Tonight, we are proud to release to you Hero of Allacrost - Demo 0.2.1. Windows, OS X, and Linux/source packages are available on Sourceforge, and you can expect Debian and FreeBSD releases to follow shortly thereafter. As always, download and installation instructions are available on site's download page right here. For those of you who don't know or just forgot, our intention on this release was to improve upon our last one in small but appreciable ways. There is very little new content, as this was mostly a code development release. We kept you all in the dark about what features we were planning for this release, and I'm happy to say that all of the features that we planned are now implemented in the game, along with a couple of extras. In no particular order, the new features in this demo include:
- You may now have multiple characters in your party, and hence in battles
- Support for saving and loading the game has been added
- Game settings (display, audio, key and joystick mappings) are now saved and restored automatically
- Treasure chests have been added to maps
- The ability to run in map mode is now active, along with a stamina bar that depletes while running
- The menu layout for battles has been improved
- The shopping interface has been vastly upgraded, and now sports a new "shopping cart" like functionality
- Upon entering a map, an introductory text and location graphic are displayed briefly
- We now support interactive dialogues in maps (e.g., you can select a response in specific conversations)
- Various updates to the party menu screen
- Audio playback quality has been improved greatly
The biggest changes in this release are "under the hood" in the game's engine, which we have written from scratch. Although you likely won't be able to notice most of these engine changes, these changes were absolutely necessary and make the lives of our programmers much better (and more productive). One noticable effect of the engine work is the audio playback, which is improved because we now use a newly written audio engine that uses the OpenAL library to playback sound, rather than the less powerful SDL_mixer library that we've used in previous releases.
The credits page of this website has been updated as well. There were a lot of people that really stepped it up for this release, especially in the last couple of weeks. Quite frankly this release might not have happened until 2008 were it not for their hard work. Therefore, we would like to give special acknowledgement to our "release heroes" below. We'd also like to thank our forum members who tested our beta release of 0.2.1 and helped us find and nail down a few critical bugs.
Andy Gardner (ChopperDave)
Brandon Barnes (Winter Knight)
Brett Steele (Safir-Kreuz)
Daniel Steuernol (Steu)
Philip Vorsilak (gorzuate)
Richard Kettering (Jetryl)
Tyler Olsen (Roots)
That's all we have to share tonight, so go download the game, test it out, and let us know your thoughts by posting on the forums. In the next couple of weeks, we'll have two important announcements to make regarding the future of Allacrost so you might want to check back with us near the end of this month and see what news we have to share. Good night, and thanks for playing!