Gather Your Fruitbat Party

Yesterday we had a nice chat with Jake Booth from Gather Your Party dot com. You can read it by following the link below:

We would like to thank Jake for this fun interview, and we hope you’ll enjoy reading it.

OH! By the way, we are at 85% on the 99 Spirits’ IndieGoGo campaign. It’s so good to see more people pledging everyday. Thank you!

Cutest character ever

Cutest character ever

Here’s a sketch from the 99 Spirits artbook we’ll release as part of the campaign. A taste of things to come.

99 Spirits – Playing the Game

Our IndieGoGo project for 99 Spirits is running well – in the first week we have raised 31% of the total goal, which is cause enough for celebration. Big thanks to everyone who has already helped us there!

One theme has come up repeatedly in comments since our entry to Steam Greenlight and IndieGoGo – many players would like to see detailed gameplay footage from the English version.

After many revisions and 4 days of recording, here it is: the first English gameplay footage from 99 Spirits.

Do note that the video above is from a pre-alpha version of the game, and all content is subject to change.

We found that trying to explain the gameplay in a compact video isn’t an easy task due the puzzle mechanics mixed in. I tried to shoot different aspects of the gameplay, and we added overlay explanations (top-right) to clarify what’s happening on screen.

We hope you’ll enjoy the footage and don’t hesitate to drop any comments, questions or improvement suggestions.

Know Your Aspects

And now for something completely different.

In these post release days where we are finally receiving some much appreciated feedback from the players, I would like to talk to you regarding something that we’ve received questions about and noticed on some of YouTube videos and screenshots of the game.

The Aspect Ratio

War of the Human Tanks uses a 4:3 aspect ratio, which means it is not widescreen (16:9 or 16:10 aspect ratio). In order to play it or any other games you have that use a 4:3 aspect ratio without getting horribly stretched in Full Screen Mode, you need to enable a simple setting in your graphic card’s options. Why this setting is turned off by default ever remains a mystery.

But first let’s look at what I’m talking about. First screenshot is how our game is supposed to look and second is how it turns out without enabling the correct setting.

WotHT Screenshot with correct 4:3 aspect ratio

WotHT Screenshot with correct 4:3 aspect ratio

WotHT Screenshot with wrong stretched result

WotHT Screenshot with incorrect aspect ratio

Enabling a simple option will save you from suffering this horrible stretching. I have an NVIDIA card, so I’ll describe how to do this for NVIDIA cards. If you have something else, the process should be mostly similar.

First, right click on an empty space on your desktop and choose NVIDIA Control Panel to open the settings window. You can alternatively open this window by typing NVIDIA on the Search Bar after pressing the Windows key. With current drivers it will look like this:

NVIDIA settings for aspect ratio

NVIDIA settings for aspect ratio

On this window, navigate to the shown tab. Display > Adjust desktop size and position > Scaling.

If you see that “Full-screen” is checked like this: then you are going to see all games that are not wide-screen stretched, apart from a few that compensate against that problem.

What you need to do to fix this is to pick the choice above it, “Aspect ratio”. Also do not forget to set Perform scaling on: GPU. Other settings on this screen don’t matter.

When you follow these instructions, there will be no change to your widescreen applications. Non-widescreen applications, however, will now display in their correct proportions.

Sortie Order

We are proud to announce that the day is at hand, War of the Human Tanks is being released 14 September 2012! Initially it will be available from Desura, Gamersgate and Indievania for $9.99 (or equivalent).

A demo fully featuring the first five chapters will be available 4 September 2012. You will be able to carry over your saves from the demo to the full game. So don’t hold yourself back, play it a couple of times, experiment with different results in battles, gather some supplies, develop and build different units and modules…

To celebrate this wondrous occasion Indieviddy prepared the new trailer you saw on top of this post, hope you like it.

Desura Digital Distribution

Opening of the Human Tanks

So many things are happening at once, and we have great announcements to make. This week we wanted to release the opening video of the War of the Human Tanks alongside one of these news that made us very happy. But small delays in this and that dragged things on and caused us to skip this week’s intended update on our blog. That wouldn’t do, so we decided to at least share with you the new opening video, in all its translated glory. Here we go:

Special thanks to Herkz for his help on the video.

This is the first version of the opening for War of the Human Tanks. Since the game is structured into episodes like a TV series, each of the story’s chapters has an opening and ending. There are many different endings as well as alternate versions of the opening which progressively reveal certain characters as you meet them in the story. In this initial opening you can see the major characters from the opposing side appear as silhouettes.

The pixel barrier

There’s been so much miscellaneous work to go around that I haven’t had a chance to do much for the… you know, game part of Human Tanks since my last pass over the current translation a few days back. Ran into some obstacles in translating the game setting menus which meant a lot of work down the drain, and after dealing with that I discovered something new to fix:
The game videos.

Ozhan, these videos look kind of pixelated, is it just at my end?”

It wasn’t.

What puzzled me was that I had watched the game opening on YouTube several times, and it looked much better there. Looking more closely at the game’s movie archives, I discovered that the movies in fact look perfect when run in an external player. The game was doing something bad to them.

The cause soon made itself obvious: the movies were encoded in 640×480 resolution, while the game itself runs in a 800×600 window. Apparently the engine did a poor job of up-scaling them.
Another day later, I have re-encoded the game videos in 800×600 resolution and you’d be hard pressed to notice a quality drop (when comparing to the original videos run in a player), and they look much better in-game. Banzai!

Don’t take my word for it, you can check out the difference in this comparison instead:

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When we discussed this with Yakiniku Banzai, they explained that at the time of making the first game they were very concerned about the size of the game movies as they knew there were going to be a lot of them. We feel that this is no longer something that warrants much notice (and actually the new videos ended up only about 20% bigger than original). Their encoding options were also limited due to the oldish software used to make the videos, and this is just how things ended up. We’re all happy about the chance to improve this aspect of the game.