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Merry Prankster Games: Temple of the Abyssal Winds

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gdunbar

Announcing version 5.0 of the classic-style role playing game Temple of the Abyssal Winds! Temple of the Abyssal Winds is available on Windows, Mac, iPad, and iPhone. Chapter 1 is free to download and play for all platforms, and chapters 2-6 are available for purchase, as in-app purchases or on the TotAW website.


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You can find more information, including download instructions, on the website:


http://www.prankster.com/totaw


Version 5.0 is a huge update! Unfortunately breaking past saved games, but it's totally worth it. Partial list of changes:


  • New effect subtypes like fire and charm, new resistance system for effects, and spells and items to go with the new resistances.
  • Map improvements, both mini-map and world map.
  • Expanded bard-song abilities for budding minstrels.
  • Improved combat, including weapon differentiation and high level enhancements.
  • Many minor RPG system improvements.
  • Visual and usability improvements (check out the new camera!)
  • Many bugfixes and minor features.

    Merry Prankster Games is a one-man band indie development studio, started in 1995 making the play-by-email game Atlantis. For more information about Merry Prankster Games visit: http://www.prankster.com or email Geoff Dunbar at totaw@prankster.com.

gdunbar

Temple of the Abyssal Winds v4.10 now available, with support added for iPhone!

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In addition to the work to support the iPhone, this release also includes major UI upgrades, and a number of bugfixes.

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:

http://www.prankster.com/totaw/index.htm

gdunbar

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:

http://www.prankster.com/totaw/index.htm

gdunbar

D3DX tribulations

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.

gdunbar

Temple of the Abyssal Winds version 4.5 is now available!

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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.

gdunbar

Cool Bug

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.

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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.

gdunbar

So... What Now?

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

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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!

gdunbar

A collection of the news links on TotAW, mostly for my benefit:

gdunbar

Temple of the Abyssal Winds is now complete, with all 6 chapters available for Windows and iPad! The release of Chapter 5: The Caverns of the Four Winds, and Chapter 6: The Chamber of the Four Winds, brings to a conclusion the full adventure.

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[quote]
At last, confront the demoness Urgoroth in the very nucleus of her power, the Chamber of the Four Winds. Defeat her, and free the Timberhills from her threat once and for all; fail, and she is sure to rise again.[/quote]
Conclude your adventure in the classic-style role-playing game of Temple of the Abyssal Winds. All 6 chapters are now available, with the release of Chapter 5: The Caverns of the Four Winds, and Chapter 6: The Chamber of the Four Winds. On Windows, visit the website to purchase chapters 5 and 6, and on iPad, purchase chapters 5 and 6 as in-app purchases.

If you are new to Temple of the Abyssal Winds, chapter 1 is free to download and play for both platforms. Start there, and then move through chapters 2 through 6, concluding with your confrontation of the demoness herself. Merry Prankster Games invites you into the world of Temple of the Abyssal Winds!

You can find more information, or download Temple of the Abyssal Winds for Windows, on the website:

http://www.prankster.com/totaw

For iPad, Temple of the Abyssal Winds is available in the App Store:

Download_on_the_App_Store_Badge_US-UK_135x40.png

Merry Prankster Games is a one-man band indie development studio, started in 1995 making the play-by-email game Atlantis. For more information about Merry Prankster Games visit: http://www.prankster.com or email Geoff Dunbar at totaw@prankster.com.

gdunbar

March Already?

Man, I suck at this blogging thing.

Status update: Chapter 5 is looking pretty good, and I'm getting through the content creation for Chapter 6. I may just wait to release Chapter 5 along with Chapter 6 because, well, I'm lazy, I guess.

Now, something about TotAW development. So, I'm working on Chapter 6, the town area. In Chapter 6, you are now a pretty powerful figure, and your home base is "Murphet's Moveable Mansion", a magical inter-planar domicile that can move its entry portal around to various locations. This means that inside the mansion, I need a portal that can lead to different locations depending on what the level scripting has done. This is a new thing in TotAW, so I had to check how to make it work. Rather than edit up the whole mansion, I used a temporary level to be sure that this could work. Here is the temporary level in all its glory:

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As you can see, the level has a portal, and a magical servant you can talk to, controlling the destination of the portal. What more is needed?

I'm happy to report that the game engine handled the moveable portal with no issues.

gdunbar

Not Dead Yet

Sorry about the lack of posting... vacation ate up some time, and I guess I just didn't feel like posting. But, never fear, I've been busy squirreling away on TotAW.

Chapter 5 needs just a couple more days for the content to be finished. One more map to draw, and some actor-to-actor chatter to write. Then, test chapter 5, and move on to the final chapter. I'm definitely getting to the stage where I just want to be done with this game!

In the meantime, here's the other (completed) map for chapter 5, for your viewing pleasure.

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gdunbar

Chapter 4 PR tour

Probably only of interest to me, I'm tracking various chapter 4 announcements here.
gdunbar
Temple of the Abyssal Winds Chapter 4: The False Church is now available, for Windows and iPad!

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[quote]
The Church of the Four Winds, infiltrated and corrupted by an evil cult and its demonic patroness. Oldenton, overrun by fiendish priests and false idolators. Return now to your homeland, and defend against the depravities of the Temple of the Abyssal Winds.[/quote]

Continue your adventure into the classic-style role-playing game of Temple of the Abyssal Winds. Chapter 4: The False Church is available for purchase now: on Windows, visit the website to purchase chapter 4, and on iPad, purchase chapter 4 as an in-app purchase.

If you are new to Temple of the Abyssal Winds, chapter 1 is free to download and play for both platforms. Start there, and then move through chapters 2 through 4, with chapters 5 and 6 scheduled for release in 2015. Merry Prankster Games invites you into the world of Temple of the Abyssal Winds!

You can find more information, or download Temple of the Abyssal Winds for Windows, on the website:

http://www.prankster.com/totaw

For iPad, Temple of the Abyssal Winds is available in the App Store:

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Merry Prankster Games is a one-man band indie development studio, started in 1995 making the play-by-email game Atlantis. For more information about Merry Prankster Games visit: http://www.prankster.com or email Geoff Dunbar at [email="totaw@prankster.com"]totaw@prankster.com[/email].
gdunbar
So I'm testing out Temple of the Abyssal Winds, the build I've got in review in the app store. Just to be sure it works properly before I release v3.0 on the unsuspecting public. I'm playing an archer; I like to try out as many different character types when I play, just to see how viable they are. As I get along in the game, I go shopping, and see a bow that I like:

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Look, as well as the normal missile, it should hit the enemy with a Fireburst, too. Sounds nice!

So, I'm running around, shooting baddies with the bow, and no Fireburst. Grumble. This code has been around for awhile, I probably just accidentally broke it at some point. Flipped a boolean the wrong way, accidentally dropped a function call, something simple, I'm sure. This should be a quick debugging session, and a one-line fix, right?

So, I start debugging... there is no code. There is no evidence there was ever code. In my mind, I'm sure that this was a working feature at some point... but reality disagrees.

Anyways, it was pretty easy to put this together (the same thing already worked for melee weapons, after all). But it was pretty surprising to me that I could imagine the existence of this code, and it just wasn't there.

I think it just hasn't come up before because in the earlier chapters of TotAW, you don't really have the opportunity to get a missile weapon with a spell attack. In a proper development team with a real testing organization, this would have been noticed long ago. But that's not the indie world.

Geoff
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Waiting for Chapter 4

Hi TotAW fans. Just waiting for the latest update to TotAW to get through iTunes app store approval:

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Once that goes through, I will release v3.0, along with Chapter 4, for iOS and Windows. I think it just took a couple of days last time; it seems like they might do re-reviews faster than a first time review. So, if there are no issues, soon!
gdunbar

Chapter 5 in progress

Working on Chapter 5. As the chapters go along, it gets to be more and more effort to set-up the basic stuff for the game; the "town", if you will. Higher level characters need more items to buy, more spells to acquire, more factions to join, etc. Which means a bunch of areas, a bunch of NPCs to talk to, and so forth. That stuff kind of needs to be there, but it sure takes some effort to put it in!

It makes me consider a system where the "town" is just a set of menus instead of a number of full-fledged areas. But that's probably just my lazy self thinking about how to get out of some work. I will try to re-use some of the stuff for Chapter 6, in any case.

Here's a screenshot of the market square in Lannock City, where the character can purchase his various weapons and enchanted items.

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Enjoy,
Geoff
gdunbar

Chapter 4 Update

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Finished up my personal playtest through chapter 4. Fixed up a few little things, but it looks pretty good. I've still got some more testers going through, and some artwork stuff to deal with, but it looks close.

Now, let me tell you, by the time you get this far in the game, you should be a pretty good player. And you'd better be, because chapter 4 is definitely the hardest so far! But, you can take advantage of the new "Difficulty Level" feature to make things easier.

So, look forward to chapter 4, "The False Church", coming soon.

Geoff
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New Action System

Watching a couple of new folks play Temple of the Abyssal Winds (http://prankster.com/totaw), and playtesting myself, I had a couple of issues with the action system:

  • The old system requires that you bind an action (a spell or item with an effect, like a potion) to a quick action to use. New players wanted a way to more simply use an action.
  • Also, as your spellcaster moves to higher levels, you can accumulate a large number of spells that see occasional use. Having to assign a rarely used spell to a quick-action slot seems counter-intuitive, especially when it replaces a commonly-used spell.

    So, new system. Now, there are 4 reserved actions (with the other 6 slots serving as quick actions, as before):

    1. Talk.
    2. Attack.
    3. Action (see below).
    4. Most recent action.

    Slot 3, "Action", serves as a one-time action. You click on the slot, select the action (via a dialog), pick the target, and the action is taken.

    Also, as part of this change, I remove the drag-and-drop for actions in the action dialog, and made it a simple select. This works better with the new system, and is a bit quicker.

    Here is a video demonstration:

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gdunbar

TotAW C3 PR Tour

This is probably more for my interest than anyone else, but I'm tracking TotAW Chapter 3 announcements: