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Messages - GameDevChris

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211
Al Emmo & the Lost Dutchman's Mine Forum /
« on: August 17, 2007, 01:53:26 PM »
Hey Tobi, thanks for posting these links.  It's always interesting to see the kinds of reviews the game is getting.

Hope you enjoy playing the German localization. The team at Contendo Media did a great job on the translation, and it should be a very accurate representation of the original English game. :)

212
Technical & Bugs forum /
« on: June 23, 2007, 03:46:51 PM »
This seems like a crash that's specific to your own system, and is being generated by AGS.  You should probably try posting the error message on the AGS Technical forum here:

http://new.bigbluecup.com/yabb/index.php?board=2.0

Chris Jones should be able to tell you exactly what's causing the crash, and suggest any appropriate steps to resolve it.

213
General Forum / What type of game would YOU like to see next?
« on: June 23, 2007, 06:40:57 AM »
Hey, all,

I'm curious about the general consensus on what type/style/genre of game, fans would like to see next from Himalaya Studios.

Feedback on the game resolution and interface etc. would also be appreciated.  Do YOU prefer games rich in dialogue with narrator speech that include descriptions for everything? Or do you prefer the more simplified interfaces of newer adventure games like Syberia?  Please do let us know!

214
Technical & Bugs forum /
« on: June 01, 2007, 01:26:27 PM »
Great, glad to hear it! :)

215
Technical & Bugs forum /
« on: June 01, 2007, 11:30:32 AM »
You can download it from an alternative site here:

http://games.internode.on.net/filelist. ... tails=2662

216
Technical & Bugs forum /
« on: June 01, 2007, 11:20:48 AM »
Have you inquired about this bug on the TellTale forums at tall?  I am not sure of the exact copy protection method they have used on the game, but it seems like this is most likely what's causing the protection error on your system. We haven't had any reports of this occurring before. TellTale may know of some way to bypass it and get the demo working as intended.

Failing that, I'd suggest trying to download the demo version from our own website, which does not have any kind of protection placed on it, meaning that it shouldn't give you any error message at all.  The difference is that the version available on our own site also allows you to play to the end of Act1 with no time restriction.

217
Technical & Bugs forum /
« on: June 01, 2007, 09:45:49 AM »
Which version of the demo did you download.  For example, did you download it from the Telltale Games website, from our own own website, or from another site?

218
Technical & Bugs forum /
« on: May 31, 2007, 11:28:00 PM »
Which operating system are you trying to run the demo game on?  And you you have the latest version of DirectX installed, as well as the latest version of your video card and sound card drivers?

Finally, is there any way you can copy and paste the exact error message you're receiving here?  If the game displays a pop-up dialogue box, it should be possible to press CTRL-C to copy the text to the clipboard and CTRL-C to paste the message here in the forums.

219
Al Emmo & the Lost Dutchman's Mine Forum /
« on: May 24, 2007, 09:30:03 PM »
Actually, the translation team is very good to work with, and they have been extremely fast and reliable in bringing the German version to completion.  They've also allowed us to review the content that has been implemented in German, and have also included quite a few revisions and suggestions.  We've been working together to ensure that the game will provide the same experience as the English version.  They have also done a very nice job in translating some of the key jokes over to the German language.

It seems there was a bit of a rush to create box assets and somewhere along the way, something fell through the cracks and we weren't able to review the cover before it went public. Unforunatley, presentation is also one of the aspects that many members on our development team are very fussy about.  I have been trying to get some unbiased feedback on the German box cover but so far, most people believe that the original artwork better advertizes the plot and story.  I'm sure that the new cover would also appeal to some people, but it makes the game look like LSL:Magna Cum Laude instead of selling it based on its own merits... as our original goal with this game was to bring more attention to classic-style adventures.

The quality of the translation itself seems very good. I just hope that they can bring the quality of the box up to an equal level.

220
Al Emmo & the Lost Dutchman's Mine Forum /
« on: May 22, 2007, 07:22:18 AM »
Thanks for the link.

Hmm, this box cover was not ran by us. In fact, this is the first time I've ever seen it. It was suggested to keep Eriq's artwork, and also Eriq's pretty unwavering on the fact that a game's logo should not be changed, since that equates to changing the branding.

I'll have a word to them and see if we can get it changed.

221
Al Emmo & the Lost Dutchman's Mine Forum /
« on: May 22, 2007, 07:14:15 AM »
Yeah, the German version will be the first localized release. It's currently being tested and voices are going to start be recorded sometime this week or next week. There's also a Russian version coming sometime soon.  

Was the German annoucement you saw for a boxed copy or a downloadable one?

Hopefully, there will be some interest in localizing other languages too.

222
General Forum /
« on: May 03, 2007, 10:19:07 AM »
What a guy! Who's the guy?
He's the man who's surname ends in 'i',
So let's clap and sing along,
For our music meistro, Tom,
And wish a Happy Birthday to the guy.

 :D

223
Technical & Bugs forum /
« on: April 22, 2007, 10:20:49 AM »
Thanks for letting me know. I wasn't expecting ffdshow to be the reason, actually! Oh well, it's good to know that the bug wasn't actually Vista-related.  :)

224
Technical & Bugs forum /
« on: April 21, 2007, 04:45:33 PM »
Thanks for pointing that out, I'll make a note of it in the readme file.

On the other hand, if the player's using the keyboard (or keyboard and mouse combo) to walk around, it doesn't present an issue.

Funnily enough, Bill's actor is actually a concert pianist in real-life. So this might account for his authenticity playing that role!

225
Technical & Bugs forum /
« on: April 21, 2007, 03:53:43 PM »
Firstly, try installing the latest version of DirectX and the latest version of your sound and video card drivers.

Quote
Al Emmo doesn't work at all for me under Vista. I launch it from the Telltale launcher, the screen goes black, and I'm back at my desktop without any error.


Telltale renamed the main .exe file incorrectly, so when the setup program tries to access it, it'll say that it doesn't exist. If you rename Al Emmo.exe to Al_Emmo.exe (with the underscore included) then it should allow you to run the winsetup.exe program and change settings.

However, the game already runs at 640x400 by default, so I don't know if resolution would be the problem. You could try changing the graphics filter to the 2x one and try that, or run the game in 640x480 letterboxed mode to see if that makes any difference.

The problem may also be due to certain systems not being able to play MPEG-1 video files. The game sounds like it's bombing out at the Himalaya Studios intro movie.  You might find this link useful if you have the FFDShow drivers installed on your system (in the last post, someone described how to fix problems with KQ2VGA):

http://www.agdiforums.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11407
 


You might also take a look at this Vista related thread about Al Emmo:

http://www.himalayaforums.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=518

226
Al Emmo & the Lost Dutchman's Mine Forum /
« on: April 20, 2007, 03:52:54 PM »
Which bush are you trying to pour the water onto?  The correct bush (creosote) is in the screen directly to the north of the prairie dog alcove, at the far right side of the screen.

Also, each inventory item has a small circular white dot which registers as the 'clickable' part of the icon. When you click on the bush, make certain that the white dot is the part that you're clicking on it.

227
Technical & Bugs forum /
« on: April 04, 2007, 02:08:58 PM »
I'm assuming that you downloaded the game from TellTale or some other download portal which gives you an hour of gameplay time?

There's a link to an untimed version of the demo on our own website at:

www.AlEmmo.com

If you download that, it'll let you play through the entire first act and will never give you a time limit.  If you decide to download this demo and try it, please let me know if you re-experience those crashes and error messages. Thanks.

228
Technical & Bugs forum /
« on: April 04, 2007, 12:20:12 PM »
Hi Liz,

Can you explain in a little more detail what happens when these crashes occur? For example, is there a specific error message that appears? Is it the same error message every time, or do the messages differ? If there's an error in a windows message window, you can use CTRL-C and CTRL-V to copy and paste the text here in the forums.

If you haven't done so already, you might try installing the latest drivers for your graphics & sound card and also installing the latest version of DirectX.

229
Technical & Bugs forum /
« on: March 23, 2007, 10:55:54 PM »
I believe we've finally managed to fix this annoying bug. But I'm not sure that other digital download publishers of the game will want to re-upload the entire thing to their servers just to fix this little glitch. However, if we ever release a future retail version of the game, this bug will definitley be eradicated in that release (touch wood).

230
Al Emmo & the Lost Dutchman's Mine Forum /
« on: March 23, 2007, 10:42:32 PM »
Hey Susan,

I'm not sure if Telltale offer 'download insurance' or something similar for games downloaded from their site. But I think I recall reading something to that effect when I downloaded Sam and Max from them. My guess is that you could uninstall Al Emmo and reinstall it again at a later date (using the same key you purchased from them) and it will still work. However, it'd probably be best ask TellTale Games on their forums so you can get the info straight from the horses mouth.

In regards to the savefile at the end of the game, yeah, keep it. It was exported in case we ever make a sequel. Importing the file into the next game would tailor the story a bit more to your unique playing habits in the first game etc. Since it's a small file, you should be able to keep it somewhere on your hard drive, or just burn/copy it to a CD/disk.

231
Technical & Bugs forum /
« on: March 08, 2007, 12:44:09 PM »
Well, that's what they say about the 3rd time, isn't it?  At any rate, good to hear that Al's hunched form was worth the several hundred MB of wasted bandwidth you must have endured. Touching, really... :D

As for the promo code, unless Telltale have some kind of promotional offer, then, as far as I'm aware, there's no promotional code for the game.

Have fun!

232
Technical & Bugs forum /
« on: March 05, 2007, 11:32:06 PM »
I believe TellTale set up the game installer themselves using NSIS. I'm not really familiar with the way they did it, so if you continue to have problems, posting on the TellTale forums may be the best course of action.

233
Technical & Bugs forum /
« on: March 05, 2007, 10:20:48 PM »
I can only assume that your installer may have gotten corrupted during the downloading process which can happen occassionally when downloading files.

During the extraction process there should be no error/notification messages like the one you mentioned.

I guess the best advice would be to try downloading the installer again.

234
Technical & Bugs forum /
« on: February 17, 2007, 09:06:46 PM »
Good to hear you managed to fix it! Thanks for letting us know.

235
Technical & Bugs forum /
« on: February 16, 2007, 06:49:39 PM »
Did this happen with the demo or the full game?

Also, what are your system specifications and which operating system?

Have you tried updating DirectX to the latest version and installing the latest graphics and sound drivers for your video and sound card?

Finally, when you double-click the icon, does the game show up at all? Do you know if the same problem occurs when you try running other AGS games?

236
Technical & Bugs forum /
« on: February 13, 2007, 04:59:11 AM »
Hmm, sounds strange. It seems like a crash that's directly related to the AGS engine, but at least the fact that it doesn't crash consistently in exactly the place each time should allow you to play the game to the end. Room10 is the saloon screen. Did the game only crash in that screen, or in other rooms too?

It may have been upgrading your drivers and/or DirectX drivers which may have done the trick. Perhaps even the simple act of rebooting your system. I'm glad to hear that the problem hasn't occured since.

Other soltuions might involve selecting different settings in the Winsetup.exe program that comes with the game, or turning off the "Special effects" and "footsteps" options in the Game Options menu in the game.

If you experience any further crashes, it'd be appreciated it you could paste them here along with the exact error messages. Thanks.

237
Technical & Bugs forum /
« on: February 12, 2007, 08:42:08 PM »
Was this in the demo or the full game?

Also, when exactly does it crash? And does it crash at the same place every time?

You could also check the following thread to see how someone else solved a similar crash to see if the same thing works for you:

http://www.himalayaforums.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=520

238
General Forum /
« on: February 08, 2007, 03:13:27 PM »
Yeah, thanks for the feedback.

On Kilimanjaro, did you, by chance, have a drill instructor for a guide called Theophil? Or did your guide lavish you with foot massages and chocolate bars every step of the way?

239
Technical & Bugs forum /
« on: January 22, 2007, 12:43:24 AM »
To be honest, I'm not sure why the game is crashing. The crash references a game room that doesn't even exist (there is no room53 in the game).

The only things I can think to suggest are to try running the game on another computer if you can, and reporting the bug to Chris Jones on the AGS Engine technical forum. He may be able to suggest something that works:

http://new.bigbluecup.com/yabb/index.php?board=2.0

Have you tried the demo? And if so, did that crash in the same place?

240
Technical & Bugs forum /
« on: January 21, 2007, 03:19:51 PM »
Very, strange. What kind of system are you running the game on? And what Operating system? The error message indicates an AGS internal error rather than a scripting error.

Is your system capable of playing MPEG-1 movies under windows media player? The game may allow you to bypass the logo movie (and the crash) by holding ESC down the ESC key to skip past it.

Also, did this occur with the full game or the demo?

241
Technical & Bugs forum /
« on: January 14, 2007, 06:12:15 AM »
We've never tested the game on Vista before, and I'm not sure if anyone else has ever tried it on Vista either.  So I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to suggest.

Since you mentioned that the cutscene movie actually plays briefly, it seems that the movie itself may not be the problem. The cutscenes use the MPEG-1 format for the video stream and ogg vorbis (played through the game engine - not Windows Media Player) for audio. AGS simply hijacks Windows Media player in order to play video files. So if your Vista system is able to play variable bitrate MPEG-1 files in Media Player, they should work in the game too.

Does the Himalaya Studios Logo (which plays when you first load the game) experience the same difficulties? Or does it reach the end without any problems?

The only thing I can really think of is that your particular system may have a problem with variable bitrate MPEG-1 video files. You could load the winsetup.exe file that comes with the game and try to run the game in windowed mode or letterboxed mode (or using with the 2x-Graphics filter enabled) to see if that makes any difference.

Additionally, if the game does freeze like this, you can press ALT-X to exit out of it cleanly.

242
General Forum /
« on: December 19, 2006, 03:07:40 AM »
I'm not sure I fully understand the question. Which part of the voice packs do you find to be troublesome -- creating an organized script for voice actors? Or simply not having a reliable and quick means of hearing which voice file is which?

Personally, I didn't have much of problem with the latter, because the sound editing program I use (Cool Edit) allows you to hear a preview of the voice files in a directory by clicking on them from the File/Open box. Although, opening Windows Explorer and going to your AGS/Speech sub-directory and then clicking on the speech files so that they play in winamp (or whatever sound program you use) works equally as well. I actually found the constant editing of scripts and re-arranging of text files/documents etc. to be the biggest and most time-consuming hassle where recording voice files (and dumping them back into the game) is concerned, and I definitely agree that this aspect of AGS could be more user-friendly.

The way we handled voices in Al Emmo was to first auto-number all of the lines, and then arrange the numbered lines by character so that each character had a script to read through from top to bottom.

The actors read directly through these numbered scripts. Since they were just straight read-throughs without any interjection from other characters, the actors were given direction on the inflection and tone each line should be spoken in. Each line was spoken about 3 times to cover all possibilities. An entire group of character lines were recorded as one big WAV file in the recording studio, and then burnt to DVD for us. We then used the program Cool Edit to split the lines and number them in the EGO1.WAV, EGO2.WAV etc. format one file at a time.  It took a long while, but wasn't too much of an issue compared to the lipsynching process.

Having recently considered the possibility of doing foreign translations of Al Emmo, a similar problem to the one you're mentioning has arisen, though. Localization teams want a script containing all game conversations with a word/line count so that they can consider how much work will be involved for their translation team.  As the developer of an AGS title, you can currently give them a neatly re-arranged document file containing all of the character's English dialogues in the same order that they are heard in the game. But the problem here is that; 1) a lot of manual editing work is required to get them all in order, and 2) The numbers of each line will no longer be chronological.  This means it would be a big job for the localization team to match the lines of their neatly organized script with the corresponsing lines in a translation template, which will be scattered all over the place. Essentially, they'd have to translate the game twice.

It would be a nice idea for CJ to implement a feature which could dump a neatly-arranged actor's script file into the game directory, which would be fully compatible with the game's translation template.  The purpose of this actor's script file would be to have a neat-looking document that you could give directly to your actors without having to edit or re-arrange it at all.  It would also be free of all of the other irrelevant gibberish that typically occupies a translation template file. It would merely be limited to containing dialogue/text from the game so that the layperson can understand it.

In the actor's script file, conversation lines would appear in the exact same order/structure as they do in the game. When being dumped, the actor's script would look at the original room files/global script etc. to determine the structure of the conversations and place them in the same order.  This would allow the actors to see the context of each sentence and know how the natural reply should flow. (Although, including an option to bunch each character's own lines together would also be a good idea, so that actors could do direct read-throughs if they wanted, like we did when recording Al Emmo's lines).

Note that the order of the lines in the actor's script file would differ from those in the translation template. Currently, the biggest issue with converting such a large game to a different language is that the translation template is useless as an actor's script, since nothing is arranged properly and it also contains a lot of junk that's not relevant to the dialogue you want recorded. It's messy. My idea would be to make it so that the translation team could simply edit the actor's script file (where all the lines are neatly ordered) by typing  their newly translated lines over/beaneath the existing English ones.

This way, if the actor's script file exists in the directory, when you click "Make translation source", AGS would first look at it and then dump all of its lines into the translation source in the relevant locations - superceding any lines that were already filled in there.

This would also be helpful for games that do not require any foreign translations, as having the ability to obtain a neatly ordered actor's script at the click of a button (and without any extra work on your part) would save a lot of time and energy.

I don't think AGS's auto-numbering feature is a problem in itself, but rather, the fact that auto-numbering seems to be useless when there's currently no reliable way in AGS to arrange dialogues/text into a useable format for voice recordings. I think the solution lies in fine-tuning the translation text/voice/dumping options, not in changing the way voices work.  It's a given that doing a voice pack with thousands of lines is going to require a lot of time and effort and there's probably no way you can speed through that process. But it could be made as hassle-free as possible. I think the suggested approach would solve that problem.

243
Technical & Bugs forum /
« on: November 23, 2006, 02:50:28 AM »
Which version of the game do you have installed? Is it the demo or the full version? And if it's the full version, do you have the CD version or the TellTale Games (downloadable) release?

The first suggestion would be to run the winsetup.exe program and try changing the Graphics filter setting to the 2x option and see if that makes any difference. Sometimes it's a combination of the 640x400 resolution and monitor/video card incompatibility that causes problems like this. Let me know if that works for you.

244
General Forum /
« on: November 16, 2006, 07:49:00 PM »
Happy (belated) birthday!  :D

245
General Forum /
« on: November 03, 2006, 09:45:56 PM »
Thanks everyone. Feels like I'm beginning to catch up to Al Emmo in the age department! But, it was a good day.

wickedthistle: Yes, we do have Haloween here but it's died down a lot in recent years. In the 80's and 90's we used to get a few trick or treaters going from door to soor, but I don't think I've personally seen any for 10 years or so now. I guess with all the weirdos out there these days, people also feel less safe about having their kids go around from door to door and accepting candy from strangers. Kind of a shame too, since it used to be a cool time of year. Disney always used to put that Headless horseman cartoon on TV and my dad would always deck the house out with skeletons and severed hands, ghost sheets, etc. to make the place look haunted!

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