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The Eyes of Ara is coming to iOS on July 12!

Exciting news: The Eyes of Ara will be available for iPhones and iPads on July 12!

And what’s more, it’s available for pre-purchase on the App Store right now!

Delve back into the mysteries of the old castle, explore its dusty halls, and relive the puzzling adventure in the palm of your hand. The iOS version perfectly captures the experience of the original game and is a joy to play with the new touch screen controls. Check out the announcement trailer:

The Eyes of Ara for iOS also comes with a new feature to help while gaming on the go: the new Journal System tracks all books, letter, notes, and clues that you find throughout each Chapter, giving you easy access to them at any time. No need to carry a notepad with you on the bus or swap out to another app mid-game :)

Those of you who prefer the desktop version won’t be left out either, the Journal system will be included in an update for PC and Mac later this year.

A few other refinements have also been made for the iOS version. The UI and inventory bar has been adapted separately for iPhones and iPads, maximizing screen space and ensuring you ever have to squint to read the UI.
All puzzle cameras were given separate attention too, with their placement adjusted to account for the different screen sizes and inventory positions.
The end result is a game that plays great no matter what size screen you are using.

It’s very exciting to finally be able to break this news, I look forward to everyone being able to enjoy it real soon on July 12!

And don't forget, The Eyes of Ara for iOS is available to pre-purchase right now on the App Store!

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2015 Retrospective

What a year it has been! A lot of exciting things happened over the course of 2015, and I feel the first of the new year is a good time to look back to where the game has been and what is yet to come.

In late March, after much stress and contemplation, I finally settled on a title for my as-yet announced project, along with a name for my fledgeling studio, and thus 100 Stones Interactive was born! Skip forward a few weeks into April and the website was launched, announcing The Eyes of Ara to the world. Finally after years of work, my game was out there for the world to see.

From the outset the reception to the game was really positive, and it was great to have that early support leading onto the Kickstarter campaign that would launched a couple of months later in June. I cannot begin to express just how exciting and exhilarating - and stressful and a difficult - running a Kickstarter campaign is. The support of all of my backers, friends and family cannot be understated. The Eyes of Ara is the game it is today because of everyone that supported myself and the game during that time, making June by far the most significant month of the year for my new studio.

And just when I thought the pressure has subsided for a time, along came the game’s first public showing at #GO423 in August. This was a huge moment for myself and my game: the first time The Eyes of Ara had been playable by the general public. I went in not knowing if a slow, contemplative game would even demo in a busy expo environment, and of course fretting “what if no-one likes the game?”. Thankfully though, the reception was again really positive, and I returned home with renewed enthusiasm for the project.

From then on it was down to business. With no major milestones on the horizon I could dedicate the next few months purely to working on the game. A pleasant change of pace from the previous few months! I have tried to post updates and screenshots at least semi-regularly, and I apologize for the occasional portion of radio silence. Making a game on your own is busy work, and sometimes I need to remind myself to come up for air and let people know I’m still alive - supporters, friends and family included ;)

In late October I attended the Melbourne International Games Week, to soak up the wisdom and experience of other devs from around Australia and the world who had congregated at the Melbourne Convention Centre for Unite, GCAP, and PAX Aus. I returned to Brisbane armed with a wealth of invaluable advice and knowledge that will no doubt make The Eyes of Ara an even greater experience.

In December I was invited to show The Eyes of Ara at another local Brisbane games expo named Brass Razoo! It was good to again see how the public took to the game, especially so long after the first showing in August. A lot of changes and improvements had been made to the game since the first demo, so it was valuable to see that they were indeed working.

Which brings us finally to today, January 1st, 2016. This year is going to be an even bigger year than the one just passed. So keep a look out here and on the Facebook page for:

More playable demos at expos and conventions, including GX Australia in February (more on that soon).

The call for submissions for art content and puzzle designs from backers who pledged to the relevant tiers. It’s time to start getting your ideas into the game! I will be contacting everyone about this before January is out.

The public Alpha and Beta, available to backers of the relevant tiers. Your first chance to get your hands on the latest build of the game, playable in your own home without me scrutinizing your every move from behind your back at a convention ;) (If you’re not a Alpha or Beta backer, remember you can still pledge for access through the online store).

And of course the biggest event of all: The Eyes of Ara’s launch! There is no public release date as yet (I have a target in mind though), but rest assured it will be available this year.

So thank you all for your support over the past year, and here’s to an awesome 2016!

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Melbourne International Games Week, 2015

October 26th to November 1st was the Melbourne International Games Week, a big week of games and game development comprising of the Unite and GCAP game dev conferences, The Arcade open day showcasing the local Melbourne Indie Dev Scene, and culminating in the always spectacular PAX Australia. If updates surrounding The Eyes of Ara have been quiet of late, this is the reason. I attended the full week, saw a lot of great games, met a lot of wonderful people, and most of all learned a great deal.

Unite & GCAP

These two conferences were the primary reason for my visit. Both had a lot of great talks by some very talented developers, but GCAP was a standout experience. A number of local devs gave some very informative talks, in particular Katie Gall, Lauren Clinnick and Tara Brannigan who ran a packed-out session on games and Social Media, Steve Halliwell and Tony Parmenter on Core Mechanics, and the always entertaining Nicole and Jason Stark who ran a Narrative Vs. Game Design session that encouraged audience participation and on-stage rivalry.

International guests included Keynotes by Brie Code (Child of Light, Assassin's Creed series) and Martin Sahlin (Unravel), both of whom told powerful, personal stories about their life and career in the games industry.

There were many more great sessions than I can possibly list here, and I left with a notebook full of hastily scrawled notes, a pocket full of business cards, and a head full of inspiration.

PAX and the Indie Dev Scene

Thursday was The Arcade open day. The Arcade is a collaborative workspace housing a number of indie dev teams, including Tin Man Games (Gamebook Adventures), Three Phase Interactive (Defect), and Hipster Whale (Crossy Road) as well as a host of others. The sheer number and variety of games on display was inspiring, it was wonderful to see the aussie indie dev scene kicking along so strong.

Unfortunately I was only able to attend a few short hours of PAX on the Friday, but it was enough for a quick loop of the expo floor and an extended stay in the indie games section. There I was able to play games by many of the devs I had met, spoke too, or listen to speak during the conferences. Many of the teams from The Arcade were there too, busily trying to keep up with the thousands of expo attendees vying for a look at their games.

Back in Brisbane

With the week concluded, weary devs from around the country headed home. I’m back in Brisbane now and back to work on The Eyes of Ara. I can confidently say that the game will be a better experience as a direct result of the MIGW (in fact I have already implemented some of the advice I received while there), and I look forward to next year’s Games Week. Who knows, perhaps next year I’ll be the one on stage talking about my experience developing The Eyes of Ara.

But first I have to finish it. So until next time, it’s back to work for me!

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The Eyes of Ara Is Live On Kickstarter!

Freeplay

It’s been a lot of work and a long time coming, but I’m pleased to announce that The Eyes of Ara Kickstarter campaign is now live!

When I started work on this game back in late 2013 it was not only with the dream of forming my own games studio, but also of delivering a game that I could be proud of. A game worth playing. From the video and screenshots released so far I hope you will agree that I’m on track to meeting that goal, but in order to compete it I’m going to need your support.

My ambition for The Eyes of Ara is large, and with your help we can make it a reality. So if you like what you have seen here so far, and you are a fan of puzzle-adventure games, please consider clicking through and backing The Eyes of Ara.

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The Eyes of Ara in action

100 Stones Interactive is proud to present the first video for The Eyes of Ara! You can watch right now on our brand new YouTube Channel (while you are there, be sure to follow us for future videos), or even better watch it below!

 

A more detailed video with story excerpts and gameplay examples is currently in the works, but in the mean time I hope you enjoy seeing this short sneak peek of The Eyes of Ara in action.

 

Want more content? The Eyes of Ara gallery has also been updated with some new screenshots in addition to the sneak peek video. So head on over and check it out!

 

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Game

Out now for Windows, Mac and iOS!

   
        

 

 Download the Demo

   

 


 

The Eyes of Ara invites you to escape to another place. Become enthralled in a stunning Adventure-Puzzle game set in a gorgeous 3D environment. Explore a vast and ancient castle riddled with secret vaults and hidden rooms. Solve elaborate puzzles, locate lost treasures, and unravel an ancient mystery.

 

Alone on a remote island stands an ancient weathered castle, steeped in legend, shrouded in mystery. For years it has remained quiet and undisturbed, and yet still the townspeople recall old stories of restless dreams, violent storms, and the eerie glow of ghostly lights dancing in the mist. But something inside the castle has awoken, and someone needs to venture inside to uncover the truth…

 

Weave your way through a complex web of puzzles to unlock the castle’s ultimate truth... or choose your own path: Go in search of secret vaults and hidden passageways, locate the lost keepsakes, or entwine yourself in the history of the castle and its former occupants to unravel the mystery of The Eyes of Ara.


 

 


 

 

Support an independent developer

 

The Eyes of Ara is a predominantly one-man project, created by Ben Droste, independent developer and founder of 100 Stones Interactive.

For more information and regular updates on The Eyes of Ara, check back here often and follow 100 Stones Interactive on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

   

Subscribe to the 100 Stones mailing list for inside info and updates. Updates are not spammy and are commonly posted every four to six weeks. Sign up at subscribe.eyesofara.com

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Software Licenses and Acknowledgements

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Story

A shroud lifts, a secret awakes...

 

On a small island off the Scottish coast, sits an old abandoned castle. Years ago, it was purchased by wealthy fellow who, for reasons of his own, sought refuge away from civilization to pursue a life of peace and quiet study. Aside from occasional trips to the nearby town for supplies, he kept mostly to himself.

 

The locals however, never afraid to embellish a good story, told tales of shipments of odd machinery and scientific equipment, strange experiments in the tower at night, and sometimes on the darkest and rarest of nights, odd swirling lights that danced and floated about the castle.

 

Some of the more rational locals dismissed these sights as complete nonsense, tales to frighten tourists, or tricks of the moonlight reflecting off the morning mists. But children standing on the shore would say that if you watched long enough, you would see that they moved with a purpose.

 

 

 

One year, a young family passed through the town on their way to visit the castle. The woman was said to be the sister of the castle’s owner, and that she and her children were going to stay with him for a while. During their stay, they kept mostly to the island, visited the town rarely for supplies and said very little. Their skin growing pale and faces withdrawing every time they passed over the water to return to the castle.

 

They stayed for several months until there came a night where it was said that the mysterious lights suddenly became alive with activity, swirling and dancing around the castle, before vanishing suddenly. The young family was never seen again afterwards, though some of the more superstitious townspeople swore they saw their ghosts passing through the town in the early morning mists.

 

For years after the castle remained quiet, the dancing lights subsiding, and the old man’s visits to town became less frequent... but always an eerie blue light could be seen high in the tower.

Then, one night a terrible storm struck the coast, and great waves crashed upon the rocks.

 

The townspeople that watched the castle that night often recall how one enormous wave hit the island and how the mysterious lights suddenly became alive again, more vigorous and in greater multitudes than ever seen before. The lights raced - hither and thither - around the island and circled the castle tower in a great twisting spiral. For hours the light show went on, until the storm became so great the townspeople were forced to seek shelter.

 

 

 

 

In the morning, as the skies cleared, no evidence of the night’s events could be seen and neither the lights nor the old man were ever seen again. No one has dared to set foot on the island since, and the castle has remained quiet and undisturbed for many years… until now.

Lately a mysterious radio signal has begun broadcasting from the castle. Powerful and unintelligible, it is disrupting electronic communications in the surrounding townships. Something needs to be done about it, and you are the unfortunate individual that has been given the job. Whether you dismiss the old stories or heed their warnings, you have been sent to the castle to discover the source of the signal, and if possible… shut it down.

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And so it begins...

Hello world. We are 100 Stones Interactive and we are about to embark on an adventure.

Today marks the launch of 100 Stones Interactive, and the official announcement of The Eyes of Ara, our first title.

I have been working on the prototype that would eventually become The Eyes of Ara for quite some time now and I am proud to finally give it a name and a home. It has taken a lot of work to get it to this point with help from a lot of wonderful people, but we still have a long way to go.

The launch of the 100 Stones website represents a significant milestone in this journey, so please take a look around. On it you will find this blog, the first official info and screenshots of The Eyes of Ara, and a bit about the company and myself. We may be starting out small... but we have plans to grow!

 

 

The first update to the website will include a forum where you can discuss all things about the studio, our games, or games in general. A trailer for The Eyes of Ara will launch along with our YouTube channel shortly.

Also in the coming weeks, I am launching a Kickstarter to help fund the completion of The Eyes of Ara. A lot of blood, sweat and tears have gone into getting this game up to this point, but I’m going to need the community’s help to finish creating this vision. For more info on the game itself, including the latest screenshots and backstory, head over to the game’s web page.

So if you like what you see so far, feel free to follow the blog.

Or better yet, follow 100 Stones Interactive on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates, screenshots and general developer musings.

This is an exciting time for me and the newly emerged 100 Stones Interactive, I hope you’ll join me on this adventure.

 

 

Ben Droste, signing off on the launch of 100 Stones Interactive.

I can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

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