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(World model) Allow regions to overlap

I've been working on something that might become an extension, which will, among other things, add walls, floor, and ceiling to indoor rooms and ground and sky to outdoor rooms. Making these features backdrops is easy, and defining two overarching regions (the Great Indoors and the Great Outdoors) in which the backdrops will be visible is also easy. But at that point, defining any _other_ region becomes very difficult.

It doesn't seem to be possible to define a large region first (in an extension, for instance) and then add smaller regions later in the code, even if they _don't_ overlap the boundaries of the larger region. And that limitation may turn out to make such an extension impractical.

Overlapping would be even worse. If an author needs to define, let's say, the State Park as a region, and wants to include both outdoor rooms and the interior of the Ranger's Cabin in the State Park region, my proposed extension would become completely unusable. And I don't think this is a far-fetched scenario.

There may be ways that a savvy author could kludge around the limitation and end up with the backdrops in the right places in the State Park. But I also want to allow the player to throw objects (when outdoors) and have them land in an adjacent outdoor room. Adding that capability to the State Park region, when its rooms were no longer part of the Great Outdoors, would be a nightmare. And in addition, the author would be better off writing code by hand, rather than trying to customize an extension, which runs counter to the extensibility of Inform as a design concept.

If Inform allowed regions to overlap, none of this maneuvering on the part of the author would be necessary.

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    Adminemshort (Admin, Inform 7) shared this idea  ·   ·  Admin →

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      • Adminemshort (Admin, Inform 7) commented  · 

        Using indoors and outdoors properties on rooms has generally been successful for me, for this kind of project. Is that not workable for the extension? Is there a reason why regions are preferable for this purpose?

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