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KODP Flash (Spoilers included)

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  • jimr1199
    I finished another 6-8 weeks or so of playing KODP. I ve played it on and off for the last decade, and will likely put it away for a couple more years. This
    Message 1 of 18 , Sep 16, 2009
      I finished another 6-8 weeks or so of playing KODP. I've played it on and off for the last decade, and will likely put it away for a couple more years. This is sort of an sum-up of suggested improvements, in hopes that KODP doesn't disappear in another decade's time.

      It seems that it is unlikely that there will ever be a KODP II. The main barrier is the cost of content creation. Each image and new script cost money to generate, so a new setting seems unlikely. Coding that does not require creative additions can be relatively cheaper (cheap offshore or 3rd party if necessary).

      One hope would be to create an FLASH version of KODP I, and if that is a success, consider future versions. The computational overhead for KODP is quite low, and FLASH is it's own built in copy protection.

      The main barriers to KODP is that it has a large manual. A flash game should be more or less intuitive with no manual to speak of. But there are ways to get around this:
      - The Clan Ring can act as a instructional delivery system. Increase Clan comments on appropriate actions in the Easy game especially.
      - Complex elements can be simplified, without removing strategy.
      - There are a number of fiddly bits one can remove.

      Big Changes Required:
      --------------------
      Heroquest System:
      - The HQ system has always been one of the most problematic elements for me. It requires alot of note taking a trial and error, but once you got it "done" the strategy never changes much between games.

      - Having to take copious notes in a FLASH game is pretty much a no go.

      - I'd propose a no-note taking, but pro-strategy version:
      * During the HQ itself, have the god's rune appear next to the appropriate dialogue choice(s) if revealed via Myth mystery investigation. For some stations, this rune may appear before two (or none), and the player would need to try and guess which option fits the HQers skill set and his idea of appropriateness. The options will be narrowed down as one's mystery knowledge about that quest increases.

      * Only the first level of mystery can be found for each HQ through prayer. The second deep knowledge must be found via treasure (like "Uralda's Tome") that must be traded for or explored for. Each HQ should have multiple mystery levels.

      * Each HQ will have stations whose "best solution" according to mysteries change from game to game (In some games, the "correct" mysteries suggest that Orlanth tells the cube to become a sphere, and in others tells LM to try a law suit. Or that Issaries lets Storm Bull fight alone in some games, or that he uses his protective magic to help in other games, or the order he talks to Long-noses and big-teeth, etc..)

      Removing Fiddly Bits:
      -------------------
      - Remove weapon thane patrols slider (I almost always leave the ratio of inner-to-outer patrols the same. Have to micro manage after every exploration/mission. Little strategy implication since WT morale can be increased via gifts.)

      - Remove crop ratio selection sliders. Your plant expert will adjust crop ratios behind scenes. (I almost always keep the ratio of crops the same, except on bad crop notices. In which case I always have to try to remember to change back in dark season).

      - Make changing blessing at temples cost an action. (Changing blessings from martial to agricultural as the seasons change is fiddly. Also, it is the last "no-action" action, so now everything will cost an action. Also adds a bit of strategy in blessing choice).


      Unrelated Game play Improvements:
      ----------------------------------
      * Treasures should be evenly spread among tribes. (Currently one can visit one clan repeatedly and get all the treasures)
      * Announce new nobles, just as one announces the death from old age of new nobles. (No need to keep checking reorganize to see who is new).
      * New nobles don't appear after an old noble dies, but after a each X (a fixed number) children reach adulthood. Heroism and Children blessing can adjust X's value slightly. (Stop the silly temptations to feed useless nobles to cragspider or beastmen. Improves usefulness of Children blessing).
      * Change hunting ritual magic to Hunting & Exploration magic (Improves Odalya and makes spending on hunting more meaningful.)
      * More Uroxs. (Just because.. there are never around much in my games).

      Late Game Play improvements:
      ------------------------------
      * Successful raids against own tula should result in a Goods/Food loss proportional to stockpile size (Make early game a little easier, and negative feedback to late game stockpiles).
      * Having a huge stockpile increases number of raids (Ideally new events too, like Harrek-esque pirate/viking raids).
      * Huge stockpiles promotes thievery attempts (dependant on Weapon thane patrol numbers and morale), or embezzlement by carl/cotters (if clan leader leadership and/or farmer moral low).
      * If additional content is at all an option, more late game political content and challenges (Enemy Tribes, Pharoah, Tarsh, (in late years)Lunars, dragonewts, and others)
    • David Dunham
      Jim ... Interesting, though it may bother Gloranthaphiles. The magical logic is that quests are pretty much faithful recreations of a myth. While I don t think
      Message 2 of 18 , Sep 17, 2009
        Jim

        >* Each HQ will have stations whose "best solution" according to
        >mysteries change from game to game (In some games, the "correct"
        >mysteries suggest that Orlanth tells the cube to become a sphere,
        >and in others tells LM to try a law suit. Or that Issaries lets
        >Storm Bull fight alone in some games, or that he uses his protective
        >magic to help in other games, or the order he talks to Long-noses
        >and big-teeth, etc..)

        Interesting, though it may bother Gloranthaphiles. The magical logic
        is that quests are pretty much faithful recreations of a myth.

        While I don't think it makes sense to include the advisors during a
        quest, it might make sense to provide access to the myth you have
        learned.

        >Removing Fiddly Bits:

        Some interesting ideas here. Had you seen the previous discussion on this?

        But what I want to know is, where are the spoilers?
        --

        David Dunham A Sharp, LLC
        Voice/Fax: 206 783 7404 http://a-sharp.com
        Efficiency is intelligent laziness.
      • jimr1199
        I did read the other thread. Alot of the ideas there are sensible. My main thrust was how to make games of this type into casual/web games. I think KODP is
        Message 3 of 18 , Sep 18, 2009
          I did read the other thread. Alot of the ideas there are sensible. My main thrust was how to make games of this type into casual/web games. I think KODP is well suited to it, and there is a growing distribution system for Flash/web games nicely bypassing copy protection overhead too.

          Also I wanted to talk about what actual might be possible to progress KODP (or it's ilk), instead of looking at it retrospectively.

          What do you think the work effort would be to make a web-version of KODP? Design via subtraction should be more financial possible than adding content

          As to other comments:

          When I started playing KODP, I didn't know it's relationship to orthodox Glorantha. If you aim to make a more accessable game with a wider audience, most people won't either.

          The different myth ending shouldn't violate internal logic. Elmal doesn't need to become Barntar, but variations in how he defeats the chaos creatures between game to game (requiring some strategy on the player's part to devoting effort for finding the "true" myth or risking HQs where the true ending isn't 100% known) might give back some depth and replayablity when simplifying the text heavy memorization portions for a web version.

          I wouldn't suggest having advisors available for HQs. But they are a nice natural hook to feeding game play knowledge if a big manual is no longer an option.

          Regarding spoilers: Since I was highlighting some end-game strategies, that might be consider a spoiler.. rather risk being too conservative than too revealing in that regard.
        • David Dunham
          Jim ... It s still a lot of work. Assuming reuse of the art and interactive scenes, you re still looking at redoing everything Elise did over a 2 year period.
          Message 4 of 18 , Sep 20, 2009
            Jim

            >What do you think the work effort would be to make a web-version of
            >KODP? Design via subtraction should be more financial possible than
            >adding content

            It's still a lot of work. Assuming reuse of the art and interactive
            scenes, you're still looking at redoing everything Elise did over a 2
            year period. There are over 50 screens and dialogs. And besides the
            user interface, the programming interface would need to be redone
            (the part that connected mTropolis with the C++ game).

            OK, perhaps all 50+ aren't needed -- that's why figuring out what's
            not part of the core game experience is essential. For example, I
            remember the once-a-year picture of the clan tula was a LOT of work.
            And it's certainly one of the screens that says "I am a game." But
            does it add anything to play?

            >I wouldn't suggest having advisors available for HQs. But they are
            >a nice natural hook to feeding game play knowledge if a big manual
            >is no longer an option.

            I'm not convinced of that -- nothing says you couldn't have an
            external link to a PDF (or web site) with the manual.
            --

            David Dunham A Sharp, LLC
            Voice/Fax: 206 783 7404 http://a-sharp.com
            Efficiency is intelligent laziness.
          • John Machin
            ... Insetting the game window into a frame with a panel to display the manual might be useful too. The resolution of the game doesn t need to be high (it d
            Message 5 of 18 , Sep 20, 2009
              2009/9/21 David Dunham <david@...>:
              > I'm not convinced of that -- nothing says you couldn't have an
              > external link to a PDF (or web site) with the manual.

              Insetting the "game window" into a frame with a panel to display the
              manual might be useful too. The resolution of the game doesn't need to
              be high (it'd probably make the lovely paintings look a bit odd if it
              was too large!) and that screen real estate could be used to provide
              "note paper" panes (I make a lot of notes when I was playing!) and a
              pane with a searchable manual (ala MS Help Files).

              Just a thought!

              --
              John Machin
              "Nothing is more beautiful than to know the All."
              - Athanasius Kircher, 'The Great Art of Knowledge'.
            • outis02
              Interface design tools have progressed a long way in this past 10 years. I have a hard time believing that remaking, and improving, the KoDP in a modern
              Message 6 of 18 , Sep 21, 2009
                Interface design tools have progressed a long way in this past 10 years. I have a hard time believing that remaking, and improving, the KoDP in a modern framework would be such a difficult undertaking.
              • Bryan Thexton
                That idea for notes is awesome....in one early game I would occasionally exit the game and then use a text editor to add notes to the log of things that
                Message 7 of 18 , Sep 21, 2009
                  That idea for notes is awesome....in one early game I would occasionally exit the game and then use a text editor to add notes to the log of things that happened, but that was a hassle.  This particularly is an issue with pop up notifications that don't get logged and mentions of other clan chiefs.  So either an ability to add notes to the clan history, or else a seperate note pad, would be very useful.  Especially given that the game is long enough that people will often be playing at fairly widely spaced intervals, so it is easy to forget details of what has happened.

                  And just by-the-by, I actually hit a couple of minor things I'd not seen before.  In a year end pop up I got informed that our weaponthanes were feeling down because our war leader had accidentally wounded one of them in practice (or maybe killed?).  I'm pretty sure I'd never actually seen that one before.  Also for the very first time I got the "one of the first clans to settle the area" clan to join our tribe.....I'm never willing to promise the war against the beast people, and in the past they'd never join without it.  This time, for whatever reason, they actually joined.  I'm eager to see what troubles they may bring us :)

                  --Bryan

                  ---was too large!) and that screen real estate could be used to provide

                  "note paper" panes (I make a lot of notes when I was playing!) and a

                  pane with a searchable manual (ala MS Help Files).



                  Just a thought!



                  --

                  John Machin

                  "Nothing is more beautiful than to know the All."

                  - Athanasius Kircher, 'The Great Art of Knowledge'.



























                  __________________________________________________________________
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                • jimr1199
                  ... I liked that picture.. I think it added to the flavor of the game. The feel of KODP was an important part of it. Better to remove filler and complexity
                  Message 8 of 18 , Sep 21, 2009
                    >
                    > OK, perhaps all 50+ aren't needed -- that's why figuring out what's
                    > not part of the core game experience is essential. For example, I
                    > remember the once-a-year picture of the clan tula was a LOT of work.
                    > And it's certainly one of the screens that says "I am a game." But
                    > does it add anything to play?
                    >

                    I liked that picture.. I think it added to the flavor of the game. The "feel" of KODP was an important part of it. Better to remove filler and complexity without consequence than polish and chrome.
                  • Michael Jason Teegarden
                    The once-a-year picture of the tula adds a sense of progress to the game. The player can see the tula start off sparsely settled and built-up. Then, as the
                    Message 9 of 18 , Sep 21, 2009
                      The "once-a-year picture" of the tula adds a sense of progress to the game. The player can see the tula start off sparsely settled and built-up. Then, as the game goes on, the tula becomes more "civilized." To me, this part of the game is a necessary reminder or refresher that helps to keep the game on-track.

                      Michael




                      ----- Original Message ----
                      From: jimr1199 <jimr1199@...>
                      To: KingOfDragonPass@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 11:05:56 AM
                      Subject: [KoDP] Re: KODP Flash (Spoilers included)


                      >
                      > OK, perhaps all 50+ aren't needed -- that's why figuring out what's
                      > not part of the core game experience is essential. For example, I
                      > remember the once-a-year picture of the clan tula was a LOT of work.
                      > And it's certainly one of the screens that says "I am a game." But
                      > does it add anything to play?
                      >

                      I liked that picture.. I think it added to the flavor of the game. The "feel" of KODP was an important part of it. Better to remove filler and complexity without consequence than polish and chrome.




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                    • James Sterrett
                      In the feature-request mode (Bad James! Bad! :) ) I d like to be able to see the screen at any time -- the picture of the tula gets the overall state of the
                      Message 10 of 18 , Sep 21, 2009
                        In the feature-request mode (Bad James! Bad! :) )

                        I'd like to be able to see the screen at any time -- the picture of
                        the tula gets the overall state of the clan through to me faster than
                        the numbers.

                        On Mon, Sep 21, 2009 at 11:40 AM, Michael Jason Teegarden
                        <mjteegarden@...> wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > The "once-a-year picture" of the tula adds a sense of progress to the game. The player can see the tula start off sparsely settled and built-up. Then, as the game goes on, the tula becomes more "civilized." To me, this part of the game is a necessary reminder or refresher that helps to keep the game on-track.
                        >
                        > Michael
                        >
                        > ----- Original Message ----
                        > From: jimr1199 <jimr1199@...>
                        > To: KingOfDragonPass@yahoogroups.com
                        > Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 11:05:56 AM
                        > Subject: [KoDP] Re: KODP Flash (Spoilers included)
                        >
                        > >
                        > > OK, perhaps all 50+ aren't needed -- that's why figuring out what's
                        > > not part of the core game experience is essential. For example, I
                        > > remember the once-a-year picture of the clan tula was a LOT of work.
                        > > And it's certainly one of the screens that says "I am a game." But
                        > > does it add anything to play?
                        > >
                        >
                        > I liked that picture.. I think it added to the flavor of the game. The "feel" of KODP was an important part of it. Better to remove filler and complexity without consequence than polish and chrome.
                        >
                        > ------------------------------------
                        >
                        > Community e-mail addresses:
                        > Post message: KingOfDragonPass@onelist.com
                        > Subscribe: KingOfDragonPass-subscribe@onelist.com
                        > Unsubscribe: KingOfDragonPass-unsubscribe@onelist.com
                        > List/archive URL:
                        > http://www.onelist.com/community/KingOfDragonPassYahoo! Groups Links
                        >
                        >


                        --
                        James Sterrett
                        james.sterrett@...
                      • Michael Akinde
                        ... I agree with respect to the interface. I think the main challenge of a remake would be the task of remaking the interpreter for the massive body of Opal
                        Message 11 of 18 , Sep 21, 2009
                          outis02 skrev:
                          > Interface design tools have progressed a long way in this past 10 years. I have a hard time believing that remaking, and improving, the KoDP in a modern framework would be such a difficult undertaking
                          I agree with respect to the interface. I think the main challenge of a
                          remake would be the task of remaking the interpreter for the massive
                          body of Opal scripts that make up this game. Unless one could actually
                          port the code used to interpret the script, somehow.


                          In my opinion, what sets King of Dragon Pass apart from other games is
                          the part that is highlighted in its adverts: how many good stories have
                          you played recently? KODP succeeds in that very difficult job of melding
                          together a strategy game and an adventure game into a greater whole. It
                          succeeds in creating an immersive experience, where many other games fail.

                          I agree with the suggestion that the Heroquests are the main weakness in
                          the game; though not just because of the note-taking, but just as much
                          (IMO), because the difference between success and failure is so stark,
                          and the player get very little information to explain what went wrong.
                          Getting one's best leader killed even when one apparently did everything
                          right in the quest doesn't make for fun gameplay. There are a few other
                          points in the game where player's are left grasping for straws in terms
                          of determining what went wrong, but the HQs are by far the worst. IMO,
                          instant-kill situations really only serve to get players irritated
                          and/or result in lots of save-reloads.

                          I pretty much agree with Jim? on the fiddly bits. And I think the
                          problem about the development of new nobles has already been mentioned a
                          couple of times (I recall in my most recent playthrough as an Elmal clan
                          having 2 nobles who favored my tribal deity. Both were pretty old, and
                          once they died, I didn't see another Elmal devotee for the rest of the
                          game).


                          From a technical perspective, the part about recreating a game like
                          KODP that I would find daunting is really the scripting interpreter.
                          Looking at the Opal scripts, it seems like this is some pretty powerful
                          code, that would need to juggle a lot of factors. If that can be
                          handled, I don't see what one would want or need to change. I mean - the
                          art and the scripts are already there and written - why cut those out?
                          Building the interface shouldn't be that hard - it is after all entirely
                          static. GUI builders have come a long way in the past 10 years. And sure
                          - a few elements of the gameplay could perhaps be cut down or
                          simplified, but I'd think the only reason to do so would be to improve
                          the gameplay experience, rather than for the complexity of building the
                          game.

                          But that's just my 2 cents, based on what I've experienced with the game.

                          Regards,

                          Michael A.
                        • Scott Kullberg
                          ... To do my own blueskying about alternate platforms, I d love to be able to play KODP- the full game- on an iPhone/iTouch. From my pit of ignorance I don t
                          Message 12 of 18 , Sep 21, 2009
                            On Mon, Sep 21, 2009 at 4:30 PM, Michael Akinde <michael.yahoo@...>wrote:

                            > outis02 skrev:
                            > > Interface design tools have progressed a long way in this past 10 years.
                            > I have a hard time believing that remaking, and improving, the KoDP in a
                            > modern framework would be such a difficult undertaking
                            > I agree with respect to the interface. I think the main challenge of a
                            > remake would be the task of remaking the interpreter for the massive
                            > body of Opal scripts that make up this game. Unless one could actually
                            > port the code used to interpret the script, somehow.
                            >


                            To do my own blueskying about alternate platforms, I'd love to be able to
                            play KODP- the full game- on an iPhone/iTouch. From my pit of ignorance I
                            don't see any flat-out impossiblities, but the impracticalities are:

                            * Size: 450Mb is pretty big for an app, at least one bought over the net. I
                            presume you could save some space by using smaller images but maybe not
                            enough. It seems like a standard coding strategy is to keep a lot of data
                            compressed right up until it's used and that could trade space for execution
                            time.

                            * No idea how difficult it would be to port the Mac code to the iPhone since
                            I've never developed on either platform. My presumption is 'decidedly
                            nontrivial but not impossible'

                            * Interface would need at least some tweaks because a lot of the controls
                            are pretty small and fiddly to do with a finger. Some things could be moved
                            around or done in various zooms or multi-page views, but now you're
                            modifying engine code and sending the development cost up sharply.

                            * Is the underlying CPU powerful enough? I imagine it is; if standard
                            machines ten years ago could run KODP a modern handheld should be able to.

                            * The killer: can A# sell enough of these for five or ten bucks to pay for
                            the above? The people on this list might pay more, but I think to hook
                            impulse buys it needs to be inexpensive, expecially if it doesn't have a
                            demo (costing more $ to make.) People could go check out the tour but that
                            means you've lost the impulse buyer.



                            --
                            Scott E Kullberg --><-- sekullbe@...
                            The longer I live, the more I see that I am never wrong about
                            anything, and that all the pains I have so humbly taken to verify my
                            notions have only wasted my time. -- George Bernard Shaw


                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • outis02
                            ... I could be completely off on this, but I believe that the 450mb size comes mostly from the bitmap image and uncompressed text. If compressed, the size
                            Message 13 of 18 , Sep 21, 2009
                              --- In KingOfDragonPass@yahoogroups.com, Scott Kullberg <sekullbe@...> wrote:
                              > * Size: 450Mb is pretty big for an app, at least one bought over the net. I
                              > presume you could save some space by using smaller images but maybe not
                              > enough. It seems like a standard coding strategy is to keep a lot of data
                              > compressed right up until it's used and that could trade space for execution
                              > time.

                              I could be completely off on this, but I believe that the 450mb size comes mostly from the bitmap image and uncompressed text. If compressed, the size could probably be drastically reduced to the point that you can, as the OP suggested, play it as a web-based game with images and text loaded on-the-fly.
                            • trevor.ellis@btinternet.com
                              Why not make it a subscription based web application. The turn based system is ideally suited for a web connection, and it would be easy to ensure that any
                              Message 14 of 18 , Sep 21, 2009
                                Why not make it a subscription based web application.

                                The turn based system is ideally suited for a web connection, and it would be easy to ensure that any authorised user had only a single session open at a time.
                              • David Dunham
                                Scott ... Assuming all artwork could be simply scaled to 480x320 (from 640x480), you d save about 25% moving to iPhone. But remember KoDP was designed for CD
                                Message 15 of 18 , Sep 22, 2009
                                  Scott

                                  >* Size: 450Mb is pretty big for an app, at least one bought over the net. I
                                  >presume you could save some space by using smaller images but maybe not
                                  >enough. It seems like a standard coding strategy is to keep a lot of data
                                  >compressed right up until it's used and that could trade space for execution
                                  >time.

                                  Assuming all artwork could be simply scaled to 480x320 (from
                                  640x480), you'd save about 25% moving to iPhone.

                                  But remember KoDP was designed for CD distribution -- that's what
                                  there was 10 years ago. We intentionally didn't compress, because we
                                  didn't need to. I suspect that most of the full screen art could be
                                  compressed pretty heavily as JPEG without much quality loss.

                                  >* No idea how difficult it would be to port the Mac code to the iPhone since
                                  >I've never developed on either platform. My presumption is 'decidedly
                                  >nontrivial but not impossible'

                                  The platform-specific code all came from mTropolis, so it would have
                                  to be completely redone for either Flash, iPhone, or for that matter
                                  Mac OS X or Windows 7. Completely.

                                  And I don't really know that development systems today are easier to
                                  use for this sort of thing than mTropolis was. I'm still sore at
                                  Quark for killing it.

                                  >* Is the underlying CPU powerful enough? I imagine it is; if standard
                                  >machines ten years ago could run KODP a modern handheld should be able to.

                                  I'm guessing that the CPU/GPU on any iPhone would be fine.
                                  --

                                  David Dunham A Sharp, LLC
                                  Voice/Fax: 206 783 7404 http://a-sharp.com
                                  Efficiency is intelligent laziness.
                                • David Dunham
                                  Jim ... But to some extent, that s looking at things backwards. There is no game. KoDP for iPhone/Flash/Mac OS X does not exist (and none of the old UI code
                                  Message 16 of 18 , Sep 22, 2009
                                    Jim

                                    >I liked that picture.. I think it added to the flavor of the game.
                                    >The "feel" of KODP was an important part of it. Better to remove
                                    >filler and complexity without consequence than polish and chrome.

                                    But to some extent, that's looking at things backwards.

                                    There is no game. KoDP for iPhone/Flash/Mac OS X does not exist (and
                                    none of the old UI code can be used). What if you wanted to make it,
                                    but only had (say) 6 months? You're not subtracting from the CD game,
                                    you're adding from zero. I recall the tula screen took a long time to
                                    get right. Is it in your new game? If so, what isn't?

                                    I've always had the pipe dream that KoDP could be nothing but the
                                    stories, though I suspect that can't work. The strategy game really
                                    does tie them together and give them meaning.
                                    --

                                    David Dunham A Sharp, LLC
                                    Voice/Fax: 206 783 7404 http://a-sharp.com
                                    Efficiency is intelligent laziness.
                                  • donmoody@pro-ns.net
                                    Hi All, I just want to be able to run KoDP (as it is) on my hand-held. DonMoody
                                    Message 17 of 18 , Sep 22, 2009
                                      Hi All,

                                      I just want to be able to run KoDP (as it is) on my hand-held.

                                      DonMoody
                                    • Charles
                                      ... There is always another way... If changing the existing game is not an option, it may be possible to redeploy it in a way that gives it new possibilities.
                                      Message 18 of 18 , Dec 5, 2009
                                        David Dunham wrote:
                                        > There is no game. KoDP for iPhone/Flash/Mac OS X does not exist (and
                                        > none of the old UI code can be used). What if you wanted to make it,
                                        > but only had (say) 6 months? You're not subtracting from the CD game,
                                        > you're adding from zero. I recall the tula screen took a long time to
                                        > get right. Is it in your new game? If so, what isn't?

                                        There is always another way...

                                        If changing the existing game is not an option, it may be possible to redeploy it in a way that gives it new possibilities. Warning: handwavy tech talk follows:

                                        Consider the following:
                                        1. The KoDP executable, mounted in a custom VM, say running the windows version in Wine on top of a particular xen linux vm setup;
                                        2. An event model, consisting of inputs that model mouse clicks on KoDP's picture of the window, and outputs, which consists of relaying updates to the screen, and saying what music is playing;

                                        This already would provide a basis for, say, a web-based front-end to the game, which might allow A# to host an inexpensive, subscription-based KoDP league gaming service, which with a little luck might allow David to inch perhaps a little nearer to commercial sanity for the KoDP misadventure ;->

                                        And with:
                                        3. A save-game object model; and
                                        4. An event model semantics, which might figure out what is happening in the game based on changes to save-game state and what picture file the KoDP process last accessed,

                                        ... we can add new features to the old: adding events to heroquests, allowing the events of one KoDP session to influence what is going on in another, tweaking the game model of KoDP.

                                        This should not require dissassembly of the KoDP image, etc, only system-level hackery. Trivial: far from it. But much, much less work than proposals that presuppose a reimplementation of what David & his team have already done.

                                        And to dream: if A#'s KoDP gaming network became the offbeat-FRPG's answer to WoW, well, then maybe serious development of KoDP2 could be funded...

                                        > I've always had the pipe dream that KoDP could be nothing but the
                                        > stories, though I suspect that can't work. The strategy game really
                                        > does tie them together and give them meaning.

                                        Yesss... I've wondered about the possibility of writing interactive fiction, something in the Zork/Sorceror vein, but with some sort of clan dynamics. It might be possible to get closer to "nothing but stories" in this format: some interactive fiction does have this quality.

                                        Charles Stewart
                                        Berlin
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