Wednesday, November 22, 2017

On Vocabulary Lessons

I actually gave the Magic Words Core a small update recently. One of its weirder flaws was that if it was injected multiple times, it would respond to commands multiple times, including bringing up the multiple copies of the help menu. This generally wasn't a huge issue, but it could be a bit of annoyance if you placed the core's cosfile in your bootstrap, then forgot you had done that and injected it too. This recent update should reduce the chances of that happening quite a bit.

While playing through my last world, I ended up making another update to an older agent-- this one to the Magic Words Hand-Teaching module. Just to refresh you, this was a module that allowed teaching norns a word by simply typing 'teach [word]'. It was my attempt at finding a pleasant hybrid between the instant-learn method of the Holistic Learning Machine (and the Stones of Knowledge) and the dull, tedious grind of the Learning Computer (which more often than not resulted in me dumping the newborns into the learning room and then going off to do something else for a while). I wanted a method of teaching my creatures that was a little more hands on, and Magic Words seemed to offer me the solution. 

 I still really enjoy hand-teaching my norns when possible, but sometimes I don't want to type out 'teach hungry for protein.' Nor can I always remember the names of all the drives off the top of my head. And one of the more frustrating aspects of Hand Teaching is when a creature has a high drive but can't tell you what it is yet (and all your guesses are incorrect). So this update was written to address those issues. It has the same functionality of the original, but includes a few new commands:

Teach Random will teach creatures a random, non-noun word. I've found that using this command on occasion during normal care takes a lot of the frustration out of hand-teaching creatures Literally Every Word, which can become so tedious especially when your favorite pair just had their eighth child.  Just making a habit of using it every so often to teach a couple words here and there allows creatures to eventually learn everything without taking all the personal hand-norn interaction out of the process. The Vocab-Bot has the same effect, just in a toy form.

Teach Drive will teach the name of the currently selected creature's highest drive. One of the first words I teach creatures is "express" but that doesn't do a whole lot of good when they stand there shouting "Clover rly boop" over and over again. While they would otherwise probably end up learning a lot of other words while I attempt to figure out what they actually need, this tends to simplify the process a little.

Teach Qualifier and Teach Hunger both accomplish similar purposes as just being shortcuts for the teaching the categories of words I don't always feel like typing out. The first will teach a random word like Very, Extremely, etc., and the second will teach a random of the three hunger drives.

I might be the only one who enjoys this particular playstyle, but just in case I'm not, you can download the updated version here. I hope you enjoy!

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