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Patch 1.022nd September 2008

The last month has been a busy one! I am most grateful to all those who have bought a copy of the game. After the stressful period leading up to the release, what has most warmed my heart is the good nature and enthusiasm of my customers. Your support is much appreciated and the critical responses so far seem quite positive, which is a great relief.

I am also thankful for the patience of those encountering and reporting bugs. I am working hard to clear up any remaining issues, but I have to move slowly and carefully to avoid creating any hidden problems when changing code.

On that subject, I am pleased to announce that the second patch is now available here.
Once again I will also be updating the main download. If anybody experiences any problems, please get in touch with me in the forums or at my email address in the links section.

-Mark


Change List for TSE-2 version 1.02
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Bug Fixes:
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- Fixed an issue with two early bosses becoming untargetted if attacked whilst untargettable.
- Fixed an issue which caused some enemy attacks to hit multiple times whilst the game was paused.
- Fixed an issue which caused an enemy projectile to stop moving in Chapter 8.
- Fixed an issue which could cause an enemy at the end of Chapter 9 to revive.
- Fixed an incorrect calculation of enemy chi in a battle near the end of Chapter 8.
- Fixed an issue introduced in 1.01 which could cause movement problems at the start of the first level.
- Fixed some other miscellaneous minor issues and typos.

Additions:
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- Targeted assistant skills can now be given a target from the radial popup menu.


Patch 1.0115th August 2008

The first patch is out and available here.
It fixes some bugs and adds some requested interface features. The full changelist is included below.
I'll also be updating the main download. According to the good folks at BMT Micro, this may disrupt any downloads in progress and require a restart with the new 1.01 installer.
If anybody experiences any problems, please get in touch with me in the forums or at my email address in the links section.

-Mark


Change List for TSE-2 version 1.01
----------------------------------------------

Bug Fixes:
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- It is no longer possible to cancel the Skill Chain target menu and leave it in an incorrect state.
- Striking KOed hallucinations in Chapter 8 no longer increases their recovery timer.
- Night Gale movement speed is further increased at higher speed settings.
- Leonard's reward state is now reset correctly when quitting to the main menu.
- Urtat in Porto Vale no longer becomes untargetted if attacked whilst blitzing.
- Fixes to minor visual issues and typos.

Changes:
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- Smokescreen monster dodge percentage is increased from 36% to 45%

Additions:
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- A Sound Volume slider control is now available from the Options menu.
- Run can now be triggered by moving the mouse cursor to the screen edges.
- Skill name popups appear on the radial menu when the Tutorial option is on.
- Skill information popups appear on the 'Next Skill' icon on the combat GUI.
- Skill information popups appear on the Skill Chain and Party Chain menus.
- Individual Skill Chain entries in the combat GUI are now approximately colour coded.
- Item Effect descriptions have been added to the manual.


Final Release30th July 2008

We've made it, just about!
The Spirit Engine 2 full version, demo and soundtrack should now be available here.

It feels strange to be finally letting go of a project that has been such a large part of my life for so long. This is an incredibly nervewracking process and not one that I have been through before. The game is not perfect but then nothing ever is or ever will be.
I'm still very proud of the result and my only hope now is that people will enjoy it.
If you check out the demo or buy the game I welcome your feedback in the forums.

Some special mentions must be made at this point.

First of all I would like to thank Josh Whelchel for writing the game's soundtrack. Music is an important component of any game but especially one in this genre. The Spirit Engine 2 is very fortunate to be blessed with his composing skills.
Josh has stayed committed to the project from the beginning and his support has meant a lot to me. The result is a soundtrack over 3 and a half hours long!
I am very much in love with it and I hope that you will be too.
The soundtrack for The Spirit Engine 2 can be purchased from Josh's site.

I would also like to thank Jim Riley of Acoders for his feedback and his contributions as a playtester.
There are inevitably some typos still lurking in the game's script. Indeed one has slipped through to the character descriptions as a result of one of my late edits. Many of the ones you won't find are due to his diligent efforts. And given the huge volume of text in the game, that is quite an achievement.

This certainly won't be the end of my work on the game, and there will be patches. I look forward to working to resolve any issues that affect players.

Lastly, the demo consists of the first two chapters of the game. Choosing the content for the demo was difficult and unfortunately these are in my opinion the weakest sections of the game. But chapter 1 is necessary as an introduction and skipping past chapter 2 might get confusing and a little difficult. It ends just as it is getting interesting, I promise!

My thanks to everyone who has expressed an interest in the game these past four and a half years and given me their support. I hope that you enjoy the end result.

-Mark

Release Date30th June 2008
After so many years spent putting aside spare moments of my evenings and weekends to work on this project, the end is in sight and I have finally been able to set a release date.
The Spirit Engine 2 will go on sale on Wednesday 30th July.

At the moment I am playtesting and polishing and Josh is busy putting the finishing touches to a truly stellar soundtrack.

Quality independently developed RPGs/adventures are too rare, and I want to show that you can still craft a compelling game, worth your playing time and hopefully your money, without an enormous budget.

I intend to update with some new content before the release, not least the final price once I have finished procrastinating about it.
I hope you'll be back here at release time to check out the game and demo. If you have any questions or feedback in the meantime, please feel free to sign up in the forums and ask away.
Thanks!

-Mark


Premonitions complete6th June 2008
We're getting there, honest! The final mile is just really, really slow.
In the meantime, Josh has released the last volume of Premonitions, the previous modular version of the TSE-2 soundtrack. ( Currently being replaced by the sexy new streaming version ^_^ )



Get it from Josh's site here.
The previous volumes can be found here.


Donation Drive5th April 2008
Josh is currently running a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society and using a very special incentive for fans of great music.
If you donate $5 or more to the ACS through Josh, you will receive a free copy of the complete soundtrack to The Spirit Engine 2 when it is released, and get a little mention in the game's credits. :)
This is a wonderful opportunity to donate to a good cause which affects us all, and pick up a fantastic collection of music at the same time.

Donate Here.

Additional Information.

Track Previews!


Of Mice & Men8th March 2008
I start a new job next week. For at least the next month I will not be available to post any updates here or in the forums, until I find a new apartment and get a net connection set up there.
This is also the reason for the relative lack of updates here in the last month. It is disappointing, especially with The Spirit Engine 2 being almost ready for release, but I did not want to go any longer without work.

I will be back under contract again, which will severely restrict my options.
I think that a release is still possible, though not in the way I had hoped and planned for. The game is essentially finished, and I have been bugfixing since January. I hope to be back with firm news later this Spring.

I'll find some way around this, because I didn't spend the last four and a half years working on this game to shelve it once it was finished. I hope you're all more patient than I am. :)


Premonitions Vol. 29th February 2008
Josh has released the second volume of the original Original Soundtrack for the Spirit Engine 2. Check it out here!.

At the moment I am being kept busy with the usual polishing, playtesting, dialogue tweaking and difficulty balancing. It's going well. :)


Well I never...28th January 2008
I finally bought a copy of MMF2 and TSE-2 will load in it. All credit to Clickteam, I wasn't expected it to work as gracefully as it did. There are still some immediate issues created by the conversion process, and most likely some others that are waiting to be found so I will stick to 1.5 for the moment. But I am reassured that it is now an option if any problems with Vista occur.

I am very fortunate to have Jimbob of Acoders testing the game at the moment. He is giving me a lot of detailed feedback and really helping me with the polish and debug process.

Last up, I've captured a second video of the combat system, courtesy of YouTube, available directly here.
The capture process is less than ideal, struggling along on my aging PC, trying to share CPU cycles with a hungry MMF application. The video quality is low and the soundtrack has not been updated yet. I'll try dropping in an embedded version below, but these rarely seem to work when I try them for some reason. :)




Balancing Act14th January 2008

In the interest of efficiency, ( not laziness, no sir ) I have been looking at ways to generate material for updates without taking too much time away from actual development. I decided to roll two tasks into one and get most of the manual written. I had already put up the Combat Reference and it is now joined by the first third of the Skills Reference.
This won't be the finished version of the manual. I'm writing it in HTML this time to make it easier to translate.

You may notice that many of the formulae have gotten longer. There's two new factors in there - one to give diminishing returns on additional skill points and another to give more return on skill points as party level increases.
The aim was to allow and encourage players to spread their skill points thinly across a variety of skills, as opposed to TSE-1, which favoured stacking points into one or two skills. In practise, the effect is not as pronounced as I would have liked, but an increase of the weighting on the party level contribution has helped keep under-invested skills useful when they are needed. The skill balance seems to be settling nicely now.


Back to Business2nd January 2008

This Christmas saw me made redundant as the studio that I was working for closed its doors. This is both good and bad news. Bad because my bank balance is now a small number getting smaller, but good because I am able to get back to work on The Spirit Engine 2 again.

I hope there will be no more delays. I intend to have the game finished by summer. I'd like to say this is a certainty, but my employment situation remains a complete unknown into the new year and could yet gleefully throw another wrench into the engine.

It's going to be good. I can see this as I spend this time tweaking and playtesting. I'm nervous as hell still, but I am at least confident in the quality of the game, and I am not by nature a confident person.

Thank-you to everyone who has continued to express your interest in the game through the long silence this past year. I hope to be making some more interesting updates as a release draws closer.

Now back to work. :)



Modular Musical Mayhem
Hi folks.

I must apologise again for the lack of updates on the site this past year. I should be able to get back to work here soon.

Although I have been out of commisson, Josh has still been hard at work on the soundtrack, and has been for as long as the game has been in development ( 4 years now, good grief ).
Some time ago the decision was made to upgrade all the music from modular to streaming format and Josh has since completely rewritten and reworked the original set of tracks. Some have been left out, many more have been added.
Rather than lose the originals, Josh has assembled them into a set of four fantastic album-length volumes which he will begin releasing on his homepage from December 7th, with the rest arriving later in the next year. I shouldn't have to encourage you to go download at the appropriate time.



The final soundtrack is itself excitingly close to completion, and impressive both in its beautiful crafted quality and its sheer number of tracks. Josh is an highly talented musician and I am blessed to be working with him.


News on Hold

Hello and thanks for visiting.

Apologies for the lack of news here. The Spirit Engine 2 is in a good state and after some unfortunate but necessary delay, I hope see it finished in mid to late 2008. Until further notice I regret that I don't have much to report here.

In the meantime, feel free to make use of the forums ( see complicated signups details and I apologise in advance for the delay in signups, the spambots are winning ) or contact me using the mail address in the links section.