Welcome to Kaetherya!
Welcome to a world of steam and sorcery, of airships and alchemists, of heroes and monsters. A world of tales waiting to be told.
Picma 3 - Sneak peek #2
September 27, 2012
Another preview of the new Picma is available at our blog!
Note that when the new game comes out we will also tweak the design of the website so that you don't actually have to visit the blog to get these news, but until then they will be posted at the Moonblog.
Picma 3 is coming!
September 17, 2012
Head on to our blog for the details.
Puzzle review on hold
February 19, 2012
As most of you have surely noticed we haven't reviewed any puzzles in quite a while. We simply haven't had the time to do so and sadly the situation isn't likely to change in the near future. Therefore we are officially halting puzzle reviews until the release of the new version of both Picma and Picma Squared.
The new game will solve this recurring problem permanently by giving you the tools (and credits) to rate and review new puzzles.
We can't yet commit to a release date but rest assured we are working on it whenever we can (which incidentally is one of the reasons we have such a backlog of unreviewed puzzles).
Note that all puzzles currently awaiting review (and any created in the meantime) are safe and will be added to the queue when the new system is brought online.
As a way of compensating for this, upon launch we will award everyone with a good ammount of credits and subscribers will additionally receive six extra months on their subscription (regardless of it being expired or not).
Please bear with us for a bit longer.
We're on a new server!
December 13, 2011
As you may have noticed, over the last couple of weeks the stability of this website has been rather... terrible.
While this was due to reasons we could not foresee or control, there was still one thing we could do, namely, moving to a new server.
So if you're reading this the transfer worked as planned (even if the planning was a bit abrupt) and we're now on a faster and hopefully much more stable server.
Thank you for your patience!
September 12, 2011
Our apologies for the lack of news (and updates) for such a long time.
We have been incredibly busy with other projects that allow us to keep working on what we love.
More recently we have also been busy working on a fairly large update to Picma/Squared that among other things will finally put puzzle approval in your hands. We tried to keep curating new puzzles ourselves but we simply can't keep up, regardless of all the tweaks we made to the process and technology, at the end of the day there's still just two of us.
We'll post more news about this major revamp as we come closer to publishing it.
June 18, 2011
I'm happy to report that our latest efforts to take care of the mounting backlog of unreviewed puzzles is working as expected, slowly but surely the number of puzzles awaiting review is shrinking instead of increasing.
Sadly, one of the tweaks we made to the client also caused a bug that made a few puzzles get "stuck" when they were successfully completed. The "offending" puzzles have been temporarily placed offline while we fix them.
To compensate for lost credits and as a form of apology for the inconvenience we have credited every user with 5 extra credits!
We are also aware that the site is running slower than it should and we're trying to speed it up.
Puzzle Review system leveled up!
June 6, 2011
Lately we've been working on a series of improvements to our puzzle review system, we should now be able to go through that (really gigantic) backlog faster and eventually begin accepting puzzles back to our past rate.
What changed for me?
The puzzle editor "time out" (for both Picma and Picma Squared) has been changed from 60 to 90 seconds and puzzles that validate will be placed ahead of "timed out" puzzles in the review queue. Furthermore, Picma Squared will now attempt to generate a puzzle instead of just checking if your image is valid.
Why does it take you so long to review my puzzles anyway?
A big part of it is the validation time itself. While we added a "time out" safeguard to your editor, there's no such thing on our side and actually validating a 50x50 puzzle can take several hours (the record is around 23 hours I believe).
While smaller puzzles don't have such massive validation times the seconds and minutes quickly add up when you have to go through hundreds of them.
Should these improvements not suffice to get us back on track, our next step will likely be changing the "time out" limit to several minutes or possibly removing it altogether. As usual we'll keep you informed either way.
Now, back we go to reviewing puzzles!
About our new payment system
May 31, 2011
Some of you expressed some concern about our new payment system and we would like to clear up a few things.
Why did you change? The old system was much better! Yes it was. It's also gone and we can't use it any more. We spent weeks researching payment providers and FastSpring was the best we could find (by a large margin).
I'm not giving you my Credit Card details without knowing the price! The price is shown on the product page (the first one) and again on a third page before you complete the purchase. Secondly, we don't get anyone's Credit Card details, our payment provider does, that's part of the point of having one! They specialize in protecting that kind of data while we can specialize in making games.
Why do you need my address and phone number? Our payment provider (and indirectly your bank) demands this information to avoid fraud. There's nothing we can do about it.
We hope this clears up some of the most persistent concerns, but if you have any other questions please contact us!
Puzzle backlog woes
May 23, 2011
We've been accepting puzzles as fast as we can (really!), but the math is simple, we've been receiving more puzzles than we are able to process and despite our efforts the backlog grows instead of shrinking.
Therefore we've began working on a system that will allow everyone to help out! Our goal is to maintain the quality of the approved puzzles while reducing the wait for authors to mere minutes or hours instead of several days (or weeks!).
This will result in many more puzzles for everyone (the backlog currently has hundreds of puzzles!) and as an added bonus it will also be a new source of credits to play puzzles!
Summing up, the puzzle backlog will soon be a thing of the past.
Payment provider SocialGold is out, FastSpring is in!
May 23, 2011
A payment provider is essentially a company that specializes in receiving payments on behalf of others. While they do take a cut out of each payment, using one also means we can focus on making games while they take care of things like paying the appropriate sales tax.
For the past several months we've been using SocialGold as a payment provider. Barring a few "hiccups" everything has been running smoothly and if it was up to us we would keep working with SocialGold, however they were bought by Google and will be closing down their service at the end of the current month.
Yup, it sucks. This forced us to find an alternative and that has been an important and increasingly stressful part of our work for the last several weeks.
After trying out several contenders we settled on FastSpring as our new payment provider.
Due to the way our own system was initially engineered nothing changes for our previous customers. Your existing Subscriptions and Shards are perfectly safe.
What changes for new purchases? Well, the store will now open in a new window instead of working inside of the game itself and you can now buy a variable number of shards. That's about it, but if you still have any questions feel free to contact us.
Slow puzzle approval
April 17, 2011
Due to the large influx of new users (hello there!) we also had an influx of new puzzles and a considerable backlog is mounting up.
We just wanted to let everyone know that we are processing your puzzles as fast as we can.
Please note that our review is a 2-step process, giving priority to puzzles that validate without manual tweaking on our part. This might mean that some of your newer puzzles are "processed" before older ones.
Thank you for your patience!
We need your vote!
April 1, 2011
March 24, 2011
Due to the recent exposure of Picma Squared on several gaming websites we have had an influx of new players and of feedback. As a result updated versions of both games are now online.
Game progress is now also saved whenever the game is paused, ensuring that you will have a saved game to return to even after accidentally closing the browser tab.
The following updates apply only to Picma Squared:
Tweaked the wording on a few parts of the Tutorial and added more information about shortcuts to the Controls page.
The Free puzzle sets where edited and now include 20x20, 25x25, 30x30 and 50x50 puzzles. The total puzzle count remains the same.
On multi-coloured puzzles it is now impossible to colour a cell containing a number with the wrong colour. For example, if a cell contains a red clue you can now only fill it with red or mark it as empty.
This change should make the game more intuitive (and admittedly easier) for new players but more importantly it will not affect "veterans" as they wouldn't even try to do such a thing.
As a bonus this will probably stop quite a lot of people that skipped Zoe's Tutorial and the Tutorial levels from claiming that puzzles have "multiple solutions" (when without fail all these "solutions" break the second rule of the game).
Finally, we fixed a few minor bugs that had been hiding until now.
Picma Squared reviews
March 22, 2011
The great folks at Casual Gameplay wrote a review of Picma Squared. Our thanks to Jay for his interest in our game and Joye for writing the review! If you don't know about jayisgames.com yet, be warned, they focus only on the very best casual games and as a result visiting their website can severely hinder your productivity!
On a similar note, we were also featured in small review at Indie Games. Thanks Michael!
The majesty of colours!
March 17, 2011
Up until a few minutes ago, Picma Squared, like similar games, was limited to one-colour puzzles. No more! Colour has arrived, making Picma Squared the only (to our knowledge) game of it's kind (until it becomes popular, that is).
If you have been playing Squared you will quickly notice that "completed" hints/clues are now marked by a small dot instead of becoming faded. Community input also led us to automatically cross any existing zeros (just like in the original Picma). Other than that, nothing has changed for single-colour puzzles.
Playing multi-colour puzzles simply requires keeping in mind one extra rule:
A cell that contains a clue is either empty or filled with that same colour.
That's it really! The interface will help you by fading all colours other than the one currently selected, allowing you to solve the puzzle one colour at a time. This interface should also allow our colourblind users to play without any issues, given that the colour itself is unimportant.
Given the scope of the changes we could really use your Feedback. If you have anything to say about Picma Squared, be it love, hate or anything in between, please say it! Your suggestions shape the game.
On a related note, we added more than 400 (multi-colour) Picma Squared puzzles to the library, having credited the authors for each new puzzle. In the next days we will be adding a few hundred more!
Finally, the previously lonely "Free Puzzles" set was divided into three separate sets, each with several multi-colour puzzles. Some puzzles were removed, others added, the end result are an 8 extra puzzles for a total of 48 free puzzles.
Have fun and send us your Feedback!
March 10, 2011
Today we removed the "Beta" tags from both games. This doesn't mean you won't be able to find bugs or that we will stop adding new features (we actually have quite a few planned), only that we consider the latest release to be the 1.0 version. We've just begun.
Many of you have surely noticed we've been making small tweaks and bug fixes to both Picma and Picma Squared since the "big" release of last week (which was much smoother than we expected).
Our thanks to everyone who contributed with suggestions and bug reports, some even going to the extent of taking screenshots!
As always, if you have suggestions or notice a bug, just let us know using the form below the game. If you have a question please use email instead, we really can't reply to queries made using the game form.