Saturday, October 19, 2013

001 - Resources

Okay, it's been considerably longer since the last post than I intended... I guess I'm technically sticking to my promise to not leave more than a week between posts, but I wasn't counting on cutting things this close this early. I was behind on work-related obligations that had piled up these last few weeks, though, and given that these were things that (a) I was already running late with, and (b) I was being paid for, I kind of had to give them precedence.

I'd also said that the next post was going to be either about GameMaker or about the new chronological list of game creation programs, and here we are with another post about 001. I have been looking into GameMaker, but I'm not sure it's going to be the first old program I'll be looking at after all. For one thing, it seems to require a joystick, which I don't have. There may be a way to emulate the joystick with a mouse; I haven't really looked into that much... but in any case, I've thought if I was going to just go with the old programs straight chronologically after GameMaker, I might as well just go chronologically from the start anyway. It's not like GameMaker and 001 are really directly comparable anyway, their both being more or less general-purpose game creation programs notwithstanding—among other things, as mentioned previously (and as will be further reinforced later in this post), 001 is apparently geared mostly toward action RPGs, while GameMaker seems to lend itself best to fixed-screen platformers like Pitfall! (a port of which is in fact included as one of the sample games with the program). So what I'm going to do is just take the older games chronologically from the beginning, rather than trying to match them to the genres of the newer programs I'm currently working with. Which means the first old program I'm going to tackle (unless I run across an even older one I haven't found yet) is going to be Eamon.

But this post isn't about Eamon yet. This is about 001. While I hadn't found time this last week to write a blog post, I did find time to play around a little with the 001 editor. I've started mapping my game, but that will be the subject of the next post on 001. For this post, I think I'll focus on the resources that come with the game.

Like I said in my ground rules, I intend to try to use to the fullest any resource sets that come with the program. From what I've seen of GameMaker so far, I can already anticipate that when I do finally get to it I may be bending that rule slightly. Or maybe not... actually, I did say resource sets, and while GameMaker does come with some resources, they're not organized into bundled resource sets that can be imported en masse into the program in the same sense as, say, the RPG Maker RTPs, so I think I can justify not using them while still technically staying within the letter of my rules. [Edit: Looking back on my Ground Rules post, no, actually I didn't say "resource sets".  But I'm going to maintain that that's what I meant.] Be that as it may, 001 does come with such resource sets, which it calls "Templates", so I'm going to try to use them to their fullest. Or use one of them to its fullest, anyway.

Yes, this exact same image was also in the last post.  But it seemed an appropriate place to include it (again).
 001 comes with four templates, plus a "Blank Template" for users who want to create everything from scratch with no built-in resources or interfaces. I've already said I'm going to be using the "Action / RPG (Pro)" template, so let's take a look at what that includes. After all, if I'm going to be using all the resources in the template, I've got to know what those resources are so I can design the game around them. 001 has a number of customizable features in each template, but some of them, such as "Team Alliances", "Areas of Equipment", and "Statistics", seem a little more advanced... and in any case don't necessarily have any direct bearing on the game's setting. For this post, I'll focus on the more immediately visible resources—mainly, "Actors" (as 001 calls monsters and NPCs, along with other moving objects such as vehicles), "Items and Magic", and of course "Tile-Sets". (Yes, "Tile-Sets" is hyphenated in the program.)

Let's start with Actors. The 001 Action / RPG (Pro) template includes a variety of these, but the window to select and edit them is too cramped for a screen shot to really give a good idea of what's there.

But I'll include one anyway.
Here, however, for what it's worth, is a complete list of the "Actors" in the template, with the order and categorization in which they appear:
  • Dynamic Object
  • Vehicle
  • Character
    • Enemy
      • Bat
        • Cave Bat
        • Venom Bat
      • Cockroach
        • Flame Cockroach
        • Water Cockroach
      • Crab
        • Ice Crab
        • Rock Crab
        • Sand Crab
      • Demon Imp
        • Fire Imp
        • Light Imp
        • Water Imp
      • Female
        • Female Grenade Launcher
        • Female Heavy Armor
        • Female Lancer
        • Female Swordsman
        • Female Thug
          • Female Baseball Thug
          • Female Pistol Thug
          • Female Thug Leader
      • Ghost
        • Hiding Ghost
        • Night Ghost
      • Goblin
        • Ice Goblin
        • Mountain Goblin
      • Male
        • Male Grenade Launcher
        • Male Heavy Armor
        • Male Lancer
        • Male Swordsman
        • Male Thug
          • Male Baseball Thug
          • Male Pistol Thug
          • Male Thug Leader
      • Necromancer
        • Dark Necromancer
        • Freezing Necromancer
      • Skeleton
        • Magma Skeleton
        • Poison Skeleton
      • Slime
        • Aqua Slime
        • Dark Slime
        • Freezing Slime
        • Magma Slime
        • Thunder Slime
      • Snake
        • Fire Snake
        • Grass Snake
      • Spider
        • Cave Spider
        • Ice Spider
        • Magma Spider
      • Zombie
        • Blind Zombie
        • Frost Zombie
    • NPC
      • Collection Quest
      • Inn Keeper
      • Shop Keeper

With the exception of the various "Males" and "Females", the monsters that are nested under another monster are just recolored versions of the "parent" monster (graphically, at least; they do have different abilities and statistics). The unqualified monster is the least powerful version, which in some cases is a bit odd; I would have expected a grass snake to be less dangerous than a regular snake, but maybe that's just me.

The "Items and Magic" are less finely categorized; they're just divided into "Common" and "Equipment", the latter comprising weapons and armor. Here's the list:
  • Common
    • 375 Magnum Ammo
    • 39mm Ammo
    • 45mm Ammo
    • 51mm Ammo
    • Arrow
    • Charges
    • Elixir
    • Energy Cell
    • Herb
    • ID Keycard
    • M28A2 Rocket
    • Mana Potion
    • Medic Kit
    • Napalm
    • Potion
    • Shotgun Shell
    • Super Potion
  • Equipment
    • AK47
    • Baseball Bat
    • Battle Axe
    • Breastplate Armor
    • C4
    • Chainmail Armor
    • Chainsaw
    • Crowbar
    • Desert Eagle
    • Energy Sword
    • Flame Thrower
    • Full Plate Armor
    • Generic Attack
    • Grenade
    • Grenade Launcher
    • Hammer
    • Knife
    • Lance
    • Laser Pistol
    • Leather Armor
    • Mace
    • Minigun
    • Modern Crossbow
    • Necklace
    • Pistol
    • Proximity Mine
    • Rocket Launcher
    • Scimitar
    • Scythe
    • Sniper
    • SPAS-12
    • Splint Mail
    • Staff
    • Steel Helmet
    • Studded Leather Armor
    • Sword
    • Timed Mine
    • Uzi
    • Wand
    • Winged Helmet
    • Wooden Mallet

...And here's a pointless screenshot.
From these lists, I can already get some idea of what kind of things I'm going to have to include in my game. I've got to come up with some concept for the game that allows for the inclusions of both fantasy and modern elements, such as goblins and grenade launchers. (Actually, "Goblins and Grenade Launchers" might not be a bad title for a game. Or maybe just "Goblins and Grenades". That won't be the title of this game, though.) There's certainly precedent for just having a gameworld that haphazardly lumps together fantasy and modern elements just because... heck, Ultima I did this, and so, I think, did the various Final Fantasy games (though I'm not really as familiar with the Final Fantasy series as I probably should be). But I won't be doing that; instead, I think I'll have a game in which the player travels through several different worlds.

The tilesets are fewer in number, so I'm just going to go ahead and toss up a screenshot of those instead of a text list:

...So apparently somewhere in my game I'll have to include pinball machines.
I guess there are a few other types of resources I can touch on.  I won't worry about Interfaces, Controls, and Statistics until I delve into more advanced customization, but there are some resources left that aren't so low-level that perhaps I should mention.  Doors, for example, are a resource type of their own, although the documentation advises that this won't always be the case.

There's probably some joke to be made about doors becoming actors, but I'll leave it to you to come up with your own.  (The word "wooden" may or may not be involved.)

There aren't many doors included in the template, though I suppose their number isn't unreasonable in proportion to the number of tiles and other resources.

Odd there's no regular single wooden door, though.
Then there's "Sounds and Music".  Or at least that's what the resource window says, but all that was actually included in the template was music, no sound effects, which struck me as a bit weird... surely a few simple sound effects shouldn't have been too hard to put in?  In any case, I haven't listened to them yet, so I can't comment on their quality, but here's the list of musical pieces available:
  • Battle 1
  • Battle 2
  • Battle 3
  • Boss 1
  • Boss 2
  • Boss 3
  • Boss 4
  • Cave 1
  • Cave 2
  • Cave 3
  • Cave 4
  • Church 1
  • Church 2
  • City 1
  • City 2
  • City 3
  • City 4
  • Dungeon 1
  • Ending 1
  • Ending 2
  • Energy 1
  • Energy 2
  • Field 1
  • Field 2
  • Field 3
  • Field 4
  • Field 5
  • Forest 1
  • Forest 2
  • Game OVer 1
  • Game Over 2
  • Heat 1
  • Lose 1
  • Mystery 1
  • Mystery 2
  • Mystery 3
  • Night 1
  • Night 2
  • Night 3
  • Peace 1
  • Peace 2
  • Peace 3
  • Pub 1
  • Pub 2
  • Road 1
  • Road 2
  • Royal 1
  • Sad 1
  • Sad 2
  • Sad 3
  • Sand 1
  • Sea 1
  • Shop 1
  • Shop 2
  • Sleep 1
  • Sleep 2
  • Sleep 3
  • Snow 1
  • Snow 2
  • Space 1
  • Title 1
  • Title 2
  • Title 3
  • Town 1
  • Town 2
  • Town 3
  • Town 4
  • Town 5
  • Town 6
  • Trial 1
  • Trial 2
  • Trial 3
  • Village 1
  • Village 2
  • Village 3
  • Village 4
  • Village 5
  • Win 1
  • Win Fanfare 1
Finally, the program also gives the user the option of customizing fonts:

I didn't type in those sample sentences in the preview.  That's the default preview text.
This is kind of a nice feature, actually; if a program's going to use bitmap fonts instead of TrueType, I figure it may as well give the user the option to edit those fonts, and create his own.  Not that 001 is the first game creation program to do this, by any means; Adventure Creation Kit also has a font editing feature, and I'm sure there are others.  Still, it's always welcome.

Even though I chose the "Action / RPG (Pro)" template, I figured I may as well take a glance at what's included in the others. There's a "Point-and-Click Adventure" template, but it apparently includes no actual resources aside from the interface. But there are two other templates that do include templates: the "Action / RPG (MS Paint)" template and the "Platformer Game" template. So let's check those out.

I kind of expected the "Action / RPG (MS Paint)" template to have all the same resources as the "Action/RPG (Pro)" template, just with more primitive graphics. Turns out it doesn't. In fact, it includes no preset "Actors" at all, aside from some generic categories.

And turrets, I guess.  So you can have an entire game just about turrets.
It does, however, have some sprites you can use to create them.

Just in case you've ever wanted to make an action-adventure RPG where the player fights... whatever the hell this is.
Despite its lack of "Actors", the "Action / RPG (MS Paint)" template does include a set of items comparable to, though different from, that of the "Action / RPG (Pro)" template. For whatever reason, though, this one puts many weapons under "Common", while leaving some under "Equipment". I'm not sure if there was any particular reason for which weapons went where; while it does seem that all firearms are under "Common", crossbows are under "Equipment"; the generic Sword is "Common", but the Rapier, Scimitar, and Short Sword are in "Equipment"... Anyway, in case you're wondering, here's the list:
  • Common
    • .375 Magnum Ammo
    • 39mm Ammo
    • 45mm Ammo
    • 51mm Ammo
    • 9mm Ammo
    • AK47
    • Arrows
    • Axe
    • Baseball Bat
    • Battle Axe
    • Bazooka
    • C7
    • Crowbar
    • Desert Eagle
    • Elixir
    • Energy Cell
    • Energy Sword
    • F. Thrower
    • Folder
    • Grenade
    • Grenade Launcher
    • Hammer
    • Herb
    • High Potion
    • ID Keycard
    • Knife
    • Lazer
    • Lazer Turret
    • M16
    • M28A2 Rocket
    • Mace
    • Mana Potion
    • Medic Kit
    • MP5
    • MP5 (Silent)
    • Napalm
    • Pistol
    • Pistol (Silent)
    • Potion
    • R. Launcher
    • Remote
    • Shotgun Shell
    • Sniper
    • SPAS-12
    • Sword
    • Taser
    • Turret
    • Uz1
  • Equipment
    • Aluminium Mallet
    • Bullet Proof Vest
    • C4
    • Chainmail Armor
    • Copper Armor
    • Copper Helmet
    • Gold Armor
    • Gold Helmet
    • Leather Armor
    • Modern Crossbow
    • Necklace of Truth
    • Proximity Mine
    • Rapier
    • Scimitar
    • Short Sword
    • Steel Armor
    • Steel Helmet
    • Timed Mine
    • Traditional Crossbow
    • Wooden Breastplate
    • Wooden Mallet
Aluminum mallets are used to drive metal stakes into the hearts of robot vampires.  I guess.*
The "Action / RPG (MS Paint)" tilesets, too, have some similarities to those from the "Action / RPG (Pro)" template, but are by no means identical. The "Action / RPG (MS Paint)" tilesets contain fewer sets, but I think at a glance the sets have on average more tiles (though I haven't actually counted them to verify that).
One of the differences: No pinball machines.
Still, if nothing else, the lack of preset "Actors" strongly suggests that it's the "Action / RPG (Pro)" template that the creators of the 001 Game Engine focused on.

That leaves the "Platformer Game" template. Unlike the "Action / RPG (MS Paint)" template, this one does include a handful of "Actors"... though not much more than a handful. It's still enough that it's not practical to show them by a screenshot of the oddly tiny "Actor Templates" window, though, so here's the list:
  • Dynamic Object
  • Character
    • Alien
    • Bat
    • Bear
    • Bird
    • Dragon
    • Fish
    • Flytrap
    • Lightning Ball
    • Ninja
    • Ogre
    • Pirate
    • Rat
    • Robot
    • Scorpion
    • Shark
    • Skeleton
    • Spider
    • Spiky
    • Werewolf
    • Witch
    • Zombie

The template makes up for this, however, by not including any items... or at least, only a couple of generic item categories:

It doesn't seem as if this actually has any characteristics set except the name "Armor"...
 Its tilesets are also minuscule compared to those of the two "Action / RPG" templates:

So, counting the single Water tile, that's a grand total of seven different tiles.  Great.
Again, all in all, it definitely looks like it's the "Action / RPG (Pro)" template the developers put the lion's share of their effort into, so it looks like I was right to pick that one as the one to use.

Next time: Mapping! But before that I hope to have my first post up on an older game (probably Eamon), and maybe my chronological list of game creation programs (I've been working on that, but it hasn't been easy to pin down when some of these programs were first released... and I keep running across more programs to add to the list, too). See you then!

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