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Legionwood 2 is finally on sale!

The day everyone a small group of hardcore fans has been waiting for is here: after almost four years of development, the full version of Legionwood 2 has finally been released. As of this very moment, the game is available to purchase from the Dark Gaia Studios website in all of its indie, SNES-style Role Playing Game glory.

As I’ve posted before, the game retails for $5.99 USD (even though I live in Australia it’s so much easier to handle online payments in American dollars) and you can pay for your copy via Paypal, credit card or wire transfer – it’s all handled securely through the game’s distributor. All purchased copies of Legionwood 2 are completely DRM-free and can be backed up on an external drive or transferred to other PCs with ease.

I’m also working on getting the game available through Desura and its associated portals. The Desura edition of Legionwood 2 is currently being evaluated and should be online within the next two weeks. By the end of March I’ll also hopefully have the game out on some of the larger RPG Maker portals such as Amaranth Games and RPG Maker Web as well.

I first started working on Legionwood 2 back in 2010 right after Legionwood 1’s release. After countless betas and even a complete rewrite in a new engine, I’m so excited that the game is finally complete and ready to be devoured by masses of hungry fans. It’s been an awesome ride working on this game and engaging with all the people who tested its various beta builds – without your feedback, it definitely wouldn’t be as good as it is today. I really hope that you enjoy Legionwood 2 and its epic continuation of the Legionwood canon.

You can start your adventure by purchasing the game or downloading the free demo here. Happy adventuring!


Pre-Release Update!

Hey everyone! It's getting pretty close to launch day for Legionwood 2 and so I thought I'd pop in and treat you all to a quick update.

First of all, some of you may have noticed the name change -- Legionwood 2: Volume One back to Legionwood 2 again. This is good news! It turns out that Legionwood 2's beta testing has been going so smoothly that I've had the time to add a host of new content to the game, including an extended final boss fight and the six different endings that were originally intended for "Volume Two". Yes, you read right -- Legionwood 2 will now be a full game upon release, including the entire story from start to finish (note that this doesn't mean it'll be very much longer; the new content simply wraps up the story and prevents the need for another game to follow things up).

Secondly, I'm currently in the process of finalising the game's pricing and distribution. These details are subject to change, but it looks like the game will be retailing for $5.99 USD via digital download from my website. A short while after release day (or perhaps even on release day depending on how fast submissions are processed) the game will also be available on Desura and other portals.

Payment options on release day will include credit card and Paypal. Payments for the game will be made through Plimus (the same distributor games like Aveyond use), which can process most online payment methods. For those who'd like to just try the game out, a DRM-restricted demo will be available. This demo will allow you to play the game for one hour, upon which you'll be required to purchase a key to continue.

And, well... that's pretty much it for the update. Things are pretty chaotic at Dark Gaia Studios at the moment, and there's still a bunch of stuff to do before February 28th. I'll see you all then!


Legionwood 2: Volume One full release incoming!

Ah, it almost brings a tear to my eye. After almost three years of development, the first “full version” build of Legionwood 2 has entered the beta testing phase, bringing a final commercial release ever so much closer.

Some of you may remember ages ago when I mentioned the possibility of Legionwood 2 becoming a commercial project and then a few months later when I said it most likely wouldn’t happen. Well, the time has come for me to decide once and for all how the game is to be released, and some may be disappointed (or happy — I’m not too sure) to learn that I’ve made the decision to release the full version of Legionwood 2 commercially after all.

Originally, I had every intention of keeping all future releases of the game completely free to download and play, but — to be frank — I’m no longer in much of a position to do so. As I’ve now finished university, I’m finding myself with less and less time to develop games. Up until now, I’ve been developing games in lieu of a full time job, which simply isn’t possible any longer. As such, I’ve come to the decision to turn game development into something that can sustain itself — if I can make money from selling Legionwood 2, I can support myself and justify the considerable time I devote to these projects each and every day.

And so, the details: Legionwood 2: Rise of the Eternal’s Realm – Volume One will be retailing for $4.99 USD from February 28th. The first of two volumes that make up two halves of the Legionwood 2 story (think Half Life 2 and its episodes), Volume One features a lengthy 12+ hour quest, an all new soundtrack (with tracks exclusive to Legionwood 2), full mouse support, an overhauled side view battle system and an emotional non-linear story.

In terms of content, Legionwood 2: Volume One contains everything that’s already in the available Beta version, with a few little enhancements and additions. As such, it probably won’t be an essential purchase for players who can’t wait to see what happens after the show down at the volcano, but it does include an extended ending scene that adds some closure to the first half of the game and shows you the consequences of the choices your party made throughout the game. There are also a couple of new sidequests, including one that hails the return of Legionwood 1‘s antagonist Terminus and details the origins of the mysterious Darkness threatening the world.

Of course, many of you guys have been fans of Legionwood since the very beginning and, until this point, have been under the impression that it wouldn’t be going commercial any time soon. Please don’t fear — the most loyal among you will have the chance to get your copies for free, with thanks for all of your support.

In the meantime, you can still play the free Beta version of the game here, and a free demo will be available to play with no time restrictions after release.


Beta 4.0 is live!

It's been a long time coming, but the latest release of Legionwood 2 is finally online. I fully intended for it to be out a couple of days ago, but due to all the new graphics and sound files I've added to this release it ended up having a massive file size and was taking literally forever to upload.

In any case, this new release (Beta 4.0) adds the second half of Act II to the game, along with a whole bunch of small additions, tweaks and bug fixes to existing content. Battles flow much more smoothly now several of the class combinations that were too similar in previous builds have been considerably reworked. All up, there's about 11 hours or so of gameplay in this release, and plenty of branching storylines and morality dependent events to experience.

Players who'd like to continue their save files from the previous build can do so by copying and pasting their saves into the game folder -- Beta 4.0 will detect older save files and run some brief calibrations to make them compatible with the updated scripts when the save is first loaded. On the other hand, those who'd like to start again from the beginning will find a handful of new surprises to behold, but I won't spoil them here.

Now, with all that out of the way, I'll be taking a well deserved break for a month or two to catch up on university homework -- announcements about the full release of Legionwood 2 to follow when I've recovered from everything :)


New Release Incoming!

Well, this is it, guys. Beta 4.0 of Legionwood 2 is finally through beta testing and all reported bugs have been addressed and finishing touches done. Aside from last couple of cutscenes (which need to be redone thanks to an accidental deletion), Act II of the game is complete and ready to upload.

It's been a long time coming, but I'm aiming for a release some time next week. I'm just waiting on my internet quota, which resets this weekend, and then I'll be uploading. It certainly has been a rush to try and fit this all in between university assignments, and I'll be glad to take a break when it's online and playable.

More announcements to come when it's actually released :)

Progress Report

Beta 4.0 Testing Period Now Underway!

As of this week, Beta 4.0 of Legionwood 2 is complete and is entering its pre-release testing period. Selected beta testers have already been contacted and sent testing builds of the game to play. I'm confident that most of the remaining bugs and balancing issues have been squashed by this point, but having a group of testers run through the game will allow me to be perfectly sure it's ready for release.

There are six beta testers who are playing the game (each with different party configurations so as to test the game's balance) who will report a log of findings and suggestions to me once they get to the end of the Beta, and then I'll implement changes as needed. I'm waiting for all of the testers to finish with the game before I begin this final polishing period, so actual release may still be a while off. I've set three weeks from now as the deadline for the testers to meet, which means the Beta should be ready by early June, though again this depends on how fast the testers complete the game and how many bugs they report.

Beta 4.0 adds the second half of Act II to the game and allows you to get 60% through the game's main plot. New content including the desert nation of Entoban and a handful of new sidequests should add about 2 or 3 hours of gameplay to the game's total. Your decisions as a player really start coming into play in Beta 4.0, and Act II will end in one of two different ways depending on your morality (and you'll be able to continue along multiple story paths through Act III in the full release of the game).

Thank you to everyone for patiently waiting for Beta 4.0's release. You'll have it very soon -- I promise.

Progress Report

Beta 4.0 Testing/Polishing and Release Date

As of today, I've pretty much wrapped up development of the Beta 4.0 release of Legionwood 2, having completed all of the remaining content in Act II, and now all that remains is a couple of weeks of testing and some final polishing.

In the game's current form, all of the new content is completely playable from start to finish (and all up there's ~3 hours or so of new content to look forward to) in a basic and unbalanced manner, and most of the new events and scripts are working fine. Theoretically, I could release the beta now and players would be able to get right up to the beginning of the game's third act, but I want to spend a few weeks to a month from now thoroughly testing and polishing this new content to make sure it's all balanced and bug free upon release. I've contacted some of my old beta testers to help me with this, and they'll be receiving WIP builds of the game in the next few days.

In particular, I want to make sure that all of the morality based content in the new release is working as intended, and I'm also going to do a quick sweep of the game to rebalance the morality system in general to make sure that the game's choices and consequences aren't heavily skewed to one side over the other. The new release is intended to have equally valid reasons to play through the game with either positive or negative morality, and the game's plot reaches a huge turning point at the end of Act II with the death of one of two characters (determined by the player's morality). Ultimately, the goal is for Legionwood 2 to have multiple possible endings and for the player's choices in game to determine what the will (or won't) encounter in their current playthrough.

I've also made the decision to slightly revise the game's story into a three act structure, rather than mimicking the four chapters of Legionwood 1. Legionwood 2 will henceforth be divided up into an Act I, Act II and Act III (with the Beta 4 release containing the entirety of the first two acts). My reasoning behind this is that the game's second act, Aftermath and Alliance is already quite long and covers quite a bit of the game's backstory -- it's already at least as long as the first two chapters of the original Legionwood combined -- and what I'd planned for the last two chapters of the game is quite small in comparison, so it made more sense to combine Chapters 3 and 4 into a larger Act III which matches the scope and progression of the previous two acts. Overall, not a very significant change, but to me at least it helps make the game's story progression seem more fluid.

All of these final touches and polishes shouldn't take me longer than 2 or 3 weeks to complete. However, I am returning to university next week, and so my free time will suddenly become a little less readily available, which may impact on my progress and delay the release a little more (though I still hope to get this testing period over and done with as soon as I can). At the moment, I'd tentatively give mid to late March as a release estimate, though please don't hold me to that. I just wanted to let you all know that development is still going smoothly and that Beta 4 is all but complete sans a few final touches, and that you'll get the chance to play it soon. Stay patient!

More updates are to come closer to release. Thanks for your continued support.


Development has resumed!

As of today, Legionwood 2 will be resuming active development. Depending on when I can find a few hours and how much I procrastinate, I'll be picking it up again either today or tomorrow, and from this point I intend to devote as much of my spare time as possible to working on it. My current plan is to get at least one map done each day (a typical Legionwood map, including mapping from start to finish, creating any database items associated with it and eventing cutscenes generally takes me between 2 and 3 hours) and, while this isn't exactly rapid development, it'll allow me to make steady progress, which is what the project really needs at the moment.

The next release of Legionwood 2 will be Beta 4, which will include the entire first half of the game (and perhaps a little more, as well), as well as various bug fixes and engine tweaks over previous versions. At the moment, I'm looking at late March/early April for the release date (don't hold me to that). Beta 4 is to conclude Chapter 2 of the game, and will see the party venturing into the barbarian nation of Entoban, where they'll attempt to forge an alliance with an old enemy and finally uncover the identity and motives of the one responsible for opening the Eternal Gates, as well as the true nature of the Darkness itself. At the end of this chapter, one of the party members will die, with the specific character being decided by your morality, and Chapter 3 will continue on down one of two branching storylines as a result. You'll also get the chance to recruit a new friend (Khan) and unlock new classes and Techs.

I'm also happy to announce that Legionwood 2 is to benefit from a custom soundtrack created by a talented composer who has offered his services to the project. Several tracks have already been completed (including a new boss battle theme), and you'll get to see some of them for yourself in the next release.

As I stated in my last update, I've decided to keep Legionwood 2 a non-commercial game, and all future releases will be freely playable as they've always been. This decision was made mainly because the original Legionwood was a freeware game and I'd love for fans of the first game to be able to follow the story through into the sequel. If you'd still like to pledge your support to the project though, please consider buying a copy of my book, as I intend to use a percentage of my royalties to purchase additional assets for Legionwood 2.

That's it for now. Stay tuned for more news closer to the release date!

Progress Report

Temporary Hiatus

Greetings once again, travellers! I'm back with a small update on the progress of Legionwood 2 since we're nearing the end of the year now. While I've been working ever so slowly towards Beta 4.0 over the last two months (and there's only a little more left to do until the release is ready, save for beta testing all of the new content), I'm announcing that I've made the decision to put Legionwood 2 on temporary hiatus for now.

The reason I'm choosing to suspend work on the game for now is because the release of my first novel is looming just over the horizon. My book Sun Bleached Winter comes out on December 2nd, and I'm going to need to spend whatever free time I have focusing on this (doing things such as last round editing, proof reading, sending copies to reviewers, promoting the novel from my end etc) and, as much as I'd like to work on Legionwood 2, I just plain won't have many chances to.

As such, Beta 4.0 is on hold for now, though I intend to resume work in the New Year and spend my holidays doing as much with the game as I can. Beta 4.0 off what's left of Chapter 2 (the Entoban section of the story) and takes you into Chapter 3. After that, there isn't too much left to do, with Chapter 4 being the final chapter, so the good news is that the completed version of the game should be ready not long after I resume development.

I've also made the decision to not release Legionwood 2 commercially after all (based on the fact that many loyal players have supported it as a free game, and I don't want to undermine that support) and so Beta 4.0 will be followed by a release of the completed game for all to enjoy. I'm still quite interested in commercial game development (spurred on by my recent experiences with the One Night games on Desura, where they're been received fairly well) and at this point I still want to try my hand in the professional arena, but I figured that it's probably best to start with a brand new IP, instead of a sequel that many of my fans have been expecting to get for free.

Well, that's it for now, I guess. With all of that news safely put into blog form, I'm officially retiring from the RM scene for a little while to focus on more literary pursuits. Keep reporting any bugs you find in Legionwood 2, and I'll see you with some more news in 2013!


Beta 3.0 released!

Well met, Legionwood players! The third public release of Legionwood 2: Rise of the Eternal's Realm, Beta Build 3.0 is now online and ready to download. This major update includes the first half of Chapter 2: Aftermath and Alliance, adding around 2 hours of new content, including new locations, new Techs and one of two new classes (Ranger and Barbarian) to play depending on your morality, as well as numerous tweaks and bug fixes to existing content. In this release, you'll finally start to get to see your moral choices come into play as dungeons, treasures and quests change depending on the decisions you've made, and you'll need to play through the Beta twice, on both moral paths if you want to see it all.

The original plan was to have all of Chapter 2 available in this release, though this wasn't possible due to time constraints. Much of the time I spent working on this release was used to make sure the existing content is stable and free of any remaining bugs. I've updated all of the game's scripts and overhauled the engine while also tweaking the game's art style a little and implementing some more non-linear elements to the game in both of the chapters. All of this extra work unfortunately meant that I wasn't able to complete all of Chapter 2 as I had planned, so I decided to cut the chapter in half and save the rest for the next Beta.

So, if you've been itching for some more adventuring, download Beta 3.0 of Legionwood 2 and tuck in. This Beta contains over 6-7 hours of old-school RPG gameplay with more than enough content to (hopefully) keep you busy until the next big release. Players who are continuing from the previous release of the game can simply copy and paste their save file ("Save01.rvdata") into the Beta 3.0 directory to continue from where they left off, while new players can feel free to start right from the beginning and experience all of the new surprises that the revised Chapter 1 has to offer.

At the end of the Beta, remember to retain your save file for use in the next release, and please don't forget to report any bugs or issues that you find so that they can be fixed up.

Well, that's it for now. Please enjoy the new additions to the game, and stay tuned for news about Beta 4.0, when it (eventually) happens.
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