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Starting at a specific time


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Has anyone done any develop around having a cartridge start at a specific time? By that I mean, the player can start the cartridge whenever they want but nothing will happen until 12 noon for example.


I want to create a cartridge around a solar eclipse and want the player to complete a series of tasks during the time the eclipse is happening. In order to do that, I need to be able to control the start time.



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You can get the date using date()



message = os.date()

Wherigo.MessageBox{Text=[[Date is :]]..message,Media=zmediaPicture,Buttons={"OK",},}




theCurrentTime = os.date('!*t')

if theCurrentTime.year == 2009 then

Wherigo.MessageBox{Text=[[its 2009]],Buttons={"OK",},}


Wherigo.MessageBox{Text=[[its not 2009]],Buttons={"OK",},}



The fields of interest are











All variables are numbers, apart from isdst which is true or false (is daylight saving time)


The !*t I think gets you universal time/GMT/+0hours, so people can't cheat by changing the timezone :P

Edited by a_snail
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You can probably use the lua time functions.



nowTime = os.date()
if nowTime > eclipseStartTime && nowTime < eclipseEndTime then
MessageBox{"Sorry, Charlie."}


Alternatively, and perhaps a better idea, is to check the date against the eclipse's start and end times, starting like the above pseudocode. Instead of just telling the person to restart the cartridge during the eclipse, create a countdown timer with duration being the number of seconds until the eclipse's start time (also including code to make sure there isn't an error if the person starts the cartridge after the eclipse). You can then show a message box to the player, stating the cartridge will start at this-and-this time. The player can then wait around until the timer expires and the cartridge will begin automatically. I think that's a more elegant solution than the "Sorry, Charlie" way.

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You could always test for the desktop emulator, make a secret zone in the field, add a password to skip it, or something if you want it to be in the field and test the cartridge both with and without the time code.


Alternatively, you could make a true/false (Boolean) variable and use that in your if statements: "if doTimeTest then, [time code], end". In this way, you can control from one location, the Boolean's value, whether your cartridge uses your time tests.


When I'm in the field testing my cartridges, I tend to create either alternate versions of the cartridge or a menu item that will skip me to various points in the cartridge. My decision depends on what I'm testing.

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Thanks. Those are great ideas.


A friend also includes "easter eggs" in his code. He always has a " secret sequence of event" the player can easily do if they need to get a cartridge marked "complete.


In the past I've used a configuration tablet which has all sort of customisations on it, and then I just mark as invisible if I don't want people to use it.


That said, I've stopped putting in preventions, as long as people enjoy the Wherigo that is sufficient for me, if they want to dry run it in the emulator first before taking the kids out, I'm not too bothered (apart from the initial first to find). My aim these days is to make it fun and something people want to play, and for the game to be slightly random, so even if they have pre-played, its still a challange when they play for real. Also I have no objection to people who have no chance of ever getting to the UK playing in the emulator and getting ideas for their own games. Anyway, enough of that for now, probably should be in a different thread.

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