Frequently Asked Questions
From Hero of Allacrost
About the Game
What is Hero of Allacrost?
Hero of Allacrost is a single player, 2D sprite-based role playing game. Hero of Allacrost is also often referred to as simply "Allacrost" or "HoA".
How much do I have to pay to play?
The game is free to download and play. You do not need to pay anything to play the game.
What systems can I play the game on?
As of June 2006, Allacrost is currently supported on the following operating systems:
- Mac OS X
- Windows 98/2000/XP
My system is not in the support list, does that mean I will not be able play Allacrost on it?
Not necessarily. The Allacrost code is designed to be portable and is available under the GNU GPL license. Allacrost should be able to work on many more types of systems, we just have not tested it on those other systems yet (you are free to download the code and try it yourself).
Do you have plans to make Allacrost available on any game consoles?
At this time, we do not have any plans for console support. However, with the greater amount of "home-brew"/independent support that is available on the latest video game systems, it is very possible that we may make Allacrost available on game consoles in the future.
What is the release schedule/completion date for the game?
We do not publicly announce any anticipated release dates. All developers and contributors work on Allacrost in their spare time, thus it becomes very difficult to judge how near or far we are from being ready for a release.
I heard something about Allacrost having a "module release model". What does this mean?
The game is being released in numerous modules. Each module is a "piece" of the game that you can play, so the game is released one piece at a time until it is completed (this is analogous to the release of television episodes in a series).
What is the gameplay like?
Gameplay of Allacrost will be similar to the console RPGs developed in the 1990s. The gameplay design of Allacrost draws its largest inspirations from the games Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger. Allacrost may be played with either a gamepad, joystick, or computer keyboard.
How long will the game be?
As long as it needs to be to tell our story. We venture a guess of around 40 hours of gameplay, but until the game is finished we can not say for sure.
What about multi-player support?
Hero of Allacrost is a single-player game. We do not have any intentions for adding multi-player support.
About the Project
What is "The Allacrost Project"?
The Allacrost Project is the collective design and development efforts surrounding the game Hero of Allacrost. This includes work on the game itself, the narrative, and the Allacrost website and other services.
When did the project start?
The project started in June 2004.
What license is Allacrost made available?
All of the source code, images, music, sounds, and other content are licensed under the GNU GPL. To summarize, this license grants the following rights:
- the right to run the program, for any desired purpose.
- the right to study how the program works, and modify it.
- the right to redistribute copies of the program.
- the right to improve the program, and release the improvements to the public.
We urge you to read the license in its entirity to ensure that you are not in violation of it, especially if you plan to modify or redistribute the game.
What online services exist for The Allacrost Project and what are they for?
There are a variety of public services, each which serves a specific purpose.
- Allacrost Website - http://www.allacrost.org
This website serves as an official and reliable source of information.
- Allacrost Forums - http://www.allacrost.org/forums
The forums serve as the team's primary communication medium. It is here that many of the design decisions for the project are made, as well as where we solicit feedback from on newly produced content
- Allacrost Wiki - http://allacrost.sourceforge.net/wiki
The wiki contains an abundance of various information. This includes documentation, lists of tasks that need to be accomplished, and standards for producing artwork, music, and code to use in the game.
- Allacrost IRC channel - #allacrost at irc.freenode.net
The IRC channel offers a medium for players, team members, and other interested parties to chat in real-time
- Allacrost SourceForge Project Page - http://www.sourceforge.net/projects/allacrost
The project page on SourceForge is mostly of interest to programmers and does not contain any information that can not be found on the website or wiki.
- Allacrost Web-based Code Browser - http://svn.sourceforge.net/viewcvs.cgi/allacrost/
The source code repository for Allacrost is hosted by sourceforge. You can use this site to browse through the code repository.
Is there a mailing list?
No, not officially. However, by registering on the forums you are automatically added to a (low volume) contact list. Periodically, we send e-mail to forum members and ask them to test pre-releases of the game, or provide us with feedback on unreleased game content.
What is the Allacrost narrative?
The game Hero of Allacrost actually started out as a short story, not a game. That short-story has been turned into an on-going novel, which the game's story is based off of. Chapters of the novel are made available on the website in the Story section.
Why is it taking this team so long to release the game?
There are many answers to this question. The most prominent reason is that everyone on the Allacrost team contributes in their spare time. Every member on the team have more important responsibilities in their life and can only treat Allacrost as a personal hobby. All team members are either full-time students, have jobs/careers, or have families that they must support.
Some sections of the forums, wiki, etc. have restricted access. Why doesn't Allacrost follow a true open development model?
There are a handful of reasons. First, we like to keep works in progress (WIP) for artwork, music, etc. to ourselves until we feel that they are mature enough that we can confidently present the work to the public. Second, allowing anyone to read and make comments on design discussions can often be counter-productive as they lead to many debates and off-topic discussions. Third, some of these restricted access areas contain confidential information, such as personal contact information for team members. Finally, we don't want to spoil the public before they have a chance to play the game.
Some may express criticism toward such a policy, and they are free to do so. However, we do not follow a true open development model because we do not believe it is in the best interests of this project. Rest assured, we do not have a hidden agenda or ulterior motive.
About the Team
Who are the people behind the project?
The team behind the Allacrost project consists of programmers, artists, composers, and others all across the globe. These people contribute to Allacrost in their spare time, and are not compensated financially.
If no one working on the project is paid, why does anyone work on it at all?
Everyone working on Allacrost have their own personal motivations. Some want to learn and gain experience and skill through their contributions. Others want to use it as a stepping stone for entering the game industry. The most popular reason that people continue to work on Allacrost is because they have fun doing so.
Are any of the team members professional game designers?
Some do indeed have industry experience, but the majority of the team members have either developed games independently in the past or not at all. Several members of the Allacrost team are aspiring to work in the game development industry.
How is the team structured?
See the Credits section of the website.
How may I contact the team or specific members of the team?
To contact the team for information or any general reason, please contact email@example.com. To contact specific members of the team see the Credits section of the website.
What is the difference between a "staff member" and a "contributor"?
A staff member is one who is held responsible for getting certain tasks completed. On the other hand, a contributor is not held responsible for completing anything. Typically, contibutors work together with staff members to complete certain tasks.
How can I become a staff member or contributor?
See the Contribute section of the website.
What programming languages, tools, and other items do you use in production of this project?
See the wiki page titled Software Used. Because there are a fair number of people working on this project and we do not require any specific software to be used for development, this list changes quite frequently.
How to Help
How can I help support the game/project/team?
There are several ways in which you can help out Allacrost, even if you don't possess sufficient skills to contribute content (art, music, etc.) or code. Here's a list of things that you can do to help us out.
- Spread the word!
Because we are a not-for-profit project, we can not afford to spend a lot of time advertising or promoting ourselves. Instead, we rely on word-of-mouth by people who have good and honest things to say about their experiences with us and/or our product(s). The easiest and most effect way you can do this is by using the following image in your website, or as a banner in your profile to the other online communities you visit.
(You may link to this image directly if you do not have your own webspace to host it on)
If you wish to go another step and engage in more aggressive publicity, make sure that you are not about to engage in what we call "annoying advertisement". Please read the Public Relations Policies page in the wiki so that we can appreciate your efforts rather than shun them.
- Provide us with your feedback.
Register on the forums and commenting on specific aspects of the project can be a bigger help than you might initially think. Sometimes it can be difficult for us to identify problems since we are not "looking in from the outside".
- Make a donation.
While we provide the game and project services free-of-charge, we do incur a financial cost in maintaining these services. Collectively, we spend about $100 US each year to keep these services running. If you are willing to do so, we would certainly appreciate a donation to keep things running smoothly. Should the amount of donations we receive exceed our costs, we will re-donate your money to the other projects and services with which Allacrost could not exist without.
Click the button below to be taken to where you can make a donation.
- Become a contributor or staff member
One of the most rewarding (and helpful) ways in which you can help out with Allacrost is by having original content that you create become a part of the game. To learn how you can become a member of the Allacrost team, go to the Contribute page.
- Assist with translating the game.
Although English is the default language of Hero of Allacrost, we recognize that there are people who do not know English, or would be more comfortable playing the game in their native language. If you are a fluent and/or native speaker of another language, you can assist in making the game available to a wider audience.
- Help to maintain the wiki.
The Allacrost wiki is the largest repository of online information that we maintain. Because it is a wiki, it can be edited by anyone.
- Help identify problems/bugs that you encounter with the game or other web services.
We don't have any formal testers or quality assurance personnel on our team. We rely strongly on our players to help us identify and find bugs in the game that we missed. Debugging efforts in Allacrost are especially grueling because it is a cross-platform game, and a bug may exist in one user's system but not another's. Instead of simply "playing around" a bug, file a report so that we can be aware of its existence and find a solution for it. You can file bug reports at http://bugs.allacrost.org/
Hey I helped you guys with [something], so why is my name not in the credits?
In almost all cases the answer to this question is that your contribution was not significant enough. If we listed every person's name in the credits that contributed to Allacrost in some way or another, no matter how minute the contribution was, our credits would list hundreds of names.
For the Team
What is the difference between a contributor and a staff member?
Contributors simply help out here and there when they have the time and interest to do so, but they are not responsible for finishing any work. Contributors are usually not given full access to all of the team's resources for security reasons, however they will gain these privledges over time by working with the team and earning our trust.
Staff members have greater expectations and are held responsible for getting assigned tasks completed. This does not necessarily mean that staff members work more hours per week than contributors though. Staff have full access to all resources to better enable them to do their work.
What would be expected of me as a staff member?
You will not be finanically compensated for work on Allacrost, and therefore it is not expected that you can dedicate an abundance of your time to it. All that is really expected of a staff member is that he or she will keep the team informed of changes in their availability to work on Allacrost and that he or she will follow through when they commit themselves to completing a task.
What would be expected of me as a contributor?
There are only two minor expectations for contributors. The first expectation of a contributor is that they do not abuse the resources that are provided for them (one example of abuse would be uploading large amounts of your personal files to our FTP server). The second expectation is that a contributor makes their presence known every so often (about once a month), usually by posting on the forums.
As a staff member or contributor, what rights do I have to my own work?
The game Hero of Allacrost is licensed under the GNU GPL. You will retain the rights and privileges to your individual contributions and may redistribute them under a separate license if you desire.
What policies would apply to me as a staff member or contributor?
Refer to the following page in our wiki: Staff Policies
What resources can you make available to me as a staff member, contributor, etc.?
Refer to the following page in our wiki: Staff Resources.
What benefits are there in being part of the Allacrost team?
- Staff members and contributors have more influence on what goes into the game and what doesn't. You will be able to directly affect the direction that the game takes in its development.
- The respect and gratitude of the players for devoting your time and energy.
- The self-satisfaction of seeing your personal work in the game.
- The self-satisfaction of seeing your personal work in the game.
- A great bonus to your resume, which will be especially helpful if you are looking to become a professional in the game development industry.
- Great flexibility in the amount of time that you put into the project as well as the type of work that you can do.
How do you recruit members on your team, and when do you recruit?
We never completely shut our doors to new members and always accept applications. Typically, when we find that we are in need of strengthening our staff, we create help wanted threads in forums for various game development websites. When you apply, our staff evaluates your application and often request more information or sometimes some example work. After we feel we have enough information about the applicant, we all vote on whether or not to bring the member into the team and then inform the applicant of our collective decision once it has been made.
I'm interested in a staff position, how do I go about getting one?
Head over to the Apply page on this site and fill out the form. We'll contact you by e-mail with further questions and requests.
I'm really interested in a certain position on your staff, but it appears that you have no need for that position. Should I still apply?
Its best that you apply, or ask us about the position (it won't hurt). If you prove yourself to be very skilled in your craft, we may choose to hire you even if we have no current need for help in that particular area.