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Mystery of Isis IIa - v1.0a

Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:52
by ckGeoff
Hi guys,

Finally, I am releasing Isis IIa - v1.0a (alpha).

A lot of things remain incomplete - particularly some levels and enemy AI - but on the whole the game is playable. Note there is no in-game saving feature, but a couple of levels use "checkpoints" which take you back there if you die. Also, your progress is automatically saved each time you complete a level, so you can start from the level you were last at. Also note that this is the first 9 of 16 planned levels. The final levels may or may not be completed.

For now, you can download the game via WeTransfer, but I'd be grateful if someone could host the file somewhere since the WeTransfer link only lasts 2 weeks.

Comments/feedback/bugs/suggestions are welcome; post here or email to

Also contact us if you are interested in helping out - at the moment, levels are the most critical thing needed (both tweaking existing levels, and making new ones).

Current version (v1.1a): ...

Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:02
by Bubbatom
Downloading this now, can't wait to play it!

EDIT: This is really quite amazing work! And the music is spectactular!

Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:25
by GARGapplesauce
Downloadn now...

EDIT: Err ive encountered a bug. In the second level you can drop down through the slope at the beginning... I did this inadvertently.

EDIT: Actually it seems you can drop through all slopes. Unless this was already made known and i didnt see it?

Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:56
by ckGeoff
What do you mean "drop"? You just randomly fall through sloped ground?

This is an unknown bug and I've never experienced that... Could you be more specific?

Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:04
by Bubbatom
GARGapplesauce wrote: Actually it seems you can drop through all slopes. Unless this was already made known and i didnt see it?
Yeah, I've experienced this too. You can drop (down key + ctrl key) through the sloped platforms.

Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:23
by ckGeoff
Thanks for pointing this out. I had never tried doing that myself, but indeed you are correct. I've since fixed this (it took 5 minutes), but won't upload a new version yet, since it's possible there might be a whole range of fixes required.

While this is probably considered "cheating", it will likely get you stuck rather than help you with a level!

Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 14:03
by tulip
cool to see that out, and I'm sorry I didn't help more.

Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 14:24
by Paramultart
Just curious... But why would you number anything 1.0 alpha rather than some fraction of 1.0? It just seems silly of me.
The number 1.0 should be reserved for a stable release.

Anyway, I'm downloading the massive, yet probably worth it, zip file.
I enjoyed the previous Isis releases, so this is sure to be worth it.

Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 15:57
by Benvolio
This is brilliant! I just had a very quick play and graphics, exquisite music and gameplay are amazing! I like how the colour-depth of the graphics is not excessively high. In fact this is probably the logical next step in graphics following Keen4-6, the VGA-look that TUIT might have had if it were made in 1992 or 93. (and the backgrounds are better than most such VGA scrollers eg hocus pocus or DNII). Similarly, a still-frame background, as found in DN1, works well here! Keep refining the graphics, particularly the 'loading level 1' screen which looks a little unfinished! Otherwise, excellent so far!

One thing that I am wondering, is there a specific reason for pogo to be activated by SHIFT rather than the customary ALT?

Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 20:26
by Roobar
Oh yeah at last. Definitely it's an improvement over the previous versions.

Maybe alt would trigger file menu. I believe he said he wasn't able to change the mapping of keys a. Which makes this hard game even harder because I don't use these keys. And I thought level 2 was hard. Wait and see the old new level 3. Without saving and in such huge levels, I believe you should add more health and sticks in the first levels.

Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 21:13
by Paramultart
Played it a bit. Pretty impressive engine. Not really feeling the art style, to be honest. But it's a good effort and I'd like to see this project further develop.

The best I can come up with in regards to the art criticism is that it reminds me very much of... Pickle Wars... Just that "down-converted" look, like you took a bunch of 16-bit images and converted them to 256-color. :/

Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 21:14
by ckGeoff
But why would you number anything 1.0 alpha rather than some fraction of 1.0?
Does it really matter? It is version 1.0 because it is the first stable release. I tacked on an (a)lpha because it is not fully tested, and so some issues may occur.
I'm downloading the massive, yet probably worth it, zip file.
It's massive because it contains nine full-length mp3 sound files, which account for most the archive's size. Additionally I packaged up two executables, so you have the option of playing full screen as well as windowed.


Thanks for the comments. The next "logical step" was what we originally had in mind 10 years ago when we made it, so I'm glad that is well received.
One thing that I am wondering, is there a specific reason for pogo to be activated by SHIFT rather than the customary ALT?
It's because in pyGame you can't isolate the ALT key, and if you try and use it it just goes straight to the file menu.


Yeah, the levels are big! And probably the part of the game that are tweaked the least. Hopefully with some constructive comments from the community, the levels can be improved. I'd be interested to hear what star ratings people are able to achieve for each level.

Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 21:44
by Paramultart
I would like to withdraw any harsh criticisms I left earlier. This is a really good effort, and the graphics are not objectively bad, I am simply judging based on Keenishness.

So please don't take offense to my comments. I respect this project.

Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 22:22
by ckGeoff
No offence taken, and you're entitled to your opinion so there is no need to retract your comments.

The graphics have always been a topic of debate. And I admit certain aspects definitely are not Keenish. I personally didn't think that the graphics looked scaled down (although some of them probably were, e.g. the backgrounds) but it's an interesting comment.

From memory, a lot of the sprites, items etc were produced in Photoshop, then dithered down to the 256 palette, and then manually adjusted pixel by pixel to fix artifacts.

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 0:08
by Gridlock
This is a quite an incredible project. But, as others have said, the large levels without in-level saving tend to get very frustrating. So far I've only beaten the first 2 levels and couldn't get past level 3. I'm having trouble figuring out how to kill that enemy with the suction mouth, and if you get caught by one of those things, it's an instant death that takes you all the way back to the start. There are also a few cheap items and/or situations that will almost certainly lead to death for an unsuspecting player (such as that cave door that falls onto the spikes. Additionally, you should probably prevent the player from taking damage if they enter a door and instantly touch an enemy on the other side.

This could be a great game, but the mechanics needs a lot of refinement. Remember that I'm judging this by very high standards. Customizable controls would certainly help.

Gamebird's soundtrack is excellent and really adds to the feel of the game. I really enjoy some of these tracks. Anyway, I'll post more when I have more to say.