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Metal King Slime
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 PostWed Feb 26, 2020 11:22 pm
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Because DOS.
I would guess that DOSBox's DOS implementation is to blame, crashing instead of gracefully handling an invalid filename.

custom-1998-10-04-4map.zip contains a copy of CUSTOM.EXE which is 100kB too short, it doesn't run. GAME.EXE and other files seem to be fine.

custom-1998-07-27.zip has a working CUSTOM.EXE, though sometimes it crashes in DOSBox. It seems to depend on the .rpg file used. E.g. accessing an enemy's General Data in NPC_TAG.RPG crashed, and sometimes adding a new map does as well.

I hear that CUSTOM.EXE from custom-1999-12-21.zip is less crash prone, but I'm going to try using 1998-07-27 instead.
Feenicks wrote that that (not-4-map) 1999 version is OK to use for that reason, but I presume you're still meant to stick to 1998 features?

FnrrfYgmSchnish wrote:
Here's a few things I noticed from that version, figured I'd post them here since they're relevant to the current contest...


If you look at whatsnew.txt in a nightly build you'll see I added 1998-10-04 and 1998-07-26/27 to the bottom of the file for easy searching. In particular:

* Textbox hero swapping conditionals were added in 1998-10-04
* Caterpillar parties added 1998-10-04
* "NPC positions are preserved when you fight a battle" was 1998-10-04... yikes!
* Font editing was added June 18 1999
* Vehicles added May 8 2000
* Item and hero auto-set tags added June 18 1999
* Harmtiles added January 25 2000
* "Yay! The mapeditor in wallmapping mode no longer flickers in a seisure-inducing way. Yay!" -- January 25 2000
* Poison, stun, regen were added Nov 23 2002. I think I actually remember that.

Also I wrongly said that there are no enemy bitsets in 1998-07-27. Turns out I needed to scroll down past a bunch of blank bitsets!

Nathan Karr wrote:
I tested the elements extensively in 2003/2004 with characters who did flat 100 damage and Do Not Randomize bitset. Weak To was 200%, Strong To was 18%, Weak To + Strong To was 36%, and of course Absorbs would invert the damage into healing.


Fnrrf was right, "strong to" was 12% damage, "weak to" was 200%, and both was 24%. "Bonus vs [enemytype]" was 180% damage.

Nathan Karr wrote:
I remember learning later that type-slayer weaknesses were x1.8 instead of x2. I didn't experiment with those much because I didn't find it very useful to have "fail if enemy is [type]" compared to nowadays where I can have "fail if enemy isn't weak to [type slayer] minimum 101%"


You've warmed my heart. Ever since I replaced "fail if enemy is [type]" with the percentage thresholds I've regretted it, thinking noone actually wanted that change.
I would do things differently today. I think I would keep around separate old obsolete settings separate rather than trying to find some way to convert them to an over-general new system.
Metal Slime
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 PostThu Feb 27, 2020 1:52 am
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I also remember when poison/stun(/was mute not added at the same time?)/regen were added!

I went back and added those features to a recently finished game as soon as I could (I had placeholder "poisoned" and such chained from other attacks already in place, so all I had to do was make them actually do something), and ended up making all stun attacks completely broken because I didn't realize the stun timer counted down seconds rather than ticks. :hurr:

Quote:
Harmtiles added January 25 2000
* "Yay! The mapeditor in wallmapping mode no longer flickers in a seisure-inducing way. Yay!" -- January 25 2000


Interesting! That means that my first serious attempt at making a game, Supernum and the Eight Orbs of Power, must have been something I started on after this date. (This one actually would have gotten finished, if not for the power going out while I was editing it, which corrupted the file... and then I found out that my most recent backup was so old that only the first small continent of the map was done.)

For some reason I always figured it had been a little further back than that, but there were definitely harmtiles in it.
Bok's Expedition -- Starting on the ending sequence now
Puckamon -- Not until the reserve party is expanded
Metal King Slime
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 PostThu Feb 27, 2020 3:16 am
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Yes, mute too.

- Wrapping and non-cropping ("Use default tile") maps were added November 9 1999
- Map names added November 9 1999
- Tileset default passability added Feb 27 2001 Zombie Gonk

The wallmap editor is one of the biggest challenges in using the 1998 CUSTOM.EXE.
(Also, mouse doesn't work for me, but presumably it's possible to fix that.)

Hint: wallmapping mode is nearly unusable in DOSBox by default because the emulated CPU speed is so slow. Turn it up/down with Ctrl-F12/F11. If you set it too high then DOSbox will hit 100% CPU usage and slow down again. You probably want to set it to about "30000 cycles".
Turning up the CPU speed also speeds up .BMP import, so you definitely want to do that! The slow imports were one of the most 'memorable' parts of DOS versions of custom.exe
Metal Slime
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 PostThu Feb 27, 2020 9:28 pm
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Stuff that *was* added in 1998 is fair game, of course.
I'm going to say to stick with 1998 features for stuff visible in the final game; if it's a CUSTOM-only thing that was added sometime this millennium, go nuts.

I'll be posting the voting rules come March 1st, so keep an eye out for those.
https://twitter.com/ffeenixcks
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostThu Feb 27, 2020 9:40 pm
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TMC wrote:

Nathan Karr wrote:
I tested the elements extensively in 2003/2004 with characters who did flat 100 damage and Do Not Randomize bitset. Weak To was 200%, Strong To was 18%, Weak To + Strong To was 36%, and of course Absorbs would invert the damage into healing.


Fnrrf was right, "strong to" was 12% damage, "weak to" was 200%, and both was 24%. "Bonus vs [enemytype]" was 180% damage.


Resistance was always a lot stronger than I'd expect from casual description either way (took me all of two minutes to fix my game's elemental resistances accordingly). Without being told how strong these were, a new user would probably expect "strong to" to mean half damage and both at once to mean "normal damage BUT immune to attacks that have the fail if target resists [element] bitset on".

It's probably an anti-frustration design, for the same reason the "default" accuracy math checks (Aim*4) vs Dog instead of (Aim*1) vs Dog and the "default" damage math uses 50% of the target's Def instead of the full thing. (And heck, 20 years later we still don't have an option to just have DEF act as a straight subtraction from straight ATK for damage!)

TMC wrote:
Nathan Karr wrote:
I remember learning later that type-slayer weaknesses were x1.8 instead of x2. I didn't experiment with those much because I didn't find it very useful to have "fail if enemy is [type]" compared to nowadays where I can have "fail if enemy isn't weak to [type slayer] minimum 101%"


You've warmed my heart. Ever since I replaced "fail if enemy is [type]" with the percentage thresholds I've regretted it, thinking noone actually wanted that change.
I would do things differently today. I think I would keep around separate old obsolete settings separate rather than trying to find some way to convert them to an over-general new system.


A lot of things about the new system are more difficult, but when it comes to making attacks specifically intended to deal with certain types of monsters (pesticide for rats and roaches, weedkiller for plant monsters, Disrupt Undead and Mordenkainen's Discombobulation for undead and golems respectively, etc) attacks that only work if a monster would take bonus damage from them anyway are wonderful.

I use a Disrupt Undead spell in basically every game I've made since 2013...aside from OHRodents because I didn't even include any undead in there at all so it'd have been pointless and this contest game because the best way to implement it then would've been as a healing spell you aim at your enemies.

And in OHRodents, Grape had a special attack that only worked on mechanical enemies (particularly mousetraps, but also rampaging USB mice) - instantly kills those with no counterattack, does nothing to anything else.

So yeah, your efforts were not in vain and have gotten use in at least two releases so far. Still, whenever I try to go back and edit Weegee I find the elements/monster types even more incomprehensible than they initially were from it being a joke game, since I originally built it with the old elements system and the new elements system came out right around the time I released it.
In the past, I apologized when I was in the right because I was afraid of peer pressure. For this, I apologize.

I must be cruel, but to be kind; that bad may begin, and worse be left behind.
-Prince Hamlet of Denmark
Metal Slime
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 PostSun Mar 01, 2020 2:07 pm
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It's March now, so the contest has officially begun.

I've added some notes on how the voting will work for this to the first post, so take a look.
https://twitter.com/ffeenixcks
Metal Slime
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 PostMon Mar 02, 2020 1:56 am
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19980003_small.png
Alien planet surface, with parked spaceship.
19980005_small.png
This was the only "forceequip" we had before plotscripting.
Now that it's March, I've got my huge pile of graphics together (...for the first two maps, anyway... plus some random enemy sprites that won't get used until later) and now it's time to actually get things into a state that's less "bundle of graphics" and more "actual functional game."

Here's a couple of screenshots of what I have so far.

(Random fact: You may recognize Ondu from a certain "game which will not be named" that I made back in OHR prehistory, around 2000-2001. Except this technically isn't the same Ondu -- sometime during the early 2000s, after making "that game," I ended up deciding that the old story this game was based on not only happened in the same setting as "that game," but it took place around 2000 years ago. And that meant that when I had randomly reused Ondu for "that game," I had made it so there were two characters named Ondu... who looked the same, acted the same, and did the same things. One born 2000-some years ago and the other born in the '80s... but other than that, identical. Oops. I don't think my younger self ever came up with any explanation for this besides "old-Ondu was an ancestor of new-Ondu." Hurr)
Bok's Expedition -- Starting on the ending sequence now
Puckamon -- Not until the reserve party is expanded
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostMon Mar 02, 2020 4:28 am
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A Quest0026.png
The UniBlock is basically my signature monster; an evil cardboard box.
A Quest0020.png
A goblin is just an evil fairy. (Being edgy isn't the same as being evil.)
A Quest0028.png
An ogre is just a big goblin.
A Quest0016.png
This was a really fun sprite to make.
I have one entirely optional area of my game that contains upscaled versions of common mook enemies.

I'm only using 3 of my allowed 4 maps so far. I'm at 31 NPCs on the first map and will probably get nowhere near that close on the other two unless I go really overboard with flavor NPCs in fairy town or treasure chests in the final dungeon.

I'm using the old level-up bug and it's having really interesting gameplay ramifications. I'm not used to making games where you can casually get 3-4x as much DEF or 5x as much ATK or INT as you do HP!
In the past, I apologized when I was in the right because I was afraid of peer pressure. For this, I apologize.

I must be cruel, but to be kind; that bad may begin, and worse be left behind.
-Prince Hamlet of Denmark
Slime Knight
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 PostTue Mar 03, 2020 2:04 am
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Pff, you guys with your games that "look decent" and "will probably be fun to play."

I'm going to make some ART
Do you make love with the same urgency you make games?
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostTue Mar 03, 2020 4:07 am
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It was harder than it had any right to be to fix the box styles/user interface colors back to their old defaults when importing the old default master palette instead of the "better" (washed out) palette.
Idontknow wrote:
Pff, you guys with your games that "look decent" and "will probably be fun to play."


Oh man, a direct competitor! All the more reason to step up my game and not coast on the fact that my core structure is something like 90% finished now.
In the past, I apologized when I was in the right because I was afraid of peer pressure. For this, I apologize.

I must be cruel, but to be kind; that bad may begin, and worse be left behind.
-Prince Hamlet of Denmark
Slime Knight
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 PostWed Mar 11, 2020 3:04 pm
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My game is finished gameplaywise and shorter than expected... there is just some music missing. I know an organist, who has some orchestral MIDIs in stock, which will hopefully sound well as BAM too. Don't the old OHR games really gain something from the cheesy sounding BAM music? BAM represents the opposite of seriousness.

Last year, I mailed a Hasta-la-qb DOS demo to a chap with a 386 processor, which he reported having no MIDI sound. but BAM was possible. Was BAM more compatible back then?

The old 1999 version operated without a crash on Windows 98. Strangely at first, the OHR runs slow, but after two or three times opening and closing Custom.exe or Game.exe, it goes up to a proper speed. Funny DOS.
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostThu Mar 12, 2020 5:14 am
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I've taken most of the past week sleeping, spending on average probably 10 minutes a day working on my game (whereas I was spending multiple hours a day on it last time I posted). However, it was already basically finished and now almost everything is polishing, testing, and adding completely unecessary flourishes to it.

Unimplemented plans:
- New NPC dialog for after you've beaten the final boss and before you return home to your castle
- Illustrated backgrounds for all the major cutscenes, like 1-2 backdrops each for the intro, every boss fight, one miscellaneous midgame scene, and the ending basically.
- Giving some of the more significant bosses their own boss music rather than all boss fights sharing a single track.
In the past, I apologized when I was in the right because I was afraid of peer pressure. For this, I apologize.

I must be cruel, but to be kind; that bad may begin, and worse be left behind.
-Prince Hamlet of Denmark
Metal Slime
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 PostMon Mar 16, 2020 7:32 am
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19980016small.png
Yeah, this item the boss dropped might be important. Try to collect all three!
19980014small.png
Block pushing puzzles, because of course there are (and to mix things up a bit.)
19980013small.png
Levelup equipment bug is in place. Stat increases from items are small, but accumulate.
A few screenshots showing some progress. The main dungeon-type area of the game is now a few floors deep, with more to come!
Bok's Expedition -- Starting on the ending sequence now
Puckamon -- Not until the reserve party is expanded
Slime Knight
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 PostMon Mar 16, 2020 9:32 am
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Idontknow wrote:
TMC wrote:
MIDI2BAM crashed because you tried to enter a filename longer than 8 characters


Wut, how on earth am I supposed to know that. Forget that, I'm going to use the present day ohr for sure.

I'm still going to use it to note limitations. Like Nathan said, making a game without buffs, ailments and debuffs is interesting. Then again old ohr games were never really remembered for their riveting combat. I'm sure I'll find ways to dress things up.


And now I feel that much older because knowing you had an 8 char limit for filenames was just something you knew back then. But now I realize it's been a solid 19 years (XP forward) where a new computer user likely never encountered it. Windows 95 had long file name support, but since so many things were DOS you were still very aware of it.

It's why you'll see a lot of old OHR games have short filenames (WH being wander.rpg, etc)
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostMon Mar 16, 2020 8:26 pm
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FnrrfYgmSchnish wrote:
Levelup equipment bug is in place. Stat increases from items are small, but accumulate.


Exact same method I'm using! Hope your game is fun.

FyreWulff wrote:

And now I feel that much older because knowing you had an 8 char limit for filenames was just something you knew back then. But now I realize it's been a solid 19 years (XP forward) where a new computer user likely never encountered it. Windows 95 had long file name support, but since so many things were DOS you were still very aware of it.

And on my computer, it was something that was automatically handled within Windows when searching through my directories (Dragon Warrior Battle Music.mid would show up as Dragon~1.mid when I browsed for it in Midi2bam.exe for example). I don't recall ever having filename issues (though "how many instruments can Midi2bam recognize?" did come up from time to time, giving me things like a percussion-only rendition of Brinstar that was unusable in games merely for sounding terrible)
In the past, I apologized when I was in the right because I was afraid of peer pressure. For this, I apologize.

I must be cruel, but to be kind; that bad may begin, and worse be left behind.
-Prince Hamlet of Denmark
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