suggested framework to program text-based-games ( like mafia wars, travian, hollywood mogul etc)

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Scene68 101 May 17, 2013 at 07:49

I recently tried to used MVC for a text based game. However, it appeared to me, that it became much complex to handle it when it grows bigger. The biggest problem i had been facing was the number of validations it requires on each step. That generates convoluted code algorithms, badly nested if-else conditions and ultimately lot of bugs in the logic.
I want some suggestion, on this, if there is some available framework that can help coding text based games in a better organized way?
Was looking into using Entity but unsure whether that would work well for a game of this kind that could be ported to any platform. Any replies will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks

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TheNut 179 May 17, 2013 at 14:23

You’re thinking classic game flow programming, which is why you’re getting code bloat. Developing the core of a text based game is technically simple and highly maintainable if you architect it properly. It requires you spend time establishing that framework first, before you start writing the game itself. Using object oriented designed code with features like dictionaries (key-value mapping), graph theory, events and delegates (aka signals and slots), databases, finite state machines, and MVC (model-view-controller) patterns, you can write a robust framework that will make building your game and content much easier. I’m not aware of any text based game frameworks that offer anything similar to this, but you may be able to search for MUD (multi-user dungeon) based frameworks. Personally, I think it would be a good exercise for you to try and do this yourself. Unlike a graphical engine, text based engines can be small, simple, and will provide you with some valuable experience when you complete it.

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fireside 141 May 17, 2013 at 14:57

Yes, there are some frameworks/engines like Inform, but I agree with TheNut, it’s a matter of organizing how puzzles are developed and executed. Your first try will be messy, but write a small game, and you’ll be surprised at how it all comes together after some experience and you are able to organize it in an object oriented way. Text, really, is the ideal way to get a handle on programming because the output is so simple. Of course, writing a good game is probably even harder for the same reason. The best game writers will be using Inform or something because they are masters at crafting words more than programmers.