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§8.3. Changing the status line

The status line is the black bar along the top of a story being played, which ordinarily displays the current position; in a story with scoring, it also usually shows the score and number of moves taken. Like the command prompt, it is not fixed but results from values which can be changed: the "left hand status line" and "right hand status line".

The default values are "[the player's surroundings]" for the left hand status line and "[score]/[turn count]" for the right hand status line (if there's scoring; it's blank otherwise). Score and turn count are numbers which vary in play (more about scoring later); "[the player's surroundings]" is a text substitution really intended for just this purpose:

say "[the/-- player's surroundings]"

This text substitution produces a succinct description of where the player is, be this in darkness, in a lighted room or inside an opaque container such as a large packing case. Example:

now the left hand status line is "You: [the player's surroundings]";

These make useful elements to juggle in redesigning the status line, as in the following example:

paste.png When play begins:
    now the left hand status line is
        "[the player's surroundings] / [turn count] / [score]";
    now the right hand status line is "Time: [time of day]".

The text in the right hand status line should be kept no more than 14 letters long, including any spaces. The left hand status line has more leeway, but should still be kept brief.

* See Awarding points for scoring

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*ExamplePolitics as Usual
Have the status line indicate the current region of the map.

Replacing the two-part status line with one that centers only the room name at the top of the screen.