Craft By Zen

Technology Tree

The goal of this project was to explore video game technology trees. I wanted an easy way to generate a visualization without too much hassle.

My end goal is to have it clickable so that as I progress through my game, I can have a duplicate tree on this side that I can play with and to see what I need to do to unlock the next leaf, as well as review its benefits.

In my first attempt building a technology tree, I used the base example of communications technologies. This was generated from ChatGPT where I prompted it to create one using some technologies I’m familiar with. Ultimately, I need to have it in Svelte, and if I could utilize d3.js, I would. It falls short ultimately because it feels like the customizations not where I want it to be, and the updates I want to make appear challenging.

I took a step back and reviewed the code ChatGPT came up with. While it was spot on what it was supposed to build, the way it went about it appeared wrong. If you’ve explored observable’s collection of d3.hierarchy examples, you’ll find a gallery of examples that are similar to where I want to build. So I stepped back and instead of going full d3, I used their Plot library. This is their tidy tree example, after massaging the data to fit its form.

In Plot’s tree mark docs, there was an indented tree that I really liked. I also learned how to deliminate the data to fit the form better, and make it a lot easier to generate. I’ve been thinking quite a lot about graphs and trees because I think it’s yet another way to create an exploratory learning environment where others can click through the parts that most interest them. And the path to get there is of least resistance. It’s like rock climbers finding their path up to the top, and other climbers often traverse in similar or different ways.

Future Endeavors

This project isn’t complete. I want to make it clickable, and be able to generate a lot of data for someone to explore the tree slowly, and while you’ve highlighted that item, it will appear to be new content the viewer can review. I’m not sure how the content works as I update the visualization, but I’ll figure it out.

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