Autumn Update

Hey all… if there’s anyone still out there! 🙂

It’s been a busy year for me… I migrated from an SDET (Software Development Engineer in Test) to an SDE (Software Development Engineer) role in my work, which seriously cut into my development time for the CRPG. I also have a vacation to Las Vegas with my girl coming up in early October. Life is as always very full…

I’ve also done some side projects in TI Extended BASIC. I’ll make some posts about them later. They HAVE contributed to the CRPG indirectly; any good game designing work always does.

Anyway, I’ve been working on content generation for the game, which primarily focuses on text and dialogue. I finally came up with a good way to store it using an Excel spreadsheet  that lets me both be creative and track data sizes.

So far, the numbers are adding up about what I expected. Each game disk has four dialogue files, with lengths of 16, 32, 64, and 128 bytes respectively. My compression technique for text gives me an average of 30% compression, which lets me get fairly wordy. My biggest challenge is writing out text and avoiding lengths of 17, 33, 65 and so forth… Right now, the 64-byte records are by far the most numerous, which I expected.

I’ve also found that in the process of designing the game’s towns, people, and various quests and things that I’m making changes to the item lists. I’ve actually reduced the amount of items in the game as a result; I don’t want the game to be like Dragon Warrior where each area is just progressively stronger weapons. Instead, I want specific item types to only be found in particular towns. One town, for example, would specialize in swords, another in plate armor, and so forth.

As part of the work I’m also drawing and re-drawing maps. I just reworked one area from a fairly generic coastline area to a glen with a large lake, for example, to drive some more interesting plot line work. Drawing maps in my editors actually takes a lot longer than I expected! But that’s all part of the fun…

My goal is to try and get all the content text done by the end of the year, and at least a pencil-drawn map of everything, if not actually digitized. I’ll try and be better about updating too…

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4 Responses to Autumn Update

  1. Brian says:

    I’m glad the project is still alive and well! I found out about it about half a year ago or so after I inherited a bunch of my grandfather’s old TI99 disks. I have happy memories of my grandfather showing me the programs he wrote in the early 80s, so that sparked my interest in the TI99 and some internet research followed. I discovered your project and I’ve been checking weekly for updates. The games looks really cool, so keep up the good work and go at your own pace.

  2. Moloch says:

    Great news, glad to see you’re back on the project after a break. o/

    Maybe we’ll have two CRPGs projects released in 2017 – TI99 and c64

  3. Real life gets in the way of these retrogaming projects.

    Sent you a private email for my ideas for Realms of Quest V but for which I have no time now to work on.

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