crimson diamond gazette

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MEDIA

Medium.com Article

IndieGames+ Article

PC GAMER Article

Adventure Gamers Announcement Article

Adventure Corner Article (German)

YouTube LP Playlist

The CGG Podcast: I give updates on The Crimson Diamond and we discuss The Colonel's Bequest

The CGG Podcast: Episode featuring me discussing The Crimson Diamond

 

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Wordplay showcase

Get Crimson Diamond merch on my Society6 store!

 

 

Julia Minamata - julia@thecrimsondiamond.com

WWW.THECRIMSONDIAMOND.COM

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August 2019

Hello, dear readers! Happy August! What a busy month it's been, and it's only half over!

First exciting bit of news: I'll be at PAX West this year! I don't have a table for The Crimson Diamond, but I will be volunteering at the Transolar Games (Hero-U) table and generally milling about. I'll also be attending the PAX panel Adventure Games: Then and Now at the Hydra Theatre on Monday, September 2 at 1pm!

I'm also planning on visiting SIX (Seattle Indie Expo) so maybe I'll see some of you nice folks there!

PAXWest2019

 

Joel Couture wrote a lovely article about The Crimson Diamond for Indie Games +! I'm always super pumped to see people writing about my game. It's always such a rush <3.

IndieGamesPlus

 

Speaking of which, Stephen Schroeder over at Medium.com wrote an article about The Crimson Diamond, too! He does some wonderful side-by-side comparison of TCD and The Colonel's Bequest, and really goes into detail!

mediumArticle

This month was my first time doing video chats/interviews, and I did two! The first one was with the incredible Space Quest Historian, who is actually hosting that PAX West panel on adventure games! He's got a ton of playlists on his channel showcasing classic adventure games and is full of interesting Space Quest trivia.

SQH

 

The second video chat/interview was with Matt Barton, who hosted me for a Matt Chat. Matt is a video game scholar and historian, who has interviewed legendary game devs like Lori and Corey Cole, John and Brenda Romero, Alexey Pajitnov, and Richard Garriott! It was a pleasure to sit down with him and talk about TCD and adventure games in general..

MattChat

 

And this one was a complete surprise to me! Alice of Ask_Alice streamed The Crimson Diamond demo too! I jumped into her chat for a bit to answer questions and hang out. it was a fantastic time!

AskAlice

Here's a handy-dandy YouTube playlist of The Crimson Diamond demo videos so far. If you know about one or are making one, please let me know so I can add it! https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBdoc9qVoIjlXu1egyHK-o2XC3-hX2cWP

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beads

CRAFT CORNER

I love round rock / semi-precious gemstone beads and tons can be had by the strand for fairly cheap! I recently knotted strands of carnelian (red) and malachite (green) using coloured embroidery thread. It's a fun and easy craft!

Have a safe and fun summer!

-- JM

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ccfms

MINERAL TRIVIA SECTION

DID YOU KNOW: There is a non-profit group of rock, mineral, and lapidary hobbyists based in Central Canada that is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year! The Central Canadian Federation of Mineralogical Studies (CCFMS) . Of particular interest is the CCFMS Online Resources, which have a wealth of information about many rock-related topics including: associations, geotours, mineral sites, and more!

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almonds

INTERESTED IN SUPPORTING THE CRIMSON DIAMOND?

Check the sidebar for links to my Patreon and PayPal! Or visit The Crimson Diamond's Steam page and add it to your wishlist! <3

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CLASSIC GAMER? JOIN CLASSIC GAMERS!

I help admin a thriving classic gaming community called the Classic Gamers Guild on Facebook. We host plenty of events during the week, as well as contests and a bunch of other great stuff. We even have a podcast and I was the first guest!

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July 2019

Hello, dear readers! Happy July. I'm over the moon! I'm showing The Crimson Diamond at AdventureX in London, England this year!

Gaz9_AdvX1This is a real dream come true for me. Ever since I learned about this convention I've wanted to go. It's a celebration of the types of games I love the most. It's happening Novemer 2-3 at The British Library. It'll be my first time in the UK, and I can't think of a better reason to go! I can't wait to meet adventure game fans and devs! Below is a list of the exhibitors:

AdvX_Exhibitors

More exciting news! YouTuber extraordinaire PushingUpRoses posted a video about The Crimson Diamond! Here's a link to a YouTube TCD LP Playlist, with PUR at the top of that list. I've been a fan of hers for ages, so this was definitely on my bucket list. I'm super honoured.

YouTube Playlist

Someone on Twitter asked my about how I use Photoshop to animate my sprites, so I made a little video:

CRAFT CORNER

Here are some simpler bead necklaces I made, using my closest approximation of the 16-colour EGA palette plus some gold size 11 seed beads. I strung them on a wire, but I might just try some cord and see if that sits better around my neck. I still have to try something on my bead loom -- Maybe recreate some pixel art!

Have a safe and fun summer!

-- JM

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MINERAL TRIVIA SECTION

DID YOU KNOW: There are many, many sites around Southern Ontario for rockhounding (hunting for rocks and minerals)! Mindat.org is run by the not-for-profit Hudson Institute of Mineralogy, and it's a great resource for all things mineral! Of particular interest to me was this article on the accessibility of mineral collecting sites in Southern Ontario. Of course, follow laws, by-laws, and common sense when exploring, and be prepared!

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INTERESTED IN SUPPORTING THE CRIMSON DIAMOND?

Check the sidebar for links to my Patreon and PayPal, or paypal.me/JuliaMinamata ! Or visit The Crimson Diamond's Steam page and add it to your wishlist! <3

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CLASSIC GAMER? JOIN CLASSIC GAMERS!

I help moderate a thriving classic gaming community called the Classic Gamers Guild on Facebook. We host plenty of events during the week, as well as contests and a bunch of other great stuff. We even have a podcast and I was the first guest!

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June 2019

Hello, dear readers! Happy June. This is a special early issue of the gazette! There's been a lot of exciting news since the last issue and I couldn't wait to share!

The Crimson Diamond Steam Store is live! The game is now available to wishlist, which is an easy and important way for folks to support the game. The more people wishlist TCD, the more prominently it'll be shared with others in previews, etc. The game demo is also available for free on the store page, making it even easier to download and try!

link to Steam Store

 

PC Gamer (via Tom Sykes) published an article on their site, previewing The Crimson Diamond!

PC GamerIt was really cool to see the article. I made a Google Alert for "The Crimson Diamond" ages ago, and this is the first time it pinged! Yay :).

 

egaCRAFT CORNER

I finally settled on sixteen colours of transparent, size 11 seed beads for my EGA kumihimo projects! Here is a work in progress using a light grey cord. I chose transparent beads because I wanted the light to shine through them, kinda like how light produces colours on a computer monitor. I still haven't tried out my bead loom, I want to try kumihimo with wire first!

Sorry again for the early edition. I hope your June had a good start!

-- JM

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crystal

CRYSTAL TRIVIA SECTION

DID YOU KNOW: Crystals can be enjoyed on a budget! Some of the more famous crystals tend to be pricey (such as diamond!), but if you keep an eye out, there are some samples that show beautiful structures and only run a couple bucks each. The top example in the above photo is Aragonite and this one is 5cm long. It cost me $1.50 Canadian! The piece of Optical Calcite (middle) is 4cm long and was $2. The little Fluorite crystal (1.25 cm long) was also about that much. They're each great examples of how crystals form into distinctive shapes depending on their chemical compositions and environments.

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CLASSIC GAMER? JOIN CLASSIC GAMERS!

I help moderate a thriving classic gaming community called the Classic Gamers Guild on Facebook. We host plenty of events during the week, as well as contests and a bunch of other great stuff. We even have a podcast and I was the first guest!

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June 2019

Hello, dear readers! Happy June! This is a special early issue of the gazette!

The Crimson Diamond Steam Store is live! The game is now available to wishlist, which is an easy and important way for folks to support the game. The more people wishlist TCD, the more prominently it'll be shared with others in previews, etc.

link to Steam Store

There are $1 (coffee n' tea!) and a $5 (personalized xmas card!) tiers. I've applied to show at PAX West this year, and will be applying to AdventureX in London soon. I'm hoping Patreon can help me offset travelling costs. Of course, the best thing people can do is share The Crimson Diamond with anyone they think might be interested! Oh, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (see sidebar!).

I'm always psyched when folks are keen about The Crimson Diamond, and one of the coolest examples of this is when they take the time and trouble to make Youtube videos of it. I'm happy to share two examples of this that happened this past month: SkippyGranola and CrankyTemplar! Here's a Youtube playlist of all the current Let's Plays of The Crimson Diamond!

listen

SkippyGranola and I streamed the whole demo on Twitch and he's posted the video on his Youtube channel. I show him some fun Easter eggs, one of which was a lovely surprise for him :). We then went on to play through the Hugo trilogy, developed by David P. Gray. He's another solo indie dev and an inspiration of mine!

More recently, CrankyTemplar posted a timestamped version on Youtube (no commentary) . The video is the full game demo, showing some of the text parses and all the notable events. This is a great way to pick and choose which game events you'd like to see!

And of course, Youtuber LateBlt was the first to make a video about the demo, here it is!

EGA beadsCRAFT CORNER

I've been amassing a collection of size 11 seed beads so I can craft the ultimate EGA beaded kumihimo necklace! An example of an already completed beaded kumihimo necklace is in The Crimson Diamond Gazette #6. That one is an 8-stranded necklace; naturally, the EGA version will be 16 strands! I hope to get started on this soon. I also have plans of doing some bead loom work, maybe bead up some character portraits or sprites!

That's all for this month, thanks for reading!

-- JM

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mining report

ONTARIO MINERALOGY TRIVIA SECTION

DID YOU KNOW: Ontario is responsible for one-third of Canada's mined metal production! Northeast of Thunder Bay, The Ring of Fire represents one of the world's largest chromite deposits and is a recent discovery. The development of the chromite mining industry in Northern Ontario could encourage the establishment of more extensive transportation networks in that area, potentially opening up more resource-based industry. I hope this is done with care and with the input of the First Nations communities that will be most affected. Ontario Nature published this 2017 report on "Mining in Ontario" and it's worth a look. It's provides a great overview!

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CLASSIC GAMER? JOIN CLASSIC GAMERS!

I help moderate a thriving classic gaming community called the Classic Gamers Guild on Facebook. We host plenty of events during the week, as well as contests and a bunch of other great stuff. We even have a podcast and I was the first guest!

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April 2019

Hello, dear readers! Happy April! I'm afraid I can't report too much development progress this past month -- Because I was busy researching and prepping for my thirty minute pitch as a finalist of the Ubisoft Toronto Indie Series, presented by National Bank!

I got to share my love of EGA and text parser interfaces with the panel. I gained valuable experience creating and presenting a pitch. I met some wonderful people. I ate delicious donuts with real dark chocolate on top. I didn't win any prizes, but it was still an amazing time! To read more about the event, click here. And of course, congrats to the winners: Gloam and Washbear Studio!

gazetteHere's The Crimson Diamond up on the big screen. It was a real thrill to see it up there!

listenI was standing near the back, but my friend Tim Miller of Rocket 5 Studios said that when this screen came up at the awards ceremony, of Nancy in the dining room, there was a wave of murmurs of recognition -- People knew the style! <3

 

cggpodcastI WAS ON THE CGG PODCAST AGAIN!

Ric S. Lee, Paul Korman and I discussed Sierra On-Line's overlooked classic The Colonel's Bequest, which is my favourite Sierra adventure game and a major inspiration for The Crimson Diamond. I also share some game development progress (this was before the Ubisoft Finalist pitch) since last I was on! For that first CGG podcast episode where I was guest, click here.

 

 

garnet necklaceCRAFT CORNER

I REALLY can't help myself! My first red beaded kumihimo necklace didn't look... garnet-y enough for me, so here is version 2.0! Check out issue 5 to see version 1.0. I'm working on version 3.0 as we speak. My habit is being fed by Fusion Beads. They have a vast array of seed beads in soooo many colours! I'm using size 11 Japanese seed beads and Amiet beading thread for these projects. Garnet-y necklace v3.0 will use Superlon Bead Cord #18, which is a bit thinner and MUCH cheaper than Amiet. We'll see how it goes. Both Amiet and Superlon are much easier to use than the embroidery floss, which was hard to string beads onto and resulted in sore fingers. Fusion Beads has $3 shipping to Canada, which is a major bonus!

That's all for this month, thanks for reading!

-- JM

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howlite

CANADIAN MINERALOGY TRIVIA SECTION

DID YOU KNOW: Nova Scotians can lay claim to a very cool mineral! Howlite was discovered in Windsor, Nova Scotia in 1868 by Henry How. He was a chemist, geologist, and mineralogist. I'm sure Nancy Maple would've looked up to him!

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CLASSIC GAMER? JOIN CLASSIC GAMERS!

I help moderate a thriving classic gaming community called the Classic Gamers Guild on Facebook. We host plenty of events during the week, as well as contests and a bunch of other great stuff. We even have a podcast and I was the first guest!

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March 2019

Hello, dear readers! Happy March! I'm well into developing the third section of The Crimson Diamond. The intrigue gets kicked up a notch, as Nancy Maple must investigate TWO crimes!

And now for some super exciting news... I'm a finalist in the Ubisoft Toronto Indie Series! I'm totally psyched. I get to stand in front of a panel and talk for thirty minutes about how much I love the EGA colour palette, how much I love text parser, and how with the support and mentorship of both Ubisoft Toronto and National Bank (and a $50,000 or $25,000 cash prize!) I could share my love of these things with even more people!

ubisoft

It's a love letter, it's a Dragon's Den pitch. And I'm going to give it the same level of care and attention to detail as I have given the game so far. I help moderate the Classic Gamers Guild, so I know how much people care about adventure games. I'd love to hear your thoughts, maybe I can share them with the panel! Send them to: julia@thecrimsondiamond.com.

listen

A NEW WAY TO LISTEN

In the previous issue of the gazette, I discussed allowing players to press and hold the arrow keys down to move Nancy around the screen. When I was watching people play the game at WordPlay 6 last year, I noticed this is what most people were attempting, but my game was lacking. Unfortunately, when I made this type of movement an option, the messages prompting players to stop and listen at doorways would clear too quickly for the player to read them! So I changed how those "listening prompt" messages were displayed, so they wouldn't be missed. This new version of eavesdropping is in the latest playable version of the demo, download and see for yourself!

3D Nancy

CRAFT CORNER

I can't help myself! More kumihimo braiding, as well as beaded kumihimo. The top bracelet is 8 strands, with one strand being a metallic red. And it's done in The Crimson Diamond logo colours! The beaded necklace is also 8 strands and uses size 11 seed beads, three different colours of red (silver-lined light red and dark red, and transparent red). Both use black embroidery floss, which is kind of a pain in the neck to use because it's pretty thick and some of the bead holes are too small! I think the necklace looks... A little pixellated? I'm thinking of buying a bead loom so I can actually make a beaded Nancy Maple. Hobbies and work collide!

EGA PORTRAIT COMMISSIONS

portraits

I'm still open for EGA art commissions! This is a self-portrait of me, with a plain background. The working size is 100pixels square. I upsize the final art so it's still crisp and clear, but still retains the beloved chunkiness of pixel art. This format is perfect for profile photos and social media avatars! This format is $100 USD. Click here for more details!

I also offer payment in installments, I'm sure we can work out an arrangement to create the EGA art of your dreams. Email julia@thecrimsondiamond.com.

That's all for this month, thanks for reading!

-- JM

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ONTARIO MINERALOGY TRIVIA SECTION

DID YOU KNOW: Both garnets AND diamonds have been found in Ontario! My game is somewhat geologically accurate! Wonder what other marvelous minerals can be found in Canada? Alpine Gems has a great listing of gemstone occurrences, broken down by province.

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CLASSIC GAMER? JOIN CLASSIC GAMERS!

I help moderate a thriving classic gaming community called the Classic Gamers Guild on Facebook. We host plenty of events during the week, as well as contests and a bunch of other great stuff. We even have a podcast and I was the first guest!

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February 2019

Hello, dear readers! Happy February! The second section of the game is complete and is currently being beta tested! In this section, players can finally explore the grounds surrounding Crimson Lodge.

The downloadable demo available on the site remains mostly the same, but a little different...

PressnHold

A NEW WAY TO MOVE

Which brings me to what IS different in version 6 of the demo! There is a new movement option for those who prefer the arrow keys: Press n' hold! Press and hold an arrow key to move in your desired direction, release the key to stop. "Tap n' move" is still an option that can be toggled in the main menu, but a lot of players found that method a bit hard to use. Tap n' move is the traditional adventure game style of movement; tap the arrow key once to start the character moving on the screen, tap the same arrow key again to stop movement. I grew up with the "tap" style of movement so it didn't occur to me that it would be strange for new players -- This is why watching people play the game is so important! I added mouse-click to walk for the same reason. I like to give players options, so they can move as they please!

3D Nancy

NANCY IN THE THIRD DIMENSION

Inspired by CJ Dugan's incredible Pixel Quest figures (which may bring on nostalgic vibes for certain beloved classic adventure games), I've created 3D printed and coloured Nancy Maple figures! I designed them in MagicaVoxel, which is a free program that is perfect for making pixelly creations in 3D! Nancy's got a giant kumihimo sash in this photo. I made a bracelet with her colour palette -- Now I want to do one for each character, of course! The 3D printed Nancy Maple isn't for sale yet, but if/when that happens I will be sure to let everyone know!

EGA PORTRAIT COMMISSIONS

portrat

I'm still open for EGA art commissions! This is a self-portrait of me, with a plain background. The working size is 100pixels square. I upsize the final art so it's still crisp and clear, but still retains the beloved chunkiness of pixel art. This format is perfect for profile photos and social media avatars! This format is $100 USD. Click here for more details!

I also offer payment in installments, I'm sure we can work out an arrangement to create the EGA art of your dreams. Email julia@thecrimsondiamond.com.

That's all for this month, thanks for reading!

-- JM

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ONTARIO MINERALOGY TRIVIA SECTION

miller museuj

DID YOU KNOW: Ontario universities sometimes have mineralogy museums that are free to visit! I've been to a lovely one (Miller Museum of Geology, photo above ) at Queen's University and the University of Waterloo has one that's also free! It goes without saying that the Royal Ontario Museum has a spectacular mineralogy exhibit too, but that one has a fee. Worth it!

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CLASSIC GAMER? JOIN CLASSIC GAMERS!

I help moderate a thriving classic gaming community called the Classic Gamers Guild on Facebook. We host plenty of events during the week, as well as contests and a bunch of other great stuff. We even have a podcast and I was the first guest!

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January 2019

Hello, dear readers! Happy New Year! I hope everyone's had a lovely holiday and is ready to make 2019 a great year. I've been working steadily on The Crimson Diamond and the second section is nearly complete! The demo will remain the same, though; I don't want to spoil too much for players ;).

Speaking of which, Version 5 of the demo should be uploaded to the site by the time you read this. No new content has been added, just bug fixes. Tell me if you've played it! I'd love to hear what you think!

Top story this issue is a big one! Awesome Youtuber LateBlt played the TCD demo. He seemed to really like it! He played it for a FULL HOUR and I couldn't be happier. Here's a link to the video. It's doesn't spoil much, so feel free to watch and enjoy!

I've been a fan of LateBlt's for years, so to hear him read out my dialogue was a real rush. I'm blown away.

Next up, another fun bit of news: I've begun accepting artwork commissions! I will EGA-ify a photo of your choice, so you can have that classic nostalgic look. Here are some examples:

portrait

This is a self-portrait of me, with a plain background. The working size is 100pixels square. I upsize the final art so it's still crisp and clear, but still retains the beloved chunkiness of pixel art. This format is perfect for profile photos and social media avatars! This format is $100 USD.

portrait2

This is another portrait I did, but with a background. Same working size, 100 pixels square. This format is $125 USD, because of the added background.

gazetteJan

And finally, this one is a good deal more elaborate. The working size was 200 pixels square, because of the level of detail required for two faces that are much smaller than the previous two examples, as well as the more elaborate background. This would start at $200 USD, I'm happy to offer estimates of any image you might have in mind!

I also offer payment in installments, I'm sure we can work out an arrangement to create the EGA art of your dreams. Email julia@thecrimsondiamond.com.

That's all for this month, thanks for reading!

-- JM

Ontario Mineralogy Trivia Section

DID YOU KNOW: Bancroft, Ontario has a Gemboree that's in its 56th year! My parents took me and my sister when we were kids, and I'm kinda hoping to go this year. It runs from August 1-4. There are vendors, mineral collecting tours, and more!

gazetteJan2

I got a kumihimo kit this past holiday season, and I'm going to try to make a bracelet with all sixteen of my favourite colours. Kumihimo is a Japanese form of braid-making. I think I've acquired yet another enjoyable hobby! I also finally painted a face on my Nancy Maple minifig. I couldn't resist furnishing her with some appropriate accessories.

Oh! One more thing! I help moderate a thriving classic gaming community called the Classic Gamers Guild on Facebook. We host plenty of events during the week, as well as contests and a bunch of other great stuff. We even have a podcast and I was the first guest!

Oops, yet another thing! This Valentine's Day the CGG is hosting a live stream of LEGENDARY game developers Lori and Corey Cole playing their very own Quest for Glory 2: Trial by Fire! QFG2 is an EGA text parser adventure game and a major influence for TCD. Subscribe to their YouTube channel if you want to watch it live or after the fact! There will be contests, trivia, prizes, and more! One of the prizes will be an EGA portrait commission, by me!

Okay for real this time, I'm done. Thanks for reading! - JM

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December 2018

happy holidays

Hello, dear readers! Happy holidays! Apologies for having this issue follow so closely on the heels of issue #1, but like many folks I'm looking forward to zoning out for the last two weeks of the year!

I've made a printable version of this "Season's Greetings" image that's all ready to be folded up into cards to give away to family and friends. Click here for details! The blue cup on the tray is a tribute to Adventure Game Studio, which has a blue cup mascot :).

Our top story is some compatiblity news! A friend of mine has done a bit of research and has run The Crimson Diamond on macOS using WINE, which is a compatibility layer that can run PC stuff on macOS, Linux, and more! Android phones also get a little love, as there is an Adventure Game Studio app that can run TCD, too! Copy and paste the following link to grab the app: www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/releases/finals/AGS-3.4.0-P2/Android.3.4.0.14.APK.zip

android phone

Sorry the photo is so long! I wanted to show the whole phone. I'm glad I implemented click-to-walk because now Android users can tap around the screen to move Nancy around.

Here's how to get TCD working on Android phones: Make a folder in 0 called "ags", then put the game folder called "Compiled" into it! Let me know if this works for you!

sample

I'm working my way though the next little section of TCD. Nancy (that means YOU!) gets to do some field work! Look forward to some rock facts, if you are the type of person who would look forward to rock facts.

That's all for this month, thanks for reading!

-- JM

Ontario Mineralogy Trivia Section

DID YOU KNOW: Ontario has a working diamond mine! Canada has become famous in recent years as a source for "conflict-free" diamonds. Victor Diamond Mine just so happens to be located roughly in the same area where The Crimson Diamond is set -- The James Bay lowlands, north of Sudbury.

amethyst photo

The above photo shows the holiday card printed! I got mine done at Staples!

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November 2018

Hello, dear readers! Welcome to the inaugural issue of The Crimson Diamond Gazette. Here you'll find news and fun info about The Crimson Diamond (TCD) and some of my interests that led to me developing this game.

This newsletter will be monthly or less, depending on if there is anything worth reporting.

The main story this month is the newest build of The Crimson Diamond Demo (v4). It's up on the site now!

I've added a "click-to-walk" option for players who aren't used to the classic "Sierra-style" method of movement; this involved navigating using the arrow keys and having players continue moving in one direction after one key press, until they bumped into an obstacle or pressed the arrow key again. I watched some players test TCD at WordPlay 6 in Toronto this November, and this style of movement was giving them trouble. So now players can choose click-to-walk or movement using the arrow keys in the main menu.

I've also added a Tutorial Room, to teach players how to use the text parser interface. This feature is available at the title screen.

tutorial room image

The Tutorial Room walks players through the more common parser commands that are used in TCD and familiarizes them with features such as the inventory and notebook. Many players aren't used to this type of game, so I want to help them enjoy this genre!

That's all for this month, thanks for reading!

-- JM

Ontario Mineralogy Trivia Section

DID YOU KNOW: Amethyst is Ontario's official gemstone! The northern Ontario region of Thunder Bay is home to Canada's most productive amethyst mines, and they're open to the public from mid-May to Mid-October! Read more about it here.

amethyst photo