Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Catyph is gold

The Beta Tests are finished, the game is now gold. I still have a few bugs to fix, but nothing complicated. Some of the testers have really done a remarkable job. Now I can confirm that Catyph will release in May as announced earlier, unless a catastrophe occurs! If you're looking to play the game, please remember: May 11th, Steam, Windows, English/French. The game contains 4 difficulty levels and should need at least 10 hours to reach the end (the average of beta testers is more 15-20 hours). Get ready!


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Catyph BETA

The Beta-Tests of Catyph are officially started. Several people have been contacted, but there is still some place if you're interested to get involved.

The minimum requirements are a little higher than ASA Remastered, but it's still a 2D game (pre-rendered 3D), so we're far from the requirements of modern and AAA games.

A comfortable system could be:
Windows 7 or newer (but it also works with XP)
multi-core 2,5Ghz +
4 GB Ram
Video card 512 MB (the more the better)
5 GB disk space (the game size is 3.2GB)

It should work on lower systems, even if it could mean that it is slower sometimes.

If you want to become a Beta Tester, here are a few rules that you should be aware of:

- please don't get involved only to receive the game before the official release, and for free.

- Beta-Testing is not as enjoyable as discovering the final game, because it can crash anytime, or your savegames can be corrupted, etc.

- the purpose is to help me fix all the issues and bugs, so if you accept, you should try to finish the game even if you don't like it in the end.

- you'll have to do your best to finish the game before the month of May.

- I won't be able to reply to everyone, but I will read all feedbacks from testers.

- the Beta is private and you are not supposed to reveal in public any information about the game. It could spoil the content to other players, or might give them a wrong idea.

Of course for all of your efforts, you will receive the game for free (Beta and final later), your name in credits, and my deepest gratitude.

Feel free to get in touch with me through my website(s) to request access to the Beta. I won't accept any new Tester in April, or if you are already too many to participate.

Thank you for your help, and see you soon on Tytaah!
Simon

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

At last! Catyph is finished!!

In March 2013, ASA: A Space Adventure first released on Desura.
In March 2014, I officially started the development of Catyph.
In March 2015, I released ASA Remastered Edition on Steam...

And in March 2016, you ask?
Well, I thought it would be the month of the release of Catyph, and I tried my best, but as you can guess: you will have to wait a little longer. No, Catyph won't release this month, but for the first time I am happy to say that the game is finished. I could play it from the beginning to the end several times, in each level of difficulty, and it worked. It might just be a small news, written on a small blog, but for me it's a huge step forward.

The development of Catyph began in the beginning of 2014, and was first planned to last 6 months, just like ASA - no more no less. But the more I was preparing the project, the more I thought I had to do more. A lot of First Person Adventure games are now in realtime 3D with incredible graphics, and are just great. I think that Catyph won't be able to compete with them and, in fact, I'm not going to try. You shouldn't think of Catyph as another one of these games. It's not a game like Dear Esther or The Witness, or even Obduction. Catyph is a very personal project, and I assume my choices, which include working with pre-rendered background again.
I'm happy with the result. It's far from perfect (the gameplay was hard to balance because of the use of static pictures), but I know that I couldn't have done a better project on my own, in the current circumstances, working at home with my own money.
So if you ask me: I am proud of my game and I really hope that you'll share this feeling with me. Today I think I am ready to show it to everyone, as it is a worthy successor to ASA. Just don't expect Catyph to be similar on each point with its predecessor. Some things have changed!

Does it mean that it is ready for a public release now? Unfortunately not! Now will begin the private Beta Tests and it will take about 2 months. Catyph should release around May 15th, and will probably not be very followed by the press (I'll do my best however), so if you are looking forward to play it, please keep this date in mind: Catyph, May 15th on Steam. Of course I will update this blog, and an announcement will be posted on The Icehouse collective sites as soon as the game is officially available.

About this release:
It will only be for Windows, and in English and French.
And probably on Steam only... I wanted to release it on the Adventure Gamers shop, but it is now closed. I don't know yet if other interesting stores will accept the game.
Regarding the localization, the team with whom I worked on ASA (moonplanet) doesn't exist anymore, and it was a sad news. So I had 2 possibilities left:
- release Catyph with also Spanish, Italian and German languages as planned, but it would mean a release much later this year.
- or release only in French and English, and see later what I can do with other languages.
I chose this second option, and Catyph will be localized in more languages *only* if the sales allow it.
I also chose not to release Catyph on Linux and Mac. It was possible with Visionaire Studio, but I think it would be a mistake (not that I don't want to do it!). It would seem that there are still issues with ASA Remastered for Linux and Mac, and I am unable to fix them. I could only release ASA-R on these platforms because it was developed by Andrea Rinaldi, and not me alone. But here with Catyph it's different: I'm on my own, and I don't have a Mac or a Linux PC to make tests (and i don't even know how to use these OS). So I don't want to take the risk. Maybe later with some help?

Now I will just focus on making the Windows version as stable as possible, and fix as many bugs as possible. That's the most important. I confirm that the game is quite big for an indie/solo project, and you should expect at the very least 10 hours of gameplay in Normal mode (probably less in the 2 easiest modes). If you want to find everything and unlock all bonuses, all diary pages and take the time to read them, 15 hours is a minimum I think, and it will certainly be even more if you choose the Classic mode and play in the old-school Myst way, with a pen and a paper (anyway they're necessary).
This consequent lifetime, coming along with HD pre-rendered backgrounds and video transitions, also implies that the game will be heavy to download. You should expect it to be around 5GB, and that's quite a lot compared to ASA (1GB). After all, the game already weighs 15GB before it is built and compressed, and the whole work folder exceeds 100GB on my hard drive!!
It also means that you'll need a more powerful computer for Catyph than to play ASA. Of course you don't need a modern PC (there's no realtime 3D after all), but it will be better with some memory and a good video card, in order to preload all the animations and videos. The requirements will be given as soon as possible.

More news should come soon. I will try to prepare a new trailer. The Beta Test will probably be an opportunity to work (and maybe re-think) everything that was said above. For now, please just keep in mind the release date, OS and languages. A bientôt !
 














Tuesday, March 8, 2016

When ASA meets Rhem

During the last week-end, I have had the chance to receive a beautiful surprise: a nice message from a person that you are many to know: M. Knut Müller, the creator of Rhem! I hesitated to share about it here, because it was a personal private message. I just can't find the good words to describe my feelings, but I was very happy of course.  He has recently been playing ASA a little bit and he likes it, despite taking all his time to progress in the game. Games like ASA only exist thanks to the creators of Myst and Rhem,  they're series that wrote a large part of the History of adventure games. Now I really want even more to make Catyph a good game. Talking of it, I should be able to give some good news very soon, so stay around here!


Learn more about Rhem (and eventually purchase it): http://rhem-game.com/

There was a long, interesting interview of Knut Müller and his projects here:
http://www.adventureclassicgaming.com/index.php/site/interviews/333/

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Myha CD now exists

If you are like me, you like to have a physical copy of your favorite series of games and films! Maybe you'd like to have your own official disc of MYHA then?

The good news is that it's now possible: have a look at the photos of the CD below, and if you want it, it will only cost you $2.58 (+shipping costs). I won't earn money on this disk (the $2.58 is the minimum price on Trepstar, which includes manufacture costs). I must say that I mainly prepared it for me, to keep a nice backup of my work, but then I thought: why not sharing it with you too?

This CD version is for PC, the game will only work on Windows.

Buy CD version of MYHA





Of course the digital version will stay free forever, and you can still download it from itch.io or gamejolt. Check availability here: The Icehouse MYHA page

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Myha OST available (free)

The OST of  MYHA is composed of 9 tracks that include 7 free royalty free musics that you can download on DL-Sounds.com (I was glad to find this site during the Game Jam!). 
The Main Theme of the game is an extract of a Trash Metal song by Warnament, a Macedonian group that includes Deki (Dejan Stanojevikj), who was one of the guys who helped me create Myha (Deki was in charge of the music and the diary voice - where he did a great job with his friend Rashko Temelkovski).



You can listen to the soundtrack of Myha in streaming here on GameJolt, or you can download all the tracks in a single archive here

Don't forget also that you can listen to the soundtracks of ASA (the game) and Catyph (the short film) composed by Karreo, available in free streaming on bandcamp. You can link to it through the Black Cube site here.

If you like the Black Cube series but have still not decided yet to play Myha, you can also have a look at this series of 2 videos by Chestonic (Let's Play Myha). 



Don't miss the wakthrough of MYHA in the previous news on this blog!
 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Stuck with a Cube? Myha walkthrough

MYHA is a small game that can be finished in 2 minutes if you know the answers. But if you play it for the first time, it can keep you busy for several hours. Reading the diary, visiting the island, and finding the solution of the puzzles is time-consumming. Most of the challenge of the game resides in finding passwords, and opening the main gates can be quite easy if you are familiar with adventure games. However the final password is tricky and you could get stuck without a bit of help. Follow these lines to complete Myha!

MYHA Walkthrough

After the introduction, go on your right. Look at the notebook and read the 1st diary. Continue the only way until you reach the planets device. Look at the first view, write the symbol and the color of the only colored planet. Check the other sides of the device. Write all the symbols and colors. It gives :

І green
П yellow
Ш pink
Щ blue


Now look at the table on the wall. It containes colored leaves and numbers. Try to replace the leaves with numbers. Each number of each raw can be added to give the result on the right, and same for the columns and the numbers at the bottom. It should allow to guess the missing number (replaced by a clover). It gives:

3 3 3 2 11
2 8 2 1 13
1 8 1 1 11
2 2 2 3 9
8 21 8 7


Now go back on your steps, follow the paths until you reach the tower. Go to the top (with an armchair) and look at the window on the left. Take the remote control of the rocket. Use it on the door of the rocket. Enter the rocket, look at the computer on the wall and read the 2nd diary.

Check the doors of the rocket and take a metal bar near one of them. Look at the paper on the wall, it's an ascii table that will help you soon. Leave the rocket and walk to the closest metal gate. You have to enter the code. The display shows a leaf and a clover, the same than in the table of the beginning. Replace these symbols with the numbers you found earlier: 8 and 13. That's the code you need to enter. However the keyboard only contains 2-digits numbers from 49 to 57. So use the ascii table of the rocket to convert 8, 1 and 3. It gives 56, 49, 51. Open the door.

Enter the cave, visit the path on the left and read the new diary. It contains the password of the other metal gate (at the beach, near the marina). You can enter it now or later.
Still in the cave, use the metal bar in your inventory on the rotative door, where a wood plank is broken. Use the lever to open the door.

Continue in the cave until the rusty machinery. There are stairs near it, but they are raised so you can't use them. The machinery can lower the stairs. It has 4 hotspots: a lever, a small sliding lever, a button and a handbreak.
- pull the sliding lever
- push the lever
- push the sliding lever again
- release the handbreak
- press the red button
The stairs should lower. But if you leave, they will raise again automatically, so don't forget to replace the handbreak!

Go down the stairs. Push the button on the plasma shield box. Leave the cave and visit the temple now that it is opened. You'll find there the last part of the diary.

Still in the temple, use the armchair. You'll see the outside of the Ark spaceship, and 4 planets. One of them is probably Myha. It is important to write their colors: blue, pink, green and yellow. You should make a link with the planets device from the beginning, and you can complete your data with the position of the planets:

І green 3
П yellow 4
Ш pink 2
Щ blue 1

Now go through the metal gate at the beach (you have the password in the 3rd diary). Walk to the stasis pod and look on its left to find a hatch. Take the colored stones in your inventory and use them to fill the grid according to the information you have gathered with the planets (above). It gives:



1 2 3 4
І



green

П





yellow
Ш

pink



Щ blue






It will open a hidden hatch with a new keyboard. The display shows 2 superimposed grids. Try to combine your different grids. You have the last grid (with colors) and the grid of the beginning (the leaves on the wall). They both contain 4x4 data. If you superimpose these data, you get:




1 2 3 4
І 3 3 3 2
П 2 8 2 1
Ш 1 8 1 1
Щ 2 2 2 3

Take each revealed number of each column and you get the password! It is the end of MYHA.

Monday, January 18, 2016

New game released: MYHA

You might have followed the progress of the MYST game Jam, and discovered that there has been 38 game entries, which is a good surprise, and also proof that Myst is still popular after so many years.

My project, MYHA, is now finished and is free to try. It will take you 1 - 2 hours (and more) to finish it. It is available in English and French, and I hope that all bugs were fixed in the 1.1 version.

Learn more and download :
http://www.theblackcube.fr/myha.html


Saturday, January 9, 2016

New game MYHA (Myst Jam)

I am now working on a small new FPA for the Myst Jam hosted on itch.io (here). I have to release this game before January 18th, so the development of Catyph is paused until then.

Myha will be a free game of course, and will be created in special circumstances, so don't expect it to be a new amazing adventure game that will bring new ideas and gameplay. It is first created as a tribute to Myst, according to the rules of the Jam, and will feature old-school graphics and gameplay.

You can follow the development of Myha on this forum.




Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Making of Catyph

Since a few days, the final Making of Catyph is released on the Black Cube site. You can read it here:
http://www.theblackcube.fr/making-of-catyph.html

Don't forget also that you can read the Post Mortem of ASA too:
http://www.theblackcube.fr/asa-post-mortem.html

By the way, the development of Catyph will be paused for a few days starting today. I take part to the Myst Jam hosted on Itch.io (9-18th January). I will try to create a little something in less than 10 days. News, screenshots and WIP should be posted here from time to time, or on The Icehouse site.

Busy busy!!