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Looks pretty cinematic. Nice [smile]

One thing (although I'm sure you've heard this a thousand times before tho): are you planning to do anything about the stretching effect on the ground tiles? I'm sure that sort of texturing artifact is tough to deal with (I've certainly struggled with it before). Maybe you could have a different "cliff" texture or something for steep gradients?

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I agree with Shadowcomplex. It's a title that'll appeal to casual gameplayers, but it's got system specs rivaling triple-A titles.

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Raymond's estimates seem on the high side to me.

Judging by the current state of the game, I doubt it'll take more than 500MB of disk space. Also the game is, mostly, sprite-based. Raymond's shader effects are very, very cool but running on the minimum specs won't impact performance and degrade visual quality to the degree seen in many AAA titles.

I think most PCs today can handle the minimum specs (whether a casual gamer wants to download a 500MB game is another question entirely).

In any case I've spoken with Raymond at length about this and we're on the same page (not that my opinion counts for much given that Raymond owns the IP and did most of the work :) ). Basically, we feel that it doesn't hurt to investigate the casual market but the game was designed to satisfy the hunger of the small but dedicated Adventure game community that has been neglected since the late 90s. Hitting that market is important to us so, unless the financial picture is really compelling, we're likely going to distribute independently.

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As for the terrain stretching, it's probably gonna stay simply because we can't take the time to potentially redo art resources; the only other solution would be to modify the runtime UV assignment to use more or less texture area in certain spots; which might very well happen, but no promises yet.

While the stretching is unfortunate I think most people are fairly familiar with seeing stretching on 3D terrain (particularly in non AAA titles).

I've been doing some thinking on how to eliminate it on out future titles though, but still no concrete solutions.

On the topic of system specs, I just pulled the numbers from what I considered to be safe; the minimum requirements would allow the game to play exceptionally well, with no real visual degrading, or speed issues. The recommended requirements were pulled from my development machine, so they could be wildly over spec'd.

The main things to consider is that the engine adapts to whatever hardware it is running on in texture resolution and shader capabilities. Thus you wont run into any minimum texture size support issues, nor will it cut textures up into smaller bits to keep at resolution (reducing draw speed), it will simply lower the resolution, which isn't very noticable. The main difference between vanilla way-back generation graphics hardware, and newer (2 years ago) hardware, is the use of per pixel lighting; if the hardware supports shader model 2.0 or better you'll get per pixel lights, which look really nice; if not you'll get vertex lights, which look very good, just not as good in all situations (depending on mesh density).

As a test i ran the game on a now 4 year old laptop from a no-name brand company with very unimpressive specs running windows XP, and it works great, I don't think there'll be many if any hardware issues.

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500 Megs is a lot of HD space, but there are several successful hidden object/adventure games on the market with 200+ megs of content. The only bad thing about that size is that some portals won't offer a demo to try.

If your game runs on a laptop that's a couple of years old with an Intel integrated graphics card or the like, then you will likely be golden. Those integrated cards suck balls though; shitty fill-rate, most have no shaders, and you pretty much have to be able to get your stuff running on them to have a shot with the big portals.

I think the game looks great by the way, so keep up the good work! Do you guys have a release date (I could be blind)?

One last thing, even if you decide working with the big portals isn't worth your while, your game would be a good fit at Manifesto Games, so you should at least buzz them. You might also try and get some affiliation going for sales (like using Reflexive's system or similar).

One super last thing: at one of the more interesting talks I was at during GDC this year, I learned that for casual games, Real Arcade and Big Fish typically generate about 70% of a casual game's income. So if you can get in bed with either of them, you should be *rolling* in cash.

And with money comes freedom -- the freedom to make whatever you want! Until you run out of cash again :)

Keep cranking!

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Yeah, it definitely will run on low grade hardware, shader support is completely optional and doesn't degrade visual quality.

Thanks for the praise on how the game looks; we don't have an offical release date yet; but we're hoping soon, we've moved very fast since only 6 months ago the game was not half done and on hold.

We currently work with manifesto for selling Morning's Wrath, as well as gametap, we're thinking of talking with Big Fish soon too.

Money would be great, as it does allow for certain things, but currently our goal is getting the game to as many people as possible, and money comes second :D

Thanks for all your info :D

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