[WIP] Step (a scifi adventure game)

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Door Uninteresting

Master (224)

afbeelding van Uninteresting

29-07-2021, 21:46

My entry to MSXdev’21 is a reuse of my adventure game engine from the last round. I’ll try to find the time to polish it up a bit more, but I expect to be busy and tired with work for August. [url=Here's the current working version; I haven't submitted it to MSXdev yet (for example, I need to check if I can drop the empty pages from the ROM file).

From the player’s perspective, this is made of three chapters and about three times as long as Jäästä. The story is scifi instead of the lighthearted fluff in Jäästä. Still no saving or passwords, but each chapter is about as long as Jäästä.

From the technical perspective -- the game uses five 16KB pages. One page has all the code (with room to spare), another has the title screen and UI graphics (with room to spare), and the last three have one chapter each. That’s what I get for not doing support for multiple pages “properly” the first time around and allowing data to be split over multiple pages per chapter.

Technical changes were limiting the episode to just one page (Jäästä was partially on the same page as the code), allowing multiple locations to share the same image without redefining the same image twice (saves a lot of ROM space), some new script commands (like splitting text automatically to multiple screenfuls, returning to main menu), and
automated compilation of multiple chapters etc to fit in one ROM file.

The game is pretty much done, I’m just adding more “flavour” there in chapters 1 and 3 -- text, characters and items that aren’t needed to finish the game but build up the world a bit more.

I’m writing a longer blog entry on this, but it might take a while to be finished.

Screenshots: title, actual gameplay.

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Van gdx

Enlighted (4642)

afbeelding van gdx

30-07-2021, 02:30

No need to trim empty pages from ROM file. It is better to leave a standard size (8, 16, 32, 48, 64, 128K, ...)

Van santiontanon

Paragon (1470)

afbeelding van santiontanon

30-07-2021, 13:34

Cool! Which ROM mapper should I choose when loading it in openMSX? autodetect makes it load, but when I choose a chapter , the emulator reboots.

Van Timmy

Master (160)

afbeelding van Timmy

30-07-2021, 13:39

I have the same problem with emulator rebooting too.

Van ro

Scribe (4456)

afbeelding van ro

30-07-2021, 15:06

hmm, looks like there's a readme file in that .zip file. What would you do:
- Look
- Examine
- Toss it

choices...choices... adventures are full of'm Smile

Van santiontanon

Paragon (1470)

afbeelding van santiontanon

30-07-2021, 15:30

hahaha, can you believe that I actually DID open the readme!! but I guess I chose "look" instead of "examine" and didn't see it Wink

Van Uninteresting

Master (224)

afbeelding van Uninteresting

30-07-2021, 17:53

I have yet to test if it works on OpenMSX, but it does work on WebMSX if I choose the mapper right. Yes, it's ASCII16 as stated in the readme. And if it doesn't work on OpenMSX, then I'm happy I posted it here first before submitting it to MSXdev.

(Now I'm wondering if the puzzles in chapters 1 and 2 that require paying attention are too difficult...)

Van thegeps

Paladin (855)

afbeelding van thegeps

30-07-2021, 20:28

Don't worry, it works right on OpenMSX after selecting the right mapper. They forgot to do it and autodetect often fails to determine wich mapper a ROM uses (and you know, Santi then managed to run your game... look and examine ahahah)

Van Uninteresting

Master (224)

afbeelding van Uninteresting

31-07-2021, 19:27

@thegeps: Thanks for checking it.

Anyway, I've now submitted it to MSXdev. I might have the time and energy to make an update to it at some point, but not today (bad headache). Last year IIRC my entry that used this very same engine was exactly the median-ranked title. This time there have been so great entries that I expect Step to finish closer to the bottom, but that's only a very good thing that we have so excellent new games.

Van salutte

Master (137)

afbeelding van salutte

01-08-2021, 10:41

I can't wait to arrive at home to try it! I loved Jäästä last year.

About the ranking, don't worry about it! Every game presented to the MSXdev is ranked above the ones that end up not being finished, and every game contributes to the scene and grants us joy. Sadly I couldn't finish any of the projects I had in mind for this years Dev (I was too busy with work the last few months)...

Van Uninteresting

Master (224)

afbeelding van Uninteresting

01-08-2021, 12:26

@salutte Don't misunderstand me -- I don't want to end above the average in the ranks. I do the best I can, ideally being in the middle tier, and my secondary goal is to bolster the number of participants with a not-terrible entry.

I hope you won't be disappointed with Step, since it's a very different beast compared to Jäästä. I don't think it has any intentional humor in it.

I had a shmup in progress, but then I ran completely out of spare time and energy due to various reasons. That's why I decided to quickly (a month and a half ago) write a story idea I had had into a game using the old engine (with some minor upgrades I had already made to it).

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