More Undum link types

August 15th, 2011

Undum has two special link types, once and sticky. When you click on a once link it and all other visible links leading to the same situation or action are removed. Sticky links are not removed when the reader moves on to the next situation unlike normal links.

While not strictly in the project’s scope, Vorple will add two new link types:

When a disposable link is clicked, it and all others leading to the same place will be removed, now and in the future. This is similar to once, the difference is that once removes only the current view’s links, not any future ones. Using disposable the author can freely link to the same choice from multiple situations but still be sure that the reader can’t click on it more than once.

It will also be possible to manually mark links as disposed even if the reader hasn’t clicked or even seen the link. This can be used to have reader’s choices close off options later in the story.

If there would be more than one unique link leading to the same situation or action, all others except the first one are hidden. Only one unique link pointing to the same destination is shown on the screen at any time.

An Undum situation that has three links, each leading to an actions that have the word "raven" as a further link

In the above example there are three actions available from one situation, each containing a link leading further from the word “raven”. Now if clicking “raven” is required to advance the story and we don’t know which of the actions the reader will choose first, we can make each “raven” link unique so that it will always be made a link in the reader’s first choice, but not in the later ones. The story would of course work just as well with three links visible, but the author might want to have only one of them visible for esthetic reasons.

Choice popups

The text 'You are standing at the crossroads' with 'crossroads' as a link and a box with choices 'Go left', 'Go right' and 'Turn back'

In Undum each link leads to the next situation or they run a single action. With choice popups the author can create a list of choices that appear when the reader clicks on the main link. Quest already offers a similar feature where clicking on items shows a list of actions applicable to that object.

Choice popups will of course be available later for parser IF as well. In that case the choices auto-execute a command according to the player’s choice.

§ 2 Responses to More Undum link types"

  • Jon Ingold says:

    This is storming stuff. I particularly like the choice pop-up behaviour; gets away from that “it’s a hyperlink but I don’t know what it does problem.” I could imagine using this in the simple case where there’s only one link, just to clarify what clicking that word will actually _do_.

  • Emily Short says:

    I don’t have any really useful suggestions, but just wanted to say that I am always delighted to hear about more progress on the Vorple front. These sound very reasonable.