I came across a piece of software a few months ago called OTVDM which lets you run 16-bit executables (Windows 3.1 days) in Windows 10 natively. Fantastic! Castle of the Winds was the first game I tried and it worked great. I didn’t play it much then, but knowing it was there was awesome. I did play through a game of SkiFree, and yes, I did get eaten by the monster. Those games were so much fun, it’s nice reliving some of those old glories. Jezz Ball is next I think.

Anyway, with all the shit going on I just kind of wanted to do something and not have to think about it. I’d been playing Minecraft on hardcore mode in an ocean world, but that really requires you to be on your game. Not only is there little to no land, there are no supplies and everything wants to kill you. After the last death I had, I decided to hang that shit up for a while. I was really pissed because I had found a shipwreck completely above ground (very rare) and had a little establishment going with 20-30 plots of wheat, more than enough to sustain me when it gets going. Then my daughter wanted to sit on my lap while I was playing and I ended up getting distracted and dying. Piss.

So I started playing through Castle of the Winds again, and everything I remember about that game came flooding back. Such a simple concept yet so well executed. You can’t just go running through shit because it’s all turn based and you are liable to run into a monster. When fighting things, you have to hit, then check your HP, then hit, then check your HP. It is really easy for a monster to get a big hit in on you two times in a row if you are not careful about it. I’m mostly throught the second game and am slightly remorseful. The shops in the game tend to regenerate items when you are gone for a while, and when I first came to town I saw literally the most expensive (read: BEST) weapon I’ve ever seen; a morning star that was valued at something like $120k. Of course I didn’t have enough money at the time, and now that I do I’ve not seen it again. Piss.

This brings back all the desires I’ve ever had to remake, or make a new, version of this game. I know enough about Windows Forms and C# to get the job done, I just always run into this mental hurdles that stop me. Same thing with the writing of a book or books, I just get to a certain point and can’t get past it. I wrote a few weeks ago about trying to learn shit in smaller chunks, and I think that could be well applicable in this scenario. I was poking around and came across the Godot open source game engine again, and saw a video where the guy was talking about a tutorial series where you don’t try and make a full game, you make these little bite-size mini games to learn concepts and stuff. That way you are learning while also creating a finished product that you can play. Seems like a great idea.

Unfortunately, even though this video was not new, the kickstarter for this project had just finished and they had no work product to speak of. That really hit me because I was seriously fucking fired up about this. I’ve tried tons and tons of tutorials and learning series and shit, and none have ever taken this approach so it was exciting. They have an expected content release date of 2022, but if you know kickstarter you know that it is more likely that the 2022 number is supposed to be 2202. This kind of brings up something else I always wanted to do, and that is create a tutorial series where you build something. My intiial idea was to build a complete blog system in PHP/HTML/JS/MySQL, but thinking more on that it could be fun to do it all in pieces the way that I do that kind of stuff for myself.

The first video would be going through and installing something like XMPP locally so you can test PHP and MySQL without having to provision a server or even a VM. Maybe actually doing a small Linux VM in VirtualBox or something would be more beneficial, because that shit would directly translate to publishing this yourself (assuming you don’t want/can’t use cPanel). Maybe the second would be finding/downloading an HTML5/Bootstrap “boiler plate template” and getting that to where you can view it. And it would go from there in maybe 5-10 minute videos where you can easily digest what is happening, and go back and watch again if needed. I dunno, it kind of sounds interesting to me.

Getting back to remaking/creating a new version of Castle of the Winds, I think that it could be done in a digestable manner as well. My thought is that the first part would be to make a very simple map editor. A windows form that is gridded out, and you can click on a grid to change what the tile is. First click is wall, second click is path, third is water, whatever. No need to mess around with dragging and dropping stuff really, keep it simple. That is literally always my problem is that I try and go too deep into this shit and end up getting lost in my own head, circling around for hours and hours trying to do one stupid thing that I really don’t even need to do, and end up getting discouraged.

As a case in point, I’ve spent about 3 hours or so trying to get GitLab installed on a VPS. Why? I don’t know, it sounded fun? I opened Visual Studio and created a new project, initialized Git, then thought that it would be nice to have a self-hosted Git for myself. This started off the whole sequence that ends with me still not having a functional Gitlab and with a blank Windows Form app up on my screen. Like I have mentioned several times before, the literal key to getting past this is to not dwell on it, and to pick yourself up and get back into it. This is harder than it sounds, as evidenced by the massive number of started and not finished projects I have under my belt. It really is impressive.

This will be another one of them. Perhaps I will be able to make some progress on it, perhaps I won’t. Only time will tell. For now I will say I definitely have the desire, but perhaps not the drive. If you have a good way to get motivated for something like this, please let me know.