Cast of Characters

I thought I could use a little "trash" application here at work, where I could test out Ruby/Rails features without stepping on the toes of our other main products.

Rather than just make another "depot" application, I thought I would recreate a collaborative writing game that a friend I used to fool around with when we were both fairly young developers. The idea is simple: you can see the last line of text just fine, but the rest of the story is garbage.

Because I wanted to allow some level of continuity, I decided at the last minute to add the idea of characters, so before you post a line to the story, you must choose who is acting/speaking. This should at least avoid the somewhat-annoying habit of having characters appear in a story for two lines, then disappear. Other features are a "gibberish" engine that converts words into garbage by changing vowels and consonants independantly. The result is strikingly readable, if a little spooky. Also, you can attach an image to any given post (via a URI).

At the moment, there are no restrictions on who can post or how often, who can create how many stories, or the like. The login process is brain-dead, but password-protected. ...There is no logout. And presently, there is no way to "finish" a story, such that editing is locked and the real text is displayed (rather than the gobbledigook). I'd also like the ability to change how many lines are hidden/shown at any given time. I also thought it would be a neat feature to randomly pick a word or three from the last hidden line and show them, so you get a vague sense of what was going on. These would all be easy changes, but at that point, I got bored with it and just wanted to show off what I'd accomplished.

It took me about three hours, all said and done.

Sorry: you can't play. I don't have a static IP at home, and I don't have a Rails host to put this on. ...I looked it up: it's only $5 a month... but finances are crazy tight at the moment, so I can't do this until we get a few things cleared up. (I don't want to go into the details.)

If you would like a copy of the source, though, I would be more than happy to oblige.

No comments: