So: today I got maped back, thanks to the ministrations of the kindly Overkill. I was able to put in some graphics that I made late, late last night/early this morning.
The latter one, I think, is not bad (although obviously not done), esp. compared to, say:
Unfortunately, the version of maped I'm using now corrupts .vsp files and possibly .maps. Any map I open in maped ceases to be usable by the Verge engine. This is obviously kind of a problem.
Then I lost the use of maped again--the .vsps got corrupted, I guess, and the maps I need won't open (or the .vsps, more properly.) And I can't really create new maps or open the ones I haven't yet opened, because I have one good map left right now and I aim to keep it that way, by God. HERE THE LINE WILL BE HELD.
So today was all about sleep deprivation and graphics, including these two sprites...
... the latter of which is the illustrious Cass, playable character! Too bad they don't have full walking animations yet, hey
What does work, though--and much better than I expected it to--is the enemy AI, now complete!
See how the sprite stolen from Dragon Quest is trying to rob you? He only does that if you've got a certain amount of gold in your party. You scrimp and save to earn all the gold you need to buy a new club or something, then you run into one of these jokers, and if you haven't been optimizing or at least raising your evade stats he just swipes a fourth of your money and takes off. I love shit like that--making enemies specifically designed to make your life hell--and now it's really easy; just a matter of writing up a super-tiny ai script file for every enemy and making sure there's a function defined for every command written in it. Once I get maped/verge working together again I can set up a map that actually spawns enemies, build the code to do that and to initiate battles, and then suddenly it doesn't just feel like a game--by god, it is one! (Barring story and like--level advancement and stuff. And mad debugging of a lot of this.)
Also I started on a crappy title sequence, since the game used to just load with a centered string telling you to press Z or X and I was sick of that.
I did all this graphics stuff because (1) after a certain point this afternoon I lost the powers of reasoning needed to do anything other than program and make pixel art, (2) I played some other indie RPGs and realized that I needed to get better at pixel art ASAP, and (3) I read through Derek Yu's really good tutorial on basic concepts of pixel art. I sort of knew about light and all, y'know, and how it should be some places and not others, but something about this tutorial makes sense and is totally workable. The first thing I attempted using it was that gigantic mountain in the Tack screenshot, and I think that permanently soldered some art neurons into place because it's been really quick to work on a bunch of tiles after that. I was all worried that I was going to have to like--outsource things.
I don't really consider doing a bunch of pixel art work for some reason so this applies. Programming and pixel art are both some of the most mindless, stimulus-responsey things in the world: you just keep pushing at it until suddenly it makes sense.
Oh god--one week from today I'll be in my new apartment in Queens, then I'll be in Palo Alto for a week and change. Who knows what the future will bring, really? September is most likely out as any kind of "release date" for this--at least not with the fate of maped up in the air for me--but I'll at least try to have it in the right hands or something. Really all of the architecture is there to just build the last three maps, although two of them won't be that much fun without the enemy-spawning code. Then the first part of Chocolate Sauce RPG will be done, and I can upload it to verge-rpg.com! Then I just need to make five more of these horrible fuckers!
(Changing my gruedorf day to Fridays--it's better for my schedule and it gives me a day to crank on this stuff at least.)
(If you know how to resolve weird zlib.dll errors in maped, like, let me know, k)