The problem is that I can either write an engine for a top-down, 2D, robust RPG with world, city and dungeon maps, NPCs, quests and quest objects, spells, fighting, and inventory in 40 hours…or I can actually take that engine and create all the content for an RPG using it in 40 hours. But I can’t do both. Here are my options:

1. Just do what I can in 40 hours, and then post it, just like I was supposed to do on my first try. I’d learn a lot, and I could probably work something up…but I probably won’t be satisfied with the results.

2. Use a prebuilt engine and just create our content for it. I don’t like this idea, for a couple reasons. One, most prebuilt engines are designed to make SNES-style Japanese RPGs. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s not what I’m making. And two, I won’t learn as much.

3. Create the engine, but create no content for it. I certainly would learn a lot but it wouldn’t be very satisfying to have nothing runnable to show at the end of the forty hours.

4. Give myself more time. This feels like cheating.

5. Use another game’s precreated content and just write a replacement engine for it. That’s darn tempting. If I were going to do this, I’d almost certainly use Ultima III’s content…a plus is that a decent PC remake of Ultima III was never made. Remake Ultima III in 40 hours…hmmm.