Re: Graphical Bar Code?

From: Daniel A. Koepke (
Date: 07/26/02

On Fri, 26 Jul 2002, Mathew Earle Reuther wrote:

> It is my belief that this provides enough of a cue to the maximum
> capacity that you can utilize it, [...]

I think the version with a background character is perhaps easier to see.
It might be worth combining them, though:

  FOO: [*****:::::]

or further enhancing the function to account for degradations of a whole.
Speaking of enhancements, George pointed out that I was writing to the
same part of the buffer twice for no good reason and suggested:

  memset(buffer, barChar, barLen);
  memset(buffer + barLen, bgChar, bgLen - barLen);

> > cast 'divine h'
> Casting 'DIVINE HEALING' (10 Second Cast Time)

In that case, I think some sort of atmospheric message would be much more
fun to watch than a meter tick down:

  > cast 'divine h'
  You draw up your verge in a dramatic gesture.
  >  [[time passes]]
  Waving your hands, you begin to drag the cosmos about you, weaving it
  into an intricate pattern.
  >  [[time passes]]
  The air grows thick with heavy strands of power woven tightly around
  you.  It's difficult to breath.  Sweat drips from your brow.
  >  [[time passes]]
  You're speaking now, but the words are coming from somewhere outside of
  you -- some place beyond your comprehension.  You can feel them more
  than hear them, and though you're certain you're shouting, the world is
  little more than a hush.
  >  [[time passes]]
  You focus on the wand in your hand, willing it to make the last final
  gestures to complete the spell.  Your arm is numbed as it cuts through
  invisible arcs of mana thrumming around you.
  >  [[time passes]]
  The air grow suddenly thin as you hear yourself yell, "...xyzzyz do!"
  Your arm drops to your side, limply, barely clutching the verge.

  Your health has been replinished!
  You feel somewhat tired.

Notwithstanding the terrible quality of the examples, this depends upon
the type of experience you're designing.  If you're focusing more on the
mechanics and less on the environment, then maybe the meter is the right

> It's not an attempt to complicate or confuse, but rather to make it MORE
> easy for a player to tell what's going on with the bar functions in
> context.

It depends upon what you think it's good for.

For me (who else would I be speaking for?): bars have very limited
applicability to things that need to be observed at a glance.  In that
capacity, the code's better left simple.  For things that don't beg a
visual aid, like timed events, it'd be better to give the player something
to look at, since they're not really involved in the action at that time.


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