Hehey!

We’ve got a great big bunch of great news for you!

A new Humble Bundle just started and we’re in it! That’s right, the legendary pay-what-you want bundle filled to the brim with great indie games and part of the proceeds go to charities as well. It’s on for a limited time only so now is a great opportunity to get some stocking stuffers for christmas.

But wait, aren’t the games on Humble Bundle always available for Mac and Linux as well? Well, so is Legend of Grimrock now too! You can get access to all the platforms by buying the via the Humble Bundle (of course) or our store. Mac version is available on Steam (Steam Play enabled naturally) and you can purchase the Linux version at Ubuntu Software Center soon.

But.. The Humble Bundle and the new platforms are not the only gift we have in store for you. We also updated Legend of Grimrock itself so if you’re on Steam, the game should update by itself but if you’ve got the standalone version, you can download the patch here. Note: version 1.3.1 is required for the standalone version’s patch, so if you don’t have that version, the easiest way to update the game is to redownload it from the vendor you purchased the game from! One nice addition we put into the game is that if you’ve got a low-spec machine, we’ve got a new rendering mode that will help the game run much much smoother on older hardware. But the real exciting stuff is the new features for the dungeon editor. I’ll add a comprehensive change log to the end of this post but there’s one thing we want to highlight here: you can now create custom GUIs. That means you can add 2D graphics on the screen and interact with them using a mouse or keyboard. This means that now you can create, say, dialogues with NPCs, trading interfaces, screens for custom skills and so on. But to show off what the system is capable of doing, yesterday we decided to get off on a bit of a tangent and make a new game from scratch using it. Prepare yourselves for… Toorum’s Quest II!!!

You can now grab the mod from Steam Workshop or Grimrock Nexus and try it out for yourself.
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Thanks to our never tiring public beta testers we have been extremely busy at work for the past weeks. We have been going through the massive amount of feedback, fixing bugs, adding features, and doing general polishing to the Dungeon Editor. And finally it’s ready and we are ready to give a release date…
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We have now been working on the Dungeon Editor and modding capabilities effectively for almost four months. From the get-go we knew that there would be lots of work ahead of us, because many things were hardcoded and we didn’t have a level editor when we were originally working on the game. Even so it still took us longer than we anticipated to get here.
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We realized that we really haven’t listed the Dungeon Editor’s features and capabilities in any single place clearly so hey, why not compile a list here. This should give you a better overall picture about what you can create with the editor. Let me switch on my marketing droid -mode here for a moment… There! Let’s go:

  • Simple and straightforward user interface.
  • Instant preview lets you test play the dungeon instantly: no need to leave the editor or wait for the level to export.
  • Create puzzles, traps and contraptions simply by connecting buttons, pressure plates and other triggers to trapdoors, spawners or teleporters for example.
  • Use Lua scripts to create even more complex logic and go beyond what would otherwise be possible.
  • Fill your dungeons with any of the 350+ original Legend of Grimrock assets.
  • Create new items, complete with new graphics and functionality like new magical weapons or potions with their own custom effects.
  • If you want a cow-on-wheels roaming the tunnels, it’s no problem: you can use your own custom monsters!
  • Totally transform how the dungeon looks and feels like by using custom environment graphics and objects.
  • Trigger your own sounds or replace the background music.
  • Tell a story with custom intro and ending cinematics.
  • Create hellish demon snails simply by changing the textures of the original snail: you can modify, replace or recycle the original Legend of Grimrock textures, meshes or other assets to suit your needs.
  • Publish your creations by using the built-in Steam Workshop support – or just freely upload the dungeon data anywhere or hand it out directly to your friends.

Some of you might know that we’ve previously had a policy in place that has prevented modders from modifying/distributing the game assets found in our game data. We will still have that policy in place as far as reverse-engineered assets are regarded but we will release a comprehensive pack of assets along with the editor that you can use and modify to create Legend of Grimrock mods. This is just due to the fact that we can’t, for example, give away sounds we have bought and give people the permission to use and modify those assets. But don’t worry, the majority of our assets will be in the pack for you to use. We will release the revised modding and asset usage terms soon.

Oh, and there won’t be a need to hack the game to access the developer console anymore either: to make it easier to debug your custom dungeons, we have implemented an option to enable the console.

If you’ve got any more questions on what could be done with the editor, ask in the comments or on the forum.

 

When I was helping Petri to test the compatibility of save games made in different versions of custom dungeons, a stupid (and completely unrelated) idea dawned unto me. In this video, you can see the manifestation of the idea (I sincerely hope you can forgive me…):

It’s a step sequencer which is a technique used in many old and new drum machines and groove boxes for (mostly) creating drum patterns. It’s got three separate drum tracks, one bass track with three different sounds and, like any good piece of music hardware, lots of blinking lights! Even though having a drum machine in an underground dungeon, which usually is populated by nightmarish monsters, is probably a little silly, this is a good demonstration of some of the capabilities of the Dungeon Editor. And when I placed some monsters to jam there to produce the patterns, all sorts of ideas about generative music started popping into my head: branching paths that monsters would wander along lazily, hitting triggers that produce melodies in some musical scale or maybe even something resembling a TENORI-ON controlled by snails… I’ll have to see if I have the time to do something about it but I’m fairly confident it could generate some pretty cool ambient tunes.

Oh, and about the dungeon editor: we’ve reached internal beta! All the features and functionality is done, now all it needs is just a little bit of polishing and bug fixing and then we can unleash it into the wild. We’re getting close to the finish line, folks!

 

Hello, it’s time for a proper weekly update once again!

It almost seems like there’s a rule in the universe that the amount of kick ass graphics produced at any given time is a constant. You see, we hired a new guy in the field of kick ass graphics production and almost at the same time Juho (who also operates in the very same field [kick ass graphics production -Editor]) manages to break his collarbone with his mountain bike, rendering him temporarily useless (for our twisted purposes, that is). Luckily though, he is left handed so he should be able to continue with us pretty soon and he also happened to have a camera mounted on his chest so we’re eagerly waiting to see what the tumble looked like!

Anyways, we wish him a speedy recovery but let’s get back to the topic at hand. Almost Human made a big leap and we did our first hire! Let’s all welcome Jyri, who’s an old colleague/friend of ours. He has previously worked on Trine 2 and Shattered Horizon, among other things, and his special skills include ZBrush and mucking around on an electronic drumset. He already started working on some 3D objects that will certainly find their home in a dark dungeon somewhere but right now as I’m writing this, he’s having fun by assembling some Swedish furniture which incidentally will also find their home in a dark dungeon somewhere (e.g. our office).

We also opened a Cafepress store where you can buy Legend of Grimrock and Almost Human shirts, hoodies and pet bowls! Tell us what you think and if there’s something you would like to see in the store, do let us know and we’ll take a look if it’s doable!

The dungeon editor is also progressing well. I know there’s a lot of folks out there who have been asking if using custom assets, like new environment graphics, monsters, sounds, items etc., would be possible and I’m glad to say that we have now solved all remaining issues with those! I’m sure we’ll see a lot of awesome new fan made graphics and other things of immeasurable beauty :) . There’s also a handful of usability improvements like better filtering of the asset list (no more scrolling, yay!) and we think we could call the editor pretty much feature complete. This means that it’s now possible to do everything necessary with the editor to create functional custom dungeons but there’s still a few improvements we want to make and we’ll also have to update the game itself a little so you can load the custom dungeons there. But all in all, we’re very close to the finish line here!

 

Hello everyone! Let’s kick things off in this weekly update with a small announcement: Legend of Grimrock is now available through GamersGate as well so if you haven’t gotten yours already, there’s now another way to get it (although I do have a feeling that I’m preaching to the choir here)!

And then let’s continue the weekly update with another announcement: we’ve had good progress with the dungeon editor and we have hit the alpha milestone! Since we now have the core features of the editor done, we are now ready to extend the testing even outside the walls of this office but don’t get too excited yet: it’s not a public testing phase, it’s just something we will handle with a handful of friends at least for the time being. We’re not only concentrating on finding bugs (or locating potential for improvement) in the editor alone because the base game itself needs some rigorous testing too since there have been some fundamental architecture changes to the game we have had to do in order to support the loading of custom dungeons and such. This testing round probably also means that we’ll have to slow down with adding new features to the editor for some time since I’m certain there will be a lot of things we need to fix and stabilize before we should proceed to add some more functionality. But the good news is that it seems like there isn’t a massive amount of things missing from the editor anymore either but we’ll have to wait and see what the testers can come up with!

Oh, and just so that you know: if nothing terribly exciting on the development front has happened during a week, we’re going to serve you a dose of “making of” -style documentation from Legend of Grimrock on our weekly updates. Like for example once we get a build out of the doors for testers to mess with, we’re certainly going to be occupied by ironing out usability issues and bugs so we might not have anything profound or exciting to tell you and since we wouldn’t want to stay completely silent either, we’ll give you a behind the scenes glimpse on what goes into making a game like Legend of Grimrock! But in essence this is nothing new since that’s basically what we did early on in the development too when we were doing features on things like monster design, level scripting or graphics here on the blog. We just haven’t done that in a while now and I think that will be more fun than trying to come up with something interesting to say when nothing dramatic has happened.

Alright, that’s it for this time. Take care!

 

So, here’s a small video preview of how the dungeon editor works. In the video I go over the basic functionality of the editor and show off some of its features and try to produce at least partially intelligible English with my mandibles.

We can’t wait to see what you can come up with when you can get to work with the editor! Also in other news, we were nominated in the Best European Indie Game category at European Games Award and the entry with the most votes wins and we still have a chance to catch up with Minecraft’s votes! You know what to do!

Oh, and one more thing: as you might’ve noticed this and previous weeks’ updates have been on Wednesdays. This is because so we won’t always have a late Friday panic when everyone is trying to switch into weekend mode while there’s still some blogging to do! We’re gonna try out this schedule for a while and see how it goes. :)

PS. Today I learned that making screencasts is hard work.

 

Hi guys! Apologies for the lack of blog post lately. We have been to work for a couple of weeks already but the work has been somewhat uneventful as we have been chugging along with the editor so there has not been much to talk about. But a time for an update is certainly overdue, so let’s go through what has and is happening at the office.
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May 162012
 

Hi guys!

The editor is progressing nicely and we have almost reached the point where it’s possible to rebuild the Grimrock dungeon with the editor. Some convenience features are still missing, e.g. multiselect, and the game does not yet support loading custom made dungeons. The editor also needs a lot more testing. After this initial stage we’ll look how much work is required for custom wallsets, items and monsters. There’s also a secret feature that we would like to do for the release…

That said, we haven’t yet had a chance to have a vacation because all the post-launch things have kept us busy. Contact requests and email bombarding is finally starting to slow down a bit, so we’re taking the chance and get out of the office for a well deserved (hopefully!) short vacation starting tomorrow. Juho is actually on a well-timed paternity leave already, congratz to family Salila! :D

Juho, Olli and Antti will be back at the office on Monday 28th and I’ll be slacking off slightly longer and traveling in Honshu & Kyushu for two weeks. If you see a guy looking like me wandering thereabouts, say hi to him!

So see you all in June, and let’s finish that dungeon editor then!

All the best,

Almost Human team

p.s. we have hired a professional wrestler (say hi to Burt The Slayer!) to guard the office while we’re absent, just so that you know :-D

View of the popular Matinkylä beach near the office where I’m NOT going to visit during the vacation.

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