After a lot of back and forth, I finally got transactions working… Well, mostly. I’m debugging new issues all the time. 🙂 But here’s a short video of one in progress:
It’s great to see milestones like these come to fruition when working on CRPG projects. I like how your “key words” menu changes as you engage in conversation with the NPC.
How big is your game going to be in total size and how much of the game is dedicated to dialogue?
I ask because I think that writing dialogue is actually the hardest part of CRPG development since I started to introduce that concept in my latest project, and my brain has been giving me positive endorphins/feedback since I reverted to just writing code and solving programming problems after I put the city/dialogue portion on hold after 5 months of working on that just so that my brain can reset. I’m actually very fortunate to have found an RPG enthusiast who likes writing dialogue and designing dungeons who will take over the content creation for these (I’ve devised a file template that can be edited in a text editor and I will write a parser that converts the information to byte data).
So it can be said I much prefer the programming aspect and designing the game mechanics of CRPGs. If I can delegate content creation to others (while giving a few benchmarks and bullet points to follow), then that just gives me that much more free time to actual programming/debugging/testing. I started my project in February of last year and I just can’t conceive of finishing this for another 2 years. I actually started earlier, fiddling around with certain ideas over a 2 year period prior to this as well.
Here’s a CRPG design question: which do you prefer, Ultima or Wizardry? Ultima certainly has an advantage in terms of graphics, presentation, dialogue and story. But at least in the early years of Wizardry, it’s game mechanics were second to none. They were an excellent representation of the D&D rulebook that could run on early 8-bit microcomputers. Wizardry tended to cater more to the hardcore RPG fan while Ultima was more accessible and had broader appeal. Kind of like NWA vs WWF in the 1980s–while the former catered to the purist technical wrestling fan who liked to see 60 minute iron man marathons in front of 500 fans in a community arena, the latter was able to produce comic book superheroes come to life that had immediate appeal and selling out shows in large stadiums.
The game executable is 128K in size. There are four world disks, each with about 180K of data, so the total game size is nearly a megabyte. At a rough guess, about 250K of the game will be dedicated to dialogue, but about 120K is devoted to the necessary infrastructure for transactions to show it as well.
All that said, I have to do a major file re-design which will alter those numbers a bit… see my next post. 🙂
Generating content is definitely not easy. For example, I’ve already re-written the dialogue shown in the video, because I wanted to make the text look better on the screen with good breaks and all that. That’s something you don’t really see until you actually render it.
I also colored my text because stark white text was actually harder to read in blocks. So I made the bottom pixel row light blue and the lower middle grey. The result is good in both emulation and the real hardware; there you can’t see the colors but the text has a silvery look and it naturally fades to make lines pop out. I colored numbers yellow with light green at the bottom for the same effect and now they pop very well!
I hear you on content generation… it can be very time-consuming. Having someone you trust doing the work for you will definitely help the process!
Ultima, hands-down. Mainly because I found Wizardry to be ludicrously difficult. Ultima made me feel like I was in another world, Wizardry felt like you were playing a 3D dungeon run by a sadistic DM.
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