Getting out of Early Access

Aug 18, 2018 by Markus Törnqvist

Hello everyone!

It’s taken us a while, so we would like to thank everyone for their patience.

We couldn’t avoid taking a bit of vacation to enjoy an uncommonly good Finnish summer, but beside updating this game, we’ve been working on the upcoming Iron Sky: Cold War game!

Lots of coding effort has been put into this release, mainly the Escoria framework. We added animations and lighting effects into every room of the game. We also tried our best to make the game more logical based on feedback.

The two-week competition, with its hardships, didn’t give us a lot of time for play-testing. Every time something’s changed or added, crazy amounts of testing are required, so let us know if we missed a spot.

As an added Easter egg, try completing the game without picking up the broom ;)

EDIT: Speaking of bugs, we had to take a while publishing the macOS version. The build worked here all along, but apparently something about signing binaries changed in High Sierra so it wouldn’t work for anyone else. It works now! It’s signed with the Developer ID key, as apparently the distribution key isn’t valid anymore for internet sites. Or something.

Hi all!

As we said in the description of the game, one of the hardships in development was copyright troll(s) suing Iron Sky Universe, the owner of the Iron Sky intellectual property. Yesterday the court gave it’s decision and Iron Sky Universe won.

The whole history is long and winding, but especially now that the court has made it’s decision it’s safe to say their claim to copyright amounted to trolling, as they were found to have no copyright to the film or it’s elements.

You can read more about the case in this article by The Hollywood Reporter.

The court’s decision was expected, but how this affected us is that the troll(s) have a long history of harassing anyone who did anything Iron Sky related - even non-commercial game mods - with legal threats, fake DMCA takedown requests etc. That’s a headache we really didn’t want to deal with during a hectic 2 week game jam. In the end that meant that not only did we need their permission, we had to have carefully drafted contracts with ISU specifically for this so we would have something to smack down false claims with. The Lunar Adventure Team is grateful to Iron Sky Universe for taking the time to give us permission to do this game even int he middle of the lawsuit.

Hopefully this will be the last anyone has to hear of the trolls and we can concentrate on doing what we love - making games. The first thing is fixing the last issues with A Lunar Adventure. If wishes were horses, the dialog-visibility bugs would be trivial to fix, yet sadly bugs are still outrunning horses for the moment. We’ll keep polishing the game and squishing bugs in the engine at the same time.

You see, we have some bigger plans. We have had a larger Iron Sky adventure game in the planning stages for a long time now. Now we’re eager to get started on actually making it!

To wrap it up: we are over the Moon, so to say, about the ruling!

Hello everybody!

I’ve been holding out on this for a while now, but it’s time to let it free. It patches the RMB to cancel the “Use <object>” mode.

Hopefully it also fixes the buggy OSX retina/scaling behavior. I don’t have an OSX machine so I’m very reliant on other people for testing. That’s why trying anything new with this is slow. This is made trickier by the fact that no one has been able to explain to me why it fails. It’s as if Iron Sky: A Lunar Adventure is the only game in the world made with Godot that doesn’t behave well on OSX.

The OSX part is a bit of a shot in the dark and I really hope to hear back from you on whether or not you have problems!

A lot is going on otherwise. I was hoping hard to sync up the code with recent changes in the Escoria framework. The main advantage of that is making it easier to test some pending improvements, like maybe help with dialog positioning, but time is very scarce.

Besides personal stuff getting in the way, I have enjoyed some of the other games in the competition. I’m probably not alone in thinking that playing other games is a good break from your own :)

Announcing 0.1.4 for Windows, OSX and Linux

May 24, 2018 by Markus Törnqvist

Hi everyone!

After barely getting our foot in the door for the competition, I’ve been hard at work fixing bugs. A multitude of bugs. You can read more about the hardships here.

I was very generous in handing out minor version numbers, but mainly for version control and to keep my focus together. This 0.1.4 is the first that feels a bit like a game should feel.

Like in any adventure game, maybe you can figure out the puzzles for yourself, but we’re very proud of our dialog, so we invite you to talk to everyone and everything all the time for clues and more.

So it isn’t exactly polished yet, but quirks such as being able to take a short-cut toward the end of the game have been fixed, as have all known z-index bugs. Animations also got some love, but they’d require a lot of framework-level effort to get really there.

Unfortunately the outstanding bugs include accidentally re-entering the crashed UFO if you walk close to the airlock. I believe putting that behind the action menu is a gameplay change that would not be accepted.

Likewise we had a situation where you could end up in an unfinishable state. This was prevented at the last moment; you’ll recognize it by a line of unrecorded dialog if you hit it. I don’t think that change would accord by the rules either.

Walk animations need more work, as do dialog text positioning. These are surprisingly tough problems in our stack of choice at the moment, so no promises on when I’ll get them fixed. The sad thing is that not all dialog is visible toward the end of the game, which is bad for the hard-of-hearing players.

Please download, play and enjoy!

And give us your honest opinion in comments or votes, because this is the first game we made!

The story of why 0.1.0 is so buggy

May 21, 2018 by Markus Törnqvist

This has been a very hard entry into the gaming industry. Before the jam started, I was diagnosed with kidney stones and my dad was diagnosed with stomach cancer.

During the course of the jam, I had two rounds of ESWL - one near the beginning and one near the end - and a night spent at the hospital due to a clogged-up kidneay.

My dad’s cancer got rapidly worse and he passed away a week ago to the day, just as the deadline started to hit hard. The grief almost made me give up, but the last times we spoke, he was supportive of me making it in time to the competition.

I also have to say I’m extremely proud of the whole team who kept bringing the art in, even with me at the hospital or the hospice.

This is why version 0.1.0 is so buggy. Everyone’s work was put in, except mine. The submission deadline was in the wee hours of the morning local time, and there was practically zero time for play-testing. I was too busy slapping the pieces together before passing out due to fatigue.

I hope making the initial release Linux-only has the advantage that the game can be fixed during the bug-fixing phase and most people won’t be running it in Linux until then.

The issues with 0.1.0 are twofold:

1) Bugs like exits being active before being activated by the story
1) Animations being broken

Number 1 made it possible to play the game a bit illogically, but it showed the content as-is and the fixes are currently waiting to be released.

Number 2 is a longer story on how the Godot engine and the Escoria framework don’t really deal with Spine animations. They are being repaired and hopefully released at the same time as the scripting bugs.

Maybe the development of Spine support will make it into another blog post or you can just take my word for it that it’s surprisingly non-trivial to bolt that onto a framework that doesn’t really want it.

There is a bug related to game content that we had to work around at the last moment. You’ll recognize it by a line of dialog without voice over. There is also a bug when you start a new game after finishing, which doesn’t matter now, as the game is completable and then quittable.

These bugs will be fixed after the competition.

— Markus Törnqvist, Programmer