Best oldschool RPG ever: Exile III

4 03 2009

Exile III was one of the most amazing, nostalgic games which I still play. It’s based on old D&D character creation, but with some unique differences in skills, etc. The point is that you level up your party while you are exploring the surface world. You’ve been banished to the underground “pit” civilization called “Exile”.

You are an adventurer party which explores the surface, reporting back to your Exile coordinator about the things you find up there.

Things get complicated as the story progresses, but it’s very heavily open-ended in the game play style. You literally go where your little heart leads you, finding out more and more about the surface in a very non-linear way. There are tons of “side” plots that you can discover.¬† As time progresses, cities and towns literally become overrun and sometimes destroyed by the forces at work in the world, keeping you interested in the world you’ve become a part of.

The game came as a trial, which impedes you from travelling further north than an predefined invisible line. I won’t promote pirating a serial key or an EXE patcher, but let it be known that I have seen one of the latter once upon a time, and the game was remade as Avernum (which I didn’t like nearly as much, for several reasons) and so Exile III has been cast aside.

The game comes with a save-game editor, which is pretty sweet. Most of the good stuff is enabled only after registering, but you still get several freebies like “heal hp/mp”, or “make towns forget you” (for those times where you decided to lead an assault on those innocent citizens of the town, thereby invoking the never-dying wrath of the town’s guards). Of course, no game is fun if you cheat your way through it, but at the same time, no game is fun if it is mercilessly hard with no hope for success if you’re ever in a weird jam.

Some notes about the playing the game:

  1. The installer you download from the Spidersoft page is actually more like a self-extracting exe. So, when you run it, it will expand the *real* installer into the same directory, so make a temp folder first and place the “exile3v10.exe” file into it before running it. After extracting run the “INSTALL.EXE” program to begin.
  2. The installer is a bit archaic, and defaults to the C drive, no matter what your main drive is.
  3. The installer can’t install to a directory with spaces or hyphens in its name. It’s no problem though, if you install it someplace easy first, and then just move the installed folder to the spot where you want it (including paths with spaces).
  4. All of the graphics are just bitmaps in the local game directory, so you can edit them to be whatever you want! ūüėÄ This makes for some fun edits, like making one of the characters a giant Yoshi, or something. My personal idea for a character set will be posted soon for anybody to download ūüėČ
  5. Vista and Windows 7 sort of molest the game, so I just set it to run in compatibility mode for Win95, and everything got better.

I guess that’s all for now ūüôā


Warcraft 3 1.22 full patch

31 01 2009

I had to reinstall most programs on my system last week, including my loverly games. Warcraft III was among those games, and I knew I had to get the 1.22 patch. 1.21b was the most up-to-date patch for a long time, but Blizzard released 1.22 not that long ago.

Problem was, everybody and their dog only hosts the *upgrade* patch, which requires that you’ve already got 1.21b. Now tell me why I would go download 2 separate patches to get to the latest version? I’d rather have the cumulative one.

So here it is, provided from the Blizzard Support site:

1.22 for Reign of Chaos (for those who have not installed The Frozen Throne)

1.22 for The Frozen Throne (for those have both RoC and TFT installed)

If you really are looking for only the 1.21a -> 1.22 patches, just click on that “Blizzard Support site” link, just above.

Finite Dreams 0.1.23

5 08 2008

I’ve recently taken on some 3d programming with a set of libraries called “panda3d“. ¬†They’re quite nice, and I’ve been impressed with it all so far. ¬†The main interfacing language is Python, although many of the libraries themselves are written in C++, for speed’s sake.

Ever since (about) highschool, I had this vision of creating my own RPG. ¬†Originally, my naive idea was to make a sequel to the beloved SNES game Chrono Trigger, but then it hit me one that day that…

A) I’d be an idiot for trying to make a “sequel” to a copyrighted video game produced by a largely successful company based out of Japan

B) I felt silly for trying to be “new” and “on the edge of discovery” while only (at best) attempting to extend the ideas of a genius other than I.

C) You don’t just “make a sequel” to your favorite video game. ¬†That’s childish.

While all of the above sound pretty similar in nature, all three hit me differently, and I ultimately decided to completely redo the “story” that I had invented. ¬†I had been drawing characters for use in the game for a long time, yet I still decided that even those needed a make over.

And over the next 3 years, the idea for Finite Dreams (FD) had been in the making. ¬†(The name is kind of tentative, since I came up with it a while back, and I don’t think that I like it much anymore.) ¬†Games from all over the spectrum (a few of the more relevant examples: Kingdom Hearts, Dark Cloud 2, and Final Fantasy XII) had developed ideas at the same time as myself, and I constantly found myself playing a brand new game that had come up with my ideas before I had. ¬†*grr*

But now, I’m creating “my” game. ¬†I’m not recreating someone else’s ideas, or implamenting them differently, or even doing them “better” than in some other game. ¬†I’m making my own ideas, and it’s coming along nicely… ¬†Unfortunately for me, I had to begin learning Python, but now I love it. ¬†It makes me *hate* Java all the more. ¬†*shudder* ¬†ooooOoooOOOo, Java, how I loathe you. ¬†But the guys at work hear me rant enough about Java, so I shan’t do it here.

I’ll be sure to post some actual content eventually. ¬†For now, I’m getting the engine up and running. ¬†While I’m a one-man team, I do hope to make some good progress, even if it takes me ages. ¬†I’m an artist, muscian, programmer, modeler, and storywriter, all wrapped up into one. ¬†I love every single one of those elements. ¬†I can’t wait to hit every milestone along the way.