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Hello everyone.

Well, March was a quick month as we barely saw it pass us by!

But, oh well, it’s April already and where is Qasir al-Wasat? In case nobody noticed, we estimated a late March release for Qasir and yet the game is not released. Turns out that finishing a game is an amazing adventure of finding out that everything is nowhere near finished. So yes, Qasir al-Wasat was nowhere near finished. Ok, it was not that unfinished, but it needed enough polish and finishing touches that would warrant a delay. In the end, we hadno choice but to delay the release of the game in order to give it those finishing touches and features and give us a reasonable time for that final bugfixing and polishing work.

The new release date is up in the air, but it is not because we have no idea of when we are going to finish the game (we do), but because we are studying the best time-frame to release it. If you don’t live under a rock, you know that there is a huge game release looming and we are kind of not wanting to release Qasir on the same week as that behemoth. And yes, this means we have a May release date, just not the exact day pinned down yet.

That said, here is some updates on how Qasir is shaping up as March was a handful of hard work and progress with development. In these past few weeks we actually finished the two major features that was missing from the game, which were both mini-game puzzles we designed to add to the stealth action-adventure core mechanics. Also, we deepened the efficiency of the investigation mechanic, with a new section on the menu where the player can review every bit of important info he gathered during play.  We are currently testing all of this, improving and polishing both interface and design of the given features.

Other than that, as of right now, we are polishing the game’s initial scenes and the general presentation.With those two done right, we will have a good enough opening and early game to be able to release a free public demo for everyone that is curious about the game, but don’t want to pre-order it blindly. We are also tweaking the final areas of the game for them to be more engaging, by adding some new challenges and puzzles while at it. The endgame is shaping up very nicely, although it still needs some polishing here and there as our testers pointed out.

Well, that’s it for now! It’s getting there, it’s coming.

See you soon and meanwhile check some screens from our latest build after the break!

Hello. I just got interviewed by Mike Higbee on Vinesauce. It was a nice interview about Qasir al-Wasat and about Aduge in general, you can check it out here.

Hello again everyone!

Ok. People are curious about Qasir, and when they have questions, it kinds of boil down to the same set of them. So, I’m posting here the most frequent questions we hear about Qasir and their answers.

So, that ‘s it, Frequently Asked Qasir’s Questions, go:

Q: When is Qasir being released?
A: Cross your fingers and it will be by the end of March.

Q: When will there be a free demo available?
A: Quite possibly, a couple of weeks before release.

Q: Are there plans for a Linux version?
A: Unfortunately no, considering we are using Unity as our engine. Using Wine to run it is plausible, but it needs a very beefy setup to run properly. We are talking about a latest generation hi-end VGA and a competent CPU.

Q: The game is too expensive/cheap. Why/how did you settled that $9.99 price tag?
A: By comparing with other niche indie games with a similar approach and evaluating the subjective worth of the entire experience, we found that a $9.99 tag is a fair launch price. Pre-ordering is cheaper, but if you still find it too expensive you can always pirate it. It just means that it will be harder for us to make other games, but we’ll try to manage =].

Q: How long does it take to finish the game?
A: It varies from person to person. We consider it a medium-to-long length game by indie standards. The average player will take around 3 hours to finish it, while a player which likes to explore and try to do everything that is possible could take from 5 to 6 hours to finish a single run. A speedster can waltz through the game in something like two hours. Also, the game has two different endings which makes replaying it at least once very engaging.

Q: What was the inspiration behind the game?
A: The mais inspiration was our own Tsar Project, of course. But the game draws heavily from medieval folklore (especially Persian and Arabic) and renaissance occultism to create its setting. For the tone we started with the idea of Brechtian Theatre and its theory of distancing effect, a thing we had as a goal with Tsar. At the end the tone is much more poetic, something akin to a One Thousand and One Nights poem as our Brechtian techniques simply fell apart after testings and revisions to the game, even though a lot of early ideas remained.

Q: What does Qasir Al-Wasat means?
A: The Palace In Between or The Palace of the Middle in Arabic.

Q: Why a(n) Arabic / Syrian / Middle-Eastern / Goetian theme?
A: Why not? =]

Q: Don’t you worry that a Syrian / Arabian set / name will limit your approach to the Anglosphere public?
A: No. But thanks for your concern.

Q: Shouldn’t you guys be doing a game with Brazilian themes?
A: We could and we will, but not now. Not doing so is not a matter of lack of pride or for being intellectually colonized, it was just our choice. Also, Qasir is a very Brazilian game, as we are Brazilians and it is impossible not to influence our game with our cultural baggage no matter what’s the foreign theme we are drawing from.

Q: Is it going to be translated to Portuguese?
A: Yes! We have plans of “localizing” (funny say localizing when we are localizing the game from English to our native language, but oh well) it shortly after the release, as well as – possibly – to Japanese.

Q: Why didn’t you made the game originally in Portuguese?
A: It was a hard decision, but to deliver the game as early as possible and to the biggest audience we could, we had to go with English as the primary language of the game. The game would definitely had a better writing with an original Portuguese script, but we just couldn’t afford the time it would take to write all the script and then localize it to English.

Q: Considering the character is invisible, don’t you worry it will be difficult for the player to create a connection?
A: This is a very common question that we would like to address carefully. Of course visual appearance is one of the most important traits in a character, specially if you are trying to reach a great number of people. But we are not necessarily interested that the player creates a deep connection with the protagonist (remember that we drew from Brecht at the beginning stages of development and this is one of the decisions that remained).  The game has no catharsis, and so it shouldn’t connect with the player, but rather, talk to him, which is an entirely different thing and we believe that an invisible voice does it efficiently. Also… our frail protagonist might not be invisible all the time.

Please feel free to ask any other questions at the comments! =D

Hi guys! Just a heads up. Qasir al-Wasat is now available on Desura.

Desura is a sweet upcoming and very indie-friendly distribution channel. Their client has a lot of funcionality (and they are ever expanding) and it is a strong contender against big boys like Steam and alike. If you prefer using clients and standard distribution channels to keep you patched and updated without hassle, go secure your pre-order there (just click on the image below!)

Desura Digital Distribution

Hi guys!

Qasir Al-Wasat is going in full steam lately, and we have so many new features we are very excited to show you! But today’s post is about the amazing Global Game Jam and its results.

We already participated in 2010 and 2011 Jams, both with different collaborators in the team, but this year we took the trial to an extreme. Our usual band of six was divided in three groups, mixed with some of our friends.

This year’s theme was:

What? A picture? – And didn’t we made a game like this before?

Super Battle Gunship Oroboros was our entry for the SPJam, themed infinity, mist and/or fire.

 

Oh well. =p  I’m pretty sure we can find a new way to translate this.

1. Team AlexFuu

Vermon (our lead programmer) and Dorte (our colaboring programmer in Qasir Project), teamed up to create a 3d platform game game in Unity. The result is ZVOL – The Walk of Life, a game based on osmosis and choices. You help Johnny Walker (what a fitting name, uh?) go throught life while climbing elevators and solving puzzles.

There are a lot of great ideas here that can be improved and built up to sustain entire games themselves. I’m sure some of them will return in a future Adugan project!

2. Team Twin Birds

Beto, Bruno, Mapperns and myself united our creative forces in a project with an obviously too long name: Roven: Oldman’s Rover Tale or the Errand Aesthete.

The game was born of our deviate rendering of the theme. Instead of infinity, cycle of life or Ouroboros, we decided to see the theme as “symbol”, “symbolism” or “interpretation”. Our plans where a metroidvania-like game, where the protagonist would learn his powers through aesthetic experiences of the world. This would happen through the interaction with seemingly normal objects of the world that would “launch” videos.

Bruno used the chance to play programmer, while I dedicated my weekend to paint scenarios. Mapperns was in charge of the character design and animations, while Beto created the level design. Unfortunately the pipe line + a target that could be smaller left us with more of an experiment than a game. However, we did learn like hell!

A HUGE thanks for Ricardo Toreh, that helped us with sound effects and music, and Gabriel do Valle, that directed and shot the videos used in game.

3. Team Moodsphere Collective

Marcel joined the group of Iuri Kato, Gabriel “Toddy” and Gabriel “Florzinha” Jacobi for the creation of an experience based on the famous Conway’s Game of Life. ByteSelf is a three player colorful game, in wich each color predates another, and the trick for winning the game is making sure your own predator prevails.

I’ve heard rumors that the game will be available in Kongregate soon enough, after some balancing and gameplay improvements. ;) We’ll make sure you are well informed when this happens!

Here in Curitiba we where surrounded by friends and inspirations.


Clockwise: Cattercannon, Everlong , Magnus Opus and Samsara.

Cattercannon was made by Mariana “Bolinho” Tonini and Paulo “Animmaniac” Reihner. The objective here is to take a steampunk catterpillar as far as you can, one segment at a time.

Everlong by Monster Juice is another multiplayer, with an interesting dynamic of dying x returning to life. Each time you die it will become harder to return to the game, but each time you do, you will return more powerful.

Magnus Opus is a tabletop game where you play an Alchemist racing to create the Philosopher Stone before his colleagues. It was developed by the group of Arthur Mittlebach, in about 20h, and was inspired by numerous EuroGames.

Samsara was created by our friend Daniel Rossato, who decided to take his students to the GGJ. It’s about the wheel of fortune and the virtues of Buddhism. We loved the use of comic sans and word art!

In Campinas and Porto Alegre where some of our favorite indie studios, like Catavento, MiniBoss, Taw Studio and SwordTales had their runs. We missed you guys! <3

 


Clockwise: Viktor the Nth (Catavento) , Trapped! In the Chamber of Eternal Darkness (Miniboss) , Soroboruo (TawStudio) and N.E.R.O.T. (Swordtales)

Viktor the Nth has an amazing concept where your past play actually influences your next one. Kind of like a Skyward Sword (with all those diode-type puzzles and obstacles) meet Demon Souls (with the mark of your past deaths clearly visible to you, giving a sense of accomplishment every retry you get past them).

Trapped! In the Chamber of Eternal Darkness is the usual Miniboss jam effort: complete, beautiful and surprisingly well polished for a 48h project. It’s an endless arena shoot’em up with a ton of self-referential material. I was expecting it would have more cows, though. =p

Soroboruo is a stylish action game with a very pleasing (and bold!) eastern aesthetics. Seeing Taw improve this much their Jam results compared to the SPJam back in November brings a smile to our faces. I hope Taw Studio considers using this great graphic style in one of their other games.

Swordtales´N.E.R.O.T. is a running game about a bionic samurai in (what looks like) a psychedelic circular world. In the best style of the Canabalt-like games, there is no time to stop. There is also that Cactus’ vibe and we love it.

Also a shout out for our friend Bolívar, who was participating from Koln, Germany, and helped develop The Tale of Archy!

We are so proud to know so many talented people! Congratulations everyone!

 

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