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An enchanting Adventure/RPG set in a magical realm. Master spells, battle foes, and quest forth in this full-length game.
3,157 backers pledged $125,174 to help bring this project to life.

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Polar Vortex 2015


Greetings, mages, magesses, and familiars! We hope that the Fire Mages have been putting in overtime for you if you’re in the northern hemisphere. Between some major illnesses and housing troubles among team members that transpired over the last few months, this update has been incredibly delayed and we’re sorry about that. However, you’ll be pleased to find out we’re quite on track with the game! Behold:

General Progress Report

There's nothing scientific about these figures. They're our best estimates on where we currently stand in the grand game development scheme. Nevertheless, when one knows that the light at the end of a tunnel is rapidly approaching, one finds it far easier to gauge how close said light really is. So while these figures contain not a shred of scientific analysis (not even from a magical measurement spell) it's safe to say they are accurate guesstimates:

Writing & Design: 99%

Background Artwork & Animations: 95% 

Character Animations: 93% 

Music: 80% 

Sound Effects: 15% 

Voices: 0% 

Adventure Game Programming: 90% 

Combat System Programming: 95% 

RPG/Stats/Equipment Programming: 85% 

And for the RPG fans who are so hardcore, they need stats about stat-raising game, here are the latest AGS engine assets being used.

AGS Game Engine Assets & Stats  

Total sprites: 17203 / 30000

Sprite folders: 789  

Total views: 745  

Total GUIs: 68  

Inventory Items: 300 / 300 (our custom inventory system is dynamic, we have over 300 items)

Characters: 194 

Dialog topics: 402 / 500 

(Yes, some of these figures went backwards from our last update. This is due to us deleting unused assets and/or the streamlining process of refining certain scenes and removing any wordy or clunky sections that didn't work well to convey the story.)

At this rate, we will be aiming for a May or June beta sans voice acting!

January 2015 Summit Meeting in Oz

Early in January 2015, Daniel and Chris met up for the annual Himalaya Studios summer summit meeting (yes, it took place in Australia). We used this opportunity to carefully map out the remaining work to be done on Mage's Initiation, so that we can see it to a (hopefully relatively speedy) conclusion. As is usually the case, much was accomplished during this in-person developer meeting. It was really quite motivating to bounce ideas off each other, and quickly enhance segments of the design and puzzles in real-time. There's this peculiar phenomenon in game development where things tend to get taken care of faster and much more efficiently in real life. Or maybe it's just that sitting in cramped quarters for full 40c degree days, with just a small metal fan shared between two, swarms of flies to keep you company, and the prospect of a walk around the block the only reward for a hard day's work, were motivation enough to get our work done quickly.

The first order of business was to conduct a full playtest of the game from beginning to end. This was fairly entertaining to watch, because Daniel had not actually played any of our internal demos for some months and thus was able to approach this playthrough through the eyes of a "fresh" gamer. So, naturally, he was designated the test pilot for this play-test session. He started a new game as a Fire Mage (since that's our most solid class at the moment) and we were off to the races! This method worked out well, too, because through playing, we quickly located problem areas which needed extra attention and we were able address them as we played. For example, there were times when Daniel got stuck and didn't have any direction on what to do next. He would say "If I were an unaccustomed player and I were playing this part right now, I wouldn't know where to go." Such epiphanies where very, very handy in helping us to decide where we needed to insert new NPC barks, "hint" thought bubbles for D'arc, and sometimes subtle visual, graphical indicators to ensure that the sense of progression never completely faded out on the player experience. At the same time, we didn't want to make it to hand-holdy. So, while you may still need to pause for thought every so often, as you contemplate how to solve a head-scratching puzzle, you'll always have your next goal clearly defined, and won't be stuck wandering around for lack of something to do.

As Daniel discovered issues and areas to improve, Chris was busy addressing them in the AGS engine and cracking out bug-free code. Another painstaking task that Daniel commenced during the summit was going through every… single… line... of dialog in the game, and condensing the text where necessary. Rewriting lines if they no longer fit the context of the scene or the overall game narrative (some of this dialog was written years ago and the game's design has evolved significantly in that time!).

While the dialogue clunkiness was being... declunked, we brainstormed several ideas for spell-casting opportunities using the player's existing "adventure" spells. (Each Mage class gets 5 "adventure quest" spells and 6 "combat" spells, for a grand total of 11 spells per Mage class!) We wanted to put more of these "adventure" spells to use and thought of some alternate puzzle solutions for the varied Mage castes. A few sections of the game were trimmed down and fine-tuned. Some unnecessary art and animation assets (that were yet to be made) were scrapped in the interests of consolidating specific scenes and shortening the production time. We felt particularly good about getting rid of these assets from the pipeline, as they were weighing the project down and didn't really add anything to the story couldn't be told without. The benefit was that important scenes became faster-paced, snappier; like they should be, rather than getting weighed down by overbloated dialog and overreliance on animations. In some cases, clever wording of a character line could give the same impression without the need to visually show a character's action on-screen.

As the playthrough reached the final Act, we redesigned the slightly outdated ending scenes to make them fit into the events of the scene better, and reworked the final adventure puzzle there so that things feel more intuitive and the right emotions are being conveyed.

By the time Daniel departed into the sunset (actually, he left at 4am) and was on his merry way back home, we felt that (aside from creating a monstrous to-do list) we had succeeded in planning exactly what needs to be done in order to transition things smoothly towards alpha testing and eventual beta testing. Make no mistake, there's still PLENTY of work remaining, and our noses will be to the grindstone for the next several months while attempting to complete everything for a prospective mid-year beta launch. Fingers crossed, and we'll keep you posted!

Second Rule of Mage Club: Talk About Fightin'

Since the last update, the Mage's Initiation combat system has transformed from a rather simple affair, with just a handful of opponents and a majority of missing spells, into a spell-casting, battle-blasting, gem-crafting, spectacle. Morgan, our fantastic combat programmer has been devoting much time, of late, toward getting the entire system completed and his hard work is paying off in spades! The battle system is now almost feature complete. All of D'arc's stats are in the process of being hooked in, with the appropriate buffs and debuffs attributed to equipable gems being applied in real-time.

As mentioned above, each Mage class (of which there are four: Fire, Earth, Air, and Water) has 6 different combat spells - each one unique to that class. That equates to a grand total of 24 combat spells in the game! These have all been fully-programmed now, and we're almost ready to start bug-fixing all the known issues pertaining to them. Completing all of the combat spell programming, including the backer-created ones, was a huge milestone and we think you guys will have a lot of fun laying waste to the beasts of Iginor with this magical arsenal.

As of writing this, we have just 3 boss battles left to program. (All the regular enemies are already done) One of these 'bosses' is the backer battles, which we've just started working on, to be programmed in the coming weeks. For their generous pledge, these two lucky fellas not only get to be D'arc's spellcasting test-target during the tutorial, they'll also be endowed with magical gifts and get to duke it out with him mano e mano in real-time.

We're expecting the combat system to finish up soon. Very soon. This will go a long way in moving the project toward beta on schedule. The general RPG/Stats system is still lagging behind a bit, but because the combat system now necessitates its inclusion, it's likely to play catch-up very quickly!

Check Out Mage’s Initiation at These Upcoming Events!

If we have anyone reading in the New York area, please check out Playcrafting’s Winter Expo! Over 50 games will be on display including Mage’s Initiation. There’s free pizza and all kinds of games: what’s not to like?

If you’ll be in New York next week, Rachel will also be at Gamedev Hacker if you want to say hi.

She'll also be representing Himalaya for the first time at GDC 2015 in San Francisco, which we’re extremely psyched about! If you’re going to be there, feel free to stop by and give some feedback on what you’ve seen so far... and tell her where the adventure game party will be at!

RIP Astrid PolloDiablo

We received the sad news that one of our backers lost her battle with cancer recently. She was an integral part of the adventure game community and our hearts go out to her loved ones.

This concludes our broadcasting schedule. Please remember to wipe-off your combat Conductors, unequip your gems, and keep your tunics crinkle-free while you wait for our next action-packed update, which is sure to level-up on even this one!

Onward to October

Welcome, Backers, to your mystically magical other-monthly update! 

What's new since last time? Well, truth be told, not a whole lot! Certainly we've made more inroads across all departments, but the nature of those updates has been fairly mundane. Things like adjusting lines of programming code, tweaking existing art assets, or refining spell behaviour in the combat system - proving that game-design is not always as glamorous as it might appear! 

First Rule of Mage Club: Know Your Spelling 

Much time over the past month has been devoted to bug fixes and refinements in the Verb Coin user interface. We have made some adjustments to the way the system functions. Previously, only one of D'arc's spells would appear on the Verb Coin Interface at a time. You can see this functionality if you play the demo we released back when we ran our Kickstarter campaign. We've since changed it so that all of D'arc's spells will appear on the Verb Coin as he learns them (for faster accessibility and also to reduce the number of clicks required to cast spells). In addition, we've also made it so the active inventory item will appear on the Verb Coin as a clickable icon. These probably sound like they should be simple additions, and on the surface they are. But they resulted in a lot of “run-on” issues that then had to be addressed separately, and which took significant time to investigate. Each interface has its own script and those scripts all link into other scripts in various subtle ways, so there can be a sizable amount of cross-checking involved.

Considering that Mage's Initiation will have a choice of three player interfaces, we need to constantly perform extra testing and fine-tuning, like this, to ensure that the interfaces are still behaving as intended.

Anthropological Aspects of Art and Animations

We're on the verge of completing all of the background art and character animations. We have the near-final to-do list in hand, and we *plan* on tying up the vast majority of these loose ends before the new year so that everything art-related will be in place for our January summit meeting. Of course, there will likely be some straggling art assets left over, but getting through the bulk of the remaining workload will make those few things easier to pick off at the end. At that point, we'll also be in a better position to assess precisely where we stand and what else needs to be done before we launch the first alpha testing phase.

A milestone we reached last week was getting all of the sliding panel parallax layered scenes completed for the game's introduction sequence. The end result looks rather effective and works as a nice lead-in to the game. We're working on composing the music for that, and have put in some placeholder voices, pending future voice recordings.

Battles, Beta, and Beyond

The current area that's lagging behind the most is the combat and RPG system. This is chiefly due to the fact that the vast majority of the battle system had to be re-coded when we changed the game's aspect ratio to 16:10. Most of the spells have already been programmed and set up, but there are still a lot of bugs to fix and many of them relate to the way the spell effects are drawn over particular environments (e.g. a spell effect sprite being too wide and getting superimposed on top of background trees in the forest, for example). Morgan just finished scripting one of the Earth Mage's more flashy spells - an effect that's REALLY fun to cast on unsuspecting foes!

We have yet to program in our two backer-created spells (or the two Supreme Archmage backer battles, for that matter), but all the assets of these things exist and we’re just working on finishing up the spell behaviour, bugs, and making combat as smooth as possible so that we’ll have a nice, functional system to import the backer assets into.

The RPG/Stats system relies largely on the battle system, so it cannot be linked until most of the battle system is implemented. The reason for this is because loot drops will tie into the type of stat-boosting gems the player can equip. The combat system, D'arc's spell-power, D'arc's stats, and loot drop-rates all need to weighed against it. The underlying framework for the RPG system is in-place, though, so it will be a fairly trivial matter to converge the two when the battle system is ready. 

We still have no solid ideas about when the alpha or beta testing phases will commence. But we're thinking of releasing the first beta without character voices. This way, testers / backers will be able to report dialog and text-related anomalies early on, giving us time to address them before voice recordings begin. With our previous game projects, we've always launched the beta AFTER voices were recorded, and it has always been a pain having to get actors back in for pick-up sessions when text-related issues were discovered, so we'll definitely be reassessing this situation as we move closer to alpha/beta testing.

General Progress Report

We figured that backers would be interested in an estimated progress report for each area of the game. This is, by no means, scientific (or even mathematically calculated). Just some rough guesses, gauging the amount of work finished against what still needs to be done. 

  • Writing & Design: 97.2 % (Give or take; flexibility for future line rewrites and edits)
  • Background Artwork & Animations: 90%
  • Character Animations: 85% 
  • Music: 75%
  • Sound Effects: 15%
  • Voices: 0%
  • Adventure Game Programming: 85%
  • Combat System Programming: 60%
  • RPG/Stats/Equipment Programming: 50%

And if you're the type to get excited about this sort of thing:

AGS Game Engine Assets & Stats

  • Total sprites: 15872 / 30000
  • Sprite folders: 709
  • Total Animation views: 653
  • Total GUIs: 69
  • Inventory Items: 300/300 (since our custom inventory system is dynamic, we have over 300 items)
  • Characters: 185
  • Dialog topics: 421 / 500


Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers (20th Anniversary Edition)

Pinkerton Road and Phoenix Online have just released their Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers remake. The game is a loving recreation of the 1993 Jane Jensen classic by Sierra On-Line, brought into the 21st century with HD graphics, new puzzles, and an remastered digital score by original GK composer Robert Holmes. If you’re a Sierra fan, this is definitely worth checking out.

H. P. Lovecraft: The Case of Charles Dexter Ward

Dedicated adventure game developer, Agustin Cordes is working on a licensed H. P. Lovecraft game, called “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward”. It looks awesome and has the suitably creepy vibe one would expect from a Lovecraft horror game. Agustin is running a new Kickstarter campaign to try and get the project funded, so take a look and give him some support if you feel so inclined.

Well, that's all for now, folks! We have the Himalaya summit meeting approaching in January, and great strides are always made when Daniel and Chris get together to playtest the game. We’re anticipating progress to be made in leaps and bounds over the next summit meeting, so we’ll probably save our next update until then, when we have much more interesting news to report!

August Antics


Salutations Seers, Sorcerers, and Shamans,

Thanks for tuning-in your crystal balls and Spheres of Observation into the very latest magical transmission that we’re sending out across this esoteric worldwide communication system.

We’ll keep this update rather short and on-point just to fill you in about what’s been happening on Mages. We’ve had a very busy and productive couple of months and have seen a sizeable dent made in the remaining workload. Many different aspects of the game have been worked on and some major milestones have even been completed. Below is a list of areas we’ve been tackling, some of them ongoing and others completed:

Combat System Programming

Morgan, our resident combat programming guru, has been busily tapping and typing away, refining the combat system scripts and performance. For a long time the RPG Stat elements in the game hadn’t been tied to the Combat/Spells system, because two different programmers were working on these systems independently. And while these still aren’t linked together completely, several big strides have been made to facilitating their unification. We’ve set an internal goal for getting it all implemented and are currently working towards that. We’re also preparing to program some of the trickier spells into the game, including some of the backer-sponsored ones! 

Cutscene Movies Finished!

One of the bigger milestones we’ve hit in the last month is the completion of all the 2D cutscene movies in Mage’s Initiation. These cutscenes are 2D movie files that play at the end of each game act and assist in seguing the story together from one act to another. There remain some loose ends to tie up, of course, as certain areas cannot be completed at the present time. Character voices, for example. And there are a few visual effects and basic clean-up work that must still be added, but the huge bulk of the work is complete and out of the way, and we’re very happy to finally have this out of the way and checked off the to-do list.

2D Intro Scenes

JP has produced a whole stack of great animations and general background artwork clean-up in recent months. Ever the perfectionist, JP felt that several early backgrounds that were created for the game didn’t match up to the aesthetic he’s set for the rest of the game and didn’t benefit from the additional skillsets he’s since acquired. So he’s been busy touching them up, giving them the old once-over, and creating all the necessary background animations that add life and movement to the valley of Iginor: Rivers, Smoke, Fires, Doors opening and closing, you name it! We’re pleased to say that we are now very, very close to tying up all of the main background work on Mage’s Initiation, with only a few close-ups and inset screens remaining. As we speak, JP is focusing on sketching and coloring all of the 2D stills for the Introduction Vignette that plays at the beginning of the game. After that, there will only really be a few GUIs and miscellaneous graphics needing to be finished. All in all, this portion of the game is now 95% complete, which is very exciting.

Dialog Portraits

Another artistic element that’s fast hurtling down the track to fist-pumping completion is the character portraits. Karen has drawn, coloured, and animated an entire cast of wonderfully detailed characters, and they do so much to liven up the game world! With merely 5 or so portraits remaining, we’ll soon have an all-singing, all-dancing chorus line of NPCs to perform a great song and dance number, celebrating their very own completion.

Lipsyncing ALLLLLL the forthcoming voice audio for each and every one of these characters… now, that’s another matter *gulp*.

Character Sprites

Shane has boldly taken on the duty of animating the rest of the character sprites. A daunting list was presented to him, some months back, and the immediate decision was taken to cleft it in twain - just to give the illusion of making it look smaller. However, he soon reached the end of this list and now merely the second half remains to be finished up. 2D character animations have been a significant hurdle for this particular project, so it is with great anticipation that we’re holding out for the last of these to be finished.

Adventure Programming Near the End

Finally, the general programming/scripting is also flowing along quite nicely. Chris has been concentrating on programming only the adventure portions of the game, while Jason’s focus has been centered on the RPG system and fixing GUI bugs and issues. The adventure side of the programming has largely been completed, and Chris is now going back to filling in and fleshing out placeholder areas and puzzles that were not fully realized (or that were previously glossed over to make speedier progress). Programming and scripting always tends to be the one part of a game’s development that continues to drag on long after all the other areas have been completed, and since the RPG and combat still aren’t fully hooked into the adventure, it’s difficult to judge exactly how far along we are. We hope to have everything linked and playable, programming-wise, from beginning to end in basic playable form, by the end of the year. If things go according to plan, this would roughly mark the first alpha build of the game (without voices).


Rachel reports back that VGU Con in Washington DC was really awesome! Lots of cool stuff was showcased and Mage’s Initiation got a signal boost. Hopefully more of the team can get together for it next year and set up a booth. It’d be neat to put some faces to names at VGU Con 2015 and other upcoming conventions!


Bill Tiller proves once again that you can take the man from the pirates, but you can never take the pirate out of the man. His latest Kickstarter endeavor is the luscious-looking, Monkey-Island inspired, point-and-click Duke Grabowski, Mighty Swashbuckler. Do take a look!

That’s about it for now, we’re happy to have gotten so much more done on the game and things are looking good for a smooth release come Q1 2015. Thanks again for your support and have a happy and safe Labor Day weekend!

The Himalaya Studios Team

Summer of Sidequests

Greetings patrons of the arcane,

We hope your summer has kickstarted nicely and that you’ve got enough Air and Water mages working overtime to keep your tower cool! (Or Fire Mages if you so happen to live in the colder climes).

Sidequests Ahoy

It’s certainly been a productive start to summer on our end, as we spent the past month working on, and implementing, the class-based side-quests into the game. This was a stretch goal that our glorious backers (that’s you!) helped us achieve during our Kickstarter campaign.

These 4-side quests have quite a checkered history, and they have gone through several inclusions, exclusions, re-inclusions, tweaks, changes, and complete rewrites to get them to the stage they’re at today! Originally written into an early draft of the design document, a decision had been made to axe them from the game in order to ease time and budget restrictions. However, when the possibility of using Kickstarter to fund the endeavour presented itself, we realized that we would be able to add them back in with the flair that they deserved.

Post-funding, it soon became apparent that significant adjustments would need to be made to these class-based quests to have them fit into the ever-changing game world, which, obviously, had since evolved. The side-quests would also be quite asset intensive - each being exclusive to one of the four playable character classes and centering around their element. For example, each of the side-quests introduces several new locales and NPC characters to interact with -- several of which cannot be encountered by the other classes. Each locale requires multiple game backgrounds which JP has been working diligently on, and custom character sprites, hand-crafted by Shane. Not to mention additional animations, NPC dialog portraits and so forth.

One unique little touch that Daniel has made to the side-quests, is that although they all tell different stories, tailored specifically to each class, these 4 tales all interweave in some subtle way. We thought it would be a neat method of encouraging replayability, so that curious players could see how this particular portion of the game looks from other Mage classes’ perspectives, who were at a different place during the same timeframe, yet still experience somewhat of a cross-over ripple effect.

We’re pleased to announce that most of the background art for all four side-quests has been completed. Earth and Fire quests are done, and Water and Air still have some colorizations remaining, but are otherwise finalized in sketch form. We don’t want to give too much away but in celebration of BBQ season, here’s an incendiary sneak peek!

Sprites: Not just Lemon and Lime  

As far as game animations are concerned, there’s now a visible light at the end of a very long tunnel. We’ve compiled a definitive list of outstanding animations and sprites which are essential to completing development, and have relinquished said list to Shane.

He has been plugging away at this final batch of character animations and as a result, the land of Iginor is just about completely populated. Granted, some characters are still a tad on the stiff side (on account of them lacking anything other than a solitary stand-still frame), but as each one undergoes the de-stiffening process and frolicks their fresh frames throughout the realm, we’re crossing them off one-at-a-time and the once-daunting list shrinks smaller and smaller. 

Most of our backer-sponsored sprites have now been completed, making for a an interesting cast of characters with various professions residing throughout Iginor! However we have (still) yet to hear back from one of the Severed Heard " Augurer" backers, despite multiple attempts to get in contact. If you are Joost Brouwer (or otherwise know him or know how to contact him) please get in touch. He used to work on the Hero 6 project - just in case any of our backers were former Hero 6 team members who still keep in touch with him.

To give some indication of where we currently stand, assets-wise, here’s a screenshot from AGS’s stats menu for Mage’s Initiation.


Git On With It  

The programming team has recently started utilizing the Source Code Management/Revision Control system “Git” in order to keep the game’s source code up-to-date and running as efficiently as possible.

For all of our previous game projects which were developed by multiple programmers spread across the globe, the way we worked was quite cumbersome and inefficient. Typically, one person was designated to be in control of the “Master” version of the source code. That person would download the latest version of the game’s source files as a HUGE .rar archive and implement their own work into this so-called master copy. The other programmers would simultaneously work with replica versions of the game’s source code and implement their own changes, additions, and bug-fixes into their local versions.

When it came time to merge all of their contributions together, the non-designated programmers would need to upload individual script files for the designated programmer to manually copy into the “Master” version of the source code. However, this always had the potential to completely overwrite another programmer’s work if two or more people happened to work on the same files during the same timespan. The likelihood of this happening only increased when multiple edits were being made, or when edits that were very large and convoluted across many different files. For more complex operations, where non-script binary files had to be updated, lengthy forum posts between programmers were necessary. These posts contained sets of instructions informing the designated programmer exactly which settings and options needed to be set up in the “master” source; which images, sounds, loops, and views needed to be manually imported etc. Recreating these settings in the AGS editor and making the posts associated with them was a massive time-sink and it chewed a lot of energy that could otherwise have been devoted to programming. Once everything was sorted and all the changes were merged, the designated programmer would re-upload a new version of the source code for everyone else on the team. At this point, another person would download it and become the new designated programmer for another set period of time. Rinse and repeat until the game is finished. Not only was this method resource-intensive and time-intensive, but bugs still managed to filter their way in as a result of accidentally overwriting another persons’ work, which then meant even more time spent tracking things down.

Git managed to solve all of these issues for us and has streamlined our process very nicely. After some initial headaches with the learning curves, white-knuckled fists, and premature bald patches (granted, this initial stage is the most frustrating thing about coming to terms with Git), we finally managed to learn enough about the system to get it to behave and start doing what we wanted. It works in such a way that the game’s “master” source code is now stored on a remote online server. Each programmer installs the Git software which essentially allows them to ‘hook into” the online version and download the latest changes to any source code files that have been made since the last time they checked. They download the files to their PC, work on them locally, and then re-upload their changes. Git only downloads and uploads the difference between files that have been modified; it doesn’t download/upload the entire source code from scratch, so pulling (or pushing) the latest updates typically takes only a matter of seconds and not minutes or hours. Any programmer is free to make any changes they wish and re-upload their changed files to the online source code at any time. If two programmers edit the same file and there’s a conflict, Git always reports the conflicting line number/s and we can manually edit it to resolve said conflict. This is far better than our old method which basically amounted to crossing our fingers and hoping that nothing would be overwritten, and then having to search manually for the offending lines afterwards, once the bug had already into the game.

The end result is that we’re able to maximize time spent working on the game coding, while management of the source code files is reduced to a bare minimum. For a project the size of Mage’s Initiation, Git should greatly aid our progress, moving ahead.

Al Emmo Now on Steam!

We are elated to say that we managed to get not just one but TWO games through Greenlight-- our flagship title Al Emmo and the Lost Dutchman's Mine is now available for purchase on Steam! We’d like to thank everyone who voted and helped make this happen. The Steam version is currently available for Windows and Linux. If you backed at the $50 Spellbinder or $70 Shaman all-digital tiers, please create an account at IndieGameStand (if you haven't done so already) and then contact us, to redeem your Steam key. Anyone else who has previously purchased the game, can also contact us with a proof of purchase (email receipt or existing license key) if you’d like a complimentary Steam key.

For all non-owners, the Steam Summer Sale that starts June 19 is a great opportunity to grab a copy! The Steam version comes complete with Steam Achievements and Steam Trading Cards.


Kaptain Brawe 2 :

Bill Tiller (Curse of Monkey Island) and Steve Ince (Beneath a Steel Sky) have returned to Kickstarter as a united force! Alongside Cateia Games, they’re presently Kickstarting Kaptain Brawe 2 - the sequel to the appropriately named Kaptain Brawe 1 (funny that!), which promises to be a visually-enticing, point & click extravaganza, harkening back to adventurous days of yore. Visually, the project is looking fantastic, but they need some extra wind in their sales to make it over the finishing line in the time remaining (or some cash pledged to their tally, if you’re not one for analogies). Take a look here.


Pinkerton Road and Phoenix Online Studios recently released Moebius: Empire Rising, the first of Jane Jensen’s originally developed CSG adventure games funded via Kickstarter. The game is a paranormal thriller that takes its inspiration from Gabriel Knight and Sherlock Holmes. Check out the website where you can download the free demo and purchase the game.

That’s about it for now. On a side note, we’ve been getting several emails regarding address changes-- please note that we won’t be surveying physical reward tiers above $20 for a while yet and haven’t yet collected addresses for those tiers. We’ll be giving a head’s up in another update when we survey another tier(s)!

Happy Summer Solstice!  

The Himalaya Studios Team

April Antics

Hello, Backers!

There’s not a whole lot to report since our last update, but we figured it was time to check-in and let you all know that we’re still alive and that progress on Mage’s Initiation continues to move along at a steady pace.

Development Days

We’ve been continuing our development strategy of tackling one act per month. Unfortunately, Chris’s PC unexpectedly went down in the middle of scripting Act 2 and he decided to kill two birds with one stone and (finally) do a system upgrade from XP to Windows 7, in light of the rapidly approaching end-of-support date. This took a while to straighten out and ended up setting things back by half a month. Not too bad, really, considering how far development has progressed since our January summit meeting. Everything is still in good shape. We’ve also recently got the final forest layout mapped out and traversable. We can happily report to you that Act 2 has been competely finished, and we’ve just commenced on scripting Act 3 of 4! But don’t get too excited yet -- there’s still an obscene amount of combat and RPG code to link to the main gameplay, and a lot of stat/XP balancing to test and finetune. This all means that we still have no solid timeline for the release, but as we’re sure you all understand, we really want to take our time to make a good, non-rushed title, reminiscent of the Sierra classics that you’ll enjoy playing - and replaying!

Swag Stories

The “Art of Mages Initiation” books are being designed and put together as we speak. We’ve also just finished up the character trading cards and will soon be researching foil packaging options (and designs) for them. That should be a lot of fun! The Demon’s Deal card deck designs have also been completely finished but we have yet to have them manufactured or printed.

Art book concept pages
Art book concept pages

Tax season means that Rachel, our CFO/accountant gets busier than usual with non-Himalaya duties, so we’ve had to put the swag manufacturing on hiatus until things settle down on that front. But on the plus side, this has allowed for a more solid focus on development for the past month or so. Slowly but surely, the swag items are being checked off the list. Of the physical items still needing to be produced, there’s the Art Prints, T-Shirts, Posters, and Game/DVD boxes… that’s about it. Not much to go, and definitely manageable. No doubt, we’ll have more to say about these items in future updates.

(Note: One of our Severed Head " Augurer" backers has not yet replied back with reference photos - we've sent you an email, so please get back to us when you see it.)

Greenlight Status Update

Himalaya’s Adventure game, Al Emmo and the Lost Dutchman's Mine, has hit position #76 of the top 100 games on Steam Greenlight out of 1,606 total games in the system. Looks like we’re in the home-stretch now and have a high chance of being greenlit within the next month. If you haven’t voted and left a comment yet, remember to do so while there’s still time, and you’ll be automagically entered into our contest to win any 3 Steam games of your choosing. Thank you!

Shoutout: Dead Synchronicity

Here’s a shoutout to a very interesting-looking 2D adventure game on Kickstarter. Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today is just over 50% funded with a week remaining on the clock. The script features dystopian overtones, and the game pays homage to classic adventures (The Secret of Monkey Island, Broken Sword, Day of the Tentacle) but revolves around a more mature theme, along the lines of games such as I have no mouth and I must scream or Sanitarium. They could use some help in reaching their goal, and the art style looks quite distinctive and unique.

In conclusion, we’d like to once again say thanks for your support, votes, patience, money, feedback, and anything else we’ve left out! We’ll be slugging away at Act 3 in the meantime and will continue to keep you in the loop. Happy spell-casting!

The Himalaya Studios Team