Category Archives: Legends of Amberland

Legends of Amberland version 1.26

Version 1.26 released

In this version the interface was partially redesigned. Nothing groundbreaking, it’s still the same interface, but there were several smaller changes introduced to make it more spacey and more intuitive. Close screen buttons were made smaller and moved to another spot to free extra space, which allowed a bigger inventory box for example and thicker scroller bars. Some buttons were rearranged, merged, moved to different sections, etc. Again, a lot of things changed but it still has the same vibe so you won’t get confused. Equipping items was redesigned as well, now when you click on an unequipped item it will replace an equipped one (it was quite tricky with accessories but I managed to find an algorithm for it that works well), which is both intuitive and was requested by players for a long time (in case it’s needed I could add an option to disable it and make it work the old way, but I suspect there will be no such need). Also some other small changes, like the compass made more visible, extra icons on map interface, etc.

– [feature] Equipment gets swapped when attempting to equip and you already have an equipped item in that slot. It will also make last accessory unequipped when all accessory slots are filled and you attempt to equip the type of accessory you don’t have equipped yet.
– [feature] Mute on focus lost option (advanced audio setting). Note: if you installed the game prior to v1.26 you will have it off by default, it’s recommended to turn it on, you can do so via Options/Audio.

– [misc] Optimization.

– [interface] Compass redrawn to make the directions more visible.
– [interface] Wider scroller size.
– [interface] Added icons to map buttons (summon griffin, center on party).
– [interface] Close screen buttons made smaller and unified across all screens (when gamepad is plugged in the icon is replaced with gamepad hint icon).
– [interface] Close screen button moved to the top left corner also added “B” to the bottom hints display if gamepad is plugged in.
– [interface] Quests and Titles moved to info section.
– [interface] Removed right mini menu from Statistics and Inventory screens (redundant now since Inventory can be accessed directly from the main right menu).
– [interface] Inventory boxes made wider (possible now since right mini menu was removed and extra space became available).
– [interface] Used shop and deposit item boxes made wider.
– [interface] Other small interface improvements.

– [fix] Overwrite file notice was giving a wrong filename (the correct file was overwritten, just noticed box display was incorrect).

Legends of Amberland version 1.25

Version 1.25 released

This version focuses on fixing the remaining, usually low priority or very rare bugs, numerous small interface improvements and improved gamepad support. Gamepad support is still marked as experimental, so to use gamepad you need to enable experimental features in Options first. As a side effect of improving gamepad support, the game is also now almost fully playable (with few exceptions) via keyboard alone if one so desires. As of this version you can do everything via gamepad/keyboard except entering names for characters and savefiles (which will be added in future versions).

– [misc] Upgraded to the newest version of SDL2 (for better gamepad support and detection).
– [misc] Screenshots are now saved as .PNG (instead of .BMP) in the root folder (instead of data/).

– [interface] Options support keyboard/gamepad.
– [interface] Options video resolution selector simplified. Also rearranged placements of some options.
– [interface] Gamepad buttons L/R can be used for selecting options category.
– [interface] Display gamepad button hints on Load/Save screens (only if gamepad is plugged in).
– [interface] DELETE key and gamepad button “X” can be used to delete save files (on Load/Save screens).
– [interface] Load/Save screen shows 8 files now instead of 9, extra space will be used for additional information about the savefiles.
– [interface] Added location and highest party level information to Load/Save (will be displayed for new savefiles only).
– [interface] Display gamepad button hints on Map screen (only if gamepad is plugged in).
– [interface] Full map better adjusting size to the screen resolution.
– [interface] Adjusted positions of gamepad hints on screens.
– [interface] Some font colors changed to black (for consistency with NPC dialogue): Rest, Info.
– [interface] Inventory has a separate button on the right menu.
– [interface] Rearranged the right menu to make it more logical.
– [interface] Small inventory beautification, also added a colored tag for Quest and Special items.
– [interface] Adjust item bar size and text positions (making it look better especially at lower resolutions).
– [interface] Character statistics screen displays icons of statuses next to the statuses names.
– [interface] Small interface beautification (scrollers positions).

– [fix] Flee time penalty was 10 days instead of intended 10 hours (a bit extreme).
– [fix] Monsters entering illegal unlocked gate tile which sometimes allowed switching places with the party.
– [fix] Very rare “Item not found” bug in some high level chests.
– [fix] Quit from game was executed when ESC key was pressed on new game screen while fast quit option was enabled.
– [fix] Restoration spell reporting failure like heal (now it properly reports failure due to conscious/petrified target).
– [fix] Spelling mistakes.
– [fix] Locale improvements and fixes: ES,PL,FR,BR,DE.

Legends of Amberland version 1.24

Version 1.24 released

Technical update (fixes of some rare OS related bugs and better support for legacy systems). In addition small interface bug fixes.

– [interface] Esc key now closes any open confirmation/notification box.

– [fix] Engine upgraded (fixes to some rare OS related bugs).
– [fix] Esc key incorrectly closing overwrite file box.

Some of asked about Switch version update to v1.24, there is no need since Switch does not have ESC key and no Windows OS to fix, so none of this apply. Therefore v1.23 on Nintendo Switch is identical feature wise to the v1.24 on Windows/Linux.

Legends of Amberland version 1.23

Version 1.23 released

This version focuses on gamepad and keyboard support improvements. Also, several spelling/localization fixes. In addition, one small adjustment, now flags for castles and forts on the minimap are identical to those shown on the 3D view.

– [gfx] Minimap shows proper flags colors for all castles and forts.

– [interface] Added gamepad section to Options/Controls (now there are separate Keyboard and Gamepad controls screens).
– [interface] Option/Controls an option to swap strafe and left/right movement gamepad mappings.
– [interface] Scroller can now also be operated via all up/down movement keys (not just up/down arrows but all remapped movement keys whatever your current mapping might be).
– [interface] Scrolling on Quests screen available via gamepad.
– [interface] Hint Cursor: Tooltips on Quest screen now available by holding CTRL (keyboard) or RT (gamepad).
– [interface] Hint Cursor: Tooltips on Achievements screen now available by holding CTRL (keyboard) or RT (gamepad).
– [interface] Gamepad hints for Stats/Inventory/Quests/Achievements buttons (displayed when holding RT button).
– [interface] Notification popup if you play with a gamepad connected (only if gamepad is enabled via experimental features).
– [interface] Map now properly shows names of locations when using gamepad.

– [fix] Localization not displayed for Teleport events.
– [fix] Localization missing in one part of the Magic efficiency tooltip.
– [fix] Localization DE (two tiny fixes).
– [fix] Fixed spelling of Necklace of Paralysis and Brothers of the Knife plaque missing one word.

Note: Nintendo Switch version will be updated to v1.23 within a few hours.

Games now also available on Itch.io

Stellar Monarch (including the DLC), Automobile Tycoon, Legends of Amberland: The Forgotten Crown now are available on itch.io online store.

Link: silverlemurgames.itch.io

Legends of Amberland version 1.22

Version 1.22 released

Some of you were raising a concern regarding wizards usefulness compared to other classes. I was deliberating on it for quite a while and evaluated this as a valid concern. So, here it is a Wizards rebalance! Basically, all offensive spells for all classes were boosted in efficiency, but in a non linear way, since, according to your feedback, the early gameplay spells balance is fine and only the mid-late gameplay needed adjustments. In addition friendly houses were adjusted to be less powerful (but still useful). This version also contains fixes, small interface improvements and experimental gamepad support (as an optional, disabled by default, experimental feature). Of yes, one more thing, sound effects are handled slightly different now. Previously when all party members were hit by a fireball the sound was played 7 times (once per hit party member), which was grand, epic and loud… well, too loud maybe, especially when on headphones. Now when the party is hit by a fireball the sound is played only once, which should be much gentler on your eardrums.

– [feature] Experimental option to enable gamepad support. It’s crude and might be incomplete but should be usable. Go to Options to enable it.

– [balance] Offensive spells boosted. Depending on the spell level, early spells work the same, then got boosted by +10%, +25%, +50% and +100%. So, early spells are more or less the same while late spells get massive boost in damage output.
– [balance] Due to a popular concern that friendly houses are too powerful, those now function like fountains and restore only HPs.
– [balance] I was brooding for a while if that’s a bug or a feature and decided to change it. Now when you remove any MP granting item it immediately reduces your MP to the new maximum amount. So, now it works like in most RPGs which also should be more intuitive.

– [misc] Spells & effects vs all characters/enemies now trigger a single sound instead of multiple sound effects. This prevents “sound clutter” especially noticeable when using headphones.

– [interface] Party coordinate display is hidden when minihelp is active (looks nicer).
– [interface] Small beautification of Magic screen.

– [fix] Hotkey keybindings not saving after selecting Restore Default.
– [fix] Keybinding was still waiting for key input after closing the keybinding screen before finishing entering new keybinding.
– [fix] End game button (Game Over/Victory screen) can now be activated via keyboard (like rest of the GUI).
– [fix] Other small fixes.

Legends of Amberland version 1.21.1

Version 1.21.1 released

This is a boring version containing mostly fixes and… well, the missing 5th Master! The thing is I simply forgotten to put him in the game and since he was non critical to the storyline no one noticed until I implemented achievements which required finding all masters. Then I faced a decision if I should simply change the achievement or add the missing Master. The consensus among players I enquired was that they would rather see him added. So, here it it, the missing Master of Willpower! Note that he can be found using any old save and it does not interfere in your gameplay in progress in any way, you can also simply ignore him if you wish.

One more thing, some of you were complaining about Wizards balance. So, after a long deliberation I decided to tackle the issue since the concerns raised by you seemed reasonable. But it requires testing. There is a secret way (listed below) to enable this test rebalance if you wish (preferably if you hop on our Discord and share your opinion on the rebalance afterwards) but it’s not recommended for regular players. Most likely those changes will go live in the next version.

– [misc] Added missing Master of Willpower (the 5th Master). Fully compatible with your older saves, you can just find him now. Check forum for the exact location if you just want to complete the online achievement.
– [misc] Started Wizards rebalance, it will be an official feature in the next version. Now you can enable the experimental version of it by going to Options then clicking “Wizards rebalance 122”. Check “Wizards rebalance” topic for details.

– [interface] Tooltip CTRL support for selected magic and item (on all screens). Useful for people who play using keyboard alone.

– [fix] Keyboard remapping was sometimes crashing the game.
– [fix] Magic shop was incorrectly applying a gold cost to some items (the bug was introduced by a price difficulty fix in v1.15).

Legends of Amberland version 1.21

Version 1.21 released

This version introduces what some of you waited for a very long time. Yes, the long promised Steam/GOG achievements have finally arrived! Total 13 of those. Also, I think that from now on all my games would come with online achievements implemented on day 1 (full release, not Early Access), not guaranteed by very likely.

– [misc] Added 13 online achievements. One can be unlocked on Hard or Insane difficulty only. Two are more hardcore and require more effort to unlock. The remaining ten are pretty casual. Note that some of the achievements can be unlocked retroactively using your old save (but not all of them), check the “Steam achievements” topic for fro more details.
– [misc] Updated localization files.

Oh, yes, one more thing. In the next month/s I should be ready to announce my next project! If you want to be notified click “Follow” button on the developer’s page https://store.steampowered.com/developer/SilverLemurGames (Steam should then send you an email on any of my upcoming games). Alternatively, you can join our Discord (the best place for the most hardcore fans to hang around).

The secret story behind pixel sizes

Yesterday, Legends of Amberland got an update upscaling all 3D view assets to 64px on all platforms (Steam, GOG, Nintendo Switch). Here is the full story behind the scenes of this interesting & important decision.

It goes like this. A long, long time ago I started the Legends of Amberland project with an assumption that all 3D view assets (landscape, monsters, map features, dungeons, etc) would be made as 16×16 pixels. It was consistent and it was looking unique in the artistic sense, I liked it. I posted some screenshots on a few forums (mostly RPG Codex) to get feedback, the response was rather positive with the exception of artistic style which was mixed. Still, I resisted for a while to adjust it, my main objection was that if I up it to 32×32 pixels then soon people will complain they want 64×64 and then 128×128 pixels. Then I went to Pixel Connect 2018 in Warsaw, it’s a very tiny but nice expo for industry members only, and exhibited the prototype of Legends of Amberland. I got a quite positive feedback but… the feedback regarding visuals was interesting. Some people hated it and some said “they don’t play such games for art”, in short people either disliked the art or were indifferent to it, no one, or very few have fallen in love with it. That’s when I decided to go for 32×32 pixel size.

So, the game was launched in Early Access with 32×32 pixels art assets. The reaction to the art style was much better than to 16×16, now some people loathed it, some didn’t care and some loved it. Which is a desired outcome for an indie developer who does not aim for mass market, you care about how many people love your work not how many hate it and definitely you don’t want to make it feel “average” or “compatible with tastes of the most people” as AAA companies are forced to do. Some people loved the art style which meant for me that it serves its purpose. Anyway, it was a good art style for the project and I thought it would be the end of the story.

As time went on and the game became more and more popular one thing occurred to me. There was a portion of potential players who would enjoy the game but the art style made them unable to play it and that there was some portion of the fan base who played the game despite the art style, they enjoyed the overall experience but they were suffering due to incompatible aesthetic. I don’t like when my loyal players suffer, so it made me sad. That’s when I started to think about the possibility of upscaling the graphics yet again. Maybe for a sequel as I thought at the time.

Then, one day, when I was on a walk with my wife and the small one, I got a call from Wojtek Kubiak (CEO of Pineapple Works, the company which made the port of Legends of Amberland for Nintendo Switch), he listed several well thought reasons why it would be great to upscale the art assets a bit. Great, I thought to myself, if he independently thought about the same thing I had, since I never mentioned it to him, it is a no brainer. I answered that I will look into the feasibility of doing it, agreed on the optimal deadline and then I hang up. Next I have chosen the number to Krzysztof “Pixel” Matys (my primary pixel artist for monsters and humanoids) and said to him “Do you remember when we talk about possible 64px upscaling? We are going to try it earlier. Can you redo all monsters in one month?” he sighted heavily and promised he will deliver it on time (that’s one advantage of having trusted long term contractors). This settled the hardest part of it since monsters were the most tricky and work intense of this upscaling. I continued to enjoy my evening walk with my family happy I managed to basically finish my part. The next day I looked through remaining assets (landscape, walls, doors, chests, objects, etc) and I contacted Maciej Mrowicki (my another pixel artist who so far did smaller assets) and asked if he can handle upscaling the rest, he said it’s no problem (he delivered it much earlier that I expected and without any fuss, which earned him +2 levels on my “artists’ spreadsheet”, so expect more art assets from him on my future projects). In short, I was on a walk, answered one call, made one call, sent one email and then got most of the glory & love from all this upscaling thing while others did 97% of the hard work.

In a few days they delivered me the example upscaled assets, now there was the critical part, do I go for it or not. I assembled it all in the game and… requested changes 😀 I got the revised assets, tried again and… yeah, it was looking good and it was consistent. I gave the green light to the new art style and started collecting incoming assets. Soon it was all done.

Overall, the tricky part was that a significant player base was already happy with the 32px assets version and the game was already released, so the upscaling to 64px was only an option if it was compatible in aesthetic sense with the existing look and feel. Fortunately, the 64px version was very similar regarding the feeling and the impression of pixelated graphics was not lost during upscaling, so it was not a problem. Another tricky part was the simultaneous update on all platforms (Steam, GOG, Nintendo Switch), not an easy task to synchronize it, but we managed to do it.

Oh yes, there was also another reason for the upscaling thing, a tiny little one I have not mentioned to anyone… It got under my skin that some unnice people were implying that the art style choice was just a result of my cheapness and lack of proper budget of my games not a conscious artistic decision. Now you can’t say so, you complainful personas! And I still manged to retain my artistic vision and aesthetics without bowing to your boring generic artistic taste!

In the end, my first suspicion that if I agree to upscale from 16px to 32px they will still want to go further was correct and indeed players wanted to do the thing *again*, so I ended up with a second upscaling from 32px to 64px. Now I wonder, will they try to persuade me to upscale it again to 128px, 256px and so on? Only time will tell…

Legends of Amberland version 1.20

Version 1.20 released

A big update. First, the assets were changed from 32px to 64px. Basically, everything is more detailed now, which is especially handy if you play on a big screen. I was considering for a while the option to choose between 32/64px versions, but decided against it, since the overall look and feel was retained and on the mood & aesthetic level it still feels the same, just a bit less pixelated if you have a big screen. Second, there are 4 new hero portraits to choose from. Third, the game is now fully playable by keyboard only if one so desires (except options which still require mouse) or you can use both keyboard and mouse at the same time (I designed and tested it for mouse only, keyboard only and mouse+keyboard simultaneously).

– [misc] All 3D view graphics assets (monsters, landscape, dungeons, etc) changed from 32px to 64px!
– [misc] Additional heroes portraits to choose from (2 male and 2 female).
– [misc] Updated localization files.

– [interface] GUI buttons now show a reddish highlight depending on which button is selected by keyboard (if you play via mouse only you can ignore this).
– [interface] Added “[” / “]” keys to toggle between heroes (rebindable). Works also for selecting a friendly spell target.
– [interface] OK key (“Enter” by default) can be used to accept selected friendly spell target.
– [interface] Integrated mouse and keyboard character selection (now you can confirm the character selection by pressing OK key or mouse click regardless of you selection method, can it be it by mouse or by keyboard).
– [interface] ESC key in “select friendly party member for a spell target” mode will work as Cancel instead of opening a quick menu.
– [interface] Blocked movement & rotate in “select friendly party member for a spell target” mode (it made no sense and was confusing).
– [interface] Removed UP/DOWN keyboard toggling between Character screens (Stats/Inventory/Quests/Titles), those keys are now used for toggling between equipment/inventory boxes when using keyboard, besides you can access those via U/I/O/P hotkeys anyway.
– [interface] Keyboard support for Inventory screen (mouse and keyboard can be used simultaneously).
– [interface] Clicking on an empty equipment slot (mouse or keyboard) switches to an appropriate item filter.
– [interface] Keyboard support for Shop and Item Deposit screens.
– [interface] Added TOGGLE key (“TAB” and “y” by default) which can be used on Create Party screen and Shop screen (useful when using keyboard only).
– [interface] Shop improvement (shop and shop used buttons, both react to toggle hotkey; craftsmen count relocated).
– [interface] Keyboard support for Town (and all subscreens).
– [interface] Keyboard support for Main Menu and Quick Menu.
– [interface] Keyboard support for How To Play (only additional keys added since it was supported already but with the assumption that mouse is the primary controller, now it’s more intuitive to use by keyboard alone).
– [interface] Keyboard support for Change party member position (hotkey).
– [interface] Keyboard support for Create Party screen.
– [interface] Keyboard support for Load/Save screen (except Delete file which require mouse).
– [interface] Rest screen can be closed by ESC/BACKSPACE now.
– [interface] Confirmation box displays the filename of the file to be deleted/overwritten.
– [interface] Adjusted trainer screen description (added “Training for…”, consistent with Healer screen).
– [interface] Create Party screen added mini help section (keyboard hints).
– [interface] Hide save file version from the Load/Save screen unless in tester mode (this information is not needed for regular players since all saves are compatible anyway).
– [interface] Holding CTRL key show tooltip of the currently highlighted (selected) button. Useful if you play via keyboard alone.
– [interface] Clicking on the mini map opens/closes map screen.

– [fix] Calling a griffin while on Town screen made Town screen still open after transport. Now griffin use always trigger exit town.
– [fix] Removed debug tracking mode which was a leftover from me trying to track one bug in v1.16.
– [fix] Removed moving when in How To Play (not really harmful but it made no sense).