Project Update: It Lives!

XMICYOA now has a system in place to determine if an action has tokens, states, or stokens associated with it and can appropriately set those tokens and states. Right now there’s nothing in place to unset tokens, though this should be pretty simple to implement (literally copying and pasting the current code and changing the words where needed) and will be done pretty soon.Obviously, this means that I’ve made the first progress at really producing dynamic, engaging content on the platform. Right now I have little more than the basic content of an example suite, but I plan on adding trivia and mechanic features to XMI that allow it to add in comments based on what’s currently going on; this will be a bit more involved than a narration as both will be shown or hidden by a configuration setting, but this is not impossible to do.

I hope to have a prototype of the XMICYOA platform up, with some of the technical information, early next week or by my spring break, depending on how brutal my work load turns out to be. I will likely be pretty busy over the next couple weeks, so we’ll see how that pans out with a grain of salt.

This is also where I’ll begin working more heavily on my thesis/creative project side of my work with XMICYOA; I’ve been seeing lots of interesting little articles on medieval Europe and it’ll be cool to finally get to work integrating those into an interactive fiction environment.

I’d like to take this week to quickly discuss medieval language, and the role it does not play in XMICYOA. A good portion of people in the middle ages were actually bilingual or multilingual, and as a result they were able to communicate fairly well. If you wanted to communicate openly with the rest of Europe, the Holy Roman Empire effectively seems to have had a trade language (Germanic-based) that was pretty common, while the very west-most parts of Europe and Eastern Europe had their own languages, with England falling into the “very west-most” distinction. Presumably Scandinavian countries also had a language barrier.

Language barriers in the medieval world essentially seem to be pretty easily overcome in part as a result of the church. Latin at least meant that you had a couple people who could understand each other in every major settlement, assuming that the clergy were as qualified as they ought to be and not just reading from a script (this is not exactly uncommon, however), and scholars often read Greek and Hebrew as well. Of course, this is not the means of communication of an everyman, but peasants and serfs were often discouraged or explicitly forbidden to travel. Of course, where you have borders between languages, it’s entirely conceivable that one would find translators or the like, and it’s also possible that languages could be recorded and taught abroad, though this seems to be contrary to all the research I’ve found about medieval educational processes (long story short, the only time I can ever think of hearing about an explicitly “foreign” language being taught in the sum of my medieval research is French being taught to Englishmen, and even then it has to be qualified as a quasi-native language of the nobility).

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