Miazma or the Devil's Stone

Miazma or the Devil's Stone

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MIAZMA or the Devil’s Stone - Official Guide
By Private Moon Studios
A complete guide to controls and gameplay. Created by the developer Private Moon Studios.
   
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Introduction & system requirements
After solving the mystery of Yoomurjak’s ring, Jonathan Hunt, the American journalist decides to settle down in Hungary. The case earned him the reputation of an expert of mysteries in the past.
He is planning to buy a housing lot and wants to have a local water sample analyzed by a physics institute in Debrecen. He has a friend there, a young lady researcher called Vera. Jonathan stays for the weekend waiting for the result. But on Monday morning Vera calls in despair: her 19-year-old brother has disappeared, leaving a curious farewell letter about some discovery. It’s time for Jonathan to take action...

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
Windows XP/Vista/7/8.1/10
Intel Core2 Duo / AMD Athlon 64 x2
512MB VGA
2GB RAM
8GB HDD space

Get Jonathan Hunt's first adventure, Yoomurjak's Ring on Steam:
https://store.steampowered.com/app/774151/YOOMURJAKS_RING/

The adventures of Jonathan's great-grandfather, Professor Hunt in the AGON series:
https://store.steampowered.com/app/410120/AGON__The_Mysterious_Codex_Trilogy/
https://store.steampowered.com/app/410130/AGON__The_Lost_Sword_of_Toledo/
The menus
Click the black button (above the text!) to activate a function. A colored bar is visible on the active button.



MAIN MENU

NEW GAME
Start a new game from the beginning. If you already have a game session started, the actual position will be lost. However, your previous manual saves remain available until you overwrite them.
LOAD GAME
Load a manually saved position. Thumbnails with time stamps help you identify the saves. (When you load an earlier save your current position will be lost).
SAVE GAME
Save the current position. Click on a slot (there are 12) to insert the current save. If you select a slot that is not empty it will be overwritten.
CONTINUE
Return to the game and load the last (automatically saved) position.

OPTIONS
Customize your gaming experience and switch between modes. (See below)
QUIT GAME
Exit the game (the last position will be saved automatically).


OPTIONS MENU

VOLUME
Adjust music, voice and ambient sound (atmospheric sound) volume. Note: there is no direct sound feedback in Options; check the result by returning to the game.
EASY MODE
In Easy Mode the in-game HELP and puzzle SKIP functions become available. You can switch Easy Mode on/off any time.
TUTORIAL
An optional Tutorial is available during the first scenes.
SUBTITLES
Switch it on to display English subtitles.


FULL SCREEN
You may switch between full-screen and window mode while playing. The game is optimized for 16:9 aspect ratio.
Note: When played in full screen on a different monitor, some distortions may occur. To avoid this, you may want to play in window (fullscreen off) or change the aspect ratio/resolution of your display (see under Hints / Troubleshooting)

GAME MENU BAR

Hover the mouse over the bottom area of the screen for the game menu bar to appear:


1. OPEN THE MAIN MENU
Click the button on the left to open the MAIN MENU (to save or load a position, to change settings or to quit the game).

2.HINTS
Activate the visual help function either by clicking the button on the right or by pressing Spacebar on the keyboard. All the available hotspots appear for a few seconds. The function is only available if EASY MODE is enabled in the MAIN MENU.

3. EASY-READ PANEL
Hover the mouse over the panel during a narration to make subtitles easier to read against the dark background.
Hints function
Click the HINTS button to see all the available hotspots for a few seconds. Once you have checked an object under a hotspot, it will no longer appear.
The function is only available if EASY MODE is enabled in the MAIN MENU.


Movement, icons and actions
MOVIES
During movie scenes there is no need to take action, but you have the option to interrupt and skip the rest of a movie by clicking somewhere on the screen. This is, however, not recommended because key information is delivered in many movie scenes.

INTERACTIVE SCENES
In the interactive parts of the game you can move, communicate, take and use objects or read documents by clicking on various icons. Some icons are always visible, while others only if the cursor is in the right position.

ICONS

Zoom in (close-up)
A MAGNIFIER appears on an object if it can be inspected more closely. Click on the magnifier to zoom in. There might be further actions available in a close-up!

Exit
Click the (X) icon in the top right corner to exit from close-ups, dialogs or documents. (You can also exit close-ups appearing in a window with a right click).

Dialog
A popup SPEECH BUBBLE on a character means you can talk to them. If it appears on an object, you can talk about the object with someone.

Take an object
A popup HAND icon on an object means you can take it or move it. If you take an object it will go into the inventory (at the top of the screen).

Turn over
This icon indicates that you can read the other side of a document.



Move / Next page
An EMPTY CIRCLE indicates the direction where you can move the character. An arrow or a compass will appear if you move the cursor over the circle. When the icon appears on a multi-page document it indicates you can view the next/previous page.

Exit from close-up
Certain close-ups are not displayed in separate windows. Click the white circle at the bottom of the screen to exit.


Map
The COMPASS icon appears at the points where you can leave a location. Click on it to launch the MAP and navigate between locations.

Puzzle icons
Puzzles have a specific set of icons (see under PUZZLES).



The Inventory
The objects and documents are collected in the INVENTORY, which can be accessed at the top of the screen. Right-click to look at objects or read documents in the inventory.
Some objects can be combined by dragging them onto one another in the inventory. While dragging, the object’s icon is transparent until you find the correct combination.

Communication
Communicate with everyone to collect information. If you see a speech bubble pop up on a character, talk to them. A gear icon indicates you can give or show an object to that person.
Important: after finishing a conversation always check again if there are other topics to talk about! (Can you still see a bubble?)

How to SKIP dialogs and movies:

You may interrupt and skip the rest of a dialog by clicking (X), or movies by clicking on the screen. You will not hear or see them again, but dialogs started and some of the movies will be recorded in the Notebook (see under the Notebook chapter).Open it from the Inventory with a right click.
Navigation map

Move between locations with the help of interactive maps.

Click the orange dots to select a location and see Jonathan go there.





You can skip the „arrival movies” by a click. They allow a glimpse into the facilities of Atomki as well as the streets of Debrecen.






As you progress in the game, new locations are added and the map expands to multiple pages. Click the arrows to switch to another part of the map.
The phone
Jonathan’s phone works just like an ordinary smartphone.

Right-click on it in the inventory and operate it with the mouse. Some of the applications will come in useful.
Note: the phone displays your own system time, not the time of events in the game!
Note: The phone usually stays on the screen except after calls, when it closes automatically. In other cases you have to close it manually (Exit button) when no longer needed.

Make a call

Applications

Home

Exit / Close
- Call functions


Make a call
Reject call / Interrupt

The Reject button has two functions: reject or interrupt a call (skip the conversation).
(If you reject the call it will ring again). Once you have answered it, you can interrupt and skip the conversation the same way as dialogs. It will be recorded in the notebook.

The phone only closes automatically when a call is finished.
- Applications

Click the icon on the main screen to access the apps. In the initial version of the game you will need to use these:



MiniWiki

SoundRec

Convert-R

- The MiniWiki app
Use the (MiniWiki) to look up certain people or definitions.*


Make sure to enter a full word or name with correct spelling into the search filed, but upper/lower case does not matter. Click on the magnifier icon or press Enter on the keyboard to start the search.
To see the more common searches, click on „Recommendations”. You may find your search word there as a shortcut. If not, go back with the arrow on the top and use the search field.



Use the cursor to drag the screen up or down, like on a touchscreen.
Use the Up and Back arrows on the top to return.

* Note: MiniWiki does not claim to be a full-function wiki database; its articles are limited to basic information on certain topics you encounter in the game. If you want to know more about any of these subjects, it is recommended to look it up in other resources as well.

- Sound recorder & player

This icon launches the sound recorder. Click the red button to start recording and the green button (Sound player mode) to play it back.

Note: the application cannot be used to record or play back conversations. (These are logged in the Notebook).
- Convert-R for onverting measurements

Click the icon to open the Conver-R app.

This is a full-function application for converting measurements such as length, volume, mass, area, speed or frequency/wave length.

Select the appropriate options in the drop-down list (you may have to scroll down), and click START to get the converted value.

Scroll here
The Notebook
Jonathan makes notes of his conversations with people. Once you have started a dialog topic, it will be in the Notebook in full length, even if you skipped it from a certain point.


The Notebook is in the inventory from Day 2. Right-click to open it and look for the appropriate day to find a certain conversation. Close it with the X as usual. You may need to use the scroll bar on the right.









(The Notebook: entries for Day 1)

Additional remarks:

What is not recorded in the notebook:
- Dialog topics not started
- Narrations (Jonathan’s own thoughts – it is recommended NOT to skip these)
- Some of the movie scenes

Note: At the end of the game you have the option to return to the notebook if you want to read again the dialogs of the final scenes or some important documents.
Puzzle controls
The major puzzles in the game have a specific icon set:

RESTART
Reset the puzzle and start again. You will be prompted for confirmation.


SKIP (in EASY mode only)
Solve the puzzle automatically and see the result. Use this only if you do not wish to try again later. The game will prompt you for confirmation.

EXIT
Leave the puzzle and solve it later. The puzzle will reset when you return.

Puzzles may also have a unique interface. Instructions are provided there.
Hints and troubleshooting
Think!
Always think about realistic solutions. What would be a good idea to do in a given situation? (You don’t need any specific knowledge in physics to play this game.)

Ask questions
Try to talk to everyone and exhaust all conversation topics. You can get stuck if you miss a clue.

Look around
Move the cursor to find hotspots where action icons appear: magnifier, hand, gear, speech bubble, compass, etc. (In EASY mode you may use the HELP function to find hotspots quickly).

Zoom and read
Enlarge objects and make documents readable with a right click on their thumbnail in the inventory. Watch out for further possible actions in close-ups. Documents may have multiple pages!

Combine objects
You can use the objects at the right spot or sometimes combine them in the inventory. Drag the object to see if its icon changes over a certain spot (popup gear) or on another object. You cannot use the object while it is transparent.

Make notes on paper and work systematically
You may find it useful to make notes, just like a real researcher or an investigator. This is especially advisable on day 4 when the investigation runs on multiple lines. Everything connects with everything. Proceed systematically!

Use subtitles
It may be helpful to set subtitles on (under OPTIONS) to make sure you don’t miss anything.

Watch out for signals
Certain puzzles give audio feedback, therefore it is advisable to use speakers or a headset. However, you can always solve the puzzles without relying on your hearing.

Make manual saves often
The game is saved automatically when you exit and your last position will be loaded if you click CONTINUE. However, you also have the option to save the game manually. This may be useful if you want to return to an earlier part of the game or try an alternate route. Also, this may prevent the loss of your work if a technical error occurs for any reason. Saves are stored on your computer here:
%appdata%\Private Moon Studios\Miazma\save

To skip a dialog or a movie
You may interrupt and skip the rest of a dialog by clicking (X), or movies by clicking on the screen. The dialogs will be recorded in the Notebook.

Wide monitors: how to change display settings if screen is distorted?
The game is optimized for 16:9 aspect ratio. If your display/monitor has a different native setting (especially ultrawide monitors), you may change this on the computer:
Make sure the game does not run. Right-click anywhere on Desktop and select graphics properties (usually specific to the card manufacturer, e.g. NVIDIA, Intel, ATA, etc.) Under scaling, select “maintain aspect ratio” or “center desktop”, whichever provides the better result for you.
If no graphics setting is available, you can change the screen resolution. Choose a value that provides the proper aspect ratio (best with 1280x720, but for larger monitors 1360x768, 1600x900 or 1920x1080 should work too.)
I'm stuck!
Frequent questions and answers:

I’m unable to exit from a close-up
If the close-up is in a window, click the X in the top right corner of the window (it works even if not visible clearly), or right-click anywhere.
In certain close-ups there is no X but a down arrow at the bottom. Puzzles have their own set of icons, including one for leaving the puzzle without solving it.

I’m stuck on the map
Click the orange dot (not the text)!

The phone stays on the screen and covers a large part of it
The phone usually remains open on the screen after use, except after calls, when it closes automatically. To close it manually click the black Exit button.

Nobody talks to me, I’m unable to proceed.
Most probably something is missing. Some hints:
  • Look around everywhere (use the HELP icon in EASY mode);
  • In close-ups, there might be further options (zoom in, turn over or use an object);
  • Make sure to check all pages (or the reverse side) of documents;
  • Check the map: there may be new locations you have not visited yet;
  • Follow the hints/suggestions you have been given. There are cases when you have to do certain things before a character talks to you. Check the previous dialogs in the Notebook if you are not sure!
  • Think of an object you have seen before… Maybe you can pick it up now.
  • Look at the objects in the inventory (right click to enlarge them); try to combine them;
  • Use the phone (right-click in the inventory) to make a call or use an app;

I solved a puzzle but nothing happened
In most cases the solution of a puzzle triggers something. However, there are puzzles in this game that provide information only. When you finish such a puzzle you get some result: a number, a word, a picture or other data, which you can use somewhere else or combine it with something else. Even if you skip a puzzle you will get the necessary information.

I don’t find a conversation in the Notebook.
Go to the appropriate day and scroll down if necessary.

I don’t find in the Notebook what Jonathan said.
Narrations are not logged in the Notebook. However, you may find certain important parts recorded.

The slots for manual saves are full.
You can overwrite earlier saves. If you want to keep them for future use, you should make a backup copy on your hard drive. This is the location of the current game saves:
%appdata%\Private Moon Studios\Miazma\save

Can I read the text of the final scenes in the Notebook?
Yes. When the game ends a final screen appears where you can open the Notebook or even reload a save.

Have questions?
Ask the developer: contact @ privatemoon.com