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April 28th, 2011

TAGAP 2 QA Update, April 2011

You've been throwing plenty of good questions at us and here are the most frequent and recent ones compiled into a new QA update.

Where is the release date?

As it was announced after releasing this QA; TAGAP 2 will be released on June 31st, 2011!

From your blog I got the impression you are working on the bonus content. Is TAGAP 2 done and are you just fiddling with the Extras now? If so, stop fiddling and release the game!

Heh, no, I'm not doing 'just' the extras. For me, developing a game is always split into two simultaneous jobs; programming and the creative side (art, sounds, etc.). Since pretty much everything else is ready on the 'creative side', I'll keep fiddling with the extras while I finish up with the programming. There are still a couple of glitches to hunt down, optimization to do and test runs to go through.

Is there any new media coming prior to release?

Naturally, ranging from screenshots to yet-to-be-recorded launch trailer. Keep watching the TAGAP.net front page for the updates!

Why/how is TAGAP 2 freeware? Are you using microtransactions or ads or what?

Funnily enough, this is the first question everyone (from relatives to media and even Valve Software) asks first, usually followed by 'Are you nuts?'. The main answer is; "Because we promised it would be free". During the course of development there were a couple of occasions when we were tempted to go commercial – tempted by publishers and the chance of getting on Steam – but in the end it came down to our promise and our desire to be true to our words.

Like the original TAGAP, TAGAP 2 features no microtransactions, subscriptions or ads; It's honest-to-deities freeware. Heck, we don't even have a 'donate' button on our site!

What are the system requirements for TAGAP 2?

We haven't measured them yet, but the rule of thumb is "if you can play TAGAP, you can play TAGAP 2". Only exception to this is the required OS, as TAGAP 2 will require at least Windows XP – there won't be a backwards compatibility patch, at least not at launch. The reason for this is that TAGAP 2 uses few Windows native features first introduced in Windows 2000. But since XP is already two generations behind the current standard, I'm sure most of you have already within XP/Vista/7 range anyway.

How about that White Box thing?

Unfortunately that one persists in TAGAP 2. It's the downside of using 3D acceleration centric API for 2D graphics in an unorthodox manner. It just is pretty much impossible to force the artwork into power-of-two dimensions without either seriously sacrificing the graphics quality or doubling the file size and memory usage by up-rezzing the art assets. Sorry for that.

Are you using any new software in making of TAGAP 2?

Since the first TAGAP we haven't acquired that many new programs, but a couple. In addition to Photoshop CS3 I'm now also using a brilliant little plugin/software called FilterForge. Too bad I didn't know about it until late last year after most artwork was already done, having it from the word 'go' would've made the texture creation a lot easier. Also, I'm now creating Windows icons with a donationware program called IcoFX.

Petja, on the other hand, has been busy upgrading his music platform. He is now using the latest Cakewalk Sonar with all the goodies and he has bought plenty of virtual instruments to with it, including but not limited to Garritan Pocket Orchestra.

In the announcement of TAGAP 2 you said it would be ready 'in shorter time than the original'. Why the delay?

Simply because of the level of detail put into, well, everything. The idea back then was that since we didn't have to develop an engine from scratch we could produce the sequel faster. I guess I went way overboard with all the details.

However, we won't miss our internal deadline for more than a month or two. Our internal deadline when we started wasn't 'when its done', but the next best thing; 'before Duke Nukem Forever'. I'm still, as fan of both TAGAP and Duke, dumbstruck how the King is actually beating us to the finish line!

Funnily enough, listening to Duke podcasts and interviews, the reason behind Duke's infamous development time echoes our own delay; The crazy amount of detail and interactivity. Granted, in TAGAP 2 you won't be flinging feces around or playing with interactive glory holes, but still every single object either reacts to or is broken by the heated firefights.

What did you think of Doctor Who's new series 6 opener? I still don't get it.

Hush! Spoilers! I live in Finland and won't be able to see it until it arrives on DVD/BluRay later this year.

Until next time,

Jouni Lahtinen, the head penguin