Before resizable sprites, before slices, before portraits, before *sound effects*, before **non-DOS support**...
Lie the Nameless Versions.
And if you go back further in time, as far back as you possibly can, and what do you find?
None other than the 4-map version of the OHR.
It has been said many times that restrictions breed creativity, and the oldest versions of the OHR offer some fierce restrictions indeed.
The challenge here is simple: make a game in either a pre-2000 version of the OHRRPGCE, or adhere to its restrictions in a more modern version of the engine. Whether or not you make a game that feels like it's an amateur game from 2000 is up to you, although I do recommend it.
To make things easier for those who don't want to/are unable to fiddle around with DOSBox, there are two categories you can enter your game into:
The Spirit of 1998
- Make a game within the confines of 4 maps, without plotscripting*.
- To the best of your ability, avoid features that weren't around in 1998, and keep to the numerical restrictions on things that were there. Look in whatsnew.txt and search from the bottom up if you're unsure.
- Use the Old Classic OHRRPGCE Palette that's in the import folder.
- For reasons of palatability/not enticing crashes, feel free to use non-MIDI/BAM music.
The Core of 1998
-Using a version of CUSTOM from before 2000 here, make a game. Preferably, use the earliest version that actually runs in DOSBox.
-Follow the above rules, the capacity of what these versions of the engine can do.
-Be nice and include a copy of GAME.exe alongside your download. We may be using the 1998 version of the OHR, but it isn't 1998.
Given the circumstances of this contest, using one scale to rank these games on will probably not be ideal. Therefore, there will be two:
1. Rank the games from best to worst. The usual.
2. Rank the games based on how much they feel like an OHR game released from 1998-2002.
What game you use as your measuring stick is up to you, but make sure to reference which one you're using. Wandering Hamster isn't FUABMv3 isn't 1st Year, after all, and those are all games that roughly fit in this time period.
Submissions are due March 31st. Good luck!
- You still have tags, text boxes, and a fair amount of battle stuff to work with. You don't even need to make an RPG - though things outside that are going to be harder to pull off.
- You can fake having more than 4 maps by making large maps and dividing them up into smaller areas. Note that you'll run hard into NPC limits if you're not careful doing this.
For that authentic early aughts feel, find a Top 30 list from 2000 or 2001. If you're lucky, the pictures will still be there.
- For those using a modern version of the OHR for this, here's some limits to be aware of:
-999 text boxes
-500 enemy definitions
-200 attack definitions
-1000 enemy formations
-15 tilesets [unlikely to be relevant]
-4q heroes, and 4q pictures for them
-150 small enemy graphics
-80 medium enemy graphics
-30 large enemy graphics
-120 walkabout graphics
-150 weapon graphics
-100 attack graphics
-36 NPCs per map
-tileset animations are restricted to two tiles in the bottom-right corner alternating.
-no attack descriptions
[there's a lot more, but in the interest of not making this list of restrictions 90% of this post, read the thread]
-For attacks, generally use stuff that's in the first few options. Status effects weren't implemented until the new millennium.
-Items can't call text boxes
-Stealing things isn't allowed [the attack bitset, that is - it's not a proper early 2000s amateur RPG if you're not poaching FF4 MIDIs from VGmusic]
-If you're unsure of something, search it up in whatsnew.txt - if it's referred to as a new feature anywhere in there, leave it out!
*If there's a feature of 1998-2000 OHR you're dying to put in that doesn't appear in modern versions, feel free to plotscript that in. Nothing more, though!
And for those gunning for the core:
- The attack and enemy editors have several aspirational features that are unimplemented [as of the 1999 version of the OHR in the archive, at least]. 'Bounceable', the various status effect-sounding bitsets, and enemy counterattacks aren't a thing.
- Using external graphics editors and importing via Tiletool and Ohrgfx is probably in your best interest. I'm not stopping you from drawing things in-engine to better enable the particular look of old OHR games across, though.
- Editing wallmaps in versions from before
- Oh yeah, you'll need to use DOSBox to even attempt this. Have fun!
e [2/27]: Added some more specific restrictions on things.
FINAL LIST OF GAMES