Showcase / Homegrown Games presents “Father’s Island”

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Ertlov
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Posted: 4th Dec 2016 09:40
Nice one. And while I usually stick to "never argue with the critic", I have to do so here.

I agree with most of what you say, however:

-
Quote: "Fathers Island would be a dozen times better if it where not such a drown out to walk this huge island. If Homegrown decided to go with smaller, better designed levels rather than this huge walk-a-ton I bet the game would be something odd for the ages and way more entertaining. "


Nope, it wouldn't. It may be your personal opinion, and perhaps that would work out better for YOU, but not for (let's estimate in your favor) 6500 out of 6600 current steam owners. and certainly not for the overall appreciation the game receives. From a psychological point of view, the reflection in the long "walking" parts is a key part of the experience - and that works for 9 / 10 of the players.

Doing something like, let's say

Quote: "If I had designed this game I'd have put stark focus on grapics and aesthetics as well as having it divided in several levels. Events and key places would be closer together and while I'd not completely remove wandering the woods, I'd keep that to a minimum. "


would have killed the mood, the pace of storytelling and in the end, the game. And Homegrown Games don't work with your idea of storytelling and narration
Without any form of accusation or judging A against B, this is the difference between your approach of what a game should be like and mine. And if I remember right, we had that discussion 10 years ago.

Your focus on graphics and aesthetics is well-known and despite my living in the AAA world, I don't know ANY designer who can make better coherent scenes than you do. If, for sure, can't!

The bad news is, however, in the end it doesn't matter that much.

Quote: "You'll find that many different models don't complement each other at all and especially shacks or buildings end up looking like a thrown together mess. There is a lot of "chaos" on the screen."


I know that, I see it, you see it, many GG users see it - but the perception outside our GG and design bubble is a different one. If you read the reviews or watch the Let's play videos from HarshlyCritical or GameTube, you will read and hear "All fits perfectly together" or "Es wirkt wie aus einem Guss".

Of course I cringe there, because I know it's not true. But it's perceived so.

And regarding the pacing and the long walks without any action - these are intentional here, and they work out fine, at least for the overwhelming majority of the players. It's not like Into the Dark, where a lot of action and information and events are packed toegether in small levels, it's an experience where you have an encounter, a piece of information, a part of storytelling - and then quite some time to reflect on that, accompanied by music and a "walk in the park". Many reviewers stated that they enjoyed especially this part, and you know that some wrote actually "thank god there are now enemies, guns or jump scares". Fine with me.

So, while I personally like the Into the Dark approach more, I have to admit that Father's Islands pacing works actually better for most players out there, at least for the ones who bought the game. Maybe, because you can't miss the story. This one is a storyteller, and the story is told and whole and complete, no matter where you run and go, if you reached one of the three endings AFTER Kammlers house, you have the feeling that you experienced a complete storyline and didn't miss something crucial.

Quote: "I'd try to add more exploration to it (being able to browse through lockers and having the character comment on items and so forth.)"


Agreed. There are side-stories consisting exactly of that (5 letters and one encounter regarding "Aunt Alicia", the black-magic part consisting of 3 books you have to read and then you can control the "leaves tornado" to get to the lighthouses, the background story of poor Marc, but that could have been more extensive. There should have been more of that, however, nothing crucial for the game itself. If you hide content this way and this content is important for either completing or UNDERSTANDING the story and its characters, it's not clever, it's bad game design. It's like one of those mindf*ck movies where 90% of the audience is frustrated or confused and some smart ass says "Oh, if you had looked at the reflection in the mirror at 15:23 really carefully, you would totally understand all of the flic!"

So, yes, that's your review, and you can write and say whatever floats your boat.
Even more, I can agree to almost all you say on a personal level, like on a "what I expect from a game I would love to play" level. (Except the pacing stuff).

But no matter how much we can agree, keep in mind, especially for your own creations, that the view of a designer or a storyteller is ALWAYS quite different from the players, even if you design for a certain niche.

That's the reason we have plenty of testers who don't know anything about game creation or GameGuru

Overall, thanks a lot for the review, the assets and the inspiration. I can totally live with your liking Into the Dark more than Father's Island, it's the same for me, now let's see what Into the Ice will be...






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Belidos
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Posted: 4th Dec 2016 11:37
Quote: "This one is a storyteller, and the story is told and whole and complete, no matter where you run and go, if you reached one of the three endings AFTER Kammlers house, you have the feeling that you experienced a complete storyline and didn't miss something crucial.
"


Personally I agree with wolf to an extent, the gaps between story need to be shorter, there's way too much walking with nothing except music happening for me, I don't think it needs more action, just less blank spaces between the parts of the story. I personally got to one ending and what went through my head was "i enjoyed playing, but why did I do all that walking just for this?" it was a little anticlimactic for the amount of mind numbing walking.

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Ertlov
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Posted: 4th Dec 2016 13:11
Sure, this is something I can fully understand.

But it doesn't justify (at least in my opinion) to break the island down in little levels or even add gunplay.
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Belidos
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Posted: 4th Dec 2016 14:43
Quote: "But it doesn't justify (at least in my opinion) to break the island down in little levels or even add gunplay."



I agree, and that's why I only agree with Wolf to a certain extent. It doesn't need gun play, it's not that type of game, and breaking it down into levels wouldn't do either, it would probably feel like more dead space with the additional loading times. But if you could reduce the "dead space" between objectives and story lines I think it could be improved.

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Ertlov
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Posted: 4th Dec 2016 15:21 Edited at: 4th Dec 2016 15:32
agreed, and we had about 15 or 20 additional points of interest MORE in the game untill the 2nd beta

We had to kill them off again, because we hit the memory cap.

Yes, that's possible even with GG ^^
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Ertlov
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Posted: 22nd Dec 2016 11:12 Edited at: 22nd Dec 2016 11:14
Following the Editor's Choice award in VGPhile, the Silver Star from GameFreakz and the "Austrian Indie of the Year" from AET, we received another one GOTY title for Father's Island.

Not surprisingly as it is the Swiss Neewspaper Editor calling himself OldGamer who usually writes for print papers and has a HUGE soft spot for us at Homegrown Games. The surprise is rather the genre we are listed into:

Adventure of the Year 2016

However, I also reommend checking out #3 in this top list, "The Lion's Song", where I had the honour to consult.
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Ertlov
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Posted: 23rd Dec 2016 10:04
Sorry for double-posting, but:

If you were too cheap to spend $5 on Father's Island so far, or if you want to know how to place the FREE School Building from the advent calendar properly....

...Father's Island is now on Steam Sale for $ 2,49!

and "Into the Dark" for 3,19 !

Have a happy Homegrown X-mas!



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Unspokenbond
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Posted: 31st Dec 2016 18:55
Just picked this up on Steam I'm super excited to play this GG game!
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Ertlov
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Posted: 31st Dec 2016 20:07
Enjoy! And don't forget to leave a review*)


*) Unless you didn't like it!
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Posted: 2nd Jan 2017 03:14
Wow, 7000 units sold since June.
The coffee is lovely dark and deep,and I have code to write before I sleep.
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Posted: 2nd Jan 2017 04:07
Dang - 7k units sold! Well done sir You inspire me!
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Ertlov
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Posted: 3rd Jan 2017 00:19
no, it's more around 6k. Don't trust SteamSpy ^^
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Posted: 7th Jan 2017 20:28
Johann ... first of all: Great Congratulations !!! And then a question, just out of curiosity, How long did the "Padre Island" project take?
The game is a serious thing (El juego es una cosa seria)
Ertlov
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Posted: 9th Jan 2017 15:33 Edited at: 9th Jan 2017 16:01
Puh, that's perhaps the only thing that didn't went well.

We had originally planned 3-4 months of development and a budget of ~ 10k$.

In the end, both more than doubled

Quote: "Dang - 7k units sold! Well done sir You inspire me!"


And, did you already play through?
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Wolf
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Posted: 9th Jan 2017 16:05
Ain't that always the case?? One plans 1 month and fate makes it 3

I assume a commercial release needs to pass by a lot of "gate keepers" that ask for a "toll?"
Ertlov
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Posted: 9th Jan 2017 16:14
You assume perfectly right.
And the biggest gatekeeper is a proper accounting, if you have a real company up and running.
As soon as it is a commercial project, I have to allocate and roll over license / office / overhead costs, and of course the sweet Austrian taxes on basically everything except breathing (I wonder when this will get taxed).
Add the voice overs from John J Dick, some music licensing, some allocated work time from payed freelancers and employees and you find yourself with a sum otherts would buy a new car or make a down payment for a house with, even on such a small project.
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Ertlov
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Posted: 9th Oct 2018 04:51
Releasedate for the entirely overhauled PBR including bug fixed version is now

30th of October 2018

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synchromesh
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Posted: 17th Oct 2018 02:03
Looking forward to it
The only person ever to get all his work done by "Friday" was Robinson Crusoe..
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Ertlov
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Posted: 21st Oct 2018 02:49
And here the latest screenshots from that.

I just need to have the problems fixed that I outlined here:

https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220147

and I am good for a release.

"I am a road map, I will lead and you will follow, I will teach and you will learn, when you leave my sprint planning you will be weapons, focused and full of JIRA tickets, Hot Rod rocket development gods of precision and strength, terrorizing across the repository and hunting for github submits."

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SpaceWurm
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Posted: 21st Oct 2018 12:37 Edited at: 27th Jul 2019 20:45
The updated screenshots look a lot more crisp. Love the overhaul and I'll definitely be replaying Father's Island.
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Ertlov
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Posted: 28th Oct 2018 08:52
IT IS RELEASED!
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cybernescence
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Posted: 28th Oct 2018 12:25
Awesome. Looking forward to v2.0

Cheers.
Ertlov
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Posted: 28th Oct 2018 20:16
And special thanks to Preben for a lat-minute fix
"I am a road map, I will lead and you will follow, I will teach and you will learn, when you leave my sprint planning you will be weapons, focused and full of JIRA tickets, Hot Rod rocket development gods of precision and strength, terrorizing across the repository and hunting for github submits."
Ertlov
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Posted: 29th Oct 2018 10:58
And here screenshots from the final, released version:





"I am a road map, I will lead and you will follow, I will teach and you will learn, when you leave my sprint planning you will be weapons, focused and full of JIRA tickets, Hot Rod rocket development gods of precision and strength, terrorizing across the repository and hunting for github submits."
Ertlov
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Posted: 29th Oct 2018 11:00




"I am a road map, I will lead and you will follow, I will teach and you will learn, when you leave my sprint planning you will be weapons, focused and full of JIRA tickets, Hot Rod rocket development gods of precision and strength, terrorizing across the repository and hunting for github submits."
Wolf
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Posted: 29th Oct 2018 11:09
I'd telly you to work on that water because it looks like liquid metal. But if its the final build it'll do!

This is also the only actual working open world GG game I know. Its all packed in one level.

Ertlov
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Posted: 29th Oct 2018 12:07
You had your chance, I sent you the link on Saturday ^^
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Wolf
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Es ist nie zu spät um unpünktlich zu sein.
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Posted: 29th Oct 2018 18:19
supper cool , love the new look.
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Ertlov
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Posted: 29th Oct 2018 20:49
Quote: "supper cool , love the new look."

Thanks!

Quote: "This is also the only actual working open world GG game I know. Its all packed in one level."


Yeah, but that was only possible with a lot of optimizations AND not using any enemy AI.
"I am a road map, I will lead and you will follow, I will teach and you will learn, when you leave my sprint planning you will be weapons, focused and full of JIRA tickets, Hot Rod rocket development gods of precision and strength, terrorizing across the repository and hunting for github submits."
AmenMoses
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Posted: 29th Oct 2018 21:47
I've got it and have played it, managed to resist the urge to jump off the cliff this time but still can't find the keys.

It's a lot brighter and smoother to play than the original, I'm getting a solid 60 FPS throughout the game.
Been there, done that, got all the T-Shirts!
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Ertlov
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Posted: 29th Oct 2018 22:52
If you stand in front of the huge rusty door before the school building for the first time, a woman whispers in your ear "turn around".
If you do, you see on an elevated cliff a single building, and in there is the key.
"I am a road map, I will lead and you will follow, I will teach and you will learn, when you leave my sprint planning you will be weapons, focused and full of JIRA tickets, Hot Rod rocket development gods of precision and strength, terrorizing across the repository and hunting for github submits."
AmenMoses
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Posted: 30th Oct 2018 20:31
So now I'm stuck in some underground place with no way out.
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Ertlov
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Posted: 31st Oct 2018 04:32
That`s impossible, you should at least be capable of killing yourself and respawn.
"I am a road map, I will lead and you will follow, I will teach and you will learn, when you leave my sprint planning you will be weapons, focused and full of JIRA tickets, Hot Rod rocket development gods of precision and strength, terrorizing across the repository and hunting for github submits."
AmenMoses
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Posted: 31st Oct 2018 18:59
Nope, nothing down there to kill myself with.

I was exploring on top of a pile of rocks and suddenly found myself in an underground place, think I fell through a gap!
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Ertlov
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Posted: 31st Oct 2018 20:07
Ok, that might be possible. I think then you have to load your last save game
"I am a road map, I will lead and you will follow, I will teach and you will learn, when you leave my sprint planning you will be weapons, focused and full of JIRA tickets, Hot Rod rocket development gods of precision and strength, terrorizing across the repository and hunting for github submits."
AmenMoses
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Posted: 1st Nov 2018 20:14 Edited at: 1st Nov 2018 20:14
Did that, got back to the same place and then started climbing like a mountain goat, a rather drunk goat it seems as I fell off from a great height.

Respawned back at the beginning next to the boat that is no longer there.

Tip, don't ever get me to Beta test games. Lol.
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Ertlov
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Posted: 3rd Nov 2018 04:32
This is remarkable, as there is a checkpoint when you arrive on the island.

I am impressed.

by the way, here some re-recorded scenes from the live build:

"I am a road map, I will lead and you will follow, I will teach and you will learn, when you leave my sprint planning you will be weapons, focused and full of JIRA tickets, Hot Rod rocket development gods of precision and strength, terrorizing across the repository and hunting for github submits."
AmenMoses
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Posted: 3rd Nov 2018 16:35
Are there keys for all the doors?

I've been to the top of the mountain (found quite a few 'holes' in the terrain to fall through on the way but to be fair I was way 'off-piste') and back to the underground bit (the 'proper' way this time) and then back up the hill to what's-his-faces house/hut/office but now I'm back to the 'half a dozen doors and no keys' situation.

Think I've opened all the rusty gates and been to all parts of the island, many of them via routes you probably never intended , but can't figure out where to find the keys.


Newer version is way better than the original, much more playable.


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AmenMoses
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Posted: 4th Nov 2018 19:42
Hoorah, finished it! All four endings.
Been there, done that, got all the T-Shirts!
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Ertlov
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Posted: 4th Nov 2018 20:26
Congratulations!

But no spoilers please
"I am a road map, I will lead and you will follow, I will teach and you will learn, when you leave my sprint planning you will be weapons, focused and full of JIRA tickets, Hot Rod rocket development gods of precision and strength, terrorizing across the repository and hunting for github submits."
Ertlov
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Posted: 5th Nov 2018 06:59
However, a Steam review would be appreciated. The update scored us two new Curator recommendations, which is cool ^^
"I am a road map, I will lead and you will follow, I will teach and you will learn, when you leave my sprint planning you will be weapons, focused and full of JIRA tickets, Hot Rod rocket development gods of precision and strength, terrorizing across the repository and hunting for github submits."
Belidos
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Posted: 5th Nov 2018 10:41
Is this an update to the original? or a new game? Because Steam hasn't given me any update to it yet.

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Ertlov
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Posted: 5th Nov 2018 12:57
Its an update. Steam has some issues with the folder structure of the old version - just uninstall the game, reinstall it and you are on latest.
"I am a road map, I will lead and you will follow, I will teach and you will learn, when you leave my sprint planning you will be weapons, focused and full of JIRA tickets, Hot Rod rocket development gods of precision and strength, terrorizing across the repository and hunting for github submits."
Ertlov
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Posted: 11th Dec 2018 06:01
Can someone who doesn`t own the game do me a favor and download + test the demo please?

https://store.steampowered.com/app/460940/Fathers_Island/

we have some weird stats in the backend I cannot explain except Steam blocking the demo at all.
"I am a road map, I will lead and you will follow, I will teach and you will learn, when you leave my sprint planning you will be weapons, focused and full of JIRA tickets, Hot Rod rocket development gods of precision and strength, terrorizing across the repository and hunting for github submits."
Pirate Myke
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Posted: 11th Dec 2018 06:31 Edited at: 11th Dec 2018 13:52
Downloading Now.

EDIT: Internet crawling for me tonight.
I will launch it in my morning.

EDIT:
Its morning. Launched the demo, it went thru the first run installation of the runtimes, the start menu appeared.
Pressed new game
Churned for a good 4 minutes, then I got a runtime error 502 load main window. Pressing ok, closes the demo back to the desktop.

#define RUNTIMEERROR_IMAGENOTEXIST 502

Trying again. Same thing.


This path is in all the menu and loading scripts.




No terrain in the folder:



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Ertlov
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Posted: 2nd Feb 2019 23:02 Edited at: 2nd Feb 2019 23:06
Quote: "UDH630 graphics"


Sorry, not supported.
The only integrated GFX solution you can run it on is the Vega on the Ryzen 2400G.

Quote: "#define RUNTIMEERROR_IMAGENOTEXIST 502"


This is an out-of-memory error because of your IGP. If you have a dedicated GPU and switch to that, it runs.

Quote: "No terrain in the folder:"


That`s actually expected, the terrain used is in the level file.

But thanks for checking!
"I am a road map, I will lead and you will follow, I will teach and you will learn, when you leave my sprint planning you will be weapons, focused and full of JIRA tickets, Hot Rod rocket development gods of precision and strength, terrorizing across the repository and hunting for github submits."

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