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mgr_inz_rafal

New game available: Priest John McPuke / Duszpasterz Jan Rzygon

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Dear Atari Players,

Some time ago (on 05/15/2013) I started working on my new game for Atari 8-bit. The main idea was to create an adventure game with vast world, multitude of different locations, throng of items to use and an interesting story.

I made several assumptions:

  • No boring locations made of similarly looking graphical blocks, therefore every single location is an unique hires screen
  • No extended RAM needed – game should run on stock Atari with 64kB of RAM. Unfortunately I had to drop that assumption and use at least 2 extram banks for the game to run at decent speed. But still, stock 130XE with SDX occupying one bank is enough to play. Free banks are auto detected, but you can override the auto detection by using “banks.txt” file

First development attempts were recorded, so we can see the eerie figure exploring the dungeons:

When the proof-of-concept was ready I started to build the story and looking for people who would like to help me with graphics and music. Soon after the team has been established I decided to build the story around the adventures of priest who is trying to help solving the vocation crisis. After all, there are not many games utilizing priest as a main hero. So, the next footage shows a character created by Vidol:

By the way, here is the alternative, knight character in action, which didn’t make it to the final release:

 

Music has been provided by “WnZ”.

 

Cut-scenes and title screen were painted by “eZp”:

rzygon1.png

 

 

The new features started to appear quite regularly:

  • VBXE support (hires colors):

djrz3.png

  • Bored hero animation:

  • Lightning effects when wandering on the graveyard

  • Easter eggs with music by Cedyń

  • Cut-scene graphics (displayed during interaction with NPCs)

  • Game loads a lot, constantly. Therefore no music is present during the gameplay.

Since I didn’t want the story to be limited by Atari memory size I needed to introduce the dynamic module loading code at some point, therefore the game engine is able to load the appropriate “DLL” file when main hero is walking from map to map. This allowed me to extend the adventure handling routines without needing to extend the memory demand.

 

A few years and 1281 SVN revisions later the game is finished. It has been released on Christmas 2015 but only in Polish. Now, the English version is ready for everyone to play.

Feel free to download the English version here: http://atarionline.pl/forum/?PostBackAction=Download&AttachmentID=7970

How to run the game:

  • Load the downloaded .atr, it’ll boot to the MyDOS
  • Run RZYGON.XEX file (press “L”, type “RZYGON.XEX” and press Return)
  • If you use SIO2SD or similar device, you may consider loading the highspeed driver (HISPEED.COM) first
  • Should you be the SDX user, just copy all files (including subdirectories) to any directory on any partition and execute “X RZYGON.XEX”

I wish you all a lot of fun while playing the game, if you dare to :)

 

And now time for some spoilers :)

Please note that there are at least 4 people who managed to already finish the game, so it is not that hard as it initially appears. Thanks to the one guy (“rj1307”) the full-featured map of the game world is available (large file!): http://atarionline.pl/forum/?PostBackAction=Download&AttachmentID=7948

 

Another nice guy (“larek”) decided to record the final animation and share it on YT:

 

Finally, in a nutshell, the game consists of:

  • 25 different fonts
  • 185 different locations
  • 27 different cut-scene graphics
  • 253 dialogue messages (nearly 20kB of text)
  • more than 70 items to be found and used

PS. As for all my other games, source code is available. You can download it here: http://atarionline.pl/forum/?PostBackAction=Download&AttachmentID=7971

  • Like 20

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This is great, I've been having fun exploring around the dungeon / sewers. I've not got any further than that yet though.

 

One thing I like here is the size of the game. Normally the games on the Atari are much smaller. Though I've not seen that many rooms yet.

 

The English translations are pretty good too, though there are a small number of errors (spelling mistakes, missing words) that I've seen so far. I'd be willing to update these for you if you like? If there are any length restrictions, let me know. Don't feel you have to accept this offer though.

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The English translations are pretty good too, though there are a small number of errors (spelling mistakes, missing words) that I've seen so far. I'd be willing to update these for you if you like? If there are any length restrictions, let me know. Don't feel you have to accept this offer though.

 

Any help will be greatly appreciated. Game was translated in kinda rush and, moreover, I am not the native English speaker :)

 

Please contact me via PM to discuss details.

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Any help will be greatly appreciated. Game was translated in kinda rush and, moreover, I am not the native English speaker :)

 

Please contact me via PM to discuss details.

 

PM sent! :)

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Is there a version that will work on a 1050 drive please?

 

Technically, the game should have no problem running from 1050 drive. However, I think it is problematic to put all files on one disk (~317kb of data).

 

I currently do not plan any further development that can solve the issue (like compression or two-disk edition).

 

 

AWESOME! -- Plan to sell this or accept donations?

 

-Larry

 

Thanks :)

No, I don't want to commercialize my hobby, but if you think I deserve a beer, please contact me via PM :)

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Technically, the game should have no problem running from 1050 drive. However, I think it is problematic to put all files on one disk (~317kb of data).

 

I currently do not plan any further development that can solve the issue (like compression or two-disk edition).

 

I've booted from APE (130xe) - can you tell me what files are needed for the first part (the two loading pictures?) - I could try putting them on 1 disk then seeing if the others will fit on another and swapping it over after the 2nd picture?

 

just playing now :)

 

Very nice :thumbsup: Graphics are stylish controls are good; really could do with some sounds adding! I'll have to map it out to get anywhere - reminded me a bit of the excellent Blinky's Scary School and Spellbound. Will play some more at the weekend. Great work :thumbsup:

Edited by therealbountybob

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OK, so:

"RZYGON.XEX" = first picture (PEGI bad language)

then

"DORODNY.CYC" = title picture and music

then

"CUDOWNY.CYC" = main game.

 

You can also consider extracting the "MIENTKI.CYC" file as this is the final animation. You can switch the disk back just before executing the last action in game.

 

I wish you good fun while exploring the game world :)

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Well I tried :twisted: first disk mydos and the files above, 2nd disk all he other files, then the directories - got as far as M3 before running out of space. (1050 enhance density). Was the first time I've used directories on an Atari floppy! I'll send Andreas a message and see if he can help out with this ;)

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If I'm not mistaken then ED disk can store up to 130kb.

 

Total game size: 317kb

Intro and final files: 36kb

 

That still leaves (317-36) 281kb to be written to single disk. 151kb missing...

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Well,

 

Jason wants to put the game onto two disksides, thats 2x 130k = 260kbytes, still not enough for the whole program. Played a little with Exomizer and packed *.XEX and *.CYC files, alas whatever depacking adress I used (page 4, page 5, etc.), the game crashed while booting... so it looks like I can only pack/depack the short *.XEX file successfully.

 

Another idea would be to put the game onto two 180k disksides, thats 2x 180k = 360kbytes, which should be enough for 317k data. I would like to put all files from the main dir. onto diskside A and all files from subdirs onto diskside B, but examining the disk, it looks like this also will not match (the files in the subdirs use more than 180k it seems). Lets see what other options are there. But even when I am able to put the program files onto two disksides, we would need some additional code that displays "insert other diskside" or something similar, whenever a file is not found on the current diskside...

 

Copying the files onto two disksides is easy, but making sure that the program still runs is not... (at least not for me)...

Edited by CharlieChaplin

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Unfortunately, when “.CYC” files are packed they will no longer work correctly. Even though they are just DOS files, the loader I’ve written is so fearfully simplified that it ignores INI and RUN segments. It just loads the file and jump to the hardcoded location ($202c if I remember correctly), therefore no unpacking routine will get called.

 

Since I also use 1050 on (nearly) daily basis I was hoping to prepare the two-disk version and run the game from the original disk drive. But, to be honest, I abandoned the hope... Why?

 

Well, I thought about the “insert other diskside” approach as the most obvious solution. But the file fragmentation is so vast that – in extreme cases – one would need to switch the disk few times to load a single map (possibly different files on different disks for: level definition, font, logic dll, inventory items). To make this approach reasonable I would need to manually sort all levels and DLLs and fonts so that the game will run in “clusters”. For example, a bunch of levels will be strictly connected to the bunch of fonts and several dedicated DLLs that can all fit onto single disk. This will allow player to run throught large part of the game using one disk, and – at some strictly defined moment, like going from graveyard to hell – switch to other disk. The game is not worth the candle.

 

And one more thing - when considering Polish version (English is slightly shorter) - there are literally few bytes of memory left to code the "switch disk" function. I can save some more space by making more data to be read from disk (like instruction text which is not needed to be present in memory during the game itself), but... I feel no need to, since there is already another game being coded :)

Edited by mgr_inz_rafal

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I have no problem running it from hard disk. It should also fit onto XF-551 or higher capacity floppy drives. One suggestion I have is to make it support multiple drives. If a file is not found on D1: then automatically search D2: (or D3:) for it without prompting the user. That should only use a small amount of memory to add that feature.

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I have a suggestion about the gameplay. Would it be possible to make the climbing a little easier? I have been trying to climb up those screens in the sewers for an hour and I still didn't make it yet. :)

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I don't plan any changes. You can use the approach invented by my wife while she was testing the game - just save the game state on every single step you reach.

 

The good news is - this is probably the toughest part, by means of dexterity.

 

The bad news - you need to go through the climbing at list twice, if not thrice :)

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Great, greater, Homesoft !

 

Here is an ATR image of the fileversion (packed length = 132kbytes, too much for a DOS 2.5/MyDOS 130k disk/image, where 126-128k is usable). The image comes as an 180k ATR and requires 320k RAM (64k RAM + 256k XRAM)...

 

 

PriestJR.atr

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