Zone information section

The zone information section is the only section that must exist in the source file of your area. Without this section the compiler is unable to create the zone because frankly it doesn't know what to call it. It is also the easiest of the sections to learn because there is only a few possible fields. The Zone-section defines the global parameters for the current zone. It is usually wise to place this section in the top of the source file to make it easy to find the zone information when editing the file.

Table 1. Zone section field descriptions

creatorsStringlistThis field is where you place the creators of the zone. With this field filled out the Administrators and builders can easily find out who the zone was written by and be able to contact them if there are problems.
lifespanNumberThis defines the interval between resets for this zone, in minutes. Default is 60 if this field is left out of the information section.
notesStringThis is a plain text description of the zone for administrators and builders. It is often a good idea to include your e-mail address in the notes so you can be reached easily by the administrators.
resetNumberThis combined with 'lifespan' defines if the zone will be reset. This field gives the condition that must be met to reset the zones you should use the defines in the vme.h,RESET_NOT, RESET_IFEMPTY, and RESET_ANYHOW. Default is RESET_ANYHOW, which means, the zone will be reset even if players are present within it.
titleString This is the title of the zone, for example Dragons Nest, Dark station, and creators hide out. It is used mainly for the areas command so players can get a list of all the areas in the game. It can however be accessed by the 'zoneptr' variable type in DIL. If you have a zone that spans across multiple source files you only need to define the title once. If you put the title in all source files it will show up multiple times in the area listing. You would also leave this blank if the zone should not be on the areas list like an administration zone.
weatherIntegerThis field sets the humidity level of the zone. If for example you want a hot desert like zone you would want to set this to its highest value. The range of this field is 1000 to -1000. This is an optional field and will not be covered elsewhere because it is simple to use.
%zoneSymbolThis entry defines the name of the zone. Default is the preceding component of the current filename, minus the trailing ".zon". Note, the symbol should be added after the %zone tag, which should always be put, even if you do not add a symbol after it.

The only field that must exist when you go to create the zone information section is the '%zone'. Leaving the '%zone' field out will cause an error when you try to compile it. We suggest you not only put the '%zone' field but you also add a symbol or as I call it a zone name. The following are three legal examples of a Zone information header. You be the judge of which is more informative.

/*very bad*/

/*bad but better than nothing*/
%zone bug_planet

/*The way it should be done!*/
%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

If you felt like it you could add a '%end' to the proceeding examples and compile them. They would create an empty zone so wouldn't be very exciting but at least it's possible. We will not go into any compiling until we have at least one unit type to compile because it is pretty useless to do. The next chapters will define the basic unit building blocks you will use for rooms, objects, and NPCs and start you off on compiling.