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Harn DE is out... erg.

Dad's new game is out. The computer version?

It's called "Tapestry Saga: Web of the Widow". And they're calling it a "Digitally-Enhanced Adventure".

Pheh. So lemme tell you why we're both unimpressed.

Auran didn't really give him much to say about how it was all organized - and neither of us really realized how unfortunate that was until we looked at it, just now. I installed it on my puter - it wouldn't run. Dunno why. So I went into Dad's office and we looked through it together.

Totally nothing like we expected. Actually, I'm really unimpressed. Dad's actually, I think, embarassed. The scenes are, of course, coming from Auran, very pretty. Well. I wasn't all that impresed with the graphics myself. Personally I thought the graphics, still and animated, in Rayman 2 kick the ass of everything in Harn DE.

So anyway, the scenes are all (supposedly) visually nice. But the thing is, you can't actually *do* anything in any of them but look around. They're not connected - you have to go back to a menu screen to change scenes. And there are no animated features except clouds/rain, stuff like that. To be honest, they're rather boring. Buildings, roads, countryside. That about describes it. And again, not that pretty, either. I think most RPGers could picture their own versions of the scenes better in their heads, the old-fashioned way.

The gaming modules are in PDF files - here's the problem - *not* integrated with the scenes. They're totally different items, accessible only through the start menu. So basically the "Digitally Enhanced Adventure" consists of a bunch of (unconnected) folders holding maps, cast bios/pictures, adventure modules, etc. in PDF files, on the start menu, and a prog that runs the scene viewer. And none of it is integrated. It's really awkwardly put-together, if you ask me. What's the point of having the scenes if you have to go from Adobe to the scene viewer every time you have a question, or want to verify a detail? It doesn't seem very efficient or compactly organized to me.

The PDF files I understand. Except for the fact that they themselves are unconnected and not integrated with each other (it would be better, Dad said, if they were all one file with hyperlinks to the scene viewer on maps and text), are set up like a normal RPG module. Which makes sense. And they're printable. Probably cheaper than going out and buying a dozen module books. So it'd be like a big collection of modules to play with, on a convenient CD.

But they're *not* integrated, either with the scenes or each other. They're scattered in a start menu folder, unconnected. The scenes are really just advertising for Auran's "Jet Engine" graphics technology and I expect that most gamers will disregard them in favour of the scenes in their heads. Less bloody trouble. I would. It would make much more sense if the whole mess was just squashed together in *one* package, everything connected to everything else.

Dad did say, though, that the board of directors at Auran was getting cold feet. This publication I hold in my hand, however prettily decked-out in a DVD case (has a picture of a boat at the port of Aleath on the cover, very nicely presented) was essentially a last-ditch attempt to save the franchise, as I understand it.

*And*, (you knew there was gonna be an And) it's not even being distributed by actual stores. They're handing it back to Columbia Games, and it goes out on their distribution list. The same few thousand people who've been buying paper-Harn all these years. And maybe *our* own distribution list, the one I mail packages of HMG to. They're hoping for 200,000 sales. I'm hoping that's conservative estimation. And since Dad doesn't own the licence anymore (to his OWN CONCEPT...) he doesn't get much royalty - about 20 cents (US, thank the gods, not CDN) on each copy. That's not really that much.

Ye gods, I hope this gets picked up. Otherwise they'll never get a real game out. *That* was supposed to be a proper RPG... and one of the main characters had my name.

Oh, shut up. ;) Harn also has a lake or something named after me. *snerk*

Should sleep...

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chandri
Chandri MacLeod
Fantasi.net

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