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TOPIC: [PC / PS Vita] Demetrios - The BIG Cynical Adventure

[PC / PS Vita] Demetrios - The BIG Cynical Adventure 08 Σεπ 2015 12:00 #46511

  • COWCAT
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Hello! :)

I'm 31, and a French adventure game fan!
I've played hundreds of them, my favorites being the likes of Broken Sword, Runaway, Discworld... and visual novels like Ace Attorney, Hotel Dusk, 999 / Zero Escape, etc...

Since a year, I am developing an adventure game named "Demetrios", which you may have heard about (it was mentioned on Adventure Advocate : adventureadvocate.gr/news/item/demetrios...ig-cynical-adventure)

And I'd really love to get some feedback by Greek fans :)
Unfortunately I don't speak one word of Greek, so I hope you don't mind me speaking English?

Here's a short game description :



The game is called "Demetrios - The BIG cynical adventure". It's meant to be a classic Point & Click in first person, inspired by Broken Sword, but with a specific cynical humor and very interactive / contextual (characters will often react to the stupid things you do!)

I'm doing everything myself : programming, graphics, musics, dialogs... and marketing :p

A few screenshots :









A demo version is available in English and French, the whole Chapter 1 for almost 2 hours of gameplay!
http://www.demetriosgame.com/en/demo/

A Greek translation isn't planned for now, but this will depend on the Kickstarter that I will post next month (October 6th, precisely)
If the Kickstarter is very successful, I will consider it!
Also, if anyone here would like to help with translating into Greek for a cheap price, I could be interested too!


(Bjorn, please shut up, you keep saying bullshit...)

What do you think? :)
Last Edit: 06 Δεκ 2016 16:57 by COWCAT.
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Demetrios - The BIG cynical adventure *DEMO* 08 Σεπ 2015 22:14 #46513

Ok, the screenshots look really nice.
I'm already downloading the demo so you will soon have my feedback.

How did you come with the name? You might not speak a word of Greek but "Demetrios" is as much Greek as it can be... ;) :)
“You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don’t alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views.”
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Demetrios - The BIG cynical adventure *DEMO* 08 Σεπ 2015 22:25 #46514

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Awesome, let me know :)

Actually, this is a remake of a game that I developed 15 years ago when I was young, but I never released it.

In 1999, when I got my first computer, and after having played both Broken Sword on Playstation 1, I wanted to make an adventure game of my own.

I wanted a mysterious name. So I took a dictionary and found a mention of a Demetrios vase. That seemed fitting, so I chose it :) And built a scenario over it!
Last Edit: 08 Σεπ 2015 22:26 by COWCAT.
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Demetrios - The BIG cynical adventure *DEMO* 10 Σεπ 2015 19:28 #46517

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@Cow.....

We are very proud that you used for your game a traditional Greek name like Demetrios, I can help you with the translation from English to Greek, just let me know. :blush:
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Demetrios - The BIG cynical adventure *DEMO* 11 Σεπ 2015 10:06 #46520

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I've been offered to translate the game to several languages :)
I will consider it according to the Kickstarter success. The translation will be a lot of work considering the amount of text in the game (about 50 000 words already)

Thank you! :)
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Demetrios - The BIG cynical adventure *DEMO* 12 Σεπ 2015 18:47 #46524

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I can officially announce that Demetrios will be launched on both Kickstarter AND Steam Greenlight on October 6th :) (next month!)



If you'd like to support it already, I have created a ThunderClap for that!
www.thunderclap.it/projects/31397-demetrios-on-kickstarter

If you don't know what ThunderClap is, it allows to gather support from people in order to post an automatic message at a specific date on their Facebook/Twitter (for example when my Kickstarter will be live!)
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Demetrios - The BIG cynical adventure *DEMO* 14 Σεπ 2015 10:56 #46525

I've played the demo and considering that is a one man's job, look pretty good. Every screen was full of hotspots and things to do. It's clear that you're working hard on your project. Keep up!

Hope you'll succeed at your KS campaign. Looking forward. :)
“You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don’t alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views.”
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Demetrios - The BIG cynical adventure *DEMO* 14 Σεπ 2015 11:43 #46527

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Thank you very much for the nice words :)
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Demetrios - The BIG cynical adventure *DEMO* 29 Σεπ 2015 18:43 #46562

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Time flies by so quickly! :)

The Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight launches that I've planned for months will finally happen in a few days!
Both pages will be online simultaneously on October 6th. ([strong]next tuesday![/strong])

For that occasion, I've been preparing an updated demo of the game (v1.3). This takes into account all the feedback I've had so far!

CHANGES SINCE 1.2 :
- HTML5 version of the demo available!

You can now run the demo directly in your browser! See here on the site : www.demetriosgame.com/en/demo/

- New Bjorn and Sandra expressions!

Despite my game being a Point & Click, the Ace Attorney series had quite a big influence on it!
And this is why pretty much every character in the game will have several animated expressions!

For example, here are the current Bjorn expressions :



- Cookies are bigger and easier to find!

Most people found that cookies were a very interesting concept. They're hidden on screens and you need to find them to get in-game hints. So it's kinda like an optional game in the game!

However, they were a bit TOO well hidden. So I have resized each of them about 1.5 to 2 times.



Also, there's a new cookie counter, which gives you how many cookies are left to find in each room! This should make the search more attractive :)

- English and French texts have been proofread

English isn't my native language, and Draclvr from the GameBoomers forum has been kind enough to proofread the game text. There should be way less mistakes now :)

Another adventure game fan also did the French text proofreading - even though I'm French, I still make some spelling mistakes :p

- Corrected windows interfaces to make them prettier

Some of them had been very quickly done for the first prototype, and I never changed them. Now it looks better and more professional!



- Corrected fonts for french and spanish characters

Accented language-specific characters would not display. I had to modify the TTF font manually to make them appear!
Finding good-looking copyleft fonts is very difficult, and fonts with support for every language is next to impossible!
I didn't want to revert back to basic fonts like Arial or Verdana, so this was pretty much the only solution.

- Improved game performance

I've added a cache for dialogs and translations texts when changing room, so they're not loaded at every room switch. This makes for a much smoother experience! Now changing room is near-instant on modern computers!

- Improved hotspots view (prettier and texts don't overlap anymore) :



- Automatic framerate detection

The game will run at 60FPS or 30FPS according to your computer abilities! This is detected during the game startup.
Frameskip is managed manually in the game engine (all the variables related to speeds like timers are doubled at each step)

If you'd like to try the new demo, it's available on my site : www.demetriosgame.com/en/demo/


So, if any of you played the demo, are there any other issues that I didn't address yet? :)
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Demetrios - The BIG cynical adventure *DEMO* 06 Οκτ 2015 19:26 #46597

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Here you go!

Demetrios just went LIVE on Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight!

And here's the first game trailer!



==> Support on Kickstarter : https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/983902887/demetrios

==> Vote on Steam Greenlight : http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=502785332


With your help, I can make Demetrios bigger and better! :)

If you're interested in the game but hesitate to help or you're broke (that happens!), please consider at least voting for the game on Steam Greenlight and/or giving 1€ to the Kickstarter!
You'll get your name in the credits, wallpapers, and you'll follow the project with updates :)
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Demetrios - The BIG cynical adventure *DEMO* 08 Οκτ 2015 00:30 #46598

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Well, the game is already 44% funded!!!
If anyone here helped, thank you very much! :p

I've posted my first update! www.kickstarter.com/projects/983902887/demetrios/posts/1375836
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Demetrios - The BIG cynical adventure *DEMO* 10 Οκτ 2015 12:26 #46600

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Still going great! Kickstarter is now 61% funded!!!

www.kickstarter.com/projects/983902887/demetrios

I've written an article comparing the old version of Demetrios with the remake! I think some of you may be interested :)


Old Demetrios on the left, New Demetrios on the right

When I've started working on Demetrios in 1999, my only programming knowledge was BASIC (I used it on my old Amstrad CPC computer)
So, when I got my first PC with a copy of Visual BASIC 4.0, this felt natural for me to use it to program the game!

Visual BASIC was very simple to use, and suitable to make a first person adventure game (it had windows and buttons, a way to display pictures...)

But it had many limitations : I couldn't use any transparency at all! So doing animations was a struggle, and animating a character on screen would have been impossible. So, no third person adventure!

Now, with Game Maker, I use PNG transparency all the time, and it makes everything so much smoother and easier to program!



Obviously, considering the technologic gap in 15 years, everything has been recreated from scratch.

When I first started this remake, I wondered whether to transform Demetrios into a third person adventure game, or keep it first person.

But after playing it again, I realized it worked great as a first person adventure - and maybe even better this way!

One big advantage of first person is there's no idle time. You don't have to wait for your character to move in order to get a reaction, and moving to another location is instant!

So, even though this game will "only" be 8 to 12 hours long, it would require much more time to complete if this was a third person game, due to these idle times!

Although, when working on Demetrios, I was a bit frustrated by this, because I wanted to do something close to the Broken Sword series I loved so much.

This is pretty clear in the game : even though it's first person, it almost feels like a third person game instead, as the game relies so much on the characters and their expressions!



Visual BASIC also had a big issue : when moving to another screen, it would cut the music. So despite trying many things to find a workaround, there was no way for me to include a background music!

Fortunately, with this remake I've been able to fix that, and this gives a whole new dimension to the game!



The very first (ugly) drawing I've done for Demetrios in 1999!

In 1999, I actually didn't draw (almost) anything! The drawings were made on paper by my brother Alain. While he's no professional artist, he did draw a lot of manga-style comics, and was a huge help by providing pretty much all the drawings!

I scanned them myself with a "hand scanner". This was awful to use and the graphics were often distorted because of that.
I've lost all the original paper drawings, unfortunately. All I have are the badly compressed game files. (So if you think paper is more durable than digital files... think again! :p)

For the new version, I re-drew everything directly on the computer with a graphical tablet!


The Paris map was a real map... I changed it to something prettier and more suitable

I did the coloring in both versions. Yes, really! That seems unbelievable considering the difference, but I swear I'm the same person who did both!

Back in the time, I did the coloring with a mouse, and I had absolutely no notion of coloring, lightning and shading. So the colors were very muddy and grey. It didn't fit the humor style of the game at all.

For the remake, I've taken some time to study how quality 2D traditional art was done from Disney and Studio Ghibli films, and this helped quite a bit!

Also, the program I used in 1999 to do the coloring was Paint Shop Pro, and this was the very first version to include layers! But despite that, I had no idea what those "layers" were, and I didn't use them. A huge mistake!


Dialogs had a black background like Gabriel Knight 1

From the gameplay side, I've improved the interface to make it more ergonomic and modern.

For example, using an item was a chore in the old version. The inventory was one entire screen, and you couldn't know what item you were holding during gameplay.
You couldn't combine items, either!



The old inventory

The interactions were very limited, too. There was only one sentence displayed when clicking on something. It wasn't contextual at all : unless you used the correct item, you wouldn't get another speech or anything.

That's one side of the game that I have totally changed. The new Demetrios is so interactive that it's almost too much!



The old title screen. Yes, I did some CGI too!... And this was WAY out of place.

However, when it comes to the ideas and the events happening, I've kept absolutely everything from the original game.

Even the minor things that could seem silly, like the extra-terrestrial figure when clicking on the mirror in the living room, or the coffin in the bedroom. I hesitated to remove these because they seemed out of place, but decided against it.



I figured that despite being childish, they're the kind of things you don't usually see in adventure games. I want to surprise the player and make a game with personality!

To summarize, I can fairly say that all those mistakes I've done in the original version allowed me to make a high quality new version.

If I had to define the new Demetrios, it would be : a unique combination of professional game making with the ideas of a 15-year-old - and that's something you don't see everyday!

And judging from the feedbacks I've received so far... It works! :)

Thanks for reading, hope you liked it!

More articles are coming up - Stay tuned!


Oh and if you'd like the game to be available on Steam someday...

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Demetrios - The BIG cynical adventure *DEMO* 17 Οκτ 2015 11:50 #46612

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90% funded now! Will some of you help Demetrios reach its goal? :)



I have posted an article on the creation of a room in the game! Read it in the updates :

www.kickstarter.com/projects/983902887/demetrios/posts/1381518
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[KICKSTARTER] Demetrios - The BIG Cynical Adventure 22 Οκτ 2015 17:03 #46619

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The goal has been reached! :) Thanks to the 160 persons who helped!

The next stretch goals are for translating the game into Spanish (3 000 €) and German! (3 500 €) I've posted articles on the creation of a room in the game there, check the updates :)

www.kickstarter.com/projects/983902887/demetrios

I'll consider other languages translations if we get past these two stretch goals!

I have also posted an article on "Making a quality game on a tiny budget" which was featured on GamaSutra!

www.gamasutra.com/blogs/FabriceBreton/20...on_a_tiny_budget.php
Last Edit: 22 Οκτ 2015 17:04 by COWCAT.
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[KICKSTARTER] Demetrios - The BIG Cynical Adventure 30 Οκτ 2015 22:49 #46641

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Good news, Demetrios got greenlit today and thus will be available on Steam! :) (with achievements, cards and probably support for saves into the cloud).



The Steam version will be an option of course, there will also be a DRM Free version available.

There are still 7 days left to support the Kickstarter! It got funded a while ago but still running!

The Spanish translation stretch goal has been reached, the next ones are the German translation (only 260 € needed!) and the PS Vita version which unexpectedly was the most requested console version!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/983902887/demetrios
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