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Messages - GameDevChris

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Technical & Bugs forum / Re: Al Emmo saved game
« on: April 09, 2011, 07:17:05 AM »
You can just email it to the address I mentioned in my previous post: support@himalayastudios.com

Technical & Bugs forum / Re: Al Emmo saved game
« on: April 08, 2011, 11:32:59 PM »
Hmm... I don't have any save games from that part of the game, so could you upload your most recent one for me and I'll play past that point, resave it and reupload it for you.

You'll need to make sure that the savegame file with the skeleton is the last one you saved. If it's not, simply resave over the file to push it to the top of the savegame list.

Then you need to go to your directory where the savegame files are located:

Windows XP:
Documents and Settings\USERNAME\My Documents\My Saved Games\Al Emmo and the Lost Dutchmans Mine

Windows Vista & 7
USERNAME\Saved Games\Al Emmo and the Lost Dutchmans Mine

*Where USERNAME is the name of the current user's account.

Right-click somewhere in the folder and "arrange Icons By: Modified". Find the savegame file with the most recent date and timestamp and email it to support@himalayastudios.com

General Forum / Re: Skip this puzzle option
« on: April 08, 2011, 01:46:07 PM »
FYI, during the chase sequence, the game is set to auto-run mode, so Al will run by default when single-clicking.

Technical & Bugs forum / Re: Al Emmo saved game
« on: April 08, 2011, 01:41:35 PM »
That sounds strange. Double-clicking should always work for running. If you start a new game and double-click, does he run then?

In order to send you a savegame file, we'd need to know which version of the game you're running. Move the mouse to the top-left corner and click the "Settings" option, and then click the "?" button. It should say either v1.0, v2.0, or v3.0.  Let us know what version number you are running so that the correct savegame file can be sent.

General Forum / Donations - So You Want To Be a Donor?
« on: April 07, 2011, 07:26:55 AM »
Hello, everyone! We've set up a PayPal "donate" button for Himalaya Studios, so that anyone who wishes to make a financial contribution (of any amount) to help offset our commercial development costs (as well as potential licensing fees) is able to do so.

A few caveats:

1) We'll be unable to return or refund any donated money to donors, regardless of whether a game project in development is released, canceled, or remains indefinitely unfinished. This is also the case if the company is dissolved or otherwise ceases to exist in the future, for some reason. If you're uncomfortable with this prospect, but still wish to help us financially, please purchase a copy of Al Emmo, Postcards from Anozira, or another games on the Himalaya Studios site instead, so that you'll be getting something tangible for your contribution.

2) Donations are considered an act of good will. They're not treated the same way as a purchase. Please understand that donating money to us won't entitle the donor to receive a copy of any commercial Himalaya Studios game (or anything else tangible).

3) All donation funds will be put towards Himalaya Studios' company maintenance and commercial game development costs. We also promise not to spend the cash on a new yacht.

4) Donors won't be treated like company shareholders. Donating won't allow contributors any leverage over how a particular game is designed or how the company is run.

Having said that, any donations received will be gladly welcomed and put to very good use. They'll allow us better negotiating abilities; will offer us the chance to hire more workers; and ultimately will allow us to finish developing games faster. So, without further ado...

Thank you for any amount of support!

General Forum / Re: Quick reply option
« on: April 07, 2011, 07:23:50 AM »
I had a quick look in the Admin panel, but couldn't find any way to make it a global feature for this particular forum theme we're using.

Mage's Initiation Forum / Re: So give us some updates!
« on: April 02, 2011, 04:14:58 AM »
Is this going to have stats and skills like an RPG? Is the battle system going to be anything like what we saw in QFG2?

There will be fewer stats than the Quest for Glory games, and the gameplay formula won't rely so much on grinding. Combat will be a little different than the Quest for Glory 2 remake. It will be closer in style to Quest for Glory 4's side-on battle scenes. Outwitting your foe doesn't rely on brute strength, but on mastery of magic spells and combos interweaved with combat maneuvers (throws, blocks, evasive steps etc.)

How open-ended is it? Can you just meander around at your leisure or does the game keep you in one place at a time, doing one thing at a time?

There will be multiple endings which affect the endgame in fairly drastic ways. The game world will gradually open up to reveal new places as you explore more, but the initial area that you get to (the land of Iginor) is quite wide. Other areas will open up only for the duration of a specific quest, and won't be accessible again after that.

Are the incessant questions getting annoying? I'm really psyched about this game. Maybe I should get a life.

Nope, it's all part of the gig. :D Glad to hear you're anticipating it, by the way. A lot of things are going to be tweaked and refined as we make further progress, however, so anything I mention could still be subject to change at some point.

Mage's Initiation Forum / Re: So give us some updates!
« on: March 29, 2011, 11:03:32 PM »
There's some information and screenshots from Mage's Initiation posted up at Adventure Gamers:



Development is moving along, and we've just added a new animator to the team to speed up progress. The game will be similar to the classic King's Quest and Quest for Glory games, and we have about 10 people currently working on the title.

Mage's Initiation Forum / Re: Welcome to the Mage's Initiation Forum
« on: March 05, 2011, 11:55:19 PM »
Hey, thanks for offering! We can often use pixel artists, though we mostly look for pixel animators with a good knowledge of how things move. These are somewhat harder to find. Sometimes we can have our existing animators block out the frames with solid colours and then just get a regular pixel artist to pixel edit the final details into each frame.

At any rate, I'm not sure if we require an additional pixel artist just yet (nor whether our budget would permit it), but this is one field where we experience a high number of people who flake-out. So feel free to send your portfolio to web@himalayastudios.com. That way, if something comes up, I can let you know. Thanks.

Technical & Bugs forum / Re: Error message after installation
« on: March 04, 2011, 07:19:05 AM »
Excellent!  :D

Mage's Initiation Forum / Re: Welcome to the Mage's Initiation Forum
« on: March 01, 2011, 01:17:25 AM »
Thanks! Glad to hear you guys are anticipating it.  :D

Technical & Bugs forum / Re: Error message after installation
« on: March 01, 2011, 01:16:36 AM »
Firstly, in the winsetup.exe program, try unchecking the "Force Alternate Letterbox resolution" only and see if that works.

If not, in winsetup.exe, try changing the "Graphics Driver" to "DirectDraw5" instead and see if that makes any difference.

If the "Graphics Filter" setting doesn't work when set to "None", try setting it to "2x Nearest Neighbour".

What model video card do you have? Have you installed the latest drivers for both your video card and DirectX?

Some newer video cards, like Nvidia models, sometimes don't support certain resolutions "out of the box" but usually have a control panel where you can add 640x480 ad 640x400 as a custom resolution.

Technical & Bugs forum / Re: Prior system purchase
« on: February 24, 2011, 01:43:40 PM »
Sure thing. If you can send an email to replacements@himalayastudios.com and mention either your order number or the shipping address your game was mailed to, we'll send you a replacement key.

Mage's Initiation Forum / Welcome to the Mage's Initiation Forum
« on: February 23, 2011, 09:59:58 PM »
Hello, everyone!

This forum is where discussion of our newly announced game, "Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements" will take place.

First, a bit of information about the upcoming title. Based on the poll we conducted in the General Forum some years ago, as well as general fan feedback, we're taking this game in much more of a classic Sierra-style direction, but with higher resolution backgrounds and detailed pixel-art characters. Mage's Initiation will maintain the same charm that made the classic Sierra adventure games memorable, but without all the frustrating parts, such as dead-ends and over-reliance on trial and error, eliminated.

It's going to be a Point & Click adventure game which includes Role-Playing and character-building elements. It will be very similar in style to Sierra's Quest for Glory series with a series of unique spells for each character class, and a complete battle system. The background artwork of locations you can travel to are very reminiscent of King's Quest games of the 90's, as well..

D'Arc is sixteen years old. He has trained extensively in the elemental arts for the past decade of his young life, under the discerning eyes of the Mage Masters of Iginor. Confined to an existence of academics and magical mastery in their towering hall, the inquisitive initiate often wonders what it would be like to set foot outside in the world that he has been secluded from; a world that his Masters deeply shun.

As with all young Mages in training, D'Arc's moment of initiation arrives and he is summoned to the Hallowed Hall, where the four Mage Masters put him to the test. D'Arc is tasked with completing three quests which will test his magical and mental strength to full capacity.  He must return to the Mage's Hall bearing a symbol of proof that he has conquered each task:  a lock of hair from banished priestess, the unspoiled shell of griffon's egg, and the horn of a trihorn.

Join D'Arc on a perilous journey across the medieval land of Igninor. Brave the perilous forest where redcap goblins stalk. Trek across a barren and lawless desert wastelands. Navigate over vast bodies of water where evil masquerades as beauty. And ascend beyond the lofty mountain peaks where the hostile race of Flyterians dwell.  It is time for D'arc to prove himself. Succeed and he shall be initiated as a fully-fledged Mage, gaining the respect of his Masters and peers. Fail and nobody shall remember his name. Do you have what it takes to become a Mage?

The game allows you to play as one of four Mage character classes, based on the elements (Water, Air, Fire, and Earth). Each Mage class has a range of different spells at his disposal and a unique personality to aid in negotiating puzzles and overcoming adversities. However, rather than selecting a class at the beginning of the game, your element will choose you, in-game, depending on your decisions and behaviour.

Mages Initiation: Reign of the Elements will be a full-length title with a beginning, a middle, and an end. We are also reintroducing death scenes (something largely omitted in Al Emmo) and we have some gruesome and creative ones!

We are currently anticipating that the game will be released in late 2012.

As a special offer, we are reserving pre-orders for Limited Edition copies of "Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements". The Limited Edition is an exclusive collector's item that contains high-quality packaging, an artistically designed game disc, a printed map of the land of Iginor, an archaic spell book page, 3 character trading cards, a Mage's Initiation poster, and a bonus FREE KQ3 Redux poster!

The Limited Edition packaging and bonuses will no longer be available after the promotional period ends. Absolutely no advance payment is required to reserve a pre-order of Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements. Notification to make payment will be announced only when the game is nearing its release date.

Please note that pricing is To Be Announced. (We request that only customers who genuinely intend to pre-order the Limited Edition put their name on this list. For general information on the game, please join the Himalaya Newsletter instead).

To learn more about "Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements" and this special announcement offer, visit The Mages Promo page.

General Forum / Re: New Himalaya Game
« on: December 29, 2010, 12:37:49 PM »
The new game isn't going to be an Al Emmo sequel. it will be more similar in both style and gameplay to the King's Quest and Quest for Glory series. It'll be a Role Playing Game/Adventure Game hybrid with 4 character classes.  

We haven't been able to announce the title or any more information yet, but we're preparing to do it as soon as possible.  As for the release time/date, well, that's the million dollar question!  At this stage, we're still not sure when it will be released, but we'll play it by ear and provide updates as we get closer to finishing the project.

In the meantime, here's a link to the First Himalaya Studios newsletter announcing the game (which shows a small, early thumbnail screenshot).

And some additional information that was posted in this thread in the AGDI forums.

General Forum / Re: New Himalaya Game
« on: December 08, 2010, 10:34:17 AM »
There's still an adventure/RPG in development, yes, but we hit some development hurdles along the way. The new adventure game is still moving ahead, but a little slower than originally expected. (The HOG was more or less just a side project to help bring in some money to assist with funding the adventure game).

Anyway, hopefully we can announce that project soon. :)

General Forum / Re: Al Emmo 3.0 has been released! - December 6th 2010
« on: December 06, 2010, 12:50:48 PM »
Al Emmo and the Lost Dutchman's Mine v3.0 has just been released. See the first post in this thread for all the details!  :D

Al Emmo & the Lost Dutchman's Mine Forum / Re: Purchase Problem
« on: December 02, 2010, 12:33:27 PM »
Sorry to hear about the delay time you're experiencing. We use Plimus as our e-commerce payment processor, so we don't handle the transactions directly.

Plimus are very particular about security and fraud protection, so they can be quite rigorous about ensuring that only valid and authentic Credit Card purchases are being made through their system. Due to this, sometimes first-time Plimus buyers who purchase via Credit Card will get flagged for additional security measures. If I recall correctly, the flagging can be based on certain criteria, such as the buyer's location, the fact that they're purchasing with a Credit Card, and several other factors.

If your purchase gets flagged, you'll usually be called by a Plimus support member on the phone number you provided during the purchase process, to confirm that it was indeed you who bought the game. Once you do that, they should process the order very quickly. If you're not near the phone when they call (or if you provided a dummy number), that will delay the process a bit, however.

Understandably, this delay time and inconvenience is a common complaint amongst a lot of customers who purchase games from indie developers who use Plimus to process payments. Fortunately, it doesn't happen to every purchaser, and the fact that Plimus are so thorough means that at least their security is iron-clad and they're working to keep your credit card safe. This isn't a hoax or a scam, but a security measure designed to prevent such things.

Anyhow, please send us an e-mail at contact@himalayastudios.com if your payment still hasn't been processed by the time they said it would be and I'll get it sorted out.

The completed image is a skull with four coloured squares at the corners. The best way is to align the 3 blocks along the left edge first and then shuffle the rest of them (without touching the 3 on the left) until they all slide into place. You should be able to tell which blocks are 'corner' blocks since they contain squares with solid colours.

If you still can't solve it, then after 200 tile slides have elapsed, a skip button should automatically appear on the screen. Clicking it will allow you to bypass the puzzle.

General Forum / New Himalaya Game: Postcards from Anozira
« on: August 02, 2010, 07:00:29 AM »
We've released a new game based on Al Emmo and set in the land of Anozira. It's called "Postcards from Anozira".

The game is a "straight" Hidden Object Game (meaning, it's not an Interactive HOG with adventure-game elements), which we started developing mainly as an experiment to see how efficiently the Adventure Game Studio engine could handle this type of game. (As far as I'm aware, this is the very first HOG ever developed in AGS?)

The game costs $9.99 USD. It's exclusive to Big Fish Games. Be sure to check it out!

You can read more detail and view some screenshots at the links below:

1 Hour Free Trial (98 MB)

Al Emmo's Postcards from Anozira Information

Try It & Buy Game links

General Forum / Re: New Himalaya Game
« on: July 16, 2010, 09:44:05 PM »
We haven't released any information publicly yet, but we're planning to do so soon. Stay tuned, and feel free to sign up to the Himalaya Newsletter on the main site if you'd like to know when we make the announcement.

Al Emmo & the Lost Dutchman's Mine Forum / Re: Game enjoyment
« on: June 13, 2010, 08:23:45 AM »
Hey, Revolutiofairy! Thanks for the great feedback. It's nice to know that you guys enjoyed playing Al Emmo.

If you're waiting for something to tide you over until the next Himalaya Studios release, you could also try our free Sierra remakes of King's Quest 1, King's Quest 2, and Quest for Glory 2 at http://www.AGDInteractive.com (if you haven't already!)

Technical & Bugs forum / Re: Al Emmo scene not colorblind friendly
« on: March 29, 2010, 04:44:45 AM »
Wow, if you manage to sculpt all that, you'll have to post a few photos to show us how the results turned out. :D

In regards to images from the game, well, you could try using Google images, or going to a site like MobyGames and viewing the screenshots section for Al Emmo. Was there something specific you were planning on sculpting from the game? And when you say "mine" do you mean the actual environment (such as a mine background screen)?

Technical & Bugs forum / Re: Al Emmo scene not colorblind friendly
« on: March 19, 2010, 10:06:48 AM »
What a question!  :laugh:  Sure, I have one of the Al Emmo T-shirts and the material is high quality (Hanes brand, I believe). The logos on the front and back are also professionally printed, and as long as you follow the washing instructions on the tag, everything should be okay in regards to general wear and tear.  I'd recommend the lighter colored T-shirts, though. The printing and blending tends to look best on the white ones.

Now, I'm no authority on sending food through the post, but I don't think it'd be a problem to package all those items together with a T-Shirt (assuming the post office lets you). You could even put the T-shirt into a thin plastic bag to protect it, if you're concerned. That's what I'd do.

Since the T-shirt would be shipped separately to you anyway, maybe you could simply use your sister's shipping address and have the T-shirt sent directly to her without it having to pass through your own hands?

Technical & Bugs forum / Re: Al Emmo scene not colorblind friendly
« on: March 17, 2010, 08:18:40 PM »
That sounds like the very first screen of the game! Sorry, I'm not sure what to suggest, other than trying to adjust your monitor contrast and brightness settings to make things stand out a bit better.

We actually do have a color-blind member on the development team who often makes suggestions in regards to improving the visuals for color-blind players, but he didn't mention having any trouble making out the visual details in Al Emmo's background screens. I guess color-blindness affects different people in different ways...

Regarding location, Himalaya Studios is based in Arizona, but I live in Australia, which would explain the time difference. ;)

As for new titles, I'd recommend joining out mailing list. That way you'll know whenever we release a new game!

You can sign up for the Himalaya Newsletter by clicking here.

Technical & Bugs forum / Re: Al Emmo scene not colorblind friendly
« on: March 13, 2010, 09:13:08 AM »
At what point in the game is this, and do you know what the scene in question is?

There's really nothing in the game that would allow you to adjust the background's colors, but maybe temporarily adjusting the brightness/contrast settings on your monitor might make it more visible?

Well, we have a few more loose ends to tie up with the AGDI side of things. We're still intending to release updated versions of the King's Quest I and King's Quest II remakes in order to address a few minor issues (and also convert the installers to use InnoSetup). We could have done that last year, but we need to wait until AGS 3.2 final is released.

With the Himalaya title, hopefully we'll be able to make the announcement of the game's details soon... :)

Al Emmo & the Lost Dutchman's Mine Forum / Re: Game enjoyment
« on: January 03, 2010, 11:37:17 PM »
Thanks, cmdr_gabe_e!  It's always nice to hear such glowing feedback. Glad you enjoyed it! ;)

Hey, Michael. Yes, I've seen those 3D renderings and projections of the Monkey Island 2 game backgrounds. They look great and it sure would be interesting to see the game remade in such a format.

I think LucasArts even gave a nod of acknowledgment towards the guy who made them.  :)

General Forum /
« on: October 01, 2009, 04:16:39 AM »
An online portal is a site like Big Fish Games.

As you can see, these sites offer a large number of casual games and some medium-length adventure games. And they all have 60 minute free trials. When a lot of portal sites agree to take your game, it provides exposure to a large audience and many more potential customers.

General Forum /
« on: September 30, 2009, 12:56:05 PM »
2D adventures made as short to medium-length games and targeted at casual online portals can do quite well, as evidenced by Dave Gilbert's Blackwell series.

However, longer adventure games like Al Emmo are much more risky since they are very expensive to develop and there's no guarantee of making your development costs back, let alone profiting enough to make a livable income. Also, online portals may not want to take larger games on account of their larger filesize (or consumers may not want to download them for the same reason).

Developing shorter adventure games for a casual audience is the safest bet for someone who's starting out.

General Forum /
« on: September 24, 2009, 10:05:53 PM »
No, but you'd probably want to get a CD printing and duplication house to handle that process for you if that's the route you were going to take.

Releasing games on CD is not really the ideal way to go for indie developers, as if you don't sell out of stock you'll be left with a pile of inventory that's hard to move.  Making your game available as a digital download is by far the better option. This way, you have no inventory to maintain, you won't need to accumulate additional shipping & handling fees for your customers, nor personally send anything in the mail.

General Forum /
« on: September 24, 2009, 10:38:05 AM »
You don't have to pay any royalties or licensing to Microsoft to use those products because they're not included as part of your game. You'd simply need to own legal copies of any software you use to develop the game. If you use Theora for movies and vorbis/speex for audio then you can also avoid hefty licensing fees that you'd rack up using their commercial alternatives (i.e. DivX and MP3). Depending on which game engine you use, you may have to pay a licensing fee to the developer.

If you make a game that doesn't infringe on anybody else's trademarks or copyrights, then you can start selling it without any dramas. Although, making a game in itself it easier said than done. Also, for artwork, I expect that you'd want to use something a little more versatile than MS Paint, such as Adobe Photoshop.

Al Emmo & the Lost Dutchman's Mine Forum /
« on: September 24, 2009, 10:29:40 AM »
Funny you should say that. We originally wanted to inquire about getting Gary Owens for the narrator's voice.  But no, it's not him. We were just fortunate enough to find John Bell, who was capable of sounding very similar!

General Forum /
« on: September 24, 2009, 05:19:11 AM »
Copyright automatically applies to any original work you create, so you don't need to obtain a special patent, particularly if you're making a game from a pre-existing genre or one that's based on a formulaic structure (which most adventure games are). If you want to register a trademark, that's a different story, though still entirely optional.

The biggest issue is general piracy. All developers, indie and mainstream alike, must contend with this menace. The best solution is to use a basic digital rights management system which allocates keys to paying customers, but isn't so complicated that it gives them trouble. Of course, if a game is popular enough, hackers are going to find a way past that. But pirates will always copy games, and there's not much that can be done about that. However, the vast majority of customers who are genuinely interested in the game will be willing to compensate your efforts.

The basic DRM solution is mainly intended to stop casual piracy. Say, someone copying the game for a friend. If they try to copy it, it'll simply revert back to the 60 minute trial mode. A lot of casual players don't want to risk messing around with broken pirated versions and so called keygens, which silently install backdoor trojans, keyloggers, worms, and viruses on their system, when simply paying the game's small asking price is a lot less hassle.

If you can make a game that people will enjoy, then it should start to sell itself. Start by submitting it to a few portals, and if it's well-received, that will lead to wider publicity, wider distribution, possibly with more offers coming in.

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