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Clarus Victoria

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About Clarus Victoria

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  1. Egypt: Old Kingdom is now available on Steam for Windows, MacOS, and Linux. About the game: Strategy simulator of the Great Pyramids construction period, where you take your path from the unification of Egyptian tribes to the foundation of The First Empire. Deep historical research and stylized graphics - these two are the main features of Egypt Old Kingdom, the game made by Clarus Victoria Studio in cooperation with egyptologists from CESRAS (Center for Egyptological Studies of the Russian Academy of Science). The player will lead a small group of Egyptians, who came to the Lower Egypt to found a new settlement. All he has is a minimal stock of food, a handful of people and a few soldiers as a protection from threats and wild animals. As player will advance from the foundation of Memphis to the building of the first Empire, he will realize that the great achievements of Egypt were possible without UFO or Atlantians interference. He'll find out how did Ancient Egypt kingdom function, what role has religion had, why common people were ready to labor in order to build all these temples and tombs. The player will have to overcome same difficulties as ancient Egyptians - droughts, fires, earthquakes, or enemies waiting for a good moment to strike. He will learn eventually what ruined the first ever empire and discover the facts which cannot be found in any book. The game was created with the support of CES RAS scientists. They are true explorers, who study Egyptian history in the field, organizing annual expeditions to Egypt to dig oit more knowledges in Giza, Memphis, Alexandria and other places. About developers: CES RAS - established in 1999, the Center has a subdivision in Cairo, which is a sience base for a field work in Egypt. The main goal of the Center is to carry out complex scientific research in the fields of history, culture, languages and religion of ancient, medieval, and modern Egypt. The research is based on study of the literary sources and the data yielded in the course of CESRAS' archaeological field projects. Clarus Victoria - independent developers of vcomputer games, established in 2013. The depth and versatility of their games is based on a reliable historical data. Our stuff is learning and improving with every project. At the moment, we have 3 complete games which were warmly welcomed by the players around the world. For more information please visit: clarusvictoria.com Our communities: VK: https://vk.com/precivilization FB: https://www.facebook.com/precivilization/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/ClarusVictoria Website: http://clarusvictoria.com/
  2. Hail to you, our wise readers! Gods generously gifted you all with the power and knowledge. The time of great trials is coming, and the people of Egypt - your people - will need your help. Put your powers to a good use and lead the people of Egypt to prosperity! In other words, we're happy to share with you our first trailer! Many indie game devs out there struggle with making a good trailer for their games. We're not an exclusion Our game has both strategical and historical components and we wanted to show off them both. So instead of making only one trailer, we decided to make two! First one for the historical component and another one to demonstrate the mechanics of the game. Take a look at the result and let us know what you think! Check our page on Steam and add the game to your wishlist!
  3. Game localization is a very important, but not the most apparent step in game development. No matter how small your game is, a good translation can increase the number of potential buyers. On the other hand, a not so good translation can scare them off. Our games - Stone Age, Bronze Age, Marble Age, Predynastic Egypt and soon to be released Egypt: Old Kingdom are translated into 15 languages in general. We'll be glad to share our experience and talk about a few unexpected problems we had to deal with during localization. The original language of our games is Russian, so the first step was to translate it into English. When our team still had only one member and when the first game, Stone Age, was created, there was no choice but to pay for translation. It wasn't the best choice not only because of money but also because translators-outsiders probably would not be aware of what game they are translating. It makes mistranslation possible. Thus, we decided to translate the next game, Marble Age, ourselves. The translation we made knew no proofreading, no editor's eye... well, you can guess how "great" this translation was. We got criticized for it a lot. Nevertheless, the goal was achieved - both games got translated into English. Later both translations were revised and edited by natives. Now to get the game translated into English is only half a battle. It helps to attract more players among English-speakers, this includes people who speak other languages as well. Thanks to the fact that we put a lot of efforts in making our texts interesting and informative, we soon got many offers of help from people who wanted to translate our games to their languages! Needless to say, we were only happy to accept. The first volunteer came from Spain, and Marble Age got its Spanish version. Since then our friend from Spain became one of our most supportive volunteers and helped to translate other games as well. Later another volunteer from Turkey appeared. Then another one from Germany. They all had to spend several weeks, helping us to localize our games. But as we all started to work together, we found out that our games are not designed to accommodate translations. These are basic problems we encountered: 1. Correct display of translated texts. Other languages can contain diacritics - special symbols which can be all around the letter, for example sometimes you can see the word "naïve" with two dots instead of one, or like in many French or Spanish words, like "Rêver" or "niño". The most extreme case of this problem, though, is when the new language is not Latin alphabet based, for example, Chinese or Hindi. 2. The screens of our games were designed to fit Russian language sentences. Sometimes when the text got translated into other languages, the length of a sentence changed, and it didn't fit into the screen anymore. Sometimes the translated sentence was too short, it also didn't look pretty. We had to shorten English words: Or to do something ugly with German words: 3. The most difficult problem was about words order. Every language has different sentence structure. For us, it was important because we like to replace some words with symbols for people, food, resources, etc. But in order to construct the correct sentence, all symbols must appear in the right places. During translation, words order was often messed up and we had troubles placing symbols in the right places. 4. Finally, the text files exchange with translators was very inconvenient. For smaller games, like Bronze Age and Marble Age, it was bearable, but it didn't fit for a bigger game. While working on Bronze Age and Marble Age localization, we were looking for solutions. We uploaded more fonts and language packs, adjusted some settings for encoding. We worked closely with translators, adjusting the length of sentences to fit the limited space on the screen. Later we came upon Crowdin.com - a platform developed by Ukrainian programmer, which allows developers all over the world translate their applications, programs, games etc. with the help of volunteers. With the help of this platform, we slowly started to upgrade our localization process. The first problem was solved relatively easy by uploading additional fonts and language packs. When Predynastic Egypt was created, we designed it with the thoughts of future translations. The text space was designed to extend automatically to adjust the text of any length. Problem no.3 has solved thanks to a new text writing system, the idea of our programmer. We inserted text symbols everywhere where pictures should be inserted. For example, here is a short sentence: "The (number) dynasty came to power" we need to use different numbers. So we replaced it like this: "The {0} dynasty came to power", and this allows translators move the number around to suit the correct word order of their language. Here is the example of code, to give you a clearer idea of what we're talking about: The process of localization became much more convenient. Bronze Age already got several localizations by the time we uploaded it on Crowdin, and it helped us to improve translations and attract more volunteers for new localizations. Our games gained some popularity and we even got a small community of fans from different countries. Thanks to that we had a chance to start Predynastic Egypt translation early, and the game was released both in Russian and in English. English language translation was supported by a volunteer from the USA, whose input is especially appreciated due to his respectable age. It's nice to know that our game in interesting to many different people. The translating platform also offers a convenient way to leave comments on suggested translations. Volunteers can always contact us or other translators to ask questions or to check something, and the work goes smooth and interesting. After Predynastic Egypt was released, another volunteer joined our team. He was from China, and right away he brought with him a whole team of volunteers who started to translate Predynastic Egypt in Chinese! That was a huge luck because it let us sell our games on the Chinese market. As you probably know, Chinese-speaking countries make one of the largest game markets in the world, if not the largest. But it's almost impossible to sell there a game which has no Chinese translation. That's why the help of our Chinese friend was truly invaluable, and he keeps helping us and consulting us about China and Chinese market. As the game was released, more and more volunteers offered their help. They not only translated Predynastic Egypt but also other games. Eventually, we had our games translated into 15 different languages, including French, Italian, Czech, Polish, Japanese and even Hindi! And this is not the limit, who knows where our future volunteers will come from! The new game Egypt: Old Kingdom will be fully translated into English before the release, and we have French, Czech, German, Chinese, Spanish and Turkish translations in progress. Most of the translators are our long-time supporters, who translated previous games as well. We're doing everything in our power to reward volunteers' input. We provide them all necessary support, issuing certificates for their CV, confirming their work, we share free game keys with them and put their names in subtitles. We'll certainly keep it up and we'll think of new ways to encourage them. And that's the essential information about our localization experience. If you have more questions, please don't hesitate to ask!
  4. Clarus Victoria

    The game is coming together!

    Hello everyone! I just thought I'd quickly drop a few gifs to demostrate the gameplay! We're beta-testing the Russian demo version now, and we're looking for proofreaders who could help us with checking the English translation before we start the English beta-test. Any volunteers? If suddenly there is someone who would like to help, please contact us via Facebook or Steam. Now, some gameplay demo! 1) This is the interaction with other tribes and nations! There are many options: you can explore them, establish trading, improve relationships, raid them, start a war. If you play for Seth, you can even curse them! My favorite part tbh 2) And here we havo some hyenas who decided to ruin our gardens... well, there is no choice but to destroy them! 3) This guy is the only responsible one... he's building houses for all those hyena fighters and diplomats!
  5. Hello everyone! Oh, I'm so delighted with the number of views! And gamedev.net even featured our entry on their Facebook page! Thank you for finding this blog interesting! In the last entry, I made a brief introduction of our Egypt: Old Kingdom game. It's not just based on history, we're basically trying to recreate the history in a game form. Of course, it requires a tremendous amount of research! Sometimes people ask us: "Why did you choose Hierakonpolis/Memphis as the main location, and not Thinis or some other important settlements?" The reply will be: because in order to make the game really historical, our location of choice has to be very well researched. We need a lot of information about the location: events, personalities, buildings, lifestyle. The research was done by the game designer, Mikhail, and I think he can now get his master degree as an Egyptologist because he knows A LOT about Ancient Egypt thanks to his research! He did the research by himself for Bronze Age and Marble Age, but then it got too hard to keep up with both research and game design. For the next game, Predynastic Kingdom, we contacted the scientists from the Center For Egyptian Study of Russian Academy of Sciences (CES RAS). We're lucky they agreed to help! Predynastic Egypt was the first game made with their support. For Egypt Old Kingdom Mikhail created a huge database containing most of the known events, places and personalities of the Old Kingdom period: Every little thing about the period is studied thoroughly in order to immerse the player deeper in the game. We learn about kings’ deeds, their authority, did they properly worship gods or not, did they start any wars or not. We study climate, soil, vegetation, natural disasters of that period. We learn about the appearance of ancient Egyptians, their dress, their food, their houses. Sketches of Egyptians' appearance: When the database is ready, Mikhail goes over it with the scientists. They check everything, correct what's necessary, provide more information and details. Like every other science, history has a lot of controversial points. For example, "The White Walls" of Memphis is something that scientists can't agree about. There are two major opinions about what could it be: 1. It is the walls of a palace. 2. It is the walls of burial grounds. In our game, we don't want to take sides, so the scientists of CES RAS inform us about such "dangerous" topics as well. This way we can avoid the controversy and let the player decide which theory he prefers. This is Mikhail (left side) discussing the game events with scientists In the middle - Galina Belova, one of the most famous Russian Egyptologists. The director of CES RAS to the right. During this part of the work we sort out all of the events and divide them in groups: the most important events which must be in the game; less important events which can be beneficial for the atmosphere of the game; insignificant events. When this part of work is done, and all of the information is sorted out, the design of the game begins. In the process we still keep in touch with the scientists, because some events are not easy to turn in a game at all. For example, one of our goals is to make the player fully experience the life of Ancient Egypt. We want to make player think like Ancient Egyptians, to make him exparience the same difficulties. In order to do that we have to know what Egyptians were thinking, and also through the gaming process, we have to put the player in the same conditions as Egyptians had. Ancient Egyptians strongly believed that if they would not worship their ancestors and gods properly, the country will experience all kinds of disasters. This belief was unconscious and unconditional, that’s why they were building all those funeral complexes, made sacrifices, trying to please their ancestors. Even cities were built only as a way to please gods and ancestors! They were sure if they will stop properly worship them, the country will be doomed, because ancestors will stop to protect them. We wanted to nudge the player to build all these pyramids for the same reasons as Egyptians, and this is how stat “Divine favor” appeared. This stat is mostly necessary to worship the gods’ cults, and player can earn it by working in temples and worshipping ancestors. But what really makes the player to feel like Egyptians did is the feature of “Divine favor” stat – it degrades by 0,1 every turn. It happens because people are dying; hence, there are more and more ancestors that must be worshipped. If player will not pay attention to this stat and it will degrade too much, more and more disasters will start to happen, such as fires, earthquakes, droughts, etc. If will greatly influence the economy and the result of the game. That's how we turn history in a game. It can be fun and challenging! There are many other examples of similar transitions. We'll definitely keep working with the scientists, not only Russian, but also foreign. In fact, we hope to engage more and more people in the process of game making. That's it for now. Thank you for reading! Comments are very welcome! If you would like to know more about the game and follow our social media, here are links: Egypt: Old Kingdom on Steam; Predynastic Egypt on Steam; Our community on Facebook; Our Twitter.
  6. Clarus Victoria

    Developers Diary #1. Game design and research.

    @RootKiller Corrected! Thank you very much
  7. Clarus Victoria

    Developers Diary #1. Game design and research.

    Oh, thank you so much! I'm really very happy to hear people saying that!
  8. Hello! Merry Christmas and Happe New Year everybody! Lina's here. Thanks for checking our blog again I would like to share with you a bit of our development jorney with the focus on the new game, Egypt: Old Kingdom. It all begun with the idea of making a strategy game which will be truly historical, not only set in historical decorations, like many other strategy games. But having some experience in the gamedev industry, we didn't want to rush into an ambitious complicated projects which we will have no chance to finish. In 2013 our first game Stone Age was released. It was made by Mikhail, the leader and the mastermind of our team. The game was intentionally simple and focused on workers management. The feedback was mostly positive, so we kept the gameplay, and added more functions for the next project, Bronze Age. It became our main approach to making games - present the concept, check the feedback, keep the good parts, get rid of the bad parts, add some new features. On and on. Games got more complex, the team got more members in order to divide tasks like programming, art and game design. The most challenging part of the process, aside of solving thechnical problems, was the historical research. Everything had to be 100% according to the history. For the games like Bronze Age and Marble Age Mikhail somehow managed by himself, but it changed when we started to work on Predynastic Egypt. The support came from Center of Egyptian Study of Russian Academy of Science (CES RAS). Scientists who work there are not only in the University, they are also archeologists and their support was invaluable. That's how our main routine of game production was established. It's based on our ideas, players' ideas and scientific data. That's how, by the time we started to work on Egypt: Old Kingdom, we had a clear image of what we would like to make. Before we will get into a more detailed explanation, let's cover the basics: The history fo the Ancient Egypt is commonly divided by these main periods (credits to Wikipedia): Early Dynastic Period 3150–2686 BC Old Kingdom 2686–2181 BC 1st Intermediate Period 2181–2055 BC Middle Kingdom 2055–1650 BC 2nd Intermediate Period 1650–1550 BC New Kingdom 1550–1069 BC 3rd Intermediate Period 1069–664 BC Late Period 664–332 BC Predynastic Egypt game was set in 5000-3000 year B.C. in the place called Nekhen, or Hierakonpolis. In this game player has to develop the city, discover new territory and learn ancient technologies. At the same time (s)he learns about the very beginning of Egyptian civilization. Egypt: Old Kingdom is the sequel, the next chapter of the story. It begins with a group of people sent from Hierakonpolis to discover a new territory. It overlaps with Predynastic Egypt by 500 years. The period of the new game is 3500-2140 B.C. Said group of people came to the Lower Egypt border, where they will have to establish a new settlement, Memphis. After Predynastic Egypt was released, first people to start the research for a new game were our artists, Maxim and Ivan. For their part of the job, they had to find out what how did Memphis look like at that time? Surely it wasn't the same as today. As they found out, during Old Kingdom period Memphis was less dry, it was a savannah. It resembled a lot the current nature of the South Sudan. With this reference they were able to start sketching maps and arts for a new game. After that the main research for the game design begun. It included reading a huge amount of historical sources and the work with scientist. It's a whole another topic, so we'll keep it untill the next post. To finish today, please enjoy this beautiful video about the nature of South Sudan. See you next time! Our sources. Please subscribe and add our new game to your wishlist! Egypt: Old Kingdom on Steam; Predynastic Egypt on Steam; Our community on Facebook; Our Twitter. P.S. I try my best to write without mistakes. But English is not my native language, so some mistakes are inevitable. Please don't hesitate to correct me if you see any, I will really appreciate it!
  9. Clarus Victoria

    Introduction

    Hello! I'm glad to see you here We're Clarus Victoria, Russian indie game studio. There are only 6 of us, and we're mainly developing historical strategy games with the support of Russian scientific society. You might have heard of our previous games, such as Bronze Age, Marble Age and Predynastic Egypt. The 4th game, Egypt Old Kingdom, is a sequel to Predynastic Egypt. The development of Egypt Old Kingdom began almost one year ago, in February 2016. After a year of hard work we're nearing release. Our game is a strategy simulator of the Great Pyramids period, where you take your path from the unification of Egyptian tribes to the foundation of The First Empire. We developed tit with the assistance of Egyptologists, because we want our game to be as historically correct as possible. For starters, we'd like to share our teaser with a comment revealing its secrets Please check the video first. I'll wait! Soooo, what do you think? Intriguing? Confusing? Plain? All above? Or maybe you're wondering what the hell these weird words mean? Ok, I can help with weird words In this video we used the Pyramids Texts - ancient Egyptian spells which were written inside the pyramids. Here we used the Utterance 32. The full text is: 22a. This is thy cool water, Osiris; this is thy cool water, O N., which went forth from thy son, which went forth from Horus. 22b. I have come; I have brought to thee the eye of Horus, that thy heart may be refreshed by it. I have brought it to thee. It is under thy soles. 23a. Take to thyself the efflux (sweat), which goes forth from thee; thy heart shall not be weary thereby. 23b. To say four times, when thou goest forth justified: Libation; two pellets of natron. This is a part of a magical spell, and at the same time it is a reference to an old Egyptian myth. If you ever hear or read Egyptian myths, you'll probably recognize a few names of this Utterance. Osiris is the god of transition, resurrection, and regeneration. He was the first ruler of Egypt, as Ancient Egyptians believed. Horus, son of Osiris and Isis, is a god of the sky, war and hunting and a heir of Osiris. Unfortunately, Osiris' brother Seth also wanted to be the king of Egypt. He killed Osiris and chopped his body in 12 pieces, then hid them in different parts of Egypt. While Isis went off to find all of the pieces, Horus went to fight with Seth. Horus was young, so he lost the first fight. Seth ripped off his eye and by an old habit chopped it into 64 pieces. Horus later found them all and recovered his eye. Meanwhile Isis found and joined all of the parts of Osiris. Horus sacrificed his eye to his father, and Osiris came back to life. Later Osiris became the god of the underworld, and Horus became the king of Egypt. But not before he defeated Seth. Guess what he did? Right, chopped him in pieces))) Egyptian habits... Egyptians believed that their kings are descendants of Osiris. They also believed that all of their actions were defined by gods' deeds. That's why every time they brought offerings to their late kings (which happened quite often), they considered it to be a replication of Horus' actions, when he sacrificed his eye to Horus. And during this ceremony every late king of Egypt became like Osiris. They read the spell and believed that their late king will come back to life in the afterlife, so to speak. And will continue to protect Egypt. Now when you know the background, let's go back to the teaser. In the video we used only one line: 22b. I have come; I have brought to thee the eye of Horus, that thy heart may be refreshed by it. I have brought it to thee. It is under thy soles. We came to you, because we wanted to give you a present, which is our game. We came to you, and we hope you will like it. This is the meaning, hidden in this teaser. I hope it was interesting to know If you would like to know more about us ans about the game, you can visit us here: Steam: Egypt: Old Kingdom on Steam Facebook community: Egypt: Old Kingdom on Facebook Twitter: Clasur Victoria Team on Twitter We are: Mikhail - game designer; Anton and Georgiy - programmers; Ivan and Maxim - art and graphics; Lina (me) - pr and community management.
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