Thursday, January 31, 2013

ASA is not a good old game :(

I feel sad today for all of you who were awaiting for ASA to release on GOG :
I received a message from them today to explain that the game doesn't meet the technical expectations. The level of graphics is too low and there are some interface problems.

"I really am sorry that we won’t be releasing ASA, there are many good things about the game but overall we just weren’t convinced."


It's a blow for the project because GOG had been interested in ASA before the official release of the game, since december, so I was quite confident until now.
I removed GOG from the ASA website, there's no reason to let people think there is still a chance.
 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

ASA & Facebook

Until now, I was sharing my personal facebook account for ASA news. Better late than never, I just created a page dedicated to the game :
http://www.facebook.com/aspaceadventure
Feel free to join and share the link if you want to support ASA ! Thanks.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Traduction française terminée

Bonne nouvelle pour les francophones : la traduction française est disponible !
Visitez la page des "Updates" sur le site d'ASA pour télécharger le fichier et lire les instructions d'installation.
A noter : vous pouvez garder et continuer à utiliser vos sauvegardes anglaises après l'installation du patch afin de reprendre votre progression en français.
Si vous rencontrez des bugs ou des problèmes après la mise à jour, veuillez me les signaler par e-mail afin qu'ils soient corrigés au plus vite ! 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Indie games & piracy

Yesterday I just discovered that ASA: A Space Adventure was already available underground if you make a search. The hacker(s) provide a way to download the game for free and then give a "crack".

Honestly, I'm not surprised at all, but I'm disgusted.
ASA is far from being a perfect game, but I made it with passion during months, losing personal money. Do you imagine making a game ALONE ? Honestly ? Thus I chose on purpose to sell it a low price. I could have chosen to sell it over $20, I could have chosen the usual price for new Adventure Games : $10. Yet I decided to sell it $8 only... And you can be sure it will be much lower during sales and in the future.

I don't care if hackers share million-seller games.
I don't care if people download for free games or softwares that are usually too expensive.
Everyone does it... 

I don't care if someone who bought ASA installs it for free on PCs of their friends and family.
I even encourage that ! I already gave a lot of free versions of the game.

What I care is that encouraging piracy of indie games on internet is like killing new ideas. People or studios who believe in their projects can't live anymore of their productions in this situation. If the new game you just released doesn't bring you some money back, all your efforts go up in smoke, and how could you be interested in making either a sequel or a new game ? And to make the new game, you need to invest more of yourself, to do even bigger, even better, so you need money at some point. If it was not a necessity, I would have shared ASA for free already.

And I don't tell you that because of my game, but for all indie devs ! We have desires and ideas, and we really need your support to add them in our future creations !

Now, if you choose to support piracy and download ASA for free for some unknown reasons, I can't do anything against that. But at least, please follow these instructions :
1/ Don't use the "crack" they share ! It may be a virus or trojan, I don't know. ASA doesn't require any crack at all.
2/ If you like the game, buy it to support my hard work.

Thanks for reading...


En français :

Hier j'ai découvert qu'ASA: A Space Adventure était déjà disponible illégalement en faisant quelques recherches. Les pirates fournissent un moyen de télécharger le jeu gratuitement, ainsi qu'un "crack". 

Sincèrement je ne suis pas surpris, mais ça me dégoute.
ASA n'est certainement pas le jeu de l'année, mais je l'ai créé avec passion durant des mois, y perdant de l'argent personnel. Imaginez-vous ce que c'est de faire un jeu SEUL ? Franchement ! Et pourtant j'ai quand même choisi de le vendre au plus bas prix. J'aurais pu le vendre au-delà de 20€, j'aurais pu choisir le prix habituel pour un nouveau jeu d'aventure : 9,99€. Pourtant j'ai choisi de le vendre 6€... Et vous pouvez être sûr que le prix baissera encore pendant les soldes et à l'avenir.

Je me fiche que les pirates partagent des jeux qui se sont vendus à des millions d'exemplaires.
Je me fiche que les gens téléchargent gratuitement des jeux ou des logiciels vendus à des prix excessifs.
Tout le monde le fait... 

Je me fiche que quelqu'un qui a acheté ASA l'installe gratuitement sur le PC de ses potes ou de sa famille. 
Je vous encourage même à le faire ! J'ai déjà donné des tas de versions gratuites du jeu.

Ce qui au contraire me fait hurler, c'est qu'encourager le piratage des jeux indé via internet est comme tuer de nouvelles idées. Les gens ou les studios qui croient en leurs projets ne peuvent plus vivre de leurs productions dans cette situation. Si le jeu que vous venez juste de sortir ne vous rapporte pas d'argent, tous vos efforts partent en fumée, alors comment pourriez-vous avoir envie de faire une suite ou un nouveau jeu ? Or, pour créer un nouveau jeu, il faut s'investir d'avantage pour un résultat plus grand, plus impressionnant, si bien qu'il vous faut de l'argent à un moment donné. Si ce n'était pas une nécessité, j'aurais offert ASA gratuitement.

Et je ne vous dis pas ça uniquement pour mon jeu, mais pour tous les développeurs indépendants ! Nous avons des envies et des idées, nous avons besoin de votre soutien pour les mettre en oeuvre dans nos prochaines créations !

Maintenant, si vous choisissez de supporter le piratage et de télécharger ASA gratuitement pour des raisons diverses, je ne peux rien y faire. Mais au moins, je vous prie de suivre ces deux points :
1/ N'utilisez pas le "crack" qu'ils fournissent ! C'est sûrement un virus ou un trojan, je ne sais pas vraiment. ASA n'est absolument pas protégé et n'a besoin d'aucun crack. 
2/ Si vous aimez le jeu, achetez-le pour supporter mes longues heures de travail.

Merci de votre lecture...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

ASA : the big summary

People who liked playing ASA sometimes ask me interesting questions that I thought I already answered. It's true that some of the articles here are starting to get old, so it's time to summarize some info.

- About the release ?
ASA released in the very end of december 2012, but because of the Christmas holidays, nobody noticed it before january the 7th. That's now the official release date. The game came first in direct buy via paypal on the homepage for 6€, but I originally wanted to sell it $7.99 (6€ is around $8 but there are money fluctuations). Then the came has been approved on indievania for $7.99. Since december, people of GOG and Desura seem interested in the game, and ASA could have already been published on these portals, but we encounter difficulties. GOG couldn't run the game on Vista (a patch has been released this week-end) and on Desura there's a problem when packing their MCF file. I'm working on fixing this.

- The french surprise.
That's a fact : I'm french but I made the game in english because I thought it would reach more people. The original short film released on vimeo and received a great welcome from english people all over the world. According to me, it was the best choice to release the game in english. Surprisingly, it's the french magazine JeuxVideo.com that released the very first review, and now there are many french people who await for a french translation of the game ! This is a big piece of work, but I'm on it.

- The original short film.
Before starting the production of ASA (the game) in july 2012, I had released a short film entitled 2011: A Space Adventure in november 2011, which is itself based on a small novel I have written in french and in self-publishing. The short film 2011ASA can be watched on vimeo here, but I would suggest YOU DON'T ! Why ? Because it would spoil the game : the short film is used for the introduction, but also for one of the endings... Making the game was somehow a way to tell what happens to the hero of the film before he wakes up. Please watch the film only if you finished the game. The film is 6 minutes long, I made it in 1 month with no money (like all my works), and I had no idea it would become a game later.

- Other personal works ?
ASA is not my first project, but it is my first game. Originally, I'm a film director and I made many personal short films. They're more a matter of passion than anything else, because I made them during my free time, and I'll keep making some in the future. You can learn more about my previous work in an article I made in october, and I'd be happy if you watched them, even if they're more artistic than realistic.

- Made the game "alone" ?
A question which comes back often is : did you really make ASA alone ? The answer is yes, almost. "Almost" because, to be honnest, I got great help from friends and great people like Bob and Giovanni.
I made the game all alone on the graphic part (pictures and videos), and then used adventure maker to create the game. This soft is quite old and has technical restrictions (screen resolution i.e) but it simplifies the coding in Visual Basic for newbies in programming (like me). I really recommend it if you're interested in making personal games ! You can use photos for the backgrounds if you're not familiar with 3D, and the community on the forums will welcome you warmly.
Graphism + coding took me 4-5 months of work, and in parallel, Karreo composed the soundtrack and made the sfx. This great music, like the track on Kepler, was composed by Stélian Derenne, and he really worked hard to get this result. I then inserted the music and sfx myself in the game.
Finally, I got some help to proof my english texts and I did my best to find people to record the voice of P. Forte for the diary. I chose the current actor, Steven, who has a nice deep voice.
To record the other voice (MAID, your "micro audio intelligent device"), I bought an audio soft in which you enter text and it reads it to generate a synthesis voice. It was perfect for an A.I. and simplified the work a lot. It was much harder to find an actor here because of the way the game is built.
Then the beta-tests happened in november and the game finally released in the end of december. I think that's it, and that it was quite an adventure for me too :) If there's a next time, maybe I'll try kickstarter... Making a game without money is quite a crusade.
Have a look at the credits in the game options if you want to learn more !

- To go further :
3 articles about my work since I'm a freelancer, and around the ASA projet :
An article about the way I made the game on IndieDB
An interview I gave after the release of the short film 2011ASA on Ceiga Magazine
An article I wrote entitled "Generalities on precalculated 3D graphics" on IndieDB

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

French adventure players like it ! And you ?

Hi everyone, no news yesterday because it was my birthday ;) Today I share a small message from french people who played ASA, and that's why I make a dual-language article :)

Salut à tous, je n'ai pas donné de nouvelles hier car c'était mon anniversaire ;) Aujourd'hui je partage un petit message de joueurs français qui ont essayé ASA, et c'est pourquoi je fais cet article en double langue :)

In fact, I was looking for news about ASA on google when I found a french forums : Adventure Planet, where they speak of the game ! That's very nice of them !

En fait, je cherchais des news sur ASA dans google, lorsque j'ai trouvé un forum français : Planète Aventure, qui parle du jeu ! C'est très sympa de votre part !

And while I was reading their first impressions, I found the following comment from Epok, and I thought it was so nice that it was deserving an article :
"I've been visiting Simon's blog, but he doesn't see us yet ! I'm gonna make this #%$X!! ASA game page now !!! We're here Simon and we like you too here, on our small adventure site !"

Et tandis que je lisais leurs premières impressions, je suis tombé sur le commentaire suivant de Epok, et je me suis dit que c'était si gentil que ça méritait un article :
"Mais je regardais sur le blog de Simon, il ne nous voit pas encore ! Je vais créer la fiche d'ASA nan de diou de ce pas ! On est là Simon et on t'apprécie aussi sur notre petit site d'aventure." 
(et le "nan de diou" vient du coeur, on le sent !!!)


So yeah, I see you, now ! But you should have sent me an e-mail !!! :) So anyone who has something to say about the game : feel free to contact me !!!

Donc oui, je vous vois désormais ! Mais vous auriez dû me contacter par e-mail !!! :) Donc si quelqu'un a quelque chose à me dire sur le jeu : surtout n'hésitez pas à me contacter !!!

In the end, all that to say that it's wonderful to see several people who like the game. Of course, don't expect me to subscribe on all adventure games forums :)

Bref, tout ça pour dire que c'est formidable de voir que plusieurs personnes aiment le jeu. Bien entendu, ne vous attendez pas à me voir m'inscrire sur tous les forums de jeux d'aventure :)

Je serai de temps en temps sur AAcie pour ceux qui connaissent !

PS : nice blue, huh ? I'll never use it again, promise ;)
PS : joli bleu, hein ? Je ne l'utiliserai plus jamais, promis ;)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

ASA patch 1.1

You can now find a new page on the game homepage, simply entitled "updates". I'll add there any downloadable content. Today I uploaded a small patch which corrects minor bugs. All future updates will be described here on the devblog.

Installation :
This first patch will update the game from r1.0(original release) to r1.1 You need to set the destination folder of this patch where you installed ASA on your hard drive.
Example :
If you installed ASA in c:\program files\asa - a space adventure
--> then this is where you need to install this patch !

What's new with this file ? 
(it is a minor update)

- fixed : the human keyboard on PC Forte could be connected easily in specific conditions. 
- fixed : in the private room, on the digicode on the left, the "3" key didn't work correctly. 
- fixed : in the central room, after going out of the private room and looking behind you, the door was still closed. 
- corrected spelling : on some computers, the sentences written in Anterran language contained mistakes.

Friday, January 18, 2013

News francophone

Salut ! En ce moment j'ai la chance d'être à l'honneur sur JV.com, alors j'en profite pour parler français sur le devblog d'ASA !

Je ne vais pas revenir sur le débat "pourquoi un jeu en anglais quand on est français", j'en ai déjà parlé dans un précédent article. Par contre je vais vous parler de la traduction française et de son avancement. A vrai dire, je n'ai pu commencer le travail que très récemment, mais j'estime avoir traduit 20% du jeu déjà. Si tout se passe bien, je devrais pouvoir sortir la trad fr courant février. J'ignore encore si je laisserai les voix anglaises cependant. A vous de me donner votre avis ! N'hésitez pas à m'en faire part par mail par exemple, ou sur le forum d'ASA chez JV.com.

Je rassure immédiatement les personnes qui ont acheté la version anglaise du jeu : la trad fr sera une simple mise à jour à télécharger et qui transformera la version US en version FR. Par conséquent, il sera toujours nécessaire d'avoir installé la version anglaise préalablement. Les explications d'installation viendront avec le patch.

Pour terminer, je remercie très chaleureusement les joueurs français qui ont décidé d'acheter le jeu ! Cela m'aidera dans mes futurs projets, que j'espère plus ambitieux et plus réussis.
Très récemment, on me demandait si je pouvais fournir des versions gratuites d'ASA à une équipe de joueurs qui aime progresser à plusieurs sur les jeux d'aventure en s'entraidant. Ma réponse est simple : achetez donc une seule version pour tout le monde ! Il n'y a pas besoin de crack et je ne suis pas regardant sur le "partage". Tout ce que je demande, c'est que les personnes qui ont aimé le jeu me soutiennent en l'achetant à un moment donné.

Et enfin, le gaming live de JV.com, que vous avez sûrement déjà tous vu ;)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

ASA review on JV.com

(j'ai ajouté une note sur la traduction française en fin d'article)

I spoke of jeuxvideo.com earlier, which is probably the most famous magazine about video games here in France.

I'm glad to annouce that they made a review of ASA: A Space Adventure (in french, of course), and the game got a very nice 15/20.

If you dont speak french but are interested in knowing more about this review, here is my quick translation of the verdict :

"Graphics 10/20
Of course it seems quite dated, but the regular players of Adventure games will probably not care. The environments have enough details and precision to make the player continue his exploration, and they also participate to the special atmosphere of the soft.

Gameplay 15/20
Lovers of point and clicks, and particularly slideshow/1st person point and clicks, will immediately find their good old habits, despite some problems with the interface and the movements, which are quite unwieldy finally. But this occasional discomfort brought by the archaic gameplay don't taint completely the pleasure of the player, who can devote himself to his favorite passion since Myst : solving some very difficult puzzles and immersing himself in a mysterious universe.

Life/ Duration 15/20
Two planets, a satellite, and various environnements immediately in the Ark... our playing field isn't huge however, but it is diversified, and mostly dotted of puzzles which should really slow down your progression. In the end, it will probably take you fifteen hours (without walkthrough).

Sound and music 14/20
The OST, quiet, nuanced and varied, is quite discrete in the end, but it also helps to impose the successful atmosphere, making us dive in this peculiar adventure. You'll have the sensation to live a story frozen both in the time and in space.

Story 14/20
An Ark, ambitious creation of a disapeared civilization, and a cube, attracting irresistibly various astronauts... The idea is pleasant, and quite well used, mostly thanks to the diaries of Philippe Forté hidden in the backgrounds, and they give us everytime a new part of an intricate story. Some aspects of the story are much more classical, but you'll probably follow it with pleasure.

Overall 15/20 (not an average of the above)

ASA : A Space Adventure is a good surprise among adventure games... because it was not really expected ! We're in front of a spatial Myst clone assumed, giving us the joy to reconnect with our passions of yesterday : the exploration of an universe filled with strange scientific machines forcing compliance, resulting in puzzles which are particularly hard, and a story that progresses thanks to our assiduous readings. Congrats to Simon Mesnard for this remarkable creation !"

...
And thanks to the reviewer for understanding what the game is all about !

Traduction d'ASA en français :

J'en profite pour rappeler mon souhait de faire une traduction française du jeu dès que possible, certainement sous forme de patch. C'est important pour moi, mais je vous demande un peu de patience, c'est très long de traduire les journaux correctement, et laborieux avec le logiciel utilisé. 

Si certains joueurs français se posent la question "Pourquoi un jeu initialement en anglais quand on est français ?", je comprends la réaction et ma réponse est simple :

Comprenez bien que le budget de production du jeu est nul, et même négatif (achat de logiciels très chers). En effet, ASA n'a pas été créé par un studio mais par une seule personne, par passion avant tout, et je n'ai pas souhaité recourir à kickstarter ou ses équivalents (ce qui ne veut pas dire que le principe me déplait).

Par conséquent, j'ai préféré jouer la carte de la prudence en m'adressant à un public plus vaste : les anglophones, et à plus forte raison car ils ont été les plus nombreux à soutenir le court-métrage qui a initié le projet sur vimeo. 


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

An opinion on ASA

This is a very nice comment from GreyFuss on the AdventureGamers forums, that I decided to share here, because it's all about what I wanted to do in the game : full exploration and understanding of the world !

"Fantastic
I wanted to post earlier about what I think about playing ASA but I just couldn’t break away from the game. I haven’t played a game that has had me thinking and taking notes this much in a long time, I just love it. A game that has me thinking about it even when I am not playing it. For instance when I opened my eyes this morning and before I got out of bed my mind was thinking about a particular bit of information I had been stuck on the night before. Before I arose I came up with the solution. My kind of adventure where you are dropped into the game world not knowing much and it is up to you to explore your environment and gather information needed to understand the why and where of the story. First person, solo exploration, Sci-Fi, point & click…mmmm good
Can’t stay, I’ve got to get back to the game…thank you Simon, so far…Impressive :)"

(and in french / en français)
"Fantastique
Je voulais poster plus tôt sur ce que je pense d'ASA après y avoir joué, mais je n'arrivais plus à quitter ma partie. Il y a bien longtemps que je n'avais pas trouvé un jeu qui m'oblige à réfléchir et à prendre des notes, et j'adore ça. Un jeu qui m'oblige même à réfléchir lorsque j'ai quitté ma partie. Dans le cas présent, quand j'ai ouvert les yeux ce matin et avant même que je quitte mon lit, j'étais déjà en train de penser à une information bien précise que j'avais rencontrée la veille, et sur laquelle j'étais resté bloqué. Bien avant de m'éveiller complètement, j'avais trouvé la solution. Tout à fait mon style d'aventure, où on vous laisse vous débrouiller dans le monde du jeu, sans en savoir trop à son sujet et c'est au joueur d'explorer l'environnement pour rassembler les données nécessaires à la compréhension de l'histoire. Jeu à la première personne, exploration en solo, science-fiction, point & click… mmmm du tout bon 

Je vous laisse, Je dois me remettre au jeu… merci Simon, jusqu'ici c'est… Impressionnant :)"
 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Issue on Windows Vista

If you're playing ASA on Windows Vista, maybe you encountered the following error when launching the game :

"Unable to load the frame called "0000 menu". Verify that the "Initial Frame Rate" exists and that the "Go to another frame" option in the Hotspot Properties is linked to an existing frame. Method '~' of '~'  failed"

It happens because Media Player cannot play the videos. One of the solutions (found by the guys from Adventure Gamers, thanks to them), is to install the Media Player Codec Pack. You can find it here :
http://download.cnet.com/Media-Player-Codec-Pack/3000-13632_4-10749065.html

If possible, try to play ASA on windows 7 or 8 where it is the most stable.

UPDATE : try first the Vista Patch available on the ASA website at www.aspaceadventure.fr

Sunday, January 13, 2013

ASA released on indievania

ASA is now officially released on indievania !
You can reach the game page directly here, or via the indievania logo on aspaceadventure.fr

About the price :
- if you buy ASA via paypal on www.aspaceadventure.fr then it will cost you 6€
- if you buy it via indievania, it will be $7.99

That's approximately the same price. In fact it depends on currency fluctuations, so if you live in a country using euros or dollars, it's up to you to make your choice. 

Thanks to everyone who already supported my hard work by buying the game !

Friday, January 11, 2013

ASA on Game Sphere

News article about ASA on Game Sphere (in french) : here


I also received 3 mails from people who bought ASA and who seem to really enjoy it. And nobody complained yet :) Well, I believe that when you buy ASA, you're aware that you buy a Myst-like, and that it will be a difficult game. That's probably the reason.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

JV & AG

This morning, I had the good surprise to discover the first trailer of ASA on jeuxvideo.com, the french most famous video game magazine ! That's something important to me : I've been reading them from their beginning (how old was I ? My !), and I would have never imagined that I would appear there someday ! It's just great !!! Thanks JV.com !

Exceptionnellement, j'ajoute quelques mots en français ! C'est vrai qu'ASA est intégralement en anglais et demande un bon niveau (enfin, je pense). Mais j'ai suivi jeuxvideo.com depuis les débuts du site, alors c'est un honneur pour moi de voir que mes vidéos y sont relayées ! Merci JV.com, et j'en profite pour saluer l'ensemble des joueurs francophones !

Update : you can find the 2 other videos too : the gameplay video and the launch trailer.
And yeah, I'm happy.
BTW, I confirm my will to make a french translation of the game someday in the year. I just hope I will find the time... (je ferai une traduction française du jeu dans l'année si j'ai le temps ! Mais j'y tiens !)

Something else, for english people this time : AdventureGamers.com has been relaying the news about ASA since the beginning of its development. They're doing a great job, and I believe you will find a review of ASA soon on their site. I don't know if they will apreciate the game, but they just added a news article to share the release of the game

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Release trailer

This is the same trailer than the one on www.aspaceadventure.fr but I wanted to add it on the devblog too.

I want to sincerely thank the people who bought ASA on the first day, and I hope you could download and run the game without troubles !!!

Special thanks to Adreas P. who's been the very first one to buy ASA ! ;)


Monday, January 7, 2013

ASA RELEASED !

January 7th 2013 is a great day for all of you who have been following this blog, and for those who supported the game since the beginning ! Why ?

Because  
ASA is now officially released !!!
And to celebrate this, I invite you to visit the new game's page at www.aspaceadventure.fr !

You will find there :
- a new video trailer
- links to buy the game

For the moment, you can only buy the game directly via Paypal ($ 7.99), but more selling platforms will come soon, starting with Desura !

I want to thank everyone who helped in the project and supported me, including you who read the devblog regularly, because the game became a reality thanks to all of you. It was very important to feel that people were interested in the project.

Now, I wish you have fun with the game ! 

NB : if you decide to buy ASA, then first of all : thanks A LOT !!! But also, be sure the game will run on your PC (you will find the system requirements when you click on the Paypal button of the Homepage). If you're not 100% sure, try to run the demo. If it works, then the full version works too.