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 Post subject: Re: Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements
PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:53 am 
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The Prince of Shapeir

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It depends on how soon the AGS engine gets ported to OS X.

Now that it's been Open Sourced, it should only be a matter of time, but we'd certainly like to offer Mac versions of our games at some point. If we get funded and have the ability to hire more programmers next year, that should go a long way to increasing our cross-platform support and market reach.

Android versions are definitely in the works, though.


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 Post subject: Re: Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:22 am 
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So, has there been any word on the game?

Don't worry; I know this is a commercial game, and that it takes time to make.


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 Post subject: Re: Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:10 pm 
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The Prince of Shapeir

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Well, we've been making some steady progress recently after bringing some new hires on board. Akril is also working on our 2D cutscenes this time abound and she has produced some truly fantastic work in the short time she has been on the team!

Aside from that, I'm afraid there hasn't been a whole lot of exciting news to report on the game development front. Our search for investor funding has slowed down game development progress a bit, and we're still adjusting the stats and combat systems and trying to 'find their place' in the game. Hopefully things will settle down over the next month, so that we'll really be able to start putting some serious progress behind us.


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 Post subject: Re: Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:34 am 
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This looks so coool! Just my kinda game, more Quest For Glory-y and less King's Questy? Definitely gonna pre-order, so glad you're all still around and still making games.

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 Post subject: Re: Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:01 am 
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Any status updates on this?


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 Post subject: Re: Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:23 am 
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The Prince of Shapeir

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Over the past month or so we've brought a new programmer onto the development team and have started making some excellent progress on the game's combat system. It will be closer in style to Diablo (free-roaming) than the battle systems seen in any the Quest for Glory games. The closest comparison would be Quest for Glory 5, minus the cumbersome controls.

Combat is still early in development, but it's already shaping up to be fun to play. Once we add in loot drops, equipable items, and the awesome class-based spells we're planning, it's going to start feeling like a real RPG!

In addition to that, Akril's work on the game's 2D cutscenes has been fantastic! They'll punctuate the gameplay at key points in the story as rewards for reaching certain milestones.

The game isn't going to make it's original 2012 release date. There's so much work to do on a multi-class RPG-style game (in hi-res, no less) that it's easy to underestimate the amount of work involved. We also want to make sure the gameplay offers a worthwhile experience, and want to get it right.

Here are a couple of work-in-progress development screenshots:

A very early combat test. D'arc battles some redcap goblins
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A Work-in-Progress animation from a 2D cutscene
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 Post subject: Re: Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:52 pm 
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This game sounds fantastic. It sure seems to be taking a long time to make, but I think that's always expected with such detailed games as this. I'm glad to know that I didn't miss out on the pre-order; however, I'm a poor, lowly college student with very little money, so as much as I would love to have this (assuming it's being made for Windows 7), I don't know that I could afford it. How much is this going to cost? If the actual release is far enough away, maybe I can start saving a little here and there in time to buy it.

Thanks, and everything looks really great so far!

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 Post subject: Re: Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:24 am 
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Wow these look really crude. I think we have a looong wait ahead of us :lol


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 Post subject: Re: Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:31 am 
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The Prince of Shapeir

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Thanks, MusicLady1724. I'm not sure what the final price will be yet. Probably $15-$20 USD for the digital download version. (The boxed collectors edition with the swag would be the more expensive one).

quest: Much of the functionality of the combat system is in place and the attack/spell "functions" are pretty fast and easy to move into a prettier GUI at the drop of a hat. For testing purposes, though, it helps to have all available spells on a temporary GUI like the one you see in the screenshot. The battle engine is mostly lacking animations of all the different enemies at this point - but aside from those, some missing spells, and the unimplemented final interface, combat is already playable and fully in place.

Two out of three cutscenes are also finished (animation-wise) and now only remain to be shaded and have completed backgrounds added behind them.

I suspect the larger challenge is going to be programming all of this together and striking the right balance. However, it's beneficial that we have the experience of developing QFG2VGA to draw upon. We have three programmers working on different areas of Mage's Initiation at the moment, so rest assured that development won't blow out 8 years. >D


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 Post subject: Re: Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 3:44 pm 
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$15-20 for a digital download? Shoot, that sounds expensive for just a digital copy (though, I understand a lot of hard work and time goes into this). I'll have to decide if I'm willing to spend that or not. I may just spend more on the actual boxed set because I find the actual physical copy to be more reliable. Thanks for the response!

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 Post subject: Re: Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 12:29 am 
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Is it really that expensive? Think about how much game companies normally charge for a game on release. $40? $50? $60?


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 Post subject: Re: Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 4:00 am 
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Thepal wrote:
Is it really that expensive? Think about how much game companies normally charge for a game on release. $40? $50? $60?


Right, but those are actual physical copies of the game. We're talking $15 for just a digital copy, so you wouldn't even have anything physical to work with...Plus those prices are usually for Wii and XBOX, not PC. PC games, last I checked, run about $20 brand new, just released. So $15 just seems like a LOT to me for a digital copy and makes me worry how much the real thing would be if a digital copy ALONE would already cost $15. I'm thinking in these terms.

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 Post subject: Re: Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:09 am 
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Anonymous Game Creator 2 wrote:
so rest assured that development won't blow out 8 years. >D

Oh good because I figured I'd be dead by then. Correct me if I'm wrong but I have always been under the impression that the main reason why a QFG type game takes so long to program is because of the character development aspect of the game. It makes me wonder if it is worth all the extra time effort. I understand that this might make the game more attractive to some people in the sierra gamer community, but I wonder if it really makes the game more playable to the typical gamer than let's say a straight forward adventure game like KQ.

MusicLady1724 wrote:
PC games, last I checked, run about $20 brand new, just released.

I'm not sure what games you are referring to but most of the PC games I have purchased lately were in the $40-$60 range. Plus most big companies do not make a distinction between a digital and physical purchase. You are made to pay almost the same amount of money.


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 Post subject: Re: Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 12:15 pm 
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The Prince of Shapeir

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$15 dollars or so seems to be the average price for most indie adventure games, and also for similar adventure game projects on Kickstarter (at the lowest tier which just gets you a digital download of the game).

I think a good justification for the pricing point is to compare it to a night out at the movies. For roughly the same cost, you get a game which provides many more hours of entertainment than a film -- something with the replay value of 4 different character classes, which you can play as many times as you like. On the other hand, once you leave that cinema your money's been spent and the experience is over.

Niche games are so much cheaper than general games used to cost in the 80's and 90's, yet adventures are still notoriously expensive and time-consuming to produce. And because many of the major digital download portals now rely on moving high volumes of indie games at a fraction of their real worth, it seems to have set a consumer mentality that if it's not 99 cents (or at least very cheap), then it's a rip-off. This makes it difficult for indie developers to charge what their games are really worth and also kind of limits their ability to experiment. Because to combat the fact that many gamers are only willing to pay the lowest price, it's almost crucial now to get your game onto portals like Steam and Big Fish Games. And if you don't get accepted, you may not turn enough profit to make another game, let alone earn any compensation for your current efforts. The whole situation risks indie games becoming more stale as they try to meet the 'criteria' of the distribution platforms, for fear that being too creative or not playing it safe enough will get their game blacklisted. Generally, though, fans of the genre know the true value of these kinds of adventure games and are happy with the value for money of a $15 price tag.

Quote:
Correct me if I'm wrong but I have always been under the impression that the main reason why a QFG type game takes so long to program is because of the character development aspect of the game. It makes me wonder if it is worth all the extra time effort. I understand that this might make the game more attractive to some people in the sierra gamer community, but I wonder if it really makes the game more playable to the typical gamer than let's say a straight forward adventure game like KQ.


Yeah, that aspect does take a while to get right, but it's not the main cause of delays with this particular project. We've experienced a record number of flakey contractors this time around. People coming and going, life issues popping up, and positions needing to be re-filled have all caused the project's momentum to waver at various points. But now it's steadily cruising along.

As for whether a RPG-Adventure is worth all the extra effort, I guess time will tell. I hope Mage's Initiation is successful, as we already have an entire saga of sequels designed. But it's a hybrid game genre that hasn't really been explored commercially outside of the Quest for Glory series, so it's a bit like navigating uncharted territory. I imagine with the right marketing, it could do well. Though we're trying to rely less on monotonous stat-grinding (which may turn off new players) and have stats rise in tandem with the story itself to make the RPG aspect integrate more seamlessly with the adventure stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:06 pm 
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MusicLady1724 wrote:
Right, but those are actual physical copies of the game. We're talking $15 for just a digital copy, so you wouldn't even have anything physical to work with...Plus those prices are usually for Wii and XBOX, not PC. PC games, last I checked, run about $20 brand new, just released. So $15 just seems like a LOT to me for a digital copy and makes me worry how much the real thing would be if a digital copy ALONE would already cost $15. I'm thinking in these terms.


Well, I don't know where you live, but it sounds amazing. Digital downloads for me are always the same price as physical copies. The big game companies don't like to lose money (and a box costs them all of 50cents anyway)


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 Post subject: Re: Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:19 pm 
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$15 is quite affordable. Especially when you think of all the hours of work, and number of people who have worked to bring this game to life. People need to be compensated for their work - $15 for a digital download isn't going to be buying anyone on this team Gold Plated Lamborghinis to drive in.

As has been said - most PC games, upon release, range from $35-$40. Many of these do drop in price after a few months, because by that time - hopefully - thousands of copies have been sold. The large game producers make it up in volume. In niche markets, it's much harder to do.

I'd drop $15 rather quickly at a grocery store, so paying people $15 for a game wouldn't require much thought on my part if I believed in them, and trusted their work.


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 Post subject: Re: Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:32 pm 
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Old school RPG vet Jeff Vogel also has some interesting choice words on indie game pricing in today's environment:

http://jeff-vogel.blogspot.com/2011/10/ ... eaper.html

It's pretty verbose, but here's the chase:


"If you're making a pretty, shiny, highly casual game with cartoon squirrels and you think you can find a million fans for it, go ahead. Charge a dollar. You'll have to.

But if you write games like mine? Low budget, old school, hardcore RPGs with lots of content? If I charged a dollar for it, I'd have to sell a copy to pretty much every interested human everywhere to have a chance of making money."


The bare-minimum pricing model is a two-way street. Selling more games for a lower price can generate more income than selling just a few copies at a higher price-- and distribution of these games is at the developers' fingertips these days. People all over the world use Steam, Big Fish, Desura, GOG, etc. The barriers between the devs and the players have been lowered, as so many more players can be reached now.

But on the other hand, pricing games too low for a protracted period of time gives the impression that indie games are worth less and only AAA games should be priced above a certain level. Plus it takes productions of both calibers a while to not just recoup their development costs, but also to turn a profit to hopefully self-fund the next game.

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 Post subject: Re: Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:04 am 
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I'm making a game, and it will cost at least $10. It kinda has to to be worth it. As long as the game has the content to back it up, it shouldn't matter if it is "indie" or not. Most people aren't going to pay $50 for a game like Angry Birds. It is purely a casual game. However, something like Mage's Initiation is much more than that. It contains much more, varied gameplay. $15-$20 is actual pretty cheap for that sort of game. Digital vs Boxed doesn't really factor into it. Shipping a boxed copy of a game is pretty inexpensive compared to the rest of the costs of creating a game (unless there are extra goodies included).

I expect that Mage's Initiation will provide more game hours than many big budget games. Why shouldn't they charge a decent amount?


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 Post subject: Re: Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:27 am 
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I've got to say $15-$20 is a great deal; I'm planning on getting it as soon as I can afford it when it's released :)


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 Post subject: Re: Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:55 am 
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Excited to see the progress and looking forward to the game, I know it takes a long time, so i will be patient and wait.

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 Post subject: Re: Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:12 am 
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Okay, this game looks amazing. I will pay whatever the cost for the special edition, if there is one.

One thing I would ask, though, is that the website for the game be able to display properly on iPhones and iPads, if possible. Unless I'm doing something wrong, the website just isn't looking right on those devices. The graphics and text aren't lining up correctly. I bookmarked your website on my phone because I want to be able to check back from time to time to see if any updates have been added. I can follow you on Twitter, but it's just nice to be able to check an actual website.


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 Post subject: Re: Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 2:41 pm 
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The Prince of Shapeir

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Someone else mentioned something like this when viewing the Mage's site on iPhone, but I don't own an iPhone myself, so I haven't been able to verify it.

I own a Galaxy S1, a Galaxy S3, as well as a Galaxy tablet, and the site views fine on those devices. When it's first loading up, there is some misalignment of the text and images, but as the other site elements load fully, everything clicks into place. Does this not happen on iPhone?


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 Post subject: Re: Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 5:25 am 
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No, it never clicks into place. At least it doesn't for me. The menu text overlaps with the other text on the page. It is almost impossible to read the navigation menu text. Also, the background doesn't seem to automatically fit on the screen properly. Maybe it looks better on an iPad, but it looks messed up and very hard to read on iPhone. Anyone looking at the site on an iPhone probably wouldn't spend more than two seconds on it because the site looks under construction. Seems like this would be easy to fix.

Update: The above is what happens when I use the Google search app on an iPhone. When I open up the site just with Safari, it loads a little bit differently but there are still basically the same weird alignment problems. I will take some screenshots and post them here later see you can see what I mean.

Here's what it looks like on my iPhone 5 when I open the web page with google search app. The page is zoomed in too much and doesn't automatically fit the width of my screen. The second one is what it looks like when I pinch zoom out as much as possible. I have to do A LOT of zooming out to finally get that full view.


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Last edited by pbpb33 on Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:32 am 
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Your main AGDI site and other game web pages load up and automatically fit to my iPhone screen nicely, though!


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 Post subject: Re: Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:18 pm 
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The Prince of Shapeir

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Thanks for the screenshots... Hmmm, weird. I'm not sure what's up with that, but I'll try to get the guy who programmed it to look into it at some point.


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