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July 21st, 2011

Final pre-launch TAGAP 2 blog

Oh boy, release date of TAGAP 2 is approaching relentlessly – and closer we get to the actual launch, less time I have to write blog updates. For this reason, I can officially call this "the last pre-launch TAGAP 2 blog update". Next week's TAGAP Thursday will showcase our very first official guest artist Heini Liimatta with her take on TAGAP 2 in wallpaper form. It's different in style as compared to the other official wallpapers and pretty fantastic.

Right now I'm doing the final site updates offline (i.e. re-organizing downloads section to feature own TAGAP 2 tab), crafting the DIY covers for the separate soundtrack CD and preparing for the launch in other ways. I'm also going to safeguard the launch by getting myself a pre-paid USB modem, thus ensuring I will be able to do the updates even if my primary Internet connection seizes on the morning of Sunday the 31st.

TAGAP 2: The Player's Handbook

Since I didn't get the change to do the unboxing feature I originally meant for this TAGAP Thursday slot, here's something extra; The Player's Handbook of TAGAP 2. I've mentioned earlier that I lament the downfall of proper game manuals – for example my latest purchase, Alice: Madness Returns didn't feature any kind of manual at all!

Perhaps that's just because I'm an old-school gamer at heart, but I miss the informative manuals of the past. You know, the kind you can read to actually improve your game with tactics you might have not thought about. I guess these days you'd have to buy the separate strategy guide for that. But not with TAGAP 2; What you can't find in this manual you can most certainly find in the in-game Database!

TAGAP 2: Overdose Edition

The promo packs, nicknamed Overdose Editions, finally arrived and majority of them have now been mailed to various game publications and Penguin DT affiliates. Like I've mentioned before, only 30 of these were made and there will be no more after these babies are gone. These are not for sale, but we'll host a sweepstakes competition when TAGAP 2 launches, so you'll get your (slight) change to get yours. Big thank you to the terrific folks at CD Data Mate Oy for the excellent work. What-ever shape Penguin DT's next project takes, we'll certainly use their services in the future.

Continuity

I've received a couple of questions about one needs to play the first TAGAP in order to understand anything about the plot of TAGAP 2. The answer is no; TAGAP 2 starts off by a story recap narrated by Izraqtedark of "Let's Torture TAGAP" fame and it goes through the plot of the first game. If you want to play through the first TAGAP without spoiling the plot in advance, then by all means, play TAGAP first, but otherwise you can jump straight into TAGAP 2.

Final game data statistics

Four years in the making, TAGAP 2 turned out as quite a monster. How detailed and huge it turned out? Well, since I used this way to showcase the difference of scale between TAGAP and TAGAP 2 in earlier post, here's the comparison again, this time with final statistics;

TAGAP 2

Original TAGAP

Executable:

1.05 Mb

0.621 Mb

Art assets:

3983 files (196 Mb)

1000 files (46.7 Mb)

Scripts:

590 files (5.5 Mb)

180 files (1.2 Mb)

Entities [1]:

2924

536

Level scripts:

113 files (16.8 Mb)

51 files (2.7 Mb)

Sound effects:

728 files (18.5 Mb)

219 files (5.7 Mb)

Music tracks:

70 files (2h 30s / 107 Mb)

36 files (1h 7min 22s / 72.3 Mb)

Size:

350 Mb installed (download 211.7 Mb)

131 Mb installed (download: 95.1 Mb)

Base files [2]:

5492 files

1494 files


[1] "entity" is an in-game object with (dynamic) properties (everything interactive and/or moving)

[2] not counting optional install items, uninstall information and user files (saves, screenshots, configs, etc.)

Looking at all this, I'm a bit amazed myself; How on Earth did we pull this off? I mean we're just two guys with computers, plus extra helping hands!

Obligatory Doctor Who update

Since Doctor Who Series 6: Part One is out on DVD/BluRay, I'm finally up-to-date on Matt Smith's adventures in the TARDIS. And oh boy, what adventures they are! Unless the second half of this split season turns out to be the worst piece of television history, Series 6 will go down as the most thrilling season of the show to date. With the Doctor's pedigree, that's saying something!

I hate spoilers myself, so I won't go into too much detail what the series is about, but rest assured, the story arcs are the most dramatic the show has ever seen, Matt Smith now-a-days owns the role and the episodes rank as the show's finest. The stand-outs of the first half are definitely the two-part opening story and Neil Gaiman's The Doctor's Wife, latter which has been described as 'the ultimate love letter to the series fans' and I whole-heartedly concur.

On audio front I've had a small break, but more McGann (Eighth Doctor) is on the way. Like I've mentioned earlier, I've now listened to all his Monthly Series adventures and the first two of his radio adventures Big Finish produced for BBC4, so only two more series of The Eighth Doctor and I'm up-to-date on that front as well – just in time for his return to the Monthly Series.

But time to go back to preparing the penguin invasion!

Until next time,

Jouni Lahtinen, the head penguin