Ted's RPG Rant

A place to rant about RPG games, particularly the Temple of Elemental Evil. Co8 members get a free cookie for stopping by. Thats ONE cookie each, no seconds.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

My first game

Actually finishing (for the moment ;-)) my mod got me thinking about the first game I ever did. My post a while back about things I had started but not finished will give anyone who read it the entirely accurate impression that maybe I have started many games but not finished many. I'm sure I have no memory of the first computer game I ever planned or intended or dreamt up: I have been planning, drawing, scribbling away for many many years. I do remember the first time I heard of D&D, it was the reference in ET, with talk of portable holes and such. So I sat down (aged 11 or so) and decided to create my own version of D&D. I got it slightly wrong, on account of I thought it was a board game! (Yes yes i know it started out something like that but it was up to AD&D by those days). I still have that board I made tucked away somewhere, and see it every few years when I am questing for something buried in the back of a cupboard. "Cringeworthy" doesn't begin to describe it - I mean it had cards like monopoly! But I had fun making it. So if it was crap, well, meh I say, meh!

But that game never got finished (I discovered real D&D not long after) nor did pretty much any of the things I mispent my youth tinkering at. (Wish I had spent my time learning Latin instead). Indeed I am telling this story precisely because i have FINISHED my little mod! O there will be more to come - i STILL have to do those encounters for Cujo :-) - but this is done for now. Ahh, the value of putting yourself on the line and being accountable to a forum of folks you recently met :-D.

I say "pretty much" because there was ONE game I actually finished before this. One of the earliest I attempted actually (since they got bigger and more complex as time went on, it is not surprising they progressed less as well ;-)). It was written for the VZ-200, a computer released here in Oz some time between the Vic-20 and the C-64. It was built on the classic z-80 processor, had 8kb of Ram (upgradeable to 24) and was a lot of fun at the time, but blown out of the water by the C-64. But anyways, i learnt z-80 assembly language (though never really did anything with it) but mainly used BASIC, as was the style at the time.

And so I wrote my game.

Lode Runner.


Low res.

Thats right, just using the keyboard characters!

Of course in those days they took the keyboard characters seriously - remember the little symbols all over the C-64 keyboard? The VZ-200 had something similar. So I made Lode Runner, remember that glorious game? First game for memory that started as a computer game then went into the arcade, rather than visa versa. A true classic.

In my version, the ladders were 'H's, the player was an ampersand for memory, the baddies dollar signs (dang capitalists! :-P) and the boxes you had to collect were letter 'o's. I couldn't think how to do digging (or more to the point respawning the ground, since rewriting the whole map each 'round' would have been far too slow in BASIC) so I added jumping - you just jumped over the baddies! - and conveyor belts too :-). The baddies had independant 'scripts' so all 4 acted differently and chased you with different methods.

I wanted to show what it might have looked like, but this character set doesn't have the capacity! :-P

It was slow.

It was clunky.

It was UGLY.

But it was FUN!

And it was mine :-).

On to the next project!


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At 1:55 pm, Blogger ShiningTed said...

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At 12:11 pm, Anonymous just a bum said...

thing is thees spammerz r bots, dey spamm all da newly upadted blogz at once wit same msg, must b soem programm.
spammerz must die! (soem tarriable death)

bout dat game u maed is kool.
i rememba spektrams, dey wer zuper kool. n gaems wer real fun back den. dey rarely maek gud gaems anymo in dese daze n dat sux. Diabol2 is awsum but it was maed liek 5 yrs ago n no gaem cums even close to it since! n b4 diabol2 was liek 5 yrs of shit after daibol1 came out. n b4 diabol1 was like many yrs of shit after all dese kool commandore64 gaems.
gud 4 u dat u r liek geeky smartsy homie. my head hurtz very bad wen i tried to learn dese programmz to maek my own killa gaems :( so i coulds only buy games.
u no wat was kool 2? dey had very zuper kool muzak to dese gaems!
o ye dese wer da dayz homie...

At 11:21 pm, Blogger ShiningTed said...

Yeah, and gameplay was more important back then because Graphix and sound were limited, so having fun was always the most important thing.

I had a friend who had a Spectrum and I tried to write games for it but the VZ had no sprites so I was thrown by those.


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