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Merry Prankster Games

Temple Of The Abyssal Winds V4.7

Posted by , in TotAW 19 July 2016 - - - - - - · 144 views

Temple of the Abyssal Winds v4.7 is available for Windows. This is a minor release and there is no reason to upgrade if you already have a working version. Users who had trouble on older versions of Windows might have better luck with this version. There is no corresponding iOS release (nothing changed for iOS).


Temple of the Abyssal Winds is a classic-style single player RPG for Windows and iOS. You can download it for free, or get more information, on the TotAW website:



D3DX tribulations

Posted by , in TotAW 11 July 2016 - - - - - - · 215 views

I've been led down a rathole the past couple of weeks. First, I updated to Visual Studio 2015 (from VS2012), for reasons that I now don't remember at all. So, after I recompiled TotAW I decided I'd better check that it worked again. No problem.


But, then I decided I would check if things worked OK on Windows 7. Microsoft provides a nice sample of virtual machines for testing (mainly for Internet Explorer, but fine for my purposes): https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-edge/ I downloaded a win32 version of Windows 7, and got it working, after a few struggles, with VMWare Fusion. I downloaded the new version of TotAW, and ran the installer.


As an aside, for both compatibility reasons, and because the code is several years old, TotAW uses DirectX9, from back in the Windows XP days. In fact, TotAW theoretically still works on Windows XP, though it's been some time since I've actually tried it. DirectX9 still works fine with modern Windows. However, as part of this code, I also rely on a library of code D3DX, which is theoretically part of DirectX9 but doesn't go along with the main DirectX9, and has to be installed separately. D3DX hasn't been updated since 2010, and has been marked as deprecated for years. Through the years I've been slowly removing the usage of D3DX, but there are still key parts of the engine (mainly in the UI rendering) that still us it.


So, running the installer on my clean Windows 7 virtual machine, the installer _seems_ fine. However, the installer checks for the existence of DirectX9 (specifically the D3DX parts), and then directs the user to the Microsoft website to run the web installer. The first bad sign is that the "permalink" to the DirectX9 runtime installer no longer points to the installer, instead taking the user to a "upgrade to Windows 10" page. However, I eventually find the right link, run the installer, which "succeeds". However, upon completion, I run TotAW, which fails, because of missing D3DX. Oops. I don't think Microsoft cares too much about D3DX anymore.


This has led me down the path to finally remove usage of D3DX from my code. I'm replacing it with SDL, which I plan to use to load textures and render fonts. I've written a test app or two, and SDL does everything I need, though actually swapping it in is not trivial. More on that next time.

Temple of the Abyssal Winds v4.5

Posted by , in TotAW 27 June 2016 - - - - - - · 1,770 views

Temple of the Abyssal Winds version 4.5 is now available!



Temple of the Abyssal Winds is a classic style role-playing game, for Windows and iPad. You can get more information on the website: http://www.prankster.com/totaw.


This release includes minor bugfixes and features. See http://www.prankster.com/totaw/getit.html for downloading information. All of the chapters have been updated, so you'll want to update those as well.

Cool Bug

Posted by , in TotAW 16 June 2016 - - - - - - · 290 views

I've been mucking around with Temple of the Abyssal Winds lately, fixing minor issues and such. While doing this, I found a cool bug worthy of sharing.


Posted Image


The bug is, cast an attribute buffing spell on the main character, say "Strength". This should work if you drink a potion of Strength as well, though I haven't verified that. Then, before the buffing spell expires, finish the chapter. When you start the next chapter, the Strength bonus will be made into a permanent strength increase. Even better (worse?), you can then cast "Strength" again, still getting the buff, and even potentially doing the same trick at the next chapter end.


Anyways, the fix is pretty easy, and this issue is pretty unlikely to come up unless you already know about it and willingly want to cheat, but I thought it was a pretty cool bug.


I should soon do a minor release of TotAW with the various fixes that I've been working on, almost certainly within a week.

So... What Now?

Posted by , in TotAW 02 June 2016 - - - - - - · 321 views

So, after several years of coding and content creation, Temple of the Abyssal Winds is "done". Get it here: http://prankster.com/totaw!


Posted Image


So, now what do I do with myself? It's a bit of a weight off my shoulders to know that I accomplished what I wanted to, and I could just let it be done right now.


Well, short term, there are quite a few little bugs and improvements I want to make to TotAW. I've been pushing on making the content (the chapters) for so long that I haven't been doing the coding and design stuff that, honestly, I probably enjoy a little bit more. I'll give that a shot for a few weeks at least. I've already fixed a few long standing annoyances; for instance, if you click on a chest (to get your loot), but another chest is closer to your character, the closer (possibly empty, the horror!) chest sometimes opens instead.


I should really write a post-mortem, too, at least to organize my thoughts.


And then what? Start on the next big RPG using the next engine? Work on a whole new game? Do something completely different? It's wide open!

August 2016 »

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