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Forge's Chapter One has been released on the 16th of December 2013!
Read more in the Winter Update 2013.
1425 Posts in 171 Topics by 158 Members
Latest Member: MattL
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31  Project Assistance / Translation / Re: German Translation on: February 20, 2015, 01:18:54 PM
Sorry for the late reply.

This depends on selmiak's current availability. The translation process will start in a few days from now. I'll be sure to contact you if you want to split the burden.

If you're interested in proofreading, it would be another option.
32  Project Assistance / Translation / Re: Catalan translation on: February 20, 2015, 01:16:30 PM
Hey Jordi!

Sorry for the terribly late reply.

The procedure is easy, the only problem is the engine is picky with fonts, and requires some preparations.

What you can do if you want to help me prepare the game for the translation is taking a look at the embedded image and mark the characters you never use in your language.

Also, you should provide a list of the missing characters which you certainly need, including special punctuation, upper-case and lower-case variants, etc.
33  Everything Forge / Updates & News / Re: One year later... (New Year 2015 Update) on: February 20, 2015, 08:40:39 AM
Thanks Iurius, thanks Cloudbow.

And you selmiak, will need to wait my instructions! It's not like you take a "translation file" and just translate it. There are exceptions, recommendations, tricky parts etc. Nothing is as easy as it looks with Forge! Wink
34  Everything Forge / Updates & News / Re: New Year (2014) Update on: February 19, 2015, 07:25:58 PM
Take a look here. Smiley
35  Everything Forge / Updates & News / Re: August 2012 Update on: February 19, 2015, 07:25:54 PM
Take a look here. Smiley
36  Everything Forge / Updates & News / One year later... (New Year 2015 Update) on: February 19, 2015, 07:21:41 PM
Hello fellow weavers.

I've been thinking a lot in the days preceding this update, puzzled about what words I could use to provide an effective mixture of explanations, news and apologies.

Well, despite all the thinking, I haven't come up with anything satisfying, so I'll simply rely on my guts and put my mind to rest. Improvisation, that's the word.

So, first of all, it's really been about a year since the last update. In the "New Year 2014" post there were hopes, expectations, plans and generally all seemed quite promising. Then reality stepped in.

To be as brief as I can, the worsening of the financial crysis that has stroke Italy and the conclusion of some previous job experiences made it necessary for me to actively look for other occupations. With only some occasional freelance translations and computer repairs, that search took most of my free time. The worst thing about this cyle is how it drains your energy, so that the little free time left didn't go into Forge development, but mostly into cheap relaxation passively watching movies, series or playing games. I didn't even had the time to go out much for fun, and this is neither healthy nor ideal.
I'm sure a lot of you can relate to that, though I'm not saying all this because I want your pity (or your money). Truth be told I didn't want to share all that in the first place, but then I decided it was worth it. At least you'll see that I'm truly passioned, to the point I try to struggle to carry on and still save Forge a little spot in my life.

So, has there been any progress at all in Forge? Yes! Has it been much? Sadly nope.

Managing other people's work was not an option, due to time required and the fact I already had a (now finished) job as a project manager for another game. It's sad, because I definitely loosened the existing bonds with our faithful cooperators, especially Jamison Alderson and Master Pixelmold. I hope they will still be interested to help out as soon as the development will regain a steady pace.
Anyway, what I did was concentrating on coding Ch.2, preparing the game for translations, fixing Ch.1 bugs and adding extra features. Some of them might look like a waste of time to you, but they were actually either quite easy to accomplish or useful in terms of learning experience for other projects and occupations.

And so, despite having called "v1.0" the last demo before the final release, I felt the need to present you an update, something tangible and full of requested features and fixes.


Thus I bring you "Forge - Chapter One v1.1". Here's a brief list of what you should expect:

  • Bug-fixing. The (few) issues found after the release of v1.0 have now been corrected.
  • Translations readiness. The complexity of the game required a lot of work and changes to prepare it for future translations. It should be done now!
  • Italian translation. Since it was imperative to do some testing about the effective translation-readiness, I took a couple of days and carried that out myself. This is the only translation included in the package.
  • Puzzle-fixing. I was bothered by how improvable the infamous Tomb's Puzzle was. I gathered all the critiques received and hopefully made the puzzle more interesting and fair.
  • Extra-gameplay. Some cutscenes were really really long, without the chance for the player to have a break. Now interactions / cutscenes have a slightly better balance. Don't expect anything huge, though.
  • Extra and improved commands. Middle and right mouse-clicks did nothing, now they clear the bottom right frame from the selected hotspot / object / character. Scrollwheel now can be used to select Y / N options from the confirmation GUIs. Double-click now launches Rusty's interaction immediately, without the need to wait for him to reach the spot. F12 saves a screenshot in the Screenshots folder inside the game's main one.
  • Changes in the schematics' drawing system. In the end I realized there should be at least a Proficiency Level that is very easy, to encounter the favor of the adventure purists. Practice is like that now, with no boundaries at all: just connect all the dots in the right order, and it will be fine. Standard is a bit easier as well, and Expert is almost the same as before. Also, all levels are now a bit more forgiving: if you trace back just one dot, nothing happens and you can still complete the schematic; and going out of boundaries is a bit more unlikely.
  • New launcher. This is one of the things I did mainly to learn a new scripting language and obtain a know-how useful in other contexts. But I was also very unhappy with the default winsetup.exe, both in terms of functionality and looks. Unfortunately the new launcher fully supports only Windows so far, but there will be Linux and probably also Mac support in the future, as Lua-LOVE is a cross-platform framework. I just didn't see the point in spending time for that until the game itself supports those OSes.
  • Loom Recap. Much more people than I expected were bothered because they needed to play (or re-play) Loom in order to fully understand Forge. Having already some sort of Loom Recap from the Tech Demo era, I decided to tweak it a little bit and make it more complete and informative. The Loom Recap can be accessed from the corresponding folder in the main game folder, but also from the new launcher.

This should sum it all up.

For what concerns other translations, the ones currently supported are: Italian, Spanish, French, German, Swedish, Russian, Hebrew. This only means those translations will / should work immediately on this version of the game, as soon as they are carried out by the translators. Other languages, including Brazilian Portuguese, will be certainly supported in a future version of the game.
The big difference is people will need to download a whole next version again, while for the languages listed before they will only need to download a tiny file and place it in "v1.1" game's folder.

Beware that this release is still to be considered unofficial and unsupported, cause it didn't pass any testing phase. There might be new bugs, even awful ones that break the game completely. Use it at your own risk. Bug-report is welcome, but not necessary.
Same thing goes with translations (with the exception of the Italian one). Though I'll do my best to provide clear and complete guidelines, I lack the means to ensure the quality of the translations I won't carry out personally. I won't have time to perform a proofreading, but I put my utmost trust in all of the kind guys that offered as translators.
To all translators: you'll receive the necessary files and info in 1-2 days.

Well, I think it's time to give you a link. This time I opted for a simple archive and no-installer. Just uncompress it in a place where you have writing privileges, and launch it from either launcher.exe or winsetup.exe.

You can find in the usual place, the DOWNLOADS PAGE!

For what regards the future of Forge, it's hard to say. Things are going a little bit better from a financial standpoint now, but it's still early to cheer up and until I'm "stable" enough to actually have time to reorganize the team, development will be sluggish. For the moment I still need to use most of my time for my current commitments and for actively searching other ones.
Good thing is I've already set up an organized environment, mainly using Redbooth, in order to make management slightly less time-tolling; and there's a couple of people which might lend me a hand with the game, as well.

Last but not least, I'm organizing a giveaway as a compensation for all the hardcore Forge fans in the next few days. Yes, you heard that well: it's gonna be something really sober, but still a giveaway.

If there's something I've learned long ago, and that I still base my life on, is that sharing and giving are the best ways to express our humanity. Don't let this wicked and twisted society teach you anything different. Be helpful to others, hug, love, give support. And don't expect anything back.

I truly love you all,

- Gabriele "Abisso" Nannetti
37  Project Assistance / General Support / Re: A Book that i feel that can be good inspiration on: March 13, 2014, 10:59:31 AM
I don't know the book itself, though I have one of the titles in that series laying around somewhere in my bookshelf. It looks interesting and I might give it a go.
Anyway, don't you think it's more likely that King took inspiration from Loom? He's not one to deny his influences after all, which is a good thing. As a matter of fact I respect him as an author, though I'm mostly a hardcore fan of his main source of inspiration (King admitted so): H.P. Lovecraft.

Thanks for sharing!
38  Project Assistance / Graphic / Re: Pixel art assistance on: February 28, 2014, 02:05:45 PM
Here I am, after checking your portfolio in more detail. There was less pieces than I expected. Anyway, most of them are pixel-art, so it's enough to get an idea.

I think the better ones are here: http://guedzilla.deviantart.com/art/Pixelart-Objects-Furniture-433397157
Dithering is not bad at all, design is ok.
The 2 backgrounds are a bit too rough instead. Not that it's an easy task to paint backgrounds! In fact, it's one of the most difficult things to do when it comes to pixel-art. Small pieces are easier to achieve, but still require some competence.
And your pen sketch shows you have some talent in the visual field.

For this reason, I think it's worth giving you a chance to show what you're capable of. I'm still overwhelmed by things to do, so don't expect this in a couple of days, but I'm going to send you a list of small tasks to see if you can contribute something to the game in a fit style. I'll get back to you using the email you registered with; if it's not an address you use often, please PM me with the preferred one.

In the meantime you might play the game again, and study the graphic style.

Last but not least: thanks a lot for your offer and for the enthusiasm that transpires from your words.
39  Project Assistance / Audio / Re: Composer assistance on: February 28, 2014, 01:53:17 PM
Hello Daniel.

I've listened to some of your tracks. Podcast is incredibly soothing to the ear. So relaxing, I could listen to that one for hours.
I've also checked MatarĂ s, from JAC Games. I suppose it's the soundtrack of a horror game, and it definitely manages to create the right atmosphere if that's the case. Then I gave "Escape Artist" a go. Although very old, it's got a similar feel to Podcats in terms of ease of listening. A pleasant one as well.

By the way, not only we already have a main composer: we also have a couple of additional ones, which usually have a support role and fill gaps when necessary. So, for the moment I'll say thanks, but decline your offer. I appreciated it a lot, though.

Thanks for the support,
-Gabriele
40  Project Assistance / Graphic / Re: Pixel art assistance on: February 27, 2014, 06:47:19 PM
Hello Daniel.

I haven't had the time to check your portfolio properly, but since you wrote some days ago already, let me thank you for the offer in the meantime. I'll check both your help offers and get back to you as soon as possible.
41  Project Assistance / Translation / Re: Hebrew Translation on: February 16, 2014, 01:24:25 PM
Hi again.

Good news: AGS fully supports right to left style, and alignment to the right as well. The only thing I need now is a Hebrew SCI font. SCI is a now virtually unknown format for Fonts which is very different from TrueType and as far as I know there is no way to convert from one format to another. AGS supports TTF as well, but in a way that it's not very convenient to use; thus I'd reather have a SCI font.
I can create one myself, as I did with the Cyrillic alphabet, but I know someone who created a Hebrew font many years ago, and I hope that font is still around somewhere.

I'll keep you up to date and have you check the font as soon as I have it ready.
42  Project Assistance / Translation / Re: Hebrew Translation on: February 16, 2014, 09:59:06 AM
Hello Peled!

Wow, didn't expect this to come, honestly! I'd be more than pleased to make this a reality, even if just for the pleasure of having a broader range of translations.

Unfortunately, there are high chances that this won't be possible. The engine we're using has several limitations when it comes to "text". Font can only have a limited amount of characters, and moreover there also could be issues with the fact you write text from right to left (if I'm not mistaken).

However, I remember of some developers who were interested in that too, so I'll check if it's possible to use a workaround.

The fact there has been an official Hebrew translation hints to the fact there might be a good amount of fans there. May I inquire about the state of English knowledge there? Do you have any secondary language in Israel?

Shalom,
-Gabriele

P.S. Let's put that Loom site back online! Wink
43  Project Assistance / Translation / Re: Brazilian Portuguese translation on: February 09, 2014, 11:44:55 AM
Hello Janos. I checked your message on the AGS boards as well, and since you said you'd like to be helpful, I immediately thought that might have been one of the possibilities.

I'm surely interested, though I have a question: is Brazilian Portuguese much different from the other variants? I know your language is also spoken in some African countries (probably ex-colonies) and, of course, in Portugal.
I'd like to know if the differences are subtle as between American English and UK one, or more evident.

Also, please compile a list of unique characters used in your language and possibly a list of "not so necessary" ones; though I believe we can use a small variation of the Spanish font, from my little knowledge of Portuguese.

Thanks for the support!
44  Everything Forge / Discussion - Chapter One / Re: Forge: Chapter One - Discussion & Feedback on: February 09, 2014, 11:04:36 AM
Hello janosbiro. Pleased to make your acquaintance.

What can I say... this is one of the best reviews I've received so far. I'm not just talking about the things you say, but how you do that. Getting to know the difference between the first impression and the second one is priceless for me as a game-developer, and was a really pleasant read as well.
I hope most of the true Loom fans show your same perseverance and won't stop playing after a potentially bad first impression. And I really appreciate that you caught the reasons behind the Loom references and enjoyed the Rewards.
You even took the time to analyse the working process of the Schematics, and perfectly understood how they function.

But what's most heartwarming in all of this is reading how you looked for the old Book of Patterns and used that to input the correct code. This is what I hoped it would happen and though it would never happen. As a matter of fact, you're the first one who did that instead of using the provided digital copy, as far as I know.

On a side notedid you get the point of that "Athropos Judgement" picture? It's got more than it seems, but in case you haven't figured it out, look better! Wink

Once again, the Tombs' Riddle gets bashed (which is fine, it's a fact that it's flawed) and you're also the 2nd one to point out Old Lady's actress sounds too young. Are you talking about her singing voice, her normal voice or both, however?

In the end, thanks for the support and the account of your experience. I'm sure the whole team can be proud of your words.

abisso, thanks for the clarification! I didn't check all the rewards after all, and things are much better the way you put it Smiley

No problem mate! Glad things turned out better than you thought at first!
45  Everything Forge / Discussion - Chapter One / Re: Forge: Chapter One - Discussion & Feedback on: February 08, 2014, 10:35:31 AM
Hello Iurius, and welcome!

Thanks for the honest and detailed feedback. Precious info there.

Fake copy protection: I understand your criticism, but from what you wrote, it seems to me that you didn't check the reward obtained for inputting the correct codes. You see, the point of it all is paying a tribute to Loom and old times in general. There are 2 ways of getting past the protection codes: inputting the correct sequence; inputting a wrong sequence. Either option gives you a reward. So let's pretend the player doesn't have the Book of Patterns the first time, or doesn't want to check it. Then he inputs a wrong code, and gets the Reward that grants the Protection codes. With that, he can input the correct code the 2nd time he plays, and get another reward. You probably didn't bother inputting the correct code or didn't check the Reward after that, because that Reward allows you to deactivate the Copy Protection and skip to the menu instantly (once and for all).
All in all, it's a matter of about 5 minutes to deactivate the Copy Protection forever, and the process doesn't require any special knowledge or property of the original game. Checking the Rewards is enough.

I hope this gives you another perspective over the whole thing.

Tombstone puzzle: there's no denying it, that's the main flaw of the game. There's a bug, which doesn't make Rusty give the correct hint to the player, and even if there wasn't, there are too many red herrings.
I have received a lot of criticism for that, and I've already gathered enough info to make it more straightforward. Don't forget the existence of the Practice and Keyboard Modes though, which make that puzzle very easy.

Also, thanks to Zerointerno and Selmiak for answering. You probably weren't aware of what I wrote in the spoiler, as during the testing things worked differently: player was able to get the Reward for the correct code only at the first attempt. If he already had the bad Reward, the other one would become impossible to obtain.

About translations, it's true that I still haven't started the process. Time is not much in these days, and translation requires careful planning.
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