Building for an online text based game can be fun and challenging, regardless of if you are a player wanting to help your game expand its world or the owner trying to create your world. There are a lot of things to know when you start getting ready to build the areas that will fill your game with exciting and innovative places to explore for the players. The first step in creating an area to build is using the area edit command to create your area and decide how that specific area will function. This article will detail the use of the area edit (aedit) command in OLC building.
If you are the owner or head builder of a game, then you will need to make sure that your character has access to the build commands, which can be set up in your character profile in the code. Once you have the ability to create and edit areas, you can get started. If you are a player working under someone who is a owner or head builder, then they will arrange everything for you regarding this area edit process, so there is nothing for you to worry about!
When it is time to create an area, you first need to type alist (short for area list) and figure out what vnums (or virtual numbers) are available for the area you want to create. Make sure that you give yourself enough rooms (or vnums) to build the entire area with some left over should you wish to change anything later on.
Say your area list ends with an area that has an upper vnum of 1,000. The area you are creating should have a starting vnum of 1,001. Then you simply add to that the number of rooms you want to use. If you are creating a five hundred room area, then your upper (or ending) vnum will be 1,500. Please notice that it is not 1,5001. This is because when you add numbers, the first number is not counted, when it fact, it needs to be, cause it does count as a open vnum to use in your area. Once you have established your lower and upper vnums, you can create the area. In OLC this is done with the aedit create command:
aedit create ‘lower vnum #’ ‘upper vnum #’ (without the ‘)
This will create your area in the next available area number, there is nothing you can do to change what number your area is (on the far left in alist) so don’t worry about it.
When the area is created, you will automatically be entered into aedit with that area’s information. The next thing to do is start setting the details for your area.
The name and the short name of the area can be the same, or different if you want, but it is basically what you want the area to be called. If you receive an error stating that the short name is too long, you can usually ignore it. After you name the area, it is time to choose a file name. This name decides how the file for the area is saved into your code. The file name can NOT have any spaces or capital letters, so please don’t use them, it will make any editing of the code for the area very difficult if you do.
After you’ve done this, there are really only a few other things that require you to set for the area to be ready for room creation. If your game supports mapping, you will want to set a map level that corresponds with how many rooms you want the players to be able to see on the map. The map level is set so that only players of a certain level and above can see the map, with the scale you have set. Generally, map level is always set to 1. You will need to set the security of the area, which will prevent people from building in it without proper clearance, and you can set the security with a value of 1 though 9 as you see fit.
You will need to assign a builder, and, though it is not necessary, provide the credit for the area to the players who built it. When you set a builder, only that builder and anyone above the area’s set security level will be able to build in it, so it is important to set this.
Lastly, there are some flags you may want to remove or add, which are located in the ‘areaflags’ and ‘OLCflags’ sections. You want to make sure that the area is available to players (turn OLConly and hidden off) and that any special features that you want the area to have are turned on.
Here is a list of all the aedit commands:
creates the area
names the area
short name of area
name used when saving area file (.are)
used to set the scale of the area map
sets the map’s level
adds and removes builders (use the command and a name in the builder list to remove)
adds names to the list of credited builders for the area
adds and removes flags for the area, you can see a list by typing areaflag alone
changes the OLC options for the area, you can see a list by typing olcflag alone
While there are other things that you can set for your areas, they are not really necessary. Once you are done with everything here, congratulations are in order. Your area is created, and you can move on to actually building the rooms, mobiles and objects that will fill your area.