[MUD-Dev] Dynamic help files, was Re: code base inquiry

Richard Woolcock KaVir at dial.pipex.com
Sun Feb 20 20:27:32 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

adam at treyarch.com wrote:
> On Thu, 17 Feb 2000, Matthew Mihaly wrote:
> > Amen. A lot of programmers program for fun. I don't know anyone who writes
> > documentation for fun.
> Hmmmm, it's funny - people always tell me this, but I really enjoy writing
> the docs for the stuff I've implemented.  I feel like writing help files
> is the time when you're all done implementing all your cool features,
> and now you get to brag about them. :)
> And especially if you're a hobbiest doing a for-fun type project, there's
> nothing to keep you from having fun with the docs.  I've always liked the
> stock circlemud help page for 'wield': I believe it reads, "When you get
> tired of bashing monsters with your fists, you might try wielding a weapon."

In the old days there was nothing I hated more than having to write the
helpfiles.  Several months ago, however, I wrote a system for generating
dynamic help files - and they are *great* fun to write!  I'm still at
something of a loss as to *why* I enjoy writing them now - maybe it's
because it's more like coding than just writing simple static documents?

I've included a couple of examples from my mud in case anyone is interested
in seeing the results.


-KaVir----------------------------[ STRENGTH ]-------------------------11/10/99-
This represents the pure physical muscle power of your character.
Micky's six dots of strength combined with his four dots of Potence means
that he is far stronger than any mortal.

In combat, Micky will inflict six dice of damage, plus four automatic
successes due to his Potence discipline.  While using a weapon, he will gain
additional damage dice, the exact number depending on the weapon used (one
for the knife strapped onto the left of his belt, for example).  Further
damage dice may be gained from certain fighting stances or other factors.
[See also: attributes physical]

-KaVir---------------------------[ FORTITUDE ]-------------------------30/10/99-
Fortitude describes a type of supernatural toughness and vigor which
allows Kindred extra advantages in resisting the harm to which their kind is
especially vulnerable.  All vampires have a powerful constitution, and are
able to shrug off the injury inflicted by weapons of all sorts.  However,
most are very susceptible to fire and various mystical attacks as well as
the fangs and claws of other vampires.  Those with Fortitude are not easily
bowed by even these supernatural forces, and are even more resistant to more
normal injuries.
-----------------------------------[ SYSTEM ]-----------------------------------
Micky's Fortitude provides him with an additional four soak dice which
can be combined with his six Stamina dice, giving him a total of ten soak
dice against normal wounds.  When soaking aggravated wounds, Micky can only
roll as many extra Stamina dice as he has dots in Fortitude - unfortunately,
because his Fortitude is two lower than his Stamina, he is only able to use
four dots of Stamina in addition to his four Fortitude (a total of eight
dice) when soaking aggravated wounds.

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