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Old 07-31-2007, 12:52 PM   #1
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Default Fate by Numbers now available as free download

Hey everybody,
I just released a FMV adventuregame with a couple of fellow students.
Below is the press release. I hope you all like it.

Paul "Bones" van der Meer

-------------------------------------


Fate by Numbers now available as free download

a Full Motion Video adventure game in a futuristic film noir setting




Breda, the Netherlands – The Full Motion Video adventure game ‘Fate by Numbers’ is now freely available from the website www.fatebynumbers.com. The game was filmed against a green screen and features 3d pre-rendered backdrops. The adventure includes over an hour of HD-video with professional actors accompanied by a soundtrack written for the game.



Private eye Alice Sanger is assigned to get a briefcase, but quickly finds herself immersed in a web of corruption and shadowy motives. It becomes personal when she finds out that one of mysterious people behind the briefcase is none other than her ex-husband whom was declared dead several years ago. What follows is a mysterious journey through the layers of a future metropolis with 50’s noir influences.



The download on the website consists of a torrent link. Downloading this link (tracker) will enable people with torrent clients (uTorrent, bittorent, ABC) to download the game. The players can choose from two versions. A version with high video quality of (1,2 GB) and a version with normal video quality (800 MB). Both versions feature the same amount of video.



Revival :

Fate by Numbers was made as a graduation project for Communication and Multimedia Design (Avans) in Breda, the Netherlands. Revival is the name of the fictional company behind the game, set up by four students. The game was made on a shoestring budget.



Purpose of the game was to make a FMV-game to satisfy old school adventure gamers and introduce new players to the genre. But also to see if it is now possible to make a game using technology previously only available for big budget game companies.



Website: http://www.fatebynumbers.com

Email: [email protected]
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Old 07-31-2007, 02:33 PM   #2
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Looks very interesting.
I am downloading it already.
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Old 08-01-2007, 08:07 AM   #3
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Default download

Thanks.
I hope you will like it. And hopefully you can give some comments, positive or negative. Every bit of feedback is welcome.

Paul
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Old 08-02-2007, 02:59 AM   #4
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Paul, and the rest of your team... thank you for an opportunity to have one more chance to play some fresh Noir title. As soon as I manage to fiddle how to start the download I will share my opinion and comments.
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Old 08-02-2007, 06:30 AM   #5
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I finished the game; it took me between 90 and 120 minutes. As a graduate project on almost zero budget, as a tribute to FMV and an exercise in style it is, I think, a full success. So thumbs up. As a game in its own right-- let's say I'd play a sequel if it was free, but won't lose any sleep waiting for it. My main likes and dislikes follow.



The Good:

To my knowledge, first freeware FMV adventure. That's 1000 points for ambition right there.

The setting and atmosphere of "future noir" is realised perfectly. I was expecting to bump into Tex Murphy or Ray McCoy any minute. The liveliness of the world is helped by the fact that, for its length, the game had more optional stuff to do than I could ask for.

The acting isn't award-worthy, but exceeded my expectations. The actress who portrayed Alice's mother was particularly believable.

Story was fun: just the right mix of cliche and unexpected (the reversal of traditional sexes of the protagonist and femme fatale, for example, or the fact that

Spoiler:
you don't end up helping the Resistance


). I even liked the way some loose ends were left unresolved (and I usually hate it, so that's saying something), like

Spoiler:
Who shot at the beginning?


I wish they were less similar, but I digged the multiple endings. Especially the countdown and how procrastinating with the first decision caused you to have less time to make the second one, was a nice touch.



The Bad:

The lack of subtitles! Especially since a couple of lines were recorded in distinctly worse quality (some of the taxi driver's lines, for example).

Perhaps that was deliberate homage to "interactive movies" of yesteryear, but the gameplay was the weakest aspect. I don't mind linearity as such, but the order in which things have to be done is sometimes completely arbitrary:

Spoiler:
After all the ordeal to place a tracking device on her body, Alice says she has a hunch Denton will go to the Victoria Station? And when she's not there, we are suddenly able to find the hidden passage? It makes no sense. We already knew the Station is important, and haven't learnt anything new. So why wasn't it possible to check behind the candy machine before?


Ironically, despite its linearity, the game often failed to recognize what I have already done.

Spoiler:
The worst example was when I visited Alistair Security for the first time and the receptionist greeted me with "Again,...". Also, Alice commented that she left the gun in a car, although it was already taken by the Resistance.


What was the point of the flashback in the middle? I was expecting either more flashbacks to flesh out characters' backstory (yes, I like Lost) or some kind of pay-off to this one. Neither happened, so I am not sure why you put it there.


That's all I can think of now, hopefully you'll consider feedback to be constructive. Also, welcome to the forums.
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Last edited by AFGNCAAP; 08-02-2007 at 06:37 AM.
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Old 08-02-2007, 11:18 AM   #6
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Thanks for the welcome.

AFGNCAAP,
thank you for playing and giving the feedback. I'm glad you liked the game. And the dislikes are fair enough and insightful, some of them I already knew, for instance the fact that the desk clerk can say 'again' when she has never seen you. The one about the gun slipped by me. And regarding the Victorian station puzzle: Yes, guilty as charged, we should have handled that better.

About the subtitles. That was one of the things on the wishlist that never got done. In the end we decided it was too much work. We were already struggling with deadlines, our team consisted of four people (I don't think we finished anything on time). We also planned a couple of small mini-games to break up the pattern of puzzle solving. But they never got out of concept phase.

I want to write a post-mortem article about the production and what went right and what went wrong. When I have some free time I'll write it down here. Maybe some people would like to read it.

Just a quick question in the end. Did you see one or two flashbacks? There are two. But you could miss one, I think, if you do some things in a different order.

Thanks again for playing and giving feedback.
Paul
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Old 08-05-2007, 08:56 AM   #7
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I finished the game and liked it. The only weird thing I noticed was that when I play I only get sound from my left speaker. So I had to exit to the desktop with the game running and move the wave balance slider to the middle then it worked fine. I was checking gamespot and it says this game is episodic. Will there be more parts of this game coming?
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Old 08-05-2007, 11:03 AM   #8
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ok, i downloaded this, extracted in with winrar but when i click setup it says it's corrupt. am i missing something here?

thanks.

Last edited by fruithead; 08-05-2007 at 01:22 PM. Reason: new problem
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Old 08-06-2007, 12:00 AM   #9
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The game was set up as an episode with two follow ups. There is a thin storyline that is hinted at in the first episode. The most important thing is the relationship with her father. It would be nice if we could tell more of the world in a follow up, since most of what you see in the first episode is pretty basic and the characters aren't very fleshed out.

But this game was possible because we could make it within a school system. And since we're out of that now it's a different situation. But if the game is picked up well maybe we can make a follow up with extra finance. Or make new version and release it commercially. That was the idea anyway.

Iceadventure:
I don't have a clue why you only got music/sound out of your left speaker. The audio channels in flash should always be stereo.

fruithead:
In the first week of this game going live several sites picked up the game and started to host it. So I don't really know where you got it from. As far as I know if you download the iso through a torrent and then use Deamon tools to run the setup, it should run fine. I don't know what happens if you download it from gamespot, gamespaces or gamershell.
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Old 08-06-2007, 04:21 AM   #10
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The "small" version I downloaded from GamersHell wouldn't run - said it was corrupted. The "large" version was fine though.

I used "Virtual CloneDrive" to mount the image.

But, I wonder why you decided to have an image file in the download, and not just a normal setup .exe?
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Old 08-06-2007, 07:35 AM   #11
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Bones, I finally got the game working... I sent you a private message. I like it.
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Old 08-06-2007, 10:06 AM   #12
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i downloaded the iso through limewire and the file through gamershell and neither worked for me. i'm not too familiar with iso files so i extracted it with winrar but it wouldn't install after it was extracted.
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Old 08-06-2007, 12:57 PM   #13
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use a program like DAEMON or Alcohol ... and mount the iso image... or just burn it to a cd.
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Old 08-06-2007, 03:07 PM   #14
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I have no idea why you went with a mandatory .ISO file download. Just release an .exe file.

EDIT: Just finished the game. Great job! One of the best underground games I've seen in a long time. Just one question: Is the save system functional? Because I couldn't get it to work.

Last edited by Legolas813; 08-06-2007 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 08-07-2007, 02:53 AM   #15
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Default save game

Glad you liked it, Legolas.

The save game system should work under XP. But we already heard it doesn't work under Vista. Something of a rights-issue, you probably can tell I was not the programmer of the team I do know it's on the 'to do' list, along with getting it to run on a mac.

Paul "bones" van der Meer

EDIT: about the iso-issue. The reason for the ISO is because we included a nice cover image, and short manual that can be printed and placed
inside the case. With the iso you could burn it and have a nice dvd-case for your shelf. I don't know if anyone would do that, but we had a small
amount of dvd's we sent to the actors and people at school, and we used that method.

Last edited by Bones; 08-07-2007 at 03:22 AM.
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Old 08-07-2007, 04:11 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bones View Post
The save game system should work under XP.
Nope, I have XP and it doesn't work.

It's too bad, as I wanted to go back and try different dialogue paths, but I'm not going to go play through the whole game again five times.
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Old 08-07-2007, 07:31 AM   #17
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Seems to save ok on my XP (Media Center Edition SP2).

I think you'd have been better off not using an .iso in the download - it's a tad confusing - and since it's a download, I don't really want to put on a DVD, or print out a cover (but I see your point). And the .exe file could still be put on a DVD, and the cover art could have been included in the .exe and installed wherever you wanted, or even simply made available to download separately on the game's website.

But I'm not exactly complaining about it - the game's free after all.

Well done anyway - it's a very cool game.
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Old 08-07-2007, 09:50 AM   #18
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Default Black Screen

Hello! I've just downloaded this great game! I installed it, and I wanted to play it, but I can't saw anything, just a black screen. I heard some noises, like "Muhahahaha" or something like that, and then somekind of music.
I have Vista and the I have the last codecs (KLite Codec Pack 3.3.0).
Could you help me please, Bones?
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Old 08-07-2007, 01:22 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDerman View Post
Seems to save ok on my XP (Media Center Edition SP2).
Yes, it SAYS it saved your game, but have you tried to load it? That is what doesn't work for me.
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Old 08-07-2007, 01:48 PM   #20
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Yep - loaded it, and it put me back where I saved it. So all is well.
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