If you've used C++ or Perl, you'll be used to the idea that text in double quotes "like this" and text in single quotes 'like this' can have different meanings. In SLUDGE, strings in single quotes are interpreted as file handles. That is, during compilation, instead of including the text in your finished game the SLUDGE compiler includes the file itself. Therefore, "Hello.tga" represents the string Hello.tga (which can then be spoken, printed on the screen and so on). Alternatively, 'Hello.tga' represents the contents of the file Hello.tga (which can then be drawn on the screen or - for other file types - played as a sound or a piece of music, set as the new floor and so on).
Files which are referenced more than once are only included in your finished game in one place. If you have a huge file mentioned anywhere in a script and then mentioned again in another (or in the same script) you don't need to worry about it bumping up the size of your finished file with duplicated data - this is taken care of, and each referenced file will be added only once. Files which are not referenced will, of course, not be added at all.
It is also worth noting that storing a file handle does not open the file. The line...
var myHandle = 'bigImageFile.tga';
...does not read the file into memory. It is only when a handle is used by a built-in function (such as addOverlay in this case) that the file is loaded.
say and think
launch and launchWith
loadCustomData and saveCustomData
SLUDGE and this SLUDGE documentation are copyright Hungry Software and contributors 2000-2012