[Game]Prelude to a Dream (v0.2.0 Chapters 1 & 2)

Prelude to a Dream: Chapters 1 & 2

PreludeToADream.bin.1
Name your character:
PreludeToADream.bin.1
Explore the world and meet people:
PreludeToADream.bin.2 PreludeToADream.bin.3
Find some equipment to gain the upper hand:
PreludeToADream.bin.2 PreludeToADream.bin.3
Battle monsters:
PreludeToADream.bin.4 PreludeToADream.bin.4 PreludeToADream.bin.5

Latest release: v0.2.1 (released 2021-05-07T07:00:00Z)
Source Code: GitHub
Author: @tuxinator2009
Music: JRPG Collection by Yubatake license CC-BY-3.0
Font: Cursive 2 by devurandom’s New original Grafx2 font collection license Public Domain
Palette: miloslav by @drummyfish license Public Domain

I’ve changed the versioning so that v1.0.0 will be when the game is fully complete, the middle number will increase with each new chapter release, and the third number will indicate bug fixes / feature improvements.

I’ll be releasing each chapter as I develop them with v1.0 being all chapters complete.

Instructions:

  • The main menu is opened by pressing “C” from anywhere on the map (not in battle).
  • The menu’s are navigated with the arrow buttons and “A” to select and “B” to go back.
  • When on the save/load screen pressing “C” will allow you to erase a save slot (the game will confirm Yes/No if you want to erase the selected slot).
  • When dialog is being displayed you can press “A” to instantly display the current line being shown (you have to release it and press it again with each line). Holding “B” will skip all dialog including when it pauses for a button press. Holding “C” will skip all lines but not the pause (every 4 lines). This allows you to skip over dialog if you want.
  • When in battle holding “B” will also instantly display all battle messages, while holding “C” will automatically select “Fight” followed by “Attack” for faster battles.
  • You can save your game anywhere in the world as long as your not in a battle.
  • Throughout the world will be special “treasure” items whose only purpose is to sell at the shops for extra money (requires exploring and interacting with the environment to get them).
  • At level 2 you’ll gain the “Examine” skill which lets you scan enemies to determine their stats, strengths, and weaknesses. Once an enemy has been scanned you can lookup their stats in the “Beasts” section of the menu. Be sure to use “Examine” on the bosses as you’ll only encounter them once each.

EDIT: Uploaded v0.2 to fix the save game issue on some devices. Also included an empty save file in case some devices have trouble creating the blank file.

EDIT 2: Added the license info for the font and palette used. Both are Public Domain so no attribution is necessary, but I firmly believe in giving credit where credit is due.

EDIT 3: Uploaded v0.3 to improve the UI and increase the walking speed by 50%. Also uploaded the source code to github so others can see how I managed to pull off some of this games features (like swapping tilesets between SD and RAM).

EDIT 4: Added some screenshots to better show what the game looks like.

EDIT 5: Added a GIF and removed the [wip] tag and added the [release] tag so it should also appear in the games list.

EDIT 6: Changed version numbering scheme and released Chapter 2 as v0.2.0!

EDIT 7: Fixed the bug where leaving and re-entering the starting town would trap you in town with the “To Be Continued” message. If you already have v0.2.0 you only need to update the preludetoadream.pak file to get this fix.

13 Likes

Awesome job. Battle screen is really looking great, music fita the theme well. I keed to finish this chapter 1 now. :+1:

3 Likes

Excellent! I am going to test it today :grin:

3 Likes

Ok, I found my way to the first boss enemy (and lost the battle!) :grin:

First impressions of the game. It feels extremely polished. No wonder it took a year to make. There are many great details, like the screen dimming effect and the different music in different places. The village feels quite much alive and there is a feeling of an adventure! Not so far away from Zelda experience :wink: Maybe a little more something that would make it even a more alive would take the experience to the excellent category.

The cave really has a lot of rats :slight_smile: That is where the menu & dialog system shines. There are obviously a lot of effort put to get it to work smoothly. It is really nice to be able to just press “C” to progress with the fight. Also restarting the game with a save slot is really convenient.

Now, if I just find a way to get past the first boss… :wink:

5 Likes

So I’ve tested a few quality of life improvements to the game so far.

The first one is a subtle fix to the UI frames that have text over the top of the frame. Now there’s a 2px padding between the text and the frame borders like this:
unknown

The other improvement will be a 50% increase in the player’s movement speed so that it takes 12 frames to move 1 tile (16 pixels) instead of 16 frames. At 30FPS this means about 3 tiles per second speed instead of 2.

I’m also going to experiment with a way to hold “B” to move 4 tiles per second (2 pixels per frame).

These improvements will be available once Chapter 2 is done and released. So that’s something else to look forward to.

7 Likes

I just played through Chapter 1, and the game is really polished! The amount of time you put in this really shows. Really amazing work.

I like how you provided text speed options, as well as making battles with low-level enemies very quick with the C button. I also really liked the variety of music, and the music quality too. I would love to know whether you did anything special with the music to make it sound decent on the Pokitto. There are also a lot of great flourishes, such as the animation of the battle background.

I figured I would take notes as I played to try to give some feedback for the game as I went. Here were a few things that I noticed:

  • After you’re done in the caves and talking to the mayor, there’s a use of the word “bare” that I think should be “bear”
  • The walk speed does feel a bit slow, so I’m glad to hear you’re planning to increase it
  • Exiting the Equip, Beasts, and Save menus resets the cursor to the first option in the menu
  • It would feel nice if you could press A while still holding the direction of a chest or person, so that you can interact without having to let go of the direction
  • Heading straight down from your home’s door, there is a box that you can walk on top of

I was also wondering, since your wife is a character in the story, whether it might be a nice feature to be able to choose your wife’s name. Since you can choose your own name, it’s a bit weird to have your custom-named character talking about their wife by name. I could imagine having a default player name and wife name, which would be the canonical names. If the name is especially meaningful to you, then it makes sense to keep it as-is, of course.

7 Likes

@tuxinator2009 every now and then things come along on Pokitto that redefine my idea of games that are possible to make on a platform like this. This is one of them.

2 Likes

Ok, I got killed by the boss rat. The secret door is a great idea!

1 Like

What?!?
No, do not tell. I want to find by myself :wink:

edit: I am now better equipped for the boss spider so beware…

1 Like

Just got the source code uploaded to GitHub and pushed a v0.3 release while I was at it that includes an improved UI (now there is a 2px padding between the frame border and any text drawn over the border). Also increased the player’s movement speed by 50% (figured out a pattern to move 16 pixels over 12 frames by moving the sprite 1px, 1px, then 2px 4 times for a total of 16px).

Actually no I didn’t. I figured it must just be the chiptune nature of the music I found. Otherwise I just took the music (amplified some tracks as they were really quiet) and converted them to raw 8Khz sample rate (originally did 16Khz but there was no discernible difference and it slowed down some of the transitions a bit).

This is because the Equip, Beasts, and Save menus are handled in a separate state from the menus that are drawn over the map. I think I might know how to fix that but I forgot to do that before pushing v0.3 so it’ll be in the next update (either Chapter 2 or if there’s any major improvements).

I really should have looked back on this great feedback before pushing v0.3 as I forgot to fix this one too. Oh well it’ll also be in the next update.

I thought about that and it might be possible. Need to free up at least 2 bytes per save data but the way I’m storing which items the player has equipped can be condensed into 3 bytes easily instead of 6. Since there’s currently 20 bytes unused at the end of the 512-byte save file (adding the wife’s name would leave 2 bytes left) so I could use the very last byte to indicate the save file version (in case there’s any additional changes later) and it would be easy enough to add conversion routines to auto update older save files. Since the main player would talk about her a lot throughout the game this might not be a bad idea to include then so the player at least has a little more attachment to the wife character.

FYI story wise for the eventual sequel the main character’s name is Adrian.

That’s great to hear. I really put a huge amount of effort into figuring out how best to micro-manage the memory so that my limitations would be the number of unique tiles per tileset, but not be limited on how many maps I can have, or how many different tilesets there are, or how many unique enemies I can make. Figuring out clever ways to remove those limitations also added other limitations that actually helped enhance the overall game imho.

I’m so glad everyone is really liking this game so far and I don’t feel like taking a break from developing this game. On the contrary I’m super excited to get started on Chapter 2 which includes the overworld map and a really large mountain pass area you have to navigate to reach the southern part of the world.

I have all of the core pieces figured out already for each chapter and each act. Now it’s just a matter of making more maps, enemies, and dialog which will be posted to the DevLog as I design them.

5 Likes

Can we now get to really important things a.k.a. separate beds?

I would like to have a double bed in my home in PTAD

4 Likes

Finished the chapter 1 :grinning:

3 Likes

I like that the game is not too hard for a beginner like me. The last time I have played RPG, other than Zelda for Wii and Switch, was in Commodore Amiga (“Faery Tale”) :wink:
There is also great story which makes me waiting for the next chapter !

2 Likes

@tuxinator2009 You could upload some nice pictures or videos in the top post as a teaser :slight_smile:

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Having the game as a WIP status prevents it going to the game list in the web page :thinking:

But that could however be uploaded to the Gamedisk Github repo.

i was waiting for @tuxinator2009 to say when its ready for gamedisk

1 Like

Updated it to also have a nice GIF for the page.

It’s ready and a PR has now been submitted.

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Just uploaded v0.2.0 (Chapter 2) and submitted a PR to the GameDisk to update it as well.

Chapter 2 is finally here with more areas to explore, more artwork, more enemies, more story, more equipment, more adventure, and more fun!!!

8 Likes

Congratulations :tada:

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Time for me to get into it some more :+1:

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