If a tree falls in the forest...

Okay, silly post title. But this is me asking for help for a change.

I'm experimenting with different narrative devices; and this time I'm going through the main character's childhood memories. As you walk through the woods (which has been enchanted by elves, so all the paths loop back on themselves and shift around), you remember bits and pieces of the events that led to you being here. Some of the memories are doled out at random intervals by a turn script, others get added to the queue when you see a particular item or place that jogs your memory, and some may be unlocked by your actions in the game).

The issue that I'm having is the woods. The player's supposed to be wandering around while the memories come to them. You can rush through the area, or you can keep exploring until more of the memories have come out before proceeding to the house to start the main plot. But I want the woods to be more than just a bunch of "You are in a maze of twisty giant trees, all alike".
Basically, I'm trying to come up with descriptions for all the "rooms" in the woods; and interesting things you could find there (I've got some flowers you can pick, that might come in useful later. But not sure what else there might be). I think for this first stage of the game, any things you find would either just be eye candy, or would be "normal" items (that might be found in the woods, or maybe dropped there) that might turn out to be useful later.

Can anyone offer any ideas; or even a short room description or two?

Things I found in the woods yesterday:

  • a mushroom
  • a stone with a smooth surface
  • a leaf, shaped like an arrow

Can the player climb a tree? That's an 'in-the-woods' classic, right?

How about ...

  • a fallen tree and its stump?
  • Noisy birds/insects?
  • Young sapling struggling upwards to the light?
  • Animals scuttling away in the undergrowth?
  • A marked tree. (carved initials or an axe blaze)?

Thanks :D I'm sure I can use those. Now got to get my brain back in words mode.

You could find a bear. After all they do it in the woods lol

Ha-ha, Doctor Agon!

Good one!

Pixie has a library on this type of stuff... let me see if I can find it...

HK edit:

here it is:


It should be able to be used for implementing what you want to do

in a forest...

ticks.... and other bugs (misquito-like annoying bugs, as miquitos are more swamps, but maybe they can be in forests too, especially with standing water: a lake or pond in the forest)

spiders and their webs, snakes, (maybe scorpions?), etc

other animals: predators/preys: (wolves, bears, big cats, boars-tusks-gore-bleed-to-death, etc) / (deer, and other such 'cute'/prey animals)


people/camping trash


witches/witches-hut (hansel and gretsel: hungry witch that eats children)

if a lake in the forest... Jason Vorhees... lol (friday the 13th movies), or... giant crocodiles/alligators/caimen (SyFy's 'Lake Placid' movies, or was this original a normal movie made by hollywood/movie-companies, and then now SyFy channel has made more of them and shows them?, meh --- lazy and don't care enough about this trashy b-movie series, lol)

living vines/tree-vines, carnivorous plants, etc

etc etc etc

I think the link that HK posted up is a bit obsolete now with the new Update5.7
Although, it should be noted that the name of the list you want the scenic objects added to is called 'items', and not list.
There also used to be a page that added ambience to a location, but I've tried it and the link is broken.

Although, it should be noted that the name of the list you want the scenic objects added to is called 'items', and not list.

I have corrected it now.

I did think about using Pixie's library for floating flavour. But at this point, the priority is to find things distinctive and permanent enough to distinguish rooms from each other; because at present my game is full of "You are in a woods_east_C2" and similar. A fallen tree certainly works; a small clearing; a gnarled tree suitable for climbing; a little lake; a patch of distinctively coloured flowers. Thanks :D

Hmm... I'm wondering about adding a little path and a little stream. For the middle section have a normal room, and have objects with in-room descriptions for the two ends of the path (and a little extra code to make sure that when the angels move the woods around to try and make you get lost, the path ends remain next to the path)

Scenery items, I'll add as the next step.

I've found that with some of the systems for this game, because I know I'm going to have to deal with more complex cases later, I'm adding a lot of script attributes to various objects. So one of the most useful functions I've got so far is one that I'm surprised not to see in the core: handle_event(object, attribute, parameters, default). I see a lot of repetition in the core code of the same functionality, so figured if I have to duplicate it myself, I may as well put it in a function. It just runs or prints the attribute depending if it's a string or a script; or uses the default if it doesn't exist.

I kind of want to show off some of the scripts for this game; the one for "magic" rearranging the woods around you I think is particularly neat. (Pick 2 exits at random. If they're in the same area and the same direction, swap them around)

You could create several lists that the game then combines at random to make area descriptions

So one list might contain location "You are in a dense forest " "You are on a dirt path " "You are in a sunlit glade " "You are alongside a stream" " etc.

The next might contain a sensory detail " the air smells sweet. " " there are rustling sounds in the trees." " the Earth here is dry and cracked." " it is almost silent." " leaves spiral lazily towards the floor."

The final one can be a list of actions "Something skitters into the undergrowth." "Someone is playing music in the distance." "The animals here stop and watch you." "An owl is perched overhead." "There is a thumping sound coming from the North."

When you enter a new area it pulls from each list at random to give full descriptions "You are alongside a stream, the air smells sweet. Someone is playing music in the distance." A few of these might seem odd or there may be some inconsistency of the direction of distant sounds, but if the path is supposed to curve back on itself and be enchanted that's okay. You could even not save the outcomes of the rolls and randomise a location each time the player enters it.

If you came up with 15 options for each list then there'd be a little over 3000 combinations.

GregC: It's the "come up with 9 options" bit that's proving difficult. That's why I asked for suggestions :p

Oohhhh. My grandparents have a bunch of stuff in their woods!
Trilliums (may apples)
White violets
Spider web
Rotten tree filled with bugs
Rotten tree filled with nuts
Large spiderweb
Jack in the pulpit (April/Early May)
Crab apples
Deer path + tracks
Tree mold
Tree mushroom
Toad stool
Giant tree
Crown of thorns (very spiky tree)
Shaggy wood (bark peeling off)
Giant log
Fallen log leaning on tree
Giant rock
Small creek
Marsh land
Snails. Lots of snails.

And that's just a few acres! Think of all the things you can find in a bigger forest!
We also have a pet cemetery back there, but I figure you don't need that (and the marijuana some rogue crook planted there... Ha-hah...).

Maybe a scornful Smokey the Bear, or a friendly sasquatch, hehe.

LMFAO, ROFL @ jmnevil54!!!

K.V. Well, it's true...

My question is what kind of forest are you in?

  1. Temperate forest
  2. Rainforest
  3. Mushroom Stalk forest deep underground
  4. Kender Infested forest

My next question, is what kind of elves are we talking about?

  1. Tolkien elves
  2. Dragonlance elves
  3. Faerun elves
  4. Drow/ dark elves

My final question is... how'd you end up in such a weird forest in the first place?


Oh, I believe you. I was laughing at the 'rogue crook' bit. Ha! That guy needs to move to Denver!

Good question, lord palandus :)

I was trying to make it as generic as possible; it's the woodland at the back of your childhood home, so I thought maybe if I keep it vague, the player could imagine details from the area where they live. But I'm realising that's not really possible. Now I'm assuming vaguely English, probably some time in the early 20th century, though still trying to leave the world outside the house pretty generic.

I've been using "elves" as a shorthand; they're supernatural beings who seem to be able to twist dimensions, moving paths around to ensure there is no exit from the woods. If you go too far north, you either realise the sun is ahead of you again without remembering turning round, or you find that a place you just left is ahead of you.

Now I've got a big flat rock (with mushrooms growing under it), a little stream (which flows through a couple of rooms before disappearing back underground), the remnants of a cobbled path (which likewise can stretch through 2 or 3 rooms), an archway (leading into the gardens), a place from where you can almost but not quite see your home. I'm about to add a clearing with a sleeping animal (not sure what kind of creature would be best yet. It'll wake up once you reach the house, to discourage "guests" from attempting to leave again. Also thinking that a big tree you can climb would be a good idea.

I'm wondering if it might be appropriate to make a whole collection of scenery objects with the alias "tree"; so if the player types "look at tree", they'll get a list of a few to choose from. That would likely mean coming up with a big list of one-line tree descriptions, though.

(A tangential thought: When I clone an object, is the clone's _initialise_ script called by default? It would make sense for a new object to be initialised, but in many cases this could be repeating work that has already been done on the one it was cloned from)

You may have to be careful with 'look at tree' . Quest only recognises the first 3 letters. Tree is going to be the same as trees or tre even. Perhaps general descriptions like. The trees rustle lightly in the breeze. The trees form a green canopy overhead. You cannot see the wood for the trees. The trees stand around you like sleeping Giants.

Quest only recognises the first 3 letters

I see no sign of that in the code. Can you point at the part I'm missing?

At least add so me flowers and some bugs please. It doesn't feel like a real forest otherwise.

So... your elves are essentially "Fey", in D&D terms; or Eladrins.

You could eschew with objects, and instead use look at #text#. That way you would have to type the entire thing you'd want to look at and not have to worry about having multiple of similar types. ie Pine Tree, Popular Tree, Birch Tree.

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