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Reply to Re: Crazy Old Tim Plays all the DMODs of 2002

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May 28th 2014, 04:02 AM
Bard Male United States
Please Cindy, say the whole name each time. 
121: Baywatch Isle Author: Vilius Tamošiūnas Release Date: May 28, 2002

"ADD SUN LOTION??? C'mon, say yes"

Baywatch may never have been great television, but it was one hell of a lot more competent than this.

************This DMOD, "Baywatch Isle,"************
 ********Has been awarded the prestigious*********
   **********On this day May 28, 2014***********

Confusing, pointless, and above all buggy, "Baywatch Isle," which I'll call "B-Isle" (pronounced 'bile') for short, is a nonsensical failure. While there's a title screen included, it doesn't display. The status bar never fully comes up either unless you go into your inventory and re-equip your fist. Hardness errors are everywhere. Several screens cause the game to freeze upon either entering or leaving. Conversations never ever let you skip through with the talk button. Virtually everything that has a script transforms instantly - for example, hordes of tiny boncas are actually placed as explosions. Why?

Some NPC sprites have no scripts, and others are repeated. The English is poor. There's no story apart from a note you can read that tells you how to locate the end boss, a dragon. Despite the fact that you start with all stats over 50 and can find potions that will raise your attack and magic well over 100, the dragon is difficult to beat because there's no way to restore your health - not without freezing the game, at least. Your reward for beating the dragon is nothing. There isn't even ending text that fails to display like in Bloop the Fish, there's just nothing.

The absolute best thing you can credibly call this DMOD is "weird." The only thing I saw that I didn't actively hate was the fact that the savebot is called an "ass-saving machine." Actually, I kind of liked that. "ass saved."

I found myself wondering why on Earth anyone would have released this dauntingly meaningless wreck, but then I remembered when I released "Dink Forever," and I was sad. There are going to be a whole lot more of these, aren't there? At least it wasn't as bad as "Evil Empire."

Incidentally, while I've had several close calls, I feel like I should stop to recognize that this is the first DMOD I've written about on the anniversary of its release. So happy 12th birthday, "Baywatch Isle," you ruinous little pile of putrefied squid viscera. I hope you get food poisoning from your cake.

122: Tutorial Island Author: SabreTrout Release Date: May 31, 2002

"Gee SabreTrout, your so swell!"
"I'm no hero, I just want to help people"

It's debatable whether I should have included this in this project. It was obviously intended more as a helpful file for developers than a proper DMOD that you play through. Nevertheless, unlike a lot of development DMODs, it's in the DMOD section, and I decided that would be my sole criterion for inclusion. I was interested to find that, unlike all the DMODs so far, this one is stored on the site in a .zip file rather than a .dmod archive.

The point of Tutorial Island (Called Tutorial D-Mod on the site) is to help a beginning author with DinkC by doing some basic things and saying which scripts to look at. The scripts themselves are annotated to tell the wannabe author what to do. Using a DMOD to teach DMOD authoring is a good idea, but SabreTrout made this in about a day, and it shows. There are a number of problems that prevent this from being effective.

First of all, the DMOD itself is quite buggy. There are hardness errors all over the place, a bonca sprite has been carelessly placed on one screen without a script, and NPCs who give you something will do so again every time you talk to them. There are some problems with the scripts, which is a big deal because these are supposed to be examples. Por ejemplo, at one point, you're supposed to get 200 experience points. The script uses this code:

//This gives Dink 200 experience
add_exp(1, 200);

Because add_exp wants the amount of experience as the first argument, this adds 1 experience point instead of 200.

The other problem is that this rush-job isn't nearly thorough enough. An ideal example of a tutorial DMOD would cover a wider variety of things you might want to implement in your own mod by having them happen in itself. It wouldn't hurt to do some of your explaining in the mod itself, either.

As for the actual content: In "Tutorial Island," Dink meets SabreTrout, who tells Dink in a vague way how to make a DMOD, for which Dink is immensely grateful. I found it kind of amusing to see the fourth wall not simply broken, but missing, with Dink exclaiming, "My status bar!" when the status bar shows up, or pillbugs helpfully announcing what script is attached to them. There's a tiny quest of fetching five rocks for SabreTrout, but all he does is give you one experience point (see above). You can keep redeeming your one experience point to your heart's content, at least.

You can also find a hut that appears to be blocked off, but isn't. Inside are WC, Tal, and redink1, who make some quips at you. Incidentally, the answer is that it's 'red ink,' not 're-dink.' I'm pretty sure of this.

I could see this being useful to a truly clueless beginner at the time, but it's ultimately not a tutorial I'd recommend at all to new DMOD authors.