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A Rite from the Stars Makoan Legend Edition DLC is available now!

by on May.23, 2019, under a rite from the stars, featured, new release

 

We are excited to announce the release of a new DLC for A Rite from the Stars! Developer Risin’ Goat has put together the “Makoan Legend Edition DLC”, a collection of art, lore, and music to enhance the world of A Rite from the Stars. Priced at just $6.99, the DLC includes 3 essential works to fully enjoy A Rite from the Stars and the universe around it.

  • A Rite from the Stars Artbook: Tracing the evolution the game’s beautiful art and design, this 30-page book includes art from the team’s 2D and 3D artists, ranging from concepts to backgrounds to 3D renders, and even includes a few lovely pieces submitted by fans!

 

  • The Official Guide to the Kaikala Universe: A meticulously comprehensive compendium on the Kaikala Universe, compiled by game designer and writer Carlos L. Hernando. This 90-page book contains all the lore created for the game, as well as some of the real-life inspirations, and a Makoan vocabulary, the original language created for the game.  

 

  • A Rite from the Stars: The Original Soundtrack: Over 50 tracks and 2 hours of beautiful original music, composed by Daniel Núñez Martín and featuring the Organum Chorus. Inspired by ethnic, tribal, and orchestral music, this soundtrack captures the essence of the Mystical Island of Kaikala, and Makoan lyrics. It also includes bonus unused tracks, alternate compositions, and secret songs.

In celebration of the DLC release, A Rite from the Stars is on sale for 50% off this week, and the game and DLC can be purchased together at a 10% discount.

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The Silver Lining Progress Report

by on Jan.31, 2019, under featured, tsl

First things first: No, this isn’t a release date announcement. It’s a progress report!

The first of a few we’re planning for the next few weeks, in fact. It’s been a while since we talked about the state of The Silver Lining, and we’d like to let you know some of the things going on behind-the-scenes.

One of the reasons for the slow updates is that much of the work that’s been done in the last year isn’t the very glamorous kind. Much of game development is programming (over and over and over), fixing bugs (over and over and over), exporting animations, rigging, scripting, tweaking, over and over and…you get the idea. In fact, that stuff is the meat of game development, if I’m quite honest.

This year, our TSL work has been focused on the non-glamorous nuts and bolts. In particular, we’ve been making pipeline improvements. Meaning that we’ve been improving our own workflow and the tools we use in order to make said nuts and bolts work better and work for us. For example:

  • Cloth simulation
  • Facial capture and lip-syncing
  • Online VR mocap systems
  • Puzzle tweaking

What each of these entails I’ll go into when we cover them in more detail, but at a high level, here’s the scoop.

Cloth simulation. This one even puzzled me for a while. Sure, every game dev prides themselves on pushing the envelope, honing their craft, making each game better than the last. But we don’t want the look of Ep 5 to stray so far from the previous episodes that it’s jarring, and we’re not trying to match AAA quality. But if you’ve been playing TSL, you may have noticed it’s a little fixated on these people who love wearing cloaks! And what do cloaks do when you move? They also move. And what’s a pain in the butt to animate in every single animation you create for a person in a cloak? The animation of their cloak! You know what helps with that? A tool that handles the animation of the cloth for you! (All of this is also a roundabout way of saying, you’re going to see a lot more of people in the Black and Silver Cloak Societies in Episode 5 than you did previously!)

Facial capture and lip syncing. Much like the cloth simulator, this is a tool that, once implemented, makes animating a lot easier. We have tools that already form a character’s mouth roughly to the sounds of the words, but we still need to plan their expression as they speak, and program those expressions in. Facial capture lets you skip a lot of that by recording the expression of the actor when they read the lines. Now, an added challenge for us is that we recorded all these lines years ago, and without filming the actors, so to get this to work, someone needs to re-read the lines so their face can be captured. And you know how wordy we are– when else has a game had to offer a “Short Narrations” option? So this re-recording takes a while, especially when you’ve got busy schedules and different time zones to work around.

Online VR mocap systems. Full motion capture is just like the facial capture, but it takes a lot more people and a lot more space. Here we’ve got the added challenges of needing physical space to move in, cameras to capture the movement from many angles, and the fact that the person with the cameras and space and the actors lives in a totally different time zone (country, even!) from the person directing the acting. And Phoenix, as you know, is an online company without a physical office. So how do we solve this? Create a virtual space where everyone can be at the same time! With the use of VR tools and headsets, it’s like everyone is in the same place and watching one another live, even seeing the animation on the character model practically live! Instant tweaking and adjustments become possible! There’s still that scheduling issue, of course, and the sheer volume of animations to get through.

Puzzle tweaking. The puzzles of Episode 5 were designed a while ago, but often when you’re working through implementing puzzles in-game, you find you need to make adjustments. We’ve held some brainstorming sessions to address this exact issue, finding ways to keep the puzzles interesting and true to the world and gameplay we’ve established, but also work within the game engine and the ‘physical’ world of the game. I don’t want to give away too much here, since we’re talking about the meat and potatoes of the game, but I will say a forced perspective of distance posed a problem when a distant object that needed to be interacted with proved to be further away due to the scene setup than we thought it was thanks to looking much closer due to the angle of the camera. Moving the camera didn’t work as a solution, because everything else was framed up where we needed it, so we had to find a way to fit fewer objects in a smaller space that was in fact a much larger space. Basically, game design is like a TARDIS, sometimes!

In the coming weeks, we’ll gather and share some more of the ‘flashy’ examples of some of these things and go into some more details. Thanks as always for coming along on this journey with us!

~Katie

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Help Support Steve Alexander of Infamous Quests!

by on Jul.30, 2018, under featured

Adventure community, one of our own needs our help.

Steve Alexander isn’t just the co-founder of Infamous Quests, designers of Quest for Infamy and Order of the Thorne (as well as the fan remakes of King’s Quest III and Space Quest II done by Infamous Adventures), he’s an all great guy, good friend, an incredibly …and facing some very tough times to come. Steve will soon have to undergo a third kidney transplant surgery, this time donated by his amazing wife Jordan (whom you may know as the Angry Splash Mountain Lady!).

Steve’s friends have organized a GoFundMe to support him and his family during this time. You can read more about Steve’s journey, diagnosis, and what the money will used for at that page.

For the next week–July 30th through August 6th–Phoenix Online will be donating 30% of all sales in our store to support Steve! That’s 30% of ANY game, and you can also save 10% on your purchase by using the coupon code StevesKidney.

Please help support Steve in whatever you can–buy a game, make a donation, or just by sharing the link for the GoFundMe. Whatever you can do will be greatly appreciated and go to a great cause!

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A Rite from the Stars is available now! 10% launch week discount!

by on Jul.19, 2018, under a rite from the stars, featured, new release

We are thrilled to announce that A Rite from the Stars, the whimsical coming-of-age adventure from Risin’ Goat and Phoenix Online Publishing, is available now! Releasing today for PC & Mac, with Linux coming soon, A Rite from the Stars can be found on Steam, the Phoenix Online Store, and more. The game is priced at $14.99 USD with a 10% launch week discount running in all stores. Check out the new trailer and screenshots below!

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A Rite from the Stars releasing on July 19th!

by on Jun.28, 2018, under a rite from the stars, featured

Fellow adventurers! We are thrilled to announce that A Rite from the Stars, the debut game from developer Risin’ Goat, will be releasing on July 19th! Available at release for PC & Mac, with Linux soon to follow, A Rite from the Stars introduces us to Kirm, a mute boy from the Makoa tribe, who has been chosen by the Stars to undertake a mystical rite of passage to become a legend among his people. To achieve this, players can freely explore the Mystical Island of Kaikala and pursue the three paths of Wisdom, Courage, and Spirit in any order they choose. Each path offers a new style of puzzles and obstacles to overcome, from solving riddles to manipulating ancient machinery to tag-team coconut dodgeball! Not to mention Kirm’s playable meerkat companion Mirk and guiding star Hoku, who are on hand to collaborate on puzzle solutions and lend insight along the way.

Inspired by classics like Machinarium and the Legend of Zelda series, A Rite from the Stars features vibrant 3D environments and a fully orchestrated soundtrack recorded with a live chorus. It’s voiced in the Makoan, the original language developed especially for the game, with subtitles in English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish.

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Phoenix Online Summer Sale! 75% off everything, now through July 8th!

by on Jun.22, 2018, under featured, store

It’s time for the Phoenix Online Summer Sale! Now through July 8th, get 75% off everything in our store — all games and all music! The Phoenix Online Store is always DRM-free, and Steam keys are available for all our games.

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Coming in 2018: A Rite from the Stars and Bleeding Moons!

by on Jun.07, 2018, under a rite from the stars, bleeding moons, featured

We are very excited to announce two new additions to our adventure game catalog: A Rite from the Stars, releasing this summer, and Bleeding Moons, coming later this year!

About A Rite from the Stars
The debut game of Spanish developer Risin’ Goat, A Rite from the Stars is a fun and clever fully 3D point & click adventure game about Kirm, a young mute boy chosen by the Stars to undertake a mystical rite of passage to become a legend among his people.

In this coming-of-age story, players will explore the Mystical Island of Kaikala, home to the Makoa tribe, and pursue the three paths of Wisdom, Courage, and Spirit in any order they choose. Each path introduces new mechanics to solve unique challenges, ranging from arcade sequences to musical puzzles, with Kirm’s playable meerkat companion Mirk and guiding star Hoku on hand to collaborate on puzzle solutions and lend insight along the way.

A Rite from the Stars features beautiful 3D environments, a fully orchestrated soundtrack recorded with a live chorus, and a complete original Makoan language developed for the game! A Rite from the Stars will be released for PC, Mac, and Linux, and feature French, Italian, German, and Spanish translations on release. Learn more at www.risingoat.com.

About Bleeding Moons
Winner of seven Alex d’Or awards, including Best Game and Best Story, Bleeding Moons is the first game from IAN Games and designer Olivier Larrieu. This interactive narrative game thrusts players into the role of Ian de Valmain, a young nobleman-turned-assassin who must infiltrate a mercenary camp to help save his homeland.

A second son not destined for greatness or inheritance, Ian is caught up in political intrigue and a violent war he was not prepared for, and now struggles with what he must do. Your choices will affect not only the outcome of the war but also the shape of Ian’s soul and the love of his life as you navigate to one of many possible endings. Bleeding Moons’ top-down graphics and focus on storytelling are reminiscent of Freebird Games’ To The Moon, which IAN Games cites as an inspiration. Learn more at www.iangames.com.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more about these two excellent games, and welcome to the Phoenix Online family!

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Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller is Now Available on Mobile!

by on Feb.08, 2018, under cognition, featured, new release

We are thrilled to announce the long-awaited mobile release of Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller – Game of the Year Edition for both iOS and Android today! All 4 exciting episodes are available on mobile for $2.99 each in the App Store and on Google Play. Check out the new trailer on our YouTube channel.

Take on the role of Erica Reed, a Boston FBI agent with the power to see visions of the past, as she tracks down four different serial killers and uncover a series of clues left for someone with her specific ability. But who’s leaving the clues? How do they know her secret, and what do they want from her? This edition of the critically-acclaimed adventure features director’s commentary, behind-the-scenes development diaries, concept sketches, outtakes, and more!

Originally released in 2012 & 2013, the Cognition Game of the Year Edition was first published in 2014 after winning six Reader’s Choice Aggie Awards, including Best Adventure Game of 2013. Awarded entirely based on reader votes from the adventure game community at AdventureGamers.com, Cognition also came away with Best Writing (Drama), Best Story, Best Independent Adventure, Best Traditional Adventure, and Best Music.

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The Most Wonderful Time of the Year: The Phoenix Online Winter Sale!

by on Dec.21, 2017, under featured, store

That’s right, it’s that time of year again–our Winter Sale is on! Head over to the Phoenix Online Store now to save up to 80%! All Phoenix Online games are on sale, and our soundtracks too! Now through January 4th, so it’s a perfect time to give the gift of the adventure!


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Pumpkin Spiced and Not Too Latte: The Phoenix Online Halloween Sale!

by on Oct.26, 2017, under featured, store

We’re celebrating awesome adventure games, the Halloween season, and caffeine all at once this year!

Get up to 80% off in the Phoenix Online Store now through Nov. 5th! Because even after Halloween, it’s not too latte to enjoy the season–or the games!

And if you love the Suffer and his Creepy Coffee buddy as much as we do, then you’ll love these icons and desktop backgrounds!

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