VKC Manual - Training

Teaching Custom Tricks

Now that you understand how commands work (Sections 2.0 and 3.0) and how to chain them together in sequences, you are most of the way to teaching Fido new commands. You can give a sequence of commands its own name and Fido will do the whole sequence whenever you give that command. Use "learn" to teach Fido new commands.

IMPORTANT! The FIRST word after "learn" is the name of the trick and the rest of the words on that line of chat make up the sequence of commands for that trick. For example, say,

fido learn sleep on bed sniff wait 1 down

Now Fido knows the new command "sleep", and whenever you say, “fido sleep”, off to bed he goes!

To find out what tricks Fido knows, say:

fido help

Fido will list them out for you in chat.

If you want to change how a trick works (or just erase a trick), use "forget". Then you can replace it if you want. Imagine that you want Fido to wag his tail before he lies down to sleep. First say:

fido forget sleep

This will erase the old trick. Then say:

fido learn sleep on bed sniff wag down

Fido now will follow the new sequence for "sleep". You can also use "forget" to have Fido forget a mark. For example, say:

fido forget bed

Fido will forget where the bed is.

Since marks are relative to the region, if you are not in the same region as the mark you want Fido to forget, you also have to say the name of the region, then a dot, then the name of the mark. For example:

fido forget Caledon.bed

Here’s another example. You can have Fido greet someone at the door. First, put Fido by the door and say:

fido mark door

Then say:

fido learn welcome on door sniff wag go owner sit

That’s a good example of using the special "person-name", owner.

Once you teach your dog a trick, you can use the name of that trick as part of another, more complex trick. That makes it possible to design very complex tricks by building them up a bit at a time. If you find yourself making several similar tricks with just one word different, you’re ready to use a placeholder. Placeholders are signified by a single underscore character ( _ ) and are replaced later when the trick is used. I can explain it best with an example. Let’s say you have two tricks — learn meetmary go mary beg — and — learn meetharry go harry beg. You can replace those with just one trick:

learn meet go _ beg

When you use the trick, say “meet mary” and the word “mary” will replace the underscore, so your dog will go to Mary and beg! Then, of course, you can use anyone’s name and your dog will do the trick for that person. Placeholders can be used for avatars or objects.

By combining the things I’ve talked about here, there is no limit to what you can teach Fido to do. So have Fido mark a few key places where you hang out and teach him some new commands. Your friends won’t believe how smart your dog is!

One more thing for advanced users. If you want to change how a preset instinct works, such as "follow" or "here", you can make a trick that overrides the instinct. It works just like teaching a trick except you use the word "override" instead of "learn" and, of course, the name of the trick should be an instinct. Most people won’t need to do this, but some more advanced users may want full control over how their dog acts.

(Please remember these are example commands and while they should work in most cases, your pets’ success with them will depend on their individual surroundings, including pathfinding configuration and other objects in the vicinity.)