GameDev News for 5 June 2021



In April 2020, I revived Ramus after a 7-year hiatus. I revived it... then promptly set it aside again for another 13 months.

Thankfully Ramus still has a big fan (hi, Roger!) on top of newfound attention from unlikely corners of the internet. Even as I was in the middle of another project, Roger's thoughtful feedback gave me much to think about. And it paid off! A day-long detour turned into a flurry of activity, as I added a small but useful feature, then much-needed documentation improvements, and in the end a complete overhaul of the new scripting system. Which in turn called for that section of the manual to be redone from scratch.

It was a lot of work... yet it only took three days and a half. Ramus is just that hackable. And damn if it doesn't feel good to see the sample game look every bit as good as the original, with all the same features to be found in a much bigger system. Text even fades in nicely now, thanks to a few lines of CSS. I had no idea how easy it had become as of late!

So here it is: enjoy version 2.5, and see you soon, because now I can finally port a more complex game to Ramus, which in turn should reveal other needed improvements. They always do. All part of the fun.

Thanks for reading. Now let's see what's up in the world of game development at the start of summer. Below the cut this time, for obvious reasons.

I got online way too late for the BBS era, and while alternatives like MUDs survived in the small, with tilde servers even enjoying a revival, the few BBSes I visited were already little more than museums. No wonder then that my experience with certain web-based games in 2000-something lacked essential context. One such game was Black Nova Traders, which is now deader than its illustrious ancestor Trade Wars 2002. But it's still good to learn, even belatedly, where it all came from.

In unrelated news, Gamasutra resurfaces an article from last autumn that I missed at the time: How Baldur's Gate 3 tackles the RNG of D&D-inspired dice rolls. And it's just what I've been saying about randomness in games for years. Go figure.

Next: you know that feeling when an article makes an interesting read even though the subject matter is yucky? I have two of them today:

Last but not least, from Felipe Pepe we have an update about the CRPG Book project. Now that's something.

With that, enjoy, and see you next time.


Tags: meta, interactive fiction, rpg, history, game design