First of all, happy new year!
So a year is nearly gone… what has been done, and what’s left to do?
I decided in mid-2017 to start using the AMS (Advanced Memory System) for the game, which gave me tons of CPU memory to work with. I started a massive redesign and by the end of 2017, I was creating a music player and a title page for the game, and reworking the original engine code to make use of the added memory.
Looking back, I’m actually impressed with the amount of work I’ve accomplished. At the end of 2018, the engine is 99% complete and undergoing alpha/beta testing. I’ve even created a brand new dynamic battlemap system that wasn’t present in the original engine!
Content has largely stayed at the same level of completion because I’ve been trying NOT to work on it until the engine is done. That’s going to change soon, though. I can’t really draw a world map until I know what the whole thing looks like. 😀
The reason the game was stalled for so many years is I wasn’t certain I could finish it. The baseline “high-end” TI system had only 32 K of CPU RAM, and I was starting to realize the complexity of a CRPG engine strained it to the upmost. The fact I had to start using a cartridge to get an extra 8K RAM was definitely a sign my ambitions were getting too far.
So I kept putting it off, delaying the inevitable conclusion that the game was not possible to do. The original game engine would not have worked, not on hardware anyway. Pushing data to disk helped mitigate CPU RAM consumption, but the cost in read time would have rendered the game unplayable.
And now? It’s no longer a case of IF I’ll finish the game, but when. 🙂 And I’ll definitely finish in 2019!