Monthly Archives: October 2013

Back to coding Solar Trader

After an extended hiatus from coding Solar Trader, I’m back on the job.  Tonight I’m working on how to place objects given some general parameters – how far from a reference point – sunward, belt ward, outward, etc…

Once this is done, I’ll go back to working on the space encounters.   Trust me, be grateful that the current version doesn’t have pirates chasing you.  Space is dangerous enough to navigate without enemy ships pursuing and attacking you.

Getting ST ready for newbies

Last night I worked out the first part of Solar Trader’s in-game tutorial (there are two). In the first, you learn the simple mechanics of the game – how to fly, how gravity works, how to flush your toilet (really, it’s in the game).

Once this is in, I’ve got the second – orbital mechanics, i.e. your flight from Earth to Mercury. This involves teaching how to take off and land.

Then I need to update the manual.

After this, I think we’ll have an Alpha version (i.e. still under development but okay to play). Outside of Jesse’s blind-mans-bluff navigation for all other shipping, you can actually fly planet to planet and trade. And trust me, you can lose the game easy enough without a universe full of bad guys.

Looking forward to a release in a few weeks!

Banks of Seth (Pits of Seth notes)

This has been a little confusion with the release of Pits. It involves your money, keeping your money, and having your money work for you (or at least your score).

If you survive an adventure, you are asked if you’d like to retire (or retire and give your map to a younger version of you) or to go back into the old or a new dungeon.

If you retire in any way, all your money goes into your final score. And you’re done.

If you go back into the same dungeon, 10% of your cash (and one ‘use’ of every item you have) is expended. This constitutes your cost of living and side-adventures you might have before returning to those dank caverns.

If you journey to a new dungeon, 30% of your cash and two ‘uses’ of every item are burned off. This represents your long overland journey.

For these last two cases (the go-back-in deals), all the money not lost in turnaround goes into the ‘temple’ (which served as banks in ancient times, so we follow that model here). When you come out a second time, you’ll see your current ‘carried’ amount (in silver), followed by the amount in the temple (reduced 10% or 30%) and the grand total. This grand total will now be used for your final score (if you retire) or be deposited in the temple again (if another game is played). And remember, if you die, the priests shake their head sadly and say, in mock surprise, “What deposit?” Yes, when you die, you lose all your accumulated wealth.

And that’s where high scores come from!

Pits of Seth

Added Pits of Seth into the game library. This was a curious effort – I’d hardly done more with Excel at all at this point, just basic spreadsheet stuff and nosing into VBA (basic). Then I got the hankering for doing a Dungeon Crawl. Remembering some of the stuff I’d done before (I’ve done Pits about four times now, and was one of my first games back in the 70s), I started coding.

It actually worked pretty good. Sure, the dungeon is a little loopy and doesn’t make much sense (but who are we to question the ancients?). But it was a lot of fun.

Thanks to Jesse for beefing up my kludgy map by figuring out how to do solid edges. It made it a lot easier when trying to find how to get from that new up-stairway to the exit.

It’s a fun little game, so enjoy!

A little work tonight on ST

Working ST up through version 1.1  (Jesse and I split code at version 1.0, the basic operational version). There’s lots going on for my side – fixed about a dozen bugs I’d located, added bitmap textures to many of the screen (the hatch looks snazzy with all that rust) and added a new district encounter: a tourist liner at the spaceport.

Hopefully, with all the other stuff I added, I’ll be able to proceed with the tutorial next. That I’m ready for a beta release, with Jesse’s code (NPC ships) to follow.

Another cook joins the mix

Hello, Robert here. I’ve been using Joomla for years now, but have never looked under the hood of WordPress (heard good things about it). Anyway, as soon as Jesse gave me a password, I was in here screwing around. I’ve already changed the title letters of the page header to from “executive blue” or “hemorrhoidal burn red” and fleshed out my author description (put in a nifty picture too – that took some doing). So now, we’ll probably stop developing games and start fussing with each other over this site.

You’re welcome, Jesse 🙂