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Wow it's almost been 2 weeks since my last entry. I was only a hundred or two away from hitting 10,000 views so I was going to wait and say "yay!" but then the big one-oh came and went while I worked on game. I know it's not really a huge achievement and that a lot of games hit that pretty fast but at the time I thought it was neat.

Anyway, I was hoping to do something special for the 10k but unfortunately I don't have anything monumental to give. I thought about posting my old demo at this site since I never shared it here but it sucks and is really not representative of the current version. Even when I released it, the old demo was not actual gameplay from Dragon Warrior Tactics as it existed at the time but rather a mini adventure that took place in a different time.

I decided not to set the game as a download on the game profile. I don't want people rating the game based on it and like I said it is really nothing like the current game. People would probably give a lot of suggestions about the game that just aren't applicable anymore (like fixing the font, difficulty, etc.)

With that in mind, if you want to play the old "demo", feel free to check it out here (without the RTP) or here (with the RTP) if you haven't already punched yourself in the crotch today.

It is frustrating and ghetto but I had fun playing it when I made it. + If you finish it, you get:

to play a hidden mini pacman game and can win a cheat code for the full version of DWT

Enjoy (or don't)!

Last post I made a list of things that I wanted to accomplish in the near future. I had an idea for a custom event-based system and it took 2 days just to conceptualize how it could be done. I have a pretty good idea of how I'm going to do it so I put down a foundation and moved on.

I have been working pretty hard on the storyline. It is already written on a text-only plot point storyboard or flow chart or w/e you want to call it. However, it is taking a lot of time converting it to dialogue and plugging it into the game.

One of the problems I ran into with the text/dialogue is that my font does not fit the same way as the default font. Consequently, I can't use the little arrow to figure out if it is going to fit, fill the box, or spill over resulting in cut off dialogue until I test play it. So, what happens is I write some dialogue and then run through and test it all, write some dialogue and then run through and test it all, lather rinse repeat, lather rinse repeat.

Dragon Warrior Tactics dialogue is also complex. Since it varies depending upon your actions, how far you are into an arc, etc. there are multiple sets of dialogue for each situation that needs to be written/tested.

That alone would be time-consuming. However, there's more. Since I didn't do everything in one sitting, some npc's and cut scenes had their name or another identifying word at the start of their message while others did not. As a result, some npc's would sound like this:

"Guard: This area is off-limits."

while others would say things like:

"Can I help you?"

A small detail for sure but one that bothered me for its inconsistency. In the end, I decided to remove the identifier/name for normal 1-way interactions like those you get when you walk up to an npc and talk while leaving in the identifiers/names for dialogue that is a back and forth between 2 or more people so that you know which person is saying what.

Another thing I realized is that the characters start out using Dragon Warrior I type dialogue "Hast thou" and then become "Have you" type dialogue. I know I'm going to have to fix it, I just can't bring myself to tackle this right now.

After that, I decided to work on the facets of the battle encounters. This seems to be a pretty popular topic at the forums so I'll just give a short blurb thesis of confusion and indecision of where I am right now. This is the current battle system:

As I previously mentioned, when you touch certain squares, there are story/side-quest battles. You should know that the battle is there (I haven't added a mark yet but I may do so in the future). Once you fight that battle, the square becomes a "random battle" square. When you step on the square a coin is flipped and you have a 50/50 chance of encountering an enemy. This is all old news. However, there's more ;)

The system I'm currently using is a 100% run success (just x out of the battle setup). But, there's a penalty! This is the new part. If you "run" or cancel a random battle you are penalized. Right now I am leaning towards a % of gold loss if you run or losing an amount of gold that is equivalent to the amount you would have received if you won the battle.

Currently your health point is regenerated 100% at the start of every battle. I didn't realize Tomoaky's SRPG did that. This is particularly confusing considering that the sample encounters that come with the script have the line "recover all: party" in the event that calls them. If parties regenerate automatically, then why does it include this? I removed the line but it still regenerated the characters. I suspected that it is somewhere in the script's settings but I haven't found anything in it yet so I will probably ask around.

However, I don't really mind the regeneration. If I remember correctly, Final Fantasy Tactics used a 100% regeneration between battles. I like games that test your endurance. It is fun to play a game with hp loss that carries over from battle to battle, watching your limited stock of herbs dwindle, and wondering if you are going to make it to the target or back out again. I love the feeling of victory when you make it to town praying you don't encounter another enemy with your 2 hp and no healing supplies/mp remaining. But I'm adapting.

One of the ways I've adapted is that if one your party members dies in battle they're dead forever. That's right lol. The wizard you just leveled up 20 levels who fell during battle: gone. If your main character dies, you get teleported to your last save spot where you get resurrected at the cost of 1/2 your gold.

I'm probably going to add banks so if you deposit all of your gold before you go out adventuring, you can limit your losses.

I could also do away with the option/ability to run which would also remove the ability to choose which party members fight but would remove the penalty. To balance things I could remove the massive penalty on a dying party member. But I think I like the way I have it. You have a choice to fight or not. If you chicken out, you lose a little coin. But if you fight you better make sure you can win because the stakes are high.

Another way I could soften things up for the player is by removing the member from the party but allowing you to pay a hefty fee to re-hire him with the same stats.

To summarize:

1. You can see story/side-quest battles coming and choose yes/no to fight. However, a "yes" may be required to progress.

2. Once a battle has been fought on that square, it becomes a random battle spot with a 50/50 chance of encountering an enemy.

3. If you run/cancel the battle, you drop gold.

4. If you fight and win the battle but lose a party member in the process, the party member will be gone.

5. If you fight and lose your main character, you keep your experience but lose half your gold.

The one thing that I'm struggling with is the decision of how to handle battles in dungeons. I don't think I can do the random encounters the default way. Battles are started by events with lines of script in them so if I add some random enemies in caves, I will have to put visible or invisible characters that wander on the dungeon map and get triggered by touch/talk. The thread and articles have some interesting stuff (like proximity encounters instead of touch).

I could also put mandatory stationary battle event triggers at strategic locations like at the entrance, mid-point, at chests, or at the end of the dungeon but it is kind of boring to have the player walk through a cave without filling it with enemies.

Ideally I would have a single battle or series of battles that trigger one after another when you touch the cave entrance. However, I already created the damn dungeon maps so I'd like to use them.

I just don't know.



Kafkaesque...has nothing to do with this blog. I was going to call it the List but I thought the new title sounded cooler.

Anyway, in my last blog, I hinted that making a game is a source of endless work. Well, one might argue that if you enjoy it that it's not work I suppose. But, that's not really what I am writing about today. Today's blog is more or less is about organizing my "endless work" into a list of things that are on the horizon for Dragon Warrior Tactics. I suppose this serves the purpose of helping me organize my own thoughts and direction while informing my watchers or subscribers what is happening.

A few days ago, I posted about the battle algorithm in Dragon Warrior Tactics. You know, for how much people complain about blogs with little substance, I feel like I posted something that really wasn't all that profound but received some really good responses about battle algorithms. As a result, one of the thing's I'm adding to the to-do list is experiment with the battle formula per the posts on that blog.

Right now I am focusing on the storyline. Since the story branches, I am actually making multiple threads all at the same time in chronological order. So, I'm going to continue working on that.

In a recent thread at the forums, I said that people don't always put things on the internet (their work) because they want feedback. That is to say, feedback isn't the primary motivator behind the person posting it. However, that doesn't mean that said person is against receiving any and all feedback. I'm sure there are varying degrees of how welcome this or that comment is. But in general, I am pretty happy with the feedback I've received. As I stated above, it really gave me some good info to use with my battle algorithms, but some of the posters also gave some things to think about with my graphics. I have a few non-8bit graphics in the game and some of the suggestions that I change them have really made me re-review those images. Consequently, I am probably going to go back and try switching some things to match the 8 bit theme (like window frame, background, equipment graphics, etc.) Whether or not I keep the changes is anyone's guess but at the very least I will be comparing the different styles and options.

Another thing I want to add is my "end game". I don't mean the ending to the game, I mean that thing that happens once the player reaches the later stages of the game. I have some ideas that I'd like to integrate into the game. I know that you the reader would probably prefer more specifics but I hope it helps just to know that I am making this area a focus of attention because I think there is some fun to be had in giving the player that extra mile.

I was out of game making for a couple of months and getting back into the swing of things was really difficult at first. It was hard for me to get motivated again. I wasn't really interested in the game (at least not as much as I was before I left). But now that I have done a couple weeks worth of work on the game, I feel like I am starting to get more productive.

To summarize, this is a list of some of the things I want to do next:

1. Continue branching storyline
2. Continue job class system
3. Implement mercenary system
4. Experiment with new algorithms
5. Work on endgame
6. Compare straight 8 bit graphics with hybrid graphics
7. Create x system (Hasn't been named or discussed yet but I am pretty excited about it. It's a new system I hope to add to the game that will prob be integrated with the day/night and mercenary system. I'll release more info on it later.)

Looking at the list, I should probably do the algorithm work before I continue the storyline so that I can take care of the battles without having to redo them. However, today, I think it might be time to look at the job classes and mercenary system!

Stay tuned!


The Endless Work

It's been about a week so I thought I'd write a little update on what is happening with Dragon Warrior Tactics. Since the last time, I've fixed the battle formula. Now the game uses the simple attack minus defense equals damage battle formula.

One of the problems (minor) that I notice with this system is that once the enemy gets outleveled, you start to take zero damage 100% of the time (because your defense is higher than their attack). To counter this, I'll probably give each enemy an unblockable skill attack that does a set amount of damage.

I've also been experimenting with my "random" battles. Basically this is how it works right now: There are spots on the map that have story or sidequest (proposition) battles. Once you have cleared those spots, they become a spot where random battles can occur (much like Final Fantasy Tactics or Tactics Ogre).

As of right now even the random battles are "optional". The way that it works is that you touch the battle-zone for example by crossing a bridge, and a virtual coin is flipped. You have a 50% chance of that crossing causing a random battle. However, before the random battle begins, you are presented with a window to choose which party members you want to fight. If you press "x", you run with a 100% guaranteed success (actually the encounter is just cancelled but it can be conceptualized as running.)

Another thing that I added was that I set the number of enemies to equal the number of members you have in your party (not necessarily the number you are deploying).

What this means is that if you have 1 party member, your hero, random battles will only ever include 1 enemy. However, if you have 2, 3, or 4 party members, then you will be attacked by 2, 3, or 4 enemies respectively. Now, if you have 4 people in your party and only deploy 1 of them to the battle, you will still have 4 enemies vs your 1.

One of the things that I was considering doing was making it (the # of enemies you face) entirely random, regardless of the number of people in your party that are available to deploy. Any thoughts?

Let's see, what else is going on with the game? Well, part of the storyline requires that the player sail from Hamlin in the Southern continent of Torland to either Northern Torland or to the Free Cities, so, I had to create a port city that did not exist in the original series. It is a pretty small city (probably more like a village) and will function almost solely for the purpose of containing the Lord of Hamlin's ship. I think I did a really nice job of tying it into the original series though.

Otherwise, most of my gamemaking time has been spent creating dialogue, townspeople, etc. Anyway, thanks for watching. Stay tuned!


Return of the Mack

I've been back from a planned/scheduled leave of absence for a few days now so I thought I should post and update everyone on what's happening.

The game is moving forward with production and I am still hoping to finish by the end of the Summer. I am working on some audio, I redid the main character's sprite, and I have redone the day/night system. I replaced the older clunkier and more complicated system with a more basic simple or streamlined version.

One of my biggest hurdles right now is the battles. I am having a really tough time finding the motivation to take care of this. Tactical battle systems add an extra level of complication onto an already tedious process. But it's not even the tbs that's slowing me down right now its my need to change my battle algorithms (lol).

When I used GTBS, I had a very simple atk minus def = dmg formula. But, last time I checked, I wasn't able to use this system with Tomoaky. So, unless I figure out a way to switch it, I am going to be stuck using the default formula (which does not favor the low values used at the start of nes Dragon Warrior titles).

So, if you use the default battle formula/algorithm and would like to share your character/monster/equip stats, it would be very much appreciated!

Thanks everyone. Stay tuned!


Catching Up with the Past

Today I realized that it's been a while since I posted an entry so I thought I better get writing. The reason why I haven't posted much this week is because I haven't made much progress this week. Well, that's not true. I have done a lot of work and have accomplished a lot but most of it has been catching up to where I thought I was a week ago.

One of the things that I thought was finished was my transition to the SRPG2 battle system. Unfortunately, there was a lot of things that needed fixed that wasn't obvious at first. So this week I focused on finalizing the transition that I thought was complete last week.

Another thing that I did was create a new sheet of icons for use with the new battle system and for the player's inventory. The images for the inventory do not match the game's 8-bit graphics so I'm not even sure if I am going to use them but at least I have them now if I do decide to use them.

I regret not writing about a general rpg making topic this week in place of a progress blog but I guess I'll save that for another day. If anyone has any suggested topics, let me know and I'll see what I can do. I'm also taking questions about DWT. If anyone has any questions about DWT, let me know and I might turn it into a blog entry too.

Stay tuned Space_Gamemakers!


On Like Donkey Kong

I put in about 14 hours today so I'm a little burned out but I'm going to try to stay coherent. First, I have some good news! I played with the new battle system last night and decided to go ahead and switch Dragon Warrior Tactics to Tomoaky's SRPG2 Tactical Battle System. This is a pretty big move for DWT but I think it will be good in the long run. I projected that I would be finished with the switch by Monday. I have almost finished the change and I am ahead of schedule! There are still a few things that I need to tweak, but my initial tests are looking good. If all goes as planned I should be able to wrap up the loose ends and continue my progress tomorrow.

If this system doesn't work for some reason or another, then I don't know what I'll do. My backup plan is to use a roguelike battle system if the tactical battle system fails. I'm hoping that I don't have to do that though. Not because roguelike isn't good but because I want to create a different game with a roguelike battle system some time in the future when I finish DWT. It's a good system and it does resemble tactical battle systems. But, I think an actual tactical battle system fits what I am aiming for in DWT.

I have a few other ideas rattling around in my skull so I don't know if the roguelike will be the next one I make but at least it gives me some more motivation to finish DWT. The sooner I finish DWT the sooner I can start another project. The only problem is that even if I want to finish it tomorrow or next week or next month, I still can't predict the game crashes, setbacks, or simply the huge amounts of time that it will take to make my ideas take shape.

Unfortunately, I think that's one of the biggest obstacles that people run into when they are making an RPG with a program. There's a lot of neat little tools for making what you want come true but I think it's a lot more work than what someone expects when they start a project. Maybe that's why so many people dropout with unreleased games. We get these grand schemes and plans for our games but when it's time to do it, it just gets to be too much. You move a mountain and there's another one behind it. You want to make your game special and unique but that costs time. Every feature, graphic, side-story, battle, etc. that you add makes the game more complicated and more work.

I went back and played my (really old) demo the other day. I've posted it in the past but I haven't linked to it here because it is flawed and I don't want it to represent this full version. But there was something that the demo had that this full version doesn't have, simplicity.

It didn't have 20 custom scripts so there was nothing to conflict with each other, it didn't have ridiculously long cut-scenes, etc. It was just a basic grindfest on monsters outside of town and it was an unforgiving and difficult to start game but I enjoyed it!

I got a rush running to town to buy my first armor and weapon hoping to not get killed by a slime. I knew that any battle, even against a single blue slime, would mean instant death and I loved it. I feel like I was firewalking. I moved quickly while repeating my own little gamer's prayer "oh shit, oh shit, oh shit" and I only stopped after a few steps to say "whew" in my head and mentally prepare for that one last random encounter square tile between me and safety.

After a few minutes I had burned through all the money I had on inn visits to replenish the "one-foot-in-the-grave" hp I had after every single battle. Eventually, it just got cheaper to die and let the king take 1/2 my gold to revive me.

If I took anything from this experience, I think it might be this: KISS. "Keep it simple stupid". The other thing might be: If you plan on trying my game you better bring a helmet because I'm going back to my roots and its going to be brutal. I might hold your hand until you put a stick or a blade in it but then it's on like Donkey Kong.

ps. I added a comic page and a video page to DWT's game profile. There's not much in them yet but I hope to add some video previews of actual gameplay and some fun comics once I get close to finishing the game.


Come Hell or High Water

It's been a few days so I thought I'd just give a quick update on what is happening with Dragon Warrior Tactics. For a long time I wrestled with bugs in my game. Most all of the problems are related to battles. I'm not blaming Gubid's Tactical Battle System. I still love it. Maybe I am not smart enough to figure out what is causing the problems but it seems like every time one happens, I start moving backwards to an older save file to a time when the problem didn't exist. Needless to say this sets me back a lot. Furthermore, the crashes and errors simply reappear.

So, tonight I decided to revisit Tomoaky's SRPG battle system. It's a tactical battle system. It wasn't in English so I toyed around with the untranslated version for a little while before looking around to see what I could find. I'm happy to say that I did find a translated version. I have looked through it and I am feeling optimistic about using it for Dragon Warrior Tactics.

The next step is going to be to experiment with it and see if I am capable of using it for DWT. I am pretty bad at setting time-frames for this stuff; I tend to set target dates sooner than actually accomplished but I am hoping to familiarize myself with the system more tomorrow. If all goes well, I hope to have Tomoaky's SRPG battle system full implemented over the weekend.

If it doesn't work, then I guess I will spend the weekend taking an ancient DWT project file and try to bring it up to where I thought I was this morning.

Either way, I remain undeterred. I have come too far and put in too much work. This game will be made and it will be made right come hell or high water.


Title Not Found.

Well, it's been a pretty productive weekend. I finally stopped goofing around with trailers and got some solid work finished on the game. One of the major things that I am near finishing is the custom menu for teleporting to towns using a return spell or wyvern wing item.

Basically, the locations are locked and show up as a " ? " on the menu until the player visits that village, castle, etc. Once the player visits that particular place, the name of that place shows up on the menu and s/he can use the item/spell to teleport to that locale.

There are still a few tweeks that I want to make to it so I'm not going to post any screens of it. However, I am pretty satisfied with it.

I was hoping to tackle the mercenary system this weekend but I spent most of the day watching Dwarf Fortress videos on youtube and working on this game page's CSS.

There's still a few things I'd like to change on the page but I like what I've done so far. If anyone wants to help, I'm open to it. I know some things would look better if it were changed but I am having a hard time figuring out how to do the last few things.

Finally, I'd like to give a special thanks to Mellytan and Strangeluv for giving me a hand with the CSS!


Xtra Video

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Dragon Island

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