Mage's Initiation - All News
Thursday - May 16, 2013
Mage's Initiation - Post-Funding Update #25, May Update
In their latest update for Mage's Initiation more information is provided on the state of the development of the game.
First, we’ll show off some eye candy with this new background from JP—the game’s sure going to be imbued with some old school goodness in terms of visuals!
And, some words from him regarding the background art front.
Background Art & Techniques
I've been working through a schedule to get a set number of backgrounds colored and edited weekly, and have a color-coded map that shows me which areas need to be redesigned and edited, as well as new locations that need to be conceptualized. I'm developing a master color palette for each location to streamline the process and most of all keep things consistent.
One of the critiques I heard during the Kickstarter was a concern about some of the background art being too blurry. In the past I was not fond of the pencil tool, as line work often turned out too jagged for my tastes, and I found adjusting the opacity settings for it to be tedious. The latest version of Photoshop (now CS6) in addition to having an incredible selection of texture and angle brushes, also has a much improved pressure sensitivity button for the pencil tool which enables me to sharpen and define the scenery in its native resolution. Many of the backgrounds were colored at a higher resolution and needed to be sized down, creating some discrepancies in the detail levels. I can now revisit other areas of the game with this tool to improve the detail level and create consistency across the entire game.
I'm hard at work on finalizing additional scenery for Mage's, such as the surrounding forest trails of Iginor, originally sketched out by the very talented Jeremy Kitchen. It is with great effort that I make these environments have both the familiar classic flavor reminiscent of the Spielburg Valley in Quest for Glory I VGA, but with a higher resolution, more updated twist. Above is one of the latest forest rooms in Mage's Initiation. I've made the lighting as dynamic as possible, complete with cast shadows. When D'arc will navigate the forest, his level of brightness will change when he moves under a tree and into the light.
Another area of the game I've been finalizing are rooms in the Priestess's Palace. I'm creating room objects for a labyrinth of sorts (no, not an endless, annoying, headache of a maze) where D'arc can now engage in combat with Amun-Cul's minions. To tell any more would spoil the fun!
If you have any thoughts or suggestions, feel free to post on the forums. I'm often swamped with art-related tasks, but I'll try to keep up with the postings there. Thanks again for all your support, and I look forward to providing you with future updates.
Now to turn the proverbial mic over to Morgan to discuss changes to the combat engine.
Tuesday - April 02, 2013
Mage's Initiation - Update #24, Character Portraits
The Mage's Initiation devs bring us an update with character portraits.
Bort, Earth Mage Mentor Shareen, Water Mage Mentor
All portraits will be lip-synched and animated, we’re sure you’re just as psyched as we are to see them come to life. And we’re also about 90% finished with the monster animations that the stretch goals made possible.We’ll be showing off even more eye candy in our private forums over the coming weeks, be sure to check out this post for registration instructions if you haven’t stopped by yet! (For any PayPal backers reading this, yes, you too are eligible to join in the private backer forums!)
Sunday - March 24, 2013
Mage's Initiation - Funded
The Kickstarter for Mage's Initiation is finished now with almost twice the amount of asked money pledged, resulting in a total of $125,174.
Some swag was given away when approaching the end of which you can find the winners here.
Wednesday - March 20, 2013
Mage's Initiation - Update #19, Interview
This latest update for Mage's Initiation shows a link to an interview (MP3 file) and some other stuff related to t-shirts, shout-outs and a conclusion as they are heading in the last 64 hours of their campaign.
As we head into the final hours of our campaign, we'd like to say that it has been an incredible experience interacting and chatting with you all in the comments section and taking your suggestions on board. We are currently sitting at a grand total of $107,717 including PayPal pledges and it seems that many backers (and ourselves alike) would love to hit that $120k goal to make ported versions and wide-screen resolutions possible. So, let's try our best to make that happen and please keep spreading the word to new ears in these last few crucial days. But regardless of what figure we end up on, we're elated to have breached the six-digit barrier and would like to thank everybody again for your support in making all of this possible!
Monday - March 18, 2013
Mage's Initiation - Update #17, Demo Feedback and Stuff
Update number 17 for the Mage's Initiation Kickstarter brings us some information on the feedback from the demo, info on backer goodies a new music sample and a new stretch goal at $180K for text only translations in French, Russian, Italian, German and Spanish. As they are now at $96K with 4 days to go achieving that looks to be a bit of a stretch.
Thank you to all of our backers and non-backers alike for taking the time to review the recently-released Mage’s Initiation demo, we appreciate all of your honest feedback and the detailed reports. We noticed that a combat difficulty slider was one of the most strongly-demanded features, and a some people had suggestions to add support for 16:9 widescreen resolution.
Since it’s up to you to decide if you want to fight only the required boss battles, or devote entire days to roaming the forest (and newly-opened wasteland) to go monster slaying, we hadn’t initially planned on adding such a difficulty slider. However, in light of recent feedback, we’ve now decided to implement one, as the general response has been that combat could be made to cater to players who enjoy challenging battles AND those who prefer simpler combat.
Per adding support for 16:9 resolution, the game backgrounds were designed for 4:3 and, sadly, changing the game resolution to 16:9 dynamically isn’t possible due to current limitations of the AGS engine. However, if we meet our $120K stretch goal (porting Mage’s Initiation to various systems), 16:9 support will be guaranteed, as the smartphone versions will necessitate it. The funding will also be used to cover additional work required to tweak the graphical assets and make the game fully functional at the new resolution. Please be sure to visit our Technical forum to report bugs and crashes, and our general Mage’s Initiation forum for any additional questions, concerns, compliments, and feedback.
Saturday - March 16, 2013
Mage's Initiation - Updates #15 & #16, More Swag and Reddit AMA
Salutations, initiates! We trust you've had fun with the demo. The feedback you're providing is invaluable to us, and please remember to report any bugs and crashes in our Technical forum.
This is just a quick message that we'll be doing our Reddit AMA, it starts in about 15 minutes. The link is now live but we'll be showing up to answer your questions at 1PM EDT.
We're also very happy to say that between the vast climb in pledges overnight both here and on PayPal, we are now less than $2,000 away from our next stretch goal at $95,000! Thanks again so much for your generous support in helping us make Mage's Initiation even bigger and more epic, we're just itching to see what the twilight days of our Kickstarter will bring us!
Friday - March 15, 2013
Mage's Initiation - Update #14, Demo
We wanted to give it a little more polish, so to speak, before showing it to the backers (and potential backers!) and give everyone a chance to play it over the weekend. This gives you just a teaser of what the gameplay will be like, both the adventure/RPG and combat aspects.
Important Note: As of March 2013, this demo is still in an early alpha stage of the game’s development. It is feature-incomplete and there are bound to be some bugs. The demo does not yet represent the final product.
We are releasing this early alpha to gather feedback and suggestions about the interface and combat system so that we can refine these aspects for the final game.
If you discover any bugs or crashes you can copy and paste the error message with Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V. Please post any reports or general feedback on our “Technical & Bugs” forum at http://www.himalayastudios.com/forum/index.php?board=3.0
Additionally, we still have two Supreme Archmage slots left! This demo will give potential backers a small taste of what you’ll get if you’d like to be immortalized as D'arc's combat opponent in the training hall. You’ll also get your own lip-synced dialog portrait and have the chance to voice your own speech lines and battle grunts (plus all the awesome swag from the previous physical tiers)!
Some feedback on the demo is already available as well:
IndieGames.com has also covered Mage’s Initiation.
Wednesday - March 13, 2013
Mage's Initiation - Update #13, Sorcery and Stuff
Update #13 of the Mage's Initiation Kickstarter, which still has 9 days to go to reach its next stretch goal, is about how spellcasting works, some resin figurines and a new $150 tier.
Due to the Mages’ bloody history, their less than admirable actions in the Great War, and their intended roles as the caretakers of humanity, violence has been largely opposed where spell-casting is concerned, so as not to have history repeat itself. The spells taught to new Initiates focus on the peaceful and productive side of the magical arts. However, in recent times, as the monsters of old have re-emerged in the forests, a sub-sect of Mages with a penchant for battle, found a way to channel these peaceful spells into more aggressive forms. Thus, “Conductors” were devised. These curious magical items resemble a brass-knuckle that can be slipped over a Mage’s fingers on one hand. Once worn, the Mage’s single non-aggressive spell can be channeled into multiple combative spells, each with a different purpose.
In the front of the conductor, there are two open sockets into which gemstones can be fit to augment the power of existing spells. Since only two gems can be equipped at any time, a Mage must be selective in choosing the right combination to best balance his current power in battle.
As a Mage, you can use restorative potions during real-time combat. Combat often calls for some creative strategies and each Mage class will have its own advantages and limits over others, which makes for some fun possibilities replaying the game over as a different class. Some monsters will drop valuable gems which can also be equipped into your conductor mid-battle (so long as they don’t require identification first).
Friday - March 08, 2013
Mage's Initiation - Preview @ Destructoid
The peaceful land of Iginor is about to get a nasty shock. Evil is afoot. Isn't that always the case with these fantasy adventures? It's never the threat of people being far too nice that sends the protagonist off on some grand journey. In this case the protagonist is D'arc, a teen mage. He'll be off gallivanting on some important errand for his masters throughout most of the game, but for the purposes of the demo, he's just learning the ropes from the safety of the mage's tower.
Mage's Initiation will feature four mage classes, each corresponding to the elements of earth, wind, fire, and water. The different spellcasters come with unique spells, strengths and weaknesses, and personalities -- the point is to play the game more than once, clearly. I didn't have such a choice, however, and was restricted to playing a fire mage. It's okay, I thought as I consoled myself, I would have chosen that anyway.
D'arc's home is a rather wondrous place, with the three rooms being showcased all suitably elemental. The library area looks like an indoor forest, with tree-like bookshelves and mossy tables with grubs that protect the parchment; the training room is all stone and flames, with armor and weapons covering the walls, and even a wee dragon standing guard. There's also the beautiful fountain room, and aquatic paradise with aquariums for walls and a large central water feature.
Thursday - March 07, 2013
Mage's Initiation - Update 11, Sub-Quests
Update 11 of Mage's Initiation (almost at it's $75K stretch goal) talks about sub-quests.
One of the things we love about adventure games and RPGs both new and old are the sub-quests that add to the narrative of the main quests you’re on, whether it arcs over what you’re currently doing or the big picture of the entire game.
One of the game’s sub quests involves D’arc observing some missing persons posters - townspeople who fell victim to the wasteland, monster attacks, foul-play, and other assorted calamities. Better yet, if you missed out on the chance to become an Evoker, now you can become a Necromancer! For $450, we will put your likeness on a missing persons’ OR a wanted poster around town, which will be seen up close when D’arc examines them! You’ll also get to work with us to determine the circumstances for your going MIA, or why Iginor’s guards want you in the slammer.
We also have room for an expanded role in this quest… a featured poster that will be assembled in your inventory and used to solve a central game quest. For $500, your mug will go on this poster! But it's limited to just one backer, so get it before it goes missing forever!
Wednesday - March 06, 2013
Mage's Initiation - Update #10, Combat
Update number 10 of Mage's Initiation is about the combat in the game and the use of spells. Inaddition, they also mention that pledging through Paypal is now supported and that an interview is available at Gosu.com.
We’ve spent months designing a new and unique combat system for Mage’s Initiation that combines the best elements of classic RPGs like Quest for Glory and Diablo with the smooth and intuitive controls and playability of mobile and touchscreen apps. We’ve pushed the limits of the AGS game engine with custom-designed 3D calculations so spells and arrows can fly into or over onscreen obstacles, and enemy archers can be perched on raised terraces so they can aim at you without hitting their fellow monsters in between.
A major challenge of the combat aspect has been keeping it feeling fresh and new every time you stumble across the monsters of Iginor. One way we achieve this is by having critters travel in packs with adaptive group AI. A group of redcaps may fight for the glory of picking off a mage, with two or three rushing in while the rest prevent your escape. Or you may be swarmed by scavenging pygmy goblins who aim to surround and crush you quickly, but scatter if there are only a few left. When monsters of different types end up together – with you in the middle – things get even more interesting!
Monday - March 04, 2013
Mage's Initiation - Onwards to the Stretch Goals
The Kickstarter for Mage's Initiation has still 18 days to go, but is already funded (69K out of an asked 65K). The next target are the stretch goas, which is starting at $75.000 with undead skeletons and spider swarms being added to Iginor's treacherous Bloodbark forrest and an extra reward for everybody who has pledged $100 or more. Stretch goals are listed up to $250.000, so there is still room for additional pledges.
Saturday - March 02, 2013
Mage's Initiation - Preview @ Capsule Computers
Capsule Computers have rounded up a preview of Mage's Initiation, of which the Kickstarter is currently close to being funded.
With the demo being a very slim experience it is hard to tell at the moment how much content that will be provided upon release. We do know that four different mages can be selected at the start but the developing storyline could essentially be the same experience with a few twists. Other concerns will strictly deal with combat and the effectiveness of movement when in these active environments. If battles remain sluggish with player movement, the combat element will become tough to grow accustom to and deter players from enjoying the active battles. Fine tuning this area of the title will definitely bring out the role playing elements instilled through the rest of game.
Wednesday - February 27, 2013
Mage's Initiation - Update #4
The Kickstarter for Mage's Initiation has reached its fourth update, whilst being at 54K of its asked 65K. The update covers various areas, like upgrades of tiers, a video on speed coloring, some backgrounds, artwork
and a designer journal on future history:
The premise of Mage's Initiation is what brought me into this world, and keeps me interested in exploring it more. For this update, I thought I would share with you some of its back story.
It is our distant future. Technology has developed to the point of obscenity. Nature itself shudders at the assault. The world is on the brink of environmental collapse. The Elements can stand no more. They take it back. All that we constructed, all that we cherished, is destroyed in the simultaneous terror of every imaginable disaster. Many would call it an apocalypse. The survivors would call it, "a second chance".
The remaining children of the world were not forsaken, for the Elements proved as merciful as there were vengeful. From among the remnants of humanity, a new kind had arisen. Disciples of the Elements. Guardians of Nature.
Magic had returned to the world. The reign of the Elements, and an age of Mages, had begun.
Millennia passed. Humanity was guided, held in check, by those that learned to wield their power in the most potent of ways. The Mages ascended beyond that of mere shepherds. They became rulers. Absolute and unending. A force that could never be reckoned with.
Until the wars. Along with magic, the Elements had brought to this reformed world the races of old. Goblins and all other manner of forgotten beings resurfaced. The lands became unruly. Human life was threatened. In response, the Mages set about to restore order. They cut across the continents like a scythe, in a series of wars more bloody than anything that had preceded the Reign. Whole races were endangered. Cultures threatened to the point of extinction.
Yet barely a Mage was lost.
In the aftermath, as they washed their blood-stained robes, the chosen of the Elements saw their wrathful reflections, and were appalled. They could no longer permit their kind to act so rashly, so selfishly, again. They would pass their burden of leadership to their ungifted human cousins: a line of Kings and Queens, who would see the Mages as their advisers, if not in truth their subjects. Mankind would be allowed to rule itself again, so long as it kept its promise never to repeat the mistakes of its ancient past.
Now, centuries later, a young chosen Initiate steps into a world burned twice over, little knowing how easily it could all happen again...
Monday - February 25, 2013
Mage's Initiation - Update #3, New Tiers and a Sneak Peek
The Mage's Initiation Kickstarter brings us info on the new tiers they have added for $50 and $70. The Kickstarter is currently at $52K out of the asked $65K with still 25 days to go, so it looks like it will reach its goal.
In addition a small peak into the development is given with a video showing artist Jeremy Kitchen scetching a scene extension of a wilderness area in Iginor.
Wednesday - February 20, 2013
Mage's Initiation - Launched on Kickstarter
Mage's Initiation, a Sierra style Adventure/RPG hybrid has been launched on Kickstarter and is currently after one day at 27K of the asked 65K.
Mage's Initiation is a Role-Playing / Adventure Game hybrid, very similar in style and execution to Sierra On-Line's classic Point-&-Click Quest for Glory and King's Quest series. It maintains all the charm of classic and timeless adventure games of yesteryear while adding 21st century innovation to the mix - like multiple game interfaces, and a free-range magical combat system!
We're all very big fans of the adventure genre here at Himalaya Studios, and we feel that Sierra's games really hit their peak in the early 90s. We're working hard to provide a nostalgic experience, reminiscent of that golden era of 2D Sierra adventures circa 1993-1994.
Mage's Initiation has a medieval / fantasy setting and it features multiple playable character classes, spell-casting, and an open-field magical combat system, complete with equippable items and monster loot drops!