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New Game - Fursan al-Aqsa - Knights of al-Aqsa Mosque
 
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New Game - Fursan al-Aqsa - Knights of al-Aqsa Mosque
 PostPosted Mon Apr 20, 2020 12:21 pm Reply with quote   
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Now I am working on a new map for my game, based on Camp Filon, an Israeli Military Base located on the Golan Heights on the Syrian Border. This is not a replication of the real place, because I am using many Marketplaces Assets (models and textures purchased from sites like Turbosquid, Unity Assets Store, Unreal Engine Marketplace, and so on) to build this map. However, I am trying my best to make these maps have at least a similarity with the real locations.

This mission will be on the best Metal Gear style, you need to invade the enemy base at night, eliminate them without being spotted. I am also doing uniform (cloth) variations for the game's protagonist, Ahmad al-Ghazzawi, just to fit the mission. For this mission, the player will be wearing a black uniform to be like a shadow on the darkness, to be a trully nightmare for his enemies. It's just a comestic thing, but I think it adds that extra degree of polishment to my game (soon I will showcase).







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New Game - Fursan al-Aqsa - Knights of al-Aqsa Mosque
 PostPosted Mon May 11, 2020 5:22 am Reply with quote   
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very interesting information, I'll try it. thanks, friend.
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New Game - Fursan al-Aqsa - Knights of al-Aqsa Mosque
 PostPosted Wed May 13, 2020 8:27 pm Reply with quote   
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xelapui wrote:
very interesting information, I'll try it. thanks, friend.


You are welcome my friend!

----------------------------------------------------------

Fursan al-Aqsa Dev Blog #11 - Maps Showcase - Camp Filon









Click here to see more Screenshots:
https://www.indiedb.com/games/fursan-al-aqsa-knights-of-al-aqsa-mosque/images

Click here to see the Video Showcase of this environment, without gameplay (to avoid spoilers Very Happy):
https://www.indiedb.com/games/fursan-al-aqsa-knights-of-al-aqsa-mosque/videos/27-fursan-al-aqsa-camp-filon-showcase

Hello my friends!

Sorry for the looooong delay without posting updates. Even though I did not post here on the forums, however, I am very active on twitter, and most important, I have been working VERY HARD on this game, and will show you now some important updates and informations.

First of all, I want to apologize about the release date for Episode 1 of my game. I was planning to release on may 10th because I want to send my game to Brazil Independent Games Festival (BIG), and it had a deadline for sending the game until may 11th, so I was decided to release the game one day before it, on its current state.

As everyone knows, because Coronavirus, all the major gaming events were cancelled, and the same with BIG Festival. Now the deadline was extended until November.

So I continued to develop my game, and build the maps (the last step on my game dev workflow). I spent the last year of 2019 working on the programming and characters animations, and from since 2018 I did not build a new map for my game (I was only building small testmaps for testing the programming and animations). So I began to build this map, Camp Filon, and I have done an upgrade on my maps building workflow, and I was able to build this map under 10 days. Because this I realized that in one month I can complete, finish designing 3 maps, which means, 3 missions (for the campaign mode), and also some extra missions using these same maps with some time of day variations.

Then I came to the conclusion that would be a lot unfair from my part to release this game with only 1 map when I can add more content to make this game more playable and enjoyable by the community.

For all these reasons, I decided to delay the release of this game a bit more, maybe one month, or two (no more than this), for the sake of polishing this game, adding more content, and raising the overal quality, so Fursan al-Aqsa will live up to all this hype and the community expectations, maybe this can be one of the Best Indie Games of 2020 Smile

I think I am not harming anyone with this delay, because I did not make any kind of pre-order (or the like).

I am very happy with the results, and this new map which shows the final game quality, is by far the best map I ever created in Unreal Engine 3, and the next maps will be even better.

Also another update, I did a complete revamp of the game`s website, made it very professional, with complete informations about the game, specs, features, and so on:

https://www.fursanaqsa.com/



About the release itself, after thinking a lot, searching and re-searching, analysing various factors, I decided to go on my own even on the releasing and distribution of my game.

I will be skipping marketplaces like Steam, Itch.io, and other sites and will release it on my own website, a small ecommerce system I developed with PHP Cake Framework, integrated with Paypal IPN Payments (I am a web developers with +10 years of experience creating sites and e-commerces arround the web).

This is the virtual store for my game (you can`t purchase yet):

https://store.fursanaqsa.com/



The reason is simple: Reduce my costs!

Steam is very expensive, 30% of revenue share, added to this, is the USA Government Withdrawal whenever Steam sends money from USA to my Bank Account in Brazil, that can reach more 30% (there is no Agreement between Brazil and USA regarding this fee). Last, but not least, is the Brazillian government`s fee for receiving money from outside brazil, which can reach from 5% to 10%. And adding to this problem, is the currency conversion, which today, 1 USD is almost 6 BRL!!!

So as you can see, Steam is no way for me. The only difference from Itch.io, is that their revenue share can be as low as 0%. Even then, there is still the 30% of Withdrawal and the Brazillian Fee (also the currency conversion).

For all these reasons, I decided to sell my own game on my own website. This site is 100% safe, as it uses SSL Encryption by Let's Encrypt and the payments are processed by Paypal. The purchase process is very simple, there is no need to even register on this website. Just click on the buy now button and you will be redirected to Paypal Checkout Page. You login to your paypal account and make the payment. After the payment is completed, you will receive on your email (registered at Paypal) a download link for the game you purchased. This link is temporary, and expires after 3 download attempts, or after 24 hours.

I know you can`t avoid piracy, and whoever wants to pirate my game will do it, regardless where I release it. It`s very easy to buy a game on steam, then just change some files and configurations, make this game a non steam game and distribute it free arround the web. I mean, steam does not avoid piracy. I personally don`t worry about piracy, because I know here on this community are awesome people who are going to support me by purchasing my game (it will be VERY CHEAP Very Happy).

So, there is no reason for me paying all these fees to steam, whenever I can pay only 5% for paypal for selling my game, and nothing more.

Sorry for this long post, however, I hope you all understand me and stay HYPED with my game Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

Cheers and until next update (Jenin, the Camp of Resistance).
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New Game - Fursan al-Aqsa - Knights of al-Aqsa Mosque
 PostPosted Tue May 26, 2020 1:33 pm Reply with quote   
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Fursan al-Aqsa Dev Blog #12 - Performance Optimization for Consoles



In this article I explain the new changes I made to my custom UDK/Unreal Engine 3 to fix textures streaming on consoles and make the game run and render as intended on both PS3 and Xbox360.

Hello guys (and girls)!

After one intense week of work, headaches, distress, and almost throwing everything (my PC and my consoles) out the window Smile, I finnaly got that last map, Camp Filon, running smoothly on consoles, the way it was intended to run, as you can see in this video below:

https://www.indiedb.com/games/fursan-al-aqsa-knights-of-al-aqsa-mosque/videos/28-fursan-al-aqsa-performance-test-ps3

Until now, all the gameplay features I implemented on my game, like Knife Kills, UI, Pause Menu, Game Over Screen, HeadShots Counter, and so on, if you see, I tested them on debug maps, empty maps, merely blocks, without texture, particles, or any effect. I mean, these scenarios did not represent how the final game will run.So, whenever I compiled the last map, Camp Filon, to run on PS3 and Xbox360, I discovered another bug, which I did not observe before. All the textures on the map were terrible blurry, I mean, indeed blurry to such extent that the visuals became horrible!!!

I know that consoles have much limited RAM memory than PC, and specifically PS3 and Xbox360, in rough terms, they have 256MB and 512MB of RAM, respectively.What was driving me nuts is the fact that the game run fine on PC, just on consoles the textures got extremelly blurry. After searching on legacy UDK Engine forums (https://forums.epicgames.com/udk) and on UDN Network (https://docs.unrealengine.com/udk/Three/WebHome.html), I began to learn more deep about Unreal Engine 3 on Consoles. The good of developing a game alone, is that it can be a true classroom for anyone. I myself, learned a LOT on this project. Specially, whenever I began developing this game, I did not know too much about Unreal Script Programming. Now, I learned a LOT, and I am able to do many things I could not do before.

Coming back to my journey, I discovered about Texture Pool in Unreal Engine 3, which, in rough terms, is kinda fixed memory space used for loading (streaming) textures to the screen. From what I understood (I may be wrong, but what matters here is that now it is working), Unreal Engine 3 throws all the textures currently loaded (which can be seen by the player view camera) inside this texture pool, and then it loads the mipmap of these textures as it is needed. The mipmaps here are kinda different versions of the same texture in different resolutions, to be loaded according the camera view distance, like, the closer the player view camera is to a texture, it will load a higher resolution of the texture, the further, it will load a lower resolution version of the texture. This is essential for performance.

So what was happening? The texture pool was filled up in consoles, so it was only loading the lowest resolution of each texture (16x16). The default Texture Pool Size in UE3 is 140MB, so I increased it to 200MB and voila! Problem solved! Not yet...

Again I compiled the map and did run on PS3 and Xbox360. It run beautifully and smoothly, with the textures on it`s full resolution, and the mipmaps loading correctly. However, another problem happenned, whenever I added the enemies on the map, it simply crashed the game on consoles with the error OUT_OF_MEMORY.

I was already entering into despair because this problem, however, my last try, was to compress all the TGA textures of this map in photoshop using the RLE algorithm. I created a small photoshop action script to batch compress all the 465 TGA textures (diffuse, normal and specular), and was able to reduce by almost half the total size of the textures. Before compression they were 576MB, and after they turned 278MB!!!

So this compression of textures compensated the increased texture pool size, allowing the game run, without crash, and with the mipmaps working flawlessly, as you could see on the above video.

Finnaly, I can use this new map as a template whenever building my other maps, as I know now that I need to optimize the maps as much as I can, and keep the maps size small, just like this, for the sake of performance, and gameplay.

Cheers and until next update.
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New Game - Fursan al-Aqsa - Knights of al-Aqsa Mosque
 PostPosted Tue Jun 09, 2020 12:19 pm Reply with quote   
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Fursan al-Aqsa - Demo Coming Soon...

Finally, after a lot of hard work and polishment, I am finishing, for the next few days, a free demo for "Fursan al-Aqsa", so anyone will be able to test the gameplay, learn the combat mechanics and prepare for the big battle, which comes on Episode 1.



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New Game - Fursan al-Aqsa - Knights of al-Aqsa Mosque
 PostPosted Sat Jun 13, 2020 5:28 pm Reply with quote   
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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

وصلى الله وسلم على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين
May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and all friends

السلام عليكم
Peace be upon you


https://www.indiedb.com/games/fursan-al-aqsa-knights-of-al-aqsa-mosque/videos/29-fursan-al-aqsa-demo-release-trailer

This is the Free Demo of the game Fursan al-Aqsa - Knights of al-Aqsa Mosque. The main objective of this demo is to let players test the Combat Mechanics, give me a feedback, and enjoy killing some zionist soldiers Smile

Download PC Version:

https://www.indiedb.com/games/fursan-al-aqsa-knights-of-al-aqsa-mosque/downloads/fursan-al-aqsa-pc-demo

Download PS3 Version:

https://www.indiedb.com/games/fursan-al-aqsa-knights-of-al-aqsa-mosque/downloads/fursan-al-aqsa-ps3-demo

Download Xbox360 Version:

https://www.indiedb.com/games/fursan-al-aqsa-knights-of-al-aqsa-mosque/downloads/fursan-al-aqsa-xbox360-demo

This is just a testmap which does not represent the final game's visuals, it was just projected to focus on gameplay and urban warfare (kinda training scenario), simulating the combat situations players will face on the final game, Insha Allah (God's willing).

The enemies A.I is very smart and dynamic, the enemies can feel your presence, if you get too much close to them, or if you shoot at their direction. They also will hunt you untill death Smile

I tried to make the game very realistic, yet, keeping it a videogame. So, dying is very easy, also killing enemies is not very hard. I placed many healthpacks arround the map to help you recover your health.

You need to plan each shot, you need to be very strategic and try to avoid the enemies bullets as much as you can. You need to jump a lot and use the crouch button, to manually deviate from the bullets, to take cover behind objects and walls. I tried to avoid implementing a cover system like Gears of War, instead, I opted by a manual cover system, because it feels more realistic, organic, and challenging. By pressing the pause button (ESC key on PC), you can see the Controller/Keys Configuration with all gameplay commands.

You can kill any enemy with just one certain headshot, and the more headshots you perform, you get a higher ranking.

Inside the demo's download package I added 3 Readme files (English, Portuguese and Arabic) with complete information on how to install and configure the game, how to use gamepad with PC, the list of some known bugs, and other informations. Please read it before playing.

So I hope everyone likes this demo and enjoy playing it. This is just a glimpse of what awaits you on the final game.

Cheers and until next update!

P.S: I need to take a break some days to recharge my batteries Smile
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New Game - Fursan al-Aqsa - Knights of al-Aqsa Mosque
 PostPosted Fri Jun 19, 2020 3:25 pm Reply with quote   
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Hello friends!

The PS3 Demo was buggy, it was not working on PS3 at 1080p, neither 720p, only 480p.

But I already fixed it, as you can see here:
https://twitter.com/UdkUltimate/status/1273449629166821379

So tomorrow I will launch an updated version of the demo, including the working PS3 Demo, and this new freaking awesome feature, Bullet Time with all its glory Very Happy :
https://www.indiedb.com/games/fursan-al-aqsa-knights-of-al-aqsa-mosque/videos/fursan-al-aqsa-bullet-time-showcase
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New Game - Fursan al-Aqsa - Knights of al-Aqsa Mosque
 PostPosted Sun Jun 21, 2020 11:30 am Reply with quote   
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Fursan al-Aqsa - Demo Updated

Lets kill some Zionist Soldiers in the best Max Payne Style!

Trailer: http://www.tiny.cc/0ix1qz
PC Demo: http://www.tiny.cc/zkhrqz
PS3 Demo: http://www.tiny.cc/6khrqz
Xbox360 Demo: http://www.tiny.cc/0lhrqz
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New Game - Fursan al-Aqsa - Knights of al-Aqsa Mosque
 PostPosted Sat Jul 04, 2020 6:22 am Reply with quote   
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Fursan al-Aqsa - Demo feedback and player's reception

In this article I made an analysis of the feedback I received for my game's demo and general player's reception.

Hello my friends,

Today two weeks have passed since the release of Fursan al-Aqsa Training Mission, the free demo of my game, and I came here especially for saying a BIG THANK YOU ALL FOR PLAYING MY GAME, IT HAS BEEN A HUGE SUCCESS WHICH I HAVE NEVER IMAGINED IT COULD BE!

It even topped the list of popular games on IndieDB, as you can see from this screenshot below:

[IMG]https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Eafxy-pXgAIOQ7K?format=jpg&name=large[/IMG]

Also the number of downloads is almost reaching 500, and each day there are some new people downloading my game (5 to 10 downloads a day). For some people this number maybe very small, however for me, this is indeed a milestone for my project. For someone who is doing everything alone, and manually, I think I have done an excellent job marketing and promoting my game arround the web.

Despite the strong political and religious content of my game, people simply loved it, especially the gameplay mechanics. My game is being called as "An Islamic Max Payne with the violence of Hotline Miami and the difficulty of Dark Souls".

WOW, having my game compared with some of the most important gaming franchises of all times is simply and honor for me!

I am very optimistic now and I am sure that my game has potential to be one of the best indie game of 2020, Insha Allah (God's willing)!

Other important step I have taken, and I am sure this will help my game to receive even more visibility, is that I sent thousands of press releases for thousands of gaming websites and youtube channels, from small to big ones like IGN and Gamespot. I also submitted my game to many indie events, like BostonFig, IndieCade, Independent Games Festival, Brazil Game Show, Brazil Independent Games Festival, PAX, Bit Summit, and many others.

Until now I received two positive answers, from BostonFig and IndieCade, even though they said my game is still being analysed by the event judges, to decide wether it will be showcased or not. Anyway, I hope they will acept my game, and until these events, I will be able to finish the full game (Episode 1).

So, thanks to Allah (God), and for all this wonderful community, my game is simply kicking asses Smile

My game also received many reviews from Youtubers, even though the marjority of these are from Brazillian Playstation Scene Members, but any review and feedback, for me is VERY IMPORTANT!

So here follows some of the reviews so far.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DF4CzTvF7fk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svOq15es2NE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cd8_Qw1ZeY8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fG53RWeRdPM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSZcoJf6XHE

And here follows some screenshots of another map I am working on, Jenin - The Camp of Resistance:









Again, THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR AWESOME SUPPORT!

Cheers from Brazil Smile and untill next update.
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New Game - Fursan al-Aqsa - Knights of al-Aqsa Mosque
 PostPosted Fri Jul 10, 2020 1:17 am Reply with quote   
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Hello guys!

Just a small informative update here.

Now I am becoming famous hahaha. Please, take a read on this cool interview with my friend @davechatsgames:
https://davechatsgames.wordpress.com/2020/07/06/ask-the-dev/

And here is the first, of many, gaming press channels talking about my game (it's from Brazil):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aytdlspGLuo
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