Happy New Year!
I've been working on an RPG title since October, and I thought I'd start off the new year by sharing my progress. It's a fairly expansive title, with a large overworld with towns and dungeons to explore and plenty of turn-based level grinding fun. While the game's basic objectives are in place and the game is playable (and winnable) there is still much work to be done. I'm aware of a few minor issues here and there that still need to be worked out. The most notable area that isn't completed is the planned boss battles in each dungeon, some objects in the game don't do anything yet, how you level up and progress in the game will likely be changed/tweaked, and the graphics are my first attempt and may be changed. The battles at the beginning of the game are very easy, and later on they are probably too difficult. Hundreds of hours of work have already gone into this already, and many design and gameplay choices were made based on compromises related to available hardware resources (especially the attack sequence). I thought it would be a good time to take a short break from it, share my progress, and hopefully hear some feedback.
Saving and Loading your game to the Atarivox is implemented but untested on real hardware. Actually I haven't tried it at all on real hardware yet, just in Mame. The game is 512K, and is currently actually using around 280K of that space. In emulation you'll have to use Mame, Mess, or A7800, and while the AtariVox saves aren't supported in those emulators you can use Mame's save states, which I tested and that seems to work fine. At any time when you're not in the middle of a battle you can press the right fire button to bring up a detailed status screen. There you can save your game, use an item in your inventory, see your location on the overworld map, and review your statistics. In battle, use the left button to attack, and the right button to switch back to the menu at the top to choose alternate options or use items.
Here's the story...
You are Azémar Rehn, a simple woodsman from Mountain Home Grove, a beautiful patch of forest just east of the Silver Mountains. You set out from your homeland to reunite with your Uncle after your father's death. Unfortunately, upon your arrival, your Uncle is no where to be found. A short note is left in the Cabin, but it's not as helpful as you'd like it to be.
You'd heard of the war, and how all the most virtuous crystals that were revered by the people of Midlothia were captured and scattered into the deepest dungeons. They are fiercely guarded by powerful men who are determined to crush the will and spirit of the people. Without their beloved symbols of virtue, the entire realm had been taken over by mercenaries and theives, bent on taking whatever they can for their own selfish gain. No power or virtue of man could ever have deserved that, what has been fated should not have taken place. Feelings of hopelessness and misery abound, and no one has risen to the challenge of ridding the land of these thieves.
No one with good intent, that is. One powerful warrior, who calls himself Nonnag, who's mere prescences strikes fear in the hearts of men, has spread his evil throughout the realm. He created the the Crystal of Wrath, which serves as a beacon for those who serve his evil purposes. It must be captured and destroyed in order to bring peace, light, and life back to Midlothia. The common people are waiting for a hero to emerge. Once who can vanquish the evil, recapture the crystals, and restore the rod of life. Only this man is worthy of being crowned the next King of Midlothia. Great crisis produce great men and great deeds of courage.
The Midlothian army has long disbanded. With their tragic losses and lack of leadership, hope was lost. Soldiers are citizens of death's grey land, drawing no dividend from time's tomorrows. It is now up to Azémar to restore order, to agree to the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of his homeland. As soon as sacrifice becomes a duty and necessity to mankind, there is no limit to the horizon which opens before him. It's time to fulfill your destiny.
I'll leave some additional details for later.