You need a ship...

BoingDragon is one of the more creative individuals on FurryMuck. She built the building my characters and their closest friends live in, for instance. She also has a "vending machine" where you can "buy" (automagically make) various objects. Unfortunately this does not seem to work any more...
Back when it did work, Yip used it to build himself a space ship (La Cucaracha), so when a new arrival asked about how to get one, Yip naturally took him to the machine he got his from... only to find that it was "broken". But this new guy really really wanted a space ship and even tried to persuade Yip to part with his, so in the end I decided to try to copy my ship by building a new object and a room with some actions and copying all the properties (except for such obvious ones as the ship's name etc.) over. As far as I could tell before handing the ship over, this actually worked, but it was still quite a chore so I decided to see if I could automate it a bit. The result was a bunch of command files that, when fed to the FM server [Warning: Do not try to use these files on any other muck!], will produce a Starfighter.
Well, a slightly modified one actually. Yip did some upgrades following some hints he found on a bulletin board at the spaceport ( t mos ) and they are for obvious reasons included in this design. So if you read those hints too, check if they are already implemented before trying them out.

First thing to do (this being ol' FurryMuck with its special rules and all) is to check your building quota (type @quota ). You need to be able to build one object, one room and three actions. If you can't, you have to give away or recycle some stuff or convince Tugrik (the quota admin last time I checked) that you really need some more quota. Good luck. ;)
Second thing to do is to download this file and send it to the muck (using your MUD client's "Send file" option). This creates a room called Cockpit, sends you there and does some setup.
Take a look before you proceed.

Nice instrument panel, huh? (For the technically minded, that "picture" is stored on a list in the parent room that was set in line 3 of the file.) Make a note of the room's number (the bit after "Cockpit" minus the letters, brackets and # sign), you'll need it later. (Of course you can look it up any time, but might as well get it over with. :))

Next it's time to build the hull, and here I'm going to have you do something many serious builders consider a no-no, which is to build your hull inside the cockpit! This will save some running back and forth later though, so just download this file and send it to the muck too. Then check your inventory - you should have a new object called "hull". Make a note of its number too, and don't rename it at this point! (You may rename the cockpit though - because you're standing in it the command files simply refer to it as "here".)

Time for some action! Or rather, to create some actions. Just download this file... and listen to me a bit before you send it to the muck! The ship you're building is called a Saber-X1 Starfighter, and this file will set various messages referring to it as either "the Starfighter" or "the Saber-X1". You may want to change this to refer to the ship by name (or even by (different) type if you're going to redefine it as a different kind of ship later), and the simplest way to do that is to edit the file MAKE3.TXT and globally replace the two phrases with the name of your ship before using the file.

Finally, this file creates the last action. You may wonder why there are so many files. The reason is that in my experience the muck tends to choke on big command files, so I have developed the habit of splitting them up. You may be able to concatenate the files and do all the creation in one fell swoop but I don't guarantee it!

Finally it's time for some customization. You kept your notes about the numbers of the hull and the cockpit? Fine, then just type in the following, substituting the hull number fur <HULL> and the room number fur <COCKPIT>.

@set here=goto:<HULL>

@set here=object:<HULL>

@set here=_map/ref:<HULL>

@set hull=listen/dest:<COCKPIT>

@set hull=_bridge:<COCKPIT>

@set out=object:<HULL>

@set vp=goto:<HULL>

@set vp=send/dest:<HULL>

@set vp=_object:<HULL>

The moment of truth is here. Flex your fingers a bit, type fly port , press the return key and pray very very fast. ;) [For the uninitiated, that was a Babylon 5 reference...] The new ship should now fly out of its own cockpit (!) and land at Mos Ottersly Space Port. Type out to step outside and take a look at your ship in its natural habitat.
Hmm, a bit dull isn't it? An object named "hull" with no description on it... Can't even tell it's supposed to be a space ship! The first problem is most easily solved: Just pick a name for your ship (Note: Technically speaking it's a zombie, so it must not have the same name as a player!) and use @name to change the hull's name.
The starfighters that came off BD's assembly line had (and most of them still have) a standard look that AFAIK is stored on one of BD's numerous objects (The ship environment room maybe?). I changed that pretty early on, so La Cucaracha looks like this:

As you can tell by comparing with the picture at the top of the page, in addition to changing the tail symbol, putting the name on the side(s) and adding "Modified" in the heading, I have also changed the name of the entrance action. The assembly line models have an entrance called instar , mine is called enstar and the one on the ship you just built is called enter. Why? Simple. With all the starfighters flying around with an entry action called instar , someone's bound to take the wrong turn sometime. In fact here's something that happened to Yip on one of his first flights (before modifying the ship):

The young chihuahua had managed to take off and dock with a space station (more about this in a moment), then he got out of the ship and went exploring. After returning to the docking area I typed instar to get back on the ship, and got the familiar instrument panel, but suddenly someone paged to Yip: "Hey, you found my ship! Where was it?"
His ship? I took another look. Sure, the instrument panel was the same, but the name of the room was different! And so, I found after a quick ex here , was the owner of the cockpit! There were two standard starfighters with the same entry action in the same place, and the system had decided I wanted the OTHER instar!!
Soon after this I changed the name of the entrance and modified the description to describe the new entrance, but at least something good came out of it. Turned out this other fur had built a spaceship once, flown it to the space station and then gone home (or somewhere else) and forgotten all about the ship (including its location) until Yip happened to blunder into the cockpit while the owner was online! (The parent room of the cockpit is one of BoingDragon's parent rooms, which means the owner of a room gets a message whenever someone enters their room. I thought this function was built into the server until I found that it doesn't work elsemuck...)

If you change the entrance name (enter is fairly common too...) you should definitely make a custom description telling people how to get in (unless you don't want visitors of course...). Yu can do it from scratch or, if you want a modified Saber-X1, download this file, edit it (Recommended method is to use a word processor or text editor set to line length 100 and overwrite mode using a nonproportional font) and send it to the muck while holding or standing near the ship. NOTE: If you have already renamed the ship at this point, you should replace "hull" with the name of your ship!

That should be all. Now get back inside and start figuring out what all the buttons on the instrument panel are for!

Page © 1999 by Ragnar Fyri. * Ship design ©BoingDragon. (?)