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Old 07-30-2006, 03:43 PM   #1
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Default The Silver Lining - Public Demo Released

Our 2006 Event was a great success, and Phoenix Online Studios would like to thank everyone who found time to attend. A log of the chat should be available shortly for those who couldn't make it.

We released a number of treats during the chat, and I'll share those with you now.

The winner of our present contest was Rob McKay, who designed a sample box cover for the game. Check out his great work at http://www.tsl-game.com/home.php

We at Phoenix Online Studios have always been immensely proud of our composer, Austin Haynes. To see just why we're so proud, have a listen to "The Day You Were Gone", the love theme from "The Silver Lining". The music was composed and performed by Austin, with lyrics by César Bittar and vocals by Amy Kurylo. http://www.tsl-game.com/media/music/cd/

To show off the impressive work of our artists, as well as to give you a few more hints on the game's secret storyline, we've released eight brand new desktop wallpapers of the game's major characters. http://www.tsl-game.com/media/wallpapers/

Finally, we promised to release a demo, which needs no further explanation. Download it now at http://www.tsl-game.com/trilogy/


Michael A. Bright
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The Silver Lining Development Team
Phoenix Online Studios
www.tsl-game.com
[email protected]
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Old 07-30-2006, 04:46 PM   #2
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WOOO! Downloading! What an exciting weekend present!
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Old 07-30-2006, 04:54 PM   #3
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Yes!!!
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Old 07-30-2006, 05:18 PM   #4
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hmm... first impressions... lots of things done really well but lots and lots of really poor design decisions and strange bugs.

The 3-D is excellent. The characters and character animations are wonderful. What's with the zoom and pan feature and allowing the player to zoom way out of the castle? What purpose does this serve? Why not confine the player's view to the current room? Totally confused by this decision. In general, I found the movement and camera interface to be very awkward - almost as bad as King's Quest 8.

Graham's walking animation is strange. He looks as if he's floating above the ground and subsequent "clicks" make him walk strangely.

Are you including the full 3d introduction in the full game? or are you keeping the written out narration as the introduction. Dave Grossman, LucasArts writer/designer, was interviewed recently stating that a poor introduction is one where the designers have to write out the introductory text rather than actually show it. As a player, I felt confused after reading the introductory text... what am I supposed to be doing? Who exactly are the two characters in the courtyard? Where am I supposed to go next? I've picked up a few items but I'm stuck already. Maybe have some sort of journal or subtle hint device on what current objectives are?

Some sound issues. Characters interrupt and/or overspeak eachother while speaking (cutscene in rainy courtyard). And why have the narrator speak only select lines and not others?

I have a list of other strange bugs and questions. I'll post them when I've played more.

Had this been another title I would probably have quit playing already due to the poor gameplay and interface quirkiness. But this is a project I've been following for some time (and I know how hard this humongous team has been working) so I'm interested in giving feedback.

edit (addition to post): great atmospheric music, great voices!!

edit (addition to post): When I was walking around the castle after speaking to the two characters in the courtyard, I could't find the exit out of the castle which triggered "Chapter One". Graham would not walk to the bottom of the screen and outside. When I restarted the game and tried again (without talking to the two characters in the courtyard), I was able to exit. I noticed Graham's "opening door" animations were triggered late in his bedroom. He was standing by the mirror and when I clicked on the door to exit, the sound of the door occurred but Graham stood in place and the "open door" animation triggered but he was standing backwards by the mirror while the door opened! I suspect bugs like these are still being worked out but take note.

edit (addition to post): game stopping bug. I cannot exit the town screen (pawn shop).. walked back in from ship screen and the game "zoomed in" to a closeup of the pawn shop which I had to zoom out from using the WASD keys... Graham is stuck in the scene and I can't make him exit the scene. The game seems stuck.

Last edited by eriq; 07-30-2006 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 07-30-2006, 05:58 PM   #5
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I think there was a bug where I got stuck in a place when you go to the far left of the screen where the pawn shop and the bookstore is. You can't get out after that...

As for the talking, aside from the overlapping of the dialogue, the talking animation is a bit out of sync with the general voice and sounds.


Still this is a promising game.
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Old 07-30-2006, 09:08 PM   #6
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Thanks for the feedback, guys! I'm glad you like it!

Keep in mind that this demo is actually 9 months old and the same one we sent to Vivendi during our shutdown. While I tried fixing all the last minute bugs this past week that were present back in November 2005, there are still a few minor glitches that I may have missed.

If your bugs have not yet already been reported, please fill out an Issue Report and post it in our Technical Support forum, so that we may fix these bugs for RC2. Someone mentioned something to me about the Village Square (going West of the IoC Village), but I haven't read or investigated this or any other issue yet.

There is actually going to be a pre-rendered introduction cutscene, followed by an in-game Chapter 1 sequence prior to where this demo starts. However, those two movies were removed in this public demo because they were decided to be too revealing of the plot. References to the storyline described in these sequences were removed or altered, which is why certain dialogues are recorded and others are not. Another byproduct is that certain scenes and characters are intentionally removed from this demo. This may have left you confused aand wanting more, but that's the point since this is a demo and not all of Chapter 1.

The overlapping dialogue is more a problem with the Torque engine's processing of *.ogg files (since it doesn't appear with *.wav). I believe this audio problem remains in even the most current version of Torque, but we are fully aware of it and are trying to resolve it. Not only does it cause characters to interrupt each other, it results in long animation sequences going out of sync.

The Graham floating may caused from replacing Graham with the most recent version of him. The "VU" version had a bug which resulted in him infinitely spinning on the spot, basically the equivalent of the game becoming inoperable. The floating might be caused by the floor's collision mesh being higher than the visible mesh. Again, the exporting procedure has since changed, combining both types of meshes into one. So this bug may already be fixed, but I will investigate it further.

I would greatly appreciate it you could report any further bugs, and/or criticism on the demo inside our TSL Public Demo forums, as it is easier for us to track and organize.

Thanks!
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Old 07-30-2006, 09:14 PM   #7
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Will do! Great work on the character art - definitely my favourite part of the game so far. Looking forward to more.
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Old 07-31-2006, 12:39 AM   #8
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Hello, i just finished the demo and it brought back so many memories. One question i would like to ask is, Is it suposed to randomly cut to a sceen when you traveled to the island. Like, how did you get into that cave with the woman with the green stuff ?
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Old 07-31-2006, 04:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannyyou
Hello, i just finished the demo and it brought back so many memories. One question i would like to ask is, Is it suposed to randomly cut to a sceen when you traveled to the island. Like, how did you get into that cave with the woman with the green stuff ?
Oh, actually a lot of scenes from Isle of the Sacred Mountain are missing from this demo. There will actually be an automatic sequence from the moment the ferry reaches the Isle in Chapter 1, but we didn't have enough time to finish that back in November 2005. The whole Oracle Cave scene is actually something we added at the last minute to the game in October or November, because we wanted to show Vivendi what an in-game cutscene looks like.

As for travelling between islands, I don't believe we'll be showing the ship moving through the water, if that's what you mean. We will however show screens when the boat is docked or when it has reached the beach of its destination.
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Old 07-31-2006, 05:18 AM   #10
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First off, the game looks great but the camera control ruins the experience.

The designated controls for walking is w, s, a, d but these controls dont work? And toggle camera doesnt work either.

I love the narrator, its nice to have a female voice for a change in narration. But if I may ask what is the point in releasing a very old demo to the public? I personally think you should of waited and just released the first episode. We've all waited this long a few more months wont kill us.

Once again Kudus for you guys for making one of the best looking fan projects out there.
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Old 07-31-2006, 05:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dasilva
First off, the game looks great but the camera control ruins the experience.

The designated controls for walking is w, s, a, d but these controls dont work? And toggle camera doesnt work either.
Oh! I was actually forgot to disable those key bindings. Sorry about that. They'll be removed in the next version. The only way to operate the player is supposed to be via point & click, not keyboard. Also, the cameras are supposed to be engine-controlled, not user-controlled. These settings were only supposed to be used during development and not release. And again, if this issue has not yet been reported, please do so in our forum so that I remember to fix it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dasilva
But if I may ask what is the point in releasing a very old demo to the public? I personally think you should of waited and just released the first episode. We've all waited this long a few more months wont kill us.
Well, I can't say exactly when Shadows will be completed, due to Vivendi's involvement. Our planned release date may shift greatly, after hearing what modifications they would like us to make to our final version of Shadows. I'm hoping such modifications will be minor, but at this point they are undefined.

As for why an old demo? Simple. It was already completed meaning its release preparation wouldn't cut into Shadows' development schedule. The only things that needed to be done were to replace "KQIX" with "TSL", remove spoilers, and patch up any existing bugs. Of course, we only made the decision to publicly release this demo during our major event one week ago, so 3 or 4 days wasn't really enough time to perform proper QA over a 130MB demo. We could have waited, or never make that demo public (which was our original plan) but, I felt that this was the perfect opportunity to release something major, and I don't make false promises when I have 100% control over them.

As a post-beta release, I think this demo is stable and complete enough that most people would enjoy it, despite the minor bugs. Of course, all reported issues will be fixed in RC2 (assuming we are able to fix all of them by that release date of course ).
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Old 07-31-2006, 06:22 AM   #12
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As I said months ago, people won't be satisfied with the demo, the next version, the final game and any additional versions after that. Your expectations are all too high for a game that is, ultimately, an amateur product.
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Old 07-31-2006, 06:26 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioSoldier
As I said months ago, people won't be satisfied with the demo, the next version, the final game and any additional versions after that. Your expectations are all too high for a game that is, ultimately, an amateur product.
Well, I could say your standards for fan-games are equally far too low. As far as I'm concerned, software products should always be high quality, amateur or not.

Although, I do understand what you're saying that it is impossible to satisfy every possible person. What is possible however, is to fix software defects, which have the benefit of raising customer/fan satisfaction as well.
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Old 07-31-2006, 07:20 AM   #14
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I'm curious why your team decided to release a demo with features like the WASD 3d pan/zoom that will not be in the final game - a feature that, in my opinion, horribly crippled the game experience.

It's obvious this was a labour of love and I am excited to see where the game goes. Will there be an AdventureGamers cover story or headline so that more people will be made aware of the demo release? I'm curious what everyone else in the community thinks.
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Old 07-31-2006, 07:25 AM   #15
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Just started playing the game. It looks great, well done to all involved. Would had been suprised if there wasnt a couple of bugs, being that this is only a demo. However, wonderful to have King's Quest back again, have truly missed it. Thanks again.))
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Old 07-31-2006, 07:32 AM   #16
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On the subject of KQ9, everyone should check out this single CD with some incredible voice talent for KQ9:
http://www.tsl-game.com/media/music/cd/
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Old 07-31-2006, 07:32 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eriq
I'm curious why your team decided to release a demo with features like the WASD 3d pan/zoom that will not be in the final game - a feature that, in my opinion, horribly crippled the game experience.
It's because we're not using full 3D in our game, it's more like 2.5D. The only way to properly ensure this is to have engine-controlled cameras. If we had the budget and size, of course we would make this game in a full 3D environment. I actually would love our next commercial game to do this!

Quote:
Originally Posted by eriq
It's obvious this was a labour of love and I am excited to see where the game goes. Will there be an AdventureGamers cover story or headline so that more people will be made aware of the demo release? I'm curious what everyone else in the community thinks.
Thanks eriq and kathrynrose! I'm glad you guys enjoy the demo. Eivind Hagerup from AdventureGamers was at our event and received the demo in advance. I'm sure he's busily writing away!
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Old 07-31-2006, 07:36 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yonkey
It's because we're not using full 3D in our game, it's more like 2.5D. The only way to properly ensure this is to have engine-controlled cameras. If we had the budget and size, of course we would make this game in a full 3D environment. I actually would love our next commercial game to do this!
So you included the option of having the player controlled WASD 3D camera controls because you're not using full 3D in the game and are using engine controlled cameras? I don't get it....
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Old 07-31-2006, 07:43 AM   #19
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No, it was included because I forgot to remove it.
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Old 07-31-2006, 12:04 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eriq
Are you including the full 3d introduction in the full game? or are you keeping the written out narration as the introduction. Dave Grossman, LucasArts writer/designer, was interviewed recently stating that a poor introduction is one where the designers have to write out the introductory text rather than actually show it. As a player, I felt confused after reading the introductory text... what am I supposed to be doing? Who exactly are the two characters in the courtyard? Where am I supposed to go next? I've picked up a few items but I'm stuck already. Maybe have some sort of journal or subtle hint device on what current objectives are?
Yeah, again, camera controls werent supposed to go there. We did some last minute changes to the game and we forgot to remove them. We have them there for design/programming purposes.

And YES, there is of course an intro. I couldn't live without one. It runs for 6 minutes plus a Chapter 1 intro that runs for about 2 mins or so. We just didn't want to spoil it

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