The Dink Network

Modifying/Expanding on the base game

February 19th, 07:25 AM
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Gidon147
Ghost
 
Hello Dinkers.

I have recently come back to Dink Smallwood to dig up huge missing parts of my childhoood, and after some playthroughs i have decided to try my hand at D-Modding. I have some experience in RPG Maker, modding different games like Hypnospace Outlaw, etc.

I do not have any particular expertise in specific languages like C, however i always find it easy to get a grasp on scripting for games and DinkC looks very understandable for me, so that will be no problem i reckon.

Now for my question:

Is it at all possible to Mod the Base game like it`s a D-Mod, or is some of its content compiled in a way that i cannot access it in WinDinkEdit?

I have noticed that, while a plethora of original Dink mods exists, there is only one Alteration/modification of the actual Base Game, which is the "Achievement Unlocked" - Edition.
My plan for a project i can learn with was to expand upon the Dink Base Game and fix some problems/ Holes that it has, and ultimately just flesh out what is already there, when I'm competent enough. But When I open The Base Game in DinkEdit, The Map does not seem to contain everything, like all the NPCs and a lot of assets, like the Duck Statue, are missing.
While the decompiled Scripts are there in the source folder, most of The sprites and characters seem to be in some directory that i cannot find, pointed at by a .ff file in the sprite directory, if I'm not mistaken; i have not found a way to interact with NPCs other than the knights using DinkEdit. also,, the Sprite Library seems to be empty when i click on it in DinkEdit.

Am I missing something or is it simply not possible to edit the Base Game like its a DMod?

I dunno, i think it would be kickass to have like a Dink Smallwood+ Version that expands upon the base game that is actually part of my childhood, without having to rebuild it form the groundup.

Thank you for any help!

~Gidon
February 19th, 08:34 AM
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You can download most of the graphics at http://www.dinknetwork.com/file/dink_smallwood_bmp_graphics/. (It's missing some sprites, like Seth, and King Daniel.) At least one of the editors here should also have .ff and .d decompilers in it. (WinDinkedit++ something something??)

Anyway, regardless, the main Dink game is fundamentally no different from any dmod, and everything should display in DinkEdit even without any decompiling. So that's a problem on your end! Dink has been known not to play nice with Windows 7/8/10, the program files folder and User Account Control, so perhaps something related to that??

I've always found it peculiar that barely anyone made any modifications to the main game in over 20 years (or at least no one released the fruits of their labour!). With other modding communities, that's usually the first thing that happens. But here there are no 'PortTown Materialized' or 'Charlie's Back Baby' addons. I've thought about doing something like that myself, but figured that the original game has such a quirky, original style that my stuff probably wouldn't feel like it fits in. I guess maybe everyone else thought the same thing? It *would* be neat to see, though. (Plus, that still doesn't explain how there are no 'all monsters replaced with ducks' mods and the like)
February 19th, 10:55 AM
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Skurn
Peasant Male Equatorial Guinea xbox steam duck bloop
can't flim flam the glim glam 
and it was on this day that gidon picked up seth's unfinished sandwich and had the idea to finish it.
February 20th, 06:00 AM
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Gidon147
Ghost
 
Okay, thank you very much for the help, the sprite Download was very helpful!

I have solved my problem with the game looking incomplete when opened in WinDinkEdit... by finding out what "Vision" means.
Turns out it was all there all along! A little bit embarassing, really. But also, liberating, as i can now finally begin to get into modding the game.

So, what I want to do is work with what is already there, and build up upon that to keep the original Dink experience as authentic as possible.

I have brainstormed Ideas for possible changes/additions, based on my childhood experience and my recent re-experience of the Game,a nd also what seems feasible to do without too much code-wizardry:

1) More World and NPC Interactions, Sidequests

While the first third of the game (Stonebrook, the Martridge arc, Terris) had a lot going on in terms of player freedom and choice, the roleplaying aspect of the game really falls off after that. I want more opportunities like killing a grandma's duck, beating up my aunt's abusive husband, hoooking up with the neighbor's daughter, etc.

I want to be able to side with the ducks in windemere, kill the people on Dragon Island to give the dragon's their home back, stuff like this.

Basically, giving each village and Story Arc more things to do, adding more sidequests, rewards, opportunities to spend money, etc. will already make the game longer, livelier and richer.

2) World Sim

There is a slight hint of World Simulation already in place, which can be easily expanded upon:
Random encounters like the traveller and the hunter are already scripted in, waiting to be expanded upon with minimal script knowledge. monster Attacks, random events, travelling merchants selling/buying rare items, it is literally just a few variables and conditions away. Honestly, even things like bandits attacking a traveller, in which you can either save the traveller or side with the bandits to get them on your side and unlock new quests, seems not even very hard to do when i look at all these scripts. Think of the event when you save tthat blue dude from the Cast Knights. I want much more of this happening in the game, with menaingful consequences even.

3) A better progression system

Its so simple. Just give Dink 3 Points to spend per level up instead of 1, make the EXP curve less steep (not sure if that's possible, but if not i'd just dump the standard one for another arbitrary variable), add a smith somewhere who cna upgrade your weapons, and make martridge able to upgrade your spells. It is objectively not one of the hard things to do with the game, the framework for it is all in the game already.
_____________________________

Of course, talking about all this is the easiest part of all, and I know how Ideas like these go. But if I can do a SMIDGEON of ANYTHING of the above to the game, add one or two things, it would already be a win for me.

Do you have any ideas? What would you like to see in an Expanded Dink Smallwood base game? Which kind of cheese would YOU prefer on a finished moldy Seth Sandwich?

_____________________________

Also, I would like to register to the forum so i can have a real account, but i somehow don't get any confirmation e-mail. Can someone help me with that?
February 20th, 06:48 AM
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yeoldetoast
Peasant Australia steam
I've come to get my meat 
You are however forgetting the classic that is Isle of the Pigs
February 20th, 12:33 PM
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SlipDink
Peasant Male United States bloop
2nd generation. No easy way to be free. 
Also, I would like to register to the forum so i can have a real account, but i somehow don't get any confirmation e-mail. Can someone help me with that?

Try visiting our Discord at https://www.dinknetwork.com/chat/ and asking for redink1 to fix that for you.
February 23rd, 10:26 AM
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yeoldetoast
Peasant Australia steam
I've come to get my meat 
The way that Dink modding eventuated is in a large part due to Mike Snyder's early involvement. Legend has it he was so bored with Dink that he quit the game halfway through, and after figuring out how DinkEdit worked, started on Scar of David. Afterwards, he released Skeleton B which was entirely oriented towards helping produce new standalone games.

People probably didn't take to modifying the original map because they were so confronted with how flawed and shallow so much of Dink's world is. Half of the characters in the KernSin section are based upon Seth's family, and the interactions are most likely based upon stuff that happened to the devs in real life, rather than being part of a coherent medieval setting that one could easily build upon. The sheer absurdity of Dink's world is a major limiting factor and I feel like I would have to round up each and every RTSoft dev and their family members and scrutinise them all in great detail before I ever thought about making a faithful expansion to the game.

A lot of really simple things could be implemented to improve the user experience massively though. Gold hearts that heal you too perhaps? If I were going to start with the basics, i'd use this and keep adding to it, and then implement the actual world map and character script changes later on.

Unfortunately due to the rather individualistic nature of D-mod development, it's rare that we all ever unify to actually accomplish anything together. Good luck!
February 23rd, 11:43 AM
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Gidon147
Ghost
 
Thank you for the helpful pointer; I have been looking for things like this. I've been thinking of trying to implement Parts of Dink's Trunk as well, but I want to avoid putting too many extra buttons in it. I will probably end up figuring out stuff like stackable consumables by myself, or copy that from other mods as long as I'm allowed to.

I see that the original Dink is objectively very flawed and incomplete. Yet I feel the urge to give it attention, because it has a very special place in my heart.

When I was a kid, for a long time I could only play the game when I went to my Lithuanian relatives with my parents, it was a 20 hour trip by train. The relatives had a PC which had Dink Smallwood on it, and I looked forward to playing it every single time we went there. It was unlike anything I've ever played. My child mind filled in all those blanks and made it this giant epic adventure, in which you have real-life like freedom! The themes were very mature for me and I basically just mystified the game into high heavens.

I never really played any other DMods. I have tried mystery island and a few others when I got my own PC later on, but they didn't really do it for me and I never got interested in them. Only now am I starting to rediscover the game (and the associated parts of my, partly trauma-filled, childhood) and DMods, and really getting into making my first own one, which I do in preparation for working on "Dink+".
I have tried Pilgrim's Quest, which I couldn't really like for some reason because It's too different from the base game. The Dorinthia remake however was an absolute blast, it had that Dink Feel and Humor that felt like a proper fanmade Sequel to Dink.
But I have to say, still, the base game is still my favorite one. The Part right before the darklands, with the Golems, really resonated with me Gameplay-Wise when I replayed it last week. It had an almost Dark-Souls-Like methodical Vibe to it where I really felt the game kicking in, and that's where I also decided that I'm gonna collect ideas how to bring the rest of the game up to par, without destroying what might make people feel the nostalgia when they come back to play Dink again after 15 Years.

February 23rd, 03:15 PM
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toof
Peasant Male
I disagree. 
I would advise against modifying the original map... It's much more fun to start from scratch, and build to your heart's content. WinDinkEdit+ is also good tool
February 24th, 04:25 AM
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yeoldetoast
Peasant Australia steam
I've come to get my meat 
I think it's the case for most of us that Dink holds special significance while we were young. Weirdly enough, I find myself trawling through reddit threads where people who barely played the game at all have been searching for it for years because of the impact it had upon them.

Anyway, here's another thread where we discussed in vague detail the sorts of things people might like if they were going to either remaster or improve the game. My personal inclination has always been to remaster rather than improve, but the two could easily be combined.

Edit: and to add to this post, here's another thread by Castman detailing his intentions
February 24th, 09:29 AM
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toof
Peasant Male
I disagree. 
I find myself trawling through reddit threads where people who barely played the game at all have been searching for it for years because of the impact it had upon them

Somebody should inform Redink1 that yeoldetoast is gathering an army of devotees by brainwashing them with promises of a website that will bring them back to their childhood. War for the the grand master overlord position will be upon us soon.

I know where my loyalty stands though. There is only one true original lord of the TDN.

* grabs a pitchfork and draws an improvised sketch of a pony, using duck dung over his chest *
February 26th, 02:43 PM
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redink1
King Male United States xbox steam bloop
A mother ducking wizard 
For some reason, toast left me in charge of the Discord chat, it'd only be fitting if we traded I made him admin of TDN
February 26th, 03:35 PM
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You are however forgetting the classic that is Isle of the Pigs

I can scarcely believe I also forgot about this masterpiece, as well as Dink & Libby. For shame. And I reviewed both of these files!

I must take back everything I said. Modifying the original game has a long and illustrious track record, and while Gidon147 probably can't ever hope to reach the same heights, it would still be interesting to see. Maybe even a 'Lyna touching nuts under the AlkTree' mod next.
March 19th, 09:51 PM
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yeoldetoast
Peasant Australia steam
I've come to get my meat 
🤮 I refuse to learn Perl in case something on the site stops working. Anyway, here's a brief outline on how one could sort of remaster the game:

First of all, the sound effects were either licensed from Hollywood Edge or made by RTSoft on their Korg keyboard. One could relatively easily get high-quality originals of just about all of those sfx. In the case of the rest, me and a few others have managed to track down which presets they used to make the sound effects on the Korg T3 keyboard (including for Mystery Island). Thankfully Korg have released the M1 as a VSTi which also includes the T3 sound banks making it a trivial task of re-creating them all.

For music, we have the original CD soundtrack available to us now, and the remaining RTSoft MIDIs could be relatively straightforwardly rendered and/or recomposed in the same way Age of Empires was for its remaster. The remaining classical compositions could potentially be licensed, and of course there are going to be numerous high-quality performances of those available.

The graphics are definitely the most difficult part. RTSoft have shown no intentions to ever release the 3D models and/or Photoshop files to anyone for free, or even unpalletted BMPs. We don't even know what they have available still. Certain features we can be sure they don't have though are the rocks and most of the trees. This is because they were lifted straight from Fractal Design's (then Metacreations, now DAZ) Bryce which was also what splash.bmp was made in. Unfortunately in this scenario with a lack of proper source material it leaves us with weird hack-jobs such as ESRGAN upscaling and stuff like that. I've run a few of Dink's graphics through ESRGAN with wildly varying, but often usable results.
March 21st, 10:28 PM
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liquid141
Peasant steam
Sons of liberty 
Anyone else wonder if seth should work on a directors cut of dink smallwood and fill up all the holes and make the game more complete
March 22nd, 12:07 AM
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Skurn
Peasant Male Equatorial Guinea xbox steam duck bloop
can't flim flam the glim glam 
a director's cut, but updated entirely
March 30th, 08:31 AM
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liquid141
Peasant steam
Sons of liberty 
Someone should re-approach seth and see if his opinion on a new dink re-release has changed , i think dink smallwood would make a nice release on nintendo switch as well given so many old games are there now