Newsletter 1 The Official Himalaya Studios Newsletter
Wednesday, 7th June 2006

Howdy, Adventure Gamers!

Himalaya Studios is proud to make several important announcements in our very first official newsletter. We have worked devotedly over the past several years to bring you a top-notch, completely fabulous adventure game to join the ranks of all your other favourite classics. With the end of this process now in sight, you'll soon have a chance to see our work for yourself! Please sit back, relax, and take a look at what's been going on behind the scenes at Himalaya Studios as we get ready for the release of our highly anticipated first title: Al Emmo and the Lost Dutchman's Mine.

Beta Testing Team Announced

In February, we made an official call for beta tester applicants to aid us in testing Al Emmo. A tester's job is to play the game from beginning to end several times, reporting each and every aspect that could be improved, in an attempt to perfect it for the public's unhindered enjoyment. Our final team of testers, chosen based on their work history, positive skill sets, demographics, and enthusiasm, included:

Michael Anderson, Alex Asp, Rick Beiswanger, Merlijn van den Bos, Robert Bray, Derek Chiu, Derrick Collins, Amitai Elster, Stephanie Femrite, Patrick Flanagan, Len Green, Diane Hidy, J. Bryce Hidysmith, J. Evie Hidysmith, Chris Martin, Joshua McMillin, Don McPherson, Daniel Nicholas Milano, Yael Mintz, Werner Mollentze, Margie Novak, Claudius Orsmond, J. Tony Smith, Deborah Stone, Markus Strauss, Sean Swartzwelder, Chuck Tinsley, Edward Wyatt, and Michelle Yeung It was a difficult process, narrowing down candidates. We received literally hundreds of top notch applicants within the first few days of our search, making our acceptance rate about as competitive as Harvard Law School's. Similar to the Ivy League institution's substantial applicant pool, our call for testers attracted some exceptional achievers, including QA testers from Sierra and employees of Bioware. We have faith that these testers will aid the team tremendously in readying Al Emmo for the masses of fans.

Beta testers will receive a free copy of Al Emmo for their work, but have reported that aiding a special cause is more important than monetary compensation. After Sierra Online shut down its adventure game division in the late 90s, fans have been starving for classic style adventure games. We have embarked on a quest to fulfil these desires by creating a nostalgic, classic style PC adventure for true fans of the genre. As one tester put it, "the fall of the adventure game genre is a travesty. Himalaya Studios is doing what should have been done: creating good, high-quality adventure games that everyone can enjoy."

Beta testing, which is considered the final stage of game development, commenced in March and should be completed in the coming weeks. Thank you again to everyone who applied, and congratulations to the chosen testers! We're excited for everyone to see the end results of their laborious efforts!

Initial Feedback from Testers

Beta testers are the first people outside of the development team to experience Al Emmo and the Lost Dutchman's Mine. They have familiarized themselves with the game for many weeks, playing numerous times from beginning to end. A good way to predict what the fans will think about the game is to receive feedback related to how the testers feel about the game. Want to know what these players are saying? As one tester put it:

"The story, characters, and puzzles were well thought out, the artwork and various graphics were a treat for the eyes, the voice acting was first rate, the music was wonderful, the humor throughout the game kept me smiling and laughing many times. Overall, this was one of the most enjoyable gaming-experiences that I've had in playing a computer game, and I look forward to seeing more future games like this from Himalaya Studios."

Enough said!

The Himalaya Studios Community is Now Open

Have you wanted to meet others who are eagerly awaiting the release of Himalaya Studios' upcoming adventure game? Would you like to chat about what is taking place on the adventure gaming front? Would you like to mingle with the development team, having all of your burning questions related to adventure game development answered? Then head on over to the official Himalaya Studios Community Forums! With our forum population steadily increasing, you won't want to miss the opportunity to make some long-lasting, fun, and like-minded friends. We're looking forward to hearing from you there!

Himalaya Studios Forums

Al Emmo Demo

For those of you who want a sneak peak into the rich world of "Al Emmo" and the land of Anozira, we will be releasing a demo to whet your appetites in June! The demo will initially be exclusively available at the Adventure Gamers website. The game itself is divided into nine acts, and the demo will include the entire first act, giving players a generous dose of game play and providing a comprehensive overview of the characters, humor, style, and game play -- without spoiling too much of the story. Those who enjoy the demo will be given the chance to purchase the full version. We will be certain to notify you when the demo is released and you can pre-order your very own copy of the complete game!

Want a Free Copy of Al Emmo?

We will be choosing five members from the Himalaya Studios mailing list to receive a FREE copy of Al Emmo upon its release! Since you are reading this email, you're already in the running. If you have any family or friends who might be interested, be sure to get them to sign up for the mailing list as well. If they happen to win, you can always "borrow" the most esteemed prize from them!

Press Coverage

Al Emmo has been in the news quite frequently as of late. Check out some recent articles and screenshots:

Adventure Gamers Preview
Just Adventure Story
Adventure Classic Gaming Interview
Game Boomers Interview
Spyglass Guides Interview
Four Fat Chicks Preview

Additionally, the Adventure Gamers site shows a ranking of ten upcoming games that people are excited about on the Hypo-O-Meter. Al Emmo has recently jumped to the eighth most anticipated adventure game on the list! With your help in spreading the word, we'll only go up from there!

Himalaya Studios at the Game Developers Conference

Himalaya Studios Chairman and CEO, Britney Brimhall, had the chance to attend the Game Developers Conference in San Jose in March. During the trip, Miss Brimhall had the chance to meet up with an Adventure Gamers journalist as well as publishers and distribution houses. The rest of the time, she volunteered as a Conference Associate to help run an enjoyable conference, manning sessions, supporting the IGDA, and offering assistance to anyone in need of help. At one point, she was even invited to a private LucasArts party with an adventurous Indiana Jones theme! She left with an awesome Indiana Jones hat, which just happened to be one of the most coveted accessories at the conference. Perhaps everyone misses a good adventure?

The Release of Al Emmo

Al Emmo will be available on CD-ROM for purchase in our online store at the official Himalaya Studios website. Additionally, after receiving rave reviews from beta testers, we have decided to sell others goods such as the original soundtrack created by Tom and Dianne Lewandowski of Quest Studios! We have also made negotiations with the Just Adventure Store to offer our game for sale there as well. We'll announce the news once the official Himalaya Studios Store is open for business via email, so be prepared to start shopping in the coming weeks!

Our Continuing Mission and A Thank You

Be sure to spread the word of Al Emmo to all of your adventure gaming friends. We are on a quest to bring back the adventure gaming genre in a big way. Our goal is to unite the fans, and prove to all development houses that gamers want high quality, classic style games with a strong storyline. With your support, Himalaya can continue along in its mission, and other gaming companies will follow suit and create additional quality games for you to enjoy! Thank you for your support!

Here's to a year of classic gaming fun!


The Himalaya Studios Team