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Advanced Tutorial -- Step 4: Use the new command wizard to add sequences

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About sequences

The new commands wizard is used to create several commands at once for a context, as was shown much earlier in the intermediate tutorial. Now we will use this wizard to put the commands in a sequence. The example used will be to make a sequence of commands for a conversational script.

Make a conversation with a sequence of commands

Let's create a simple conversation that takes place with an owl while hanging on the rope ladder.

Open the new commands wizard using Tools | New Commands Wizard.

gif/storyharp00090000.gif On the second panel, pick "rope ladder" as the context.

gif/storyharp00090000.gif On the third panel, enter:

say hello | The owl says nothing.

say hi | The owl says nothing.

say who | The owl says "who?"

say where | The owl says nothing, and then flies off.

On the fourth panel, for the first question, check the box for a sequence. Leave the second question, the prefix, as "rope ladder". For the third question, select "remove the last command".

gif/storyharp00090000.gif On the last panel, click Finish.

Look at the new rules

Let's look at the results in the table. Look at the last four rules in the table. These were created just now by the wizard.

If you get confused

Sequences like this can be hard to work with. If you get confused trying to add new links to a sequence, don't despair. You can recover your original command text used in the wizard from the change log. Make a backup copy of your world, and then delete all the sequence's rules and try to make the sequence again in the wizard. Changing sequences made by the new commands wizard is probably the hardest task there is in editing a world.

Link the conversation in to the story

Add the change "owl flown" to the last rule in the table -- the one for the command "say where". This will record that the conversation was finished.

Link the owl
s nest to the tree house via the rope ladder

Finally, let's link the rope ladder into our story, with it hanging down to the tree house. If you look at the requirements and changes, you'll see the wizard created a progressive sequence of changes and requirements. It began with "rope ladder started" and used "rope ladder 10", "rope ladder 20" and "rope ladder 30" to mark the place in the sequence as the conversation moves along. The increments are by 10 in case you want to add more entries in the middle later. Alternatively, you could give these meaningful names, like "rope ladder 10" might become "just said hello to owl" and "rope ladder 30" might become "just said who to owl".

Add these four rules:

tree house
climb up the rope ladder
You climb up the rope ladder, which ends just below an owl's nest.

rope ladder

rope ladder
climb back to the tree house

You go back down to the tree house.
tree house

rope ladder
There is an owl in the nest above you.

~owl flown
rope ladder
The owl's nest above you is empty.

owl flown
Mention the rope ladder

Let's clean up the text for "look" for the tree house, and add some mention of the rope ladder. Change the reply to read:

You are in a swaying tree house. There is a rope ladder here which goes higher into the tree.

More about sequences

Sequences are also useful for relaying large sections of text, which exceed the few sentences recommended for a single reply. For example, if you have a loudspeaker, you can create an endless loop which you "listen" to. Each time you
listen, you get the next snippet of text. Or, you can create a sequence for a command like "talk to the old man" which provides some new piece of information each time.

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Updated: March 10, 1999. Questions/comments on site to
Copyright © 1998, 1999 Paul D. Fernhout & Cynthia F. Kurtz.