It has been a long time coming. Our testers may now touch the dearest part of the Umineko story. We invite you to join them.
You are eagerly welcomed to dive into the depths of the sixth iteration of the story. We wish you a pleasing experience and have hope that what awaits around the corner will leave positive new impressions.
It took us quite some time to pull the trigger and make a public release of the fifth episode after an extensive testing made by our faithful Furniture. With this release we are happy to include the support for the first episode in Brazilian Portuguese by Knox Translations, who did great work in spreading Umineko worldwide! The rest of the technical details and improvements were outlined in our previous post, and at this moment we are working hard on getting episode six ready for testing. Stay tuned and enjoy the game!
It is always hard to begin something or rather to get the first visible results after making a start. Even though Chiru actually was not our starting point in its true sense, it was a separate half that required us to go through many processes we did not touch since Episode 1. While we could have done things faster in theory, that would not have gone along with our principles, and it took as long as it took. To prevent you from waiting any longer, click here to sign up for α-testing of the 5th episode.
We hope that those getting tired of formal and fairly useless replies on the forums will feel relieved and satisfied.
As for the other highlights, we would like to thank and congratulate our colleagues working on the Brazilian Portuguese translation. In addition to 5 episodes in English and Russian we additionally include support for the 1st episode in Brazilian Portuguese by Knox Translations. We plan to continue our collaboration and will release the following episodes as soon as they are fully polished. If you are interested in getting our release in your own language and think that your team has enough skills and patience to make it possible, you are suggested to join our Umineko multilingua project.
There of course are several technical improvements targeting better compatibility and usability. The central part of the technical changes definitely is Android support. It was very convenient to be able to take the game anywhere by just copying it to an iPad, and we were asked multiple times to support Android tablets as well. Fortunately one of the team members got his hands on a suitable tablet, and as a result if you have a device that runs Android 4.1 or higher, supports at least OpenGL ES 2.0, has 2 GB of RAM or more, you will be very welcome to try our initial Android support.
Another bonus will be improved Windows support. We received several bug reports about OpenGL drivers not doing things properly on all sorts of hardware on Windows, and after a serious discussion added DirectX 9 and 11 backend renderer support via ANGLE. As a result this should make the game compatible with a wider range of hardware running Windows even if it did not launch before.
That makes it for the news post. Thank you for your continuous support, reviews, and comments which add to our motivation.
At this moment some of you are already celebrating end-of-year holidays and are getting prepared for 2017!
We did reasonably well in 2016. 2 more episodes published, 4 releases made, over 100 issues fixed and over 700 revisions committed. With all our optimism we are looking forward to our future collaboration, to the release of the answer arcs we are constantly working on, and of course to the completion of our goals.
Together we can patiently do it. But for now let us all enjoy some deserved rest and get ready for the upcoming events.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Summer has ended, and we thought that it is the time to keep our promises in bringing some translation changes and features. However, first of all, let’s start with an announcement.
In old days we constantly had to repeat that translations into all other languages are not really possible at this moment, but after reaching the half milestone we got a contact from Knox Translations. The result with a promo video you can see yourself in our new dedicated Umineko multilingua section. We are very glad to see how this experiment progresses, and wish our new partners luck and patience.
As usual there is no reason to worry about our own progress. The work on Chiru is ongoing, and slowly brings its results. We would gladly support side projects but only if that does not steal our time from the main goal.
First 4 episodes released were satisfying, not only in terms of the work accomplished, but additionally in terms of quality and stability. Fortunately we faced no issues that could have spoilt the impression of the game. And now it is the time to get even less critical ones sorted out.
We greatly improved iOS support. Touch controls were revamped and redesigned. External bluetooth keyboards do work now. From this moment the game should not only launch on iPads but iPhones as well. Additionally we eased the installation procedure and improved game stability and visual quality.
We added a promised setting to enable certain Steam translation katakana conventions, mentioned on this page. To proceed add
env[steam_conventions]=true to your ons.cfg file. Due to fan requests we additionally added the support of yu-yo opening video.
Speaking of the bugs with the help of our testers we managed to find a few rare crashes and fixed them. Starting with this update the engine is compatible with macOS Sierra.
Nine years ago the Japanese speaking audience got an opportunity to try the first episode of Umineko. Five years ago, our team started the uneasy task of delivering the best ever English and Russian editions of Umineko. Today we proclaim that the first half is ready to be played by the general audience. Happy Birthday, Umineko!
We do our best to offer splendid quality. And that’s the reason it took us quite some time to deliver the question arcs. We feel proud of the result, both in visual and translation quality. We have deep respect for our α-testers. Many issues would not have been spotted without your attentive eyes. Regarding the English translation, we updated our FAQ where we cover its specifics. Have a look if you have any concerns.
We care about being able to play Umineko on any platform we use. We offer native Linux support including Debian, Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, SteamOS, and several others. We ensure wine compatibility in our releases. We support Windows starting with XP SP3, ignoring the claims it is dead :). We support macOS starting with 10.6 including the old macs with 32-bit CPUs. That’s not enough. That’s not enough if you want to take Umineko on a short trip or play it on the move. That’s why, with this release, we add iPad support starting from iOS 8.0.
Every story has its end, and so does Umineko. But not just yet. We have been silently working on Chiru since 2013, and we got it to launch with most of the visuals in 2015. As a present for you, we have Russian and English trailers for the upcoming Chiru release. Hopefully the most interested of you won’t have to wait much for the alpha with episode 5 included.
Our apologies for the wait.
Episode 4 is available for testers as a private alpha on the forums. New testing requests are now available as well.
We still have work to do on this episode, and it is of a slightly greater amount compared to our usual alphas. However, we are not wasting time for nothing. A new platform is being added to our supported list — iOS. Even though it may not appear with the next β release, we are looking forward to get it ready. See the forum post for details.
As always, we would appreciate your help finding any issues we are not aware of.
The Umineko Project team extends you our heartfelt greetings.
Episode 3 α-testing finished in an unexpectedly short timespan given the amount of work we had to accomplish, and we feel pretty satisfied with the results. Today we reached the third milestone towards a complete Umineko port. As usual we suggest to proceed to our How to upgrade page to read the details of the upgrade process. And for more patient players here comes a work summary.
Firstly, about the upgrade and installation specifics.
We got a few complaints about upgrades to newer versions resetting user preferences and breaking game configurations. The former issue was successfully resolved by us and it will no longer happen. But the latter is almost always the subject of a user mistake (we fixed all the other cases). Therefore, a number of precautions were added. From now on, the game will try to validate most critical resources, informing you about missing or corrupted files. Moreover, a 3-month warning message was added to unobtrusively remind you of the possible need to upgrade.
Secondly, about hardware/software compatibility.
A lot of work was done on improving game performance, and as a result system requirements lowered a bit. For example, we now support a 4096 pixel texture limit (GeForce 7xxx series, Radeon X series, various tablet GPUs). Workarounds exist for cards without non-power-of-two texture or standardised FBO support. A less performance-affecting workaround (instead of
no-texture-reuse) for visual glitches was added for Intel GPUs —
no-glclear ons.cfg option).
We significantly improved gamepad support adding SteamPad Controller and DualShock 3 rumble support on OS X and Linux. Current Linux builds were also tested on SteamOS, and so far no issues were reported (Debian is Debian :D).
Thirdly, about the changes in general.
— We started to unveil font customisation instructions starting with scaling.
— A long awaited option to prevent game from skipping the unread dialogues has just debuted as well.
— Background music files were reencoded with a proper sampling frequency, significantly improving sound quality and enlarging the upgrade size. Sorry for that, but previously it was not possible to do due to side compatibility issues.
What now? In front of us are multiple vast tasks affecting future episodes. Editing is progressing on the Episode 4 translation, and this will take a few months longer to complete (we hope you will use the time to look for issues, if there are any, and patiently wait for updates). We are working on expanding our list of supported platforms for technical users. And simultaneously, the engine and script are receiving the work they need to support our future ambitions.