The Castle — additional notes

This page collects various additional notes about running "The Castle". If all you want is just to run the game, then don't read this page. You don't need this. This page explains some details that may be needed for advanced users and developers to understand how the game works, but normal users will not find here anything useful.


1. Details about items in the game

You can pick items (just walk on them), browse your items (keys: i, [, ]), drop (key: r), equip and use (key: enter). When you have no weapon equipped, then new picked weapon will be automatically equipped. Unequipping happens automatically on drop.

Items are "stackable", i.e. when you own two or more items of the same kind, they are displayed like one item with quantity N. Picking and dropping handle this appropriately (when dropping you can drop only part of owned items).

You can use the "e" key ("Interact") when looking at item lying on the level, this tells you the name and quantity of visible object without picking it up. (of course, if object is too far, you will not be able to tell it exactly).

Dropping items may seem like a useless feature for now — there is no limit on the amount of items you can carry, right now. Dropping items will be more usefull in the the future, when the game will get more RPG gameplay elements. But even now dropping items may have a clever use: since collision detection is implemented correctly, you can drop items to block some closing doors. Beware that in the future some creatures may be able to pick up your items and some doors may simply squish your precious items...

2. Version numbers

For PGD competition (that ended on 2006-05), version numbers were 0.y.z, where "y" was a stage of competition. So e.g. "version 0.2.0" was what I submitted at the end of stage 2 of competition. "z" was a release number. The last version uploaded for PGD competition was 0.6.1.

Now, after PGD competition ended, I continue development using my normal versioning scheme.

3. Debug menu, debug options

If you want to modify game content heavily, I advice to get familiar with our debug menu. The debug menu contains many useful commands that will make your life much easier. By default, debug menu is activated by backquote key (the one with tilde, the same key used to bring console in many FPS games).

Using the debug menu you can turn on some special features useful for designers/debugging (e.g. to see bounding volumes of objects) or turn off normal game features that may be annoying when designing (e.g. stop time for creatures).

You can also request a reload of particular creature/item/level VRML/XML etc. files. This is extremely useful when you changed some data file and you would like to quickly reload just this one file, to see how things work now — without exiting the game.

There are also some command-line debug options (but not too much — it's always more flexible to have things available at runtime instead of only at the start). Run the program with --help to get their list.