WIP: Sorcery (was: Two problems with Sorcery)

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carlsson
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Postby carlsson » Sun Oct 08, 2006 11:43 am

The reason you (and me) get gibberish when we try to convert the Basic listing to ASCII, is probably because the program starts at an odd address; $1CAC if I understand correctly.

I loaded the Basic portion into xvic to default position and resaved it. The VIC-20 relinks the lines upon loading it, so that's fine. Then, the program nicely listed with petcat:

http://www.cbm.sfks.se/files/sorcery.txt

The key is then to remember to relocate it back to $1CAC after improving it. Since a portion of the game (sorclib.bin - the UPL compiler and graphics?) already is written in machine code, maybe you'll consider rewriting it all in C or assembly code? What happens if you run the Basic portion through Austrocomp; will it become smaller or does certain features not work in that Basic compiler?

You seem to have a lot of control characters: CTRL-A, CTRL-B, CTRL-C, CTRL-D in your listing. What do they do?
Anders Carlsson

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Release 1.1 Candidate (first update in 22 years! :-o)

Postby brendanjones » Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:07 pm

Thanks Anders and Orion! (No way I could have found that looking at the 22x23 char screen!) BTW The VICE monitor binary loader is weird; it doesn't do what it says it does. Loading straight from d64 disk per Orion's suggestion worked though. (Also watch for running a snapsnot with different disks/tapes attached; seemed to freak VICE out for me. Then again... I guess you guys know all this stuff better than I do! :-)

BTW Anders, the control codes ^a, ^b, etc. are intercepted by the SORCLIB machine code. They switch between the various windows, and one of them switches to fullscreen.

Haven't found my notes, but was able to remember what the code did. Funny how your brain can look at something 22 years old, and have it come back to you!!!

I fixed the "moving doors" problem and also the "exit from a room without an exit bug". See how this goes for you:

http://www.kdef.com/geek/vic/Sorcery-1. ... ersion.zip

Tried to keep in under 16Kb but not sure. Anyway, if that checks out I'll merge in Orion's disk changes and also get the buggy potion (in ERRATA). Not sure when I'll get around to those but after 22 years, figure we can wait a few weeks. :-)

BTW If you like the theme you might check out a Anime called "Berserk". I consider it "Sorcery the Movie" :-) Definitely adults only though. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berserk_%28manga%29

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Postby orion70 » Tue Oct 10, 2006 2:12 am

Many thanks to you, Brendan, for having revived this game.

I will extensively play-test this alpha version, and try to map all the dungeon. BTW: you wrote that the position of monsters varies (as it always should be in a RPG) - is it the same for chests, or they are placed randomly? You know, it's just to avoid losing time mapping their positions. 8)

IMHO, you shouldn't mind keeping everything under 16KB, as the majority of us can afford >=24KB RAM and 16KB was somehow limiting the game (e.g. in characters number or name).

May I ask you one more programming effort? :oops: My disk changes allow to save only one character per disk. Could it be possible for you to add a file name requester in order to save all characters on the same disk? It would be just great, and Sorcery V2 would be PERFECT! :D

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Postby Mayhem » Tue Oct 10, 2006 3:43 am

But not everyone has a cart slot splitter of course... I can only use max 16k extra here myself.
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Postby orion70 » Tue Oct 10, 2006 6:01 am

OK, sorry - 16KB at maximum then. It was only to let Brendan work free from memory limits - never know if he's going to add animation, sound or what else (I'm joking of course :wink:).

Alpha-testing report#1:
- Playing with dungeon "b", starting position n.1.
- Played it three times, and the entrance is always in the same room (IT WORKS! :lol: ).
- The dungeon is a 22x22 grid (484 rooms).
- Both monsters and chests are placed randomly.
- Did only half perimeter (1/3 west corridor, all south and east corridors); no inner rooms yet.
- If we number x and y rooms 1-22 left to right and top to bottom respectively, entrance n.1 is at location (1,15).
- Did not find any other entrance on the perimeter; if the manual of the original version is still valid, the n.1 should be the only one on the outer border.

That's all for now. More to follow!

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Alpha Walk

Postby brendanjones » Tue Oct 10, 2006 11:25 pm

[Orion] > Many thanks to you, Brendan, for having revived this game.

No probs! As I said to Orion in e-mail, I had been considering taking the vic site down,
because I didn't think anyone was using it. Obviously, Will keep it up now.


[Anders] > What happens if you run the Basic portion through Austrocomp; will it become smaller
[Anders] > or does certain features not work in that Basic compiler?

I wasn't aware of Austrocomp. Did a Google, and only found three entries, all German,
but Ich nicht sprichen de Deutsh! If you can point me, interested to try...
I'm guessing it uses the BASIC ROM for its runtime?

[Anders] > Since a portion of the game (sorclib.bin - the UPL compiler and graphics?)
That's the graphics (bitmaps and code that draws the dungeon and mobs) and text intercept
routines that manage the windows. Didn't use UPL for this; UPL wasn't an optimised compiler.

[Anders] > already is written in machine code, maybe you'll consider rewriting it all
[Anders] > in C or assembly code?

Suspect that wouldn't achieve much. I loathe BASIC, but it's actually reasonably efficient
memorywise (cos it's can draw from its own runtime in ROM). Because of all the string
manipulation, guess an assembler version would be more or less the same size (though
you could do the maze array at half the size). But apart from a faster maze generation,
you probably wouldn't even tell the difference :-)


[Orion] > Sorcery V2 would be PERFECT! Very Happy

For the VIC or something else? Would be fun, but spent waaaaaay to much time on 6502 retroprojects.
If someone else wants to do it, I'll cheer you on! Queztalcoatl does have a decent
6502 assembler and it can load your programmable character set directly from a PCX file.

What might be fun is to take the BASIC source, convert it to C, hook it up with DirectX 3D
and do a Windoze version of Sorcery 1. Could probably do that much quicker!!!!

I do have running notes on Sorcery 2 I dabble in every now and again.
That'd be for Windoze though, and not for another 10 years.
So enjoy the VIC version. Guess when it's 32 years old,
that'd be a good geek time to do a new version.
"What!? 2^5!! Well then... let's get started!" :-)


[Orion] > I will extensively play-test this alpha version, and try to map all the dungeon.
[Orion] > BTW: you wrote that the position of monsters varies (as it always should be in a RPG)
[Orion] > - is it the same for chests, or they are placed randomly? You know, it's just to avoid
[Orion] > losing time mapping their positions. Cool

Chests should be at random locations as should be the monsters.

[Orion] > IMHO, you shouldn't mind keeping everything under 16KB, as the majority of us can
[Orion] > afford >=24KB RAM and 16KB was somehow limiting the game [] characters number or name).

Sorcery is very tight within 19.5Kb (ie. 3.5Kb+16Kb expansion). The alpha might have pushed
it just over, but when finalise it I'll bring it under. e.g. Note the copyright sign is now
a programable character; saved 3 bytes with that... which I then used for the version number.
When I fixed line 380 I s/n8/3/, saving another byte! ...

... Which goes to show you just how tight memory is! :-)

[Mayhem] > But not everyone has a cart slot splitter of course...
> I can only use max 16k extra here myself.

Yeah. Me too. 3 VICs and one 16Kb expansion.

[Orion] > May I ask you one more programming effort? Embarassed My disk changes allow to save only
[Orion] > one character per disk. Could it be possible for you to add a file name requester in order
[Orion] > to save all characters on the same disk? It would be just great,

I was wondering about that. Saving by name is easy, but loading by name would mean a bit
of extra code which would blow the 16Kb limit. Will try, and proly do a separate disk and
tape version (cos not enough memory to ask for and do both.) Could shorten some of the
spell descritions though; guess we can find enough bytes...

[Orion] > OK, sorry - 16KB at maximum then. It was only to let Brendan work free from memory limits -
[Orion] > never know if he's going to add animation, sound or what else (I'm joking of course Wink).

Keeping 16Kb is probably best, otherwise we'll have 4 different configurations,
for umpteen different emulators. Argh!!!!!


[Orion] > Alpha-testing report#1:
[Orion] > - Playing with dungeon "b", starting position n.1.
[Orion] > - Played it three times, and the entrance is always in the same room (IT WORKS! Laughing ).

Years ago Nigel told me he just kept regenerating the dunegon until he got
an entrance in the outer chamber. So lets all blame Nigel for this
for not being pushy enough! :-)

[Orion] > - The dungeon is a 22x22 grid (484 rooms).
I do remember I originally planned to keep track or which rooms you'd been in and with
a button draw a map on the screen. Ran out of memory, but not sure if that would have
been good for gameplay anyway.

[Orion] > - If we number x and y rooms 1-22 left to right and top to bottom
[Orion] > - respectively, entrance n.1 is at location (1,15).

Cool. deliberately made the changes very minor. Btw 'q' has an entrance on the outer chamber too.
'a' doesn't (which I guess is why you were in 'b' :-)

BTW thinking about it after you "reincarnate" N monsters, they regenerate.
That's the pause every so often. If something goes wrong, that could be it...

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Re: Alpha Walk

Postby carlsson » Wed Oct 11, 2006 3:10 am

brendanjones wrote:I wasn't aware of Austrocomp. If you can point me, interested to try...

Austro Compiler (sorry) can be found here:
ftp://ftp.zimmers.net/pub/cbm/vic20/utilities/8k/

Didn't use UPL for this; UPL wasn't an optimised compiler.

I could've sworn you mention UPL on the web page describing the game..
Anders Carlsson



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Postby Mayhem » Wed Oct 11, 2006 1:07 pm

orion70 wrote:OK, sorry - 16KB at maximum then. It was only to let Brendan work free from memory limits - never know if he's going to add animation, sound or what else (I'm joking of course :wink:).


Actually I should clarify that part. I do have cartridge port devices here, but none of them want to let me use more than one cartridge at a time. So I can only use one RAM expansion, and the best I own is 16k.
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Compiler

Postby brendanjones » Thu Oct 12, 2006 5:30 pm

Orion is alpha testing.

> I could've sworn you mention UPL on the web page describing the game..
It's downloadable from the same page, but separate ZIPs. In the doco say I would have loved to have written it in UPL or ASM, but not enough memory to hold your development system and target app in memory.

> Actually I should clarify that part. I do have cartridge port devices
> here, but none of them want to let me use more than one cartridge
> at a time. So I can only use one RAM expansion, and the best I own is 16k.

Yeah. This made development a real pain; the biggest problem writing SW for the VIC. Not that it seem to hurt it, but if only I could have afforded a HDD and multiple memory cartridges at once .... ahhhh....

> ftp://ftp.zimmers.net/pub/cbm/vic20/utilities/8k/

Thanks. Got and compiled. Created two files on the disk; Z/SORCERY.BAS
and C/SORCERY.BAS. C/SORCERY.BAS seems to be the bootstrap. Ran it and got a ?SYNTAX ERROR IN 1. Maybe it doesn't like the $1A1C BASIC start location? Object files seem a bit big for memory anyway.

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Postby orion70 » Mon Oct 16, 2006 12:04 pm

Hi, all. Alpha testing still in progress, though slowly due to heavy work :evil:

Report#2:
- Playing with dungeon "b", entrance #1
- Surprisingly, found entrance #3 only one room away (position 3-15 on the map)
- Mapping the dungeon with Excel (see below for partial map).
- Everything seems to work fine, including spells, commands and so on. No bugs (yet :wink: ).
- MAYBE, but I'm not sure, once I encountered a green harpy, and when I hit it for 3 points I had the impression that 4 hitpoint were subtracted. I.e.: 13 points before, hit for 3 points, BUT 9 points after. Is that possible? Something to do with decimal numbers in the prg, rounding off or something? Brendan?

Here's a (very) partial map:

Image

Til next time! :D

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Re: Alpha Testing

Postby brendanjones » Tue Oct 17, 2006 8:44 pm

Hi Orion,

> - Surprisingly, found entrance #3 only one room away (position 3-15 on the map)

That's the randomiser. Anything can happy. (aka. on a 40-pick lotto card the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 have just a big a chance as anything else. :-))

> - Mapping the dungeon with Excel (see below for partial map).
BTW it is possible to draw a map directly from the l% array. Here's the gen code; it's a matter of following the bits:

REM begin by drawing N/S tunnel down E and W maze boundaries. 484 rooms total; 0..483.
9300 fori=.ton9:l%(i)=.:next:fori=22to462step22:l%(i)=3:l%(i+21)=3:next

REM set maze boundary corners. Then E/W tunnel along N and S boundaries.
9305 l%(0)=10:l%(21)=6:l%(483)=5:l%(462)=9:fori=1to20:l%(i)=12:l%(i+462)=12:next

REM for each room (except N and S corridor)... If on a E/W corridor, skip.
9310 fori=23to461:if(i-21)/22=int((i-21)/22)theni=i+1:goto9335

REM 25% chance of a door heading North. Flag bit for 2 on. y=added something.
9315 y=0:ifrnd(1)<.25thenl%(i)=l%(i)or1:l%(i-22)=l%(i-22)or2:y=1

REM 25% chance of a door heading South. Flag bit for 1 on. y=added something.
9320 ifrnd(1)<.25thenl%(i)=l%(i)or2:l%(i+22)=l%(i+22)or1:y=1

REM 25% chance of a door heading East. Flag bit for 4 on. y=added something.
9325 ifrnd(1)<.25thenl%(i)=l%(i)or8:l%(i+1)=l%(i+1)or4:y=1

REM 25% chance of a door heading West. Flag bit for 8 on. y=added something.
9330 ifrnd(1)<.25thenl%(i)=l%(i)or4:l%(i-1)=l%(i-1)or8:y=1

REM if we didn't add any door, keep trying until we add at least one.
9332 ify=.then9315

REM next room <i>
9335 next

> - Everything seems to work fine, including spells, commands and so on. No bugs (yet Wink ).
There is one with one of the potions; changes attribute for one move and alters gold. (BTW in hindsight "Potion #1", "Potion #2" might win the RPG awards for most unimaginative name of a magical item in an RPG).

> - MAYBE, but I'm not sure, once I encountered a green harpy,
> and when I hit it for 3 points I had the impression that 4 hitpoint
> were subtracted. I.e.: 13 points before, hit for 3 points,
> BUT 9 points after. Is that possible? Something to do with
> decimal numbers in the prg, rounding off or something? Brendan?

Just guessing: Probably rounding; the strike rate is affected by magik modifiers.

BTW when you kill every 15th(?) mob/monster it regens new monsters, so you get different gold from the mob you just killed. This can be good or bad. Fix? opinions.

cheers
bj

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Re: Alpha Testing

Postby orion70 » Wed Oct 18, 2006 4:05 am

Hi Brendan.

brendanjones wrote: BTW it is possible to draw a map directly from the l% array. Here's the gen code; it's a matter of following the bits:


Thank you. I will try and use it for the next few dungeons I'm gonna map!
BTW, map of dungeon B is finished. I already have a complete excel-drawn map, and I'll post it as soon as I'm sure that everything is correct.

brendanjones wrote:There is one with one of the potions; changes attribute for one move and alters gold.


There is another one. It happened twice, always with green harpy. I succeeded in withdrawing from the monster even if I was slower (2 vs 3).

brendanjones wrote:BTW when you kill every 15th(?) mob/monster it regens new monsters, so you get different gold from the mob you just killed. This can be good or bad. Fix? opinions.


Absolutely no! It's a great undocumented feature, and it adds spice to the game (you progress in killing monsters, so they are aware of this new dangerous heroes party in the dungeon and call other monsters for additional support...). Please, remember to write it in the next version of the manual :wink:

I'll post the complete map, together with a more "fantasy-flavoured" version and some new observations, by the end of next week.

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Re: Alpha Testing

Postby brendanjones » Wed Oct 18, 2006 11:49 pm

Hey Orion,

orion70 wrote:I will try and use it for the next few dungeons I'm gonna map!

By exceeding the 16Kb limit, could add a few lines of code to generate one with a keypress. Alas don't have my notes, so I'm not sure what the clear and redraw screen characters are; you might look at the SAVE routine. That dumps a character that suspends the windowing, then turns it back on. (Not sure we'd want to include that in the main progy; feels too much like a cheat)

orion70 wrote:BTW, map of dungeon B is finished. I already have a complete excel-drawn map, and I'll post it as soon as I'm sure that everything is correct.

Too bad I'm using the BASIC RAND() routine, otherwise we could generate it in C++.

orion70 wrote:There is another one. It happened twice, always with green harpy. I succeeded in withdrawing from the monster even if I was slower (2 vs 3).


There is a chance you can flee a mob even though your agility is lower. It gives a group with low agility characters a chance of escaping. e.g. thieves, which in 1982 I assumed would have decreased agility since they're not so good at fighting moves. Gary Gygax probably feels differently. :-)

orion70 wrote:Absolutely no! It's a great undocumented feature, and it adds spice to the game

More worried about the fact you might slay a dragon and get a rats's horde. Or the other way around. No one has complained in 22 years all the same... :-) (Wonder what rats do with gold anyway? In Australia we have a saying "As flash as a rat with a gold tooth...". That could explain it. :-)

orion70 wrote:I'll post the complete map, together with a more "fantasy-flavoured" version and some new observations, by the end of next week.

Cool! I'll redo the manual when we do the new release. Can send you the doco source if you want to make the edits yourself.

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Re: Alpha Testing

Postby orion70 » Sun Oct 29, 2006 2:30 pm

Hi, all.
After some 10 hours of total play, I finished alpha-testing Sorcery V1.1, dungeon B.
Here's the complete map:

Image

Note that five locations on the map are completely closed. This reduces the number of rooms to 479. Probably other dungeons have closed rooms, but it's only an hypothesis. Secret entrances for those hidden rooms would be a great add-on (though I know it would eat too much RAM :cry: ).
For those who like a fantasy twist, this is the link to a more detailed map, designed thinking of the dungeon as an ancient city, ruined and fallen into the underground empire of monsters and bandits. Hope you'll enjoy it.

http://sites.google.com/a/vic20.it/file ... t_city.jpg

The game is great; it gave me hours of fun more than most of the modern 3D RPGs. IMO, almost nothing has to be changed. Everything seems to work correctly. Increasing difficulty and character building are well balanced, challenging but not frustrating. The game is entartaining and rarely repetitive, with so many dungeons to explore (plus infinite ones randomly generated with F1).
Maybe the only points to really work on are the following:

1) Make possible to save characters on disk. One per disk side, if you don't want to change the code (only device # in lines 835 and 852); but better with a file name requester, if this doesn't affect too much the total size.

2) About rounding on hitpoints etc. Couldn't it be possible to make your hit affect the monster's point *exactly* as stated in the text description (e.g. "you hit for 3 points" means that 3 points, and not more or less, are subtracted from the monster's). If magic modifiers play a role in striking, please state it in the manual - or don't say in the description "you're hitting for X points".

3) About descriptions. To save bytes, many descriptions could be shortened. E.g.: "nothing happens" instead of "a harmless puff of smoke etc...". Minor glitch: why you use "they" for the monster you're fighting (like in "they don't chase you") instead of the singular "it"? The same if a mage casts a spell (why "*they* fail"?).

4) Fix, if possible, what's written in the original errata.txt: the bug with one of the potions, #2 - when the potion wears off instead of restoring your agility to the original value it leaves it unchanged and changes your amount of gold to 20-40 pieces. BTW: how about giving a (short) name to potions?

About monters regenerated every 15th strike out, it's OK for me (I don't like empty dungeons, it's so damned boring...).
The same for the possibility to escape from time to time even from monsters with higher agility.

Enough for now. I can't wait to play Sorcery V2 on the real VIC! :lol:
Bye!
Last edited by orion70 on Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Alpha Testing

Postby brendanjones » Mon Oct 30, 2006 2:12 am

orion70 wrote:Hi, all.
After some 10 hours of total play, I finished alpha-testing Sorcery V1.1, dungeon B.
For those who like a fantasy twist, this is the link to a more detailed map, designed thinking of the dungeon as an ancient city, ruined and fallen into the underground empire of monsters and bandits. Hope you'll enjoy it.
http://it.geocities.com/orion010870/dun ... t_city.jpg

I *LOVE* your map! Wow!!!! Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!

orion70 wrote:Note that five locations on the map are completely closed.
This reduces the number of rooms to 479.
Probably other dungeons have closed rooms, but it's only an hypothesis.

It's highly likely. The code that generates the dungeon randomly adds a door to each room, and keeps looping until it adds at least one. But that door could lead into another room also with one door back into the first one.

orion70 wrote:Secret entrances for those hidden rooms would be a great add-on (though I know it would eat too much RAM :cry: ).

I think you'd have to write a recursive routine to check rooms to see if they are connected. Fine in C. But BASIC? Or Assembler (with a 256 byte stack!) OUCH! Maybe a loop that "floods" bits around the maze, with upto 480 iterations? Hmmm... Anyway, I did realise that back in '82, which is why I added the teleport spell.

orion70 wrote:The game is great; it gave me hours of fun more than most of the modern 3D RPGs.
IMO, almost nothing has to be changed. Everything seems to work correctly.
Increasing difficulty and character building are well balanced,
challenging but not frustrating. The game is entartaining and rarely repetitive,
with so many dungeons to explore (plus infinite ones randomly generated with F1).
Maybe the only points to really work on are the following:


Aye. Best we leave it then. I always thought Sid Meier's Civilization 1 was much better than the sequel. They had very finely balanced gameplay, but in the sequel they couldn't resist the urge to "improve it", and broke it in the process.

orion70 wrote:1) Make possible to save characters on disk. One per disk side, if you don't want to change the code (only device # in lines 835 and 852); but better with a file name requester, if this doesn't affect too much the total size.

I'll think about how to do this. If we save a few bytes (described below) we may be able to recover just enough memory to do it. Will keep it under the 16Kb expansion barrier.

orion70 wrote:2) About rounding on hitpoints etc. Couldn't it be possible to make your hit affect the monster's point *exactly* as stated in the text description (e.g. "you hit for 3 points" means that 3 points, and not more or less, are subtracted from the monster's). If magic modifiers play a role in striking, please state it in the manual - or don't say in the description "you're hitting for X points".

This I wasn't aware of. Will look into it.

orion70 wrote:3) About descriptions. To save bytes, many descriptions could be shortened. E.g.: "nothing happens" instead of "a harmless puff of smoke etc...".

Aye. Will recover just enough bytes for the save to disk function.

orion70 wrote:Minor glitch: why you use "they" for the monster you're fighting (like in "they don't chase you") instead of the singular "it"? The same if a mage casts a spell (why "*they* fail"?).

"They" was a cute way to avoid having to work out if the subject was a "he", "she" or an "it."

orion70 wrote:4) Fix, if possible, what's written in the original errata.txt: the bug with one of the potions, #2 - when the potion wears off instead of restoring your agility to the original value it leaves it unchanged and changes your amount of gold to 20-40 pieces. BTW: how about giving a (short) name to potions?

Ok. Will fix the errata.txt bug. As for Potions names, yes; I'd wondered about that. "Potion #1", "Potion #2" have to be the most unimaginative names ever used in RPG history! Will come up with something clever for them. I have a cool idea brewing... :-)

orion70 wrote:About monters regenerated every 15th strike out, it's OK for me (I don't like empty dungeons, it's so damned boring...).

There is the "bug/feature" (depending on your point of view) that the gold for every 15th monster you slay will be different from the listed one. A dead rat can yield a dragon's horde. But I'll leave this as-is. No one has ever complained about it.

orion70 wrote:The same for the possibility to escape from time to time even from monsters with higher agility.

Yeah. Otherwise nobody would ever use a thief.

orion70 wrote:Enough for now. I can't wait to play Sorcery V2 on the real VIC! :lol:


There's probably a very small chance that someone will port Linux to a VIC-20 one day, but I don't ever see Billy Gates sitting down to do a DirectX port!!! :-)

If/when I do the Windoze version of Sorcery, I will make sure there is a dungeon there that matches your dungeon_B_lost_city.jpg, right down to the pebbles underfoot and the cracks in the wall. I'll even make sure there is a way to import your characters from your .d64 file. Could be a lot of fun! I wish I could start *NOW*!!!! :-)


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