I’m a general, not some opera floozy!

Behold the new website! It’s just like the old one, except there’s a lot less clutter. I’m sorry that it’s been so quiet around here recently.

My new day job requires me to produce risk reports for stock traders, and it means a lot of spreadsheet work. I’ve gotten very familar with Microsoft Excel over the last few months, so naturally, I got curious as to if it was possible to make a game in Excel.

Turns out it is!

Utterly Pointless

I’ve called it “Utterly Pointless”, because that’s what it is. If you’ve played any of my old games, it might be familiar to you. Pointless, but it was kinda fun putting it together. It’s not an elaborate project – actually, it’s the result of about a month of three-minute-improvements at a time. (It’s not easy to code a game at work…)

You’ll need Excel to run it, and you’ll have to enable macros to get it to do anything (this may or may not require you to go to “Tools”, “Options”, “Security” and change the macro secruity settings to Medium or Low. The menu may not be available unless you’ve got a worksheet of some kind open, a new blank one will do.)

The only reason I mention this at all is because it’s all I have to talk about, really. I haven’t done any other coding in the past couple of months. Still, there have been a few minor additions with my RPG engine, and I started keeping a build diary too. They’re hardly worth mentioning, but that’s never stopped me before – so here they are!

Build 1-14: (Early builds. No concrete information kept.)

Build 15: (consists of minor additions I made with the spare minutes in the run up to my finals)

* (13th March) Z-ordering. NPCs are now sorted first by whether they appear on the given screen segment, and then by y position on the map.
* (24th March) Made a start at Battle Menu Scripting. At the moment, it works but it’s internal to the engine.
* (27th March) Fixed a bug that caused characters of the same speed to fall out of sync.
* (27th March) New Battle Menu type – SKILL_LIST. Like a normal list, only it displays a header and remaining skill points too.
* (23rd April) Fixed a bug that caused textboxes to be incorrectly destroyed when using the SKILL_LIST type.
* (23rd April) Added simple differentiation of selected menu item and intended action. An extra list type allows optional appending of hero name to differentiate between actions, and a second list of the menu options is kept to simplify action names (and solve the problem of spacing).
* (23rd April) Expanded funcionality of actions – each link now has an associated “cost”.

Build 16: (Same as build 15, after the name change.)

* (28th April) Name reverted to “Project Distraction”.
* (28th April) Changed control system to the more modern A S Z X system.
* (28th April) You can now specify a width for textboxes. Skill lists are automatically long enough for skills with long names.

Two Columned Menu

* (28th April) Textboxes can now optionally have an extra column, to display associated information (like MP usage, number of items left, etc)
* (29th April) I’ve made a start on battle scripting itself. Currently, it supports killing the script, and linking to another script.
* (1st May) Fixed minor bug with targetting, turned off camera movement during battle.

Build 17: (It’s been so long since I’ve programmed, that I’m starting the new build to differentiate it from the old one.)

* (15th October) I’m sick to death of my old placeholders, so I’m now using FFIV tiles as test tiles.

Full Battle Screen

I’m still getting my bearings. It’s been months since I did any serious coding, and I don’t remember how the engine works or anything like that. I’m not even really sure that I want to carry on with my old projects.

But I do have something in mind. NaNoWriMo. I’ll update with more info tomorrow.

[first person to identify the quote in the title wins a kudos!]


3 Comments so far

  1. Dan on October 28th, 2006

    Yay, I did Nanowrimo last year and I intend to do it this year again. Nice to see your back and posting 😀

  2. Terry on November 3rd, 2006

    Thanks, I hope to get a lot more active about all this over the next few weeks!

  3. farazinc on July 27th, 2017

    final fantasy vi? lol

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