Second beta stage — sign up!

January 31, 2013  |  Eador, Эадор  |  29 Comments

Hello everyone,

As we’re getting prepared for the second beta round you can now easily sign up to try the game out and tell us what you think.

Here’s how you can do it:

– For those who already participated in the beta — please send us a mail to beta@snowbirdgames.com with the  “Eador- Beta (current tester)” subject. Don’t forget to mention your username on our forums and we’ll send you a key.

– If you’re a newcomer wishing to join the beta — please send a mail to beta@snowbirdgames.com with the “Eador- Beta (new tester)” subject. And don’t forget to include your username on our forums as well :)

And a short notice for some of you who found out about the beta in January and still didn’t get a key: don’t worry, you’ll definitely get one for the updated beta version of the game. No need to bother yourself with yet another mail!

The test should start in about a week, so we’ll meet again then :)

UPDATE: Yes, we’re delaying the beta again but only with good intentions :) We’d like to know your opinion on the new building interface we’ve been working on before the final test starts. It’s still a work in progress so you’ll have to wait a little bit more. We’ll start sending out keys closer to the end of the month.

Cultural heritage

January 25, 2013  |  Snowbird, Uncategorized  |  7 Comments

Recently we were following the discussion about digital game distribution that unfolded in social networks. The premise is already a classic one. It’s unbelievably comfortable to purchase games from Steam but at the same time you don’t really “own” any of them. You just rent the games until some day Steam (or any other store) is cut off.  So what are you supposed to do when you can’t live any longer without playing some old classics bought digitally? And the other problem is of much heavier caliber.

While time passes games are going fully digital you are no longer able to keep it in some tangible form and come back to your favorites over time. In comparison to even the oldest books that you can grab and read at any moment, games released in, say, 1986 are just plastic boxes without any use. Games that we refer to as artwork, like Shenmue 2 for instance, will just disappear and stay in the past forever without any up-to-date physical manifestation.

And while some people are very upset by this fact we’re sure it’s not that bad. In the same discussion people mentioned the theatre and that is a great example. A performance is a work of art that lasts for a short period of time and then disappears completely and forever. You can watch the same one in a week but it’ll still be a bit different and a bit worse performance. Who knows, maybe the actors were feeling particularly well about themselves the previous time and that resulted in one in a lifetime performance you really loved? And then the cast will get older and you won’t have a chance to share that unique experience with your grandchildren.

Let’s take music for example. We invented the “classic” term that is referred to a few Germans, Poles and Russians lived between 1700 and 1930. And that’s it, this is the best music we ever had, let’s keep it at all costs. But what was before that? Who were the best composers from 627 to 689? There’s no way there wasn’t anybody. Not to speak of Ancient Greeks that were the minds behind a steam-powered engine, Pythagorean theorem and Olympic games. Maybe they could leave behind some musical styles? Even Seattle could come up with grunge! But there’s nothing left. And when a film like ‘Gladiator’ needs ‘antique’ music you can only hear Gasparyan in background.

We shouldn’t worry about games disappearing forever. They aren’t going anywhere until internet is still around and we have some kind of a monitor device. If you’ll have troubles launching Thief or Planescape: Torment on Windows 10 you can always find a WinXP emulator and launch the games with its help. Internet today is like electricity, we can’t live without, and picturing the future without it is like picturing post-apocalypse. In case of display devices it’s a more complicated issue with new technologies of ‘virtual reality’ coming up soon. That way it’ll impossible to reproduce the experience of older games.

Still this is no tragedy. Newer games will be created, better than we have right now. And both mankind and gamers of the future won’t even think that they didn’t get enough of their interactive art share. All in all, at least our generation should be safe and covered in this matter.

Caribbean! — Status update

January 22, 2013  |  Caribbean!, На Карибы!  |  13 Comments

Hello,

First of all, we’re really sorry for beta-test start taking so long. There is only one reason for the delay and that is a wish to show the game of a good quality. Let’s be honest, With Fire a Sword wasn’t exactly a stable game at launch. That’s why even the first beta stage (and we’re planning to do the second one, with multiplayer) keeps being delayed again and again. We’re now finishing work on the visual side of the game and adding as much of new features as possible.

Here’s what we’re also busy with right now:

  • Treasure hunt— with certain conditions you can get directions from your crew for some single treasures. once you obtain those you can go looking for them. Every such treasure has a key in it to finding the only great and true treasure in the Caribbean sea.
  • Underground fights —  we considered comments regarding lack of tournaments in WFaS and decided to add this gameplay element in Caribbean! in a bit different form. Underground fights is a series of random events in the cities’ taverns. You’ll fight on a special arena using any weaponry including firearms. And you’ll have to fight with only what you have at that moment. 
  • Refined boarding system — we added a new battle phase where ships are closing in. In this phase ships fire at each other at almost point-blank distance, crew can be killed in the process and the player may help his team by shooting at enemy from his ship’s cannon.
  • We added a possibility of shooting from a ship’s mast. This way you won’t have to deal with melee battles if you don’t want to. We also hope to add a special type of cannons that would take the role of taking these snipers down in return.
  • We’re redoing character models — what can we do? Even for indie projects graphics requirements are getting high. We hope that the latest models will become final.

Apart from this Caribbean! is getting almost final perk and skill system, crew and fleet management and refined formation system for land battles. Now our goal is to put together all of this in one build and make it work properly. If all goes well, everyone will get their beta key in February.

Thanks for your patience!

Eador beta — results of the first stage

January 20, 2013  |  Eador, Эадор  |  14 Comments

Hello everyone!

The first beta stage of Eador is coming to a close. And while we’re still giving out keys to those who wish to continiue playing the current beta, let’s see where we’re at the moment:

1) First of all, a big thanks to everybody who spent their time writing bug reports. We’ve got a ton of useful feedback that we’re looking into right now.

2) We’ve taken into account general feedback concerning the interface. We’ll try to reduce the ammount of unnecessary actions.

3) Animation will be sped up once again, now including attack and heroes movement animation. We’ll also make an option with no animation at all for instant actions.

4) Hotkey system will be added.

5) We’ll probably add sound in the game and a new system of special effects for spells and rituals for the next version.

6) A big part of bugs will be fixed including crashes during shard’s size changes.

7) We’ll add some astral quests for the next version.

The second beta stage will be held in February and the final one is planned for March when we hope to test multilplayer.

The release date for Eador is the end of March – the beginning of April.

Eador is greenlit to be on Steam

January 16, 2013  |  Eador, Snowbird, Эадор  |  12 Comments

After five months Eador finally gets greenlit to be on Steam! The timing couldn’t be better for us as we’re closer and closer to the release date. And in situation when some great and already made games are still waiting to be put on Steam such luck makes us super-happy.

And, of course, we were also glad to see the continuous community support over the passed months. Thanks a lot, everyone! :)

Eador — Linux & Mac OS compatibility

January 14, 2013  |  Eador, Snowbird, Эадор  |  29 Comments

We always get a lot of requests to port Eador. MotBW to Linux and Mac systems. And, of course, this is our intention as well. But initially we planned to make other versions only after the Windows release.  Recent Gabe Newell’s statements made us rethink our plans one more time. If this man puts Linux to such a high priority then we should pay our attention to this matter more closely already at this point.

We’re happy to announce that Snowbird Games starts working with a separate team in order to bring Linux and Mac versions of Eador. Master of the Broken World. We hope that the game will be released on all platforms simultaneously this spring.

Eador — special shards

December 29, 2012  |  Eador, Эадор  |  31 Comments

One of the original game’s shortcomings was that its shards were completely identical. Gamers in general are very rational and always strive to find the only winning tactic which they can then use it to the fullest for any possible obstacles.

So when there is no much challenge anymore interest in the game begins to fade out. The other additional problem is simply visual — you could easily get tired of monotonously green shards.

For Masters of the Broken World we decided to create shards with special rules. They aren’t affected by usual rules of Eador and their balance is intentionally a little off. You’ll have to get used to its anomalies and create a brand new way to victory.

Here are some of those shards:

Crystal world. Gold income is halved but gem income is doubled.

Obviously mages get a big advantage on this shard. You won’t be able to lead a large army and losing units in battles is really going to hit your budget.

Guarded world. The players’ lands are separated by mountain ranges. Narrow passes connecting the enemies are protected by strong guards.

This prevents any attempts at rushing with Warrior hero to conquer enemy’s capital.

World of fear. All tales and legends on this shard tell of unspeakable horrors and torments haunting the mortals throughout their lives. None can say whether these tales are true, but the life of locals is ever tainted with fear.

Morale drop due to wounds and deaths of allies is increased, the units will panic more often in battle. Population mood is lowered, but unrest growth rate is also decreased.

World of knowledge.  Higher population. Nearly all provinces are explored to 80-100% so there’s no need for a player to continue exploring. There are many free settlements and princes’ lands, almost no barbarians. Beginning with circle 2, guards of neutral provinces are stronger than usual. Many provinces already feature buildings (mills, mines etc).

World of faith. The people dwelling on this shard are fanatical worshippers of the Lord of Light. They consider all other Masters to be demons trying to lead them astray from the one true path.

Population mood in all human provinces is lowered by 2. Many abandoned temples and lands ruled by the inquisition. If the campaign player has selected the Lord of Light as an official faith on his shard (campaign event 197, “Your world is sufficiently large, and the human clergymen have long been talking about the One Religion.”), mood penalty is lessened by 1.

These are just five special shard of about eleven ones and you can already see some of these in the current beta version of the game.

P.S. And of course happy holidays, everyone! We’ll see you next year :)

Eador beta launch

December 18, 2012  |  Caribbean!, Eador, На Карибы!, Эадор  |  54 Comments

Hello!

Tomorrow (seriously) we are starting to send out keys for the beta-version of Eador. And as we said earlier, this process will probably take a lot of time so some of you will receive the mail later than others. Thanks for understanding!

As for the Caribbean! beta test, we decided to start it in January as the beta build still needs a bit more work. Sign up is open, everyone interested is welcomed here.

UPDATE: We continue sending out the keys and probably will finish this process early next week. Rest assured, almost everyone will get one, sooner or later :)

UPDATE 2: Aaand it’s done. Did everyone get their keys? If not you can still write us your nickname at our forums to beta@snowbirdgames.com. You still have some time before Sunday, then we’ll be off for holidays :)

First LP series of Eador. Genesis

December 14, 2012  |  Eador, Эадор  |  5 Comments

Since Eador. Genesis was released on GOG we’ve closely followed all the responses at different forums. That’s really fun for us even if we already knew this game for a really long time. But now, when the rest of the world can finally enjoy Eador, finding out how players feel about the game is very captivating.

Anyway, here is the first ever “Let’s Play” of the original game. The author decided to play a custom game instead of campaign but nevertheless his series is very interesting to watch. There are already three episodes available, they are quite lengthy so you should grab some tea and candies, it’ll take a while:

 

Beta tests information

December 10, 2012  |  Caribbean!, Eador, На Карибы!, Эадор  |  10 Comments

Hello!

This is just a quick heads up on the beta tests of our games.

We’ll start sending out keys and all needed information for Eador beta tomorrow. Although don’t worry if you don’t get a mail from us right away. There’s quite a lot of you who wished to participate so there’s a high chance some people will receive the keys the next day.

Caribbean! beta will start in about a week instead of “early December” as was initially announced.

Be sure to come back for any updates in the post regarding this issue and sorry for the delay.

UPDATE: And here is the update :) Our beta build of Eador needs a bit more polishing so the test will begin in a week.  The good news is that if you didn’t apply for beta before you can do it now.