Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Darghul suggestions

Discussion in 'Teudogar and the Alliance with Rome' started by Anonymous, Feb 2, 2006.

  1. k_bits Scholar

    k_bits
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    How "sandbox" will Dhargul be? Will I be able to hunt, trap, fish, woodwork, bake etc?

    EDIT: Nevermind :)


    How prevalent will bartering be?

    Perhaps make it so that once a character reaches a certain level of fame, he or she is able to barter in places where once only money was accepted. Kind of a "you're good for it, we know" thing? Could work with both "good" and "bad" characters.

    Finally - how about introducing weather effects such as rain and fog, and having them affect game play? Eg: Rain causes you to loose health / items to rust unless you cloak, fog reduces visbility for both you and enemies, wind causes missles to miss x% of the time, etc.
     
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  2. Vistaer Novice

    Vistaer
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    Hrmm... I believe he has weather effects like rain and snow. Dunno about them effecting equipment though. Why would rain cause you to lose health? Typically all it does to me is get me wet, heh. Rusting armor could be annoying for the player. Fog reducing visbility is interesting. A video layer is probably already reserved for weather effects like rain and such, so a group of transparent grey clouds would probably convey the fog sence well.

    Wind makes sence, however, you'd need to add something that let you know if there was a wind and if so, how strong it is, such as an arrow on screen that points where the wind is blowing and colored green-> red depending on strength. Visually it would be nice to have wind effects like hanging signs moving a bit in the wind or leaves or such, but that would probably be adding too much at this stage (like the horseriding idea I had)
     
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  3. Wolf Mittag Liturgist

    Wolf Mittag
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    Hi Vistaer and k_bits, thank you for this!

    Horses - Yes, these were fare too small in Teudogar, but this is due to the graphics tile size. Making them larger would require to use several tiles for them, and that would demand lots of extra code in npc navigation, npc collision checking, graphics output, etc.
    I want to do this sooner or later, because having multi-tile npcs would also enable me to offer much tougher monsters such as dragons, giants, etc. (These would be very useful because with all the experience, equipment, magical stuff and spellcasting etc you acquire over the course of the game, you need harder-to-defeat enemies in order for combat not to become boring.) But I'm not sure if I can fit this in with the current version. Maybe later as an Add On.

    As to riding, this probably can be done without too many extra graphics, because there already is a horse animation, and adding a rider to this probably wouldn't take more than 4 extra sprites per sprite set (one for each direction), since the rider wouldn't need any animation (I think; I'll have to take a look at some movies to make sure). So it'd mean a total of about 200 extra sprites (4 to each of about 50 NPC + armor sprite sets), half of which could be created by simply rotating/flipping.
    But it's all the related stuff where the real work lies, i.e., programming for you to feed, care for, accommodate, buy, sell, heal etc your horse, plus combat, plus setting up the infrastructure (stables, hay and water every few miles).
    So I decided to put this off for the time being, and solve the underlying problem of transportation via 1) several means of teleportation, and 2) allowing you to walk extremely fast (the further your mouse cursor from your Player figure, the faster) so that you can very quickly explore the game world on foot. (May not look that great animationwise, and may not be perfectly realistic; but I found this very convenient while testplaying.)

    Music: The present MIDI solution sucks. I'd like to replace that with MP3, and the programming wouldn't be a major problem, but this would require about 35 different and fitting MP3 files to cover all situations for which I currently output MIDI files. Apart from selecting and, more problematic, licensing/purchasing the rights to these MP3s, this would also strongly increase the total game data size and thus impair downloadability. So I don't think I can do anything there now.

    Sleeping - I did this by adding a 'Rest Until' action: you can then select late afternoon, evening, night etc. Both Wait (always 1 hour) and Sleep (always until morning) will remain accessible, and won't be slowed down with a 'until when' question. ('Wait', 'Rest', 'Sleep' all restore your vitality/magical energy; Wait least, Sleep of course most.)

    Art in books - good idea, thanks.

    keyring - already did this. Dragging&dropping will add a key to this; using the keyring on a door etc will automatically select and use the fitting key (if it is on your keyring).

    set up camp - sleeping bag: I don't quite see what you'd need this for if you have a cloak. But I like the idea of setting up a campfire if you select action Sleep somewhere outside.

    companions - no; still strictly single player. I'll leave that for a follow-up version. (But I've already prepared the ground for this by making npc data global, which had previously been local for each location; so, technically, NPCs following you around is already viable; all that's missing is the extra artificial intelligence for them to behave reasonably.)

    hunt, fish, bake - yes, all implemented, as well as weaving, some basic tailoring, repairing etc. Trap: right; good idea; need to add this.
    Woodwork - would like that but there are number of problems (cutting down trees = requiring changes to how game world data is saved; e.g. if trees remain un-changeable (as now), they needn't be saved; if they do, Save Game will take much longer, which is inconvenient). Similar problems with other kinds of larger actions like building walls / construction houses. Could be done with some workarounds, but would take lots of effort, so I'll put this off for later.

    What I could fairly easily do is to expand what you can produce further, i.e., enabling you to actually create weapons, armor, etc (provided you've studied with a smith); same for tailoring; mining iron; cutting gems; etc.
    I'm wondering, though, if people playing the game actually do these things more than once? (Personally, I find e.g. weaving a piece of cloth in a RPG a bit boring, sure, fun to do once, but not daily, and I prefer more spectacular action like exploring the game world, slaying monsters etc.) But if people actually enjoying to role-play a productive kind of life, then I ought to flesh out these things a bit, with your acquiring supplies, and people (not just merchants and bartering partners) regularily buying your products, and maybe the actual process of production could require you to perform a number of separate actions (presently, it's enough to have all ingredients in your inventory and use them; e.g. use spindles with loom -> palette fade out, 1 hour passes -> cloth).

    bartering - for convenience's sake, I introduced money. Merchants and craftsmen will no longer barter but sell/buy only for money (everyone else will still barter). Among others, this has the convenience of making all the marking, dragging and dropping of bartering goods in the bartering screen obsolete; in order to finish a transaction, you now simply click 'ok'.
    This also brings some extra gaming action, because you now need to find the right merchant to sell specific kinds of booty to (in exchange for money) before you can buy something, i.e., simply exchanging your captured daggers for potions (as in Teudogar) won't work anymore (which I think makes sense).

    There's also haggling: Apart from 'OK' and 'No thanks' you can also click on 'I'll offer $X, Y, Z', and, depending on your charisma/reputation/appearance, your previous transactions with the merchant, and your haggling procedure, you may get a much better price. (BTW your trading partners' starting prices will already depend on your charisma/reputation/etc.)
    The system isn't perfect yet, but it's intended to simulate a business relationship. E.g., if you're a regular customer, you and your trading partner will arrange to a certain price level and can do without haggling. Or if you always start by offering only 1/10 of what your partner initially asked for, his initially asked for prices in the future will be much higher. And so on. This gives you lots of incentives (the more you trade, the better your results; and finally, a real use for your reputation; etc).
    (Your bartering partner's inventory (e.g. he already has too much of what you're offering) and your own urgent lack of a particular item etc should also influence prices; so there's still some refinement to do.)

    weather - I implemented rain (including, sometimes, thunderstorms w/ lightening etc). (I can't do fog or snow as easily, so I'll put these off for the time being.) I still need to implement the consequences; I think I'll let you get tired faster; perhaps let you catch a cold if no cloak and you keep your wet clothes on for too long; that might result in slightly reduced vitality for some days. Thank you for these other ideas (visibility, missiles). (Need to think about rust or other effects on your inventory; not sure there.)
    (Btw there are some wind effects such as trees moving slightly etc (already in Teudogar); but this is directionless; don't think I could expand this.)

    Thank you for your ideas and suggestions!

    I guess what I need to do next is to set up a Beta version for downloading, and invite feedback / comments / criticism / suggestions to this. (This'll still take a good while, though, since there are several systems that I want to have really complete before releasing the Beta.)

    Until then, please keep posting suggestions, especially small details (like campfire, keyring, fishing etc) (these kinds of things are very easy to implement and definitely increase gaming fun or convenience); and your thoughts on the production of things (worthwhile to implement? would you actually want to live a craftsman's life? buying, producing, selling stuff). Thank you!
     
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  4. Vistaer Novice

    Vistaer
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    One more question...

    One of Ultima 7's nice features was the fact that NPCs would sometimes have text above their heads while doing things. Stuff like if they shut a door they'd say "Why's this open?" or if they were attacking you they'd scream "Vultures will pick thy bones!". Any of that in Darghul?

    As for ideas of some things mentioned (big creatures/horses, more merchant stuff, sailing)...

    Well if you're considering an add-on/expansion, perhaps a more in depth merchant setup could be part of that along with all the things you mentioned like horses and big creatures. Perhaps an island (adding an ownable/sailable ship and/or automated ferry) with a colony on has had problems, discovered massive mythical beasts, but the island is a source of something like a diamond or gold mine, so the merchant's guild is hiring mercenaries to help guard their colony and try and deal with the problem, hence your incentive. You join as a guard, but could work your way up as a big part of the merchant's guild, learning skills and crafts and such until you become a figurehead of the colony and merchant's guild of some such in the quest's conclusion.

    As far as sailing... normally you would think the issue would be that ocean is supposed to be extensive and thus you cant have barriers. Not neccessarily true... closer to land, along the island/mainland shores coral reefs and shoals (sp) could prevent you from following the coastline further, while out to sea stopping you with a message that "the seas beyond are too treacherous for your ship" with a dialogue message using the image of rough seas as opposed to a person's picture.

    Just some ideas offhand =)
     
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  5. Anonymous Guest

    Anonymous
    To answer your question wolf - yes, some of us like doing those menial things in RPG's, like cutting down a tree and weaving cloaks etc.

    I agree though - not at the expense of exploration, which is where it's all at.

    One of the coolest things in Ultima 7/8 was reading something in a book, then being able to actually *do* it in the gameworld / find the fabulous treasure / etc etc.

    I always liked that you could do your own thing, meaningfully, without having your hand held all the way.

    The 'floating overhead text' thing is also a good idea, but I don't know how much extra work that would be?
     
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  6. Igor Novice

    Igor
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    Crafting and owning businesses

    I don't know if this has been discussed, but i read the improvements list on http://www.darghul.com/newe.htm and i noticed something about the crafting. It only lists a very small ammount of crafting options, like weaving, baking and repairing weapons and clothes. I'm wondering if you ever implemented any of the suggestions in the old suggestions thread at:

    http://www.rpgcodex.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=4736


    I would really like to see more crafting options, like farming and pottery and metalworking (jewler, toolsmith, weaponsmith). Basically, i would like it if you could buy and control the entire production chain for many different products. You could buy a mine and sell the ore, or you could buy a metalworking shop to turn the ore into weapons and jewelery and tools yourself for increased profits. Or you could buy a farm and grow different crops or raise animals (like sheep, cows, pigs, chickens) and then sell the produce, or you could buy a tavern to make meals and beverages from the produce or buy a weaver's shop to make clothes from the wool and leather that you get from your sheep and cattle. You could either work your businesses yourself or hire employees to do it for you.


    This would make you a lot of money, but should also cost tons of money. You should make it extremely expensive, so that you can't buy everything at once. You could implement professions that require little or no starting capital and generate a small profit (like a street performer, or a an artist ( painter, sculptor)). Then you would have to work and save all your money in these professions or kill and loot bandits (the Teudogar way of making money) for at least 1 or 2 months before you could afford the cheapest possible farm or ore mine or whatever and with no employees. Then you would have to buy your own tools and work your mine or farm by yourself for a while before you could afford to upgrade it and hire some workers to make it more profitable and self sufficient. Then you would just have to come back every few weeks and collect the profits. This would make the game tons more fun, because then you would have a choice in the way you want to make money, and you wouldn't be forced to only be able to make money by killing bandits and selling their cheap crap.



    Another really cool profession (because i LOVE the old Frontier: Elite games so much) would be trading. You could buy a horse and wagon and buy goods from one town and sell them for a profit at another town that needs them. Then, as you make more and more money, you could buy bigger and better wagons (that also require more horses to pull them) so that you can increase your profits per trade run. That would totally rule.

    What do you think Wolf?
     
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  7. Wolf Mittag Liturgist

    Wolf Mittag
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    Hi Igor, Vistaer, k_bits,
    thank you for your postings! And my apologies for my delayed reply.

    NPCs, text above their heads
    Thanks for this. That's a nice touch. Conveniently, I've already got a function that does this (when you drag&drop an object onto an NPC, they say 'Thank you'). So I just need to expand this a bit by making NPCs call this function on their own in a number of situations.

    islands/sailing
    yes, but I'll have to put this off for part II, since that'll require a number of additional systems with lots of sub-systems (e.g. sea -> boats/ships -> buying, selling, navigating and so on). Besides, for the time being, the game world is strictly continental (surrounded by insurpassable mountains and rivers). (Next thing for an add-on would be to enable you to cross/navigate these rivers/mountains and explore the areas beyond until you reach the ocean, which would form the next barrier of the game world, with only coastal waters navigateable. Yet another add-on might then allow real navigation. In such a fashion, I could grow the game world bit by bit, without game world creation work becoming unmanageable.)

    books, offering game-related hints
    I often did this in DARGHUL (in Teudogar there were almost no books etc for historical reasons, with most people being analphabetical). The current system is quite nice: Once you've read/heard about a location/magical object etc, you can ask certain people for further information (i.e. additional dialog answers regarding the things you've read about will become available in several dialogs). And there are also lots of gameplay related, informational texts.

    crafting options
    I've expanded this a bit (my website isn't up to date). Provided you've absolved an apprenticeship with a smith/tailor/etc, and depending on your skill, you can not just repair but also produce items (such as weapons, armor, clothes, jewelry etc).

    farming, pottery
    Alright. I'll implement some basic farming (drop seed on field, bury it with pickaxe, wait, harvest). Also pottery.

    trading
    I need to implement a horse/donkey/cart/boats for this. Since each of these will require a good deal of additional functions (buy/sell/navigate/load/unload/feed/heal/repair), I have to put this off for a later version. (This is technically similar to implementing followers/traveling companions, so I'll do this when I implement these.)

    investing, production
    I really like the idea of investing in and profiting from owning means of production. But I can't implement real farming or mining due to the high level of details within the game world. E.g., in Civilization, a mine is just an abstract entity: one tile, one mine; and one game turn equals 10 years of mining. In contrast, in Darghul every single square meter of the game world is 'real' (actually there and explorable); so a mine would have to be an actual cave (consisting of thousands of tiles) where actual workers (who'd have to live somewhere etc) would have to use pickaxes to dig actual tunnels, bringing actual objects to the surface, etc: it's far too complex at this level of detail.
    (Another problem is the time dimension; e.g. farming: raising animals takes years; no problem for a simulation; but a different story for a plot-oriented Role Playing Game that (will let you play without time limits but still) focuses on a period of only a few months.)
    -
    So I'm considering a number of ways to simplify things to a realizable level. One, perhaps you needn't actually see a mine; the stuff might be imported from some more remote location and you're just dealing with a representative, from whom you could either buy the mined raw materials, or, perhaps, for a huge amount of gold, the entire mine (which he'd continue to manage for you). That way, hiring workers etc could be done with a simple dialog answer, and I needn't worry about implementing all those details on the ground. Your representative just hands over the output to you every week, and that's it. (Size of output depending on your investment in machinery/hiring of workers etc.)
    -
    A second, more hands-on option might be to make use of the fantasy setting: I'll let you mine all of the hundreds of small caves within the game world. Some of these will have no resources, others iron, gold, gems etc. As to employees, you can summon demons (provided you've learned the spell and their language). The number of demons you can control is restricted by the amount of your magical energy, which is very difficult and expensive to increase.
    That way, once you are able to summon your first demon, you'll get a steady stream of raw materials you can either barter or use to produce finished goods, with the profits possibly re-invested (in increasing your magical energy, enabling you to summon another demon etc, thus expanding your production). (Such a fantasy setting would be fairly easy because it could do without npc time schedules, places to sleep/live for your workers, mining equipment, tunnels, etc.)
    -
    I see the same options for owning a smithy or other kinds of shop where your materials would get processed into finished goods: either, just a dialog (with a representative who manages the shop (which you never see) (that'd include the option of hiring additional workers), or, more simply, the local smith will process your stuff for you for a salary; or finally, demons working for you in a fairly primitive setting (again, no need for a place to live/sleep/wages etc, i.e. fairly easy to implement). (As to creating an actual smithy by setting up a fireplace and so on, I'll have to see if I can do this. This would be quite difficult. Therefore my preference of doing the whole thing via dialogs, thereby circumventing the need for any game world changing capabilities.)
    -
    As to selling your finished products, possibly once again, a representative might export them for you (simply a dialog), or a local craftsman/trader could sell them for a commission (again, simply via a dialog), or you might sell them to several city-states' governments who need provisions for their armies as long as the war lasts. Setting up your own store in a city would be the most difficult option to implement.
    -
    So, on the whole, it could be done. Doing it via dialogs would be the simplest option. Calculating prices/production/supply/demand wouldn't be that difficult, but would have to be thoroughly tested/balanced. I'm also wondering about the economics. Say you were producing axes, and possibly a lot of them (hired many workers), who'd buy all this stuff from you, when the game world's entire population is just a few hundred npcs? Of course one could argue that the game world's cities are really meant to have hundreds or even thousands of inhabitants, of which the actually present npcs are just a small representation. But in a medieval world, where most people are self-sufficient peasants, there still wouldn't be that much economic activity. (BTW that's one of the reasons guilds were set up; limiting supply by denying newcomers entry to various professions.) Anyway, perhaps the limited demand could even be a nice gaming feature: Once you've flooded the market with your axes for a while, no one will buy any more, regardless of how much you mark down prices; so you'd reap the fruits of your over-investment.

    Well, I need to think about and experiment a bit with these ideas. Any comments/thoughts/suggestions on this and other topics would be very welcome. Apart from this, what I'm always looking for are really small, easy-to-implement details (e.g. things like having NPCs 'say' a small text (as discussed above); or writing your own comments on the automap screen; etc - small touches like these, which would make the gaming experience more pleasant). Sincere thanks for your help!
     
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  8. Anonymous Guest

    Anonymous
    That's what i was thinking exactly, having a representative for all your businesses, so you never actually "saw" them but could still use them. That way you could cut back on the coding significantly. But i'd still like it if you had to work the mine yourself when you first buy it if you didn't have enough money to hire employees. You would simply talk to the representative and tell him that you want to work the mine. Then you select how long you want to work the mine for (maybe 4 to 24 hours). Then the screen goes black (similar to when you sleep) and and the time that you selected passes, and then, depending on your skill, the quality of your tools and any upgrades the mine might have you end up with a certain ammount of ore in your inventory. And about farming, you wouldn't have to make it "realistic" so that it takes years to raise the animals and plant the crops. This is after all a game, not real life. You could make it so that animals and crops grow up in a few days instead of years.


    And about trading. You wouldn't have to make it that detailed (with the buy/sell/navigate/load/unload/feed/heal/repair options). You could make it abstract, like with the mining and farming. You just buy a horse and cart, and then a representative appears in the town where you buy it. Then you simply talk to him to buy goods and travel to another town. Then when you arrive in another town, you simply talk to him again in order to sell the goods. And he should always be in the last town you told him to go to, unless you tell him to follow you everywhere (in which case the chance of getting robbed will increase (you should be able to hire guards who will appear as NPC's in battles to counteract this though). What do you think Wolf?
     
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  9. Igor Novice

    Igor
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    That was me i forgot to log on.
     
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  10. kris Arcane

    kris
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    I understand this, especially since we talk about a "single protagonist" game. Having played with a roleplaying game (Rolemaster) with a system of serious directly killing blows (that the worst fighter could attain with luck) I have direct experience with this. While using powerful healing (raising dead...) is one solution I prefer to solve it with "cheating", basically to not have the players suffer from the directly killing things and turned it into "knocked out" or "seriously injuried". That in turn can create good roleplaying opportunities and possible tactical solutions for helping the injuried. as for a lone man roleplaying game I would suggest using a "knocked out" system where the enemy takes your stuff.

    also IMO, to have the option to have players actually be able to die from time to time will make the game more interesting and tense IMO. But I know many gamers are to lazy now and will possibly just be annoyed...
     
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  11. Wolf Mittag Liturgist

    Wolf Mittag
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    Hi Igor, Kris, thank you for your comments!

    Production/Mines/Shops etc: I agree; so I'll set up representatives of mining companies in several cities. This seems reasonable to me, too. (Since a mine needs to be located next to the ressources, which aren't found everywhere, it's natural if it's situated somewhere far away from the city.)

    Farming/realism: Sure, I needn't do this realistically (e.g. I could let animals grow up within a few days), but personally, I somehow tend to enjoy a high degree of realism and truthfulness in games. (Ok, there are fantasy elements in DARGHUL; but I want even these to be realistic, i.e., the basic premise may be fantasy (e.g., 'there are orcs', or 'there's magic'), but even in these cases, the implementation should be realistic (e.g., these orcs don't appear out of nowhere; they live in settlements, live off something, etc).) So I think I'll skip cattle farming and focus instead on things that I can do somewhat more realistically, like mining etc.

    Getting wounded/killed: Well, at present, I have both (already in Teudogar): When you fight robbers and are defeated, you don't get killed but just knocked out (which seems realistic to me, too). However, other kinds of combat usually end lethally for you if you get wounded and refuse to flee. (I thought this was fair since, firstly, you usually had a choice whether to enter combat at all, and secondly, once wounded, you really should have fled.)
    But since most gamers (including myself) tend to simply load a previous saved game and then try again whenever they get killed, maybe in general getting just knocked out instead of killed would be better as a default solution, since it would be easier for you to accept. Perhaps I'll add a setting to the Options Menu where you can select default combat outcomes.

    Thank you for your ideas. Please keep posting!
     
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  12. Ladonna Prophet

    Ladonna
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    I cannot see a creature letting someone live after knocking you out.

    Maybe a robber so he can rob again, but even then he may think 'better kill this guy just in case he comes back to get me'.

    Can we build our own outposts and have followers? Various skilled types can come along, farms develop, invasions, evil Giant worm attacks, Alliances, sieges, spouses, heirs, feuding families.....

    Just kidding :wink:

    I think having some buddies is a sweet idea, but I will leave it up to you what you want in.

    Does this game have a webpage? its own forum? if not, why not?
     
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  13. Wolf Mittag Liturgist

    Wolf Mittag
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    Hi Ladonna,

    well, thinking about it, you're probably right: It doesn't make much sense for an Orc or such to knock you unconscious and leave you lying around in his cave. Rather, I'd assume most monsters would consider you prey, and consequently kill you and feed on your corpse. However, where such isn't the case they might perhaps just kick you out of their cave. So in some cases, losing consciousness, being robbed of your equipment, and awakening later outside near the entrance of the cave might still be a nice idea.

    Followers/party: I've come around to this view. Having a party and exploring the game world as a group may really be more fun than doing it on your own. And especially combat would finally become interesting, with tactical considerations, and the chance to fight real (small) battles instead of just you on your own killing your enemies one by one. However, for such a group system not to become bothersome, I'd want party members to have good artificial intelligence, and basically care for themselves, without you needing to feed/clothes/direct/etc them. Another aspect, your becoming a small army instead of a single fighter would create a need for much more/stronger enemies, so there'd have to be some changes to the game world, too. Since all of that will take a great deal of work, I'll put this off for a later version, and keep things single-player for the time being.

    Website: Yes, http://www.darghul.com/newe.htm. (The game's a remake of an old German RPG that I wrote many years ago; so the rest of that site is still about that ancient MSDOS version.)

    Thank you for your ideas/suggestions! Please keep posting.
     
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  14. Ladonna Prophet

    Ladonna
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    I will check that site out.

    Don't worry too much about Dargul, Im buying it when it comes out anyways. After buying and playing Teudogar, Im impressed with your work, so getting more of the same quality is a no brainer decision for me.

    Teudogar was certainly an interesting and well made RPG. I didn't know if it would be my thing but it worked a treat. One of the most original RPG's I have come across and damn fun as well.

    As for Companions in Dargul: I certainly wouldn't want an army. Maximum of 5 or so would be fine, with some not joining if others are present (Elf/Dwarf Hatred, or some other incompatibilities) while having seperate quests tied to different characters. It would be cool having some Quests crossing over and having to choose which one you will do while knowing it will make one of your companions leave.

    Anyway, I am willing to wait until your next game for a party.

    If you could sum up Dhargul in a sentence, how would you?

    oh, I love your name as well... :D
     
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  15. Igor Novice

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    Location:
    Rand of the lising sun.
    So what about my trading idea? Are you gonna put it in? And the professions that don't rquire any starting capital, like street performer, bard, artist and so on? These would be good if you get robbed and lose all your stuff and money and have no money saved to replace your stuff. Then you could just work these jobs for a while to make some money and buy your stuff back.
     
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  16. Wolf Mittag Liturgist

    Wolf Mittag
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    Parrots:
    331
    Location:
    Shanghai
    Ladonna:
    Thank you!

    sum up DARGHUL in a sentence:
    Something for almost everyone, due to its freedom of action and large array of gaming possibilities, offering lots of choices, and the freedom to focus on whatever particularly appeals to you.
    The background is that Teudogar was mainly focused on dialogs and political thinking, with some occasional combat in between, little exploration, and not much gaming action: You spent most of your time talking or thinking, and only rarely actually _did_ something. It definitely wasn't a game an analphabetical person could play.
    In contrast, DARGHUL offers much more in exploration and real action - things to do, not just matters to contemplate. There's still lots of dialog, but you're now free to decide whether to make this the main subject of your gaming, or whether to focus on other kinds of gameplay action, such as exploring, fighting, dungeoneering, pilgrimaging, producing things, trading, treasure-huntung, recovering magical objects, perfecting your skills, learning spells, reading books, talking to people, completing subplots, and, of course, saving the world. Additionally, different starting choices during character generation (male/female, knight's/wizard's apprentice / craftsman / good-for-nothing etc) encourage you to select a somewhat different course and play in a different way each time you start a new game.

    Igor: street performer, bard, artist:
    Absolutely; I love this. Also, it's fairly easy to implement (basically I just need to modify the player_goes_fishing() function), and a nice touch while playing. So you'd double-click on your flute or fiddle, and depending on your skill and the location you'd chosen, you may or may not have earned some money or food an hour or so later.
    Don't know about other kinds of art; maybe you could paint; there aren't any paintings in the game world so far, and paintings as such are a fairly modern concept, too (antiquity only knew wall paintings/frescoes, or mosaics). Still, I might introduce this. So provided you've acquired a canvass, frame, colors etc, you might select an art style (classical, baroque, expressionist, abstract, kitsch) and a subject (portrait, landscape, erotic), and then see if you can find a buyer for your product. (Depending on your painting skills, and wise choice of potential customers, I'd expect portraits, kitsch, and porn to bring the most money.) (Still have to see how well I can implement this; I need some bits for quality, style, and some for completion status (finishing the thing would take a while, not just one session); the subject could be derived from the tile number; however there'd be a problem with portraits due to lack of space for the NPC number of the portrayed; so I may have to introduce an extra data table, which would complicate matters.)
    Another fun option may be writing (novels (quality influenced by several of your skills), advice (quality depending on your experience/skill level regarding the subject), journals, poetry, or propaganda/commercials).
    Creating statues would entail many technical difficulties (difficult to move; might block NPCs' way); so I'll skip this. Maybe telling stories, in a Homeric fashion, enhanced by your experience/exploration. Maybe performance art/acrobacy/dance, similar to music.
    Basically, all of the art creating jobs would build on the produce_something and bartering functions, and the entertainment jobs on the player_goes_fishing (performing an action, you get something (or not), depending on your environment, in this case, any present NPCs, who'd form your audience). Begging would work like this, too (charisma required).
    Any other ideas for what you could produce/perform?

    Offering services
    would be more difficult to implement since it'd require real interaction with your customers. E.g. you might offer medical services if you can cast the healing spell; but I don't know how I could program your customers. Same goes for, say, offering 'private dances' (since we discussed entertainment jobs above; might be lucrative if you're a female player). Or maybe porter, carrying things (if you're strong).
    But maybe I'll solve this just like street performing: You simply go to some crowded place, select action 'Offer this or that service'; the palette fades out and some time passes; and depending on your skills, location, people present, luck etc, you may or may not have found a customer. You'd then be told the result and proceeds (e.g. 'You earned 35 silver coins for fixing a guy's broken leg.'). Street-vendoring (food and beverages), or offering day-laborer work such as working on a farmer's field for a day could also be implemented in this fashion. All of this via Actions Menu, and then selecting the particular service you intend to offer/perform (availability depending on your skills/circumstances). Your money/skills/reputation etc would of course be adjusted a small bit every time you do anything of the things mentioned above, so you'd actually gain experience and get better at providing this.
    Any other ideas for what services you could offer?

    trade:
    Well, I've been thinking about how I can fit a production/trade system into the existing game world. What I've come up with, conceptually, is this:
    You can hire a guy with a pack-mule, or several of these, and assign him a fixed trade route (by defining the route in a screen similar to the Teudogar's Travel Screen, i.e., clicking on the locations).
    Next, you'd be shown a table of the route to be traveled, e.g. A(starting point)-B-C-D(end point)-C(returning home)-B-A(returned to starting point). At each stop (start and end location as well as all locations passed on the way plus return), your caravan can
    1) pick up stuff (from any storehouse/mine/merchant's shop/craftsman's shop you may own in this location), or
    2) buy stuff (anything any merchant, craftsman or raw materials producer in this location offers, or
    3) deliver stuff (previously bought/picked up, to your storehouse/shop), or
    4) sell stuff (en gros, to merchants in this location).
    You could select this for each stop by clicking on (pickup)/(buy)/(drop)/(sell) and selecting the details from a menu (e.g., buy -> list of all local merchants you know of -> list of all products the selected merchant offers).
    Your caravan could access only those locations you've previously explored or heard of, and only deal with those merchants you have previously talked to or heard of. And pickup/drop would of course only be available in locations where you have acquired a storehouse or shop.
    How much your caravan could buy would depend on your funds, and how much it could carry, on the number of mules. Funds might be added/deducted from your bank account, so no gold would have to be carried around. (You might also leverage your trade by buying merchandise on credit.) The risk of your caravan being robbed would depend on the number of guards you hired (if any). The driver and his mules, and the guards, would cost you money every day.
    The entire thing would be virtual, i.e., apart from the initial hiring dialog, you'd never actually get to see your caravan; all you'd see would be the goods piling up in the assigned locations. A global overview table would help you keep track of your caravans, re-assign or fire them etc. Wage costs and available workers/mules would limit the number of caravans you could keep employed.
    So the easiest thing you might do would e.g. be to have your caravan buy a mule-load of amphorae of wine in one city and transport this to the castle of the knights' order, and sell it directly to the castle's storage master. Provided the price difference is sufficient to cover your caravan driver's wage, you'd make a profit. Or a different scenario: You've invested in a mine and acquired the rights to a monthly share of mined iron. Your caravan picks this up, picks up some coal in a 2nd location, and drops both iron and coal in your smithy in a nearby city; it may also pick up some surplus finished goods from there and transport these to your shop in a different city; before returning once again to the mine, perhaps carrying some provisions to sell to the miners.

    selling stuff:
    I'm solving the underlying lack-of-demand problem by simply assuming that the cities are in fact large, and the actually visible population represents just a small part of the total. So whatever you produce/offer will be bought to a certain extent.
    Apart from selling specific goods or raw materials to merchants or craftsmen who'd re-sell or process them, you might also set up your own shop in each city, by buying/renting a house (via dialog). (I can circumvent most problems with this by preparing just one suitable house/room per city, with a sufficient number of containers, room for tools, sleeping places for your workers/clerks etc; you'd get assigned this after paying.)
    That way, you could sell any item that exists within the game world, finished or used goods as well as raw materials or whatever (though useless things may not find buyers). Your caravans would deliver everything to this house; you'd hire someone who'd sell these goods to customers (tavern/dialog); and you'd set selling prices per category (e.g. weapons: expensive, leather goods: average/cheap, tools: fire-sale etc) (dialog with your clerk, or maybe via a global overview table/menu).
    Your clerk would then, over time, bit by bit, automatically sell everything you put in your shop/storehouse (including possibly your accumulated booty from dungeoneering). How much (if any) could be sold would depend on local demand (influenced by population numbers and character, type of goods, prices set by you, competitors, items already sold etc).

    production:
    For simplicity's sake, let's say whatever house you acquire would already have a fireplace, a basic set of tools, a good number of boxes/chests, and room for several workers to work, live and sleep.
    You could then add specific tools (cauldron, loom, smithing tools, etc) (dialog/local enterpreneurs), and hire specific craftsmen (cook, potter, tailor, leather producer, smith) (dialog/tavern) (with apprentice/average/master skills; that'll determine what they can produce). That way, you could turn your shop into a craftsman's shop/factory, producing and selling e.g. bread, pots, yarn/cloth/clothes, leather/leather goods/armor/torches, weapons/armor/tools/jewelry.
    With your your caravan(s), you'd procure the necessary raw materials (wheat, coal, iron, clay, wool, skins, lumber, gold) from respective producers, or you could also buy semi-finished goods from other craftsmen (yarn, cloth, leather, wooden sticks), and you could transport surplus good to other cities (selling them en gros to merchants, or delivering them to another store you've bought there).
    (As to materials, you might perhaps buy a stake with certain producers, such as an iron mine, entitling you to a certain quota of the production, which your caravans could then simply pick up.)
    (Any other products/crafts? apart from furniture or other immobile items, which I can't do.)
    (Other raw materials: Additionally, for trading, meat. Anything else?)
    (In summary, as product categories, I'm thinking of food, household items, clothes, arms, armor, tools, jewelry. Anything else?)

    So basically, I'd need to implement:
    - a data table of all merchants/producers for every location, with their inventories (available goods) and selling prices, goods they can produce, production rates, goods they're currently producing, raw materials they need, willingness to buy other goods, and do you know of this merchant. This table would include your clerks and craftsmen.
    - a demand data table for every location (what quantities of what type of products at what price would be bought there).
    - a product data table listing days required for production, required raw materials, required craftsman for all producable goods.
    - an production and inventory system, with buildup (every listed merchant, including people employed by you, producing stuff), inventory management (placing/removing produced stuff into/from containers in each merchant's house, counting how much is left), and sales (reducing inventory depending on demand, adding funds to your bank account), and employee management (deducting their wages, adjusting their skill levels).
    - a caravan table (trade route, location, inventory, action for each trade route stop, number of mules, number of guards).
    - a system for certain craftsmen to appear in taverns, where you could hire them, and to put hired employees and bought machinery into your shop.
    - some statistics to help you keep overview (your inventory/production/shops/employees in all locations)
    Much of this can be recycled from how slaves produce stuff and from how merchants clear their inventory in Teudogar; so most of the things difficult to code are already in place, and setting up and managing above data tables would be the main work to do.
    Still, it's a fairly complex business. I'll probably not be able to implement this with the initial release (unless I put off the release even further); so I'm thinking of providing this as an add-on; that way, I'd just have to lay the most basic foundations right now.

    Anyone any additional thoughts/ideas/suggestion regarding producing or trading, or, for that matter, anything else relating to this game? Please keep posting - thank you.
     
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  17. Jora Arcane

    Jora
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2003
    Parrots:
    1,115
    Location:
    Finland
    I think that at some point you should stop adding new features. I want to actually get to play the game!

    The way it is done in the Gothic series of games is that human opponents usually beat you unconscious and then take whatever it is they want from you. You wake up after a while with low health and some missing items. Beasts and monsters kill you right away, showing no mercy (orcs too, though this might change in Gothic 3). I think the system works well.
     
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  18. Ladonna Prophet

    Ladonna
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    Parrots:
    1,866
    After reading your site I am wondering if theres any pages that show some of the originals graphics? would be fun to see them (Don't worry, I played all the golden oldies way back when, and don't turn my nose up at ASCII :wink: ).

    Your way of doing things is very old time Origin in its scope. attempting to allow people to use almost anything in game. Its refreshing to see this kind of thinking coming alive again in the Indy scene where it has died off in the Major Developers. I noticed this when I played Teudogar, and I read on your Dhargul website that this will be continued. Very nice.

    It will be fun to play this game once its done.
     
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  19. Jora Arcane

    Jora
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2003
    Parrots:
    1,115
    Location:
    Finland
    Ladonna, you could download the old German version that is available on the site. For me it was pretty easy to play; basic understanding of the language, general knowledge of RPGs/Teudogar and a dictionary can get you quite far. The world isn't very interactive, however, and the gameplay is pretty simple. The graphics aren't bad at all. The game looks like a primitive cousin of Teudogar.

    I didn't play much as I'm waiting for the English version.
     
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  20. Igor Novice

    Igor
    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2005
    Parrots:
    31
    Location:
    Rand of the lising sun.
    I like your trading system idea Wolf, but if it's not too much trouble, could you add other transports instead of just mules? Like horses and donkeys and carts of different sizes. A small cart would only need one 1 animal, while a really large one could need up to 4. And also let you drive the cart around and trade/deliver stuff yourself too, if you're short of cash and can't afford to hire a driver. You would simply go to where your mule/horse/cart is parked and click on it and you would get the option to drive it to another city. And when you buy stuff there should be 2 separate inventory windows. One for you, and one for your carts. The three different animals should also cost different ammounts since they're of a different quality. Horses would be the most expensive since they're the strongest and fastest, mules would be second since they have some horse blood in them and donkeys would be the worst and cheapest animals. The better the animal the faster you could move your carts from city to city, and the more weight they can pull. What do you think?



    I also have an idea about the stuff you can craft. I got it from an online game that i can't remember that basically let you make anything. I think that as your skill in a certain profession increases you should be able to make more advanced goods. Like if you're a chef, at first you would only be able to make basic bread from the different grains (wheat, corn, rye, barley). But as your skill goes up, you could make more advanced stuff, like adding more ingredients to the bread like meat/veggies/herbs/cheese and so on. Or you could use the grains to brew beer. And then as you get even more advanced you can make more advanced stuff that requires many different ingredients, like pies, cakes, desserts, advanced dishes and so on. Or if you're a jewler, at first you could only make crude rings and bracelets/arm bands. But as your skill increases you can make segmented jewlery like necklaces, and add gems and precious stones to them, and make different patterns and decorations on them. Basically each profession should have a skill ladder, and as you go higher you can make more advanced products which require several different materials/ingredients.


    You would also need more raw materials/ingredients than the ones you listed. Here are my ideas:


    Grains: Wheat, corn, rye, barley (or you could simply merge all of these into one category called "grain" which would be used for everything that needs grain, like beer and bread, but if you want more realism make them separate)

    Veggies: Tomatoes, lettuce, onions, garlic, herbs

    Meat: Chicken, pork, beef, fish

    fruits: grapes, apples, oranges, berries (either as one category, or make different berries)

    Animal produce: milk, cream, eggs, wool

    Metals: Gold, silver, platinum, iron

    precious stones: emeralds, diamonds, rubies

    Misc. raw materials: wood (again, either as one category or different types of wood, each with different prices and quality), hides (both with and without fur to make either fur items or leather), coal (to make steel), clay and finally cotton


    I hope that list isn't too big, but i simply love details and variety. The more stuff, the better. I hope you like these suggestions. And keep up your excellent work Wolf!
     
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  21. Igor Novice

    Igor
    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2005
    Parrots:
    31
    Location:
    Rand of the lising sun.
    I just had another great idea. Instead of you making all the different products Wolf, why don't you just add all the raw materials and ingredients that i suggested, and then make all the products easily moddable by having all their data stored in text files! Just make it so that each product has a "requirements" field that lists all the ingredients/materials/skills needed to make the item, and a field where you specify what picture to use for it, and its price and so on. Then we can add all the products we want ourselves, and it would save you a ton of work. What do you think?
     
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  22. Wolf Mittag Liturgist

    Wolf Mittag
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    Parrots:
    331
    Location:
    Shanghai
    Killing/knocking unconscious:
    I'll add a switch to the options menu (combat: usually lethal / just unconsciousness/loss of inventory when defeated by humans / etc). As a default, I may set 'often lethal', where most humans would let you live and only most monsters and some particularly fierce human opponents would kill you.

    original, German, ancient MSDOS-version of DARGHUL:
    Indeed, I think I ought to take this version offline by now; sure, it was 320x200; but more important, it was quite primitive, and the text wasn't too well done, either. (Like most authors whose skills have improved over the years, I sometimes tend to feel a certain embarrassment regarding the rather raw creations I produced when I just started out.)

    other means of transport instead of just mules:
    Sure, once the basic system would be in place, over time I could expand it. At the beginning, however, I want to keep it simple until it works.
    I'm not much in favor of carriages, since these require decent roads, which don't exist in this game world. As far as I understand, it was historically fairly uncommon to transport any goods by this means over long distances. Instead, the favored mode of transportation was always via waterways.
    So what I'm thinking of firstly is the easiest thing to implement: Caravans consisting of a flexible number of pack mules. These could handle any kind of territory. Depending on your funds, you could add more and more mules, thus increasing your caravan's transport capacity.
    Later I might perhaps add boats; but these would be more difficult to program (keeping track of where's a boat-able river; setting up piers and harbors; dealing with player questions like 'If my trade goods can go via boat, why can't I?'); so I'd put this off for later, especially since I intend to make you able to actually use boats in later versions anyway.

    skill level dertermining what goods can be produced:
    Indeed, that's what I was thinking of. E.g., a rookie smith could produce nothing but axes or knifes; it'd take a smith of at least average experience to forge swords, and a professional to create chain mails. Same goes for your own creations, also in tailoring or smithing etc.

    raw materials:
    Grains: I'll just call all sorts 'grain'; and all different kinds of meat would just be 'meat', because, in my opinion, with low-priced items of this kind differenting further just isn't worth the effort (i.e. who cares if a beef steak costs .30 silver coins and a chicken breast only .27?).
    But vegetables and fruits are ideas I like as additional tradeable goods categories. I may add apples, grapes, spices, and a general 'vegetables' object as additional in-game objects (no tomatos though; these weren't known until America was discovered).
    Metals: Platinum is a fairly new concept. (The Spaniards who first discovered this (in Peru, I think), just threw it away, disappointed they hadn't found real silver.) Gemstones: I already implemented these (plus sapphires), both uncut and finished.
    Others: coal, wood, hides, clay - absolutely, these are fundamental; see my previous posting. (As far as I know, cotton wasn't known until there was trade with India; so I'd stick with wool.)
    In general, I think I should not overly complicate it, because I believe one can get about the same amount of fun out of trading a somewhat restricted number of categories (which would be easy to implement) as of trading an unlimited number (which would be hell to implement).

    flexible product lists:
    I'll have to think about this. I might indeed move data read from user-defined text files to the respective internal data tables (tile numbers, weight, price, volume, use, required raw materials, production time, and so on and so on), and I could leave a number of tiles free, where graphics defined by you could be loaded up to. Still, a significant deal of work.

    Thanks to all of you for your comments, encouragement, and suggestions! Please keep posting.
     
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  23. Igor Novice

    Igor
    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2005
    Parrots:
    31
    Location:
    Rand of the lising sun.
    If you add spices, could you add really expensive ones (in medieval terms) like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and so on, like the ones that came to Europe from the East and cost a fortune. I read somewhere that just a few pounds of eastern spices during the Roman and medieval era were worth the equivalent of millions of Euros by todays standards. That's pretty insane. And it'd also make a really interesting good to trade.
     
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  24. Ladonna Prophet

    Ladonna
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    Parrots:
    1,866
    Wolf,

    Just wondering if you have an estimate on when this game might be ready for buying? I noticed a news thread dated about two(!) years ago saying that it would be ready 'in a few months'.

    Not trying to rush you or anything, just wondering if you are still pressing on with the game and if you have a rough idea when it will actually be released.
     
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  25. Wolf Mittag Liturgist

    Wolf Mittag
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    Parrots:
    331
    Location:
    Shanghai
    *blush* Well, yes. After I had finished Teudogar, my original idea had been to simply recycle the old DARGHUL game by re-creating its two dozen game world locations and converting the original dialog file into Teudogar's system - leaving absolutely everything else unchanged.

    However, since it looked promising to me, I changed my plans, and decided to invest some real work in order to turn it into a GREAT game. So I added a continuous game world (thereby expanding the number of game world locations from 30 to >300), fundamentally rewrote and improved the engine (the C++ source code grew from 150,000 to a total of about 190,000 lines), added a great number of game features, lengthened the game plot, edited and rewrote much of the text, and so on. All of this took some time (especially since I'd only been working in part-time on this project).

    I'm aware I'm driving people crazy by keeping saying 'it's almost complete', but from my perspective, it is: The number of things still to be done is tiny in comparison to the incredible amount of work that's already behind me. (However, since the total amount of work to be done is so immense, even that means there's still a lot left to do.)

    Because of this project's inhumane size, I found it quite helpful for me to keep my eyes fixed on the next steps to be taken, without worrying about the total percentage of work still left: I would have freaked out if I had told myself every day, 'you gotta write 190,000 lines of C++ source code (2,500 feet of line printer paper; 9,000,000 bytes)', or 'you need to create a 12,000,000 fields game world' and 'you better place 3,200,000 objects into this game world'. By now I've done all of this; but I wouldn't have had the strength to do it if I'd kept looking at these numbers. (Sure, this approach messed up project and time management, and made my planned/guessed-release-date statements, well, not too reliable.)

    So when will it finally be complete? Well, without wanting to upset you: in a few months (but this time, I'm serious). There's still some programming left as well as some game world finishing, plus several hundred minor bugs and so on, and there are a lot of improvements discussed in this thread that I haven't implemented yet but would like to. Even if I leave out all these extras, I will probably not be able to finish everything before christmas anyway. So, although I'd love to release the damn thing tomorrow, realistically, it'll probably be not before early 2007.
     
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