Laura Bow and the Mechanical Codex

Feeling like this game could be murder... literally? Well, come on in here for some extra detective work (and clues/hints/etc!) for the Laura Bow games (The Colonel's Bequest and The Dagger of Amon Ra).
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Rath Darkblade
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Re: Laura Bow and the Mechanical Codex

Post by Rath Darkblade » Fri Sep 25, 2020 9:34 pm

Oh, that! Yes, I agree. The size of his head, compared to the size of his hands/feet is just ridiculous. :P

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Re: Laura Bow and the Mechanical Codex

Post by Semi-Happy Partygoer » Fri Oct 02, 2020 5:16 am

NineZyme Entertainment wrote: Hi Tawmis! Thanks for your interest in the project, and for reaching out to us...
We have approached Activision with what we'd like to do, however it is a complicated situation and things aren't entirely sorted out yet. They are extremely hesitant, and basically won't even consider it without some kind of playable prototype/demo. So, our plan is to just move forward and complete the entire first chapter of the game - then use that as a platform to reconnect with them, gain some community support, and do a funding round for the remaining chapters.
It's unfortunate, because it basically all just comes down to money. These types of games don't tend to be very lucrative, and Activision is only really interested in projects with high profit potential.
Sooo, there are a lot of things stacked against us. But we're going to give it our best and see what happens! Meanwhile, if anyone in your forum/community would like to help... talking about the project and getting the word out would be great - or spam Activision with support for what we're doing (just don't tell them we asked you to do that, ha). ;)
Thanks,
--- NineZyme Entertainment
I only recently saw this, Tawm. Kudos to you for asking them about it.

This is strictly my opinion, but to me, this illustrates a big problem with corporate mentality. Here’s Activision, the company which owns the LB rights but were never going to do ANYTHING with them, basically looking a gift horse on the mouth. NineZyme is putting the time and effort into making a game which would earn an asset of theirs money (probably more than they’re getting from GOG sales of the first two games), yet they’re “extremely hesitant”. I mean, it’s not like they hired NineZyme to do this work for them; it’s clearly a labour of love.

True, this game probably won’t generate Call of Duty levels of revenue, but isn’t earning some money preferable to just sitting on a dormant asset and not earning anything at all? Maybe it’s because I’m not a “suit”, but I just can’t fathom that mindset.
"It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers" - James Thurber

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Re: Laura Bow and the Mechanical Codex

Post by Tawmis » Tue Nov 03, 2020 4:59 pm

NineZyme Entertainment wrote:
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Hello again super fans!

We hope you somehow managed to celebrate a safe and entertaining All Hallows' Eve this year! Maybe someone out there dressed as Laura Bow?? If so, please send us pictures and we'll share them in the next newsletter. :D

November is already upon us, and there's no time to waste... so let's just get right into it!

Remember, to view any of the images in their full size, just click on them (Gmail) or right click and select Save Image As or Download Image to copy it to your computer. If you are on a mobile device, you can touch and hold to save the image to your device. And, as always, visit the website if you'd like to view some of our previously released images: www.ninezyme.com

A 20s Year In Review
That's right! Can you believe it?? We've been officially sending out these monthly newsletters for an entire year already. It's amazing how quickly it flew by. Actually, it has been a little -over- a year (+1 month), since we took a break over the last holiday season.

So with that, let's do a little compare and contrast to see where we're at with everything!

CHARACTERS: Last year we had most of the characters for the Prologue Chapter already fully modeled and textured (and several other characters with 2D concepts). Today these characters are also fully rigged for high quality animation, with several sample animations, and many promotional renderings. Some of the characters have even had their roles extended from what they were in the original design, because we were so happy with them! We have also done voice auditions and cast the actors for every character in this chapter, and have sample recordings (and several official lines) for each of them.

ENVIRONMENTS: Last year we had our 2D environment concepts entirely completed, but only one scene which was partially done in 3D, and maybe a handful of random objects here and there. Today we are excited to say that we are currently building out the final 3D environment for the Prologue Chapter, and it is almost complete! We also have most of these scenes fully set up with proper lighting and animation in-game. There are still a few bits that need doing here and there, including one of the major puzzles/interactables in the game... but for the most part, the 3D environment work is really close to being done for this particular Chapter - and it's looking great!

GAMEPLAY: Last year, we didn't have any gameplay in place at all, and had not even figured out how we wanted everything to work yet. Today we have the core systems implemented and working, along with most of the user interface elements, inventory, conversations, save/load, etc. Plus we just have a much better sense of how everything is going to tie together. A lot of this was just going back and forth between different established designs and finally making a decision about what was best for the game we are trying to build.

As you can see, we've made a pretty solid amount of progress given the circumstances. It has all taken longer than anticipated (an all too common story in the game development world) but we are very pleased with the outcome so far, and we hope you're excited about it too. :)
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This is how Laura will be chauffeured off to the main plot of the game, toward the end of the Prologue Chapter.
What's Next
As a tiny self-funded team, we struggle to do a lot of things in parallel to one another. We just can't afford it unfortunately. This means we have to build things in discreet "phases". This is part of the reason we haven't shown off much of the actual game yet - because, frankly, there are some very key pieces still missing, and we felt it wouldn't do justice to our overall vision of the game (and would probably just cause more confusion overall).

However, now that we have nearly completed the environments for the Prologue Chapter, we can officially shift focus to some of the other stages of development. Our key concentrations over the coming months will be on character animation, cinematics, music & audio, finalizing the script, more ui art, and continuing to get the gameplay elements all tied together.

With a few more of these pieces in place, we hope to be releasing our first official gameplay video in the near future. We will probably only be demonstrating the Desktop version of the game (mouse controls), as we likely won't have time to fully polish the gamepad controls this time around. Our hope is to have it ready for you before the holidays! Perhaps even for the December newsletter. Fingers crossed! Wish us luck. :D

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On nooo... What happened here!?
Laura will have to follow the clues and find out!

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Re: Laura Bow and the Mechanical Codex

Post by Rath Darkblade » Thu Nov 05, 2020 5:51 am

Thank you, Tawm! :) These look pretty good. As you said last year, hopefully they will come out on Steam/GOG too, and not just a kickstarter.

By the way, I love how the wheels on the car are hexadecagons (i.e. 16-sided polygons), instead of circles. :lol: Yes, it's subtle, but if you look close, the wheels are not rounded; they have little notches in them. I counted the notches and came up with 16, then looked up "16-sided polygons" on google and found the word "hexadecagons". That word makes sense because, as you know, base-16 is called "hexadecimal". The "hexa" prefix means "six", and decimal is, of course, base-10. Hexa-decimal, hexa-decagons... math is fun. :D

Anyone can use hexadecimal numerals. Base-16 is just like base-10, really ... if you have 3 extra fingers on each hand ... ;)

I'm sorry, was I geeking out over math again? :geek: Meh. I do have a background in engineering and programming, and I've used hex, octal, decimal and binary ... so. ;)

Anyway. Mathematical geekery aside (sorry!), the car looks great -- polished so bright, I had to wear shades. As for the building ... gee, I wonder what happened there? Did the NYPD have a shoot-out with the Mafia or something? ;)

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Re: Laura Bow and the Mechanical Codex

Post by Tawmis » Sat Jan 02, 2021 11:46 am

unnamed.png
appy New Year to all you Laura Bow fans out there!

Hopefully all of you managed to celebrate a nice and safe holiday season in your own way out there - virtual or otherwise. Send us an email and tell us about your holiday! We'd love to hear from you.

The Ol' Switch-A-Roo!
Did you miss us? Did you think that we succumbed to the villainous year of 2020?? Well fear not! We merely pulled a little unexpected switch-a-roo on you. Our newsletter plan has always been to take one month off around the holiday season. Last year, that month was January - but this year we mysteriously vanished for December instead... in a bid to recharge and regroup for an energized start to 2021!

So, we're back! And we're ready to keep on keeping on with Laura Bow and the Mechanical Codex. We hope you're looking forward to more updates from us, because we are definitely excited to show you more of the game this year.

Pop Up Video
Are you sad that there aren't any new colorful photos in this month's newsletter? Feeling down on your luck that Laura Bow isn't gracing your glowy screen with her investigative prowess? Well, my friends, let me tell you about a little unknown slice of the interwebs. It's a wondrous land called "Facebook".

If you join us in this tiny community, you may find a new post containing a brand spanking new video demonstrating a bit of the gameplay you can expect in our upcoming Prologue Chapter.

WARNING: There may be some very minor spoilers (although we've purposefully cut some things out to avoid a couple of fun things)! So if you'd prefer to keep a clean slate in preparation for the new adventure... don't click the following link! Otherwise, go ahead and take a gander by clicking the image below, and let us know what ya think. We'd love to hear your thoughts.


Facebook Video


The Upcoming Year
Moving into 2021 we are still focusing on getting out a playable demo (the entire prologue chapter) to all of you super fans, so that we can gather some input from you and see if we're on the right track for building the Laura Bow sequel that you've been hoping for. The timeline for everything is still greatly in flux, and will be ever shifting due to many fun things like budgets, general availability, pandemics, and whatnot. However, we will always aim to keep you informed (via this newsletter) of any changes that may occur.

That being said, the things coming down the pipeline at the start of the year here are... finalizing the user interface, more character animations, and bringing Yulia back to work on some texturing for some of our more minor characters. We also made some minor changes to the gameplay, which now requires some necessary adjustments to the script. So we'll be focusing on updating that as well.

Have any questions, comments, or concerns?
Want to suggest a topic for the next Tribune newsletter?
Can you help us with our business or project goals?

Email us at: [email protected]

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Re: Laura Bow and the Mechanical Codex

Post by MusicallyInspired » Sun Jan 03, 2021 12:51 am

Welp...it's not a Hidden Object Game after all. At least not a traditional one...
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Re: Laura Bow and the Mechanical Codex

Post by Tawmis » Sun Jan 03, 2021 3:32 am

MusicallyInspired wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 12:51 am
Welp...it's not a Hidden Object Game after all. At least not a traditional one...
What do you mean by that? Like finding items?

It seems like it is - things to open, unlock, find, etc?

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Re: Laura Bow and the Mechanical Codex

Post by MusicallyInspired » Mon Jan 04, 2021 10:50 pm

I mean like this:

Image

But yeah, could still be one in disguise.
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Re: Laura Bow and the Mechanical Codex

Post by Tawmis » Tue Jan 05, 2021 2:26 am

What in the gods is that from?

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Re: Laura Bow and the Mechanical Codex

Post by Semi-Happy Partygoer » Wed Jan 06, 2021 1:25 am

Interesting video. I like some of the shout-outs to LB2, like the desk blotter and having to unlock the drawer to access the Press Pass. And some of the locations do look quite beautiful.

Not having Leslie Wilson-Balfour return to at least narrate is a tad disappointing to me. It won’t be the same without her condescending English accent spouting all those delightfully useless observations.
"It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers" - James Thurber

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Re: Laura Bow and the Mechanical Codex

Post by Collector » Thu Jan 07, 2021 9:25 am

MusicallyInspired wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2021 10:50 pm
I mean like this:

Image

But yeah, could still be one in disguise.
Ugh.
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Image

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Re: Laura Bow and the Mechanical Codex

Post by Rath Darkblade » Fri Jan 08, 2021 5:29 am

Oh, those things -- and you have to find everything in the scene in order to proceed with the story, yes? Because obviously finding 2 cans of grease, one carrot and 9 bolts in a crowded scene makes you a great detective. ;)

Yeah, I played through a game like that once, because I like Agatha Christie's Poirot character. (In my defence, I didn't know the game was going to be so booooring). :P Never again! Please, please take my advice and never play this game. :P

I certainly hope the new Laura Bow won't go down that route.

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Re: Laura Bow and the Mechanical Codex

Post by Tawmis » Fri Jan 08, 2021 11:40 am

Anyone remember the "get dollar" from LSL2? :D
Image16.png
The most hardcore "Hidden Object Game" by not even having it on the screen!

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Re: Laura Bow and the Mechanical Codex

Post by Rath Darkblade » Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:34 pm

*snort, giggle, laugh* :lol:

Granted, the game wouldn't proceed if you didn't have that dollar. At least you wouldn't get a random Game Over. ;) Like this:
larry2.png

Seriously, though, Larry 2 was easily the least Larry-friendly game in the series. I know Larry is basically a klutz who "can't get no respect", but ... he dies all the time in Larry 2 ... and of things neither he nor the player can even foresee without a hint book.

Remember throwing away the avocado dip? Or digging through the airport "special" and finding the bobby pin? ;) Or hurrying to catch the plane and dying because you forgot to pick up "travel insurance" (i.e. parachute) or the brochure? Or ... yep. Larry dies more in this game than in any other game. ;)

That's not a bad thing, in and of itself. But it can be frustrating.

Try getting any gamer born after (say) 2005 to play Larry 2. No autosaves. No hints. No "point on the map" to show you where to head -- nothing. They'll give up and say "Aw daaad, this sucks," and we'll all say, "Yes junior, but it's worth it..." ;)

Larry 2 is easily the silliest game in the series, but it's still funny. (The Dating Connection still cracks me up, even now). :lol:

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Re: Laura Bow and the Mechanical Codex

Post by Tawmis » Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:41 pm

Rath Darkblade wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:34 pm
Larry 2 is easily the silliest game in the series, but it's still funny. (The Dating Connection still cracks me up, even now). :lol:
LSL2 is my favorite of the LSL series, with LSL3 a hair behind it.

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