Author Topic: Between the Pillars of Creation  (Read 18595 times)

Cogliostro

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Between the Pillars of Creation
« on: 08 May 2012, 04:34 »
I think I finally have enough done to justify a posting under GiP.



   

   

Something I did for the April MAGS competition, where the theme was "Distorted Senses".  I thought I'd go back and do it right now.  WAY TOO MUCH had to be dropped in order to make the deadline.

The game can currently be played through to an ending... but it just doesn't work the way I envisioned.  Rooms were dropped, a side plot was dropped, puzzles were dropped.  You get the idea.

 - Cogliostro

P.S. For the record, the Pillars of Creation are a real formation inside the Eagle Nebula.
"First things first, but not necessarily in that order." - Dr. Who

Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #1 on: 08 May 2012, 11:26 »
Anything featuring the Eagle Nebula deserves a look!  :-D
Great title - lovely graphics - interesting concept.

So even if it isn't quite what you originally had in mind, it's looking very good already!

Cogliostro

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #2 on: 15 Feb 2013, 21:30 »
"Between the Pillars of Creation" is back in active development.  Creating entirely new GUIs had been a MAJOR hassle and slowed progress to a crawl.  Anyhow, I will need a few beta testers to give the new GUIs a thorough look-see.  Please PM if you're interested.

For the record this was part of the April 2012 MAGs competition, so it does have an ending – but the arc, challenges, story, et cetera will grow beyond what is currently shown in the DEMO.

 - Cogliostro

EDIT: I have the beta testers I need... for the moment.
« Last Edit: 16 Feb 2013, 20:42 by Cogliostro »
"First things first, but not necessarily in that order." - Dr. Who

Cogliostro

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #3 on: 06 May 2013, 00:42 »

I *think* the GUI / Interface is good.  Game was moving along until I realized that in order to internal conflict, I needed to show a strong contrast between the dialog of the characters and their actions.  Which meant a ton of animations!  And - no real surprise here - the game grew longer.

 - Cogliostro
"First things first, but not necessarily in that order." - Dr. Who

Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #4 on: 07 May 2013, 19:46 »
This game looks quite gorgeous. I'll be looking forward to it ;)

Cogliostro

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #5 on: 29 May 2013, 19:50 »
ARGH!

After bashing my head into a wall in order to get animations done, I've discovered one little nightmare.

The game is 340MB which becomes 109MB when compressed, fairly large.  If I include three animations that I spent some serious time on, it goes up to 631MB which becomes 175MB when compressed.  (All three animations are full screen PNG files, each containing 50+ shots).

109MB vs. 175MB

I think that I'll release two different versions and see how people react.

Anyhow, the game is still in progress, and here's a screenshot to prove it...



 - Cogliostro



"First things first, but not necessarily in that order." - Dr. Who

Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #6 on: 29 May 2013, 22:04 »
Just speaking personally, the larger file size wouldn't put me off at all.  I think the largest AGS game I've ever downloaded was 1Gb!

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #7 on: 30 May 2013, 08:22 »
I agree, 70mb is not worth stressing about! Make it as big as it needs to be for you to be happy with it! :)

Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #8 on: 30 May 2013, 08:53 »
Besides, now that you've told us, we're going to feel that we're missing out on a great animated sequence if we get the smaller game.  8-0

Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #9 on: 30 May 2013, 09:29 »
Not sure what kind of animation is being spoken about here, but what about making a video file instead; will it be smaller (if the compression is used)?

AGS stores everything as uncompressed bitmaps actually, regardless of what was the imported sprite.
« Last Edit: 30 May 2013, 09:34 by Crimson Wizard »

Cogliostro

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #10 on: 17 Sep 2013, 19:07 »
There comes a moment when you sit back and enjoy the satisfaction that comes from having completed another step!  The code works, the graphics are good.  Then you just have to ask yourself is **ANYONE** going to like this damn thing at all?



What *WAS* I thinking when I created this puzzle?!

 - Cogliostro
"First things first, but not necessarily in that order." - Dr. Who

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #11 on: 17 Sep 2013, 19:44 »
Is that a puzzle?
I thought I was looking at a farming sim :) and was getting a bit intrigued, actually...

Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #12 on: 17 Sep 2013, 20:04 »
What *WAS* I thinking when I created this puzzle?!

Um... is this is trick question?
Were you thinking about becoming a vegetarian?

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #13 on: 17 Sep 2013, 21:56 »
There definitely need to be more puzzles about nutritional value of crops ;)

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #14 on: 18 Sep 2013, 19:16 »
It lacks pumpkins. But hey, it looks like edudainment, and learning is PHUN!

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #15 on: 19 Sep 2013, 20:10 »
Then you just have to ask yourself is **ANYONE** going to like this damn thing at all?

I would say about 30% of my subconscious at any given point in time is devoted to this question.  I will partake in your crop optimization minigame.  Will there be a bacon scenario DLC?


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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #16 on: 19 Sep 2013, 22:32 »
You could try http://tinypng.org/ to reduce the size of your png images. If you use lots of pngs this can reduce your game size more than the half ;)

Anyhow, really interesting game you are creating. I'm looking forward to it :)

Adeel

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #17 on: 19 Sep 2013, 22:42 »
Going good so far, Cogliostro! Good luck with completing your game. :)

You could try http://tinypng.org/ to reduce the size of your png images. If you use lots of pngs this can reduce your game size more than the half ;) [...]

That is really a nice website! Thanks for sharing. :)
-

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #18 on: 20 Sep 2013, 00:24 »
from crop optimization minigame to png optimization, well, wasn't there something about AGS using its own algorithms to store graphics and it doesn't matter if PNGs are optimized or not? If it works to reduce game filesize this would be nice though.
I use png gauntlet to optimize pngs.

Cogliostro

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #19 on: 14 Oct 2013, 14:44 »

OPTIMIZATION:  Yeah, I never found any real appreciable difference between the the size of the game if I compressed the PNGs before adding them to the game, or compressing the game after having compiled.  So, I think I'll create a LITE version for those who are "bandwidth challenged" and a full blown version for the rest of us. 

PUN: I met this vegetarian the other day and she insisted she knew me from college, but I swear, I'd never seen herbivore.

FARMING SIM: Also, I apologize for creating a mini-game just like Farmville but with less excitement, and if an apology is going to mean anything it should come with a redhead.  So, here's another screen shot of a billboard you find in the game.



 - Cogliostro
« Last Edit: 14 Oct 2013, 14:47 by Cogliostro »
"First things first, but not necessarily in that order." - Dr. Who

Adeel

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #20 on: 15 Oct 2013, 20:55 »
Ah, I feel so fresh to see a 3d red head beauty. :cool:
-

Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #21 on: 28 Oct 2013, 10:56 »
Glad to see that Ariel the mermaid will be in on this adventure :shocked: Nah, but seriously, best of luck with this Cog! Keeping my eye on it.

Cogliostro

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #22 on: 12 Feb 2014, 14:03 »
After a few months delay, here's another update.


In this, the hero and I have much in common.

"Between the Pillars of Creation" is now playable from beginning to end - the way I originally envisioned it!!  I will plug away at the bugs as I find them and start beta testing on March 1st.  (PM me if your interested in helping.)  While I'm at it, I plan on adding a bunch of dialog so the heroine is sufficiently stroppy. 

 - Cogliostro
« Last Edit: 12 Feb 2014, 14:35 by Cogliostro »
"First things first, but not necessarily in that order." - Dr. Who

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #23 on: 12 Feb 2014, 17:39 »
"Between the Pillars of Creation" is now playable from beginning to end ...
  YAY!
  These are really good news - can't wait to start   

Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #24 on: 04 Mar 2014, 02:33 »
"Between the Pillars of Creation" is now playable from beginning to end ...

Good to hear! Looks good, Cog. If you still need testers I'd be happy to help out.

Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #25 on: 17 Mar 2014, 03:11 »
The pillars of creation were destroyed by a super nova a long time ago. :(

Cogliostro

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #26 on: 27 Mar 2014, 01:47 »
Yeah, I doubt I'll look the same in 7000 years either.  :wink: 

It was a tough call, but when you actually reach the nebula, none of the "familiar" formations are present.

 - Cogliostro
"First things first, but not necessarily in that order." - Dr. Who

Cogliostro

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #27 on: 31 Mar 2014, 01:49 »
BETA TESTING being put off until mid April as new rooms and thread ideas continue to assert themselves. As new opportunities arise, I am also thinking of adding more music and voices.

VOICE OVERS: I managed to get an entire radio theater crew to agree to do the voice overs.

MUSIC: First, Jeff Foreman stepped up to help with background music.

Ya know, the credits for this game are growing REALLY long for something that began as a one man project.

FINALLY: In the star ship there is a recreational area called "Siren Street".  The billboard with the mermaid is posted right outside the entrance.  Later, I heard a group, called Sirena, performing a song at the renaissance festival and this song perfectly captured the mood I wanted for this scene in the game.  These women can sing, dance, have the right look, created their costumes and makeup, write their own lyrics and music, play instruments, and choreograph their moves?!  Impressive barely describes it.  Click on the pic to check out their website if you like...



Anyhow, I asked for permission to use their song in the game, and they said YES!

Looking back at the name of the room, the mermaid, the musicians, and their stage presence/image...  I'm not even sure what word describes this line up.  Synchronicity?  Serendipity?

Anyone else ever run into this?

 - Cogliostro
« Last Edit: 31 Mar 2014, 02:24 by Cogliostro »
"First things first, but not necessarily in that order." - Dr. Who

AprilSkies

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #28 on: 31 Mar 2014, 15:40 »
Good news.
I listened to their music. They are very good!!!

Mandle

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #29 on: 01 Apr 2014, 00:26 »
Good news.
I listened to their music. They are very good!!!

Not to mention hot!

AAAaaaaRRRROOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #30 on: 04 Apr 2014, 01:20 »
Nice work, Cogliostro, good to see things are coming along and you're getting some great talent on board (nod). Looking forward to play, as always. I really enjoyed your earlier stuff so looking forward to this. Give me a shout when you get a bit of spare time, yeah?

Cogliostro

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #31 on: 12 May 2014, 15:28 »
Finally decided how to handle it when the characters die...  the instant rewind.



 Having to backtrack to your last saved game always ticked me off.  So why do it to anyone else.

 - Cogliostro
"First things first, but not necessarily in that order." - Dr. Who

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #32 on: 12 May 2014, 15:35 »
Amazing! The three Parcae! (Or maybe you use to call them the three Fates in english)

Cogliostro

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #33 on: 12 May 2014, 15:55 »
Yes they are!

 - Cogliostro
"First things first, but not necessarily in that order." - Dr. Who

Cogliostro

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #34 on: 29 Jun 2014, 21:02 »
ALPHA testing is going MUCH slower than I planned for.  Somehow I always get it in my head that - unlike all of my previous games - *THIS* time my bugs and mistakes will be easy to fix.

Anyhow, while I'm rambling, here's a new screenshot.



Jason steps outside of the ship to see what's wrong with the antenna.

 - Cogliostro
« Last Edit: 29 Jun 2014, 21:31 by Cogliostro »
"First things first, but not necessarily in that order." - Dr. Who

Cogliostro

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #35 on: 05 Sep 2014, 14:10 »
One of the beta testers discovered that Enyo - one of the three shipboard astronomers - is a huge fan of Ponch!!



 - Cogliostro

« Last Edit: 05 Sep 2014, 14:45 by Cogliostro »
"First things first, but not necessarily in that order." - Dr. Who

Cogliostro

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #36 on: 10 Feb 2015, 16:42 »

Before going ahead and reworking all of the GUIs I backed up the entire game development folder to DropBox last Friday.  Saturday my hard drive crashed.

I forget whose misfortune prompted the discussion of "remote backups", but "Between the Pillars of Creation" has survived a near deletion experience.

 - Cogliostro
"First things first, but not necessarily in that order." - Dr. Who

NickyNyce

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #37 on: 10 Feb 2015, 17:41 »
You welcome.

Thank goodness, because this looks great!

Slasher

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #38 on: 10 Feb 2015, 19:28 »
Phew..............................(laugh)

Back on course then (nod)

Backup Backup Backup.... I've learnt that from bitter experience (nod)

Hope to see game out soon...



Cogliostro

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #39 on: 29 Apr 2015, 02:26 »
Added several rooms and screens to the beginning which lets me show the world to the player through game play rather than a data dump.  Which is a much better way of getting things done.  However, it also means I have to redesign most of my GUIs.  *sigh*

 - Cogliostro
"First things first, but not necessarily in that order." - Dr. Who

Cogliostro

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #40 on: 26 May 2015, 02:20 »


New GUI.  New introduction.  Now comes all of the troubleshooting to see what I broke.

 - Cogliostro
"First things first, but not necessarily in that order." - Dr. Who

Cogliostro

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #41 on: 30 Aug 2015, 00:10 »
The damage to the Ophidian Coolant System(tm) is pretty apparent in this shot.  Which might cause further trouble for the reactor in the next room.



After some honest assessments, I redid a few of the backgrounds.  I am also going to retool one of my earliest and most programming-intensive puzzles. 

Then I think I need a few Beta Testers.  Anyone want to volunteer?

 - Cogliostro


"First things first, but not necessarily in that order." - Dr. Who

AnasAbdin

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #42 on: 31 Aug 2015, 17:21 »
I'm sorry I don't test games that I like 8-) Good luck finding testers. I can't wait to play this game (laugh)

Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #43 on: 05 Sep 2015, 00:30 »
I am currently testing this and I cannot hold my silence. You guys are going to be blown away by this! He's put so much into this so far, and there's a way to go. But this is going to be worth the wait!
completed: Beyond Eternity

Cogliostro

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #44 on: 20 Sep 2015, 23:27 »


Okay, I had been seriously thinking about how enjoyable I would find it if the players went through the game, understood the ideas behind the story, and commented on them.  They feel good about finding the underlying ideas.  I feel good because they really did get it.

Who the hell am I kidding?

This game has a some AGS hype and that's it.  Given it can be played in 2-4 hours, there's a real possibility that no one will notice the themes I worked into the story.  So, in order to get people worked up, here are three major concepts driving the story.

THEMES / CONCEPTS behind "Between the Pillars of Creation"
Spoiler: ShowHide


1) Humanity is spreading across the galaxy in a stolen spaceship.  Unless we find our own microscopic black hole to power our own FTL ship, the "Ship Builders" will eventaully return, take back their stolen property and humanity's Golden Age comes to an abrupt end.  Hard Science Fiction Storyline - and pretty damn obvious from the screenshots.

2) All of our old prejudices are gone.... so we created new ones.  Everyone in the future has their computer/phone wired into the head.  Jason's neurological condition prevents that, he has Ludwig's Disease.  I finished most of the story before realizing I had created the ultimate metaphor for how society treats mental illness - the main character's head is literally miswired.  Or, for that matter, any invisible handicap, like deafness.

3) Finally, this is a retelling of the story of Jason and the Quest for the Golden Fleece.  Pretty much exactly.  I included the Stygian Witches, plus Scylla and Charybdis, who didn't occur in the original myth, but seriously, the rest of the story is all there.  Jason, the agronomist, is aboard the Argo.  Medea, the shipboard gene-witch, helps him through ALL of his challenges.  At the end of the story, he becomes captain because of her actions.  This list goes on and on.  Read the myth and see how many references you can catch.


Three years of keeping it under my hat and here it is.  Let me know what you think.

 - Cogliostro.
« Last Edit: 20 Sep 2015, 23:29 by Cogliostro »
"First things first, but not necessarily in that order." - Dr. Who

Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #45 on: 22 Sep 2015, 12:38 »
I'm particularly interested to see how your second theme is developed in the game due to it being very much linked to my day job.  I've always like hard sfi-fi and Greek mythology so it's all good from my point of view!  :-D 8-)

Cogliostro

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #46 on: 31 Mar 2016, 00:46 »
Recording voice overs!

 - Cogliostro
"First things first, but not necessarily in that order." - Dr. Who

Cogliostro

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #47 on: 06 Jun 2016, 00:21 »


ARGH!  Was doing a play through only to have my 14 year old ask, "So why didn't Medea just ask Jason to bring the replacement circuit when she called him the first time?"

FOUR YEARS of mentally reviewing the story, only to have a plot hole this big sitting in the middle of it?!

Mercifully, I was able to fix it without changing the story/game flow.  But now it's time to call the voice actors.

 - Cogliostro
"First things first, but not necessarily in that order." - Dr. Who

Cassiebsg

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #48 on: 06 Jun 2016, 15:55 »
(laugh) Sometimes a bit of distance is a good thing, we get so focus on the details that we only ever focus on a very little bit at a time.
There are those who believe that life here began out there...

Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #49 on: 06 Jun 2016, 16:05 »
Kids are the best bug testers.  But your game is going to be amazing, it will all be worth it in the end!

Cogliostro

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #50 on: 12 Jun 2016, 19:07 »
Glad to hear you think so.

 - Cogliostro
"First things first, but not necessarily in that order." - Dr. Who

Cogliostro

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #51 on: 06 Aug 2016, 17:01 »
Between the Pillars of Creation needs a couple of voice actors:

Female - Atalanta, ship's doctor - 10 lines, calm and condescending

Two female, one male - Stygian Witches - They were astronomers before they lost their marbles - about 8 lines each

Male - Castor & Pollux - the arrogant twins - 14 lines total, really just one role since they sound alike.

Either gender - Harvester - A poetically murderous robot!  14 lines done 4-5 times each.

Male - Draco - officious and smug little AI - 7 lines

Male - Pelias - Captain of the ship, 40 lines.  Half of them are delivered in a fatherly disapproving voice, the rest are murderously insane.

Male - Phineas - Aquaponic Engineer and friend of Jason's - 15 lines

PM me if you're interested.
 - Cogliostro
« Last Edit: 28 Aug 2016, 18:18 by Cogliostro »
"First things first, but not necessarily in that order." - Dr. Who

Cogliostro

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #52 on: 28 Aug 2016, 18:22 »

Still hoping to get the last few voice actors, out of 20 voice acting roles, I'm down to five.  None of these are huge commitments.  Anyone willing to step up?

 - Cogliostro
"First things first, but not necessarily in that order." - Dr. Who

Cogliostro

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #53 on: 21 Jun 2018, 00:13 »
Pillars is BACK in production after a considerable hiatus.

 - Cogliostro
"First things first, but not necessarily in that order." - Dr. Who

Mandle

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #54 on: 21 Jun 2018, 02:22 »
Pillars is BACK in production after a considerable hiatus.

 - Cogliostro

Great news! Best of luck!

Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #55 on: 21 Jun 2018, 08:46 »
Pillars is BACK in production after a considerable hiatus.

 - Cogliostro

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah!! 

Just in time, too.  I'd been thinking of bugging you with one of my occasional "are you still going to release the game" emails! :grin:

Cogliostro

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Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #56 on: 11 Nov 2018, 17:37 »
Audible released, "Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made".

Nice to know this insanity isn't unique to the AGS community.

 - Cogliostro
"First things first, but not necessarily in that order." - Dr. Who

Re: Between the Pillars of Creation
« Reply #57 on: 17 Nov 2018, 08:54 »
Good stuff, I know when I abandoned my last adventure game for a couple years, it bugged me so much. I have no intention of abandoning my current project, this time its my full time focus, not a hobby.