Playable Update for Betrayed Alliance Book 1

Back when I had run a Kickstarter to help fund the music for Betrayed Alliance, we also had a stretch goal to revamp and update the music and visuals of Betrayed Alliance Book 1.

Tavern Exterior and Interiors

What’s been worked on recently

Thanks to the amazing productivity of Karl Dupere-Richer, over half of the background screens have now received a visual update (upgrade!). In fact, his productivity has been so good, I decided to take a month or so off of working on Book 2 just to focus my attention to the update of Book 1. That’s been my focus for the last half of August and most of September.

Reprogramming the rooms to work with the new visual information, streamlining the code, and adding features (like the autosave I’m using for Book 2). I’m hoping to fix that pesky “out of heap space” bug that crashes 10% or so of runs too.

New outdoor buildings

While the Book 1 update is not by any means complete, I’ve worked hard enough to make the programming for the new version playable to the end.

And this is where you come in!

If you’d like to have access to the update of Book 1 as it’s in development, I’m making that available to all KS backers and all “Early Access” Patrons on Patreon. I’ve also put together a Google Doc you can edit to track any bugs, parser commands that you think should work, or any general ideas or thoughts you have about a particular room. Obviously there’s no obligation to do any of that, but if you’re interested, I’d love your help to make it the best experience possible.

New Dockhouse and Interior

So that’s been it for the last month and a half or so. Book 1’s update is coming along very nicely. Beautiful new artwork and a revamp in the coding, and maybe even a few extra features!


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.

Last 24 Hours Kickstarter Update

Great news!

The Kickstarter has been successfully funded (and actually was so one the first day, which was a huge relief to my nerves!)

We’ve also funded our one (and only) stretch goal – to update some of the artwork of Book 1 and overhaul the music to give it the same treatment as Book 2 will have. This goal will be completed only after work on Book 2 has ended, as I didn’t want the stretch goal to impede the original Kickstarter project.

Here’s an example I put together
And here’s one by Karl Dupéré-Richer, who offered to help

You can also listen to a rendition of the main overworld theme here

So now we’re in the last 24 hours (I’m sure even less when this post goes live) and here’s where things stand:

The level of support and enthusiasm for the project, both in pledges, but also in comments has been really affirming and encouraging.

We’ll be live for the remaining 24 hours! Hope to see you there!