Yearly Archives: 2009

Quest 4.1 Beta is now available for testing

This weekend’s second Quest release is the test version of our next upgrade, Quest 4.1 Beta.

I’ve already blogged about this release here, and you can now download it for testing:

Please note this version is intended for testing only – we strong recommend you keep backup copies of any game you’re working on. We also recommend you install to a separate folder so you can keep your existing Quest installation.

Also please note that the documentation has not yet been updated.

Below is an overview of what’s new. For further details, you can check the VERSIONS.TXT and VERSIONS-QDK.TXT files the folder where you installed Quest.

Quest Packager (part of Quest Pro only)

This is a new product that lets you create a setup EXE file for your game, so your users can install it just like any Windows application. No longer do you need to tell people to download Quest separately – you can just send them an EXE file that will install your game for you. This opens up the possibility of submitting your game to software download sites, greatly increasing the number of people you can reach!

Quest

- Lockable exits
– Exits are implemented as objects, so you can check their status using the Object Debugger.
– You can now do “for each exit in game/<room>” to iterate through all exit objects.
– You can now specify a script when using “create exit”.
– You can now destroy directional exits e.g. “destroy exit <room1; northeast>”
– QSG files no longer save redundant property and action information, so saving and loading games is now much more efficient.
– For ASL 410 and later, the “visited” property for a room is now set only after the description for the room is printed, so you can print a different description if the player has visited the room before.
– New error “defaultwait” lets you specify default prompt for the “wait” command.
– Can now use “for each room in game” to get a list of rooms in the game.

The following bugs have been fixed:

- objects overriding actions specified by more than one type wouldn’t override correctly.
– objects and rooms created via the “create” command didn’t pick up the “default” and “defaultroom” types. This has been fixed only for ASL 410 and later to preserve backwards compatibility.

QDK

QDK has had major internal changes, and has a cleaner look.

- New toolbars
– Word-processor style text editor is now used for editing room descriptions, text blocks, and “print a message” scripts.
– Procedures, functions, timers, object types, status variables, synonyms, menus and resources are now accessed via the tree instead of the menus.
– “Back” and “Forward” buttons on the toolbar
– New exit editor for rooms combines the old “Compass” and “Go to” tabs, and allows for editing lockable exits.

Because QDK now uses some .NET 2.0 SP1 components, QDK no longer runs on Windows 98 or earlier. Windows 2000 or later is required to run QDK.

Other changes

As reported earlier, QuestNet Server is no longer part of Quest 4.1.

Testing

As this is a beta release, please be aware that you will almost certainly encounter bugs. Please do report any you find – please email me at alex@axeuk.com. As we have done with previous betas, I will be awarding the people who submit the most helpful bug reports with free Amazon vouchers. So please get testing and let me know your feedback!

Quest 4.0.5 is now available

Quest 4.0.5 is now available.

If you’re a Quest Pro user, you can download your update from the “My Downloads” area at http://www.axeuk.com/mydownloads

Otherwise you can download Quest 4.0.5 from http://www.axeuk.com/quest/download.htm

This is a bug-fix release, which addresses the following bugs:

Quest
- fixed various crashes when running using JAWS.
– when connecting to a QuestNet game with a blank title, Quest wouldn’t successfully connect to the game.
– when double-clicking a QSG file in Explorer, if the ASL/CAS file was not found and you chose not to find it, quest.exe would remain running in the background.
– The word “and” was hard-coded (for room descriptions “You can see …, … and …”). This has now been added to the LDF file so it can be translated.
– Variable names containing capital letters could cause a run-time error.
– If a game contained parameters with no end-of-parameter “>” character, no error would be reported.

QuestNet Server
- “disconnect” admin command didn’t work.

QDK

- No changes.

Other changes
– QuestNet Server is no longer being actively developed – I am currently working on the next major version of Quest, version 4.1, and this will not include QuestNet Server. Unless any bugs are found, this will be the last version of QuestNet Server. The “Pro” version is now included with Quest Pro, and is no longer available for sale separately.
– There is a slight change to the version numbering convention – this version is called 4.0.5 instead of 4.05. 

Quest 4.1 is coming soon

I thought I’d post here about the work that I’m currently doing on the next version of Quest – version 4.1.

So far the bulk of the work has been overhauling the internals of QDK (in programmer’s speak, “refactoring”). This is to enable me to more easily add new features in future versions, and also to enable me to more easily move the code from VB6 to the newer VB.net.

In fact QDK 4.1 is already using the Microsoft .net framework for some new interface elements – the toolbars have been overhauled with a more modern look, and there is a new rich editor for text, as you can see in the screen shot below. No more weird formatting codes – you now type in a room description just as you would in a word processor:

You can also see that the tree view now contains some of the editors that were previously pop-up windows accessed via the menus – the timers, object types, status variable editors etc.

Also there are new web-browser-style “Back” and “Forward” buttons, which should be useful if you’re editing a large game.

The rich editor also appears for the “Print a message” command in the Script Editor, which has been cleaned up a little:

Quest Pro 4.1 will also feature Quest Packager, which is an enhancement to the Quest Compiler. You will now be able to compile your game into a single setup EXE file, so you can give your game to other people, distribute it over the internet, and submit it to software download sites, without having to get your users to download Quest separately.

I’ll also be overhauling room exits for version 4.1, allowing you to easily create locked exits, and replacing the two tabs in the QDK room editor “Compass” and “Go to” with a single editor that will allow you to manage all exits for a room. I’ll post more details on this later, and I’ll create a thread in the Feature Requests forum to get your feedback on how this should work.

Hopefully a beta version will be ready in a couple of months time – I’ll post updates to this blog with details as we go along.