Well, I've got the code for NPC's talking cleaned up and I'm ready to get the treasure chests implemented. My first problem was how to keep track of what chests had been opened and wich ones hadn't. It would be best just to tack every opened treasure chest to the end of the save game file.. that way as you opened more treasure, the file would get bigger. Unfortunately Pascal isn't much for dynamic data structure size. It really prefers that you pick a size and stay with it. In C the file would just be a binary file I could read and write to at will, but in Pascal its a file of type "savegame" thus every bit of data I read/write to the file has to be of type "savegame".. ... Err.. this is getting boring.. lets just say the dynamic stuff didn't work so I had to pick a maximum number of treasures and maps and allow room in the save game file for all of the treasures. That brought my current save game from less than 250 bytes to over 2k. Still 2k isn't bad for a saved game.
Now that I can keep track of opened/un-opened chests, I need some way of putting them on the map and defining the contents. I'll probably do it very similar to how I did the NPCs, but I not exactly sure how it will work out. This weeks screen shot shows what a normal treasure chest will look like. I'm also going to have hidden treasure in pots and book cases also... so I'll have to keep that in mind. Gosh, the little things are a lot of work.
I'm not sure, but I think that after I get the treasures working I can start on the battle engine. Once it's complete I'll probably produce another demo. Then I gotta start completing artwork. I don't know if I can finish all of this by the end of the summer but I've got to get this done. Softdisk won't be publishing DOS games after another 2 months and most other publishers have already dropped them. I may have to distribute TLOT all by myself. *shrug* Oh well.
April 1st is Aphrodite's birthday! Everyone should email her and say "Happy Birthday"! Looks like no one can figure out what her midi file is.. Kinda a shocker, this isn't that tough.
Anyway, I think I'm gonna go try to get a few hours in on the game today. Now that I've dropped Calc 2 I feel as though I have a lot more free time...
Here's a quick update thats 2 days late. The image up here is of a menu I made today at work in Paint Shop Pro. I was sitting there and I was wondering what Final Fantasy style menus would look like so I pulled up an older screen shot and tried to fit one in. I thought it looked kinda cool myself.
I put up a text counter on the menu. This will likely replace the digits.com counter I've had on the main page. I was just getting tired of the damn thing loosing hits.. It would actually loose 5 to 10 hits at a time.
I've spend the last two nights re-coding Bob. Turns out Softdisk wants a VGA version for their DOS subscribers who can't run SVGA apps (?!?!). Thus, I had to take a SVGA game and create a VGA version. It wasn't fun but hopefully I'm finally done with it. Bob should be out in the next issue, if not, the issue after that.
I'm about to drop calc 2.. I can't take it anymore!!! I might could pull a C, but if I drop and retake it, I can prolly get an A.
Back to the grind stone..
Yes, I'm a day late doing my weekly update. No one even asked me about it. *shrug*.. Oh well.. Anyway, the image up this week is of the sci-fi font being used as the main text font instead of the other all-caps font I was using. It is much easier to read but there seems to be a question as to how well a sci-fi font fits into a fantasy game. I might look for another font and change things again, but I really like this font. The more I see it in the game the more I like it. Its pretty clean and its fairly easy to read. It blends in with the theme faster than you would think from looking at this screen shot. Perhaps I'll use it in the next demo and get some feedback.. or I might just get a demo out to my beta testers... Anyway, I'm working on it.
I don't have time to go into much more of an update. I'm going to be leaving the state Wed morning and won't be back until Sunday so nothing is going to get done this week (with TLOT). I might skip the next update because of this. Its late and I'm tired. I have to get up for work tomorrow so g' night...
You've probably seen lots of crates/boxes like the one shown in this weeks image, but they've always been just a static place filler on the screen. I've finally got code in place so you can slide them around (ah la Bob). I tried it one way, spent 20 minutes coding, realized it was a bad idea and then removed all of my changes. I thought about it a few more days and went back and did it a slightly less organized way, but saved a lot of overhead (my maps didn't get any larger in file size for one thing). Anyway, this isn't a major step forward in gameplay, but it might allow me more flexibility in maps and some very small scale puzzles. It will also make the world just a little more interactive.
If you click on this week's image, you'll see a waterfall I was working on for the overworld. It may still need some work..
I think a lot of interest in Talibah is starting to wane due to its slow progress. I'd like to get the game DONE some day withint this year. *gasp* So, whats left to do? Hmm.. I'll try to outline it a little bit (off the top of my head).
While working on TLOT I've had a series of ideas for a new RPG engine. Many of them I simply don't have the talent to implement yet. I did recently have one idea that really is pretty simple. Its in the saved games actually. I'm trying to keep saved games as small as I can (along with everything else in TLOT)... I'd like to write an RPG where I did just to opposite. When you enter the game, you give yourself a handle. Then, you have one save game slot.. This "character profile" will store all kinds of info about your character and what you've done through the game. The choices you make sculpt the world around you and all of these changes are stored in your character profile. The game will still have strong linear story elements, but will be very unique every time you play it. Imagine it like a 1 player MUD (or Ultima Online) and the elements of the MUD world is stored in each saved game... just an idea, one of many.
Ok, some RPG news. The latest Miura Warrior beta (5.2) is out. It contains Chapter 2. Apparently Oscar's RPG news changed it's name to golem's computer role playing games page. It doesn't matter though, the fellow who ran this extremely useful site stopped making updates so he could focus on "contributing news to the VaultNetwork". In his last update, golem mentioned Talibah! I found that to be very cool.
Ok, the new mailing list is up. Check out the Mailing List page for details on how to join the new list.
I've got lots more stuff I could talk about but I'm really stressed for time tonight. I haven't had free time in about 2 months now. BTW- did I ever tell anyone that I saw a movie of Anachronox two weeks ago when I went to Ion Storm? Hmm.. I'll have to bring that up in the mailing list sometime soon.
Ok, another week has passed us by.. no wait.. a whole month did.. And this week I did.. um... well.. not much. I did a ton of coding this week but unfortunately it was all part of a school project that's had me very busy. It was a simple program but it had to be written in C++ and compiled on a Unix system. I did my coding under Win95 using Visual C++ then ported it over. I was actually rather impressed with Visual C++. I mean, its a Microsoft product and it never crashed on me. Go figure?!
The image this week is another drawing done by Brian Crews. This time around its the Shadonian Mages having it out with Aphillia's demons. If you click on the image this week you'll get something rather.. well.. something rather tacky. Its Intern Barbie! (read the text at the top of the box).
A while back I mentioned that a musician sent me some demo music in the mail. I've gotten his permission to zip up his midis and put them on the Internet. The file walter.zip contains 33 samples of some very good midi files. Its just 82k so I highly suggest downloading it.
Friday night I went to a party at Ion Storm with Rathwine, Lord Chaos and Infovein. It pretty much kicked all ass, but that is to be expected. I drank my weight in free beer then devoured as many chicken wings as I could. Then I crashed in one of the rec-rooms and watched someone play Final Fantasy 7. While I was there I talked to Romero. Once I asked him where a phone was, that was a pretty boring conversation but I did get to make a phone call. Later I asked him if he ever played the demo of TLOT he'd downloaded. And, of course, he said no.. But a few comments later he said something I thought was really fantastic. Simple but rather cool, "you've got to write the game you want to write." Hmm.. deep thoughts.
Oh, I almost forgot. I've done a bit of web page designing. I've kinda got enough stuff up on the Zaskoda Soft web page to stop messing with it for a while. I also did a quick page for Xatrix Entertainment using left overs from the first Gathering page I built. They've already started to modify the page themselves so not everything that's up there is mine.
Well, I've got to get stuff done so this week's update will be extremely short. I think I'll put Passive 1 back up as the music for a while.