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April 18, 2005

New version. A few bug fixes, along with some features that have been requested. The dialogue box system should allow for some more complex interaction with the player's surroundings in upcoming versions. Please see my post in the forums if you'd like some say in what direction future development of the Tombs will take!

April 14, 2005 (update 2)

Couple small tweaks to the timing system for keyboard input; ideally, it should now be impossible to hold down a button and have it stop updating the screen until you release (or die). Also, due to popular request, I've implemented the bizarre VI-style controls for Roguelike purists with laptops.

April 14, 2005

The dodge bug made the game WAAAAAY too easy, given that creatures pretty much couldn't hit you, ever. Fixed now, along with a couple other bugs/typos and a new XP display.

April 13, 2005

I'm BACK! Nearly 2 years with no updates; I guess I owe my fans an explanation. Both of you.

Essentially, work on the Tombs was put on hold due to a massive bug in Flash which caused files with a lot of code to not save properly. And we're not talking just not saving the file or giving an error, we're talking saving some changes but not others, no error given. Given that I often will finish one aspect of the game, test it, and close it off in a single coding session, and then work on something new the next day, it took me several weeks to realize that my roughly 75% of my work was going down the drain. I had to scrap maybe 25+ hours of work, which was intensely disheartening, and without a way to safely save the main FLA file, work ground to a halt. Quite frankly, I had too much else going on (trying to graduate, for one) to risk losing that amount of work again for a pet project.

Meanwhile, there were a small number other people out there who were experiencing much the same thing. Unfortunately, however, projects written in Flash of sufficient size (in terms of pure code) to run afoul of this error were few and far between, and Macromedia did not acknowledge the bug for a ridiculous amount of time. Indeed, when the error first surfaced, the company had a "no patches" policy of sorts; if it was broken, you got to buy the next version in a year to fix it. Luckily for me (and for The Tombs), they reversed this stance and finally patched this problem about seven or eight months ago, so that I could resume development.

So, what's changed? Well, the new version of the game may LOOK similar, but that sucker's at least 50% brand-new code. Check the versions page for more info, but given the length of my unexpected hiatus (we're talking 57 unique versions between the old one and the current one!), that list is bound to be incomplete. It's actually looking like a simple dungeon-crawl Roguelike now, which is good to see after so much time.

The site has been updated pretty much across the board to reflect the changes in both my life (I'm no longer a student, for example) and the Tombs. I pulled out the mailing list, for a number of reasons (not the least of which being that I forgot how to post messages to the list). I've pulled out my e-mail address from any page that mentions it, linking instead to the contact page with a heavily spam-protected version. Let's hope that keeps my inbox from piling up 3k messages an hour like it started to a few months ago.

The biggest difference in the site, I guess, isn't in the site itself. Now that I've got a working, full-fledged version of the Tombs, I'll be trying to get the word out so that I can finally get some outside feedback. My friends and family have been very supportive of my little side project, and they all have my sincere thanks - look for specific names in the "credits" pane off the title page - but I think it's time to let this Internet cat out of the bag, so to speak. I hope to get enough people in the forums to make the ongoing development of the Tombs a community effort; if nothing else, a large pool of users will make catching bugs quicker. Plus, if there appears to be sufficient interest, I can build a template file for users to create and submit their own items/creatures/etc. for the Tombs; the engine is very open-ended in that regard.

Well, there ya go. I'm back, and hopefully things will go a bit more smoothly this time around. Newcomers - which is probably most of you - welcome to the side project that refused to die. Please swing by the forums and let me know what you think, and please let any people or sites that might find this sort of thing interesting know about theTombs.com. And most importantly: have fun!

July 13, 2003 - 9:20p

Typo fixes/layout changes to site. Addition of nifty mailing list above! New version: 0.9.140.

July 12, 2003 - 11:55p

Typo fixes. New version.

July 11, 2003 - 12:30p

Typo fixes.

July 10, 2003 - 11:50p

Well, the site is back up, finally. Another complete redesign, but while I was at it, I went ahead and wrote the FAQ, manual, etc. So there's some actual content here now; yee-hah! While I was at it, I installed and configured the bulletin board for the site, run by the excellent (and free) "Yet Another Bulletin Board" software. Post away, folks!

July 7, 2003 - 1:10a

New version. HUGE number of changes, as I've worked all weekend on it nonstop. A lot of fundamental changes to the way creatures work; I now have a lot more options for them moving, and they move a lot more intelligently. Plus, creature attitudes towards the player are now selectable (JEEZ I wish I'd made the player a subclass of CreatureObject, but too late now). I've thrown in a little doggy pal to demonstrate this change, but he doesn't follow you down levels. It generates one on every level, so no biggy, but his experience points aren't constant. That's right - creatures now have experience points, and if they kill stuff (each other, your companions, etc.) they get more powerful. Other stuff, too - check the version history for the full details. Soon to come: continuing work on my skill database. Plus, a few more tweaks to the enemy engine, before I lock that section of the code down.

July 4, 2003 - 8:30p

New version. Only big change is to the "game over" screen. Meanwhile, I've created a database to help me quickly incorporate new content into theTombs, and I'll be working on that for a few days; in other words, don't expect any new versions for a short while, but expect a crapload of new content when a new one DOES come about. I've also added a version history to show what changes I've made. Note that I may not upload all versions mentioned in that thing to the site; I only intend to test and upload a new copy every few builds, but I figure y'all might be interested in what's going on in the meantime. That file may be updated without getting a newspost or notification on the front page, since it's not even got a menu link yet.

July 3, 2003 - 5:40p

I've put up the newest version of the program. It's approaching playable, and even has *gasp* a WORKING spell! Meli/Meli/Meli for those that are interested. And for those for whom Meli/Meli/Meli is gibberish, I hope to have an early manual completed this weekend.

July 2, 2003 - 11:00p

theTombs.com goes live! The current version of the program is pretty crappy, and the site is sparse at best, but hey - it's up!

(all times pacific standard unless noted otherwise)
  2003 Martin Woodard