Author Topic: Heroine's Quest - The Herald Of Ragnarok - Now available on Steam!  (Read 47596 times)

Daniel Eakins

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Re: Heroine's Quest - The Herald Of Ragnarok - Released!
« Reply #40 on: 28 Dec 2013, 19:53 »
Lovely to see this as a free release, i assumed it was a commercial effort! Really enjoying what i've played so far, the first town has a great cozy atmosphere with plenty to explore. Still getting used to the battle mechanics, i usually suck at these :p
They can't make it commercial seeing as how there are cameos from the Sierra classics, and some of the graphics are partially traced from copyrighted photographs :)

Anyway this might be my favorite AGS game of 2013 so far! I love the RPG aspects.
We all have our time machines, don't we?

waheela

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Re: Heroine's Quest - The Herald Of Ragnarok - Released!
« Reply #41 on: 28 Dec 2013, 20:22 »
Came out of hiding on the forums just to tell you guys... your game is absolutely awesome! Had a chance to play a couple hours last night and can't wait to play more tonight! I love the game mechanics, and the overall quality is stunning! Fantastic work, you guys! :)
Probably my only (albeit minor and embarrassing) complaint are the heavy info dumps when talking to characters. Tons of complicated lore and character/location names for my simple, American mind to keep track of. It gets even harder for me when I talk to people like the court wizard, who makes a point of complicating everything he says. Again, minor, and probably reflects more poorly on my intelligence than the game itself. :P

Re: Heroine's Quest - The Herald Of Ragnarok - Released!
« Reply #42 on: 28 Dec 2013, 21:26 »
They can't make it commercial seeing as how there are cameos from the Sierra classics, and some of the graphics are partially traced from copyrighted photographs :)

Anyway this might be my favorite AGS game of 2013 so far! I love the RPG aspects.

The game was always intended to be freeware just like all previous Crystal Shard titles.

Thank you all for the kind words!

Re: Heroine's Quest - The Herald Of Ragnarok - Released!
« Reply #43 on: 29 Dec 2013, 09:00 »
Hi,

Congratulations on the release, I've been waiting for this since...well, around the 29th June 2009 I think :P

My download speeds from IndieDB were all over the place so I've thrown up another mirror at the below link, I'm afraid it's not got a swanky page like IndieDB but hopefully it will help even if it is purely a secondary mirror :)

Heroine's Quest Installer Download

Heroine's Quest ZIP file (no installer)

Also I'd have gladly donated if not for the fact that it would be via PayPal...have you ever considered any alternatives? Wepay for example?

Scott
« Last Edit: 09 Feb 2014, 20:23 by Scott C »

miguel

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Re: Heroine's Quest - The Herald Of Ragnarok - Released!
« Reply #44 on: 29 Dec 2013, 14:58 »
I've been playing this gem for a while now and there's only good stuff I can say about it.
You've captured the fantasy rpg mood completely and that's important to keep players "inside" your world. It worked for me.
I also like how you've structured you interface and interactions with objects and npc's, after a while it becomes intuitive and that's really good considering you're using the now old-right click to cycle verbs.
So far I'm enjoying the good music, graphics and quests while my character (mage) gets stronger and able to stay out in the woods longer.
It's been a great experience so far. Congrats to all the team at Crystal Shard.
 
Working on a RON game!!!!!

Re: Heroine's Quest - The Herald Of Ragnarok - Released!
« Reply #45 on: 29 Dec 2013, 18:01 »
You guys just got an article on pc gamer. http://www.pcgamer.com/2013/12/29/heroines-quest-a-free-quest-for-glory-inspired-adventurerpg/
Hope your company can get some crowd funding for your next title if you want to go that way, should get your game on steam.

Daniel Eakins

  • Time Traveller
Re: Heroine's Quest - The Herald Of Ragnarok - Released!
« Reply #46 on: 31 Dec 2013, 02:56 »
Just beat the game as a Warrior.

My game stats just for fun:
Add spoiler tag for Hidden:

Graphics

Graphics were fantastic! Usually you can "see" when a game is an amateur production due to there always being something slightly off with the perspective, lighting, shading or colour usage, but this was never the case here. All the backgrounds felt professional and beautiful. Svartalfheim looked slightly less interesting but Nidavellir more than made up for it. I also liked how the monsters were very diverse. For instance, the gulon is short and fat, the svartalf is thin, the jotunn is tall, etc.

I loved the visual cameos that I understood, from the obvious ones like the items in Sigrun's and Eitri's houses, right down to the less obvious ones like the Super Mario mushroom in Eitri's house (and Fremont's waterfall). I was more confused by the ones I didn't understand and could only guess were cameos, like the interdimensional bard, that... person... with the fishnet stockings, or the Imp.

The animations added a lot to the experience. The forest could have been boring fast but it didn't due to all the little animated animals and environments. There's one minor instance where the animations sort of let me down, especially since it affects a puzzle: Gandvik lake, which is supposed to be windy according to dialogue but which doesn't look much more windy than anywhere else.

Audio

The music was really good! I actually have no idea how many tracks there were, because they never felt intrusive, so I just enjoyed them without noticing the track changes and stuff. The real-world music you incorporated was also totally appropriate.

The sound effects were slightly less impressive. I didn't think the sounds of the weapon strikes were as "satisfying" and hard-hitting as they could be. But then again, I'm a fan of JRPGs and fighting games, where the sounds of the hits and attacks tend to be exaggerated, so maybe it's just a question of habits, aha.

The voicing was mostly fine. It served its purpose well in differentiating the characters and helping us familiarize with all those Nordic names and terms. I found Skrymir's voice the most entertaining.
Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
On the downside, it's a shame Loki's appearance was optional. I liked his voice the most. He was much more impressive than Egther.

Story

The story was also very well done and focused. It really felt like a classic adventure game. It also actually felt like an adaptation of Norse mythos, rather than a generic Tolkien-esque game with mythologic names randomly thrown in for flavour. The story kept me interested because, as a fan of Norse mythology, I was wondering how you were going to depict Ragnarok.
Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
When I finished the game, I was a bit disappointed that the Aesir didn't show up, but I realized them being constantly talked about but never seen by the humans is in tune with the point of view of the ancient Norse people. You stayed true to the Norse spirit even insofar as making Keira actually die in battle, and becoming an Einherjar. I was afraid you were not going to go beyond the usual "Hero(ine) walks away into the sunset while the people she's just saved celebrate", but I was pleasantly surprised.

One thing I really didn't like at all is the random time-travelling puzzle near the end. I thought it was totally out of place (in addition to being out of time lololol). At first I thought the final act was going to be set in that post-Ragnarok setting. That wasn't in the original myth but I thought, okay, well, this could be fun. But then the game backtracked and the whole thing ended up being a random puzzle that takes away from the immersion and just makes me think of the one in Curse of Monkey Island.

One minor thing I didn't like in the ending is that we hear Brynhild and Keira talk. It kinda took me out of that wonderful magical moment. The narration and semi-animated pictures were already perfect IMO. [For example, in one of the films based on the Arthurian mythos I'm pretty sure we see the wounded Arthur depart to Avalon without much words, if any, and that was very powerful.] I also would have preferred to fight Loki as the final boss instead of the less ominous (relatively-speaking) Egther.

Writing

The introduction sequence (up to you leaving Fornsigtuna for the first time) was a bit too wordy for me. I mean, I just installed the game and I want to go explore and do stuff, but instead some woman and some kid bombard me with terms and information that I just don't care about just yet. After that sequence though, the writing was very good. You did a good job of using all those Nordic terms without them ever being cheesy or incomprehensible.

I liked the use of different speech patterns for different characters, for the most part. Two I didn't like were Eitri and Aurvandel; they were kind of overdone. I feel sorry for the guy who voiced Aurvandel because I skipped probably over half of all the lines he recorded...

Some of the jokes however I feel were too out of place. The possibility of having Keira call herself a mighty pirate and reference Guybrush's story and stuff was honestly a bit too much for me. I know this is an RPG but it doesn't ever feel in-character for Keira to say that. On the upside, the jokes told by the narrator were all excellent.

Gameplay

The RPG aspects and battling are excellent and I had a lot of fun with it! I have a French keyboard so my keys don't match with the interface on-screen, but it wasn't too problematic (then again I played with the default difficulty). Some of the stats seem to go up too easily, comparatively, for instance endurance which goes up on its own and animal ken for which you can just spam-click any animal and see the number skyrocket.

I would have liked an option to discard items and to rest more than one hour. Changing the game speed through buttons would have been welcome too, because sometimes a cutscene happens before a battle and you don't get the opportunity to open the menu to change the speed.
Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
As for the puzzles, I thought most of them were logical without being too obvious, but some were really frustrating. I mean, why can I freeze that ghost's food in Skrymir's challenge yet I could't burn it or put a caltrop in it or other stuff? Wasn't Skrymir watching anyway? And Andvari's sliding puzzle... seriously, a sliding puzzle? Overall, I think the puzzles involving animals were the best ones.

Overall

This may well be my favorite AGS game of 2013 :-D The production values are incredible, the story is original (it's based on something but the way it does it feels very fresh), the gameplay is addictive and technically-speaking very impressive, and the adventure long enough for a first playthrough to be satisfying yet not too long enough that you won't want to do a second playthrough after it. Oh, and the bonus material is the icing on the cake. More indie games should do that. :wink:
« Last Edit: 31 Dec 2013, 03:18 by Daniel Eakins »
We all have our time machines, don't we?

vertigoaddict

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Re: Heroine's Quest - The Herald Of Ragnarok - Released!
« Reply #47 on: 31 Dec 2013, 04:50 »
This game made procastionating on my uni work worth it :wink:
You can tell an extreme amount of care had been put into it's production and there's a lot of replay value (I was a warrior with a bit of magic under my sleeve and
Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
I was ANGRY at Liff for refusing to sell me that blessing spell,
not frustrated at the game, angry at him- you know you're immersed in a game when you start pointlessly conversing with the NPCs), I'll just have to play a socceress next time. I did get into that little problem where I've managed to prevent myself from ever meeting the Jarl at all, but that's what I get for being rebelious. Overall amazing game.
PS/ Is it just me? Or was Mojo jojo from PPG an inspiration for Arunvadel?
« Last Edit: 31 Dec 2013, 05:05 by vertigoaddict »

Dave Gilbert

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Re: Heroine's Quest - The Herald Of Ragnarok - Released!
« Reply #48 on: 31 Dec 2013, 15:16 »
I've been playing this for the last few days and I have to say - this is superb. Pretty much exactly what I was hoping for, and more! I still can't believe you are giving this away as freeware. I sent you guys a donation, because you most assuredly deserve it. Although, why did you lock it to such a small amount? I wanted to give you more. :)

-Dave

Khris

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Re: Heroine's Quest - The Herald Of Ragnarok - Released!
« Reply #49 on: 01 Jan 2014, 18:01 »
Have to post again to laud this. This is seriously one of the best games I have ever played. I often find myself playing for hours even if I just wanted to try some specific thing I thought of.
The entire implementation of movement is so satisfying, for instance switching from running to sneaking mid-movement by pressing S and clicking again, or jumping around to boost your stats just looks and plays incredibly well. So does occasional acrobatics; it's all so fluid you almost forget that it's just 2D sprites.

One tiny bug I found: in the Adventurer's Guild, after the note is on the closet, opening the closet's door makes the note hover in mid-air.

One thing I noticed regarding fights: dodging to the right makes her remain in that position if you hold down the key. But dodging left makes her move back immediately, and if you hold the button, she'll move to the side and back continuously. Is this intentional? Or was it meant to work like that for both directions? Or is dodging right supposed to not work like that?

Also a hint for people who end up getting knots in their fingers during fighting: using JoyToKey, I put the attack buttons on gamepad buttons and dodging on its left stick. Works very well and makes fighting so much easier.

Edit:
Game crashed on me:
Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
Was in sneak mode on Volunds balcony and clicked with the jump cursor on the window. When the animation of the heroine climbing over the rail was supposed to start, I got this:
in "room25.asc", line 46
Error: SetCharacterSpeedEx: cannot change speed while walking
« Last Edit: 01 Jan 2014, 19:54 by Khris »

Fizzii

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Re: Heroine's Quest - The Herald Of Ragnarok - Released!
« Reply #50 on: 02 Jan 2014, 08:36 »
Thank you all for the kind words :)

Khris - thanks for your notes. I've added them to our list of things to fix for v1.1. I haven't noticed the heroine moving back immediately when dodging left, though she might when she gets hit (she will flinch). As far as I know, keyboard should work correctly, so I will do some more checks when I get a bit of spare time.

Khris

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Re: Heroine's Quest - The Herald Of Ragnarok - Released!
« Reply #51 on: 02 Jan 2014, 08:54 »
I had a suspicion about the dodging and it turned out to be correct: my keyboard is German, and I switched it to English to move the Z key to the bottom left. I went back to the German layout and dodging suddenly worked fine. I'm using the gamepad anyway, so it's not even inconvenient anymore.
This should definitely not happen though, but it seems to be a DirectInput issue, so not your game's fault.

Crimson Wizard

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Re: Heroine's Quest - The Herald Of Ragnarok - Released!
« Reply #52 on: 02 Jan 2014, 14:35 »
Just started to play this :)
Couple of very minor issues found:
Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
- Character's name on the stats page is written over an invisible button? When clicking around it I make the text lower a little ;)
- When receiving combat instructions from Hervor, you can cancel combat and continue dialog, but if you do that while Hervor voice is playing (tutoring) it will continue playing in background during following conversation until audio clip ends.

E: Also love random mid-eastern sequence in the town music. Was it intentional?
« Last Edit: 02 Jan 2014, 14:48 by Crimson Wizard »

Knox

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Re: Heroine's Quest - The Herald Of Ragnarok - Released!
« Reply #53 on: 02 Jan 2014, 17:25 »
Downloaded on my usb, can't wait to play this as soon as I get home from work! :)
--All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

Daniel Eakins

  • Time Traveller
Re: Heroine's Quest - The Herald Of Ragnarok - Released!
« Reply #54 on: 02 Jan 2014, 20:08 »
Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
- Character's name on the stats page is written over an invisible button? When clicking around it I make the text lower a little ;)
Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
This also occurs in the dice minigame when clicking the amount of money. Also, clicking the game's name or other text on the title screen triggers the same sound as when clicking "New game" or "Restore game" etc.
We all have our time machines, don't we?

Re: Heroine's Quest - The Herald Of Ragnarok - Released!
« Reply #55 on: 02 Jan 2014, 21:55 »
E: Also love random mid-eastern sequence in the town music. Was it intentional?

I'm glad you liked it! :smiley: Do you mean the tune that plays on the pick your character, stats selection screen, and the Adventurer's Guild?  It has a Middle Eastern-sounding flourish starting at about the 50 second mark.  Honestly, I find it only vaguely Middle Eastern but, I liked how it sounded so I kept it in.  I suppose there's also the tune that plays when
Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
you get robbed
.

Snarky

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Re: Heroine's Quest - The Herald Of Ragnarok - Released!
« Reply #56 on: 02 Jan 2014, 22:54 »
Playing this now, and loving it! The QFG formula is one of my favorites, and this does the original proud. I'm loving all the little touches, like the varying weather (with aurora at night!) and ability to throw snow balls, the forest animals, townspeople walking about (and visiting each other! really helps sell them as a community), as well as the beautiful music and the basis in Norse mythology. The story, game mechanics, graphics and voice acting are for the most part at near-professional level. You should all be very pleased with yourselves!

I particularly liked the library, which is a relatively simple space, but really has a great atmosphere, with people wandering in and out, a harmless ghost, and all those tomes. And it looks beautiful.

A couple of points of some frustration:
-On a first playthrough, it's hard to know how to distribute skill points up front. I'm playing sorceress, and ditched climbing because I expected a levitation spell, for example. And without fast talking, there's no way to haggle effectively, so everything is so expensive. I also really wish I'd taken animal ken, just so I could interact with all the animals as I'm walking around. Might be nice with some hint in the manual about what the different skills are good for, and what can compensate for the weaknesses of each class.
-I find it really hard to earn money, and pretty much impossible in the early game. Until your resilience builds up (or you get some warmer clothes), you have to run back to town every five minutes, and as a sorceress without climbing (so no way to get over the city gates), that meant I couldn't really be out at night. But even if you spend a whole night fighting trolls, you might only earn 20 silver or so, so if you want to stock up on healing potions you'll have to spend days grinding. There was a point where I'd been playing for 4 hours without really getting any further, and I was getting pretty tired of it.

I find the pronunciation of the various Norse names and words very interesting and funny. Most are quite reasonable, like anglicized versions of they would sound in Swedish, but some (like "Munarvagir" and "Skrymir") are way off Scandinavian pronunciation. (Skrymir would sound more like "screamer" than like "scrye-meer".) I also find "Fornsigtuna" endlessly amusing, since it's literally "Ancient Sigtuna", meaning "where the town of Sigtuna used to be (in olden times)"; it's a little like a game set in pre-revolution Virginia where the characters go around referring to their town as "Colonial Williamsburg". ;) Oh, and another little nitpick: the founder of the Ylfing dynasty would not be Ylfing the First; he'd be "Ylf" (or more probably "Ulf"). Just like the Yngling family claimed descent from Ing (Frey).

Some (fairly minor) bugs:
Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
-In the adventurer's guild in Fornsigtuna, if you look at the seed of Idunn's apples on the wall, with Hervor present, she makes a comment along the lines of "Hoggthorn's Holt should not be frozen". This makes no sense whatsoever at the beginning of the game (and this is, after all, the starting screen), and makes it impossible to figure out what it even is you're looking at.
-On a few of the forest screens, some of the trees stop one pixel below the top edge of the screen. Presumably that sprite has been accidentally shifted down one pixel.
-If you cast Shadow in Aurvandel's study and your shadow walks down the stairs, it's not entirely covered by the walkbehind, so you can see it through the wall.
-I took some unstable ordnance from Sigrun's shop, but decided to put it back on the desk. At that point, I got stuck behind the counter and couldn't get out. (I have a savegame demonstrating this.)

Fizzii

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Re: Heroine's Quest - The Herald Of Ragnarok - Released!
« Reply #57 on: 02 Jan 2014, 23:23 »
Interesting! Now I'm curious what 'Munarvagir' should sound like :); I will need to check, but I didn't think it sounded dissimilar to what we were recommended (but it is all a bit of a blur now).

With Skrymir, it's a bit funny, but the linguist (who is Scandinavian) pronounced it more like 'Scru-mir', while the Danish voice actor for Skrymir actually originally did say 'Skree-mir'. In the end, we went with how it phonetically looked to us. In hindsight, I should have looked at a bunch of pronunciation clips, but I didn't think to check them at the time because I was so busy working with the voice actors on getting the recordings done in a timely manner and writing emails, and I didn't realise till much later that these pronunciations were readily available anyway.

I believe this is where we got Fornsigtuna from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fornsigtuna
(I haven't read through Prose Edda myself).

As a sorceress, there is a safe place you can stay in the woods at night :) It should help you a little. We can look into tweaking rates in v1.1 easily; when we were testing, we thought money dropped at a good rate (but then we knew where we needed to go and what to do, and the most economical ways of getting things done), so it's good to get some fresh perspective.  (On the other hand, another player indicated that later in game, money becomes too easy, so finding a good balance there might be trickier).

Snarky

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Re: Heroine's Quest - The Herald Of Ragnarok - Released!
« Reply #58 on: 03 Jan 2014, 01:50 »
Well, "Munarvagir" isn't immediately recognizable to me as a Scandinavian place name, but I'm guessing it's "Munarväg" in modern Swedish ("muhnarVEHG", in Norwegian more like "MOOnarvehg"). In any case, I would bet the primary stress should be on the "mu" or the "va", and don't think you'd ever stress the "-ir". (There's also a whole tone thing, but you can't be expected to mimic that in English.) Re Skrymir: In Scandinavian languages, "Y" usually has a value approximately of /û/ (as in French "lune"), somewhere between /u/ and /i/, but it varies a bit depending on context and dialect. So either "Screamir" or "Screwmir" would have been OK approximations in English. Anyway, I really respect the work you've done to ensure a decent degree of authenticity. These and a couple of others just stand out to me because most other words sound so right.

Although Fornsigtuna was originally just called Sigtuna, apparently you're right that it got the "Forn-" part much earlier than I thought, already shortly after the end of the Viking period. (But only after its role as royal base had moved to a "New Sigtuna". Which I guess is my point: "Fornsigtuna" implies that there's a current Sigtuna.)

And yes, I found that place to rest ultimately, but it took a long while to explore all the way to that corner of the map (because, again, I had to keep running back to town to warm up), and it didn't occur to me that I could sleep there until I saw a hint thread mention it. Oh well, it's not all supposed to be easy! I'm currently really enjoying a part of the game where there are jotunns, giants and muspells all over Jarnvidr and I'm so outclassed that I have to run away from every encounter. Fun! It's just that those different factors turned much of the early game into a bit of a slog.

vertigoaddict

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Re: Heroine's Quest - The Herald Of Ragnarok - Released!
« Reply #59 on: 03 Jan 2014, 09:42 »
Hmm I just have to comment on the money thing, although while playing the game it did feel like it was getting easier to get more money towards the end, I think this is mostly contributed to the fact that by the time the numbers in my coin purse got to the tripple digits, I had already bought most of the items that I wanted/needed (and I rarely bought potions... I rarely used potions heck
Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
by the time Skrymir gave me his potion of poetry I had pretty much already maxed out most of my skills and never used it
).

All in all, I think it just depends on how you play the game and perhaps the difficulty you're on? (I set my difficulty to the medium setting).

Also I forgot to mention this and I don't know if anyone else already had, but when I tried to buy the flame spell from Arunvadel the (what do you call it?) purchase box didn't show up until I clicked on the dialogue choice again, however it appeared behind the dialogue boxes, it didn't stop me from getting the flame spell, it was just slightly disorienting.