February 2022 BA Update

What’s new since last month?

Programming and Systems Work

I’ve been spending basically all of my time working on programming, fixing up some systems, and animations and props for the backgrounds.

What systems am I working on?

Cut scene dialog – if you’ve even accidentally clicked a past a box in a Sierra game, you know the frustration of knowing it’s gone for good and you might have missed vital information. I’ve put together a system that allows your to go forward and backward through the dialog if you miss anything.

Character Switching – Book 2 has two main characters, so the ability to switch between them in important. It’s not completely finished yet, but the basic structure is up and running just fine allowing for each character to hold their own items and retain their positions in their rooms.

Death Log – This one is actually proving to be quite tricky, but I think I’ve mostly got a handle on it. The difficultly comes with how Sierra games save and restore. When you restore, everything is set back to the previous save “exactly as it was,” so having the game “remember” what caused the death you are restoring from was an interesting challenge.

I ended up with the idea of writing variables related deaths to an external file, then reading those variables back into the game when the player restores. Sounds easy enough, but there’s more to it I won’t get into now. The good news is, that the system now works generally as it should and is incorporated into the menubar for easy access (many thanks to the help of more skilled programmers guiding me at the SCI Programming Community forums).

Battle System

The basic structure of the new battle system is now in place and the first (training) battle is complete. Future enemies will build on the foundation that’s already been established, but having the skeleton constructed now will make all the rest from here much easier to flesh out.

Props and animations

A big focus for me right now is getting things playable. A lot of backgrounds and animation work has been done and now it’s time to get some of them up and running!

That’s one way to break into a house.

Book 1 Update

Most of the work on the Book 1 Update has been done by Karl Dupéré-Richer at this point, although I have done been updating it bit by bit as his new artwork comes in and have started a log of fixes and bugs to fix for the updated release.

That being said, Karl has shifted his focus from this project to another for the time being. He has put together a few sketches for updates of a few interiors in the game and they look gorgeous already!

Besides this, there is nothing new to share concerning the Book 1 update, as my main focus is the completion of Book 2.

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