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GemCraft Chapter 2: Chasing Shadows
738 Comments
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Tevias 3 hours ago 
Hopefully it will come soon!
Just stopped playing it as browser version because i saw that's not possible to transfer the save games!
Murry Futterman Feb 5 @ 11:36am 
Ah, uh... i think, the look of the first one was better. But congratulations for you, to come out of the browsergame-swamp.
digideus Jan 30 @ 5:26pm 
I didnt like this episode of Gemcraft for the longest time because it wasnt as playable as the previous "Labyrinth" episode, but after the last update, I found this to be incredibly more playable and have since been on to buy the premium version of the game because I enjoyed it that much. Im quite excited to see a stand alone/steam version that can get away from the limitations (and the much lamented crash issues) of the Flash platform.
amatterofopinion Jan 20 @ 3:38pm 
Did you know that Gemcraft Chasing Shadows is an anagram of:

Watch Gems Facing Hoards?
amatterofopinion Jan 20 @ 12:54pm 
By the way... that'll be $5 please.
amatterofopinion Jan 20 @ 12:53pm 
Gemcraft 3

I've been working on a sequel.

The forgotten has extinguished all light from the Universe in her quest for domination. Only you, last surviving hope can free the Gem of Eternity.

look here's some screenshots...










It only took me 20 minutes.... missed deadlines? Ha!
amatterofopinion Jan 20 @ 11:14am 
I knew there was some chemistry between us!

Gemcraft: The Moaning. (This time it's personal)

Your vision of the follow up is a clear indicator of the dangers of drug misuse!!

Made me smile on this cold Winters eve though, and that is not to be undervalued.
cipco2 Jan 20 @ 10:56am 
amatterofopinion,

My friends call me... Dioxide (drumroll and cymbals).

Of course you can remove your tongue from your cheek. (I even know a great guy with a scalpel).

It might be simpler to do Gemcraft: The Bootleg Chapter!

You are a wizard trying to smuggle an imitation gem of eternity and have to make it through a dreamscape of monsters to get to the intended victim... I mean client... so you can make the sale. You then have to battle your way out of the dreamscape just as you see the Forgotten break free from the phony gem and consume the poor sap you sold it to.

That allows for lots of weird map tiles (if any) and skills). Distorted colors would also make sense as would the resemblance of many monsters to pokemon.
amatterofopinion Jan 20 @ 10:42am 
cip, or is that Mr co2?

Points 1, 2 & 3 accepted without resistance.

A solution, of course, is simple.
Fans from the far reaches of the known Universe submit their ideas for the ultimate sequel.
You and I decide, in a deity-like, totalitarian fashion, which ideas are worthy of our blessing.
We inform Peter that this is his next project which must be ready a week on Thursday.

Simple!

Let's see you argue against that, my erudite friend!

PS
Can I remove my tongue from my cheek yet? My face is starting to hurt.

cipco2 Jan 20 @ 12:14am 
Continued.

3: Programming involves a lot of processes working at the same time. Quite often, they don't work together. My first effort to get something to say "Hello World" in C++ failed for a long time until I realized a simple aspect had been neglected. Throw in a bunch of coders from around the world, on different machines, and using slightly different sets of programs and coding habits, and you will get something that will need to be debugged. A lot. With complete re-writes of the code and notes.

I wish it would be possible to take the basic goodness of the game and improve it on a faster time frame than the dev is doing... but we can't actually do that yet.
cipco2 Jan 20 @ 12:13am 
Continued.

2: Lots of people have... lots of ideas for how the story and gameplay should go. One of the important tasks of a game designer is to determine which paths are taken and which not. Fans, being a bunch of people with ideas, will have to make some kinds of decisions that collective decision-making tends to screw up. There is a saying in large organizations: "None of us are as dumb as all of us". Somebody will have to decide what the story is, what the mechanics will be, what the graphics will be, and so on.

I have seen a few fan projects succeed fantastically (like Darkest Hour from dedicated Hearts of Iron 2 fans) but many more crash and burn. The teams that worked had people already willing to accept other people's decisions and experience working with each other. Given the lack of modability of the flash game, I don't think that is possible... yet.

If the Steam version becomes a reality, we might see a whole new aspect of Gemcraft.

To be continued...
cipco2 Jan 20 @ 12:13am 
amatterofopinion,

And you continue to argue strongly held points without the crudity of all-too-many people here on steam.

In practice, that kind of project would need rights to the franchise, a clear vision of what to accomplish, and coders that create something that runs.

1: The rights of small games are sometimes sold, sometimes refused to be sold, and most of the times nobody knows because they are too small and imitative for anybody to consider buying. That people are even talking about a fan-created chapter of Gemcraft is a sign that it is a truly unique game whose rights might be worth something. Also, I think the dev is extremely emotionally attached to it (working as a game dev instead of apply presumably significant skill in a more reliable job) and won't sell.

To be continued...
amatterofopinion Jan 19 @ 1:02pm 
As ever cipco2 you make some salient points, although the weather is a debatable selling point!

Out of curiosity, if someone else was hired to do the coding, could 'we', or a collection of forum members, devise the next chapter that would surpass the excellence of past Gemcrafts?
LuJo Jan 18 @ 8:03pm 
cuando se lanza al final?
cipco2 Jan 18 @ 2:08pm 
amatterofopinion,

I have actually found that CS hasn't crashed the way Lab did. I think that was an aspect of the dev improving the game to work on low-end machines. He probably made the call that he could have it crash or have it try to run fast. I am glad he picked run slow and run stable.

Playtesting can only go on so long and is limited by what an individual can do. He's actually trying to be innovative (see the different maps, weather, beacon effects) but seems to have some trouble dealing with the exponential nature of the game.

Grinding was reliable in Lab, no longer so in CS. He has to make a call about what summoning is going to do and he nerfed it.

I still enjoy CS more than Lab because the XP cap on fields in Lab stopped a lot of the growth.
amatterofopinion Jan 18 @ 5:42am 
cipco2, your opinion.

Labyrinth vs Chasing Shadows.

Why was Labyrinth so much more gratifying than CS?
Ability to continue to level up through grinding? CS quickly reaches a stage where almost ridiculous leaps in XP are needed to level up leading to less replayability.

Style over content?
Developer more concerned with his own 'cleverness' than with playability?

Will the Steam version eliminate the restrictions imposed by Flash that led to some endurance games running for hours on end while the Flash player tried to cope with 1000+ monsters on screen?


mykill69

It won't be a 'perfect' release. History shows us that months of missed deadlines still leads to flawed mechanics. The AG release contained a fundamental flaw that allowed players to exploit a weakness in gem bombing your orb that lead to level gains of 3000+ per map, and yes cipco2, it was an exploit not a strategy!!

mykill69 Jan 17 @ 12:29pm 
Why does it have to be a "perfect" release, steam users will accept a version to play now, and the developer can release bug fixes as he goes.
The Sock Thief Jan 15 @ 2:59pm 
*elevator music while waiting for gemcraft cs*
cipco2 Jan 15 @ 12:42pm 
76 days until the new deadline.
ventuz Jan 13 @ 2:55pm 
GemCraft CS updated to 1.1.3, new blog message from developer:

" Happy new year Everyone!

A new build of Chasing Shadows has just been uploaded, with another batch of annoyances removed (hopefully for good). This month will be spent studying the Steamworks SDK, keeping the email pile low, and probably releasing more minor bugfix pack builds (which will also bring us closer to the Steam release).
"
Zilber719 Jan 13 @ 11:03am 
Надеюсь уже скоро выпустят тут, а ещё бы механизм переноса сейвов с АГ, а то всё что я там напроходил делать заново это катастрофа) 20300+ Wizard Lvl ))))
Zilber719 Jan 13 @ 11:02am 
Какая локализация то там?) сюжет, уж потрудитесь вбейте в переводчик, пары часов хватит, или забейте) а всё остальное легко понимаемо, игра идеальный ТД, самый лучший, я ещё со второй части в него зависаю)
Caylen S. Baxter Jan 13 @ 3:44am 
Keep in mind everyone, Quarter 1 of any year can mean anywhere from the beginning of January to the end of March. It's also one guy trying to make an incredibly intricate, high quality and amazing tower defense game for hundreds of thousands of fans which could be on Armorgames, Steam, or Kongregate. Have patience.
raistand Jan 4 @ 2:19pm 
Still no news. ;(
Oldfishy Jan 2 @ 6:14pm 
Q1 of 2015 is here, any new update on the steam realease date?
ZieRy Dec 29, 2014 @ 2:24pm 
Amazing TD.
andreihoszu1 Dec 27, 2014 @ 2:26am 
It's a very good game , but it won't come for Linux? Why? I can play it on Armor Games via Iceweasel. Hope it will come for Linux so it won't be a time-lose. You just need adobe flash player 11.2 ....
Seikatsukan Dec 16, 2014 @ 9:51pm 
Still waiting patiently for release. From my previous experience with this series, I'm sure it will be worth it.
cipco2 Dec 4, 2014 @ 12:38pm 
Izvinities, gavarite po-angliski pozaslte.
LaBomba Dec 1, 2014 @ 1:59pm 
Жаль нет русской локализации, но я рад что одня из моих любимых игр получила развитие.
pro.foto Nov 17, 2014 @ 5:53pm 
игра очень интересная! вот только не хватает русской локализации!!!!
cipco2 Nov 8, 2014 @ 8:46pm 
I suspect that the future games need to balance a few basic objectives.

1: Ease of getting into it.
2: Reward for analysis and effort.
3: Availability of play
4: Incentives for people to pay.

Having only a few basic gem, tower, monster, and shrine types helps with 1. Having gems that increase effects with number of kills, hits, mana level, or monsters summoned would work for 2. Also of interest would be some way to get more powerful with the attention to detail in a session (like summoning XP). 3 would be accomplished by having a lot of content on a lot of platforms (like AG, Steam, Kong) for free. 4 is harder to achieve but the extra stat points and battle modes seems to be working really well as an incentive.

As a guy who plays long sessions. I especially want to see gems that work better with lots of kills and ways to get lots of kills.
amatterofopinion Nov 6, 2014 @ 3:01pm 
cipco2
I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on where this series goes next.

Assuming that the story culminates in a final showdown, what refinements do you think can be made to the game mechanics?

Has Peter exhausted the variations on a theme regarding gem types, game play and strategy, or would you advocate improvements such as monsters immune to certain gem components, power sources that feed and/or link towers or the need to master certain skills to craft particular combinations?

In short I suppose the questions are; Will the next be the last, will the basic game play remain largely unchanged and what improvements/changes would you personally like to see?
cipco2 Nov 3, 2014 @ 6:08pm 
amatterofopinion,

It may be int the interests of AG to assist a game developer, especially one who brings in so much traffic. Despite that, they have found their niche as a hosting site, not in assisting developers. The lack of feedback and poor demand management is his failing and a poor business decision. I wish he would tell us more but he has gotten away with his poor communication so far; I doubt he will change now.

It took a massive amount of effort to make such large leaps in levels and a large amount of planning. Both are things that give people a feeling of accomplishment.

Likewise, it has been fun talking to you about this. It is also rare to find passion about a game expressed in words and arguements.
amatterofopinion Nov 3, 2014 @ 4:32pm 
On a side note, can I just thank you for taking the time to respond to my posts. It is refreshing to indulge in educated, well reasoned debate over something which, less face it, is neither here nor there in the grand scheme of things!
amatterofopinion Nov 3, 2014 @ 4:32pm 
Fair points, even if I disagree with some.

Given that AG may well be the majority beneficiaries of sales, is it not in their best interest to support a less frustrating journey?

Your observation regarding commissioning a rig is, of course, correct, but doesn't the posting of intended release dates fall under the category of expectation management? I would accept it as a reasonable hazard of the job if it was a rare misjudgement, but to repeatedly fall into the same trap is a little hard to forgive.

I still cannot agree with the 'exploits' issue. A 'flaw' in the game which allowed some to make massive leaps in level, 3500+ per map in some cases, cannot possibly be regarded as an opportunity to develop optimised strategy. The fact is, after 3 years of development, the game was 'broken' in a fundamental way that required such a large 'tweak' that that element of the game was almost totally rewritten.

I just find it hard to accept given the time frame.
cipco2 Nov 3, 2014 @ 3:26pm 
Continued...

As for the "exploits", there were different optimizations in past versions. He judged some to be too easy so he changed the basic system to the point where new optimized strategies made things easy once again. He considers those exploits, I do not. They are simply strategies that do not fit his vision of how the game should be played. That is his choice as game developer but no matter what he does, people will find an optimum strategy that then makes it easier than he thinks it should be. It is out of his hands now.

As for communicating with his customers and potential customers, I agree he has been terrible at it. I wish he would post more updates and make fewer tweaks but, ultimately, many other people have said it before and he just seems more focused on designing the game than communicating. I hope that, with it finally getting sales from Steam, more customers will allow him to hire a PR person.
cipco2 Nov 3, 2014 @ 3:26pm 
amatterofopinion,

With comissioning a gaming rig, there is usually an explicit or implicit contract and an agreement that this will be done by a certain date and payment made based on that. This is nothing of the kind. It is one party preparing a product for multiple customers. We, the gaming public, do not have a contract with him or any basis for a demand that he release it at a certain date. I, as a potential customer, want him to release it but he is under no obligation to do so.

While Armor Games may be a large company with the ability to have people specialize in one task, Peter does not. I also gather that living and developing a game for three years on just the income of a few ads and the many $6 sales means a very low profit margin. Hiring a person to do PR and marketing might realistically be beyond what he can afford.

amatterofopinion Nov 3, 2014 @ 2:47pm 
...continued

The exploits point is a little difficult to understand. There is a huge difference between developing strategies and utilising glaring imbalances. Let's face it, who better to know the potential weaknesses than the man who designs them, especially as they weren't present in previous releases.

If I seem a little combative, I apologise, it certainly isn't meant that way. The criticisms are more to do with the frustration of seeing a highly skilled designer, who as you quite rightly point out has produced one of the finest games ever to grace a browser, appear to detract from the end product by continually making unfulfillable half promises.

Better, surely, to bite the bullet and state that the completion date is unknown than to herald numerous false dawns.
amatterofopinion Nov 3, 2014 @ 2:46pm 
So, delegate responsibility for those areas you aren't skilled at.

Don't misunderstand me, I have nothing but the utmost admiration for his work, but, like it or not, this is a commercial company marketing a commercial product and for those who may say that it isn't need to do a quick calculation of the number of 5 USD's that both Labyrinth and Chasing Shadows garnered.

If you commissioned a company to build you a gaming rig and they were still at it weeks after they said it was going to be completed you may not consider them to be the most professional of suppliers.

My comment regarding best person to lead this project is exactly what my first line alludes to. Armor Games is a company like any other where some staff will be good at coding, some at marketing and some at PR etc. My point is, don't try and do it all yourself.

continued...

cipco2 Nov 3, 2014 @ 12:23pm 
amatterofopinion,

Combativeness will solve nothing.

Also, bear in mind that this is just one person doing all of this. demanding that he be skilled at programming, playtesting, marketing, and all the little fiddly-bits of commerce is absurd. He is a programmer who has designed and created on of the most enjoyable franchises in flash gaming. He does not seem to be much of a businessman but has an audience who loves his work enough to wait.

There is only so much a person can do to anticipate exploits. The very mathematical nature of the game appeals to customers who are inclined to do mathematical analysis and who will find optimal strategies. Nobody can design a game that isn't open to optimization.

Do not take his silence as him being proud, accept it as one, very overworked programmer who has to work at many things that aren't programming too.
amatterofopinion Nov 2, 2014 @ 11:02am 
I have another question, which I'm sure you will also ignore with your usual aplomb.
How can you justify such delays by quoting 'bug fixes' when the original PC version was so massively late for the same, oft quoted reason?
Given that you are a superstar of unparalleled ability and we are not worthy of expecting someone such as you to be troubled by mere mortals, why were players of the Flash version able to exploit such ridiculous exploits, why was the extensive pre-release play testing not adequate to identify these errors and, given that there were such glaring problems with the original release, are you the best person to be leading this project?
Post a response that addresses the above Peter. Post a response that shows you are a professional programmer and not just a geek with no experience of commercial enterprise.
amatterofopinion Nov 2, 2014 @ 10:15am 
It is alleged, through the medium of song, that 'Sorry' seems to be the hardest word.
I think Peter has proved this wrong as he has posted this particular word 21 times during the development of Chasing Shadows.
Missed deadline after missed deadline after missed deadline.
I criticised the lack of professionalism during the PC development and I am sorry to see that no lessons have been learnt.
My advice Peter, again, is this.
The management of expectation is key. If you don't know when a project will complete, say so.
If you promise an update by way of post, stick to it, and finally,
It is well known that light travels faster than sound.
That is why some people appear bright before you hear them speak.
losthexed Oct 29, 2014 @ 11:06am 
Here is the most recent update

http://gameinabottle.com/blog/2014/10/gc2cs-v-1-1-0-info/

Steam release won't be until 2015
jondog80315 Oct 29, 2014 @ 11:04am 
2 days left to october ends it better release or steam will have alot of angrey people on there hands
Oct 27, 2014 @ 3:27pm 
10월 다 갔네ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ
The Sock Thief Oct 25, 2014 @ 9:49am 
Wonder if they are planning to realase on Halloween- would be in keeping with the 'dark fantasy' feel of these games
Caylen S. Baxter Oct 24, 2014 @ 10:54pm 
A week till the end of October. They had better release it this month like they said, or else they will have a very angry community on their hands
Chillerist Oct 21, 2014 @ 8:09am 
Plz dont release after Binding of Issac Rebirth!
It will be painful to choose which one should be devoted to.