Paladins Legacy

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yakumo9275's picture

The author of a Tandy Coco RPG, Paladin's Legacy has made it available.

Check out http://paladinslegacy.spaces.live.com/

Check it out;

Title Screen
Paladins Legacy Title ScreenPaladins Legacy Title Screen

Dungeon
Paladins Legacy DungeonPaladins Legacy Dungeon

Stats
Paladins Legacy StatsPaladins Legacy Stats

Comments

chaneya (not verified)
How I got started

It's pretty simple really. I was inspired by Lord of the Rings and several other books I was reading in HighSchool, mainly in the fantasy genre. My father was big into technology. He bought all the first stuff. (ie The first RCA VHS VCR, the first digital watches and his pride and joy a TRS 80 Model II.) He bought me a Color Computer for Christmas one year and it was always a little depressing because all of the best games were on the Apple. I loved adventure games but hated the text based stuff. I went over to a friends house and he had an Apple II with Ultima. I was blown away. Here was a fully realized fantasy adventure in graphical form. It really made an impression on me. Of course we played Wizardry and the rest of the Apple games. But the view perpective of Ultima really hooked me. At the time, there was nothing on the Coco. So I just decided to start programming. I wrote a ton of demos in Extended Basic and then finally stared programming my "real" game in Extended Basic. I called it "Quest for Zandor". Ouch! Eventually I had about the entire game writtin in Basic and it was painfully slow. I hit a wall and decided I would need to learn assembly. So went to Radion Shack and bought Edtasm+. Man was that an uphill battle. Unlike today, with the internet, it was impossible to get documentation and examples of code. Talk about trial and error programming. I slowly started converting chunks of the code into assembly but kept my main movement in basic. I would use Jump routines in and out of basic, jumping between assembly and basic. But I hit a wall with the main movement code because it was just too complex for me to convert from basic into 6809 assembly.

In college, while swimming for the Univerity of Kansas (85-88), I met a computer science major on the team named Chuck Jones. This guy kind of spoke in code. The ultimate geek. But he was really impressed with my game. So I gave him printed pages of the basic code, and the only 6809 code manual I had and off he went to study hall. About 2 hours later he showed up at my college house with 3-4 pages of hand written 6809 assembly code. I kind of laughed when he showed me his pencil scrawled code. But I said, "Let's type it in". So we spent about an hour typing in the movement code, fixed a few typos. And I kid you not.... I compiled, loaded and ran and I had a guy flying up and down the map. I just sat there in shock. I had to put in a bunch of delay loops to slow it down so it would be playable. I spent the next 6 months and all of the summer figuring out his movement routine. I also realized it was a good thing I was not a CS major. As long as there are humans on the planet like that, my skills were better spent elsewhere. I wish I knew whatever happened to Chuck Jones.

At some point in college the game "Legacy of the Ancients" came out for the Apple. I thought that was a really cool title. I had my Paladin guy all developed in my game lore but I always knew my game title sucked. So I changed my game to Paladin's Legacy and tweeked some of the lore to match the new title.

Anway, I "finished" my game and sent it off to 3 companies who had ads in Rainbow magazine. This was late 87, I think. I got 2 quick rejections and then a phone call from Glen Dahlgren from Sundog Systems Inc. He wanted to publsh my game. But there were some problems and he wanted me to get it working on the Coco III. I spent the next year struggling to convert the game to the Coco III and making many many changes per his requests, not too mention tons of bug fizes. This also convinced me I was in the right major. The programming thing was fun until I was under a deadline. We wanted to have the game out by Christmas 88. And of course I was still swimming competitively for a NCAA I school and going Biology/Pre-Med. Basically I just gave up any social life for about a year.

Glen Dahlgren wrote the disk I/O code converting it into assembly. That was the last chunk of code I still had in Basic and he wanted to add assembly disk copy protection. The game came out Christmas 88 and I was very proud. I didn't make any money but it did have a big impact when I interviewed for companies coming out of college. Most interviewees were impressed I had a published game on the market.

Allan Chaney

Rowdy Rob
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Very Interesting story, Mr. Chaney
chaneya wrote:

I hit a wall and decided I would need to learn assembly. So went to Radion Shack and bought Edtasm+. Man was that an uphill battle.

I feel your pain! I had a friend in high school who was a programming whiz.... I wasn't too bad in Atari Basic (I was an Atari 8-bit guy), but he was much better. I got the bug and purchased the "Atari Assembler" cartridge and an assembler tutorial book for it, but realized I was in over my head. My friend, Richard, who didn't even own a computer of his own (he came over my house and programmed mine!), read the assembler manual over the weekend and came back to my house an assembler whiz! I was amazed! My mind just doesn't work like that. (Richard is a successful professional programmer today! Not in games, though....)

chaneya wrote:

Glen Dahlgren wrote the disk I/O code converting it into assembly. That was the last chunk of code I still had in Basic and he wanted to add assembly disk copy protection. The game came out Christmas 88 and I was very proud.

Well, considering we're still talking about your game 20 years later, I hope you still are proud! Was that your last attempt at programming a game?

qoj hpmoj o+ 6uo73q 3Jv 3svq jnoh 77V

chaneya (not verified)
Game Programming

Actually I became very interested in XNA when Microsoft announced that they would open up the Xbox 360 to hobbyist developers about 6 or 9 months ago. I've always been a huge fan of console gaming and have really appreciated Microsoft's entry into the scene with the XBOX and the 360. Sony had become arrogant and complacent especially with their 3rd party developers. They left the door wide open and MS walked through. Now for the first time in history a console manufacturer has opened up their console for anyone to develop a game and MS will distribute the game over the Community games section across the world. I think their pricing model is a little over aggressive for community/hobbyist games (2,4 or 8 dollars). (This is what you are required to charge for your game when you sell it on their system. I feel they should have a free option and a 99 cent option but I'm sure they will tweak things over time. The bottom line is MS provides the tools for free, Visual C# Express, XNA and even access to the Torque Game engine and a few other partnerships. All you have to do is start developing. And then you can attempt to sell your creation on their system over their worldwide distribution system and still retain your IP. Frankly, it's unbelievable but there it is. The icing on the cake is you develop one code base and it will run on PC, 360 and Zune. So you can do all of your development on the PC until you are ready to deploy to the 360. :)

So I started trying to learn C# and the XNA framework about 4 months ago. I felt like sharing my findings and development so I created a website to show my work and share my progress. www.xnascratch.com The site is very much dedicated to absolute beginners. Not having touched any code in over 20 years, the Object Oriented Stuff is a real mind screw. But I'm plugging away and I'm retty pleased with things so far. Of course in my minds eye, I'm comparing my progress to Paladin's Legacy. With that in mind, I've blown away, technically, my previous game.

I just posted my first video a few days ago. I've already made significant changes to the graphics and plan to post a new video in a few days. I'm really struggling with the perspective, Top Down vs Isometric or both. I think I may settle on merging the two views. My next video will show how both views... I think.... can work together very well.

The biggest challenge that I'm finding, in addition to learning Object Oriented code, is creating graphics. Man it's a whole new world from the old Coco days. Nothing is simple. But I hit a magical moment when I realized it is easier to create a 3D model and capture a 2D texture of that model in order to have cool looking 3D like graphics in my 2D game than it is to actually create 2D graphics that look 3D. If you are not Art trained, I would recommend against trying to make 2D graphics appear 3D in say Photoshop or Gimp. It's a lot easier to just make your graphics in a 3D program like ZBrush, then capture the textures in flat 2D and flip them in a spritesheet.

Anyway... again the site is:
www.xnascratch.com

Allan Chaney

Mark Vergeer
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Thanks Allan!

Wonderful to have read your game-developing story! It gave us a little bit of history that now has been lodged into the web and is forever tied with your game.

I am certainly going to check out the site as I do have a XNA membership and I am in the process of trying my hand at game devving too. The XNA dev studio comes in a neat package and is easy to install onto a system. I've been trying my hand at programming the gp32 and the gp2x but the learning curve is just too steep for me on those devices. I am glad you made a blog about your first steps in XNA devving.

I actually learned to program on a TRS80-III, that is I learned how to program by reading a book about it and writing my code on a typewriter with handwritten parts in between and it would actually be a program listing/flow chart at the same time. At school I would type it in and see if I made any errors. Basically most stuff I did was character based animation on the TRS. But when we got a c64 I really did some more intensive programming in basic & machine code (some small games and demos).

Xbox 360: Lactobacillus P | Wii: 8151 3435 8469 3138
Armchair arcade Editor | Pixellator | www.markvergeer.nl

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adamantyr
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Joined: 01/28/2007
Cool

Thanks, Allan. I guess 20 years ago I'd get told "Ha! Gave up too soon, newb!" Or something like that. :)

If you could get free heals, that would definitely make a difference in the game. There would still be a grind, though, at the start to get your character over the "danger" threshold to the point that he is on longer in serious danger walking around and has good enough gear and supplies that he can actually go around and talk to people.

Adamantyr

Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
This is actually starting to

This is actually starting to interest me in going back into hobby programming. I was into C++ a few years ago and made a text adventure game with it, but was finding it too difficult to learn how to integrate DirectX and what not to make something with graphics. You're all correct, though, this stuff can quickly become engrossing and addicting as you start accomplishing small goals and playing around with the technology.

One thing about C# that I found interesting--I asked my brother-in-law about it, who works at Microsoft in Redmond as a tech writer/programmer, and he said that he noticed that the Microsoft developers were using it tons themselves. Apparently, they don't find many other of Microsoft's dev tools that useful, but they all tend to like C#.

My main concern as a hobbyist was trying to keep my training as universal as possible, so I wouldn't get locked into a proprietary scheme or some special version of something that would only work with a certain OS or dev kit. That's why I tried to go with regular C++ and stuff like SDL, but the documentation for SDL was just too sparse. By contrast, the C# and XNA stuff look much easier.

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Mark Vergeer
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It was SDL on the gp2x and gp32 -> XNA is easier
Matt Barton wrote:

.... By contrast, the C# and XNA stuff look much easier.

BUT for XNA you need a 360.....and you have to pay a membership fee on top of your gold account...

Xbox 360: Lactobacillus P | Wii: 8151 3435 8469 3138
Armchair arcade Editor | Pixellator | www.markvergeer.nl

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Matt Barton
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Why would i need a 360?

Why would i need a 360? Can't it be used to make Windows games as well?

This from the MS faq:

Q: How much does XNA Game Studio cost? Is there a difference between Windows and Xbox 360 development?
A: Visual C# 2005 Express, the XNA Game Studio tools and runtime environment for Windows are all FREE. To develop, debug and/or play games on the Xbox 360, however, you must have an XNA Creators Club subscription purchased directly from the Xbox Live Marketplace. Two subscription options are available: $99 per year or $49 per four months.

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Rowdy Rob
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You don't need a 360.
Matt Barton wrote:

Why would i need a 360? Can't it be used to make Windows games as well?

XNA is (unless I am SERIOUSLY mistaken) a development system that allows one to create games for both the Windows AND the XBox 360. The attraction is that, with minimal adjustments to your code, you can easily port your XNA-developed Windows game to the XBox360.

I wish Alan would have posted his message a week earlier; over the weekend, I purchased "Beginning XNA 2.0 Game Programming" at the local bookstore, but after reading his XNA book reviews, I should have gone with his recommended book, "Learn Programming Now! XNA Game Studio 2.0."

I have yet to mess with XNA development, but I have this nagging feeling recently to restart programming one of my game ideas. I had a fair amount of code for one game done in Blitz Basic, but the idea that I can possibly release my game on the XB360 has gotten my attention.

C# looks close enough in syntax to C or C++ to make for a good "runner up" language to full scale C++. I don't know if I will EVER understand "pointers" in C, though....

qoj hpmoj o+ 6uo73q 3Jv 3svq jnoh 77V

Bill Loguidice
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Cross platform development

Right, you certainly don't need a 360, but one of the nice things is if you create a decent game, you can sell it on Xbox Live for all 360 users to access. Fat chance you'll get many people to buy a good game on the PC side. Of course that's assuming that you make a good game and charge a fair price.

I'd love to get into XNA development, but I know it's too far over my head. I'm going to stick with Gamemaker for a while, even though it's not multiplatform as of yet.

GLBasic is intriguing because you can recompile with minimal to no effort on Windows, Apple Mac OS X, Linux, PocketPC and GP2X : http://www.glbasic.com/main.php?lang=en .

Another interesting and more professional level tool is Torque, which compiles to to Windows, Mac, Linux, Xbox 360, Wii and the iPhone: http://www.garagegames.com/products/tge .

None of this is for the inexperienced programmer though and certainly a big challenge as always is acquiring or creating assets.

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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