Manual:Zone Manual/The NPC Section/Compiling and debugging your first NPC

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Compiling and debugging your first NPC

As we have previously mentioned in (Link to rmdebug) it is always a good idea to build one or two things and then compile to make finding errors easy. In this case we have one NPC to compile and rather than having all the rooms get in my way while compiling it I have removed them and only have the '%mobiles' section. The following is what the zone looks like when it has only one NPC in it.

	#include <composed.h>
	%zone dragonst
	lifespan 20
	creators {"whistler"}

	"This is the dragon station I shortened it to dragonst for ease in
	loading.  If you have  any questions email me at"

	"Not sure what could help you now.  You are stuck on one of the
	weirdest space stations you have ever seen and you smell burning



	title "a black dragon"
	descr "A big ugly black dragon is clawing the ground here."
	names {"big ugly black dragon","ugly black dragon","big black dragon",
	"black dragon","dragon"}

	"The black dragons scales glitter like black granite that has been
	polished for years by water.  He has a large neck and huge bat like
	wings.  his eyes watch you as you stand before him.  One claw seems to be
	tapping slightly on the ground as if the dragon is waiting for

	extra {"eye","eyes"}
	"The dragons eyes seem to follow you no matter where you go in the room
	nothing seems to escape the dragons attention."

	extra {"claws","claw"}
	"The claw is big black and it looks very deadly.  It seems like the
	dragon has two sets of 4 large claws and 2 sets of 4 smaller claws which
	to say means the claws are about the size of short swords and long

	extra {"scales","scale"}
	"Its a scale!  Haven't you ever seen a dragon before!"

	extra {"bat wings","wings"}
	"The dragon sees you looking and flaps his wings creating one heck of a
	wind blast."

		sex SEX_MALE
		height 625
		weight 1250
		level 70
		alignment -900



I removed the '%rooms' section added a '%mobiles' section and stuck the dragon in and now its ready to be compiled and put into the VME server for you to be able to look at it in the game. If you downloaded our example zones for this document you can compile this zone along with us and fix the errors as we do for practice. The filename is debug_npc.zon. Just so you know the errors in this zone are intentional so please don't write me an email telling me that there are errors in it.

The command to compile the zone is VMC debug_npc.zon. Here is what we get when we first try and compile the zone.

	VMC v2.0 Copyright (C) 2001 by Valhalla [May  9 2001]
	Compiling 'debug_npc.zon'
	debug_npc.zon: 32: parse error
	   Token: 'extra'
	debug_npc.zon: 55: parse error
	   Token: 'alignment'
	Compilation aborted.

This error file doesn't look any harder than the last one we dealt with when compiling our first room. The problem is when we go to line '32' and look for an error we don't find one. This normally means that the error was hard for the compiler to figure out. The best way to deal with an error like this is to start at the line it gives you and go up and look for an error. When we do this we notice that the extra right above the line that the error is on is missing '{}' so we will add them back in. Most of the time you want to do one error and recompile but sometimes you can shorten the process for example in this error file the word 'alignment has been spelled wrong so we can fix that before we recompile so go to line '56' and fix that. Now with those two errors fixed we can recompile and this is what we get:

	VMC v2.0 Copyright (C) 2001 by Valhalla [May  9 2001]
	Compiling 'debug_npc.zon'
	FATAL: Abilities in 'bldragon' sums up to 101,and not 100.
	FATAL: Spells&weapons in 'bldragon' sums up to 101, and not 100.
	WARNING: Fatal errors in zone.

As we have said before you have to make sure that abilities add up to 100 percent this error is telling us that my math sucks and that I have added 1 extra percent to the abilities. Not only that but again if we look at both errors I have also put 1 extra on weapons and spells. So we can fix both of these at once. Notice it doesn't give a line number but that is not a problem because you can search for 'MSET_ABIL' and it will take you right to the problems. After I subtract one from the abilities and one from either the spells or weapons the following is the error file I get.

	VMC v2.0 Copyright (C) 2001 by Valhalla [May  9 2001]
	Compiling 'debug_npc.zon'
	VMC Done.

Notice there are no errors and it says 'VMC done', this means that you have now successfully compiled the zone. The main thing I want to point out is that you can sometimes fix more than one error at a time but be carefull when doing this if you try to fix some errors before fixing the first you will be trying to fix things that are not broken. The safest way to compile stuff is still fix one error at a time.

Now that you have a compiled zone you should check and make sure that all the files are there. When you compile a zone you will end up with three extra files. the files will have the same filename as your zone with a new extension in this case you should have the following.

If you have all of these you are all set to go. If not then there is something seriously wrong and you may want to write the VME staff for help.

To get your new zone in the mud all that is needed is to make sure your zone is in the zonelist in the VME etc directory and copy these files into your zone directory. Then reboot the mud. You should be able to log on your builder character and load your NPC by typing load bldragon@dragonst and you can list your zones NPCs by typing wstat zone dragonst mobiles.

There you go you have now compiled your first NPC. As you can see with as little as you have learned so far you can already make a variety of monsters and NPCs of any kind. The next section will cover the DIL functions you can use with a NPC and then we will get right into some more complex examples.

Previous: Building your first NPC
Next: DIL functions for NPCs