily done, though still fiddly) and the returns may not be worth the amount of work needed. As @quartz and @saggittarius have mentioned, it’s OK to have the monster sound closer or further away depending on where the player is or what they’re doing, etc, and then have it burst in or force the player to hide at a dramatic moment. There’s the possibility of using a variable to track monster alertness based on player location or how loud they’re being, and have it get closer based on that.

3 Likes

I just thought of a way of coding it.

``````*create player 1
*create monster 9

*label movement
*choice
#Move to next room.
*set player +1
*goto room_check
#Stay in current room.
*goto room_check
*if (player != 1)
#Go to previous room.
*set player -1
*goto room_check

*label room_check
*set monster -1
*if (player = monster)
"AHH a monster!"
*ending
*else
"Phew, no monster here."
*goto movement
``````

This is a simple way of doing it for a 9 room layout and the player starting in room 1 and the monster in room 9.

It could be modified to allow for different options (ie maybe a room has 3 doors.

I’m going to create a second “game” and fiddle with this as a side project, and bring the results here.

1 Like

I assume the “it does not move randomly” simply means the must-move-to-adjacent-room thing, and not that it’s actively tracking mc? I don’t see why a complex algorithm would be needed dor that. You’ll just need to first design the floorplan, and then assign numbers to the rooms, and then you’ll be able to see which rooms are connected. (Besides, you’ll have to know that already for the MC, no?) Then you’ll just need to write if-clauses for all rooms.

1 Like

That’s what I was thinking. I haven’t started experiments yet but I was considering something like…

Monsters starts in X room so we assign X room a value (we’ll say 5 just for easy numbers)

Player position can be easily tracked (Monster variable = player variable means no more dialogue hints or environmental hints, que meet the monster scene and get nommed) and we’ll say they start in Y (1 for easy numbers)

When X = Y, player and monster are in the same room

Monster boyo needs to move between adjacent rooms but not be able to pass through walls. THIS is the part that I’m a little stuck on. But I may have a work around but it’s a bit… icky.

Let’s say rooms 3, 4 and 5 are all connected since they are, in our imaginary map, different sizes. We could do 3 = 1, 4 = 2 and 5 = 3, use *rand dice 3 and *if 1 then our mob moves into room 3, 2 for room 4 and 3 for room 5.

It’s a bit messy, but also random without being too random. It’s also just a lot of work that there may be a better solution for.

I hope this was follow-able. I’m technically in bed right now but simultaneously thinking of C-script code.

Edit:

Yep. Bed time. I have no clue what the fuck silumtaneously was.

Well, that’s how I’d do it. Of course, you’ll have to decide if you have rooms with only one entrance and whether or not the entity goes to them.

1 Like

Honestly, I think if I do have any rooms with single entrances, I’ll leave that bad boy outside. It would really bust someone’s nuts to get trapped and have no way out.

Up for the ‘uh oh’ factor but a major bummer if you end up having to restart.

War isn’t fair but a video game should be - Brothers in Arms (I think)