Aztaka is out!

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by jmercier, May 7, 2009.

  1. jmercier

    jmercier New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    0
    Aztaka is out : UPDATE on demo

    Hi everybody,


    After more than 3 years of hard work,we finally made it! Aztaka, our first game as an independent studio, is finally out!

    Its now available for download on Direct2Drive.

    Thanks to everybody that supported and helped us through the development.

    Cheers!
     
    #1 jmercier, May 7, 2009
    Last edited: May 11, 2009
  2. DadTimesTwo

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Messages:
    221
    Likes Received:
    0
    no demo, no download. :(
     
  3. Maupin

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,183
    Likes Received:
    0
    No demo + "This product is not eligible for refunds."

    Okay... best of luck.
     
  4. JGOware

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Messages:
    1,578
    Likes Received:
    0
    No demo and no refunds. Best of luck indeed. ;)
     
  5. nino_rajacic

    nino_rajacic New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Awesome news Jo!

    It's really great to see it finally alive. We in 3PA enjoyed much in working on adaptive audio system for it and we're really proud to be part of Aztaka team. Good luck!

    btw, as far as I know, demo will be out soon guys. I hope you will enjoy it. :)
     
  6. JGOware

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Messages:
    1,578
    Likes Received:
    0
    Requires 2gb of free memory to run? wow.. Trailer looks awesome.
     
  7. jmercier

    jmercier New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    0
    Aztaka Demo

    I should be able to have a demo soon :)
    Next week or so.
     
  8. mpdeveloper_B

    mpdeveloper_B New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    0
    *waiting for the demo* :)

    It does look rather interesting. And you put alot of work into it, I can tell. Posted It, and as you can see from the post, I will add the demo when it's done too. :D
     
  9. Andrej Vojtas

    Andrej Vojtas New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    Messages:
    354
    Likes Received:
    2
    Congratulations! Looking forward to play it ;)
     
  10. Nexic

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Messages:
    2,437
    Likes Received:
    0
    Looks impressive. Be sure to post here once a demo is available, would definitely like to check it out at some point.
     
  11. PixelCat

    PixelCat New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    I can't wait for the demo on this. It looks like something I would love playing. The art direction is gorgeous. Congrats to the team.
     
  12. vjvj

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2004
    Messages:
    1,732
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ha... I totally missed this announcement post, but discovered this game via another thread. Congrats on shipping the game! Looks like something RIGHT up my alley. I'll be waiting for the demo, but rest assured I'm not frugal with indie games as long as they are solid.

    Direct2Drive-only is kind of a bummer... Are you guys looking at Steam or Greenhouse at all?
     
  13. puddinlover

    puddinlover New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    0
    This actually looks very interesting (I will be trying the demo when you get it out)!

    Not sure what kinda deal you got with Direct2Drive but maybe try to this on other portals. This game does look very neat from the screen shots!

    Hope to see more soon.
     
  14. jmercier

    jmercier New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    0
    Aztaka Demo

    Hi,
    You should be able to find the deme here. It's not "public" yet, and It would be really nice if some people can try it and tell me if the length is good to get people interested.

    I'll leave the link for about a day or two,so please don't distribute it as its not "official" yet. I hope you'll enjoy it :)

    Thanks!
     
    #14 jmercier, May 11, 2009
    Last edited: May 11, 2009
  15. vjvj

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2004
    Messages:
    1,732
    Likes Received:
    0
    Downloading now!!! I'll give it a whirl and try to type out some thoughts by tonight...
     
  16. Zollo

    Zollo New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can't wait to try it out tonight! I'm really glad there is a demo now.
     
  17. AnthemAudio

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    0
    I liked it, but I think I had some issues throughout, if first impressions are important, I'll share with you mine.

    First thing I did when I loaded the game was try to go into the options menu, mostly to figure out what my controls were. There is no options menu available once you start the game? I just have to quit the game? Ok, I just started so I quit the game so I can see all the crazy options I must have missed and most importantly to glance at my controls that I forgot to look at in my haste to start the game. Oh, it doesn't show you. ok. So I jump back in and finally figure out that right click is attack, A and D for left and right and W for jump. Ok.

    I approach my first evil plant monster and dispatch it with a few right clicks. THen it leaves this green glob behind. How do I pick it up? It left it behind so I have to be able to do something with it. Right click, left click, walk over item, crouch over item, I press every button on the keyboard. I find the inventory screen and my special abilities screen (still no in-game help or options) so I figure I must have missed something again how to pick up or perhaps "absorb" the soul? So I back out again and go to the main menu in search for help, nothing. I start the game back up again. I kill the plant guy and just move on, figuring it's not important but it sure bugged me. Then I go to the far right where I'm given the ability to utilize these souls to grow branches on trees. Phew. I finally smile, it's a nice mechanic and one that I think will help break gameplay up a bit, but my was it frustrating to reveal. I probably spent around half an hour rebooting, waiting through load screens and experimenting with everything before I got to that realization.

    So I played a bit more, saved the temple and started scaring away bats. Most of the bats flew away with one hit and I could never kill, ok the mission said to drive them away so I figured no worries. Then one I hit flew towards me, and with one single pass through my character he killed me. Game Over, welcome back to Main Menu. Huh? There was no feedback easily recognizable to show that I was in severe danger of losing the game entirely. Drat, no favors from the gods to resuscitate me. Guess that pops up later when more things are explained? So that was a bit frustrating. I just quit and haven't tried it since.

    These are all totally polish things for the most part and perhaps some design issues (why crouch to pick up stuff? you already introduced the hand as being able to manipulate on-screen things, why not experiment with that if not just simply let people walk over stuff? The game looks fantastic and has a ton of promise, but I think your first impressions mileage will vary.

    And if I'm going to be truthful, I wasn't a big fan of the audio. There were some nice sounds, but most felt kind of flat and narrow. Perhaps this was more implementation than sound design, but everything felt thin. We as players could have used some more audio feedback, but very few sfx popped out and said "hey, this is important!". The music was nice and appropriate, some of the samples showed, and you may want to revisit what formats you are importing into FMOD and what compression settings are going out, I heard pops at the seams, (only noticeable when wearing headphones for the most part.)

    I hope this helps, I've been impressed with the game (and still am really) since I saw it announced and hope to see it pull in some great conversion rates, but after downloading a gig demo (not entirely unheard of, I know) and met with some basic frustrations that mar what looks to be an excellent game experience I have some doubts. I may fire it up some later to see what else is included in the demo, but you have to ask yourself will everyone else who may have had similar issues as I did do the same? I spared it one of my lunch hours, will I be troubled to spare another?

    Again, I truly hope this helps. Congratulations to everyone involved on it's release!

    -Tony
     
  18. vjvj

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2004
    Messages:
    1,732
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ok, I finally finished the demo. Here's my quick ramble:

    Production values are great. Graphics are superb (aside from the weird perspective problem on those large staircases), and audio is quite good as well IMHO.

    900MB is a lot for a demo. I know you've got a megaton of art, so you may not be able to bring the size down. But if you can, I recommend it.

    Having the basic play information in a pdf file is bad IMHO. Most people are probably not going to read it (it sounds like AnthemAudio didn't read it, either). Also, you have a "tips" section, but the tips you give aren't so much tips as they are "absolutely vital stuff you must know, otherwise you'll get your ass kicked". I read the pdf for the controls, but skipped the tips section, so I had no clue you could heal by dragging green energy onto your character. Anyone who doesn't read the tips section is going to think the game is impossible. You should really try to integrate all of the pdf info into the game itself, either through help screens (page 6 of the pdf would make a great help screen) or perhaps through dialogue via the bird.

    Speaking of text, there is a ton of text before the game starts. I personally would edit this down to the bare minimum (like maybe one screen with two lines of text). Remember that you are creating new IP here, so every single person playing the demo has zero emotional investment in your game world, characters, and story. The whole thing about Gaia and the Path of the Gods and the magic keys and how everything was witnessed by the Moon is pretty much just jibberish to everyone playing. You can get away with such disposition in your sequel, when you have an established fan base.

    Last thing about text: The character dialogue behavior is inconsistent. Some of the character text must be clicked through to advance, while others (like the giant statue head that meditates on your bird) advances text automatically. This is confusing; pick one and stick with it (I'd personally make everything click-through).

    Also, there doesn't seem to be any mention anywhere on how to cast spells. It took me forever to figure that out. Spells are kinda important :)

    As far as length goes, it seems to be ok and it ends at a good point in the demo. However, a little cliffhanger at the end of the demo might result in more sales for you. For example, instead of exiting the cave and saying "Game Over", why don't you have that enemy guy (the one you are chasing) pop in and taunt you first? Remind the player what their goal is before ending the demo :)

    One of the bigger problems with the demo is that it suffers from some relatively newbish design mistakes:

    • Introducing a mechanic before the player can use it (the aforementioned green energy appearing before you can pick it up).
    • Inconsistent interfaces (crouch to pick up items, click and drag to pick up energy).
    • Beginning enemies are WAY too powerful; you die in two hits. I realize that you can heal yourself infinitely, but you have to remember that first-timers are going to be stumbling around and playing like morons while they try and figure out the game. Requiring players to learn combat while remembering to heal and generally play conservatively to reduce damage can be overwhelming for newbies. I personally would not force the player to heal after every fight until I am SURE the player feels comfortable with combat. Let the player make some mistakes in the first few levels without having to die and restart the game.
    • Some "screw you" moments, like blind jumps onto hidden platforms (one of which requires a powerup to clear the jump; you have no way of knowing this, of course, because the jump is blind), where failing to make the jump results in your falling onto multiple spiders that basically insta-kill you. That's a great way to make a player say "WTF?" and quit the game.

    Overall the game is pretty solid, and I'll most likely be buying it (I'll probably hold out for a Steam version though, hehe). But I do think you should have an experienced designer (someone who has shipped a few games) take a look and help you re-do the demo. Or at least, the first 10-15 minutes of the demo. As it is now, it's not very accessible and I'm worried you'll lose conversions due to this, which is sad considering how good the game seems to be beyond that initial learning curve.

    Good luck!
     
  19. AnthemAudio

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    0
    There was a pdf? oh yeah, look at that. all PDF-ey.

    Those loading screens would make a good place to smatter some controls and other basic stuff that may be hard to introduce through the game naturally.

    -Tony
     
  20. jmercier

    jmercier New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    0
    We have added at two places some "help" screen to explain more about player's controls and spells system. We will also changed the text in some quests to explain more about some features (like the vital energy that you can drop on yourself - Tips :) ).

    The damage done by the first ennemies was divided by two, thus giving a better chance to the new player.

    @AnthemAudio : I screw up while packaging the audio and music into this "unofficial" demo : I exchanged the volume ratio between music and sounds, thus explaining why the sounds volume was so low. The music was also compressed too much. Good idea with the loading screen, I'll see how these could be integrated into the next release. Thanks a lot for the comments:)

    @vjvj : I can't do much more to compress it more in a short period of time. Big thanks also for the comments! I know that the design sometime is a bit "old style" and can hurt the player, but its intended. It could be a bad decision from our part, but we wanted to avoid guiding the player too much. May be we went too far :D

    We are trying our best to get a demo asap so that people can at least have a look at the game. Until then if you have any advice for marketing, this is also one of our weakness right now.
     

Share This Page

  • About Indie Gamer

    When the original Dexterity Forums closed in 2004, Indie Gamer was born and a diverse community has grown out of a passion for creating great games. Here you will find over 10 years of in-depth discussion on game design, the business of game development, and marketing/sales. Indie Gamer also provides a friendly place to meet up with other Developers, Artists, Composers and Writers.
  • Buy us a beer!

    Indie Gamer is delicately held together by a single poor bastard who thankfully gets help from various community volunteers. If you frequent this site or have found value in something you've learned here, help keep the site running by donating a few dollars (for beer of course)!

    Sure, I'll Buy You a Beer