The Outer Edge of Earnon (SQ Prequel)

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The Outer Edge of Earnon (SQ Prequel)

Post by Johnathon » Wed Nov 03, 2010 7:25 pm

Firstly, I'd like to thank Collector for inviting me to these forums. I hadn't even known the place existed, and I must say, it looks nice, and I'm impressed by the traffic.

I also want to announce a Space Quest fan game that I and my team have been working on for quite some time now. Progress is picking up, and I've thrown together a little site with some information about it. There's a few screenshots, gameplay philosophy, a demo, and short plot synopsis. I hope you folks will feel free to come check it out, and I intend to make frequent updates. Here's one of the screens below:

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Also, though I'm kinda lagging along these days with the screenshots mostly, being in college and all, I'm trying to get as many other aspects of the game done via collaboration with my team as I possibly can. I'm accepting proposals for interview for team membership, if anyone is interested. Specifically, artists (even just to draw compositions and help with other design ideas, if nothing else - but of course the more talent the better), music, and coding.

Here's the site

Sincerely,

Johnathon

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Re: The Outer Edge of Earnon (SQ Prequel)

Post by Collector » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:22 am

Welcome, Johnathon. Good to see that you made it here. I have also added your game to the Fan Games thread.
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Re: The Outer Edge of Earnon (SQ Prequel)

Post by JasefWisener » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:33 am

If this gets completed, then I'll be really impressed with it. From what I can tell, it looks pretty promising.
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Re: The Outer Edge of Earnon (SQ Prequel)

Post by audiodane » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:49 pm

sweet! this looks great!

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Re: The Outer Edge of Earnon (SQ Prequel)

Post by Johnathon » Thu Nov 04, 2010 2:23 pm

Collector wrote:...I have also added your game to the Fan Games thread.
Thank you, sir. I greatly appreciate it.
JasefWisener wrote:If this gets completed...
When. :)


And I thank you, all three, for your encouragement. It's very nice to hear that you enjoy what little I have released thus far. Shows I'm on the right track. It's been a long time building up momentum, but because the project has so much substance behind it, it's not something that ever has been, nor ever will be, easy to bring to a halt.

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Re: The Outer Edge of Earnon (SQ Prequel)

Post by Collector » Thu Nov 04, 2010 2:26 pm

Are you using AGS?
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Re: The Outer Edge of Earnon (SQ Prequel)

Post by Johnathon » Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:40 pm

Oh, well yes, for now we are.

See, we have been debating between AGS and Wintermute (possibly others as well), mainly because the adventure is going to feature some hefty arcade sequences. These will not be the annoying, distracting, or impossible ones found in the original adventures (if I may generalize here), but rather will occur during certain areas of the adventure where they are most called for. In a way, to enhance the experience and ideas of the ongoing plot/conflict.

I have been concerned that AGS may fall short when it comes to those sequences, but since the game mainly revolves around adventure (I mean, it is very faithfully an adventure game) I have decided that whatever functionality AGS offers us, we can get away with in the initial release. For later versions, we will likely end up making or borrowing some special mods to enhance functionality, or something.

But for now, AGS.

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Re: The Outer Edge of Earnon (SQ Prequel)

Post by oberonqa » Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:32 am

The beauty of AGS is it's highly scalable. Sure it comes part and parcel ready to make a classic-style adventure game... but one need look no further than AGD Interactive's Quest for Glory II remake to see the scalability of AGS. If it can handle the complex fighting and attribute systems of Quest for Glory II, it can handle pretty much any arcade sequence you can dream of.

The trick, of course, is in the scripting. :)

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Re: The Outer Edge of Earnon (SQ Prequel)

Post by Johnathon » Tue Dec 28, 2010 5:19 pm

I hadn't been sure if the designers of QFGII had used any custom plugins, but I am relieved to hear (read) you saying (typing) this.

We shall, indeed, be using AGS entirely, considering this fact. It is most convenient, and so long as it can serve our purposes... :)

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Re: The Outer Edge of Earnon (SQ Prequel)

Post by Johnathon » Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:12 pm

NEW UPDATE:

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Greetings Space Questers!

The time has come for our next update. Phew! It has been a busy past few months for all of us here on the dev team, but despite all this, we're still kicking like mad. Firstly, I would like to introduce you all to our newest member: "Icefoxer," who is a friend of Vroom's as well as a current student and aspiring artist attending the San Francisco Academy of Art! She has offered to work with us primarily (but not necessarily limited to...) as a concept artist for the project, and we are all thrilled to have her!

As you can see, via the thumbnails provided above, I have continued to chug away at the screenshots, though this is not the only area I've made progress in. Whenever I get a great idea for a joke, puzzle, plot twist, you name it - I record it. I've also made other minor progress on the basic compositions of some other screens as well. I had hoped to have at least one of these in complete form for your viewing pleasure, but wasn't able to do so by this here update (I'll tell you though, with myself - as with anyone - 75% of the work/time is simply in the benchmarking/sketching, laying out proportions and such (in other words, everything before the coloring and touch up), so you're sure to see these done in the very near future!

Personally, I am very satisfied with this progress, considering all the other priorities I've had to attend to. Mind you, I managed all this while attending classes full time, in addition to a half time job. These next three months, unfortunately, are also booked up with college assignments, but come our next update, I'll have a 4-month summer vacation to let loose like mad :)

Regardless, we'll continue to chug away. I have a vision, and I know where we're going.

a brief P.S. > Every one of those monolith burger tiles in that scrolling screen have been hand sketched, individually (that took up quite a bit of dev time, but anything to get the right amount of detail/atmosphere/perspective), and that facial closeup will look quite a bit more like Roger once it is done being polished. Also, this is a very brief, brief, BRIEF rundown of the progress made in the last few months, the story is really really, REALLY starting to take shape, as are the characters. My team is currently reviewing the script again as we speak, and we're gonna do what we can to get you a playable demo of Day 1 (only about 7% of the adventure, but quite long enough for a demo!) as soon as possible ;)


The next update will be three months from now


Sincerely,

Johnathon and the Outer Edge Dev Team

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Re: The Outer Edge of Earnon (SQ Prequel)

Post by Tawmis » Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:17 pm

That's amazing. Only wish I had some kind of talent to try and lend a hand.

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Re: The Outer Edge of Earnon (SQ Prequel)

Post by Datadog » Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:26 pm

Still looking forward to this! And all those tiles... individually?! That would drive me insane!
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Re: The Outer Edge of Earnon (SQ Prequel)

Post by audiodane » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:24 pm

Here's another "attaboy!" Keep it up, I'm very exited about this...

..dane

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Re: The Outer Edge of Earnon (SQ Prequel)

Post by Johnathon » Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:26 pm

NOTE: I realize although I'd continued to make updates on the website this past year, I somehow drifted away from including them here and on other forums. I apologize if this has left anybody wondering, and hopefully it did not keep many of you from thinking to visit the site itself the see the updates. Remember, you can always feel free to check out what's going on here

December 28th, 2011

SPACE QUESTERS!

I have some good news, and I have some GREAT news!

I’ll begin with the good news…


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THE OUTER EDGE OF EARNON WILL USE 3D-ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNIQUES TO DERIVE ARTWORK:

No, no no!!! This will NOT be a 3D game, it shall remain the classical adventure style and interface. What this simply means is that, utilizing tools available from 3D programs, production of the 2-dimensional backgrounds, lighting/shadowing, reflection, and animation will be incredibly easier from this point on and even more convincing. Imagine not having to redraw every sketch as you imagine it, just to achieve a slightly different angle. View some of the examples below of the experimentation that has been conducted, and you will acquire an idea of what this means for the fangame project…


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…now, when working on a large area of the adventure, where there are many rooms or screens present which relate to one another, a model of the area need be built only once. Thereafter, camera angle and position keyframes can be utilized in order to take snapshots of these models form different locations/angles. Imagine, for example, if you desired to animate an introduction sequence which scrolled across Xenon City, viewing all its buildings and streets. You could program a camera to do this and take snapshots every so many frames, and then those snapshots can be later traced, colored and textured in a paint program, to acquire the 2D backgrounds necessary for your cut sequence.

Or… imagine wanting to cover a portion of the game both in day or at night, or with alternating atmospheric effects. The power of using a 3D pipeline system to support the derivation of these calculations is an immense time-saver. You could move lights in and out wherever you desire, shine different colors on things to see how they interact with other objects in the scene, or even apply a texture effect to an object to get a good idea of how specific surfaces should be later depicted in 2D, as with metal, water, or plastic, for example.

This new direction in art development will help the project more than can be expressed in words. And, in case you’re foolishly wondering, “No, this 3D method will not subtract from the uniqueness of the games artwork. The temptation to allow screenshots to become monotonous in their great numbers will be resisted at all costs!” ;)



And now… for the GREAT news…


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AFTER HARD DRIVE CRASH FOUR YEARS AGO, THE OUTER EDGE ENJOYS A MIRACULOUS SOURCE CODE RESURRECTION!!!

Yes, yes fans! The unbelievable has occurred. It all began a week or two ago, when I realized my desktop pc (which I’d built back when I was 19), would no longer boot up successfully without shutting itself down due to an overheating/hardware problem (it’d been growing worse and worse over the past year). The 3D progress I’ve just shown you in the screenshots above had become temporarily un-accessible, and I was determined to get them off that hard drive (which, as you can see, I most certainly did). However, as I was going through this process (which required the purchase of an external hard disk cover and the reading of some articles regarding hard-disk recovery utilities, the thought crossed my mind, how likely might it be that I could perform a deep scan that would turn up some really old stuff I’d REALLY forgotten about, and had accepted long ago that it was gone forever…???

For those of you who have only been following The Outer Edge of Earnon recently, I will provide you with the necessary exposition in order to comprehend the magnitude of this wonderful achievement of data recovery: You see, this project was begun back in December of 2003, and had slowly developed, until a team was eventually formed in late 2007. The team and I had a great but short run together; as many life issues and worldly circumstances more or less broke the team up and drove SQ:OEOE to a screaming halt. I, in my early twenties (22), had become quite depressed for reasons I will not explain, and it was at that time when I was being called to walk through the door from adolescence to adulthood, that I deliberately erased all the project files shortly before I entered college.

I spoke a little with my team members, at least one or two of them, during that April of 2008, but things really didn’t hold together for long. I had almost immediately regretted my upset and having given up on the adventure, and so I was able to retrieve the “majority” of the important stuff from a zip file I’d uploaded into an email account for backup purposes. (Do bear in mind, this file had to be kept small enough to email). The rest, I began to rebuild, very slowly, but college kept development at a near freeze.

I had a couple of good development bursts, and you all heard from me quite a bit these past three summers.

Now, at this present day, I could not possibly be more pleased to tell you that I have recovered GIGABYTES worth of information!!! The reason this number of bytes is so large is because back in the earliest days of the project, I had literally played through every SQ game, taking snapshots of the backgrounds and of the dialogues, and even of the descriptions of certain areas and objects. I did this because I strive for a great degree of organic transition (or, think of it as coherency) between this fangame and the official other 6 adventures. These image files I had saved as bitmaps. This is one mere example of why there is so much information.

But the best stuff I’d recovered is the stuff I’d lost JUST before the “Great Down”, as I call it.

For starts, how’sa ‘bout these two images below, which I’d earlier released in very old updates:


(VISIT WEBSITE TO VIEW FULL SIZED)
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(VISIT WEBSITE TO VIEW FULL SIZED)
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Other things I can’t show you, but will be glad to explain ;)

First off, fortunately, all this time, because I’d been VERY good about protecting the script via email backups, the script had never suffered anything more than about a paragraph (or one page) of loss, which I still had fresh in my memory, but much of the original penmanship in this precise area had been compromised. The biggest things I’d lost were the most recent “team development chats,” which the guys and I had enjoyed with each other over yahoo messenger between November 10th of 2007 and April of 2008 – of which I have recovered ALL!!!

These chats include the latest ideas and innovations we’d collaborated on for the plot of the adventure, and other design areas.

In addition to this, I have recovered documents upon DOCUMENTS of information, regarding plot ideas, character ideas, deaths, eggs, YOU NAME IT! You see, although there had been but one single “screenplay” file, many other documents had separately comprised design aspects for other facets of the adventure game project.


HOW DID I GET THIS LUCKY…???

Articles online will tell you that the odds of recovering computer files that had been deleted from your hard drive FOUR YEARS ago are slighter than the odds of winning the lottery. However, I had always been in the habit of having my computer’s drive split into two virtual partitions. Whenever I needed to format and re-install my operating system, the other half of my drive would remain intact with all my files (DELETED AS WELL AS NON). This no doubt protected this old lost information from being forced too deep below the hard disk’s surface after all these years, minimizing the number of “overwrites” that had occurred. Furthermore, because my hard drive was so large, in terms of needed usage (I hadn’t done much heavy, hi-res gaming during my college years) , this allowed for more free space the hard drive could write over, rather than cramming and compressing within the same small amount of sectors.

But the recovery was a bit of a challenge. The entire process took about 9 hours; that is, to search through and find the correct files. For the first several hours, I’d recovered bunches of individual and some partially corrupted images and documents, which fueled my excitement to thoroughly complete the search, no matter how long it would take, and eventually, EVENTUALLY… I’d stumbled upon a compressed zip file (quite large in size), which was perfectly intact and which extracted with no trouble. I checked the output folder, read the description of the unzipped folder, ”Fan Game,” and my eyes lit up like a Spiny Alien Thang about to grab an unsuspecting, wandering hero janitor. Every single file from the fan game project had been preserved: EVERY SINGLE FILE, IN ITS ORIGINAL LOCATION IN RELATION TO THE MASTER FAN GAME FOLDER, WITH ALL THE CREATION AND MODIFICATION DETAILS, PERFECTLY PRESERVED IN THEIR ORIGINAL DIRECTORY STRUCTURE!!!

And along with the great progress and growth that this project has continued to enjoy over these recent years (despite the adversities), this amazing triumph will just... PHHHHFFFF!!! Forget words!

Reading this source code and document details, and seeing my initial plans for latter stages of the adventure, has in a way patched small gaps that had been nearly patched already, but still not completely. I feel almost as though I’m there again, four years earlier, and the feeling and awareness of suddenly seeing what I’d typed – all my ideas and progress – which I haven’t seen in nearly half a decade, has immensely jumped the motivation factor.


Stay tuned, more great updates to come. This baby’s about to take off and I mean for real. By the way, I survived my first semester at university with a cumulative 3.38, and I’m minoring in digital production, and working under a previous Hollywood special effects master and recipient of an Oscar award. I couldn’t possibly be happier to be where I am this day, and I would say the prognosis for this adventure to turn into everything I’ve ever dreamed it would be is undeniably positive.


Sincerely As Always,

Johnathon and the Outer Edge Dev Team

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Re: The Outer Edge of Earnon (SQ Prequel)

Post by Collector » Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:53 pm

Thanks for the update.
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