Dev Update for May

Hey-o! Another month in the bag. Holy impending deadlines, Batman! My school project, RPG Library, is maybe 70% done. I need to finish out the quest system and port it to HTML. The quest system I feel pretty good about. Most of the quests don’t have a lot of moving parts. There is a bug where once you complete a quest the icon sticks around. So, that’s mostly grunt programming and design.

The porting to HTML can die and burn in a hell of its own creation (likely without text and a bucket full of timeout errors).

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To help speed things along, I bought some code from the Gamemaker marketplace. I got a copy of the YoYo RPG code base. It’s basically a Zelda engine with quests, text, inventory, and Save/Load features. It’s pretty rad and has a lot of documentation to help you figure out coding for yourself. It also has well over $20 worth of pixel art packaged with the code.

I took this and recreated a working version of my game that I had coupled together from YouTube tutorials. I knew that my end product would need to go on a website, so I stopped coding once I got the basics the way I needed it and turned my attention to porting it into HTML. Everything basically fell apart right there.

Just figuring out how to host it online took me a few weeks. I tried to make my own site to host it. This took a lot more trouble than I thought it would. I thought just a WordPress blog could host it but not without buying domain space. I didn’t want to spend too much capital on it though. So I looked at making my own server. I have an old computer that could run a limited number of users without much trouble (I’d just have to manually turn it on and off). Figured out that launching Apache might be out of my reach for a “weekend” project. I finally (dumbly) remembered that itch.io is basically just a games hosting service. Done.

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Except not quite. I loaded a couple versions of my game (as a zip file with the index file and all) to the site and started it up. It hummed right along except that all the text was removed. That’s weird and also bad if you are making a game about looking up reference materials in a library. I tried a bunch of fixes but I haven’t fixed that yet.

I turned back to a clean install of YoYo RPG and tried uploading it. For whatever reason, it fails out as soon as I try loading a new game. I think HTML has a lot of trouble with the saving/loading INI files. The fix is to move the INI’s to the Included Files subfolder. However, Research Rush doesn’t actually need saving/loading games because it’s a 10-minute experience. So I tried just ripping it out. Turns out the inventory system is tied into the save/load scripts (that I think write to the INI files).

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I also tried cutting out the splash screen (just going from the title straight to the first room). Something is written into each title room screen that sets the game rules with each play. So cutting any of these out kills the game right after the title screen.

I went back to just loading Research Rush into itch.io and now it fails out when I load a new game as well. So I’m one step forward and like six back. Which is where I’m at now. I tried going back to just recreate the text issue but I’ve changed something that now breaks it like the clean YoYo RPG HTML port. If I have to, I’ll just finish it as a Windows installation and I’ll just launch it for the experimental groups individually.

Thanks for reading!

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