The War of the Solstice has begun…

Arise, Midnight! Arise the Free!
Peril and doom lie at our gates.
Waken your valour,
arm yourselves with courage!
We ride to conquer Doomdark forever!
Arise Midnight, arise!

arise

The War of the Solstice has begun…

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56 thoughts on “The War of the Solstice has begun…

  1. Just downloaded game… Looks great, love the mapping… I hope it does well! I just hope the world doesn’t end just yet (need to play the game again). Brings back memories of when I was young and my old Amstrad CPC.
    Well done Chris. I think Mike would be very happy.

  2. Wow.. well I have been playing pretty much none stop and loving every moment. I particularly like the way you can stack lords on top of each other and they just follow the leader around.

    Nice little easter egg to Mike ‘up north’.. did a double take when I saw it.

    Question : Morkin died and I have Fawkrin at the Tower of Doom, but I cant find the crown.. am I just being a dork?

  3. Just wanted to add my voice here to the general accolade. I’m enjoying the game immensely!

    A question: Is there some sort of time or energy penalty for searching a location?

    And a quibble in respect to accessing the seek function: at the moment it appears to require two taps to access (first ‘choose’ and then ‘seek’). Is there any way of streamlining this? (since we can get to ‘think’ by tapping the shield and the map by stroking upwards).

    But what a great game!

  4. Hi, Chris. Amazing stuff. 🙂 Bought it for the iPad as soon as it was available.

    One cosmetic bug I found: when recruiting men from a place, the game says something like “Luxor the Moonprince recruited one hundred warriors from the Keep of Dodrak. one hundred and fifty warriors still…”

    See? After the place name, the number of remaining warriors doesn’t begin with a capital letter, even though it comes after a period.

    Thanks for the game, by the way.

    • Also, a typo in the documentation: in the Seek command:

      “But beware, and under occupied stronghold…”

      That “and” should be “an”, I guess.

    • Many thanks.

      Yes, I saw that one and had to let it go. It’s one of those funny, seems like a small change, but actually the text is in the database. So to make the change involves rebuilding the DB – didn’t want to risk that without enough test!

  5. Found accidentally.. Did a double take, I always send Morkin around the edges gathering up farflame and fawkrin which is why I found it. Ironically when I walked back a step to look at the lithe again, I used up 2 turns, it went to night, and I got Morkin killed by wandering doomdark army.. Hence my question about fawkrin not finding the crown 🙂

    • Only Morkin can see the crown atthe tower,
      Farflame, Fawkrin, or Lorgrim the wise,(found @Tower ofFadrath)at tower of Doom with Morkin will destroy the crown when night falls.

      Try keeping an army or 2 with Morkin to kill of scavenging Eneny armies, Morkin and friends must reach tower doom and get night

      Lak Mirrow can destroy the crown
      happ trails, walt

  6. Wow! Just downloaded. My wife is going to be really upset at being made a “Midnight Widow” for the next few days, weeks, months……..

  7. Well it looks like my first post disappeared into the dark cold void… so here’s another attempt to add my voice to the general accolade and celebration of this solstice.

    Love this game! Thanks for bringing this jewel of a game to iOS.

    I have a question and a quibble.

    The question: Is there an energy or time cost to searching?

    The quibble: Is there a way to reduce the two taps required to ‘Seek’ (via ‘Choose’) from the character’s view screen? Maps can be accessed quickly by a single swipe up and ‘Think’ can be accessed via a single tap on the character’s shield…

    Cheers!

  8. Downloaded and already discovered one of my previous strategies on the Speccy doesn’t work now (pile everyone into Xajorkith and let Doomdarks armies smash themselves to bits on the citadel walls). Absolutely loving it. You’ve done the game (and Mikes memory) proud.

    Have encountered the odd little glitch (recruiting sometimes actually places armies back into keeps and both left and right arrows continue to increase the numbers!)

    Would you like bug reports and if so, what’s the best way?

    But overall, absolutely fantastic – please take a well earned break and raise a glass of your favourite tipple to Mike!

    • Yes, sometimes when trying to recruit, it actually sends more men into the keep/Citadel (as someone reported on your blog page today. Specifially, it does it for me with the Utarg of Utarg in his own keep. I was able to work around it by going to the initial page to recruit men, it works there. But when you recruit some initial troops it throws you into a ‘deeper’ page where you see actually see troop numbers change- that’s where it starts going wrong. If I keep looping back to the original page, I can slowly recruit more men, looping back to the initial recuritment page each time to make it work.

    • LOM has always been available for pc, with “high Rez” graphics.. Also done by Chris. Just do a google search for it. Site is ‘tower of the moon’

      However I much prefer the New releases as I love the old graphics.

      The Pile everyone in xajorkith and let armies smash agains the walls is working for me.. Though everyone is either utterly afraid or utterly tired now

  9. Just purchased it for the Ipad. Look forward to playing this over the Christmas period. Congratulations on getting this out.

  10. Damn! This IS much harder! I usually send Morking north to the Citadel of Gloom, picking up the Lords of Shadows, Lothoril and Farflame. Keep him safe up there until the Lords are mustered and march north from Xajorkith. However, Morkin and co now get creamed after just a few days in the Citadel of Gloom. Crap!

    Well played Chris, well played.

    • This is strange… I think I remember Chris saying that the initial version would be just the original, in terms of game logic and AI. So you shouldn’t be seeing a harder game. Chris, am I correct?

  11. This is strange… I think I remember Chris saying that the initial version would be just the original, in terms of game logic and AI. So you shouldn’t be seeing a harder game. Chris, am I correct?

  12. Told my Son about this and he immediately bought it for his ipad. He sat down playing it last night. Sometimes I just hate him. 🙂
    When he was a toddler he would watch me play, but was to young to grasp the concept. He sure has a good grip of it now.

  13. Love this game! Thanks for bringing this jewel of a game to iOS.

    I have a question and a quibble.

    The question: Is there an energy or time cost to searching?

    The quibble: Is there a way to reduce the two taps required to ‘Seek’ (via ‘Choose’) from the character’s view screen? Maps can be accessed quickly by a single swipe up and ‘Think’ can be accessed via a single tap on the character’s shield…

    Cheers!

    • It’s possible, but I didn’t want to clutter the screen with icons. I could put context icons in that only pop up if you can do that action, but that in turn distracts from the simplicity of the game… i.e.: you only seek because you remembered too! If an icon pops up, you’ll never forget!

      One option is to have a menu that pops up when you keep your finger pressed down. So hold down anywhere on screen and the icons pop up, without taking your finger off the screen you slide over the option you want and release…

  14. Great work with the game. Brings back memories and a lot of anxiety about completing the game, which I never managed.

    Here is my problem with the game, and I know there is nothing to do about it but here it goes anyway. In order to win you have to follow a “recipe” to win, as you can never learn and adapt. I read somewhere that the game was easy to complete, well yeah if you do exactly this and that sure, any game is easy then. Isn’t the whole idea to make a challenge so you can learn and adapt and eventually learn how to win?! Okay, I guess that was just complaining but you should think about that if you want to approach new audience.

    A quick note on a bug, when being on a certain keep/citadel (don’t remember exact detail) but it was impossible to recruit, unless you did it by pressing options and hitting recruit button for every 100 warriors you wanted to recruit, and this was on ONE specific keep/citadel, it was down south-west.
    Also the controls are very good but sometimes you accidentally move instead of changing view, that should have been taken under consideration because every move counts in this game.

    The UI in my opinion needs some more thought and work.
    By swiping the shield I would want to shift to next hero/commander, and not have to go through the process of hitting options, then select a commander, so one swipe on shield better than several touches.
    I also do not want to hit options that often, when approaching an area, just display the options automatically and keep them there for say 3-5 seconds, if I want to do something with them, then I can click, saving me a hit to options button. if not, fade them away so I can keep walking perhaps?

    Eh, no sound?
    I bet an atmospheric soundtrack would be fantastic, I know this is meant to be as real as the original, but would it ruin/take away anything from the original concept?

    Regards
    BerhanK

  15. Hi BerhanK, thanks for your comments.

    Yes, there is a bug with the swipe controls. It seems to affect phones more than tablets. This issues is being addressed and will be fixed in the next release.

    There does also appear to be a problem with the recruit/guard. This is being looked into.

    With regard the AI. I made an active decision to leave this as it is for initial release. Mainly because as a tribute version I wanted it to be as close to the original, and time was also becoming a problem. The intention is to add difficulty modes, new campaigns, game centre achievements, etc… these will start to role out in the new year. The difficulty modes will allow me to address to AI and therefore replay ability.

    Re: sound – similar to the above. We were talking to people about commissioning a soundtrack. But at this stage I was just unable to get someone onboard. Again keeping it as the original and silent came out as a plus in Q&A. Most people prefer to stick a soundtrack on a play it like that. However, I will re visit this.

    I’m also looking at additional UI items. it was a difficult balance, not only because I didn’t want to fill the screen with icons, but trying to support tablet and phone. There is just not enough screen real estate on the phone. It is likely that I will add additional UI changes but to support the tablet only.

    For the shield, are you saying that you just want a swipe on the shield to go to the next lord regardless?

    • Thanks for your quick feedback, all appreciated. Reading that you already are aware of the “issues” I mentioned earlier reassured me to look forward to next update of the game.
      Well, I never cared about leader-boards, game-center and so on, but whatever on that part. I only mean the game is unbeatable unless you play play-by-play as following exact routine, and that is a shame, because the game concept was and still is unique. I am saying that I should not have to read howto/guide/strategy to be able to finish it, I should be able to figure out what I need to do. I think that is what prevented the original game reaching a bigger audience. The core players/fans will always be there.

      I have tried on ipone and ipad, iphone is not that great to play on I think the answer there is to make the UI a bit different, ipad is excellent of course. I understand the reasons and the background for you leaving things as close the original, because of time, respect and all that. We all appreciate that. It is a good thing.

      as for the suggestions, yeah:
      • Having swipe on the shield to “shift” to next hero would be a real time saver.
      • Introducing double tab/touch as triggering options menu and no movement/looking would stop a lot of accidental moves instead of looking.
      • for iphone, icons/options need to be bigger, I am probably not alone having trouble with picking the small icons, perhaps instead of touch-able icon graphics you would introduce a grid like menu or something so it would be easier to pick choice instead of trying to pick exactly the icon. This can get a bit annoying when you have to hit options then not picking the icon exactly fades back the options menu, then you hit options again and missing it would repeat the process and so on.
      • I have trouble seeing if the hero is start of dawn or almost done for the day, so perhaps a sun icon/graphics indicating where on my day I am with this hero? Some type of indication would be nice.

      /BK

  16. Arghh!!! Well after many hours play, still going on at 2am in the morning.. Xajorkith assault had been defeated and I had three teams of warriors wandering slowly north retaking citadels and keeps, I had every Doomdark keep beaten and only his last stronghold was left. All my teams were making their way to the Citadel of Kor.. I had 2 lords sat in Xajorkith who were gathering dust, so I sent them to clear a keep that had been retaken, just to the west of Xajorkith.. and then I went to night.. and somehow missed the lone army of Doomdarks warriors who I can only assume were in the moutnains or something who took over XAjorkith which only had a token 100 warriors on guard as all the rest were with my 2 lords.. GAME OVER!!!

    Noooooo! XD

  17. Does Doomdark have an infinite amount of soldiers? My usual pile everything into Xajorkith and make the most of an extended winter tactic doesn’t seem to be working out for now. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because technically it’s about the same tactic I’ve been using for about 28 years now so perhaps I need to adapt! I sometimes find I can’t ungroup on my iPhone, the shield’s won’t select but other than that nothing major to report. Chris- I think it’s really brilliant thank you. My 6 year old son is always grabbing my phone for a cheeky go at Angry birds etc but then today he noticed a different icon. He asked me what it was. I told him that it was something very special I had to show him…

    David

  18. No he doesn’t. But I think it is fair to say that the AI does play a little differently. Not been able to work it out other than it’s different code running on a different machine, and thus decisions just don’t go the same way. It is possible that more of Doomdark’s hordes get south faster than usual. Will spend some more time looking into this…

    The ungroup needs more work. It was one of the time sacrafices. Originally I wanted to have the group circle expand full screen so that all the shields would be full size. Also there needs to be disband group option. One for a future update.

    Glad you are enjoying it!

  19. Love it to pieces.

    Re: sound; how about some background atmospherics instead of music? Wind, snowfall, rustling of foliage; perhaps even leaves and birds when near forest, chatter near towns and armies, and so on?

  20. Yes, this is my opinion as well. The game doesn’t really need music (and in that case you can always play something in your device), but ambient sound effects would be great. Wind, distant howling wolves, and so on.

  21. Thanks for your reply Chris! I understand that you don’t want to clutter up the screen with icons…

    But rather than holding a finger down to invoke a pop up menu I personally would prefer using multi-touch gestures.

    At the moment (from the view screen) you use a single swipe down to move forward and a single swipe up to get to the maps but unfortunately (since the maps scroll) you can’t return to the view screen (from the map view) with another a single swipe down (which feels unnatural UI-wise).

    But what if a single finger swipe up from the view screen was used to ‘seek’ and a two-fingered swipe up went to maps? Then a corresponding two-fingered swipe down could be used to return to the view screen…

    Once again this is a quibble. The game itself is fantastic!

  22. One interface suggestion: whenever it’s night for a character (or possibly always, I’m not sure — maybe it could be an option? “don’t show”, “show only if night”, “show always”?), have a button for “select next character with hours remaining”. Anything that reduces the necessary number of clicks is good, IMO.

    If it’s night for all the characters, that button could simply change automatically to “Night”.

  23. Another one: clicking on “choose” shows the menu, but clicking on it again does nothing (to close the menu, you have to click outside of it). I suggest that clicking on “choose” again should also close the menu (so the button would act as a toggle). I can’t count how man times I’ve tried to close the menu by re-clicking on “choose”, only to remember that I have to click somewhere else.

  24. Just wanted to say a huge thanks for this, it’s an awesome port of one of my all time favourite speccy games. Great tribute to Mike, too.

    Think I only managed to complete the original once or twice. I excell at getting Morkin killed (indeed, my first try of the iOS version I got him killed on day 1…).

    Here’s hoping that Doomdark’s Revenge is on the horizon!

  25. In The Midnight Engine I used to have an option for setting a ‘wait state’ Wait till Dawn, Wait Forever… the idea was that you could filter these characters out.

    • My suggestion is something simpler: a button (optional, for those who want the screen to be as clean as possible), labeled “next character” or something similar, which cycles between characters with hours remaining, and without having to go through the Select menu (which should still be available, of course).

      It’s not exactly the same kind of game, but most tactical strategy games, such as Laser Squad, UFO/X-COM or Fire Emblem, have a “next unit with action points remaining” button, and it’s very convenient. I think it would also work great here.

  26. Any definition on ‘Next’ lord…?

    Any particular icons… a number of them are a lot bigger on the phone version. Interested to know if that are particular ones you see as being problematic.
    The hit spot around the icon is rectangular.

    The select screen has an icon for dawn/night do you want that expanding over?

  27. next lord = whoever, anyone who hasn’t walked the walk for the day, not a big deal really, is it? Or closes geographically to the one you were dealing with, or next in rang, or next by alpha-sort in name..

    on phone the options/command, icons on lords selection screen is sometimes hard to pick exactly. Maybe it’s only me then if no one else is having this issue :D..

    NO, not the dawn/night icon, I would like to see some kind of indication of time of day. You do have that on the lord selection screen (it shows on the shield – I want that somehow on the main screen). Because, in order to know what time you have left of the day you have to “think” = 2 touches, save that by displaying it on the main view, I know the screen becomes lighter/darker but dawn and evening/night is same and impossible to tell which is which without “thinking” = 2 touches or select lord = 2 touches.
    Since time is important factor on being able to reach a safe place (citadel/hiding spot/etc) you need to take the time left of the day into consideration, no?!

    /BK

  28. Not a big deal, just trying to understand the requirement… there are so many ways you could cut it. For example you could use the nearest lord on the select screen. That way if you bunch lords together you have control over the process…

  29. Really enjoyed playing this, no quibbles from me but also good to see some improvements coming down the line. Brilliant work and my 18 year old son has shown some interest too. After playing daily, probably about 12 hours, I won my first victory, Ushgarak falling after 57 days, and I had Morkin killed outside the walls of Gloom earlier on so some improvements to go for!!! Any hints or comment on the mysterious Lord of Midwinter I saw wandering in the Forest of Dreams, can we do anything with him?

    Great work Chris!

  30. Only Morkin can see the crown atthe tower,
    Farflame, Fawkrin, or Lorgrim the wise,(found @Tower ofFadrath)at tower of Doom with Morkin will destroy the crown when night falls.

    Try keeping an army or 2 with Morkin to kill of scavenging Eneny armies, Morkin and friends must reach tower doom and get night

    Lak Mirrow can destroy the crown
    happ trails, walt

  31. Hello.

    Thank you for a bit of my teenage years revisited. Truly a lovely time killing too many hours.

    Just a question about the Lord of Midwinter, is he going to do anything? Have bumped into him several times but never can recruit?

    Great work and thanks again..

  32. I have one suggestion. Though I do realise it might take it away from the classic.

    If you complete the war task, as opposed to the quest. Could you have some sort of map overlay depicting either the ice crown’s influence or doomdark’s vs the free’s areas? Thinking you could then map your campaign and see it change as you take a citadel or keep.

    Thanks again.

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