We’ve hit our next major milestone and we’re eager to tell you all about it.
It Speaks! It’s Synced!
After a very long and arduous process, it’s most pleasing to now say that ALL the voice and speech audio for Mage’s Initiation has FINALLY been completely recorded, lip-synced, and is functional in the game! We’ve recently moved the game from alpha into beta and have launched a new beta testing phase (more on that below). We’re currently doing some final retakes and going through all the scenes in the game, listening to the voices, and adjusting them for timing in their respective scenes (i.e. so that they match up with musical cues and so that the pauses between dialogue lines with other NPCs sounds natural). We’re fixing any remaining bugs we find along the way, too.
Beta Testing Commences
The latest beta version (v 1.3) of Mage’s Initiation is currently live on Steam and ready to be tested. This build has all the character voices included.
It has been quite a long while since the alpha phase was active, so we wanted to do a general call-out to remind all eligible backers (i.e. those who backed at the $70 Shaman tier or higher) to visit the Himalaya Studios forums, log into the Mages Beta Testing Forum, and report any bugs/issues you find.
Please note that (unlike previous alpha builds) in order to test this new beta, you must enter a special password into Steam. You'll need to visit the Himalaya Studios Beta Testing Forum to obtain this password and further instructions. Otherwise, your Steam version will only function as a demo of the game's first task.
If you're at an eligible tier and didn’t previously validate your Steam key and are looking for it, please check your e-mail inbox and junk/spam folders. Search for an email from Humble Bundle dated between September 10th 2016 and January 8th 2017. If you're having difficulty, try performing a search for "Humble" or "Beta Testing", which should help.
If you haven't done so already, you'll also need to register an account at the Himalaya Studios Forums so we can grant you access to the private beta testing forum - where all bug reports and communications take place.
Now, to the question on everybody’s lips? Exactly WHEN is this ^#$#@ game going to be released? Well, dear backers, we’re glad you asked! Originally, we had slated the game for a Q3 or Q4 release in 2018. However, now that we’re rapidly approaching the end of the year when things are starting to heat up with all the AAA titles during the pre-Christmas rush, we decided it would be prudent to hold off and release in early 2019 instead.
While the game will certainly be polished and ready for release within a month or so, we really don’t want to just rush it out at the most hectic time of year and see it get buried as a result. No, we must be very strategic about this and carefully consider how to best approach our PR campaign. This will go into action in October, and a preview build will be sent out to interested gaming media and press. After investing so much time developing this game over the past decade, we really want to maximize its chance of doing well. For that to happen, we need to allow ample time for reviewers and previewers to fit it into their busy schedules and give it a proper amount of playtime (it’s a big game!). So, yes, early 2019 is the time to look forward to. We haven't revealed a specific date yet, but that will be announced as we get closer.
Steam and GOG Status
We have a shiny new “Coming Soon” Steam store page for Mage’s Initiation! Check it out here and be sure to add it to your wish-lists. Even though you’ll already be getting a copy via Kickstarter, apparently adding it still helps with Steam’s algorithms and such. Please get your buddies, cohorts, and frenemies to add it too, if they’d be into this sort of game!
We had hoped to have an announcement about Mage’s Initiation’s availability on GOG for this update. We contacted them after they showed initial interest, but haven't heard back from them as of yet. In the meantime, you can continue to vote for Mage’s Initiation via the GOG Community Wish-list and post comments about why you believe it would be a good match for inclusion on the GOG store.
We haven’t done any shoutouts for a while, but there are a couple of interesting projects to mention at the moment.
Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption
Lori and Corey Cole, of Sierra On-Line and Quest for Glory fame recently released their first crowd-funded game “Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption”. It’s an RPG in the spirit of Quest for Glory and features a similar stats system as well as many throwbacks and references to their classics. Hero-U is also currently on sale at Steam with a 35% discount. Featuring the trademark storytelling from the Coles, and artwork from Mage’s Initiation artist JP Selwood (who worked on both games), this is definitely one to check out for old Sierra fans! You can get it here.
Nighthawks - The Vampire RPG
Dave Gilbert of Wadjet Eye Games has teamed-up with sometime Rock Paper Shotgun contributor Richard Cobbett to create Nighthawks - The Vampire RPG. Described as being “a brand new urban fantasy RPG”, this title is sure to have all the hallmarks and trimmings one has come to expect from Wadjet Eye’s titles and should be a real treat. There's less than 20 hours remaining in their Kickstarter campaign and they're so very close to the finishing line. Head on over to their page and get involved, if you’re so inclined.
And that about ties up all the loose ends for this go-around. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for interim updates, if you don’t already, and stay tuned for more details on the upcoming release as we finish up beta testing and approach year’s end.
Until then, stay Magical!
The Himalaya Team