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Homebrew The Official Swords and Runes Production Thread Update 10/22/15: The NA Edition Revealed!

Apr 19, 2015 at 2:22:47 PM
SoleGooseProductions (120)
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(Beau ) < Ridley Wrangler >
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10/22/15 - The NA Edition Revealed!


As a bit of preparation before the release itself, I figured now would be a good time to reveal the contents of the NA Edition of Swords and Runes. It has been a long time coming, to be sure, but hopefully it has been worth the wait. A lot fo people have helped to make it happen, and be sure to look in the credits and be sure to look through the end-game credits as well as the manual to see who all has been involved. I have tried my best to thank folks along the way, but there were a few last minute additions. Anyways, without further ado:












As can be seen, the NA Edition is a full CIB, and has a few bonus items as well. Price will be $75. The breakdown is as follows:

-Numbered title screen (limited to 100)
-Exclusive LE/NA gold (technically brown) cartridge
-Special edition box, manual, and label
-Fold out map of M-Tee's excellent illustration
-Paper cart sleeve
-Styrofoam block
-And a special surprise that must be won

The one thing missing from the images above is of course the map. It is on its way, and I have no doubts that it will be of the highest quality. It is a paper version of the same map that was found in the LE, and will be packaged within the box.

What I have in mind for SGP releases is to form a set way of doing things, that both rewards gamers and those who have bought our previous releases (this of course being the first). The NA in the edition title clearly pays tribute to its nature as a forum release, yet it actually stands for Numbered Addition. The reason for this, is that for subsequent NA editions, those who possess the previous release will be reserved a spot for the next, keeping their same number ("adding" to it, see?). No more staying up all night clicking the refresh button, or hunting down a certain number in order to have a nice little set. Instead previous owners will likely have five to seven days to claim their reservation. We'll see how this system works, but as a player and collector myself, I would be thankful for this situation.

I have said "owners" above, and not buyers, since I'll be starting a thread in the Collector's forum where transfers of ownership can be logged. I am not a big fan of settling disputes, so if you buy, sell, or trade an LE or NA copy, be sure to log it. The list of reservations will be pulled straight from the list, and folks may be required to pony up photos in certain instances.

The other reason for this, is because each NA copy is reserved one prize. Yep, physical rewards! Somewhere in the game there are instructions on how to claim this, and there is only one per copy. I do not have extras. These will begin shipping in December, for those that can find the secret, and prizes will be chosen at random; there are four variations.

I do apologize for repeating all of this again, much of it for the third or fourth time, but I want to be as clear as possible about things (and I know I will still be asked the same questions anyways ).

Until tomorrow night...
~SGP


 


-------------------------
"The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long..." ~ Blade Runner

SoleGooseProductions.com



Edited: 10/22/2015 at 11:59 PM by SoleGooseProductions

Apr 19, 2015 at 2:23:24 PM
SoleGooseProductions (120)
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(Beau ) < Ridley Wrangler >
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Previous Updates


4/19/15 - Greetings and the Prototype LE


The time has finally come, Swords and Runes production has begun! Well, it has been fermenting for some time, but it has reached a stage where we can begin to unveil some details and images. For those that have not heard of this game it is a full, turn-based RPG for the NES. The first of its kind of the system! It features and intricate cast of characters, an engaging plot, a unique battle system, and a password system that allows you to resume your quest. First, however, I should explain who and what Sole Goose Productions is, and our relation to this great game.

As we all know, Swords and Runes has been programmed by NA user: user. You can read all about his development of this awesome game here: http://nintendoage.com/forum/messageview.cfm?catid=22&th... .Who am I, then, to be the one introducing his game? Simply put, I am the publisher for the project (in addition to a few other roles). User and I have teamed up for a few projects, but this is the first, and I think the most dear to us both. As publisher, my role is to bring the project to fruition, and we are almost there. I had not intended to take on this role just yet, having envisioned it for a future day when one of my own projects might be finished, but I could not pass up the opportunity to help deliver an amazing project to the community. I must also ask for a bit of forgiveness when it has come to revealing things about this side of the project. I do not like to discuss things until they are ready, or about ready at least, as can probably be gathered from the absence of information regarding my own work. People have been asking about S&R for months now, and thank you for your patience with the lack of answers. Hopefully it will have been worth it!

There will be three editions of Swords and Runes that will be published. These are as follows: the Limited Edition (LE), the Numbered Edition (NA), and the Regular Edition (RE). Each is unique in its own way, and has served as a point of creativity for one or more members of the community. The LE has been a chance for me to learn some additional skills and become a bit more crafty than I normally am. The Numbered edition, which will be referred to as the NA Edition since it will be offered for sale here on the forums, has been a chance for user and I to complete a project that we began together, and has been wholly developed by the two of us. The RE, on the other hand, will showcase an interpretation of the world of Swords and Runes by one of NA’s leading artists.

The timeline for the editions is as follows:
-LE: As soon as it is complete, in about one to three months.
-NA: One to two months after the LE Edition, if all goes well with the myriad aspects of production.
-RE: Two to six months after the NA Edition, due to the release of another game in between.

Anyways, on to fuller descriptions of the three editions.



The Limited Edition (LE)

The LE has been a chance for me to learn a bit about pyrography, wood finishing, painting, etc. It is the first time that I have attempted such a project, so pardon any amateur mistakes (also note that the current example is the prototype box, complete with imperfections). I have had good advice along the way, however, and though he is not likely to ever find these words to read them, I have been very appreciative of my grandpa’s help.





















The box was chosen to reflect the game itself, which is a narrative adventure set in a land of magic and high fantasy. There will be four designs for the LE, as each of the four protagonists deserves to find his or her place on the cover of the game. I still have not decided how the division of characters will work. Either a set number could be made, or the recipients could individually choose which character they would like to adorn their boxes. The color of the inner cloth will be specific to each character. In coming days I will also be experimenting with painting the faces on the boxes, in order to bring them more to life.

As can be seen, the LE numbers will be inconspicuously placed on the spine of the volume. In the current example, P is for prototype, and Roman numerals will be used for the actual boxes. The idea for stripes on the spine was borrowed from another project, just to note.

Beyond the box, the LE version of the game will also a few physical extras. An amazing map, drawn and inked by M-Tee based off of user’s original conception, will be included in some form or another with the LE. Ideally it will be printed on cloth, like the Ultima maps of old, but I am still attempting to figure out the logistics of that road. The LE will also include a secret item, times four! A good reward deserves an equally good accomplishment, however, and players will have to earn their prizes the hard way. Unclaimed rewards transfer with the sale of the item too, but more on that below.

In the pictures that have been provided, one thing is certainly missing: the game itself. Instead of using a filler shell, or one of the prototypes that use different parts, I have opted to wait until everything is in hand. Rather than use existing parts, I have worked to source a new supply of items (in cooperation with several other members). A custom colored shell will be used for both the LE and the NA edition, and it will be exclusive to these editions. The shells and their mold are currently in some stage of production, and they help to set the time table for when Swords and Runes will officially be released.

Something that is perhaps even more exciting (to me at least), is that the game will be running on an all new board. Designed by Memblers Industries, the Cheapocabra will serve as a flexible platform on which to run this game. Due to the rapid development of Swords and Runes, this particular game will not take advantage of many of the rich features found on Memblers’ board, but future projects will. As is to be expected, it is a work of 8-bit genius! It is possible that the ten LE copies that go up for auction might not use this board, but that all depends on China (same for the cartridge shells).

In addition to the above, the game will of course include a manual. User has developed a rather unique and highly addicting battle system, but it does have a slight learning curve. The manual will also serve as a chance to introduce players to the world of Swords and Runes, and also help them set out on their journey.

The LEs have understandably not been easy to produce, and will be given to members of the development and testing teams. Along with Dain of course, without whom none of this would have happened. Nintendo Age has been many things to me over the last couple of years; it has given me a hobby, friends, and even caused me to move across country, and I cannot thank our founder enough. Thanks Dain!

There will also be ten, plus or minus one or two, copies that will be auctioned off in the near future. These will likely follow the famous one-bid homebrew LE format. Be prepared, and bid wisely when the time comes. Funds from the sale of the game will be used to recoup a small portion of the costs that have gone into funding homebrew development and tools these past several months.

Oh, and if we end up doing a sequel, and I think that we probably will, rest assured that it will match the first part of the series. I’m already collecting more boxes .



The Numbered/NintendoAge Edition (NA)

As can be guessed, this edition will be offered up for sale right here on Nintendo Age. There will be one hundred copies. Each copy will be individually numbered on the title screen, and come with both a box and manual. The box pays homage to user’s artistic talents, as well as my own simple drawing skills. This edition will include M-Tee’s excellent map as well, in some form or another. It will probably be a fold out, paper map, but this has not been decided just yet.

The NA release also includes one mystery, but physical, prize. And that’s all I really have to say about that. Well, some description of how the system will work is explained below. Since there are four possible prizes, and each NA edition is eligible for only one of them, they will be randomly chosen and distributed. In order to smooth things out in the future, shipping for the item will likely be included in the purchase price. All Numbered Editions of SGP releases will have a similar physical reward, so collect them all!

This release will be done on a first-come, first-serve basis, and will not really break from how others have offered up their games in the past. I had initially been against this next bit, but when folks lay claim to their copy of the game, they may also request a number. Requests and numbers will understandably be first-come, first-serve. More details will be in the official thread (do NOT start trying to reserve them now, doing so may result in bad things), but I had to bring this up in order to mention the next point: for SGP releases, one is automatically reserved a spot for the next release that we publish. There is no guarantee what this project may be, but as long as I am publishing it (note publishing, not distributing), a person will have a shot at getting the same number on the next game. There will be a window in which one can lay claim to the next game (from a few days to a week), and after that it will open up to those who did not get in on the previous release. This is similar to what MRN did for The Grind, but please note that this only holds true for the most previous release. If a person snags number thirty-three of the first game, but does not purchase the next game that we release, then whoever gets number thirty-three for the second release will be the one eligible when it comes to the third game. It is entirely feasible, though highly unlikely, that once this first game is sold, no one new will be able to get in on a future release. Possible, but very unlikely due to the circumstances of life. Waitlist spots will not transfer between games. Also, due to this situation, those that have obtained or purchased an LE copy will not be barred from purchasing the NA edition.

If buying or reselling a copy of the game, or any SGP game, you will have the opportunity to note the transfer of the copy. “Next game reservations” go to the current, not original, owner of a game. How will this be tracked, and conflicts resolved? Simple, log the exchange on the same thread that will be used for physical rewards (see below).

The purpose of offering games this way is manifold, but one of the most important (to me at least), is that one no longer has to worry about staying up until three in the morning, refreshing the page every two seconds, after they have secured the most recent release. Realistically, you only have to do this once (and I’m not a night person, so you better be up early ).

Oh, and you might be wondering:

“Will there be a next release?”

You bet! It is in the polishing stages as we proverbially speak.

“Well, will there be a third game too?”

You bet again! Testing and art are happening with that one.

“Well, what about a fourth?”

Only time will tell my interrogative friend .



The Regular Release (RE)

Call it what you will (Regular, Standard, General, etc.), but this one is for the masses. It will be unnumbered and a full CIB, but will likely not include the map. It will definitely not include the physical prize(s). It will, however, feature some pretty cool and unique artwork. We are working on a website or some other type of place to sell this edition from, so keep a lookout for that (currently under construction). It will hopefully be a place that I can publish a bit more about what goes on in my mind, but we’ll see.



Physical Rewards

I am going to attempt to say something without saying much of anything, as I like surprises. However, I need to lay out a few parameters and ground rules for the physical rewards. Each NA edition will be eligible to win one prize, while each LE edition carries with it four prizes. The conditions for the prizes are within the game itself, and the form that they take will likely become a staple of all SGP releases (published, not distributed releases). I will be keeping a public list for all games regarding cart numbers, current owner, and whether or not the accompanying prizes have been claimed. Therefore, if someone wants to ensure, when purchasing a second-hand copy of the game, that the prizes are either included or unclaimed, they will be able to do so. All prizes will be printed at once, and in exact relation to the number of cartridges. There will not be extras, but neither will there be less than the total number of eligible carts. The time limit on claiming these prizes will not expire any time soon, and it is likely that they will follow me around for the next several years. To give you an idea of how hidden the Swords and Runes prize is, only one of the beta testers discovered it. One, and several of them played it for hours on end! Also, and this should go without saying, but please don’t ruin the surprise for others. If you find it, keep it to yourself .



What’s Next?

As you can probably see, I have my work cut out for me. Three mostly finished games, nine releases, more stuff on the way, and everything in between. Speaking of which, you can find us on Twitter (ten followers over the last year, woohoo!), Facebook, and soon a website. Still not sure how all this social media works, I’m tempted to return to doing a printed newsletter, but we’ll give it a try. Comments, thoughts, suggestions, etc. are all welcome regarding any aspect of what we’re up to, and thanks for reading

~SGP


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4/26/15 - To Paint, or Not to Paint...


Throughout the process of designing the LE box, I have more or less adhered to the original idea that I had when first thinking it up last fall. One aspect, however, that I have debated time and again was whether or not to paint the face of the protagonist. I have generally always preferred black and white drawings to those done in color, but that could partially be due to the fact that my drawings always seem to go awry when color is added to them. With that being said, here is what the prototype box looks like when painted:







What do you all think? Any thoughts, comments, or opinions would be helpful, and don't forget to factor in that there will be four different box designs and therefore four different color schemes for the different characters (each matching the interior cloth as well). Thanks for any input in advance, and for the thoughtful comments last week. Oh, and pardon my crooked letters, this is one of the many reasons for a proto after all.

~SGP


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5/11/15 - S&R Map!

A better update is on its way (after a sturdy lunch), but ths should whet the old appetite.

Check out the S&R map, as done by M-Tee, here: http://www.mteegfx.com/! Be sure to check out his other stuff as well, it is the bee's knees as they say .

Thanks or all of the feedback too about whether or not the box would look better painted or not. Stain it is!

EDIT: A better update than this was never written, at least here... 


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6/17/15 - One Crazy Week!

Well, things are drawing to a close for the first release from Sole Goose Productions. I apologize to all of those that I have not been able to keep up with in terms of contact; it has been one crazy week! Until I get my blog up and running, I suppose I’ll use this venue to retell my journeys and adventures, and get everyone up to speed on where the release of Swords and Runes is sitting.

Living in an apartment has its perks: no lawn mowing, some bills included with rent, neighbors that never stick around for too long, etc. However, one downside is that I have been a little hesitant to break out the woodburner and stain and actually finish the LE boxes. I did the prototype box in the apartment, but progress was slow in order to not set off the fire alarm and I may have been a bit out of it by the time staining was complete. Time has not exactly been pressuring me either, since only in this last week have orders for shells, boards, and packaging been worked out. With these things starting to fall into place, though, it seemed like the pertinent thing to do was to take a trip back to Indiana and finish up these darn boxes. Where else to finish them than in my grandparents’ basement . Let’s keep this one stereotype ringing true!


The state of everything pre-travel.

Having never really done this type of thing before, my working process was figured out as I went. I did what I could in our apartment, like drawing out and transferring the images to the wood, separating lids from bases, and running through a couple of test runs to see the quickest way to do things when full production began. I won’t get into all of the details here, but I basically turned my old desk into a small-scale assembly line, accomplishing one piece of the project at a time.


Not a bad little working area.

I am not really a fan of variants with these types of releases as they are hard enough to track down (and also since it means that there is one more thing for me to find for my own collection!), but the plan from the beginning with these LE boxes has been to have four designs to reflect the four protagonists. Here you can see what the unfinished versions of them look like:


Clockwise from the top left: Zhor, Shao, Lyvn, Khan

It was at this point in the week that the project needed to be momentarily interrupted. I had to see a man about a horse, as they say, and that meant making a drive south for the night. We accomplished a lot, had a great time, and even managed to make a visit over to Illinois in the morning to visit a fellow brewer. After an exhausting day or so, I returned home with an unassuming Wal-Mart bag... filled with all sorts of goodies . These will be used in future SGP projects, but will unfortunately not make it into the LE. Further details are not really mine to share at this time.


The best part of traveling in the Midwest?

During the week I also finalized the colors for the cart shells for the next three SGP releases (yep, you counted right). As stated in the first post (below or above, depending on if this post itself has moved around), each limited SGP release, whether it is an LE or NA edition, will sport a fancy custom colored shell. This has been possible through the fine organizational skills of Mr. GreetingCarts, and I cannot thank him enough. We all took the risk together, but he has certainly put in a lot of work beyond throwing down some hard coin. Hats off to you sir! While these should arrive in time for the NA edition (the 100 copy, numbered edition), like the new boards they will not make it into the LE either. That means that the few copies that will be offered for auction will be the only releases from my hand to use donor materials, making them even more limited I guess. We all have to start somewhere, I suppose, and the time has come. The game itself has been done for about six months (Jack is amazing!), but I wanted to wait until things were in a position to seamlessly move from one release into the next before releasing the LE. The S&R LE kicks off what will hopefully be a string of great games. But I digress...

Upon returning to my grandparents’, I found that there was still a lot of work to do! The faces needed to be burned, the spines finished up, oh, and all of the staining and sealing. I am not sure when I lost track of how much time has been spent on this project, but that is probably for the best.


Coffee, fumes, poor lighting... all in a day’s work!

One hiccup that I ran into when getting ready to number the spines was that I discovered that Roman numerals would not fit on the spine. A moment of panic ensued, and I toyed around with various options. Should Arabic numbers be used? Should they be numbered at all? Should there even be anything besides the faux-spine stripes? In the end, since we are already hard at work on a sequel (Jack is like a steam engine!), it seemed best to place the initials of the game at the top, and simply an “I” at the bottom on all boxes (for volume one). The solution that I have worked out for numbering, and one that I think preserves the character and feel of the game itself, has been to stamp the number of the release inconspicuously on the inside of the lid. In a way this should make both those who like and those who hate numbering happy. If you want to see it, it is there, and if not, then you only have to look at it on occasion. This will also allow the different “volumes” of the Swords and Runes saga to sit nicely and congruously with each other on a book shelf. Or something like that.


All of these were done sitting on the floor. If I wasn’t an old man before I began, I was by the time that I got up.

With all of the burning finished, the boxes needed to be sanded before staining. Thankfully my wife was (mostly) happy to lend a hand, as she has been throughout the project. Actually, she has to be given credit for the embellishments on the front of the boxes, and also for painstakingly drawing out the templates. This last part had to be redone at least twice, for various reasons, and as much as I’d like to thank her for her patience, I definitely have not heard the end of that . They did turn out nice though!

The last steps were staining and sealing, and my grandpa and I worked on this part of the project together. It was great to be able to spend time with him, and also to be able to soak in some of his wisdom on the matter (he painted houses for twenty years after he retired).


At least I am not filling their garage with “project” (i.e. never going to be finished) cars like I used to .

This last part was also the most time consuming, and the last coat of sealant has had to be applied back in New York. After an action-packed trip it was time to drive all day East. Thankfully, hatchbacks can haul a lot of stuff, otherwise I am not sure how we would have done it.

Well, the big question now is probably in regards to when the LE will be released, and how. The how is easy and has been discussed already. Just to reiterate, though, it’ll be an auction similar in style to other homebrew LE auctions, meaning one bid with eleven or twelve copies up for grabs. Specifics will be given when the when comes to pass... which should be VERY soon. I’d keep an eye like a hawk on the old auction forum if you’re interested in trying to snag a copy. Proceeds are clearly going to further homebrew development, and in case anyone is curious, we will be revealing our next game when it comes time to release the NA edition of S&R. And again, I’ve gotten a bit off topic .

The next update should be the announcement of the auction, but I may try to squeeze one more OLWOTTMWNR (overly-long-wall-of-text-that-most-will-not-read) in before then. I still have not discussed the map, manual, label, lining, inner summary, secret rewards update, or the hundred other things that have gone into making this project all that it is. Maybe I’ll write a book instead... maybe I’ve already started . Thanks to all who have assisted or just listened with these things.

~SGP


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6/20/15 - The LE Auction is Live!

Hmm, this is a tough one. I want to share some updates and such, and there is some big news down below, but I should probably also say that... THE LE AUCTION IS LIVE! Check it out here: http://nintendoage.com/forum/messageview.cfm?catid=34&th...

Some teaser images of the finished products, more can be seen in the auction thread :






 

Now that that is out of the way...
 
Thanks everyone for all of the kind words. Like my own games, this project has just kind of grown out of what I wanted it to be, which meant that it has taken a lot of time and work, but that it is more or less what I envisioned from the start. Of course, none of this could have been done without all of your helps. The NA community is a great thing to be a part of, and this is as much your work as it is mine.
 
And of course let’s not forget why this project exists at all. Jack has made an excellent game, one that we think you’ll really like! The first full RPG on the NES! Hopefully the packaging both reflects the game itself, and does the contents justice; that is all that I have been shooting for.
 
I also feel the need to apologize for the delay in getting this game out to the community. As you probably know, it has been done for quite some time. To do things right, and in the way that I thought best, has meant sitting on the finished ROM, in a way denying everyone the chance to play the game. But the wait is over, and hopefully the full ensemble is worth it.
 
In the broader scope of our publishing plans, the numbered CIB NA edition should be out either late July or early August. I have been waiting to launch the LE until the NA version could be released within a relatively short amount of time, in order to reduce the frustrating wait for anyone who misses the LE. This edition will be exclusive to the forums, and you can see the first post below (above?) for additional details. The reason for two different limited editions is that I still wanted to give those that might miss out on the LE a chance to still get something a bit different than the general release (due out at some point in the future). Beyond having an exclusive box, manual, and label, it will have the only paper version of the map, and also still include a secret physical reward! We’ll also announce the next game at that time as well. Speaking of the NA edition, boards were ordered earlier today, and man, are good things in store with those. Membler Industries has created a simply amazing custom board aimed at homebrew development, and it has been an honor to be a part of the process in developing them. In the next week or so, as things settle down, I’ll share some more info about these, if the man himself doesn’t first .
 
Anyways, happy bidding and thanks to everyone. NA is a great community!
 
~SGP


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6/28/15 - The LE Auction is Over

Thanks to all that participated in the LE auction. It has officially come to an end, and I thank everyone for their support. Auction winners will be emailed in the next day or two.

For those that are anxious to play Swords and Runes, have no fear, the numbered NA edition is coming soon. This run will be limited in number (number on title screen), come packaged with an exclusive box/manual/label, use Memblers Industries’ new GTROM board housed in a translucent brown shell, contain a fold out edition of M-Tee’s excellent map, and also still include a secret physical reward! When this sale goes live, we will also be unveiling the next game following Swords and Runes, partially to whet your appetite, but also since purchasing the numbered NA edition reserves your place (for a limited amount of time) for the next NA release. Further details can be found below.

~SGP


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7/14/15 - Time to Say Goodbye, LEs Ship Out Tomorrow Morning!

Well, it looks like the time has come; time to let these things get on their way. This is most likely the last time that they'll ever be together.










After they get dropped off tomorrow morning, and tracking numbers are sent to the buyers, I'm taking a nice little break from Swords and Runes things for a week or so. After that, parts and supplies for the NA version should start rolling in, and I'll be sure to update everyone on the progress of the release. I took a gamble with using translucent brown, but from what I can tell it has paid off. Also, dev team and gift copies will ship out at roughly the same time, in case anyone in those parties is curious why theirs doesn't arrive next week. Thanks again everyone, for both your patience and support .

~SGP
 
 

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9/11/15 - The Numbered Addition (NA) Edition Draws Near!


It has been a while, too long dare I say, since the last update regarding Swords and Runes. The release of the LE went rather well (thanks to all supporters!), and other than a label that likes to peel up along the top edge, I am rather happy with how everything turned out. The LE was very much a collaborative project, giving user and I a chance to return his awesome game (it was finished in January, and we have understandably been more focused on the future, and less on re-visiting the past). It also provided M-Tee an opportunity to express his creativity and skill with the map. As I detailed in previous posts, I was even able to work together with my grandpa on the staining portion of the boxes, and my brother was kind enough to give me a hand with formatting the labels for printing. It was certainly a family project at times, and I must of course point out the fact that my wife helped with almost every aspect of the release. LE holders can thank her for the tea stained map .

What drew me to NES development in the first place, as I console shopped for which system to develop for, was the community around the system, particularly the one found right here on NA. These projects that we do are as much about the people involved in their development and production as they are about the games themselves, at least for those of us immersed in the process. This last leg of the journey toward the more publicly available releases of Swords and Runes has been no different than the previous stages in this regard. There is hardly an aspect of the project that I can say that I did single-handedly, since every step seems to have been improved (or even completed!) by collaborating with another.

Today, in a very real way, marks the end of putting the release together. The box, manual, label, sleeve, and styrofoam order should be placed by this afternoon, or at the very least all of the files are in the hands of another from here on out. The Numbered (NA) release packaging was formatted by my brother, who I cannot thank enough, with the exception of the manual which was done by Mr. Hanley, who I also cannot thank enough. WIthout these two individuals, it is likely that the release of Swords and Runes would still be many months away. Homebrewing and publishing games has forced me to learn a great many skills, but PhotoShop unfortunately continues to remain on the list of things to learn. Both of these gentlemen are well versed in the art, however, and all of the type setting on this current NA release and also the next one (more info coming soon ) was accomplished by their skilled hands. Both also contributed much (or all) to the design of their respective tasks.

As for designing and formatting the General Edition of S&R, this task was executed by one of our rather skilled community artists. I'll wait to reveal any more information until the time is right, but I am very confident that everyone will be rather impressed with his interpretation of the Swords and Runes universe.

A special thanks must also go to Rizz for handling the packaging order and for securing reasonable prices too. He has been beyond patient with the order, and provided excellent communication along the way. He's a good guy too, if you ever get the chance to meet him, and an excellent homebrewer (the man behind Armed for Battle).

I guess now is as good of a time as any to give a sneak peek of the LE and NA edition cart shells. As most who have been watching the project probably know, these are the result of the collaborative effort spearheaded by GreetingCarts to get a cart shell mold made. The results are simply great, and of the highest quality. One of the ways that I have wanted to set the LE and NA editions apart from the General Edition of a release has been to use custom colored shells. For Swords and Runes, since it is a story-driven RPG, I decided to go with a translucent brown shell, with the hope being to call to mind a leatherbound book. As you can see, the result is not quite what I was hoping for (colors are always a gamble when transferred across mediums), but it is perhaps even more fitting. What I thought would be a darker brown, turned out to almost be gold in color when held up to the light. The pictures do not quite do it justice, but rest assured it is neat .



Inside that colorful shell resides one of the most versatile and powerful homebrew boards on the market today: Memblers GTROM. He does not like me praising it as such, having himself peered into the well of all possibilities, but for most brewers Goat-ROM, or Cheapocabra, is a perfect fit. 512kb PRG (256 when using a fixed bank), 32kb CHR-RAM, memory enough for all four nametables (no more mirroring!), flash-writes, and more. Production quality on the boards is also top notch, more or less matching the Big N's own quality. More info can be found here: http://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopi.... GTROM is a definitely a flexible and affordable alternative to what else is currently out there. FYI, the link also has a better picture of what the carts looks like with the LEDs shining through (yep, LEDs too!). Unfortunately I do not have a top-loader to be able to take pictures of what the brown shells look like when lit from within.


Membler Industries GTROM rev. 2 (proto). Production boards have a black solder mask versus the green show here.

The final bit of code that I needed arrived today, which also means that I can finally pass off the non-auction LEs to their rightful owners. These are my way of saying thanks to everyone from Dain for founding NA, to Khan and MRN for mentoring me through the task of learning 6502, to a couple of folks who may not even know my appreciation. If something mysteriously shows up from SGP on your doorstep, do not return to sender!

This post has necessarily been about other people, and there are several more that I probably need to thank who are slipping my mind (previous posts of course gave attention to those involved on the programming side of things; user himself, and our three excellent beta testers for the project: mattbep, Arch, and Ferris).

All of this has boils down to the exciting news that in about three or four weeks a much larger number of people will be able to acquire a numbered copy of Swords and Runes, if they so choose. It will come with:

-the full CIB treatment
-a numbered title screen (out of 100)
-a fold-out map
-and a secret prize (that must be won).

Securing this release also reserves you a place for first shot at the next SGP Numbered release, (due out in December, most likley, if you are interested). This is why I have decided to confusingly call this the Numbered Addition, since you can add to it. See? We will announce what exactly that will be when the sale of S&R goes live. I'll give more info as the time draws near, but rest assurred that it is finally happening. As much as I hate staying up late, it will probably be a midnight release, and people will be able to request numbers. Keep checking back, as I'll be giving fair notice as to the date and time of the sale .

~SGP



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"The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long..." ~ Blade Runner

SoleGooseProductions.com



Edited: 10/22/2015 at 09:17 PM by SoleGooseProductions

Apr 19, 2015 at 2:57:30 PM
RpgCollector (124)
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(Jeff Oconnell) < Kraid Killer >
Posts: 2193 - Joined: 04/04/2009
California
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WOW! Super excited for this!

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Looking for these USA Sega Game Gear Games Complete or Box Only:

Berenstain Bears - Bubble Bobble - Captain America  - CJ Elephant - Fantastic Dizzy - Formula One -  Home Alone  - Junction - Mega Man - Micro Machines - Ninja Gaiden - Robocop vs Terminator - SpiderMan Xmen - Soprts Illustrated - Super Off Road - Urban Strike - Zool

Apr 19, 2015 at 3:04:09 PM
ZeldaFan042 (15)
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< Eggplant Wizard >
Posts: 306 - Joined: 08/07/2014
North Dakota
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Can't wait for this!

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Originally posted by: Stryphos
Originally posted by: Foochie776

What's an Apple Pippin?
Remember in the Fellowship of the Ring when Aragorn threw that piece of fruit and hit him in the head after asking for second breakfast?  Yeah, that's an apple.

Apr 19, 2015 at 3:05:42 PM
GibbyVA (32)
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(NESCAPADES ) < Meka Chicken >
Posts: 634 - Joined: 04/13/2013
Virginia
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That's really cool. Love the wooden box LE. It reminds me of the DA Origins CE I bought years ago. Can't wait to play the game, regardless of version.  =)



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8-Bit Collection (no dupes) -  NES - 1,245 Famicom - 719  Master System - 255
Latest additions - AO, UXO, O-To-X, Rock Paper Scissors, Enigmacore, Cowlitz Gamers Adventure, Journey: The Game, Khan Games 4in1, Legends of Owlia

Apr 19, 2015 at 3:11:34 PM
dquiros (101)
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(David Quiros) < Meka Chicken >
Posts: 976 - Joined: 09/04/2012
Illinois
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oh man, so much excitement here! cannot wait for it all

Apr 19, 2015 at 3:22:59 PM
Mega Mario Man (58)
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(Tim ) < Kraid Killer >
Posts: 2236 - Joined: 02/13/2014
Nebraska
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WOW! That is a lot of great work. Looks wonderful. Too bad I don't have money to buy LEs.

Apr 19, 2015 at 3:28:00 PM
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neodolphino (161)
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(Justin ) < Lolo Lord >
Posts: 1963 - Joined: 09/25/2013
Pennsylvania
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Nice work! This is exciting

Apr 19, 2015 at 3:57:08 PM
Daria (29)
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(Alexandria Sanchez) < King Solomon >
Posts: 3103 - Joined: 03/07/2009
Florida
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I don't know if my budget can handle the wooden box, but I'll be all over the NA numbered release. (:

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Check out DariaPlaysRPGs on Youtube for Reviews on translated, homebrew, and classic RPGs.

Looking to buy a copy of Shining Force Genesis - Complete in excellent condition

Apr 19, 2015 at 4:39:29 PM
user (6)

< El Ripper >
Posts: 1462 - Joined: 05/30/2014
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I think three things missing in the complete introduction above:

1. Beau is the one who realized the beautiful starting screen silhouette of the protagonist, which I really like, and I think it represent this game extremely well.

2. Beau is the one which not only patiently spent ___many___ working hours correcting and adapting English wise all the game dialogs, he also proposed new dialogs which gave more depth to the story. Moreover, the betatesters feedback suggested few more features, which were implemented making this a more interesting and complete game: Matt, Nathan, Christian, and the whole developing team must be credited for all the time spent testing and providing valuable feedback. Also, many in the community shared their opinions in the public thread in the initial developing phase, which in some cases helped figure out the path to take. This is definitely not a port of anything existing, is a brand new experience for a player, so relying on NA members feedback (and enthusiasm about it) was a little welcome extra developing it.

3. Beau is the best producer ever. Without Beau all this was not possible. Honestly.

Thank you to all once again for all the kind support and enthusiasm in these last months.
Really Appreciated!

Cheers!

Apr 19, 2015 at 4:43:26 PM
SoleGooseProductions (120)
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(Beau ) < Ridley Wrangler >
Posts: 2661 - Joined: 04/22/2013
Indiana
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Too kind as always . And I'll have a special post in the near future thanking the beta team for their hard work! These guys really helped to shape the game.

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"The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long..." ~ Blade Runner

SoleGooseProductions.com


Apr 19, 2015 at 4:49:58 PM
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Ferris Bueller (211)
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(Christian D) < King Solomon >
Posts: 3595 - Joined: 06/15/2011
Texas
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For real, and I firmly believe it has to do with User and Sole Goose listening to us beta testers, this game is the shit. It was already really good (a testament to user and his coding skills), but the betaing took it to new levels of greatness. It says a lot how open they were to our feedback. I'm looking forward to playing the final release!

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My best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at the Let's Play Gaming Expo last night. I guess it's pretty serious.

Oh, my WTB thread is very popular. The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wastoids, dweebies, Richard craniums - they all adore it. They think it's a righteous thread.
I'd also like to add that I've got my father's gun and a *scorching* price guide for aftermarket Nintendo games.
Between Dragon Warriors and nothing... I'll take Dragon Warriors - for any of my FT/FS/FO items.
 

Apr 19, 2015 at 5:44:13 PM
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MrWunderful (258)
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(Corey ) < Master Higgins >
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California
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Cant wait for a numbered copy!

Apr 19, 2015 at 6:07:06 PM
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mattbep (107)
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(Former Scramble Champion) < King Solomon >
Posts: 4763 - Joined: 04/04/2014
Pennsylvania
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Wow what a friggin post. So many exciting things!! Very excited to hear and see more details.

Apr 19, 2015 at 8:02:36 PM
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thesubcon3 (143)
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(Jeffrey Wittenhagen) < King Solomon >
Posts: 4351 - Joined: 04/17/2009
Maryland
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Oh this looks awesome Beau! Definitely setting a benchmark for LE releases!

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You can check out my gaming podcast VGBS, all of my books and other nonsense at:
www.hagensalley.com


You can get my NES Oddities & the Homebrew Revolution as well as the NES Compendium books at:
oddnes.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders

Games I am looking for...PM me if you got 'em
2D Zelda-Style Games - Crusader of Centy (Genesis), Anything else?
NES Homebrew - Lady Frogger, 8-Bit Xmas 08-09, Bust a Nut LE, Slappin Bitches LE, Blade Buster (with save)

 


Apr 19, 2015 at 8:08:48 PM
eric.of.troy (83)
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(... Eric?) < Meka Chicken >
Posts: 576 - Joined: 03/14/2013
Pennsylvania
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Looking good!!

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I do custom repros!!  -->  Eric's Repros and Sales Thread

Apr 19, 2015 at 8:22:15 PM
user (6)

< El Ripper >
Posts: 1462 - Joined: 05/30/2014
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Originally posted by: Ferris Bueller

For real, and I firmly believe it has to do with User and Sole Goose listening to us beta testers, this game is the shit. It was already really good (a testament to user and his coding skills), but the betaing took it to new levels of greatness. It says a lot how open they were to our feedback. I'm looking forward to playing the final release!

It may sound ironic, but what I learned from the last 6 months of game designing, is that figuring out a fun concept and balanced game mechanics is 4% of the effort in making a game, drawing sprites another 2%, coding it about 1%. The remaining 93% of the effort is spent handling the development team feedback: this is not an easy task at all, and is really time consuming. There is a really subtle line between polish out a project and change the nature of a project ruining it. This game development was a perfect example: some requests were considered worth to be implemented, as for adding a status screen, changing the octave of a tune, or add an alternative ending even after the planned game development time was over. Many other proposals were rejected, as for changing the input system, add a delay before fights, or add a pause-game feature in the middle of fights, because they were judged harmful for the game balance, challenge and mechanics.

I'm glad to read that the development team is happy about this experience (as Beau and I are), no matter most of the suggestions were discarded. We think we did our best selecting the few gems offered by the team, which were really worth implementing to improve the game, while discarding all the proposed changes affecting what from three months of previous heavy alpha development we intended and considered to be game strengths. This was a really tough task to accomplish for both Beau and I, but we think that in this way the game is more polished out and complete, without losing its nature or being washed out and flavorless, and I'm confident that we achieved our goal.

Thank you for this further feedback, and once again thank you for being actively part of S&R testing.

Apr 19, 2015 at 8:55:32 PM
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Fleck586 (150)
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(Jason Fleck) < El Ripper >
Posts: 1417 - Joined: 10/28/2013
Missouri
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So stoked for this one

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"I'm sorry Bruce.  These boys get that syrup in 'em and they get all antsy in their pantsies."

Apr 20, 2015 at 2:25:33 AM
Alp (0)

(Dustin Hanna) < Tourian Tourist >
Posts: 42 - Joined: 10/09/2014
Manitoba
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Dude! A NES home-brew game in a *wooden* box?! Shaped like a book, no less! That's awesome.

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"Gone"

Apr 20, 2015 at 3:02:20 AM
Skorp (27)
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(Bryan ) < Meka Chicken >
Posts: 742 - Joined: 10/13/2014
Texas
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Wow, this will be freaking amazing. Reminds me of what Rose Colored Gaming did recently. Can't wait to see its development.

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Help complete my N64 NFR With Minty Back Sticker set. Only need three more:
              Minty Starfox NFR, Diddy Kong Racing, and Super Smash Bros!
Want to Buy/Want to Trade For Thread

 

Apr 20, 2015 at 3:22:26 AM
user (6)

< El Ripper >
Posts: 1462 - Joined: 05/30/2014
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Originally posted by: Skorp

Wow, this will be freaking amazing. Reminds me of what Rose Colored Gaming did recently. Can't wait to see its development.
You can play the begin of the adventure downloading the demo here:

 http://nintendoage.com/forum/mess...

Apr 20, 2015 at 8:46:13 AM
JimJames (154)
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(Sir Digby Chicken Caesar) < Kraid Killer >
Posts: 2442 - Joined: 02/19/2013
United States
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Yes, finally. This looks absolutely incredible.

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Apr 20, 2015 at 10:29:34 AM
blinkafi (30)
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(doug contreras) < Little Mac >
Posts: 64 - Joined: 01/30/2013
California
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This is going to be so exciting. The amount of thought and work that this game already has behind it is amazing. Really look forward to supporting this game at any level possible.

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Instagram: https://instagram.com/blink_afi/

Apr 20, 2015 at 10:54:37 AM
arch_8ngel (66)
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(Nathan ?) < Mario >
Posts: 31925 - Joined: 06/12/2007
Virginia
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Intense! Incredible looking release!

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Apr 20, 2015 at 11:30:01 AM
Skorp (27)
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(Bryan ) < Meka Chicken >
Posts: 742 - Joined: 10/13/2014
Texas
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Originally posted by: user

Originally posted by: Skorp

Wow, this will be freaking amazing. Reminds me of what Rose Colored Gaming did recently. Can't wait to see its development.
You can play the begin of the adventure downloading the demo here:

 http://nintendoage.com/forum/messageview.cfm?catid=22&th...


Sweet! Thank you for supplying the link. I'll check it out tonight.

-------------------------
Help complete my N64 NFR With Minty Back Sticker set. Only need three more:
              Minty Starfox NFR, Diddy Kong Racing, and Super Smash Bros!
Want to Buy/Want to Trade For Thread