Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Time-lapsed Blogography Day: Twenty Years Ago Today

Twenty years ago today, on January 29, 2000, I was in my fourth year at Virginia Tech. It snowed off and on all day long so I spent most of the day in my room in East Ambler Johnston. I did step out for lunch with Shac, Liz, and Liz's best friend, Kathryn, who was visiting and deciding whether to transfer in as a music education major.

The 29th was also the day I finally finished writing the endgame of Augmented Fourth. I posted endless troubleshooting requests to the rec.arts.int-fiction newsgroup in the days before Stack Overflow trying to solve my final coding issues:

From: buri@SPAM.vt.edu (Brian Uri!)
Subject: [Inform] Object Replacement
Date: 27 Jan 2000 00:00:00 GMT
Organization: Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA
Newsgroups: rec.arts.int-fiction

Hi,
I'm implementing a bomb in a room. When the bomb explodes, all the furniture in the room is replaced by a single rubbish object. The general code I'm using is:
################################
Room Lab "Lab"
[...]
has ~blownUp;

RoomObj Furniture "furniture"
[...]
has scenery,
found_in Lab;

RoomObj Table "table"
[...]
has scenery,
found_in Lab;

RoomObj Rubbish "rubbish"
[...]
has scenery;

InvObj Bomb "bomb"
[...]
daemon [;
[...]
  if (self.timer == 0 && self in Lab && player notin Lab) {
    give Lab blownUp;
    remove Furniture;
    remove Table;
    while (child(Lab) ~= nothing)
      remove child(Lab);
    move Rubbish to Lab;
    "^In the distance you hear an explosion. ";
    StopDaemon(self);
  }
];
################################

When I run this code, the rubbish is moved correctly and the bomb blows up. The room description changes, but Furniture and Table are still in the room! Evidently "remove" does not work correctly in this situation.

What am I doing wrong? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I ultimately got the help I needed to detonate the bomb successfully (and now I'm probably on some kind of TSA list for this post). The next day, I solicited beta testers for two months of strenuous testing before the game was finally released on April 1.

To bookend this achievement, I'll be releasing a 20th anniversary edition exactly twenty years later, on April 1, 2020. Stay tuned!

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