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First post, by T-Squared

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I've been working on this idea for quite a while. I have little-to-no experience in intricate programming (although I have started to understand C at a very basic level, have had basic experience with QBasic, but I do understand x86-based concepts.), but I DO have major experience in art.

I'm just one person, with a lot of ideas. I've been working on this for 15 years, and thankfully, a programmer by the name of Scott Smitelli has kindly reverse-engineered the code. (It happened to pop up one day, and it's a lot more primitive than I expected.)

I thought I'd make the story a bit deeper (and slightly darker. I DO mean slightly.), but it still works, and it's expanded beyond what I expected of it, and I think it's time for a change.

Here's my proposal.

I need artists, music composers, level designers, and people versed in C (or Turbo C). I also need people to bounce ideas off of. I have already written the story, designed some levels, organized some code, made some music, and have some concepts in place. This is completely volunteer work; there is no money involved at all. It will be 3 episodes, and the game, as a whole, will probably be the same scope as the famous Commander Keen mod "Atroxian Realm" was. The gameplay is not going to be rock-hard difficult, but it will be challenging, and hopefully there will be new ideas too. There will be assets crossing from one episode to the next, too, but not much. (Each episode will have nearly new elements and graphics.)

The basic story, to help get you interested:

It's been 3 years since Cosmo "rescued" his parents from the Forbidden Planet, he's now 8 Earth years old, and the experience sparked a newfound love for exploring. However, this is an itch that he can't scratch, because exploring the forests behind his home, and pretending on the school playground isn't enough. His parents notice this too. It isn't until Cosmo comes upon a Galactic TV advertisement for a medium-range spaceship, usually meant for teenagers (the alien equivalent of an ATV), that it really gets his mind going, and his parents agree that this is something he needs.

Sometime after he gets his spaceship, Cosmo has a school assignment to do: "Write about the space explorations of other worlds". Cosmo only really knows about Earth, and the people there were so nice to him when he went for his birthday! (They didn't know he was an alien.) So, Cosmo finds out about NASA, and prepares to travel here to Earth. Upon arrival, his ship is pulled down, and he is abducted by an evil scientist who is part of a Men-In-Black alien-study organization, that has a transformation machine that turns aliens into humans. Cosmo escapes, but now is stranded on Earth as a human, and he must find his spaceship.


Reply 1 of 4, by vstrakh

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T-Squared wrote on 2021-11-21, 00:19:

I need artists, music composers, level designers, and people versed in C (or Turbo C).

While I'd love to participate in such activity, this sentence instantly scares me off.
From my experience (somewhat limited to be honest) this is an indicator of wannabe-game designer, talking a lot but not really driving the process.
This might start pretty lively, but surely dies off in some months, I've witnessed quite a few such failures. The people like me (programmer) could spare some hours on weekends, maybe an hour in evenings now and then. We love algorithmic challenges, but quickly cool off if the results are not used, or when we have to design stuff we shouldn't. I mean like deciding how big you want a level, or how the elements of the gameplay interact . This turns into "writing the game for you" instead of "writing the game with you".
You have to be the active core, the driving force of the project. Continuously pushing it, and accepting the volatile nature of the voluntary helpers.

If the money is not involved, then maybe you could start designing your stuff openly, sharing the progress and materials, accepting proposals, maybe trying out code drafts from outsiders.

And feel free to ignore my thoughts entirely, since I've never directed other people, and can't really know the proper way.
One can say the lurking programmers like me can kill such projects, simply by making you feel optimistic, assuming responsibilities, and then vanishing without a trace 😀

Reply 2 of 4, by cyclone3d

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I would love to work on something like this but I don't have the time to take on something like this right now.

Do you want it to be a DOS program, or would it be ok if it only worked in Windows?

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Reply 3 of 4, by PennilessPaul

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3D Realms holds the copyright and it is not in the public domain AFAIK so you can't do that. At most you can make some kind of spiritual successor or parody as long as you don't rip off assets or use trademarked terms.

To echo what others have said, you're going to have to make this whole thing yourself. We can help steer you towards what tools you should use, what concepts in game programming, applied mathematics for computer graphics, music composition/theory and game design/UX you should learn and so on.

Reply 4 of 4, by Peter Swinkels

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First of all, sounds like an interesting project, I have tried that game years ago and vaguely remember it. 😀
I have a lot of experience with QBasic and could answer a few questions if you like and even do some testing. I also have some knowledge concerning C.

Althouh you probably right, some of these projects have succeeded. http://www.agdinteractive.com/ comes to mind.

He's talking about QBasic. DOS is my guess.

Although I doubt anyone would really care about such an old game, you are technically correct. Unless he asks and gets permission from whomever holds the rights to this game this is strictly speaking a copyright violation.

And at the risk of repitition: people can help but you are going to need to do most of the work yourself.

Good luck.

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Did you read it anyway? Well, you can find all sorts of stuff I made using various programming languages over here: