Sunday, February 10, 2013

Making A Text Dungeon Crawler On the Commodore 64: Part 3 Character Creation And Bug Hunts

Ah, the third video in a series of videos where I uses the Commodore 64 to create a simple text dungeon crawl. Of course I'm using C64 BASIC.  This video is a bit long and I think it clocks in at over 30 minutes but that was not on purpose.

When I'm doing these videos I'm programming something off the top of my head. This is not the proper way to do things as you would usually do a lot of planning. This was, however, how I used to do projects, well most projects, back when I was in high school. It was any wonder I got any of them completed.

One of the main problems I ran into was stumbling over BASIC keywords I should know. Or even stumbling over BASIC keyword usage I should know. This was due, mainly, to the fact that I was commingling languages. The one problem about studying several different computer languages is that you might be tempted to mix one language with another. I was doing this! I was trying to concatenate string in 8-bit BASIC with the way you'd do it in Java or Python. Errors were bound to happen and trouble shooting gets weird because you are pretty sure everything looks right, which it does as it's in another language. Fortunately I was able to see the errors of my way and figure this out.

One of the cool things about this video is that it's the first time that you see things coming together. The title screen goes straight into the character creation screen. It has a nice flow to it. The only problem is that I should have planned this screen out better so I can present the information better. I may change this in the future.

I do know when it gets time to do the next video I'll have planned out the play state a lot better. A lot has to go on during the play state. Monster AI (if you even want to call it that), user input, processing monster and user input, tracking map stuff and more. The next section is going to be pretty demanding and I may split that up into several videos to keep the length manageable. Actually I'm pretty sure that I'll do that as the first video will go into initializing the map. This includes randomly generating the map and then putting the random traps out there to be triggered. Then, if there is time, I will initialize the monsters. The Balrog and handful of other monsters. And then actual game play. Honestly I have no idea how I'm going to handle combat or monsters, such as can several monsters occupy the same area. It's part of the fun though.

Anyway, I hope this video was informative because I'm really enjoying producing this series.

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