Author Topic: Doomsday Lost Echoes - Released and now with Physical Edition  (Read 32947 times)

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Offline ||C|-|E||

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Re: Doomsday Lost Echoes (New text adventure [WIP])
« Reply #175 on: 18:56, 04 April 16 »
Sooo... it is time for another update!

We have entered in the final stages of the development:

- Firstly, we managed to include the big fat easter egg we had in mind. It took us forever to have it ready, but it is over now. Expect some cool videos and web-based puzzles to discover all the secrets of the game! there will probably some physical rewards for the firsts 3 players finding them  :D (if somebody manages  :-X ). Moreover, we extended the endings quite a lot with new graphics and descriptions and the same is true for many in-game texts. There is only 1KB of RAM left!

- Secondly, I have just sent all the texts to a native english speaker friend of mine that is not related to the Amstrad or videogames at all and she will give them a go. This includes the user manual, the texts of the easter eggs and the in-game texts. More than 65 pages, poor girl  :picard:

- Then, I plan go through the adventure a couple more times to be as sure as possible that it is bug free and I will send the RC1 for another testing round, hopefully the last. One of the testers already played the beta, the other never had contact with the adventure in before.

- Finally, we will upload the web we are preparing and release the CPC version of the adventure . I will try to start working in the PCW port shortly after that. Compiling the database is trivial but the conversion of the graphics will take time.

- In the meantime, Dani was making some drawings from the concepts that will available as wallpapers! Look at this one below! I plan to print a poster from it, or something. We also changed some of the graphics because we found that they were not completely fitting the texts. The "extension" of the graphics is over as well, all of them are 1/3 bigger than in before.

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]

Offline Gryzor

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Re: Doomsday Lost Echoes (New text adventure [WIP])
« Reply #176 on: 13:19, 13 April 16 »
Well, apart from the 'can't wait' part, this art is so awesome... I want a PC wallpaper, a large enough image so I can print it at 60cm @300dpi and a live wallpaper for Android with parallax levels. Am I asking for too much? :)

Offline ||C|-|E||

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Re: Doomsday Lost Echoes (New text adventure [WIP])
« Reply #177 on: 16:01, 13 April 16 »
Haha, you can already count with the hi-resolution version. Dani´s artwork has an enormous size, you could cover a wall with it  :D . For the wallpaper with parallax effect... well I am still not sure about that, but we can talk with him and check how he feels about doing it  :laugh:

Offline Gryzor

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Re: Doomsday Lost Echoes (New text adventure [WIP])
« Reply #178 on: 16:31, 13 April 16 »
Ah... well, if he's open to it and someone can code a LWP for Android it'd be easy, concerning the gfx - I think. Just two or three layers with a little overlapping and a ratio that works well for three screens :) I'd pay for that! :D

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Re: Doomsday Lost Echoes (New text adventure [WIP])
« Reply #179 on: 21:41, 16 April 16 »
And here is a teaser of the beta running in Retromaniac´s stand in a real 6128 computer with two drives in the first Amstrad Eterno fair/encounter:

amstradeterno

#AmstradEterno hashtag on Twitter

Thank you, Dubliner!  :D :-*

[attachimg=1]

Offline Gryzor

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Re: Doomsday Lost Echoes (New text adventure [WIP])
« Reply #180 on: 12:49, 17 April 16 »
Spoiler alert? :D


I wish I was there. There's so much being shown there... :)

Offline ||C|-|E||

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Re: Doomsday Lost Echoes (New text adventure [WIP])
« Reply #181 on: 14:27, 17 April 16 »
I wish I was there too, it was really awesome!

The picture, at least, is spoiler free  :D

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Re: Doomsday Lost Echoes (New text adventure [WIP])
« Reply #182 on: 19:48, 03 June 16 »
Time for another update! This one will be quite short: the summary is that we are progressing slowly but steadily :)

- The native English speaker has already corrected all the texts and she found everything very readable and correct. In fact, she found that the main character was too polite and he should be more tough and sharp. We took the point and Gryzor is kindly going over 65 pages of text again to make him sound more like a hardened space cowboy  ;D

-  Besides that, I corrected and debugged the code one hundred times more, and each time I found something to change. However, I think that is ready now and we will be able to release a RC1 soon enough. Then, this RC1 will go to a couple of testers (one of the original beta testers and somebody else that never had contact with the game) and we will be ready to release it.

- Finally, we were checking how to produce an eventual physical release. Luckily, the prices seem to be affordable enough if there is enough interest. Of course, we have the problem of the format. This game requires two floppies and one of them must be high density. This means that it will only run in a 128KB computer that has installed this kind of unit, either as drive A or B. Releasing it using floppies would be easy enough, but many of us prefer to rely in something like the HxC, others will play in an emulator. So, one possibility (the cheapest as well) would be to produce a DVD with the DSK images inside and let the final user to toast them as he/she prefers. In case the user likes a real floppy, we could include a pair of labels in the box to attach to the discs and give the game a completely original feel. Releasing in DVD would allow, of course, to add quite a lot of stuff: user manual in PDF, wallpapers...

And that is it! 

Offline mr_lou

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Re: Doomsday Lost Echoes (New text adventure [WIP])
« Reply #183 on: 07:35, 04 June 16 »
Releasing in DVD would allow, of course, to add quite a lot of stuff: user manual in PDF, wallpapers...

...and a walkthrough video!  :)
And maybe some "behind the scenes" footage too, showing you hard-working behind the CPC monitor.  :)

Offline khaz

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Re: Doomsday Lost Echoes (New text adventure [WIP])
« Reply #184 on: 12:26, 04 June 16 »
Not a fan of your distribution plans. I mean yeah, having a bonus DVD is great, but you should absolutely have the game on disc too. That's the whole point of doing a physical release, to have a ready to play physical copy of the game, along with its box and instruction manual. Anyone can go to the internet and get a dsk for themselves, your customer shouldn't have to bother with getting the dsk on discs. Stickers only would be for latecomers once you are done with your initial run, maybe. In any case, the case should be able to hold the discs too.

I don't understand the discs part. You need both a 3" and a 3.5"? Can't you have only a 3.5? Or several 3" that you have to swap? Level 9 Computing did something interesting in that regard, they have the whole adventure with a single intro picture on one side, with all the illustrations on the other side. The user could swap the discs if they want the fancy graphics (and keep swapping when progressing in the game), or not bother and play the text-adventure old-school. Maybe you could do something similar with your 3+3.5 release, so that one can use a stock 6128 and enjoy your game, while a 3.5 user would have the enhanced experience?

(If you make a bonus disc, I suggest a CD with redbook audio of the soundtrack. If you have a soundtrack. And the data doesn't fill a CD. And make it a live orchestral rendition. Then sell it 80€. But seriously redbook audio would be cool.)

Offline Captain Past

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Re: Doomsday Lost Echoes (New text adventure [WIP])
« Reply #185 on: 14:11, 04 June 16 »
Overall I agree with khaz, even though I would be okay with having to copy the game to disks myself if it means that the price will be much more attractive. Tbh I'm not sure if my 3,5" drive even supports hd disks anymore. Are there any games or demos already released on hd disks that I can use to test this?
The interesting question regarding your release plans is imho if people who use drive emulation or want to play the game on an emulated CPC are even interested in a physical release.

Offline ||C|-|E||

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Re: Doomsday Lost Echoes (New text adventure [WIP])
« Reply #186 on: 15:03, 04 June 16 »
It is great to hear you opinion guys!  :)

So, about the floppies in the game, actually is not possible to release it in 3" only but, of course, it is very possible a 3.5" only release. Why? Well, the first floppy contains the CP/M operating system, the font selection program, the loading screen and the program that configures the second drive with DD1 format. The second one contains the adventure (60KB) and all the graphics that are loaded in real time. They are around 600KB and we cannot do disc swapping, it is a limitation of PAWS graphics patch. However, we have more than enough space in this second disc to save the game plenty of times without removing it from the unit. In this regard, once the second floppy is in the computer you do not need to touch it again. Obviously, we cannot have all this in 3", they do not have the right capacity :/. About the 3.5" unit, any drive able to read 720KB DD1 discs will do. You do not need two floppy drives either, it is perfectly fine to run the game from one only, you just need to swap discs when indicated. Regarding a non-graphics experience, this is not going to be possible. The graphics in this game are an integral part of the adventure, without them you actually cannot play it, many of the puzzles are in there :) . Level 9 games had a very sophisticate custom parser, that is why they were able to play with the system quite a lot and include wonderful things, like the split screen.

In any case, if a physical release is produced we would like to create something that makes everybody happy. As you know, it would be more a collector´s item, and it is a non sense to pay for a physical version of a free game if you do not feel really happy and strong about it. So, any suggestions are more than welcome, guys  :D

« Last Edit: 15:05, 04 June 16 by ||C|-|E|| »

Offline robcfg

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Re: Doomsday Lost Echoes (New text adventure [WIP])
« Reply #187 on: 18:15, 04 June 16 »
3.5" disks is fine for me ;)

Offline khaz

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Re: Doomsday Lost Echoes (New text adventure [WIP])
« Reply #188 on: 19:02, 04 June 16 »
Ok, so one normal disc to load the DOS, and one DD disc containing the game proper. In this sort of configuration, I think I would prefer to have both a 3" and a 3.5" in the package. Put both in each drive then forget about it.

Probably a stupid question, but can't you have both on the same disc? Like, the first couple tracks in a normal format to fool the system, and the rest of the data in double density?

Wandering thoughts, but can the CPC access both drives simultaneously? If so, having the adventure on one and the graphics on the other could speed up the loading between scenes, maybe.

Offline robcfg

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Re: Doomsday Lost Echoes (New text adventure [WIP])
« Reply #189 on: 22:07, 04 June 16 »
I think that most people should have a CP/M disk already if this is the case a single 3.5" disk would be Ok.

You can also check what are the minimum files needed to boot the game, in case everything fits in 720kb.

Offline TotO

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Re: Doomsday Lost Echoes (New text adventure [WIP])
« Reply #190 on: 22:15, 04 June 16 »
Is peoples using CP/M from ROM (|EMS), will be able to run the game from the drive A: without requiring a second drive?  :)
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Re: Doomsday Lost Echoes (New text adventure [WIP])
« Reply #191 on: 23:50, 04 June 16 »
Is peoples using CP/M from ROM (|EMS), will be able to run the game from the drive A: without requiring a second drive?  :)

Yes, you can start the game directly from CP/M if you are using a ROM  :) . However, you will not have the possibility to use the font selector, the game will use the standard system font (or the font you have loaded in your CP/M). There is a reason for the two floppies: the files do not fit in a single one even if it is 720KB. We would need a 1.44MB disc if we want just one, and these are not so common. However, all the 3.5" drives are compatible with the other capacity. Being the things like that, and considering that not everybody knows more than the standard RUN"DISC command, I thought that it would be better to use a couple of floppies. The first one just loads the operating system and sets up everything for the game in a transparent way. The second contains the relevant files for the adventure  :)

On the other hand, it is not very possible to play with PAWS standard setup and change the overall behavior of the parser and the graphic patch, that is the reason why we cannot do fancy things like using memory expansions to store lots of graphics and prevent the real time loading. Actually, the graphic patch for the PAWS was released much later than the parser itself, I think that there is not commercial game using it. In a 128KB computer all the RAM is basically full (the whole first block is for the CP/M, the second for the game) but since each graphic uses only 8KB I managed to squeeze two of them in the memory. This means that at least you will be able to go back to the previous location without loading from the floppy. If we had something like a X-MASS driver for CP/M, then yes, everything would run really fast  :)

Offline talrek

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Re: Doomsday Lost Echoes (New text adventure [WIP])
« Reply #192 on: 10:20, 05 July 16 »
Hi, great news !!
Do you plan to make something like a X-MASS or another device  install program ?
So you could copy all needed files to the mass device, and play from it ?


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Re: Doomsday Lost Echoes (New text adventure [WIP])
« Reply #193 on: 10:55, 05 July 16 »
That would be entirely possible, yes, but we would need a X-MASS driver for CP/M Plus. The other option I was considering was to use the X-MEM as RAM disc but the game is just too big!  :D Sadly, making a driver is way beyond my skills  :-X

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Re: Doomsday Lost Echoes (New text adventure [WIP])
« Reply #194 on: 12:11, 05 July 16 »
In a 128KB computer all the RAM is basically full but since each graphic uses only 8KB I managed to squeeze two of them in the memory
You can't store the GFx packed into the memory and unpack them only when displayed?
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Offline khaz

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Re: Doomsday Lost Echoes (New text adventure [WIP])
« Reply #195 on: 12:18, 05 July 16 »
Just you guys wait, they will find a way to compress the data / shove some code off, just enough to make it fit on a single 3.5 disc, and implement the Orion Prime loader.

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Re: Doomsday Lost Echoes (New text adventure [WIP])
« Reply #196 on: 12:27, 05 July 16 »
I can´t because I am using the original graphics patch that was made for the PAWS in the early 90s  :) The program basically looks for the graphics in the same floppy where the adventure is and it does not offer many fancy things besides loading them in real time. The good news is that if your graphics are just 8 KB (like in our case, because half of the screen is for the text) you can store two of them in the RAM. However, it would be possible to use something like the X-MASS, given the appropriate driver, to store the whole game and read it from there (it is a little bit less than 1 MB). The other possibility would be to use the Y-MEM as RAM disk and patch the CP/M Plus, however, as we discussed, not so many people has it  :D

On the bright side, even loading the graphics in real time the game is actually not so slow. Definitely faster than The Guild of Thieves, and offers the possibility to save the game in the same floppy of the adventure, no switching at all. In any case, the TGOT is impressive, I perfectly understand why it is so slow.
« Last Edit: 15:36, 05 July 16 by ||C|-|E|| »

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Re: Doomsday Lost Echoes (New text adventure [WIP])
« Reply #197 on: 13:43, 26 July 16 »
Soooo... updates, updates!

- The RC1 will be available soon to send to the final couple of testers (finally!  :D ) Actually, I compiled and put everything together yesterday. I just need to go one more time trough it myself and check that everything is OK  :) In the meantime, Dani will do the web page that accompanies the game, a trailer and the edition of the final version of the manual. Everything should be over by the end of August, when the final testers will receive the game. Playing the adventure one more time and do the final testing would take a few more weeks, but it is OK because September is going to be a crazy month for me anyway. However, the final release should be soon enough, most likely between October and November. It is possible that the texts corresponding to the intro and the endings still receive a revision, though  :)

- On the other hand, Rhino joined the team and made a supercool AMSDOS loader for the game that displays our final loading screens in mb0. They look amazing in the CRT  :-*

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]

[attachimg=3]

[attachimg=4]

- Finally, regarding a physical edition, the plans are to release the game first and then, depending of how much you like it, discuss if it is worth it. There are several options but we have quite clear that, in case we decide to make it, it will be something really special, for collectors  :)

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Re: Doomsday Lost Echoes (New text adventure [WIP])
« Reply #198 on: 11:11, 27 July 16 »
I'll save you time, I already love it (and I suspect many do).
It is very clear you have put a lot of efforts in the game & I'm sure it will show in the final release.
Maybe it won't be the next Guild of Thieves or Zork (while it doesn't feature graphics, you can't argue with the quality of Infocom games), but it doesn't need to be.
At any rate, thank you for working on it for us & I'm sure a lot of CPC enthusiasts will echo my feeling & want a physical release.
I, for one, cannot wait wait to play through it.

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Re: Doomsday Lost Echoes (New text adventure [WIP])
« Reply #199 on: 16:12, 27 July 16 »
Thank you so much for your words!

Infocom games are masterpieces, it is even difficult to thing about reaching the same levels  of quality! The other day I was playing Guild of Thieves again in the Amstrad and I was really impressed by some of the things, like the capacity of the parser to take you back to previously visited places or the amount of sentences that is able to understand. The advantage we had here is that, although this is a text adventure, it is also a 2016 game. We assumed that nobody would play for 3 months trying to solve it and therefore we introduced different levels of complexity. The "main" story is the easiest part, with a difficulty level that scales when you advance. In fact, the first puzzles are very simple, just to let you get familiar with the parser and the adventure. Then we have the 3 side quests that go from the: reasonably acceptable to quite difficult. Finally, there is an easter egg, with plenty of puzzles. This one is almost impossible, a nod to the crazy old good times. The first person solving it (if there is one!) will receive a physical reward  :D Each of the side quests, and the easter egg, add a substantial amount of lore to the story.

Another thing we tried to do is to create a parser that is able to understand many many things. There are around 5 o 6 verbs you can use to perform the essential actions. If you know the answer of a puzzle, you will be able to solve it no matter your level of english.  This seemed to work very well, since some of the testers were not english experts and they managed to go through the game without problems. I am personally very happy about this :) . Testing was also really useful to tune some parts that were either too easy or a bit too complicated, I think that all the people made a wonderful job here  :-* .