[dev] return of hypercard « Tidepool News

This morning I started designing “card decks”, a new authorable 2D element in Tidepool.  Think hypertext Powerpoint, or web browser without the web.

My inspiration for card decks is HyperCard, which itself inspired the web (and Javascript) and was later replaced by it.  Had Apple known what to do with HyperCard in the late eighties, it may have created web, though we’d all be talking “stacks” now.

In Tidepool, you use cards for signage or tips or full-blown books.  I’ll have a rich-text editor that allows you to format and arrange text, embed sketches, and link to other pages or elements in the world itself.  What you won’t be able to do, at least initially is link to external web sites.  This is a policy choice rather than a technical one, since cards are displayed with a full featured web browser in-game.  I could show Wikipedia in Tidepool.  I’m choosing not to, at least for now.

In-game cards and decks will look like little billboards lying around that you click on to view fullscreen.  Inspiration here came from Croquet and Minecraft signs.  Ultimately I’d like elements within cards to be fully codable, much like they are in Etoys books, though I doubt that will happen during Alpha 4.

My first full use of cards will be the in-game tutorial which I’ll write mid-January.  Adventure will also use them.

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