The good news: Inaria got a mention in Jay Barnson’s roundup of upcoming indie RPGs! Welcome to everyone who is visiting this site because of his mention!

The bad news: It’s the worst-looking game there.

I don’t know what to do about how Inaria looks. The free sprites I found are nice and colorful, looking like 256-color VGA art. On the other hand…that amount of detail makes my own stuff look like ass. As if to emphasize the point, I followed a link from a commenter (DIntent) back to his blog (The Lame Brain) and found out about another blog called Tilting at Windmills.

(Before I go on, I just want to say thanks to DIntent for the kind things he said about me on his blog. He’s writing an old-school RPG too, called SPARK. Check it out.)

But Tilting at Windmills is a blog written by a guy who writes games for…the TI-99/4A. And his biggest project so far is an RPG. (If you don’t want to follow that link to find out what a TI-99/4A is, it’s a vintage computer about as powerful as the Apple II, made by Texas Instruments.)

Check the screenshots out on this page. If they don’t give you the warm fuzzies, then you either hate classic RPGs or you HAVE NO SOUL, and I’m betting the latter. He did all the graphics himself, and just like Daniel Remar, the self-imposed limitations made it possible for him to do them himself effectively.

Perhaps I should do the same? This would also allow me to add some limited animation on the characters (right now there is none because that’s not how the sprites were designed).

Sticking with graphics, I also recently resized the main screen up from 512×384 to 640×480. I did this because I wanted to expand the visible tiles in the world window from 9×9 to 11×11. I originally did this to support 11×11 “arena” maps where combats take place (just like in Ultimas III, IV and V).

But now that I’ve added that feature, I’m at the crossroads. Single or multi-character? My dungeons are now just underground maps filled with NPCs and items; there’s only one “puzzle” and that’s in how the dungeon is laid out.

I think what I need is more special tiles. Hidden doors, triggers, traps, teleporters…I need all these and more especially if I stick with a single-player game.

So I think that’s what I’ll work on next, along with the graphics. Don’t be surprised if the next version of Inaria looks radically different.