Work in Progress

Quick share of some screenshots of where I’m at…

So initially I got a nice video garbage screen when going to combat. Lots of bugs with functions not returning to the caller, workspace overlaps, and video buffer overruns. After getting a lot of that sorted out, I finally have the display showing up and it reaching a point of “user input”:

The initial encounter screen. This is mostly good. There is the lack of a plural on the monster name. (Yes, it was supposed to add an ‘s’ on the end.) And the position of the units isn’t correct; my party came from the left so they should be on the left and the monsters on the right.

Hmm, it’s missing the “Your turn guy, this weapon ready” line. And the commands look a little squished. And his actual CHARACTER is gone from the map and the sprite “blink” effect looks corrupted. But at least it’s at a stage where the character can do something.

One step (and debug) at a time…

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2 Responses to Work in Progress

  1. Just responding to your previous post onto your latest blog entry:

    “Yeah, summoned creatures was a pain in my engine as well… I finally came across a mechanic that worked; they are “new” monsters added to the field that are charmed so they are player allies. That means given time (or if the right spell hits them), the charm will wear off and they’ll turn on the players.”

    That’s a very clever way to implement that game mechanic. Given that you have tactical combat as opposed to “blobber portrait” combat, you have a cohesive game engine that allows for such.

    “As far as game mechanics, that’s where our design aspirations differ. 🙂 I’ve played D&D derivative games on old and new platforms both, and I’m keen to design my own. I’ve never liked the “old school” mechanics with “save or die”, “lose a level”, or similar. Most of those were introduced by Gygax at his table because his early players were horrific game munchkins who exploited every possible loophole they could find.”

    I had a Dungeon Master who would come up with these horrific life and death scenarios and he’d force his players to to extremely creative on how to get out of them. He wasn’t above killing off player characters, in fact he reveled in it at times. But those D&D sessions were the most fun.

    “Don’t let any of my comments lead you to think I have a negative opinion of Realms of Quest… Far from it! Heck, you’ve turned out FOUR of them, I’ve yet to get one done. 🙂”

    Thank you. But in fairness, from what I gather, you’re making the equivalent of Ultima V as your first CRPG attempt. U5 is basically the pinnacle of 8-bit RPG design. If I’m going to compare my own games:

    Realms I – programmed in a few weeks when I was a teenager. It plays like Telengard.

    Realms II – basically Telengard with a procedurally generated world map with dungeons. I later added some portraits (20 of them).

    Realms III – equivalent to Ultima I as far as a game world goes, 45 portraits and an adventuring party of 6.

    Realms IV – the equivalent of early Wizardry (I-III) with about 110 portrait graphics. In fact, I even put in black and white wireframe graphics for good measure. Party size of 8.

    Realms V – A game world that’s equivalent to Ultima III, cities with townspeople and with early Wizardry-like dungeons (along with the introduction of dialogue which I never bothered with before), 350 portrait graphics and the D&D-like system that I continue to improve and refine. Party size of 10 along with 10 additional slots for summons/controlled monsters/NPC allies.

    There’s a relatively modest process that I went through to get to where I am now. You’re setting your goals quite high from the start.

    • adamantyr says:

      Yes, I was definitely using Ultima V as my benchmark, given it’s the highest rated 8-bit CRPG of all time, plus it has great depth of character to the story and NPC’s.

      A good DM can make up for a hard game! The difference between tabletop games and CRPG’s though is that the latter won’t have the flexibility to offer alternative solutions or make on-the-fly changes to unexpected actions.

      Part of my lack of interest in a Wizardry/Might & Magic/Bard’s Tale kind of game is I didn’t really grow up playing them. Tunnels of Doom was 3D corridors but had 2D combat. The pretty pictures of Ultima games with top-down views of the map drew me in like nothing else.

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