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3D Dungeon Crawler engine for 68K Macs

BacioiuC

Well-known member
Update time!

The game is nearing completion. The last batch of items images and sprites have been added to the game. The only thing we're missing to be art complete is 3 fullscreen animations:
  • Casting a self effect spell (healing, muffle)
  • Triggering a Trap Spell
  • Getting damaged by ranged spell attacks.
From my talks with Bitmap Soft, it's looking like we're releasing the Physical Version in January. The Manual has been completely written with all the details and its currently having the layout, cover and graphics designed. BitmapSoft also shared with me a work in progress of the game's box art, which can be seen here:
ebonybox.jpg

Box art is still subject to change until production starts but looks pretty close to being done.

As for the game, item graphics and sprites have been delivered and I'm in the process of integrating them right now. You can now pickup swords, spells, bows etc and use them in-game properly. If you are already wielding a sword and pickup a better one, the game will auto-equip the new one ones picked up, and drop the old one under your character (instead of being in front of you).

Bellow, some screenshots I took while testing the game. Upper left - a visible trap. Upper right? A spellbook. Lower left? A quiver with arrows. And finally, lower right - a bow!

esq_items.png

The Wait button on the interface is going be be changed to a "Search" button. It mainly does the same thing as skipping a turn, but will also try to detect any traps around the character. Classes such as the Ranger can automatically detect traps, while other classes can gain such an ability from Potion effects in the game.

I am now 100% in crunch mode, to make sure all items are added and work properly. I hope to be content complete by the end of next week with the remaining time being spent on squashing bugs and improving performance.

See you guys soon o7
 

BacioiuC

Well-known member
It's been a wild ride since last year and I haven't gotten much work done on the game. Last time I worked on it I tried to move the project files over from my CCII to my SE/040 so I can use dual monitors + a faster 040 to code on it. However, Code Warrior did not want to compile the project, mentioning missing files or non-existing line files. Sadly my mom got cancer for the third time around December last year and sadly passed away last month and with my ever growing list of projects and client (+ a new business) I was busy.

Today I came back, sat in my office for a while and decided to give it another go. I manually copy-pasted all source files and all resource files into a new project but no dice, it just wasn't read properly by code warrior.

So I decided to hack it and made a list of all source files, read them in C and spat them out as new files on a different partition on my drive. Loaded them up a completely new Code Warrior project and taaadaaah!

IMG_7708.JPG

It seems everything is mostly fine. I just need to finish implementing the traps and the final boss fight + QA and bug fixes. I won't name a release date but I'm hoping this year. Might take a few weeks off from my other projects, go back to my dad's place and work from there.
 

Mu0n

Well-known member
It looks incredible. I'll put this in my real machines because it'll be more than worthy!

And I'm truly sorry to hear about your mother and the hard past year your family has had. You have my condolences.
 

nightingale

Well-known member
So sorry for your loss. I was thinking about this project the other day and wondering what happened to it. Sorry to hear how tough the last year has been.

Glad you got everything working! Looking forward to seeing more updates and hopefully seeing the final release!
 

BacioiuC

Well-known member
I’ve implemented the traps, they’ve been a long time coming.


Left to do:
  • healing animation
  • damage from spell animation
  • 8 remaining items and weapons to pick up
  • Victory screen
And with this I can be content complete. I estimate it will take me about a week to get through the remaining items. After that it’s balancing like crazy, qa & bug fixes and I can ship it to Bitmap Soft for publishing.

I have yet to complete a full run to the boss fight since I added the final boss. I won’t spoil that one since it involves a lot of summonings. But progress has been fast since the last post. Coding on a 040 is so much faster, especially when editing animations that are full 512x128 images 😅.

Man I love the 040 SE/30!
 

BacioiuC

Well-known member
More progress today! The healing and spell damage animations are in! All items and weapons have been added, though I can't reach the upper levels to make sure the final spells spawn, I keep dying on level 6.

The only thing left to be content complete is the Victory Screen upon defeating the final boss and making sure that the last level is a custom dungeon, instead of the normal ones generated. I want to make it big, square-ish area, to fight in.

I also implemented a much simpler and apparently faster sorting algorithm for drawing the sprites back-to-front depending on your orientation which seems to also have fix some sprite overlapping issues I was having.

Only bug left that I know about is that sometimes when changing your view direction the sprite directly in front of you does not get rendered. If you rotate again and then go back it appears. My guess is that there's a floating point calculation that displays that sprite just a tiny tiny tiny tiny tiny bit further away than it is. Adding a +0.1 to the distance calculations solved this issue.

So outside of working on the Victory Screen the only thing left to finish is balancing and tweaking some of the spell effects. There aren't many spells in the game due to limitations (funds for animations and the way I programmed my TURN handling function). I'll be spending the next week or so tweaking and balancing the game.

Here's the new healing animation in my quick priest run attempt. I ended up dying because I ran out of mana by the last attack and couldn't heal myself. Ogh well.


After that? On October 7 -> 9 the game will be showcased at an Indie Arts and Game festival in Cluj, Romania. Taking my SE/30 there where I'll be having my own booth and I'll be showcasing the beauty that is a 68K compact mac to the many people of the convention.

Now the publisher is having a few issues with logistics and if the game is ready before they can handle manufacturing and publishing I'll just use the extra time to work on some sound effects and tracks for the game. I've been playing AudioCD's on my SE/30's AppleCD 300e while playing and working on the game and I'm really thinking that some sound effects should spice things up a bit. Depending on how things go, I might just employ a good friend of mine, and musician, to make a sound track AudioCD for the game for some extra fun but it might just be overdoing it (depending on how costly it ends up being).

I'll keep you guys updated on when the game is complete and what the plans are from the publisher's side. I really want to get the game out by November 2nd, the fifth anniversary of the original game.
 

nightingale

Well-known member
Very impressive! I'd be interested in learning more about your experience working with a publisher for a retro game. I see they deal exclusively with retro content.
 

BacioiuC

Well-known member
I've added Quality Levels to the game to make it run a bit better on lower powered machines. You're going to be trading time (to process and render stuff) for render quality.

This video pretty much explains what I've done. Still tuning some more things to get it playable on a SE but I might not be able to get it to that state. Still check out the video:


@nightingale Yep, Bitmap Soft/Phoenix Ware only deal with Retro games and retro content. There's not much more to say than I reached out to them, showed them the game, what I'm trying to do and we shook hands on it. They're helping with the production (Box graphics, manual, formatting), the physical media (floppies, cd's, poster, box production and insert) and handling sales, distribution and shipping.

I just gotta make sure I deliver them a good game. They're going to do some QA themselves and that's pretty much it. The split is going to be 50%-50% after recouping the production cost but I'm not banking on the money from the sales themselves. If the game sells 100 copies that I'll be great.

I mostly went for them with a publisher because I want to put the game on my shelf and they do high quality, old-school, boxed releases. That's pretty much all there is to it.
 
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