Alternate Descriptions allow you to add to or change the description of a location, object or character, or alter the text that is displayed by a task or restriction failure.
Creating Alternate Descriptions
Any text box in ADRIFT can be enhanced with alternate descriptions by right-clicking inside of it and selecting "Add Alternate Description" from the popup menu.
Two tabs will now appear at the bottom of the text box, the "Default Description" tab page contains the original description and "Alternate Description 1" is where you can type a new description. You can right-click on an alternate description tab to change its name or delete it.
Note that the source/preview/graphics/sound tabs on the right-hand edge of the text box are INSIDE of the alternate description tab pages. Each alternate description page has its own graphics page and its own sound page, so each alternate description can display a different picture and play a different sound.
Alternate Descriptions can also be added to a restriction:
Displaying a special description the first time only
In the context menu for text boxes, there is another option called "Only Display Once".
The "Only Display Once" option is a selectable tick-box that can be set independantly for each alternate description. If you select this for the Default Description then the first time this description is displayed it will show the Default Description, while on all following occasions it will display the Alternate Description instead. This allows you to have a very long detailed description the first time the player enters a location or examines an object, and a more concise description with just the important details subsequently.
Here we can add restrictions that control whether this alternate description will be displayed, and how it interacts with the default and any other alternate descriptions. Clicking on the add new restriction icon will create a new restriction and open it for editing. This allows you to specify a condition that must be true for this Alternate Description to be considered for display.
Note that the restrictions text box will be blanked out preventing you from entering text to be displayed if the restriction failed. If you do want to display a message in this case, just create another Alternate Description and give it the opposite restriction.
Once one restriction has been added, the button icon changes to (edit restrictions). Pressing it will open the restrictions list and more restrictions may be added (using nested AND/OR relationships) or the existing ones can be edited. A small downward pointing arrow will appear next to the restriction to indicate that there is more than one restriction:
Clicking it will show them in a drop-down list.
Append this to previous
Assuming that "Only Display Once" is NOT checked on the Default Description, the drop-down list to the right of the restriction is used to control which of the alternate description pages (that passed their restrictions) will be displayed, and in what order.
The default option is "append this to previous". This description will simply be added to the end of any other descriptions that are being displayed. If multiple "append this to previous" pages pass their restrictions, then they are displayed in left-to-right order after the Default Description (or after a "start description with" page, see below)
Start description with
This is similar to an override for tasks, if this page passes restrictions then none of the tab pages on its left (including the Default Description) will be displayed. This will be the first description displayed, followed by any "append this to previous" pages to its right. If more than one "start description with" pages pass restrictions, the rightmost one will override all of the others.
Display this after default
This description will be displayed immediately after the display of the Default Description. It will override all Alternate Descriptions to its left, preventing them from being displayed. Any "append this to previous" pages on its right, which pass restrictions, will then be added.
Because the ordering of the descriptions is important (i.e. the "start description with" option overrides all previous descriptions), it is important to be able to insert or rearrange the descriptions. To do this, simply drag the tab for the description forwards or backwards. You can order the tabs in any way, other than the default tab. This must always be the first description.
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