After roughly one and a half years of magic-making here at SkyGoblin, we are now proud to finally let you take part of The Journey Down: Chapter One. The game was released for PC and Mac this morning and has already slam-dunked sweet scores on a bunch of different sites. Our Linux build should go live on Desura some time today as well. (UPDATE: Yay we’re now live on Desura!) A couple of our favorite reviews are quoted below.
…a fine bit of point and clickery, with a good script, solid puzzles and a fantastic sense of style.
We are currently hard at work making sure TJD will be available for purchase through as many channels as possible, and our list of stores is growing by the day. Here’s our current list of sites that offer the game for download. We will be adding to the list as more stores go live. If there is a certain store you’d like to see added to this list, please drop us a line and say so!
We finally have a release date set for Chapter One of The Journey Down on PC, Mac and Linux! You better stop reading this very second and start hoarding up money so you can buy the game on every single store as soon as it becomes available for purchase on the 18th of May! Android and iOS versions will be coming along soon.
If you’re shakin’ crazy curious about the game or simply feel like looking at pretty pictures of me – be sure to head over to the spankin’ new preview over at adventuregamers.com where we discuss some of the game’s cultural background and the process behind our production.
In other news we got the additional camping stuff up and running in Nord yesterday, be sure to check out the bbq and other neat stuff in the camping menu!
Since a few days back, most of our tech is now up and running. We can now run The Journey Down on most platforms without any manual conversions required as our tools, for the most part, does this for us. The latest addition to our now fairly large pile of tech is the iOS version which we’ve successfully deployed on iPhones and we can now run the game on Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone and iPad. Android will follow shortly.
On the desktop side, we took a short detour a while back and threw out our OpenGL based renderer on Windows systems and instead wrote a DirectX 9 renderer. It’s irritating that we had to do this since our OpenGL renderer should work on all targeted desktop systems without any platform dependent modifications, but as it turned out, graphics card drivers for OpenGL are way to buggy on way too many computers for us to be able to rely on any basic functionality at all. The problem is most notable on laptops which often bundle an old driver which can’t be upgraded. When BETA testing The Journey Down, we found that there are, even surprisingly new (most notably with graphics hardware from Intel), laptops on which the OpenGL drivers were completely unusable and on which they weren’t possible to upgrade to a usable state. Shame… In any case, DirectX 9 is probably the most widely supported graphics API there is (on Windows at least) and is fairly well documented and easy to use. Porting the rendererer on Windows to DirectX 9 turned out to be surprisingly simple. In general, I’d say that DirectX 9 is an OK api and that DirectX 10 and 11 are excellent api’s, so while I would have preferred to use DirectX 10, locking out Windows XP users just to make the code a little bit more pretty seemed unnecessary. In any case, the new DirectX 9 renderer works like a charm.
Porting to iOS turned out to be surprisingly similar to porting to Mac OS X in general. Being a Linux user myself, I’m usually a bit skeptic to the choices Apple make for their developers and for the life of me, I can’t figure out why anyone would prefer Objective C to C or C++, but I must admit that the iOS development pipeline is pretty darn smooth. The iOS code is surprisingly similar to the Mac code and debugging on the device is both fast and easy to use (connect the device, click on the big button and it runs). Neat!
The Journey Down is really starting to come along nicely on all fronts. We’re very much looking forward to letting you play the game. It won’t be long!