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 Post subject: X+ TutorialPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:51 am
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* stumbles into the Post New Topic page, goaded by multitudinous kicks *

Yikes, give you guys an inch and you take a mile. Whatever. Here you go.

X+ is very very similar to the old Xbasic. It just has more abilities, and is more flexible, and is better defined. Its structure is advanced, enabling a whole new world of mapping.

Alright, a Map is made up of Attributes. There are four kinds of attributes: Aspects, Classes, Characteristics, and Elements. These are the four Levels. You can embed any level within itself, or within a level higher than itself (i.e., a class inside a class or inside an aspect, but not inside a characteristic).

If you have an attribute inside of an attribute that is the same level as it, it is said to be in the second Tier. A class inside of an aspect is first tier. A class inside of a class is second tier. A class inside of a class inside of a class is third tier. And so on.

Every attribute is made up of two parts: the Tag and the Content. The tag always precedes the content, and the content is always wrapped in brackets (like css, not json, if you know what those are and if that helps you any). The kind of brackets used depends on the level: aspects use curly brackets, classes use square brackets, characteristics use parentheses, and elements use angle brackets.

The tag consists of three pieces, each of which is completely optional: the Title, the Alias, and the Label, in that order. If present, the alias is preceded by a colon. If present, the label is preceded by an asterisk. Thus, if all parts are present, here is the anatomy of an attribute (using the example of an aspect):

Title:Alias*Label{Content}

The colored parts (green, red, blue) are the tag, the gray part is the content. You can always leave out any part with impunity if you don't want to use them:

:Alias*Label{Content}

Title*Label{Content}

Title:Alias{Content}

Title{Content}

Each part, title, alias, label, and content, has its own meaning and way of interpreting what you put in it.

Before I explain what those meanings are, I need to explain what a Metaphor and a Keyword is.

A metaphor can only be in the content of an element, or within a label. Metaphors make up the flesh of a map: everything else is the bones that provide the structure which the muscle works on. Without either one of these, your map will fall to pieces and be useless. You need good structure and good content. A metaphor describes the essence itself using word pictures (using poetic phrases or numbers or merely words) or External References (a reference to something that is outside the map and understood by the audience).

A keyword is a word that is used anywhere in the map, in any of its parts, which has a reserved meaning specifically for essence mapping that you don't define. Keywords are sometimes in all caps to help differentiate them from other, regular words. I will introduce them to you as you need them and understand their use.

A title describes the context of the attribute. It is the name of what the attribute is describing. You can of course use anything you like for a title. Commonly used titles which work very well include Color, Light, Emotion, Depth, Power, Spirit, etcetera. There are several keywords that you can use for titles, such as Layer, Angle, and Facet. I will have to explain those in another tutorial, possibly.

An alias also names the attribute, but it does so without actually giving any additional meaning to it. It creates a 'handle' so that you can refer to it from other parts of the map (like a variable name in programming, if that helps you any). If you Internally Reference an alias in another part of the map, it is as if you embedded the essence of that attribute where it is referenced. You reference an alias with backslashes like this:

\Alias\

That is an internal reference.

A label describes how the attribute works with its sibling attributes to define their parent attribute. It can describe the mechanics of it (using special keywords), or the essence of it (using a regular metaphor).

I am going to introduce you to some of those special keywords here. These are always done in all caps, and can only be used inside of a label.

The first and the most commonly used is SUBTRACT. This means that instead of adding to the essence, the attribute subtracts from the essence. See, every attribute works together to either intersect or add to the essence of the map, based on where they are in the structure.

Here is an example:

(motion<frozen> *SUBTRACT<white/blue>)

This is a characteristic with two elements inside. The first element has the title 'motion' and the second has the label SUBTRACT. The label describes how its content works with its sibling attributes to define their parent, so SUBTRACT says that 'white/blue' is subtracted from the essence of 'frozen motion' as it defines the characteristic.

Also notice that in this example, the whole attribute is on one line, with its children attributes separated by spaces. You don't have to do it that way, but it was the neatest and most efficient and orderly option for this attribute. I could have also written it this way:

(
motion<frozen>
*SUBTRACT<white/blue>
)

There are three other keywords like this one: ADD, INTERSECT, and REPLACE. By default, all levels but elements use the intersecting mode, and elements use the adding mode. So you don't have to stipulate that in the label each time. If it is different though, it makes it clearer if you say so in the label with these keywords.

REPLACE takes that attribute out of the map, so to speak, so that it doesn't affect its parent at all. This is handy only if you alias it and reference it elsewhere (like in a title or a label, where there isn't room for a whole attribute system, or in multiple places). It is easy to mis-use this feature and make maps that are ridiculously hard to read, but it is also an incredibly powerful tool for making otherwise ridiculously incomprehensible maps easier to read. So use sparingly and with care.

There are three other all-caps keywords for describing modes: ABSTRACT, CONCRETE, and ALLEGORY. You can use them anywhere you can use a metaphor, because they are a kind of metaphor (just like a poetic phrase is a kind of metaphor different from a color).

CONCRETE is pretty obvious: *CONCRETE<blue> means that it actually is blue, instead of merely having the essence of blue. ABSTRACT is its antonym, so *ABSTRACT<blue> means that it only has the essence of blue, and could be any color under the sun in reality.

ALLEGORY is very similar to ABSTRACT, but is still quite different. It is almost like a sub-category of ABSTRACT, but not quite. What it does is it says that the attribute should be interpreted in an allegorical, spiritual sense.

*CONCRETE<grass> means that it is like grass. Very simply and tangibly.
*ABSTRACT<grass> means that it has the essence of grass, it affects you emotionally like grass, it reminds you of grass, but it isn't necessarily actually like grass in any tangible way.
*ALLEGORY<grass> means that it has the same spiritual attributes of grass, for example, it withers quickly, or grows fast, or is beautiful without any effort or choice of its own.

Do you see the difference?

Now I am going to explain Slashes and Dashes, two other extremely useful and commonly used pieces in metaphors. They are both used to separate Bits of a metaphor, and they do it differently.

A slash is used to separate two bits that are to be taken as one bit, instead of being taken separately, or adding to each other, or intersecting with each other. Here is an example:

<red/blue>

is not the same as

<red><blue>

A dash separates bits as well, but what it does is says that the bit on the right side is a child element of the bit on the left. You don't have to say it this way, but it is a super handy shorthand. For example, these two element systems are identical:

<red – blood – ABSTRACT>
<red <blood <ABSTRACT>>>

The latter looks kinda cool, but it isn't necessarily as intuitive or readable.

Now using these, you will almost immediately (well, maybe, haha) discover a problem: ambiguity. Consider this example:

<blue/green-mist>

Is this 'blue/green' with a child element of 'mist', or is this 'blue' to be taken as one bit with this 'green-mist' bit? Confusing, huh? Well, here is the answer: use Pipes.

This way, you can make this completely obvious, like this:

<blue/|green-mist|> or <|blue/green|-mist>

If you want to make it more readable, you can add spaces:

<blue / |green – mist|> or <|blue/green| – mist>

However you like.

Another helpful tool is using Carets to join together multiple instances of a piece of the tag. Like, if you have multiple titles or labels, you can include them all in, delimiting them with these: ^. Very handy, like this:

Title1^Title2*Label1^Label2{Content}

Doing two aliases like that is possible, but pretty useless as far as I can see. * shrugs *

So I think that is about all, at least in summary. Feel free to ask questions, and I will probably add stuff to help out later on. Here is an example of an X+ map for now though.

2nd layer^menace*ABSTRACT {
motion^growth*\gamma\ [
*87% - a dark stain spreading beneath all the ocean waters
<a massive nest of evil tentacles reaching, and grasping, and holding>
*36% - a high tower with eyes seeing all
<a car racing down alleys in a frantic attempt to escape>
*50%< |a gauntleted hand holding/a stone table bearing| - a bloody mace>
]
color:ALPHA*an undercutting blow that takes off your legs [
thought*SUBTRACT^100% - scraped by grumy claws from a mossy wall of an old torture chamber
<white – pure – sterile – ceramic – crystal>
health:BETA*89.6% - a sword slowly penetrating your vitals and grating (
*war<a ruddy dagger encrusted with blood>
*heavy<a slowly falling leaf onto the mold on the ground>
*98% - bright, blinding flash
<blackness - pupil of a murderer - a hole under a basement>
*a misty shadow wafting over you, breaking into shards
<a burning vitality consuming you from within>
)
]
density:GAMMA*buried alive in a confining coffin that is slowly collapsing from rot [
depth*an avalanche of boulders falling down a steep slope of boulders (
<lying on your head in a narrow pit slowly filling with water>
<a forest of tall, wide, evergreen trees>
<Mariana trench>
)
motion (
<a heavy river of thick mud quivering as it rolls onward from large creatures inside it>
<a herd of elephants shoving through a narrow gorge>
<an anaconda forcing its way - |through dense underbrush / through high branches| >
)
]
}

_________________
I am knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order, and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.

note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.

Proverbs 25:8 Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame.

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 Post subject: Re: X+ TutorialPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:06 pm
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*claps* Masterfully done Jay! =) I look forward to getting my hands dirty with this in the coming few days and weeks. And I more fully understand what I was trying to get in to earlier with X+. Okey-doke - all in all, a great tutorial. Thanks for sharing.

eruheran

_________________
I am a dreamer of big dreams: a student of wisdom, a reader of books, and a crafter of words. I am a servant of my Master who has rescued me. I am an adventurer, living my life to the fullest. Will you join me on this wild journey?

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 Post subject: Re: X+ TutorialPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:08 pm
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eruheran wrote:
*claps* Masterfully done Jay! =) I look forward to getting my hands dirty with this in the coming few days and weeks. And I more fully understand what I was trying to get in to earlier with X+. Okey-doke - all in all, a great tutorial. Thanks for sharing.

eruheran

Glad to hear it! I was hoping it wasn't too much all at once.

_________________
I am knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order, and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.

note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.

Proverbs 25:8 Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame.

Top

 Post subject: Re: X+ TutorialPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:56 am
 Foundational Member

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Had to read parts of it twice to get the whole picture in my head, but now that I get it *picks jaw off of ground and dances around excitedly* Jay this is AWESOME!!!!! Now that I understand it, I love it (and you didn't even have to have your sister come behind you to explain it). I'll probably use it more simply for the most part so that someone besides your family and Eruheran can understand my maps
Sir Emeth Mimetes wrote:
A keyword is a word that is used anywhere in the map, in any of its parts, which has a reserved meaning specifically for essence mapping that you don't define. Keywords are sometimes in all caps to help differentiate them from other, regular words. I will introduce them to you as you need them and understand their use.
I'm still at a bit of a loss as to how these work...I understand the ones you explained and how to use them, but I feel like I'm lacking an overall understanding of what Keywords in general do. For instance, in the example map, you've got ALPHA and GAMMA, what are those about? Help me figure this whole Keywords thing out for myself so that I can start twisting it to my own evil purposes

Also, I think I finally understand what the heck those percentages are doing there! Unless I'm totally off, they show what percentage of the parent attribute's essence they contribute to. Right?

Overall, I think I'm going to love this

_________________
~Seer~

"I think armpit hair's pretty intimate!" - Roager

"I am so glad I'm getting locked in the basement today." - Airianna Valenshia

"You are the laughter I forgot how to make." - Calista Beth

"Sorry, I was busy asphyxiating Mama R." - Seer

"I'm a man of many personalities, but tell you what? They're all very fond of you." - Sheogorath from Elder Scrolls Online

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 Post subject: Re: X+ TutorialPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:32 am
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If I could second Seer's question about the Keywords. That was the one thing that needed clearing up for me as well.

eruheran

_________________
I am a dreamer of big dreams: a student of wisdom, a reader of books, and a crafter of words. I am a servant of my Master who has rescued me. I am an adventurer, living my life to the fullest. Will you join me on this wild journey?

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 Post subject: Re: X+ TutorialPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:07 am
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Haha, glad you liked it.

Alright, you had three questions there:

1) Elaborate on keywords.
2) What are my aliases doing in all caps?
3) How do percentages work?

Alright, let's use title keywords as an example. When you make an essence map, you can pick anything you want to be a title. If you look around, people tend to use very specific, unique titles like "laughter" or "homeland." Those are perfectly fine (though I prefer the more purist titles of "light," "color," "density," etcetera).

The thing is, when you use those, what they mean is completely dependent on you and what you mean by them. Sometimes you need to use comments (delimited by hashes on both sides of the comment: #) to explain exactly what you mean by them. That is perfectly fine as well.

But there are other titles that have a specific meaning inside of essence mapping. They are predefined (like $! in perl or$_GET in php, if that helps you any).

Several of the title keywords are actually in series. Such as, Layer 1, Layer 2, Layer 3, or Angle 1, Angle 2, Angle 3. These are generally used in aspects, but they don't have to be.

A first layer title says that this is describing what is immediately apparent. A second layer title says that it is describing what is just below the surface, not immediately apparent. The higher the number, the deeper it goes. The numbers are not linear, but relative. So if you have only three layers in your map, the third layer is very deep, and the second layer is middling deep. If you want to specify exactly how deep a layer is, like with an essence, you can use a ^ to attach another title, which is an internal reference (\alias\) to another attribute (probably with a REPLACE label). Or, you can reset the relative scale, but including an attribute with a title of Layer 45 (or a thousand). You can even leave it empty if you want, so that all it does is resets the layer scale.

An angle describes perspective, not depth. Like turning an object in your hand, looking at different angles. Each turn opens up new vistas to your gaze. Like layers, this is a relative scale, so if you have only three angles, it is quite different from a map with 45 angles (even if a bunch of them aren't described).

A Facet is like an angle and a layer, but it is anonymous. You use facets for when you don't want the title to bear meaning.

Of course, titles aren't the only place keywords go. There are the six all-caps keywords which are generally used in a label as well. There are a few others, but I don't remember them at the moment, haha. And we will probably be adding more.

Just because something is in caps, though, doesn't mean it is a keyword. The ABSTRACT and REPLACE type of keywords are, but that is because they are very unique, and represent the mechanics of the structure, not actual essence meaning. You can use all caps wherever you want (if you want to use one of those keywords in all caps, enclose it in quotes, single or double, to escape it and remove their normal meaning). I used caps for my aliases in that example merely as a point of style and to aid readability.

Percentages are generally used as external references. They bear essence, just like a color or a poetic phrase does (though it isn't as obvious). They refer to their real mathematical meaning in an essenceful way. That was how I used them in the example.

However, you can use them inside of a label to act like an opacity control, as you described, to show how much it affects the parent element. This is a powerful tool as well. Good observation.

Did that help?

_________________
I am knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order, and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.

note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.

Proverbs 25:8 Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame.

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 Post subject: Re: X+ TutorialPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:18 am
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That helped...somewhat. I think I understand most of what you're talking about now.

eruheran

_________________
I am a dreamer of big dreams: a student of wisdom, a reader of books, and a crafter of words. I am a servant of my Master who has rescued me. I am an adventurer, living my life to the fullest. Will you join me on this wild journey?

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 Post subject: Re: X+ TutorialPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:42 am
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Ah very good. Can't wait to see what y'all come up with!

_________________
I am knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order, and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.

note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.

Proverbs 25:8 Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame.

Top

 Post subject: Re: X+ TutorialPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:58 am
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Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:43 am
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Sex: Male
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I'm going to do an essence map this weekend. Srugoz, my main villain, is very complex and deep and a lot of this stuff looks like it will be very helpful in mapping him.

eruheran

_________________
I am a dreamer of big dreams: a student of wisdom, a reader of books, and a crafter of words. I am a servant of my Master who has rescued me. I am an adventurer, living my life to the fullest. Will you join me on this wild journey?

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 Post subject: Re: X+ TutorialPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:55 pm
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Think I understand you enough to carry on for the moment
Sir Emeth Mimetes wrote:
Ah very good. Can't wait to see what y'all come up with!
Guess I need to go grab another magical stone to play with

_________________
~Seer~

"I think armpit hair's pretty intimate!" - Roager

"I am so glad I'm getting locked in the basement today." - Airianna Valenshia

"You are the laughter I forgot how to make." - Calista Beth

"Sorry, I was busy asphyxiating Mama R." - Seer

"I'm a man of many personalities, but tell you what? They're all very fond of you." - Sheogorath from Elder Scrolls Online

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 Post subject: Re: X+ TutorialPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:57 pm
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Hehe.

_________________
I am knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order, and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.

note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.

Proverbs 25:8 Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame.

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 Post subject: Re: X+ TutorialPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 3:53 pm
 Foundational Member

Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:36 am
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Age: 29 Dec 1989
I've saved this tutorial on my harddrive and hope to make some X+ maps while I'm gone. Should be fun to play with

_________________
~Seer~

"I think armpit hair's pretty intimate!" - Roager

"I am so glad I'm getting locked in the basement today." - Airianna Valenshia

"You are the laughter I forgot how to make." - Calista Beth

"Sorry, I was busy asphyxiating Mama R." - Seer

"I'm a man of many personalities, but tell you what? They're all very fond of you." - Sheogorath from Elder Scrolls Online

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 Post subject: Re: X+ TutorialPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:58 am
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I understood some of what you said...
Hmm... I'm going to reread this a few times in order to try to understand it better.

_________________
Somewhere in Georgia an alien-twin of Seer's is wandering around.

Main Fantasy Project:
Portals of Prophecy -- mid-development, early-early-snippet-writing stage

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 Post subject: Re: X+ TutorialPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:04 am
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You go, Sui!

eru

_________________
I am a dreamer of big dreams: a student of wisdom, a reader of books, and a crafter of words. I am a servant of my Master who has rescued me. I am an adventurer, living my life to the fullest. Will you join me on this wild journey?

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 Post subject: Re: X+ TutorialPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:35 am
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*grins*

_________________
Somewhere in Georgia an alien-twin of Seer's is wandering around.

Main Fantasy Project:
Portals of Prophecy -- mid-development, early-early-snippet-writing stage

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 Post subject: Re: X+ TutorialPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:07 am
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I've copied this into the public documents of my computer so I can study it more tomorrow on my other computer account. I'm going to try to use this for Beorn's fractal.

_________________
Somewhere in Georgia an alien-twin of Seer's is wandering around.

Main Fantasy Project:
Portals of Prophecy -- mid-development, early-early-snippet-writing stage

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 Post subject: Re: X+ TutorialPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 12:06 am
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This has been fascinating to study.

I have been having problems figuring out the difference between alias and REPLACE though. Could you explain those a little more? (though the problem is probably me being dense )

_________________
Somewhere in Georgia an alien-twin of Seer's is wandering around.

Main Fantasy Project:
Portals of Prophecy -- mid-development, early-early-snippet-writing stage

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 Post subject: Re: X+ TutorialPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 2:04 pm
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REPLACE is a keyword which makes it so the content in its scope does not effect the rest of the map, which is handy when you are aliasing and in a few other obscure and advanced situations which are hard to explain.

An alias is a name which you give to a piece of a map in order to use it again somewhere else, extending its scope.

Does that help?

_________________
I am knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order, and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.

note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.

Proverbs 25:8 Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame.

Top

 Post subject: Re: X+ TutorialPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:07 pm
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I understand alias, it's used when you want to copy and paste something into a part of the map without moving the whole thing.

REPLACE on the other hand... Is it exactly like an alias except it only counts where you paste it?

_________________
Somewhere in Georgia an alien-twin of Seer's is wandering around.

Main Fantasy Project:
Portals of Prophecy -- mid-development, early-early-snippet-writing stage

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 Post subject: Re: X+ TutorialPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:02 am
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No, it's nothing like alias. Watch:

title:alias*REPLACE<content>
title2<\alias\>
title3<\alias\>

The first one defines the element with an alias so it can be used other places as well (as title2 and title3 in this case), but it's also marked as REPLACE, which means that where it is defined it has no effect on the map's essence. It is only "active" where it is referenced.

Does that help?

_________________
I am knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order, and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.

note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.

Proverbs 25:8 Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame.

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