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mrimer
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icon Spring Storm Hits the Caravel (+6)  
Oh, faithful Caravel follower! Recently, the wind has been picking up about the Caravel. A Caravel is a small, highly maneuverable sailing ship, and our ship has entered a veritible storm of activity. We have about four projects going at a time these days, with improvements being made to the Forum itself and CaravelNet service. A couple of these projects can be seen already, while others are nearing completion. For the rest, they're a bit premature to talk about because they're still in early stages. But, I'd like to let you in on a sailor's view of the storm that has picked up around the Caravel.

DROD 4: Gunthro and the Epic Blunder -- Beta

We now have all assets completed for the upcoming game, "DROD 4:GatEB". Erik Hermansen has created some beautiful new art for this game. We have over sixty minutes of new music written by Jon Sonnenberg, and three new room styles crafted early on by artist Brett Boyette. A master level development team has worked long hours to make the rooms in this game a treat to experience.

This title is aimed at players new to DROD as well as veterans. The game starts easy and has a smooth learning curve. It should not be that hard to complete for anyone with a little determination. There are also optional end-game areas that are challenging enough for everyone who wants to turn up their brain activity from poached to simmering. If DROD has seemed too difficult for you in the past to get far into, then you should be pleased by the design that went into this game, making for a painless blend of fun and challenge. As part of this design, we only have a few completely new game elements included in this release, and we lower the velocity at which game elements are thrown at the player. One new element is a new terrain type, shallow water, that changes game mechanics around it in fundamental ways. We are preparing a substantial special bonus that highlights the new mechanics for everyone that purchases the game.

Also, the level layout is designed to be more forgiving. We have multiple hub areas that let you explore in different directions. So, if you get stuck along one path, you can take a break from that area to go explore in other directions until you receive the inspiration you need to complete it. We also have more seamless room hints functionality built into the game engine itself for when you are stuck on a certain room.

We are now entering a closed beta cycle in order to add some final polish before the game becomes publicly available for purchase. This game has been a long time in the works, but it has come together quite nicely in the end. Our early testers have provided positive feedback about the latest versions, and we are expecting a good release. Stay tuned for more news over the upcoming weeks and an official release date. We are hoping it fits our historical seasonal storm patterns!

New member of the Caravel dev team

I want to take this moment to recognize forum member skell, who has been hanging around as an upstanding community member for a long time. He has expressed much enthusiasm and interest in working on Caravel projects, and he has joined Caravel as the newest member of the dev team. We've typically been tight-lipped about upcoming projects, but one thing I will share is that skell is the driving force behind the Other Big Project that has appeared. Join me in congratulating skell on his new position!

This event happens to coincide with some other nice things that skell worked on previous to this point, so I'd like to give acknowledgment to these items too.

Hints and Solutions Board 2.0

Schik and skell have been working jointly behind the curtain to make some new forum magic appear. One of these is the new and improved Hints and Solutions interface. This tool provides you a nice overview of whatever level you're looking for, letting you pan around the rooms and seamlessly showing you hint topics available for each of the rooms. There's a lot of nice work put into this, so try it out!

Homemade room styles for download

Schik has added another dash of awesome sauce to CaravelNet, immediately available in the "DROD: The City Beneath" 3.x game engine. All available 3.x Custom room styles are now available for download in-game in TCB. While connected to CaravelNet, new styles will automatically be downloaded into the game whenever you download and import a hold that uses those styles in-game.

Don't Ask Award
We have another "Don't Ask" Award to hand out. This time it goes to forum member skell!

Skell has been a significant force on the Caravel seas. Separate from the work already mentioned above, Skell worked with Schik to get the Caravel API released. Skell added a lot of features to the interface while Schik worked on the server-side backend to the API. As mentioned above, Skell took a partially written revamp to the Hints and Solutions searcher and, using the Caravel API, finished it up and polished it to a fine sheen. Without his help, this exciting new feature would have taken much longer to be released, and would have been missing much of the polish. Great job, skell!

Skell, please choose a prize from the Prize Pile for your awesome contributions as a token of appreciation.

Eighth Annual People's Choice Awards

Each year, the Caravel community holds the People's Choice Awards. In this event, you can nominate your favorite DROD level sets published in 2011 to receive one of several awards. This year's People's Choice Awards is being run by forum member Trickster who has been quite active on the forum in 2011 and has infused a lot of life into the community this past year.

http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=32686

Nominations are open until March 10th. Shortly after nominations have closed, Trickster will list the nominees, and community members will start voting for winners. Anyone with a Caravel Forum account can participate, so come join the fun!

Architecture by Hand -- Contest Voting

Submissions are in for the February forum contest. There are some neat levels here displaying hand-drawn art in the holds. Come download these holds to play in "DROD:TCB" and vote on your favorite!

http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=32870

New holds released

There have been several new usermade holds released over the past six months that I've neglected to mention in the newsletter. TFMurphy helpfully compiled a list of these. As you can see here, architects have been busy!

DROD Holds:

Catacombs 2
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=32654

the boss lair
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=32653

the zone
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=32636

Hinterlands
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=32616

Suwako Prizes
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=32613

Puppet Master
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=32540

war21
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=32522

war20
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=32498

Dan's Dungeon
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=32431

A Strange Creature
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=32335

Puzzle Mix
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=32273

Complication
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=32267

Jmit'
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=32254

Riddle of the Bar
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=32203

Uncle Mike's New Place
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=32118

Architectural Market
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=32070

Aurora's Palace
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=32018

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"Phew!" is probably what you're saying if you've read down to this part of the Illumination. As you can see, there is definitely a lot going on. We have a high-energy, bustling community here that I'm glad to be a part of. Thank you, everyone, for adding your drive to the Caravel storm!

Mike

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03-03-2012 at 05:48 PM
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halyavin
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I have seen swallow water in DROD source for so long that I was 100% sure it is already in TCB :huh . I can't believe that I missed a new game element in a plain sight.
03-03-2012 at 07:01 PM
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Jatopian
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I wonder how we tell shallow water from deep water.

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03-03-2012 at 07:35 PM
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skell
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Wow... I feel proud beyond the limits. Getting a Don't Ask award was one of my silent dreams ever since I saw silver get it (remember, you should never, ever capitalize his name!)

For all of you who haven't yet figured out the solution to the other bar or its meaning I'd like to say that soon (as in week or two) I will try to bring you a better teaser, if time allows. This time no image hunt with obscure hints, I promise ;).

quote:
I wonder how we tell shallow water from deep water.

Ha, good question. I wonder when will we get some screens from the game.

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03-03-2012 at 07:49 PM
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disoriented
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This all sounds awesome. :D :D :D

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03-03-2012 at 08:03 PM
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The Architest
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I always feel odd when people mention word few; it's like I am missing on something. But really, even if it's more or less new elements, I am happy to see more of them to use! :) Go, Caravelfolks, go!

We'll be waiting for the ship. My money is burning my pockets.


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[Last edited by The Architest at 03-03-2012 08:10 PM]
03-03-2012 at 08:09 PM
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Tim
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quote:
skell wrote:
Ha, good question. I wonder when will we get some screens from the game.
Note: For everyone who are still struggling with the bar puzzle, the image reward of the Gunthro bar puzzle is _not_ a screen from DROD 4, but rather from the latest Smitemaster Selection called Finding the First Truth.

Hopefully I can persuade Mike to get some screenshots of DROD 4 before it's released.

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03-03-2012 at 08:23 PM
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John259
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quote:
Jatopian wrote:
I wonder how we tell shallow water from deep water.

Stick a really long sword into it and see if it touches bottom.

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03-03-2012 at 08:25 PM
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Blondbeard
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Congratulations, skell!

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03-03-2012 at 08:43 PM
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Briareos
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quote:
skell wrote:
Wow... I feel proud beyond the limits. Getting a Don't Ask award was one of my silent dreams ever since I saw silver get it (remember, you should never, ever capitalize his name!)

I'm not silver, but still - a warm welcome to the Fight Don't Ask Club. :)

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03-03-2012 at 08:47 PM
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halyavin
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quote:
Jatopian wrote:
I wonder how we tell shallow water from deep water.

I think it will be lighter. This is how I always imagined it.
03-03-2012 at 08:48 PM
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disoriented
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quote:
halyavin wrote:
quote:
Jatopian wrote:
I wonder how we tell shallow water from deep water.

I think it will be lighter. This is how I always imagined it.


Transparent, so you can clearly see the bottom? With little fish circling around?

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03-03-2012 at 08:55 PM
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Jatopian
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Maybe they will be spoostlefish, and go still when you get near them.

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Make your pressure plates 3.0 style!
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03-03-2012 at 08:57 PM
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TripleM
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quote:
halyavin wrote:
quote:
Jatopian wrote:
I wonder how we tell shallow water from deep water.

I think it will be lighter. This is how I always imagined it.

Worked well in Wonderquest.
03-03-2012 at 11:29 PM
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RabidChild
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I'm happy to hear about Erik's involvement. I've always enjoyed his artwork and his contributions should help to keep the look and feel of the games flawlessly consistant.
03-04-2012 at 04:28 AM
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Jatopian
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Honestly, the thing I want most from Erik is more about the DROD world that he created. It seems interesting and I'd like to see it fleshed out.

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Make your pressure plates 3.0 style!
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03-04-2012 at 04:50 AM
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mrimer
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quote:
Jatopian wrote:
Honestly, the thing I want most from Erik is more about the DROD world that he created. It seems interesting and I'd like to see it fleshed out.
I hear you, Jatopian. He has more in the works!

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I am Gandalf the White.
And I come back to you now at the
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[Last edited by mrimer at 03-04-2012 05:08 AM]
03-04-2012 at 05:07 AM
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Someone Else
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quote:
RabidChild wrote:
I'm happy to hear about Erik's involvement. I've always enjoyed his artwork and his contributions should help to keep the look and feel of the games flawlessly consistant.
I'd think it would have to be "flawlessly consistent" to be flawlessly consistent with Erik.
03-04-2012 at 05:44 AM
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techant
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So am I understanding this right, this new game is based on the original game engine design rather than the RPG game engine?

Also, does that mean that we will not see any further development of the RPG game. I guess I am one the few who actually enjoy that game engine.

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03-06-2012 at 12:23 AM
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reyll3
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I have an odd feeling that something is going to happen in three days. Perhaps that will be the day of the release?

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03-11-2012 at 12:14 PM
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Whatever happened to the Second Sky? I haven't seen any recent mention of that project.

BbJ

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03-13-2012 at 06:52 PM
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Maurog
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There cannot be two skies.

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03-13-2012 at 10:48 PM
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Chaco
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Is there a plan to create a GatEB postmortem like the ones we had for JtRH and TCB?

Obviously I don't mean immediately following release of the game itself, but I can imagine it being a fun read, say, four to six months after the release. :)

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03-13-2012 at 11:42 PM
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Jatopian
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quote:
Chaco wrote:
Is there a plan to create a GatEB postmortem like the ones we had for JtRH and TCB?
I would be interested in that.

Oooh, will there be a postmortem for the Other Big Project?

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03-14-2012 at 02:35 AM
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skell
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quote:
Jatopian wrote:
Oooh, will there be a postmortem for the Other Big Project?

I, for one, would love to do it.

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03-14-2012 at 06:22 AM
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Jacob
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I'd be up for a GatEB post-mortem; it's tradition after all.

Though it would have to be a few weeks/months after release.

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03-14-2012 at 09:38 AM
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Didouneto
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I wonder if the music is more "synthpop" like was the Webfoot Drod music.

I am a little nostalgic :blush
03-19-2012 at 04:56 PM
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slimm tom
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It's definitely more synth pop than the TCB music, at least in my opinion. Jon has teally done a fantastic job, and I love listening to the music while playing. (Which was also true for JtRH and TCB, by the way)
03-19-2012 at 08:29 PM
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skell
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I love driving my car to work while listening to TCB music ;).

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03-19-2012 at 08:47 PM
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I forget what genre the Webfoot music supposedly was. Aasbrenn had some weird method of creating music IIRC, something about voltage.

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03-19-2012 at 10:58 PM
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