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Hugo Beginner's Guide In Progress

 
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Cryptonomic



Joined: 05 May 2004
Posts: 55
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 3:03 pm    Post subject: Hugo Beginner's Guide In Progress Reply with quote

For those who are interested, I have started the process of writing a Hugo Beginner's Guide. Or, at least, a guide that can serve to help a beginner with the language. Beyond even that, I think it will give some documentation to Hugo that acts as a supplement to the manual.

I am in the process of getting some new Web space, so once I do that I will start making it available. Right now all that is done is the brunt of the first part, which talks about the language of Hugo. I basically just expanded on some things that the manual talks about. The next parts will start getting into "Guilty Bastards". I have to figure out how to write those parts. I will probably just use the resources files that are available but then I will have another example game where the person can actually utilize their own resource files (that I will make downloadable).

The only reason I bring all this up is that I had mentioned I was going to work on this, and I know it can be aggravating if you have no idea whether something is actually being worked on or not. Once I get enough information in place, I will probably post something to rec.arts.int-fiction as well.
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Lysander



Joined: 08 Jul 2003
Posts: 1694
Location: East Bay, California.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2005 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So how does this differ from the tutorial thing? The public has a right to know! etc
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Cryptonomic



Joined: 05 May 2004
Posts: 55
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as how it differs from the tutorial, so far it is via two ways:

(1) I am sort of "updating" parts of the Hugo Manual. This is not to say I am replacing anything. But, rather, I am trying to present things in a slightly different format, with more code examples and with more distinctions about how things work. I think the Manual is written more from the standpoint of someone who has already learned some programming or, at least, has worked with an interactive fiction language before. So I am trying to explain some parts of the language without that assumption in place. [ I am hoping to put this part up by the end of the weekend. ]

(2) The tutorial concept will still be around but this time I am using "Guilty Bastards" as the basis for explaining the language features. (I have Kent's permission on this one.) So the idea is sort of stepping through various parts of the language to understand how a game was constructed.

In other words, all in all this is a guide that is meant as a supplement to the existing documentation to Hugo but a guide that I hope would appeal to the "newbie" and to the user familiar with Hugo to some extent. Further, my hope is that this guide will at least be something that we can point to for Hugo users to get started with instead of just saying "read the manual" (which can be a bit cryptic) or "read the source code" (which is not always the most conducive way to learn for some people).

That said, I do realize I could be totally wasting my time and thereby wasting everyone else's by even doing this and bringing it up. My hope is to have at least some of the intial parts (without the "Guilty Bastards" elements) up by the end of the weekend, with the hope being that people can say either "This approach is really not so hot" or "Hey, not too terribly, horribly bad."
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Cryptonomic



Joined: 05 May 2004
Posts: 55
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I have uploaded a very rough draft of the new sort of format here:

Hugo Beginner's Guide

[ Note: I am actually getting rid of my GlobalTester domain, but I am having a bit of trouble with Network Solutions in that they have a hard time believing I am me. So this URL may stop working at some point. ]

This is just to give everyone an idea of where I think things could go -- if the Hugo community wants it to. Some chapters are incomplete, like the Object and Classes and The Shell of a Game chapters. The fourth chapter, The Language of Hugo, is presented in a format that I think the Hugo Manual eventually needs to adopt if it wants to be taken seriously and put Hugo on a competitive level with Inform and TADS. This, of course, is just my opinion.

Note that nothing in what I have uploaded so far has anything to do with using "Guilty Bastards" and the wider aspects of building a game with Hugo. What I wanted to do first is see if this format seems to look good; seems to make sense; seems to be a good way to put things together; etc.

I should probably add that I am happy to receive any criticism, including: "This is really a waste of time." Things like this are only as good as the extent to which they will be used and I have to realize that if the current Hugo community thinks it is hardly worth the effort, it will be difficult to justify going forward with it. So definitely let me know any and all opinions.
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Ice Cream Jonsey



Joined: 27 Apr 2002
Posts: 20088
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whoa! Just headed on over there to take a look at it... Crypto, that is REALLY sharp. The use of images is excellent. I could totally see someone who really doesn't know a whole lot about IF but who does have the desire to make some benefitting from that page.

Really good stuff there and I don't think it really duplicates existing tutorials at all. Great job.
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Kent



Joined: 27 Jun 2003
Posts: 119

PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I second ICJ's appraisal. This is very, very nice. Very clear and well-presented. I'm highly in favor of a well-written resource to supplement any, er, shortcomings of the Hugo documentation. Even better if that well-written resource becomes a first-stop for Hugo shopping.
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Hugella



Joined: 28 Jun 2004
Posts: 58
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crypto, is your site down? Just went by to download the articles and getting a Network Solutions page.

They look great (she says, from a previous visit), and can't wait to read 'em.
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Cryptonomic



Joined: 05 May 2004
Posts: 55
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2005 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hugella wrote:
Crypto, is your site down?


Yeah, I finally get Network Solutions over its existential problems of realizing just who I was. (My fault: I let my contact e-mail get out of date. Grrr.)

Anyway, I am still working on the Hugo files. And I am in the process of setting up a new domain that I have no idea what I will use it for yet. But I do know it will be the new home of the Hugo stuff. In fact, just this morning I am working on the basic object stuff (which would be section 6 of the guide).

To Kent's comment about "shortcomings" in the Hugo Manual, rest assured: I could not even be writing any sort of guide or tutorial or anything else if the Hugo Manual did not exist in the first place! Plus, as I write this, I realize: it is actually kind of hard. I mean, it is easy to put thought to form -- but to do so in a way that is usable and makes sense and reads like you were not drunk when you wrote it can be a bit on the tricky side. (Then again, hailing from the Quality Assurance and software testing world, I tend to be a bit too anal, perhaps, about presentation.)

Anyway, I will update when the new domain is set up.
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Cryptonomic



Joined: 05 May 2004
Posts: 55
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry for the complete lack of response or update on this. I got a job promotion (QA Manager; yay!) and I just had a baby. (Well, my wife did most of the work on that one!)

So things have been a little hectic.

I am starting this up again, however.

That said, I like the idea from the other post of porting a game (like the Alice tutorial) from Inform to Hugo. That is not bad as it can help others see how the languages are similiar and encourage some who work with Inform to give Hugo a shot. (I was looking at Christminster, for example, since it does a few nifty things here and there. A discussion just came up on raif about The Magic Toyshop as well. I would probably not port that game, but I might port my "variation" on that game, The Quest for Test.)

The original plan was to take the source code from Guilty Bastards and do a full documentation on that. I am not shying away from that. I am just trying to keep options open in terms of ways to present things.

- Jeff
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pinback



Joined: 27 Apr 2002
Posts: 12029

PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cryptonomic wrote:
Hugo Beginner's Guide


Where can I get the Jesus H. Christing thing?
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Lysander



Joined: 08 Jul 2003
Posts: 1694
Location: East Bay, California.

PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Cripto137, how's this thingie goin'?

I understand if oyu're hard at work on it and can only give vague hints as to its developement progress. Really. That's fine. I only wanna know small, unimportant things like, oh, WHERE THE FUCK CAN I READ IT?
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otto
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2005 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello,

It'd be interesting to have such a beginner's manual.
-> Cryptonomic : in the case you're looking for a webspace for putting the chapters, you could maybe install this on the ifwiki : http://www.ifwiki.org/index.php/Category:Hugo
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