I. Introduction:

The Dragon Bane II Adventure Construction Kit (DB2ACK) allows content developers to create entire new adventures that will run on the Dragon Bane II engine for PalmOS. The adventure construction kit is free, but there are a few limitations to distribution of new adventures built using the kit (see the Licensing and Terms of Use section).

Building a new adventure requires creative ideas for the puzzles and story, lots of gaming experience in order to build a well-balanced and challenging world, as well as basic computer skills to use the DB2ACK. This documentation assumes you are computer literate.

This documentation assumes you know how to run programs from a command prompt, edit text files, and it assumes you are very comfortable manipulating files and directories. Although this first release of the Adventure Construction Kit does not include Macintosh or tools for non-Windows platforms, it would be very simple for anyone to re-compile the tools in this development kit on any platform, so we believe future versions will support other platforms. Please see the section on Support and Tools for more information.

Playing Multiple Adventures:

Like the "Return of Kra'an" adventure that comes with the Dragon Bane II engine, any third party adventure will also only be playable in demo mode up through the first three levels. But any user that has registered "Dragon Bane 2: Return of Kra'an" from MythoLogical Software will be able to play all third party adventures from beginning to end. So if you want to commercialize your adventure, you may wish to only distribute the first three levels to the general public and then email the full adventure to your own registered users. Of course, users will still be able to continue their old save games so long as your demo and full adventures have the same name.

The engine allows for multiple adventures to be stored on the device at the same time. When the user runs the game, he or she is prompted to choose an adventure from a list. After beginning play, all save games for each adventure will be stored in a separate, single save database which is backed up to the user's desktop at hotsync. If the user wishes to play a different adventure, he or she can either exit and restart the game, or select the "New" option from the menu.

In a future version, MythoLogical Software will also provide a mechanism in the game for users to "beam" adventures (as well as the Dragon Bane II game) to friends (this feature should be ready by V 1.1.0). Of course, license keys cannot be shared by users, so any games beamed to a new user must be registered before they can be played beyond the first three levels.

Suggestions for Designing a New Adventure:

Designing and building a large adventure is probably a lot more work than you think (especially if you intend to start from scratch and design everything). If your ideas are larger than your personal resources, you may wish to consider collaborating with other adventure designers. Designing and building adventures is a task that lends itself well to a team effort. One person may be good at story telling and writing text, another may be good programming and implementing map specials, while another may be good at art and designing tiles and walls. By working with other DB2ACK users, you will be able to create larger, more interesting worlds than might otherwise be possible, while getting to focus on the aspects of game design you like best.

If you wish to join an adventure in progress or organize your own development team, feel free to use the Dragon Bane II Yahoo web forum to advertise your services or recruit. Working from a common development tree can be a challenge in cases where two or more developers want to edit the same file at the same time. You may want to setup your own source server (as an ftp site), or use email to transfer files between team members, or you could try using something like sourceforge.net which is a website used to manage software development projects.

Of course each designer has his or her own ideas for what makes a good adventure. If you didn't, you probably wouldn't be reading this. However, we would like to share a few pointers we learned as suggestions for building your adventure. Most of them are common sense, so you may skip this section if you are already pretty clear on what to do when designing your own adventure. Here are some do's and don't's for creating an adventure:



Sharing Data between Adventures:

Although just about everything in the game can be customized, most adventure creators will probably not go to the trouble to re-create everything. To conserve space on users' devices, adventures are divided into three files, some of which may be shared between two or more adventures. Before you begin working on your new adventure, you should decide how much you plan to change from the original "Return of Kra'an" adventure, and which of the following three databases you need to build and distribute with your adventure.

Note that for both the wall and tile pdbs, if you need to create that database type, you will actually be creating three of them: one for 4 shade, 16 shade, and 256 color graphics.

Suppose you want to create a new adventure called "My Big Adventure" that has all new characters with new tiles and all new maps, but re-uses all the other data from "Return of Kra'an" such as monsters, spells, and objects, etc. In that case, you would need to create the following databases:

1) All adventures require you to create an adventure pdb file. So you will need to create something like an: "MyBigAdventure.pdb".

2) Because you will be creating new tiles for your characters, you will need to build three new tile pdbs: (i.e. "MBATiles4.pdb", "MBATiles16.pdb", "MBATiles256.pdb").

Note that you do not need to create your own set of wall pdbs because you will be re-using the three "Wall*Shade.pdb" data files that come with Dragon Bane II (and that you presume are already installed on the user's device).

In the adventure pdb, there are two data types listed in your pdb config file that specify which wall and tile pdbs are associated with that adventure pdb. In this example, we would want to create a new tile pdb and would reference it with something like "RT MBATiles". But we would re-use the Return of Kra'an walls pdb and reference it with "RW Drg2Walls".

For more information on how to construct pdb's and associate wall, tile, and adventure pdb's into an adventure, see the section on Mkpdbs.