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Realms of Antiquity: The Shattered Crown - Ultima-like retro RPG

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Infinitron, Mar 12, 2020.

  1. adamantyr Arcane Developer

    adamantyr
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    Yeah, ill include both! If you did PayPal you can just include an extra $5.
     
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  2. adamantyr Arcane Developer

    adamantyr
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    If you don't have the actual hardware, the cartridge is mainly just a tricket. That said, if you REALLY want one, Greg can make you one. He has an option to upgrade the EEPROM here, but if you drop him a line he can give you a quote for a full cartridge.
    https://www.arcadeshopper.com/wp/st...idge-ROM-update/p/319791260/category=72131013
     
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  3. mindx2 Codex Roaming East Coast Reporter Patron

    mindx2
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    Gazing at his slowly refilling game shelves ;-)
    Codex 2012 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire RPG Wokedex Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Thanks! I sent him an email and let him know I sent an extra $5 for the SD card as well. Man, this so gets my nostalgia blood going! Tunnels of Doom was my first "cRPG" all those years ago on my own TI-99/4a back in early '80s. Great job on this project. Your boxed game will find a treasured spot on my shelves along with many other classic (and maybe not so classic :oops:) computer games!

    Now I just have to wait for it to get here to start playing!!
     
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  4. adamantyr Arcane Developer

    adamantyr
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    You should get a digital copy right away to start playing! And I can send you a Steam key if you want.

    Do you have the hardware to run the game?
     
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  5. Abu Antar Prestigious Gentleman Tweet, tweet Patron

    Abu Antar
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    mindx2 You might also want to check out Nox Archaist.
     
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  6. Ladonna Arcane

    Ladonna
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    How much would you say it cost you to put this game out? Obviously all the hours creating the game, but did you hire people? Costs for all the physical items? It must have been a bit risky doing this without getting kickstarter bucks beforehand.

    And how long have you been working on the game?
     
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  7. mindx2 Codex Roaming East Coast Reporter Patron

    mindx2
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    Codex 2012 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire RPG Wokedex Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Oh, I did get the digital copy email. However, to play this correctly I must have the manual and map next to me as I play. :obviously:

    Already have :smug:. Have a physical copy on the way as well.
     
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  8. Ludwig von Eisenthal Augur

    Ludwig von Eisenthal
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    The attitude of a real connaƮsseur of the genre! :salute:With the wonderful cloth map, the manuals and the box you'll be able to fully absorb the beauty of this game, both digitally and "analogically". I began playing the digital version only but was so utterly amazed by the quality of this game that I had to get a CE myself. I wish I'd have started with the physical version at my side, I'm sure the experience is even more satisfiying that way. That said: You are a lucky bastard to have got one of the very last CEs out there! Welcome in the illustrious circle of RoA-CE-owners! I'm sure you'll find it a very well put investment.
     
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  9. newtmonkey Arcane

    newtmonkey
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    The cloth map is indeed quite nice. Very close in quality to the cloth maps that came with the Ultima games. I had forgotten how much fun it can be to play a CRPG while referring to an actual map included in the box.

    I put another hour into this today and am hooked. It's honestly pretty forgiving early on, I went with a pure fighter, rogue, crusader (cleric/fighter), and warlock (mage/fighter) and haven't had too much trouble. You can heal characters that have been killed in combat, so it seems the only way to really get a game over is for all characters to die in a single combat. The UI is also really easy to learn and streamlined but in a good way. I definitely appreciate how the "examine" command gives you very detailed stats on equipment.

    Having said that, it's not a dumbed down CRPG by any means. The game it most reminds me of right now is Demon's Winter, though with actual towns instead of town menus. Great game, and the Steam version plays fine. I'd definitely recommend it so far.
     
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  10. Ludwig von Eisenthal Augur

    Ludwig von Eisenthal
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    Another thing I really love about the map: You actually need it to discover and travel the game world. The whole exploration feeling is so much enhanced if you have such a map as an external "artifact", outside of the game itself. I found myself simply gazing at the map in delight and wondering what adventures and mysteries would await me in the depicted locations. Such an external map is like an additional plane of the whole experience for me. Can't wait for the enhanced map adamantyr :)
     
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  11. adamantyr Arcane Developer

    adamantyr
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    No team. :) I'm a one-man company, other than testing. Testers were all volunteers, but they got a digital copy of the game for free and first pick and $20 off a collector's edition.

    Physical items, it cost me a couple thousand probably for manual printing, cloth printing, box making, etc. I priced to make sure I'd get it back and a bit more.

    I've been working on it for 15 years... I started right after I finished my college degree in computer science in '05. My old website shows some of the early progression: http://crpg.adamantyr.com
     
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  12. Jinn Arcane

    Jinn
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    You're a champion and an inspiration adamantyr. Video games need more people like you, as does the world in general.
     
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  13. Jinn Arcane

    Jinn
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    Sorry for the double post. adamantyr, I'm assuming you've already thought of this before, but I want to check just in case: would it be possible to add a sort function in the inventory screen?
     
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  14. adamantyr Arcane Developer

    adamantyr
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    Not impossible, although you'd have to add some kind of extra keystroke to the menu to do it. (And "S" is unavailable as that's the left key on the classic TI keyboard) Plus there's a question of what kind of sorting, by name, type, etc.

    Unfortunately the management module where inventory is handled is totally full at the moment so adding new features is a challenge. Literally 44 bytes of space left. There are a few things I could have done better (and would do better) in terms of memory management in a sequel to allow for more flexibility.
     
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  15. Jinn Arcane

    Jinn
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    I wasn't even thinking an auto-sort, though that would be cool. If you ever add that, I'd suggest sorting by type->alphabetical.

    But I was actually thinking a manual sort, which seems like it wouldn't take up too much space.

    Also, I was going to let you know that the steam screenshot function doesn't seem to be working for me for some reason. I would assume this is out of your hands and a problem with the emulator, but I thought I'd mention it just in case. Screenshots are always good for making a game more visible to potential buyers.
     
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  16. adamantyr Arcane Developer

    adamantyr
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    There IS a sort going on, but it's mainly to push empty slots to the bottom of the list. This is relatively easy to do, since you're just looking for an empty slot on a pass-through.

    Sorting by type would require more complexity. In computer science parlance, you've gone from an O(n) operation to O(n^2) operation, because now every item you have to additionally check if it's the "lowest" or "highest" value. It then gets even worse with names; you have to consider that unlike item types, the first character isn't the end-decider of order. So now you have to iterate over the name string (which is stored in a different place in memory, mind you) to determine order.

    None of this is impossible to do. It's mainly, is it worth doing? Players tend to like things to stay as un-chaotic as possible. If items start shifting around all the time it makes for a more frustrating user experience. This is where user testing really comes in useful, because good testers tell you if something is weird, or something could be done better. I initially didn't have statistic screens rotatable to other players or the party screen, you had to go back to Travel mode and explicitly press the right key. But feedback led me to the current implementation where left and right lets you navigate those, and the game's all the better for it.

    What's the keystroke for screenshots? I'd have to talk to the Classic99 developer to see if he wants to open that up or not. It's a part-time job for him maintaining it, and he makes no money on it, so I'm a bit reluctant to bring things up; like myself he's got a professional streak that won't quit. When I brought up the widescreen aspect ratio issue but assured him it was no big deal, he spent the next few days figuring out how to make it happen.
     
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  17. Jinn Arcane

    Jinn
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    For me, it's pretty much just an aesthetic concern. It always bothers me when my inventory is unsorted, with similar item types not next to each other, etc. I thought maybe a manual sort option where you essentially just swap items around would be a fairly basic implementation, but if it's not possible without a big hassle, it's not really a big deal.

    I saw that got fixed! Thanks a lot for bringing that up to him. Very cool. The default keystroke is F12 for steam screenshots, but I actually have mine set to *. I've tried a number of different keys without any luck either. It's strange, because I run emulators through steam fairly frequently and take screenshots without issue, so I'm unsure what could be the problem with this one. Again, not a huge deal, I just thought I'd mention it because screenshots seem to be a good thing for steam communities.
     
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  18. Jinn Arcane

    Jinn
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    Sorry to keep summoning you back here adamantyr (and to now have a TRIPLE post in this thread), but I have a few questions regarding my first proper dungeon-dive in the game. It's at the Priory west of Weymoor. I've found my way into the labyrinthine depth, plunged through illusory walls, and all but conquered the dungeon from what I can tell.

    Show Spoiler
    I end up at the end of that treacherous trap-laden hallway with all the pitfalls, into the personal chambers where you find the Librum Asmusr. Now my questions are, there is a blue-green flashing gate leading into the treasure room (where I assume I will find the cornett for the bard needed to progress the main questline) that I cannot figure out how to get through. I assumed that the Librum Asmusr would have the spell needed to get rid of the gate, but my spell-user is unable to use the tome despite having been able to use every other spell tome I've come into contact with through the game so far. I've also used every other spell I can think of to try to get through it. What am I missing here?
     
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  19. adamantyr Arcane Developer

    adamantyr
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    Show Spoiler
    Actually, the cornett is in the catacombs. So you missed it. :)

    The blue-green flashing gate is a magical barrier. You need either a spell or a touchstone to remove them.

    The Librum Asmusr is usable, but it only contains combat spells. So you get no cast option in Travel mode.
     
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  20. Jinn Arcane

    Jinn
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    Show Spoiler
    Really? Interesting. I searched every coffin without a shadow of a doubt. I guess I'll have to do another sweep...


    EDIT:

    Show Spoiler
    I missed one illusory wall to the northeast and found it! Thanks for the hint...


    ...You tricky bastard, adamantyr! I have a feeling I'm going to be needing some more hints throughout my playthrough, as I'm apparently too stupid for your game. Is there a preferred place you'd like me to ask if needed, or do these forums work well enough for you?
     
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  21. Ludwig von Eisenthal Augur

    Ludwig von Eisenthal
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    Yeah, I remember that darn cornet! That was the first time in the game I felt utterly lost. Never forget to knock at all the walls. Later on there are extremely helpful spells for such situations.
     
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  22. Jinn Arcane

    Jinn
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    Yeah, I've been using

    Show Spoiler
    Magic Eye frequently


    but the other passage blended in so well with the rest of the catacombs that I just overlooked it the first couple times I used the spell.
     
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  23. Ludwig von Eisenthal Augur

    Ludwig von Eisenthal
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    Can you imagine: I just recently discovered the virtues of this spell myself! I never used it, often got almost completely lost in dungeons... and then I find out about this magnificent spell I already had with me for many dozens of hours without even noticing it... dungeoneering is almost a breeze now. :D
     
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  24. adamantyr Arcane Developer

    adamantyr
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    • Thanks! Thanks! x 2
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  25. rikkles Novice

    rikkles
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    On the topic of Nox and Realms, I've played Nox a lot. A lot. Right now I'm about 20 hours into my second attempt at Realms, my first one having been about 5 hours back in version 1.02-1.03 which I stopped when the updates ate my saves. Here are my opinionated opinions, take these with the usual bucketloads of salt:

    The TI-99 crushes the Apple 2 technically, and it shows. So Realms has the upper hand in terms of graphics, although Nox's pixel art is better given the restrictions. In other words, Realms art could be dramatically improved.
    Both Nox and Realms have huge worlds. Realms has clear boundaries between areas, Nox doesn't. Realms has more variety. I wonder how many unique tiles Realms has.

    In terms of gameplay, they're quite different. Nox is "simpler" in the sense that you get multi-stage quests with clear goals (and a basic quest log!). Realms is more exploratory in nature, and is closer to bard's tale in the puzzles. It has more mazes, switches, hints written on walls and floors, etc.. Nox is more like Ultima where tasks are clear but need thinking to resolve. For example, killing a pirate leader and avoiding guards in the process. But Realms quests seem to have more variety: for example, you can close a portal but then you can't get to it any more, at least for now. At some point in my game I found the portal, went in and got wiped by some real nasties. Later I found an item I had no use for. Randomly someone told me to take it to the portal area and fix one of the menhirs. I did it and the portal closed. This is Realms: you don't know what the hell you're doing, but it's very cool.

    Realms has significantly more types of damage, and in my opinion it's too much in those kinds of games. Every new battle feels like a whack-a-mole: what of pierce, slash, blunt, acid, fire, etc... should I use to beat these guys? And if you combine that with the unfortunately weak inventory system, you're stuck with hoping the mix you've got in your party is good enough to win. It doesn't tell you anything. The inventory system is further hampered by the scrolls and potions that are available, as well as the need to carry multiple spell books. This forces unnecessary inventory management and choices that aren't necessarily for the better. In Nox all this is streamlined: the inventory is centralized, massive, there are no potions or scrolls, and you can make your general spellbook of 10 spells out of however many you have available.

    Again, this makes for a simpler but more streamlined experience in Nox. And you combine it with Quick Battle, and you can have very fast gameplay in Nox. A party of 6 is too much in my opinion for Nox, I really like the party of 4 in Realms. But in Nox you can mix, match, change "class" (there are no classes), remove or add any NPC at any time. In Realms you're stuck with your choices, and if you want something else it'll have to wait for your next game. (Incidentally, you can win Nox without a problem with a party of 2)

    That's the fundamental difference between Nox and Realms: Nox makes it very easy to change if you're not happy, but then there's no real danger of making a mistake. Realms makes it very hard to change, with dire consequences if you screw up your mix, but you feel very good when you've got it right. Some people prefer the former, others the latter.

    Speaking of battle tactics, each game has its own fun challenges. Realms has both the rock-paper-scissors of damage types and the action point management (fun to play chess/checkers against the enemy, and I love playing fast chars who weave in and out). Nox has really nice summons, pole arms that hit 2 squares away, and dodge vs. armor.

    The one real gripe I have with Realms is that you constantly have to figure stuff out, to the point of realizing that reboots are part of the user experience. The manual has no mention of weapon, armor and spell stats. You won't know what most items do until you buy them or use them. Why do I hit for 26 once and then for 1 4 times in a row? So you end up buying everything you don't know, taking a look, and then rebooting. In Nox I must plan forward, in Realms I have to wing it. Different.

    So play both, they're both really really good.
     
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