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Legate of Mineta

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  1. At long last, and with great pleasure, we at Black Chicken Studios announce the release of our debut title: Academagia: The Making of Mages. It is available now from our site, and will shortly be available from Beamdog, GamersGate and Impulse! Have fun, and we are looking forward to hearing *your* stories!
  2. Xenos; Thank you very much for your support! If you pm me your site and your e-mail address, I believe we can arrange a review copy for you, if you prefer. 1) You are entirely correct about our influences, although the game owes more to Tokimeki Memorial (minus the romance) than Princess Maker. King of Dragon Pass was a truly amazing game that showed how imaginative games could be if freed from common limitations and genres. It *is* a pity no more of these are being made. 2) The game is very deep, fully featured and allows more customization of your character than virtually any game before it- I think I can state this without hyperbole! The art style is art nouveau and neo-classical (as you may have seen in the screenshots), and a (magical) reality underlies the setting. The game is intended for both children and adults, however- we simply do not accept that a game (especially of this type) cannot simultaneously allow both groups to enjoy it.
  3. Guide to Choosing a College *Let's Play by seasoned students. Metis' Quick Overview of Basic Mechanics (FAQ) Bobbin Threadbare's Outstanding Let's Play *Let's Play by seasoned students. The Unofficial Wiki *Updated by seasoned students. ******************************************************************************** Obsolete Resources Below ******************************************************************************** The Original User Guide *User guide last updated 08-15-2010. Gamezebo's Original Walkthrough *Specially written for new or just beginning Players, outdated. Good day to all! William Harrington here, with video links to share with you all. Courtesy of LegateOfMineta on ye olde YouTubes, we have four introductory videos that will help guide players through the character creation process and the general ins and outs of the main user interface, including a brief discussion of the function of the calendar and details regarding events. Feel free to peruse at your leisure and do not hesitate to direct those who are having trouble getting acclimated to the game to these videos so that they too may enroll! To make things nice and easy, visit this playlist URL: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=EF78E4004B86FB82 Otherwise here is each part on its own: Part 1 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYj1jRq5TZI Part 2 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvMwVAWChiw Part 3 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5e9BpcnawLg Part 4 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGLzCs0jnNU Enjoy!
  4. Hawkey; Thanks for bringing this up- I haven't seen this one before. It's a disappointing read: I do not think that the reviewer understood the game. It's actually surprising to me, since the preview from DIY was promising, but I do see that the reviewers were different in each case. Unfortunately, it's true- the manual seldom gets read, and some of the answers he is lacking are within. That said, the reviewer does raise one interesting point: we very rarely explain concepts in detail- for instance, why would you want to raise the Skill Patience? We do not tell you. Of course, it's our feeling that you should role-play, experiment and explore to get those kinds of answers. He mentions that there is no way to tell if any of it is 'important'- I think that this is the real problem. What is important for you and for your character? Why...that's your decision! That's the point of the game. For future titles, we are considering a new kind of character creation which steps through these things in more detail. It's possible that would make you feel more engaged at the start of the game, and perhaps give a more directed focus. As for the bad results in Events- it is a statistic based game, after all. If you want to succeed at something, then you must Train your Skills. It's one of the things we have long wrestled with, actually, but as your character progresses in the game, and you see the impact your Skills have on the results, I think players will be pleased by the outcomes of Stories. I believe the reviewer either did not get very far in the game, or did not train his skills during play. It's hard to tell. For the loading time, unfortunately there is little more we can do. There may be further optimization, but the truth is the game is huge, and it takes time to load your game. I certainly hope that as more reviews come we see more of Electronic Theatre and less of DIY Gamer.
  5. Dingbat; Very kind words! I will relay them on to the team. We had a great time creating Academagia- and now, it is our hope that you will have an equally great time playing.
  6. Hawkey; We also disagreed with their conclusion- not just sources and their label for the game, but also as to what constitutes a game for children (or for adults) to begin with! Still, life simulation games are generally unknown, so it will take some effort before reviewers understand them. All in all, we were very happy that Electronic Theatre was so objective in their review.
  7. El President's wife is lovely, talented and...*busy*. #1 was a quick concept she created when we were searching for our UI artist.
  8. Hawkey; No, unfortunately the map was not able to make it into the game. I believe we will finish it and place it on the site, though, as a fun point of reference. I'd really like to have the map be point and click in the future- as well as have a few other fun features.
  9. Hawkey; Thanks for the contacts- Derek Yu was the person we tried to reach; as you say, he may be busy. We'll get into contact with Paul and Terry this afternoon. As to Facebook, we might do a Wallpaper (could be fun), but a map of the school grounds may be out of reach. The OST is definitely out of reach since we license classical music, and it does not extend beyond the game. For general interest, though, here is an unfinished map of the grounds: http://steamrobin.deviantart.com/art/Acade...d-Map-119427901 Enjoy!
  10. Yeah, that is a little confusing. About saves: You can only save on the Calendar Screen, so you cannot save/reload Random Events. You could do that for Adventures, though, if you wanted to. Thanks for the suggestion on TIG and Kotaku- we have actually contacted both, but no response yet. If you have any contacts with either, please don't hesitate to let me know.
  11. Hawkey; 1) The core team was small- maybe...10 or 11 people. The contract writing team was much larger, however- well over 50. 2) We are very international: US, Brazil, Europe, Oceania- but the company is US. We plan to set the release as midnight, Pacific Standard Time, 8/12/10. GamersGate, though, being in Sweden, may have it earlier. We'll see if we can coordinate. 3) Academagia began actually before 2007 (spring of 2006, as I recall), but the company was formed in that year. 4) So do I. There are some steampunk elements, although sadly the most interesting ones (building and designing clockwork pets) was removed early in development. In the sequel, I hope that will return. 5) The actual inspiration came from Ursula Le Guin's A Wizard of Earthsea and Tamora Pierce's Alanna series. In both books, we always wanted to know more about the actual universities, which are somewhat kept off-page, and what it might like to study magic. 6) <laughs> No hints, but the non Student related Adventures all revolve around a 'main event' which is hinted at. You can fully resolve the Adventures to see different perspectives on the strange goings-ons, and our hope is that you will be able to build upon your successes (or failures) in the sequels. As much as possible we want player choice to figure into these, as with the rest of the design. 7) I mostly answered this in #6, but yes. The overarching story for all 5 games was worked out in 2006 -even before the mechanics, in fact- because we wanted to make sure we had the best chance to carry forward player choice.
  12. dwildschut; I do not believe we'll have any time to investigate wine/crossover before launch, but we might be able to look at it after. In all honesty, though, it's not something we'll likely aggressively pursue. We do not have any plans for a demo, although we may consider it in the future. Thanks for the questions!
  13. Hawkey; Thanks again for your thoughts- Steam would be a great distributor, but they do not accept solicitations. I hope that they will contact us, of course. As for Facebook, we already have a fan page set up, which you are welcome to join. The donation link follows a request from friends and family who wanted an alternative way to support us, as well as to allow people who want to contribute directly to a developer they like. I don't know that we think anyone will use it frequently, but they are certainly welcome to. For the questions: 1) Possibly, although as you note it is more difficult. 2) It is DRM free, again for the reason you note. 3) No, we did not increase them- what we did do, though, is update the site to reflect the actual game. The previous figure was from the design document.
  14. Hawkey; Thanks for the note on Impulse- we actually caught that before they released it (you cannot buy the game despite the 'add to cart' feature), but as it is the weekend I believe they have not yet changed the release date to reflect reality. There was a lot of surprise on our end, that's for sure. Thanks also for the comments about the pricing- it was something we agonized over, too, and for the reasons you outlined. In the end, however, we felt that $24.95 was a good compromise between our features, depth of content and replayability and the already established Indie games out there. It's very true that you do not want to set the bar for entry in a game very high, especially in the indie market, but after a discussion with our distributors, it was actually their suggestion to go to the (slightly) higher price point. Thanks for the concern, though- we don't want to be a "shelf warmer" either.
  15. dingbat; They have 3 Actions each day, just as you do, and you can definitely see the results of their decisions. But as mentioned above, you'll need to be their friend (or have information about them) in order to discover what they are about. Otherwise, you will only see Actions that have broader effects, like those targeting your College or one of your Classes. Of course, if they target *you*, you can see what they did, too.
  16. dingbat; All relationships between Students are dynamic, as is most of their interaction. A few Students are especially interested in specific npcs, as you will find out.
  17. dingbat; They have set names and personalities (not generated dynamically), and you have access to the full roster of Students enrolled in your year at game start. However, what you know about them is limited to their Portrait and a brief Description. To learn more about them you must either become their Friend or spy on them.
  18. dlwildschut; Welcome to the forums! 1) The game is PC only. For the future, we are considering the 360, the DS and the iPad as well. 2) A total of 5 years are planned, but it's not possible to speculate the timeline for the next installment. Each year has different mechanics, building upon all previous years, and requires a similar amount of time for content creation. 3) There are 83 Students plus yourself, for a total of 84. However, they are not all in the same courses, so if you take (for instance) Zoology, you will find a different group of Students than if you enrolled in 'Glamour'. They are all in the same year as you, though. 4) The setting (Elumia) is not real-world Europe, but has a parallel to the technology and social environment of Italy during the Renaissance. Magic impacts almost all historical events in this world- it's too broad a question. An Encyclopedia or general historical timeline probably should be developed, taken from our world building notes, but that will have to come a bit later, I think. 5) The game does not encourage any particular style of play (there being no specific way to win!), but you are correct in that the Skills and Classes you take now will continue to echo throughout the sequels. It's certainly the case that if you want to be the best at Incantation, you should maximize that Skill in your first year. 6) There are many backgrounds to choose from- I believe there are roughly 100, in fact. Some offer unique actions or items, some affect your starting Parental Approval, give you unusual familiars or start you out with more beginning Relationship with Students. Of course, many affect your stats, too. The Students do not react differently to your social class in the first year, but I suspect that this will begin to occur in the second year with the formation of larger Cliques or social groups. Thank you for the questions.
  19. @dingbat: Well, thank you very much for decision: I hope you enjoy playing it as much as we have enjoyed making it. 1) Outside events do intrude on campus via the Adventures, and the Player can freely explore outside the campus grounds for interesting locations. Additionally, there are various jobs and other actions which take place in the city of Mineta or local environs. There are small events for each holiday, but due to the costs of travel you do not return home for these. 2) Academagia is a unique fantasy world set in a late Renaissance technology period. Magic is definitely openly practiced, but because of the high cost of learning it, only the highly gifted or very wealthy are able to study it. The game assumes that the Player falls into the former category, although by taking some of the wealthier backgrounds you could consider yourself in the latter. Magic has a slight social stigma, in part due to its origins and in part because of the famous civil war involving one of the (now proscribed) pillars of magic. @Hawkey: I know exactly what you meant about Bully: I had really high hopes for that game. When we designed Academagia, one of the first things we considered is how to make a game with a high degree of player choice not feel empty. What we ultimately decided to do was try to make all your choices feel as rewarding as possible. It is for this reason that there are so many random events, skills and adventures- so that you can choose to play almost any kind of character and still feel completely unique each time you play. That said, Bully and Academagia are two very different types of game (sandbox vs. life simulation). 1) Yes, you may be either male or female, and it has a definite impact on events and some actions. 2) As you are 13 in your first year, romance is not a very strong component of the game- but the beginnings of it is there and you are right: it will be continued in the sequels. 3) There are about 20 (I think, just under) Instructors in the game, but other kinds of NPCs do not exist in the same way that Students do. Instead, they appear in Adventures, as proprietors of shops and other kinds of passing figures. I do believe that in the future they will play a greater role as your character begins to interact with the outside world more, however. 4.) There are a few mini-games in Academagia, but they all generally revolve around the core skill system- making use of that to resolve conflicts, &c., so they are not truly separated from the game as mini-games often are in other games I have played. We aren't opposed to the idea of stronger mini-games for the future, however- it's an interesting design challenge, as I would not want them to stand alone. 5) Besides your familiar you may purchase pets, yes. Most pets have a buffing ability, provided that you carry them around with you. 6) It is definitely more classical fantasy, and you will encounter a few monsters in various adventures and events. As you are in a settled area, wild monsters are relatively few and far between, but they are present and have a role in the game. We may have to do an encyclopedia- it's a fun and interesting idea.
  20. Dingbat; 1) You will find that the Students (all 83 of them!) are quite different and will seek to do things that are according to their interests, personalities and goals. They range from longer term strategies like: "Keep up Appearances", "Know the School" and "Push Back" to short term actions which benefit themselves, their College, their Familiar, Friends and studies. The school will definitely feel alive, especially as you make friends or foes, or gain information about the students. 2) Geasa are very powerful, structured magic and are generally beyond first year students. I *believe* that the only Geasa in the game is the one resulting from a Duel- and yes, the Player can be subjected to it if they lose as well. 3) Every Spell is made up of 2 or more Phemes, which you must know before you can cast the Spell. Whenever you cast a Spell you have the opportunity to include extra Phemes. This is advantageous in that they grant additional effects to the Spell, but disadvantageous in that they increase the difficulty of the Spell to cast. Phemes are almost entirely buffs (+1 Intelligence), but some have unique effects. As with Spells, these are generally difficult to come by. As for non-magical Skills, since your name is Dingbat we'll give some 'D' examples: Dance, Dedication, Dialectic and Drafting. There are over 250 Skills. 4) You are correct: the plan is that you will take your character into the sequel exactly as you have left them in your last save. 5) The day is divided into 6 segments: Early Morning/Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night/Midnight. However, you may only take actions in three of these phases: Morning/Afternoon/Evening. Some Adventures take place in the other phases, but you do not have direct control over that. And, of course, the full number of phases in a day must be considered for duration purposes! Every phase is an opportunity for you to use exactly 1 action; you cannot split your time among several. A slight variation on this is that you *can* control what location you take an action at, though. Some Locations grant you certain buffs when you are at them, so it's not a bad idea to use that from time to time. That said, by going to the Location there is the chance that a member of the faculty will see you going off where you aren't supposed to, and detention is almost always the result of that.
  21. Dingbat; 1) We, too, are fans of the larger picture, but most of the interaction you can do with the University (and environs) is to come in sequels. As a first year, you will be too busy making friends, getting into scrapes and trouble, and learning the ins and outs of the school environment. Not to mention studying, of course. 2) I'll see about getting a screenshot up for that in our weekend site update, good question. Combat and Dueling are a very small portion of the game, and the interface is similar to the Calendar in that you choose, round by round, your Actions. Before you can experience Combat, you have to be in a Duel- and before this, you have to be in a Vendetta, which in turn requires a very low Relationship with the Student in question. The primary role of the system is to stop your enemies from using hostile actions on you. If you win a Duel, your opponent is subjected to a Geas which stops them from targeting you with whatever plots they have in mind. Of course, it doesn't stop you from doing anything to them. In the end, Duels are just one way of dealing with a foe- you can always try diplomacy first. 3) There are a wide variety of spells, leaving aside the ones which are purely combat related, and most of them are of the buffing form in one way or another (+5 Intelligence is very nice to have!). There is a subset of Spells, however, which have much more interesting effects, such as controlling people's actions, placing them into unusual emotional states, giving various afflictions, altering relationships and ingratiating yourself with the instructors. Some of these Spells will affect your fellow Student's decisions, although that's more of a long term cumulative effect. These Spells, however, are not a usual part of a Student's curriculum, and must be sought out. Some of the more powerful ones are very hard to come by indeed, and require knowledge of esoteric Skills, favors from Instructors, a lot of Money (and knowledge of certain secret Merchants!) or an unusual combination of factors. 4) Every school day you have class in your Morning and Afternoon phases. Depending on which classes you are enrolled in, you generally will learn at least one thing that day, whether it be a Lore, a Pheme, a Spell, a Recipe, Location, or a new Skill. Naturally, you tend to learn more Spells (and the Phemes necessary for casting them!) in classes oriented to magic- but, this being a University dedicated to the study of the magical arts, you pretty much learn Spells from every Class and every Skill. Note that your standard instruction will only teach you Spells considered to be 'safe' by the Praetexta Council... Events and Adventures (particularly the latter) can teach you rare Phemes and Spells. Exams have a set day, and your performance in them depends entirely on how much you have Studied, and what your relevant Skill is. You can do exceedingly well (over 100 is possible!) or exceedingly poorly, depending on how much effort you put in. Exams do not have a strong impact on you in this, your first year, but very poor performance on your mid terms can land in Hall Sessions, which is a mandatory disciplinary study group. Exams are not a mini-game, however, although we've considered exploring that in the sequel. It's a fun design challenge. And, of course, your performance on Exams will have a definite impact in the sequel...
  22. Hawkey; Thanks for the advice and support- yes, we will be offering it for direct sale from this site as well: more details on that to come. We have already contacted Rock Paper Shotgun, but the other two we have not yet. It definitely seems worthwhile.
  23. Dingbat; Great- it won't be too much longer. We'll be eager to hear how you enjoy it.
  24. Academagia Reviews www.411mania.com electronictheatre.co.uk www.gamezebo.com www.thekartel.com hubpages.com exsturminator.wordpress.com captaind-pc-gaming.blogspot.com jayisgames.com www.gamenoob.co.uk www.gameshark.com www.gamingtrend.com Scheherazade Reviews www.gamezebo.com www.scatteredjupiter.net www.jayisgames.com
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