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So this weekend saw the dawn of the Morning's Wrath Demo on the GD Showcase.

The demo represents about 1/6 of the gameplay, it covers from the begining of the game, through the ashidian attack and finishes at the discovery of the mana well.

The demo is meant to offer a bit of a taste; that way if you like what you have seen thus far and wish to continue you can purchase the full version.

Again the full version will go on sale Oct1 or sooner at www.MorningsWrath.com

I urge everyone to play the demo, I am looking forward to hearing your comments =)
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I'm sure it's nice but.. i can't play it :)

I have a very powerful computer (Athlon 64 3500, 2 Gb of RAM, ATI X850 XT), with the latest drivers. After the installshield, the configuration pops up: graphics adapter, Direct3D, ok. Audio adapter, DirectSound, ok. Screen resolution.. empty. And an empty list. When i click on "accept", it says i have to choose a screen resolution. Too bad i can't :)

I wonder if it has something to do with the fact that i click "cancel" on the DirectX 8 installation. I already have DirectX9.0c, so there is no chance in hell i'm going to roll back to an older version. Any idea ?

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that is very interesting indeed.

the box is populated with the resolutions that windows says your display can handle. 'EnumDisplaySettings'

looks like this is going to be our first patch =/

don't dispair!

I will work on the patch tonight =D

If you could, please tell me what availible resolutions windows thinks you have (both size and bit depth)

are we dealing with multiple monitors?

any strange viewing device I should know about?
[projector,HD monitor,widescreen, etc.]

what language is your windows verion using?

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I like the atmosphere of the game very much, but with just playing the demo that's all I can say. I didn't get to see much of the gameplay, which is what I expected to see on the demo of a game that doesn't focus on eye-candy. I just clicked where the game told me to (talk to that person, find that key, open that door) and watch the dialog and the "cutscenes". Anyway, I assume this linearity changes onwards, since on the end of the demo I am presented with 2 options.

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Available resolutions with EnumDisplaySettings ? The list is very, very long.. goes from 320x200x8 in 60 Hz, to 1600x1200x32 75 Hz. I can post the whole list, but it looks pretty standard. All standard formats seem to be here (800x600x32, 1024x768x32, in 60, 75, 85 Hz)..

No multimonitor.
No strange device.

Windows XP Pro, language is French.

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Do you have access to a non french language computer?

that seems to be the only thing that is strange, I am interested to see if that is causing it.

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yes, the demo provides a very small slice of the whole Morning's Wrath pie.

Yes the linearity breaks apart when you get to the well. It was because of this I limited the demo to the well, since controling the gameplay after that point is very very challenging.

Needless to say, if you enjoyed the Demo even a little bit, the full version will be even better =D

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Yes, i will test tomorrow, but it's a completely different system, so it might not be related to the language at all. Anyway i don't see how the language could affect the list of resolutions. How are you detecting it ? With EnumDisplaySettings ?

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here is how we do it =)

//Screen Res Selector
SendMessage(hresctrl, CB_RESETCONTENT, 0, 0);

DEVMODE dm,dmOrig;
DWORD mode=0;
string strres;
while (EnumDisplaySettings(NULL, mode, &dm))
if(dm.dmBitsPerPel >= 16 && dm.dmBitsPerPel <= 32 && dm.dmDisplayFrequency==dmOrig.dmDisplayFrequency && dm.dmDisplayFlags == dmOrig.dmDisplayFlags)
strres = CStr(dm.dmPelsWidth)+"x"+CStr(dm.dmPelsHeight)+"x"+CStr(dm.dmBitsPerPel);
char resbuf[256];
SendMessage(hresctrl, CB_SELECTSTRING, 0, (LPARAM)resbuf);

I've looked things over, but i am pretty stumped as to why you would be having an issue =/

especially since it works on most other things. Agan the diferentiating flag in my mind seems to be your language settings =/

note that we filter the settings, and try to insure that frequency and such is the same.

we also try to insure that 'flags' are the same, that might be it, though it is strange that we are not seeing it on all machines.

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DOH!, now i see it!

we dont set the size of the DEVMODE struct before passing it in, wicked bad!

(I didin't write this code!)

lol, im preparing a patch as we speak

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Thank you, it fixed it.

Time to go testing. Won't be back before tomorrow to post comments though, as it's getting pretty late.

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I just finished playing through the demo, so I'll give some feedback.

The story at the beginning of the game comes across way too slowly. I couldn't take the waiting anymore and had to bail. (Same with credits.)

There seems to be a bit of a glitch in Morning's walk animation. Almost like there's a frame missing every now and then. (Could be because I played on a machine with onboard video at work, and it's having to jump to catch up. Not sure.)

I like that the scripts are all left as text files, thereby making your game easy to mod. I put myself in the credits as Player. ;) Are you considering releasing your level builder or other game tools at some point for modders?

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Yes we are probably going to release both the map editor and the image converter as free tools.

And our policy on mods will likely be, that a mod is free to distribute as long as the mod is free, and the distributed resources are non copyrighted (that means you cannot include our copywriten resources (the mod user must have the full game, or at the very least, the demo EXE)).

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I promised some feedback, here is some feedback:

You can count on me to buy the game when it will be released.

That being said, the game is far from being perfect.

The good:
- the storyline looks interesting, well thought and well written.
- haven't noticed any bug or big problem
- reminds me of the good old days of the Ultima series
- the main character is a girl. A bit more original than your usual RPG.
- the musics are fantastic. Whoever made them.. congratulations.
- excellent graphics for a 2D independant game.

The bad:
- the dialog system: not interactive. No multiple questions to ask. I liked the Ultima 7 system, which is keyword based. When you speak to people, you learn new keywords, and can go back to talk to people you've already met to ask them about the new topics. Very powerful and very easy to use..
- the dialog system: i'm a pretty fast reader, so quite often i left-click to jump to the next sentence. But there is also a time counter; so sometimes, i click just a few milliseconds after the timer is elapsed, and i accidentely "skip" a sentence. I'd love an option to disable this timer.
- animations in general; just lacking many sequences, like when turning, or attacking.
- in the cinematic when the castle is attacked, tens of ennemy soldiers spawn at the gate i front of you. They just appear from nowhere, no animation.. it looked really cheap :(
- sometimes some characters have nothing to say anymore. When you click on them, nothing happens. Maybe you could add some predefined, generic answers ?
- no way to know what to do next, or who to follow. A kind of radar, or an arrow showing a general direction on the edge of the screen, would we welcome. And maybe a quests journal ?
- when the soldiers are infiltrating the castle, i locked myself in a room by closing the door. Haven't seen any ennemy try to open it. Then, the mage (i don't recall his name) died, but as i was in this room, it happened a few screens away. I didn't know he died. Recentering the camera on him a few seconds before he dies would have been nice to understand the "dream" sequence :)
- cheap spells effects: late in the demo you get two runes, which i tried to assemble. It generate a fireball scroll which i immediately used, to test. Well.. the effect just looked bad, a kind of moving flame on one tile.
- the colors balance: the game generally seems to lack a high contrast.. no bright and vibrant colors.. as Marvin would say.. "i feel so depressed" :)
- combats: click click click. Although i cannot really judge that from the few soldiers i killed in the demo.

The very bad:
- pathfinding! Hard to explain, but Morning's path when i click somewhere is just unnatural, unsmooth. It looks like she doesn't know how to walk in straight lines :) Maybe she's always drunk ?
- clicking on objects: you seem to use a pixel-perfect collision detection on items the player wants to take. I'd have no problem with that except that sometimes you have small objects (keys, potions), and that i'd like to have the ability to click on an object to take it while my character is walking. Due to the scrolling, it's very hard. At the moment, you have to wait until your character stands still.

The unknown:
- game length: for an average gamer, how much time is necessary to complete the game ? Anything under 20 hours, and i'll be very disapointed.
- linearity: the demo is pretty linear, but from what i've read of your journal, the rest of the game seems to be less linear. Can you confirm ?
- interactivity: the demo is not very interactive. There isn't much to do, or items to take. I've maybe found 4 or 5 items (2 types of potions, an armor, a key, a lantern.. ). I'm guessing most (if not all) of the game is indoors ? So, what kind of interactions can we expect ? Traps ? Levers ? Teleporters ? Puzzles to solve ? Some items to combine ? Some small games ? Some NPCs that follow you and help you for a while ?

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Yeah, the music is just excellent. Ir could be easily used in a movie.

I played the game again, and one thing I didn't like is this: I go to the armory room, nobody's there. I talk to Sofia who's on the other side and she says that Ardus is waiting for me in the armory room. I go, and he has just appeared.

A little later, same thing. As I go to the room where Ardus is locked, I pass by the engineer's room, noone's there. I talk to Ardus, and then say to myself "I bet the engineer has a key". I go again to the engineer's room, and he's there. It just seems that people just appear only when a sub-puzzle in which they play a part is activated.

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