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Frequently Asked Questions
This document is far from complete but offers quick answers to the
questions I've been asked more than any others.
- 1. What are the differences between RTC and DM?
- 2. Why does RTC run so slowly compared to DM?
- 3. Are there any hotkeys?
- 4. Can I play RTC in a window?
- 5. Do you have the DM / CSB source-code...?
1. What are the differences between RTC and DM?
Whilst programing RTC I have not had access to the full source-code for
Dungeon Master and so everything has been made up to look and feel
like DM; how it actually works is therefore unlikely to be exactly the same.
In particular this applies to the ammount of damage each weapon does, the
strengths of monsters, movement rates, effectiveness of spells etc.
It was my intention that there should be no substantial differences in
main line game-play. However, please don't be surprised if it takes 47 swings
of a club to gain a ninja level in DM, but only 46 in RTC...
The major noticable changes from DM are:
- Editing. RTC allows you to create your own dungeons to play. As well
as being able to use the dungeon elements from DM and CSB, RTC allows you
to import your own graphics and sounds to create new objects.
- Expandability. DM has a restrictive limit on the number of levels and
their size as well as the number of different types of monster found on each.
The level limits are greatly increased in RTC to allow up to 10,000 levels
of 200x200 tiles each and no restrictions at all on monster locations.
- Magic. There is an option (available to the dungeon designer, not
the player) to limit which runes are available for spell casting. Runes
may be found on scrolls throughout the dungeon and added to the players
inventory as they adventure their way through.
- Difficulty. Players can choose to make the dungeons they play
harder by setting a difficulty rating when they first enter. The harder
the game the more monsters, with higher healths, that they'll encounter.
- Lighting. If you cast too many light spells it will become too
bright to see where you are going. This provides a natural use for the
darkness spell to bring the lighting conditions back to a normal level.
- Monster AI. In RTC all monsters are independent of each other. Groups
of monsters can, and do, split up to hunt the party down and attack
from all sides. They can also mix with other monster types on the same tile
allowing them to combine forces to move in for the kill!
- Shading. RTC runs in 24bpp rather than the 4bpp of DM. As such the
shading of objects at a distance is done in full colour rather than using a
limited palette so will look different.
- Lighting. Lighting from torches and spells is changes smoothly over
time rather than the large steps used in DM. Additionally fireballs light
up the surrounding area as they fly by. If you don't like these effects
you can turn it off in the config.txt file and play DM as it was meant to be!
- Transparancy. Again as a consequence of running in a high colour
mode, some objects have been changed to be semi-transparent. These include
the Champions mirrors, poison clouds, spell explosions and some monsters
(faders, ghosts, water and fire elementals). As above, this effect can
also be turned off.
2. Why does RTC run so slowly compared to DM?
On 200 MHz (or less) PCs the frame rate can sometimes drop to below
20 fps and movement of the mouse pointer can become jerky. This compares
to the original DM which ran quite happily on an 8 MHz Atari ST.
The main reason for this is the support in RTC for high resolution and
24bpp graphics. DM used a 320x200x4bpp mode screen whereas RTC runs at
640x400x24bpp a factor of 24 times more information to blit to the screen
each frame. Additionally the smooth lighting effect is achieved by
alpha-blending a black layer over the fully lit rendered screen slowing
it down further. As drawing the graphics takes some 90% of the time per
frame this means that RTC, from graphics alone, will run about 30-40
times slower than DM ever did. This is before factoring in additional
Windows/DirectX overheads compared to writing directly to screen
3. Are there any hotkeys?
When playing the game I find it easier to use keys to move the party
and the mouse to perform all other actions. RTC has a number of
otherwise undocumented hotkeys to allow you to use the keyboard more
if you so wish.
- In the Dungeon:
- Arrow keys and Num Pad 1-6 - Movement
- Tab - Cycle through character backpacks
- Fn1-4 and 1-4 - Toggle between dungeon view and character backpack
- Fn5-8 and 5-8 - Select spell caster
- Insert-Page down - Cast rune 1-6
- Backspace - Delete rune
- Enter - Cast spell
- Esc - Pause
- Ctrl+P - Print screen
- Ctrl+S - Save game
- Ctrl+Q - Quit
- Up arrow - Scroll up
- Down arrow - Scroll down
- Page up - Scroll up a page
- Page down - Scroll down a page
- Home - Scroll to start
- End - Scroll to end
- Enter - Select
4. Can I play RTC in a window?
Yes (but this mode is unsupported). Simply add the line
(with a tab between the two words) to a new line in the config.txt file.
Please bear in mind that when running like this, the frame rate will be
lower than in full screen mode and there may be some glitches in colour.
As mentioned above, this is an unsupported mode, untested and (otherwise)
undocumented; if you experience any problems with it, please switch back
to full screen.
5. Do you have the DM / CSB source-code...?
...usually accompanied by "...and will you please send me a copy too?".
No...and no. As mentioned before, I have written RTC myself entirely
from scratch without reference to the source-code. Please don't ask me
for a copy as I don't have one!
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