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New Game - Clipper - Work in Progress

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I'm working on a new single player 8-bit game code named "Clipper". The game is inspired by MULE, Warcraft and several other RPG type games. It comprises 240 individual persistent locations, compound interactions and the ability to permanently modify the game environment. More detail follows in the form of the initial user manual.

 

By the way, it's being developed using Quick and will work on a 48K or better machine.

 

 

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I expect to have a playable demo in the next few days. Comments are very welcome.

 

 

 

Clipper – A work in progress

First and foremost Clipper is still a work in progress. There are many elements that need completing – most notably sound and graphics, and many more that require polish. I expect to have a final version in the coming months.

 

 

System requirements

Clipper requires a 48K Atari computer, a joystick plugged into port 1, a colour monitor and an (optional) disk drive to save games on.

 

 

About the Game

Clipper is a game of exploration and acquisition. The basic concept is to explore the provided world, gather resources, build structures and earn wealth, but of all to survive!

 

 

The World

The Clipper world created in the game consists of 240 separate locations. Each of these locations is built on a grid of 32 by 16 characters called tiles and can contain forests, mountains or plains. Each tile can also contain one of several structures – Fort, Mine, Farm, Village and Ruin. In some cases, the environments in the tiles are destructible – for example; trees can be cut down and grasses can be harvested. Keep in mind that this process, known in the game as reaping, removes a tree or grass growth permanently - so manage your resources carefully!

 

 

The Screen

The computer screen is divided into 4 main sections. The first is a map in the top left hand corner. Although initially the map will be blank, as you explore, more and more of it will be revealed.

Next to the map is the status area – the status area will show you the number of (game) days you have been exploring, how much wealth you have amassed, how many crew you currently direct as well as totals for Iron Wood and Food.

Below the status area is where the game tiles are drawn. This area is 32 x 16 characters in size and will contain all active elements of the game play.

At the bottom of the screen is the menu bars. The top bar displays the name of the current menu, and space for dialog messages with the game. Under this are the menu choices themselves. Use the bracketed letter to make a menu choice.

 

 

Interaction with the game

Use joystick 1 to move your character around the tile or play area. When you reach the edge of a tile you will be moved to the beginning of the next one. You cannot move beyond any of the edges of the maps. Menu options may be selected at any time by pressing the bracketed letter of the menu function – for example “R” to ®eap. When you attempt to build a structure or set up a trade agreement, the resources necessary to do so will be deducted from your totals. If you do not have sufficient resources, you will not be able to complete the action (no credit terms!).

 

Saving games

Because a typical game of Clipper may take several hours, the game allows you to save your current progress. Choose (S)ave from the (O)ther menu to save the game or (L)oad to reload one. Please note that only one game save may be kept on a single diskette. (although multiple saves can be stored on multiple diskettes)

 

 

Game Play

 

Reaping

As you explore you can harvest or reap some of the resources which populate your world. Trees can be cut down to increase your lumber supply, and plains grasses can be similarly collected in order to increase your food supply. These resources are non-renewable and once used will not come back. It is highly recommended that you use them to establish more long term supply solutions such as farms and trade agreements.

 

 

Hunting

Forest and plains have a limited amount of wild game available for you to hunt. When in hunting mode, you move more slowly, but can increase your food supply. When the game in a particular tile is exhausted, it will not be replaced.

 

 

War

When you are on a tile that contains a village, you have the option to declare war. War will have the following results:

  1. Any trade agreements with the village will be cancelled
  2. The population of the village will be reduced – if it reaches zero, the village will become a ruin
  3. You will receive an amount of plundered food and wood taken from the villagers
  4. If any villagers remain they will become hostile and attack you the next time you visit the tile.
  5. You run the (very real) risk of losing some of your crew in the fighting

 

 

Mining

When on a mountainous tile, you can opt to create a mine. Mines have the following effects:

  1. They require xxx Iron, xxx Wood resources
  2. You will have to leave 2 of your crew behind to manage and work the mine
  3. At the end of each day (Midnight) your day’s Iron production will be added to your totals
  4. Production can be affected by mine collapse events

 

Trade

When you visit a tile that contains a village, you will have the option to open a trade agreement. Assuming the villagers are not in a hostile mood (see War) you can open a trade mission with the following conditions:

  1. You will have to spend xxx Wood and xxx Food resource units
  2. You will have to assign 2 of your crew to act as envoys and trade liaisons
  3. At the end of each day (Midnight) your day’s trading will be added to your totals

 

 

Farming

An unoccupied plain or forest tile can be converted to a farm using the following steps

  1. You will have to use xxx Iron and xxx Wood and xxx Food resources to create the farm
  2. You will have to assign 2 of your crew to become farm workers
  3. If you place the farm on a plains tile, it will produce food
  4. If you place the farm on a forest tile, it will produce lumber
  5. At the end of each day (at Midnight) your day’s harvest will be added to your totals

 

 

Forts

A fort is structure that attracts new crew members and acts as an anchor to your exploration efforts. If your fort is destroyed, your game is over. It is possible to create a new secondary fort, but would must keep the following items in mind:

  1. A fort requires, xxx Food, xxx Iron, xxx Wood to build
  2. Each fort consumes xxx units of food each day – if the fort starves it will be destroyed

 

 

Ruins

As you explore your world, you may come across the occasional ruin. Exploring the ruin can increase your wealth as well as clearing the tile for future development.

 

 

Day / Night Cycle

After approximately 5 minutes of real time, the game’s “day” starts to end. Things get darker and harder to see. During the night the chance of a predator attacking is greatly increased. The night is not all bad, at midnight every night all of your production is tallied and added to your totals.

 

 

Winning

Survival is success. At the end of 90 days, you will have either established a working productive economy or you’ll be dead. Any extra wealth you might have at that point is simply icing on the cake.

Afterword

Why “Clipper”? Clipper was originally supposed to be a game about sailing, navigating and exploring from the sea. Travelling on land was supposed to be only a minor part of the game. Unfortunately, I got sidetracked when looking at ways to store land data and the game moved completely onshore. At some point I will revisit the sailing idea and create the original concept, but for now the name stands until I come up with another.

 

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Love this genre. Looking forward to play it. Very interesting that you've written it in Quick. I am a new Fan (supporter) of Quick.

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Interesting... there's a distinct lack of these sorts of games, of course 7 Cities and Mule being the prominent benchmark examples.

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:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

"Trees can be cut down" - Thank God It's Friday :grin:

Really looking forward to playing Clipper - let me know if you want any testing doing :)

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Love this genre. Looking forward to play it. Very interesting that you've written it in Quick. I am a new Fan (supporter) of Quick.

Thanks, I'm having a lot of fun writing it. I really really wish Quick had existed back in the early eighties!

 

Interesting... there's a distinct lack of these sorts of games, of course 7 Cities and Mule being the prominent benchmark examples.

I hope Clipper will be seen as "inspired by" rather than "ripped off from" ;-)

 

:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

"Trees can be cut down" - Thank God It's Friday :grin:

Really looking forward to playing Clipper - let me know if you want any testing doing :)

Thank you very much for the offer, I will contact you via PM in the next day or two!

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I can imagine the graphics will be a very hard task to get done --- but I'll suggest that maybe people can add/modify it to their own taste(s).

That if you have the graphics modifiable - maybe you'll get some decent contributions coming in ....

 

Anyway - just an idea to keep in mind...

 

At the very least it does help to have variety... not simply to have the one tree representing a forest, etc - but to have different types available, maybe different sizes?

Edited by kiwilove

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Looking forward. I used quick and developed a sector editor back in the 80s or 90s... But went afterwards straight to assembler ;)

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Not really my sort of game but as always, nice to see new stuff being created, thank you..

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At the very least it does help to have variety... not simply to have the one tree representing a forest, etc - but to have different types available, maybe different sizes?

One of the trade-offs for compressing 240 512byte screens down into under 5K is that I have to place playfield objects in a grid. I'm compensating for this by having a range of colours to add more variety, but unless I can think of another way, the grid rules.

 

Maybe beyond evil game could benefit of quicker dev cycles.

I started coding this project about two weeks ago - work is progressing very quickly!

 

Not really my sort of game but as always, nice to see new stuff being created, thank you..

I appreciate the feedback! Thanks for taking the time to comment!

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:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

"Trees can be cut down" - Thank God It's Friday :grin:

Really looking forward to playing Clipper - let me know if you want any testing doing :)

Test copy sent - thanks!

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Jacobus,

your game looks very prommising. Hope you can take into a final version :) My attempts in writing games are not that good. Almost everything gets into sleep mode soon :(

I've just bought Quick two days ago from dgs for only $5.

Bunsen, you should have the German Version of QUICK right in one of your ABBUC Magazin issues. Check out the members area for some more downloads - e.g. there are some of the QUICK Magazin, that Raindorf Soft produced back in the days. Or simply contact Charlie Chaplin - he is the copyright holder as far as I know. He got all the rights PPP had owned.

Edited by pps

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Thanks, Ralf. I got also all the stuff from Andreas. But I couldn't find a manual somewhere. 5 $ for the manual + the newest version is not that much.

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I'm lazy... I bought Quick for 5 USD yesterday. Although I'm more an assembler kind of person, I'd love to test other languages as well. I also want to learn Action! but this Quick sounds interesting too.

 

A8 is so much fun.

 

Thanks for creating the game, and thanks for bringing Quick again in the spotlight (Abbuc was the first one who brought it under my attention)

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Hi ProWizard,

 

That's my first post in this forum... I just had to answer, because its really great that Quick is still alive today. I'm Harald Schönfeld from former Raindorf Soft and I was stunned to find the rather new threads about our Quick here ;-) .

It was fun creating the language to overcome the slow Basic programming without having to use assembler - which is so much more complicated than anything else.

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Hi Harald,

 

nice to have you here :-)

 

Unfortunately you've got Quick too late released to get greater success.

I love Quick, it's so much faster than BASIC, but equal easy. And much easier than Assembler.

 

Jacobus released one more game coded in Quick: Dungeon Hunt. He also develops currently another game in Quick.

Do you have some old Disks with unreleased Quick stuff? ;-) Community is keenly interested.

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It was fun creating the language to overcome the slow Basic programming without having to use assembler - which is so much more complicated than anything else.

 

Do you still have the source code? A cross compiler for Quick! to develop on a PC would be very welcome.

(And greetings to Andreas Binner - in case you still have contact. Met him once in Berlin.)

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Hi ProWizard,

 

That's my first post in this forum... I just had to answer, because its really great that Quick is still alive today. I'm Harald Schönfeld from former Raindorf Soft and I was stunned to find the rather new threads about our Quick here ;-) .

It was fun creating the language to overcome the slow Basic programming without having to use assembler - which is so much more complicated than anything else.

Welcome!

 

First - thank you very much for developing Quick - it is by far my favourite Atari language!

 

That being said, do you have any interest in revisiting it? As much as I love the language, the 20K application space is rather limiting! My wish list includes the following:

 

-Ability to compile to disk to allow larger programs to be created

-Get rid of the editor and use the extra RAM for program space

-Ability to relocate the runtime module

 

 

thanks!

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