Screenshots again, finally:
The first one is of the menu system in its current form. I'm trying to keep it crazy simple, all laid over the actual game--I don't really like games where the menu feels like this whole separate world, as a rule. (It's the big change from Earthbound to Mother 3 that I can't support.) Currently you can equip and unequip items, but there's not really anything other than your basic equipment to equip/unequip. Items system still needs work.
The second one is of the new multi-enemy-capable battle system. There are still some huge bugs in it, but it works perfectly for single enemy combat so at least hey, nothing got broken. I put in some code to prepare for the hit location-based attacks and finally changed the stupid Dragon Warrior background. The new one is obviously not final, but at least it's a little more pleasant in terms of colors and doesn't bring up all kinds of silly associations.
One good change is that I finally figured out how I'm going to handle enemy AI. There's still some vagueness about exactly how it'll work in terms of variable access--initially I just figured I'd use some kind of delimited string with different commands to be randomly selected from, but it's a good deal more complex now--and it'll involve writing a slightly more complex parser for if/then logic and I'm still not sure exactly how that'll play out. At worst I can just have super-complicated .dat files and traverse them every time the enemies pick a command. I'm sure I can come up with something better. In any case, if it works I'll be able to write a huge variety of interesting battles with really mean-spirited pick-on-you AI, which eliminates one of the worst things about making RPGs: differentiating a lot of enemies that are really just an image file and a bunch of numbers, in the end, and making that gameplay deep and rewarding throughout a long stretch of game time.
I'm leaning pretty heavily on Mother 3 as a model for how combat plays out on the player side, where each player is heavily skewed toward performing a specific role that often has very little to do with combat. It'll let the whole thing get away from the standard fighter/healer/magic user/arbitrary fourth option configuration in a ton of SNES-style RPGs, allowing for some cool strategies that don't lean on button-mashing. Who knows--I'll have to code more of it before everything's settled.
Map spells are working again as they were before. I still need to pretty them up with some particle effects or something, but the basic logic is right. I need to code the "Light" spell but it can probably wait until I'm actually coding the cave portion of the first release.
Items are, um, not done. I'll work on it, I swears!
The last thing is some new story, written but not coded yet. It definitely needs editing, but it's nice because it actually kicks up the plot by quite a bit. Before it felt more like building a model train village or something, putting all this code in place--now it's starting to feel like an actual game with, you know, goals and events and things.
No new graphics or map data. Still bummed about losing the Cass sprite.
Touched base with the music man; probably too early to really worry about that much. A battle theme would be neat.
Next week is going to be weird since we're getting ready to move house to Queens, so I'm not sure what I want to put down as far as goals. Probably just finishing the battle system before doing much else, including setting up the battle initiation code so I can start populating maps with horrible wandering monsters for whenever I'm sick of coding townsperson dialogue and need to blow off steam--with MURDER.
That's it. What of you, other gruedorf people? I totally want to play some new builds and stuff, get all inspired toward this thing again!