Project: Scruffy and the Sword game

2008 October 22

One Apple II project I’d like to pull off would be a very simple rpg game inspired by the skit ‘Scruffy and the Sword’ by my comedy group Come On, Scientists!.  In the skit, two rather odd adventurers  are in search of a Vorpal Sword (the bearded adventurer, Scruffy, is played by yours truly).  They begin they search at a collectibles shop/garage sale, end up traveling through time, and encounter a powerful foe, the Black Spirit of Self-Awareness.  Since the skit goofily deals with rpg goofiness, it seems only natural to base a goofy game on it.

For the game, I’d stick to the medieval setting – Scruffy and Sidekick can simply be “in character” as adventurers, having come to a little towne where they’ve heard tale of a Blacksmith who can make a perfect +2 Vorpal Sword.  In the game’s intro, they would witness the Blacksmith’s cursing the sword and throwing a mighty far distance – all the way, in fact, to a nearby orc-infested tower.  To retrieve the sword, they’ll have to travel to several different locales, bash various monsters, and collect gold to buy better weapons/armor til they’re finally strong enough to storm the tower.

I’m planning to program this in Applesoft BASIC, relying on the Beagle Brothers’ tremendous Beagle Graphics to create hi-res images, and their ProntoDOS routines to allow speedy loading (for the Apple II) of those images.  The Beagle Graphics program Double Plot has turned out delightful to use, especially in an emulator so I can draw with the mouse (though I do plan to get a mouse for the actual Apple IIs sometime).  Here is the first (and only so far) screen I’ve done, the ‘Presents’ screen that will precede the Title Screen:

Scruffy and Sword game Presents screen

Scruffy and Sword game Presents screen

Since I’m using BASIC, I think it’d be best to keep things simple.  They’re won’t be any animation or even single frame sprite-shapes moving about the screen — all graphics will be static screen images and all input will be menu-driven (Beagle Graphic also allows for easy programmatic printing of text to the Hi-Res screen from BASIC).  So for instance, in Town, the top half of the screen will show a picture of the various buildings Scruffy and Sidekick can enter, and on the bottom half will be a simple lettered menu reiterating those choices (Where should we go?  A. Marv Ellis’s Shoppe B. The Blacksmith C., etc), with one choice being Leave Town. When the player leaves town, a new image is loaded showing the nearby landscape and available place to go, and an appropriate menu.   Likewise, combat will be a similar affair, if a bit more complicated display wise: An image of the enemy on the upper left half of the screen, an image of Scruffy and Sidekick on the upper right half with stats displayed below each (that text would be dynamically added after the picture has loaded), and the bottom half would be used for hi-res text, alternating between menu of choices and displays of battle results.  That kind of display for combat would be similar to, but simpler than, the ones used in Wizardry, The Standing Stones, Wasteland and such. Here’s a Wasteland combat for example:

Wasteland Combat example

Wasteland Combat example

The Double.Scrunch utility provided with Beagle Graphics allows nice compression of hi-res images that must be stored on and loaded from a disk.  Using it, I’m hoping I can get around 40 hi-res images on a single disk (I’ll be making hi-res and not double hi-res images to save space).  The game would then consist of two disks.   The first disk would hold the BASIC program, the required Beagle Graphics loaders, and a few introductory images.  After the BASIC program loads, and intro graphics are viewed if the player wishes, the player is asked to insert disk 2 into the drive.  After that, all images needed are loaded from disk 2 as the game unfolds.

With that framework, I’m hoping I can make an amusing little game.  We shall see…

3 Comments leave one →
2009 March 3

[...] actually collected such a game framework previously, for my Scruffy and the Sword game idea — that first framework involved the combo of ProntoDOS for disk loading speed, Beagle [...]

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2009 August 3

very cool. I love this old style RPG.

Mike.

2009 August 6

These are awesome !

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