Anyone who's played MMOs or computer RPGs knows what a FedEx quest is. "Hey, take this box to the guy over there." Here's the basic stuff you need to implement a FedEx quest in Island Forge:
- The FedEx Task - This is an Island Forge task that you use to track the state of delivery.
- The FedEx Guy - This is an actor that starts the FedEx Task.
- The Delivery Target - This is an actor that receives and finishes the FedEx Task.
Our basic node structure for both actors is the same: START at a branch node that tests the state of the FedEx Task. Depending on the state, go to either a specific dialog node, or a task node that updates the state of the FedEx Task (for delivery). Here's our FedEx Guy:
|FedEx Guy - Click for larger image|
Let's look at what happens next. Here's our Delivery Target:
|Delivery Target - Click for larger image|
Important: If you want a task to update as soon as a player starts talking to an actor, be sure you aren't relying on them to answer a dialog to trigger the update. A player can always his the close (X) button on a dialog. This is why I prefer using a branch or task node as the starting point for an actor instead of a dialog node.
OK, we've walked through the basic delivery cycle here. But wait, our task is not in the same state as when it started. Recall that tasks start as UNSET, and we've set it to FINISHED. Take a look at our FedEx Guy again and note that node 4 covers this case, taking us to dialog node 5. Here the player can decry the boring task and dead end, or deliver another package. If they choose to deliver another package, the FedEx Task is reset to UNSET, and they're led back to the node 1 dialog. If they close this out, then talk to the Delivery Target, they get sent back to dialog node 1 there too.
Be sure you understand the implications of using all three task states. In this case we used UNSET to imply that there is a pending package. Thinking about what unset means and how you can leverage it adds some significant flexibility to actor control.
So that's it, a simple FedEx tutorial for Island Forge. Hope it's useful! If you want to see this in action, check out the Isle of Test, my little published test island.