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 Post subject: ULTIZURK IV - Lord of the Cyclops
PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 9:38 am 
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Posts: 101
Programmed entirely in RealBasic for the Mac...Dr. Dungeon of the Castle of the Mach Gryphon is proud to announce the well-into development Ultizurk 4 - Lord of the Cyclops, daring to close the book on shareware role-playing games. :)

One thing is for certain: This project would not have been possible without the help from the many talented programmers on these boards. I can only say: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Seven years in development on the Windows platform, now being completed on the Mac. Check it out. Boy, have we got an adventure for you - in a few months or so.

It is first being announced here on the forum to the worthy RB users. Can't thank you guys enough. This is the project of my life. Classic role-playing on a modern computer. The hardest thing I ever did. :)

Come visit the castle, my friends! Have a cup of ale in the Dragon's Tail Inn.

http://web.mac.com/drdungeon/Site/MAIN.html

-Dr. Dungeon
-In The Castle of
-The Mach Gryphon


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 Post subject: Re: ULTIZURK IV - Lord of the Cyclops
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:58 am 
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Looks cool, been working on a RPG myself, or rather I was but that was some time ago... Perhaps I should pick it up again, I had some pretty cool ideas.

BTW, the screenshots didn't work for me in Firefox 3

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 Post subject: Re: ULTIZURK IV - Lord of the Cyclops
PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 9:46 pm 
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Posts: 101
It seems they changed the webpage address a little. Its at
http://web.me.com/drdungeon/Site/MAIN.html

I also have a link to a pdf file showing the code. Maybe a few helpful tidbits there someone might want to see. :)

It won't be too long I might take on a few play testers. If interested, give me a holler.

-Dr. Dungeon


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 Post subject: Re: ULTIZURK IV - Lord of the Cyclops
PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 8:45 am 
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Posts: 43
How is this coming along? The blog hasn't been updated since July...
Anything downloadable/playable yet?


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 Post subject: Re: ULTIZURK IV - Lord of the Cyclops
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 5:48 pm 
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Yes! Just today I put up a little update and a new screenshot. What I was working on was the new always-on minimap system. It works! Shows the locale as you move along, little green dots for the npc's. The whole npc thing was the real work these last few weeks but they are up and walking the land. Also finished the talk/interaction interface and this very minute porting over the 100+ talk files for the characters in the game. The talk system is similar to NeverWinter nights in that selections highlight in green when the mouse is rolled over.

I'm learning that making use of the mousemove event is incredibly helpful in many places. On the screenshots you can see that each inventory has a little black text-box at the top. When you scroll over inventory items it tells you what it is there. Same with the split grouped items icon. Also at the bottom is a message box. How helpful that is!

The bottom message box has made many things far more descriptive and easier for the player to understand. Everything you scroll over in the main view is reported depending on what mode you are in, walk, look, get, use, etc. So if you have clicked the use icon, only those things usable will list in the box, like "Use: Open doorway" or "Use: Mulberry bush", etc. In look mode it describes the things you scroll over. If its, say, a book or a sign, when you click, a panel will come up with the writing on it. Its working very nicely.

Before I get an actual demo out, I want to get all the npc's and their talk files in. Some are special because they do things like train or heal. This won't be too long. It will take awhile longer, however, before combat appears as well as the character create and options (save & load game, etc.) panels.

But its definitely working and will get done. And the first creatures to appear will be the spooky wereshades, whom legend says come out at night...mostly... -Dr. Dungeon
-In The Castle of
-The Mach Gryphon


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 Post subject: Re: ULTIZURK IV - Lord of the Cyclops
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 7:07 pm 
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I've updated the page! Check it out. Comments welcome! :D -Dr. D.
http://web.me.com/drdungeon/Site/MAIN.html


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 Post subject: Re: ULTIZURK IV - Lord of the Cyclops
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:30 am 
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Joined: Mon May 12, 2008 5:25 pm
Posts: 43
Hey DrDungeon...

The web page is kind of confusing. The navigation on top is not obvious.

Also.. why have a sentence like this:

Click SCREENSHOTS link above for a preview.

Why not just make the word ScreenShots in that sentence clickable? Like this:

Click SCREENSHOTS link above for preview!

You could probably use a template for your website and it would look awesome. Check out this site template monster in the games category:
http://www.templatemonster.com/category.php?cat=67

It looks like you've put tons of effort into this game. I'm working hard myself. The mac really needs more games. Keep coding!

-Carmine


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 Post subject: Re: ULTIZURK IV - Lord of the Cyclops
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:33 am 
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Joined: Mon May 12, 2008 5:25 pm
Posts: 43
Hey!

I just read your blog a bit and noticed you're "shoot for a 24" screen" I think you really mean a certain resolution like 1600x1200 or 1920x1600 or something.

Mac just released a new line of laptops. Most new mac users are Laptop people (especially students).

Those macs have 13", 15" and 17" screens.

Your probably safe writing for 1024x768 or 1280x960 these days.

-Carmine


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 Post subject: Re: ULTIZURK IV - Lord of the Cyclops
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 4:25 pm 
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Posts: 101
Hey ho! How's it going? I really do wish I had your tech know-how so I could launch a really pro-looking website, but alas, although I've been programming a long time (TRS-80 anyone??), I'm quite the beginner with web sites. Those templates you pointed to are fantastic, but if I got one, I'm not sure how I'd hook it up. I use the default iweb thingy built into the Mac. Maybe if I can find someone who works cheap, say, three hundred bucks or so, I'll hire him her to make a better web page for me. Heck, I'm already willing to write a check for like a thousand bucks if I dig up a serious musician to do the music. This is the project of my life - over 7 years in development, and I'll do practically anything to make it work.

As for the screen resolution, I learned a hard lesson when I started this on Windows in 640x480. Went obsolete! Then wide screens started proliferating. Then Vista! Then MACINTOSH for Robby! :mrgreen:

I needed the 1920 x 1200 to get the detail in as well as to insure it won't go obsolete any time soon. However, I realize this will limit my players, so I plan to also support other common modes like 1680 x 1050 and maybe 1440 by whatever. A little tricky because I need the screen real estate to make everything look good. At least 1680 x 1050 I think I can manage, hopefully covering most bases. We'll see how it goes.

The programming is going much easier than I thought. For some unknown reason (desperation?), its actually going quite easy - things I thought would be hard are coding incredibly easily. (Knock on wood!) We will see what happens. Maybe I'll dig a little deeper into web design. Thanks again for your input. -Robert aka, "Dr. Dungeon"


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 Post subject: Re: ULTIZURK IV - Lord of the Cyclops
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 4:36 pm 
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Location: Sol:Planet Earth:North America:California
I just saw this post. :oops: Sorry I don't hang out much in the games forum. I checked out the game and this looks fantastic! It is nice to see a healthy games ecosystem using RB.

One thing I had a question on though was the resolution discussion above. Are you planning on forcing a specific resolution or resolutions above 1440 X whatever? I think if that is the case it may be a mistake. MacBooks are huge sellers and have a huge install base, not to mention earlier smaller iMacs. I realize that these days displays are becoming cheaper that can handle these high resolutions they are still not the general norm, based on my experience supporting Mac and PC hardware. MacBooks have a 1280 x 800 display. 15" MB Pros use 1440 X 900.

Anyway the game looks like it is going to be cool. Looking forward to hearing updates.

Cheers,

Paul

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 Post subject: Re: ULTIZURK IV - Lord of the Cyclops
PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:03 pm 
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Well, resolution was one main reason I came from Windows over to the Mac. With wide-screens and differing aspect ratios becoming the norm, I knew I'd have to re-do a project I was working on for several years on Windows in VB6. The old 640x480 went sort of obsolete, many wide screens auto-stretch, any remaining CRT's didn't always go back to the proper frequency rate when exiting my game, etc.

It was a mess. Then Vista came along. Then I found Vista had a problem playing WINDOWS wav files!!!

Then I went out and bought a 24" iMac. The one from last year, 2.8, 4 gigs of memory. Already knew a little about RB and felt it might work.
Tried the demo and saw it could handle all the main stuff UZ4 needed to do. So I bought the pro version. Its almost exactly one year since I've been porting the game, making many changes and improvements along the way.

My first big rule was this: don't muff with the user's system settings! Too problematical. What if it messes up their icons, etc? I figured I would re-design it to go fully in wide screen and since mine is 1920 x 1200 I figured I'd use that. Later, of course, I realized I would have to support some lower resolutions. Since I refuse to mess with user's settings, and also wanted the full clarity of native resolution, I decided I would support two. 1920 x 1200 and 1680 x 1050. That pretty much covers the entire iMac line, the upper MacBook Pros, and, in that windowed sort of way, those with 30" cinema screens who actually download shareware games!

Seriously, though, the real reason for all this is screen real-estate. Back in the old 640x480 windows version everything was cluttered mostly on the main screen. Maps and journals and messages and inventories and spell-books and the like. A big goal for my Mac port was to make things a LOT cleaner and neater for the user. Interface is massively re-vamped, I somehow managed to go into a true isometric view instead of the old square view. All in all I believe its a couple hundred changes and improvements in this Mac version, which I call the "Phoenix" engine over the old, worn out "Cyclops" engine.

So if I supported, say, 1440 x 900 or something, I'm not sure I could pack everything on the screen nicely. Also, I need to re-do a lot of the panels, mouse x,y checks, etc., simply to support the 1680x1050 mode. Working on that just this evening and so far going well, but an awful lot of work.

I'll see what happens. Hopefully right now I'm covering enough bases. I hope!

-Dr. Dungeon
- In The Castle of
- The Mach Gryphon

Coming soon! Ultizurk FOUR: Lord of the Cyclops!
http://web.me.com/drdungeon/Site/MAIN.html


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 Post subject: Re: ULTIZURK IV - Lord of the Cyclops
PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:03 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 11:29 am
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Well, resolution was one main reason I came from Windows over to the Mac. With wide-screens and differing aspect ratios becoming the norm, I knew I'd have to re-do a project I was working on for several years on Windows in VB6. The old 640x480 went sort of obsolete, many wide screens auto-stretch, any remaining CRT's didn't always go back to the proper frequency rate when exiting my game, etc.

It was a mess. Then Vista came along. Then I found Vista had a problem playing WINDOWS wav files!!!

Then I went out and bought a 24" iMac. The one from last year, 2.8, 4 gigs of memory. Already knew a little about RB and felt it might work.
Tried the demo and saw it could handle all the main stuff UZ4 needed to do. So I bought the pro version. Its almost exactly one year since I've been porting the game, making many changes and improvements along the way.

My first big rule was this: don't muff with the user's system settings! Too problematical. What if it messes up their icons, etc? I figured I would re-design it to go fully in wide screen and since mine is 1920 x 1200 I figured I'd use that. Later, of course, I realized I would have to support some lower resolutions. Since I refuse to mess with user's settings, and also wanted the full clarity of native resolution, I decided I would support two. 1920 x 1200 and 1680 x 1050. That pretty much covers the entire iMac line, the upper MacBook Pros, and, in that windowed sort of way, those with 30" cinema screens who actually download shareware games!

Seriously, though, the real reason for all this is screen real-estate. Back in the old 640x480 windows version everything was cluttered mostly on the main screen. Maps and journals and messages and inventories and spell-books and the like. A big goal for my Mac port was to make things a LOT cleaner and neater for the user. Interface is massively re-vamped, I somehow managed to go into a true isometric view instead of the old square view. All in all I believe its a couple hundred changes and improvements in this Mac version, which I call the "Phoenix" engine over the old, worn out "Cyclops" engine.

So if I supported, say, 1440 x 900 or something, I'm not sure I could pack everything on the screen nicely. Also, I need to re-do a lot of the panels, mouse x,y checks, etc., simply to support the 1680x1050 mode. Working on that just this evening and so far going well, but an awful lot of work.

I'll see what happens. Hopefully right now I'm covering enough bases. I hope!

-Dr. Dungeon
- In The Castle of
- The Mach Gryphon

Coming soon! Ultizurk FOUR: Lord of the Cyclops!
http://web.me.com/drdungeon/Site/MAIN.html


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 Post subject: Re: ULTIZURK IV - Lord of the Cyclops
PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:05 pm 
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Whoops! Sorry about the double post! The submit button didn't click right away. At least I thought it didn't! :)


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 Post subject: Re: ULTIZURK IV - Lord of the Cyclops
PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:47 am 
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Quote:
I needed the 1920 x 1200 to get the detail in as well as to insure it won't go obsolete any time soon. However, I realize this will limit my players, so I plan to also support other common modes like 1680 x 1050


Good luck with that.
I can't be the only person running a mac on a 1280 or 1440 wide screen....

Quote:
>> Maybe if I can find someone who works cheap, say, three hundred bucks or so, I'll hire him her to make a better web page for me. <<


I just discovered RapidWeaver.
Try the demo: you can do 3 pages, and they'll knock you out!
Its 1/3 of that price, and you have total control.


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 Post subject: Re: ULTIZURK IV - Lord of the Cyclops
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 9:20 pm 
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Quote:
Since I refuse to mess with user's settings, and also wanted the full clarity of native resolution, I decided I would support two. 1920 x 1200 and 1680 x 1050. That pretty much covers the entire iMac line, the upper MacBook Pros, and, in that windowed sort of way, those with 30" cinema screens who actually download shareware games!


Wow that is really going to limit your sales. Do you know how many MacBooks and MacBook Pros, not to mention iMacs, there are out there that can't support those resolutions without an external display? Millions and probably many times more then those that support those resolutions. Ah well I am sure it will be fine in a few years when consumers catch up with the technology...

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