Dev Blog

Dev-Blog 77: Prototime!

08/28/2013

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Welcome back, followers of the fearsome!

The banner is a re-use of the space game we were working on before, because well, this dev-blog is about a planet. Pretty space-y, right?

So as you’ve seen in previous blogs, we were mostly working on the contract work for the last little while. But we’ve also been working on a new prototype. I’ve always been partial to strategy games, and while having enjoyed working on real-time strategy games such as Homeworld 2, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War, and Dawn of War: Dark Crusade, I’ve always wanted to build a turn based strategy game. so I figured, why not try it out? At first I wanted to build a strategy game on a regular grid, but then I saw this demo, and was sold on the hex grid on a planet. Well, it’s not exactly a hex grid, really, there are a bunch of pentagons to make the rest of the hexagons fit. We decided to give it a go, and here’s a screenshot of the prototype so far:planet 

Currently the turn-based engine is working, and it’s playing back the moves of other players, updating the fog of war, etc. Currently I’m figuring out how to build a web-server to be able to play online games, and I’m trying to figure out how to do a proper AI. I found this awesome dev-blog from Checkmark Games, and I will likely follow a similar route to get AI working. I really like that he’s using a genetic algorithm, by letting AI’s duke it out, and based on the results the variables for the AI’s are tuned. It reminds me of the Homeworld 2 AI programmer who had a similar script running every night he went home. Good ideas!

There’s lots of work to do before it actually will start being a lot of fun, as is usually the case with strategy games. We’ll probably talk more about this in a later dev-blog!

That’s it for this week. For everybody attending PAX Prime, go check out the Necrodancer booth! Jesse will be there drawing some stuff up, so go say hello to the one and only Drawbarian!

– Nick

Follow us on twitter: Nick: @nickwaanders Jesse: @jouste SlickEntertainment: @slickentinc

Posted by: Under: Slick Entertainment Comments: 3

Dev-Blog 76: The Pixel Transition!

08/21/2013

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Welcome back followers of the fearsome!

This Dev-Blog is one of the best because it lands on my birthday! Hooray! That and we’ll be talking about how cool it is to translate pixel art into another artists’ style.

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Here’s Ted’s in game Cadence, Purple Monkey, Blue Blob, and Thrusting Skeleton. These designs look super great in game and really fit well together. I chose to use them for the title screen design so got to work roughing out a shot!

Pixel work has always been a favorite of mine for as long as I can remember. I actually based a lot of my artwork when I was younger off of stuff I found in video game instruction manuals. It was always so cool seeing the relationship between the in game asset and conceptual art. A great example is right here in this example image! dev_blog_ND_TM04

 

Link may only be like 15×16 pixels but he felt heroic! Coming onto Necrodancer has been kind of like this classic way of doing things but in the reverse; the pixel art was already there so we get to let our imaginations run wild with it and see what we can make! Over all the experience has been super awesome so We’d like to show you what kind of stuff we put together for the title page!

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BAM! Super rough but hopefully you guys can see where we are going with this one! Still can’t tell what’s going on? maybe this second image will help!

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ZOOM! There we go! we got the skeleton getting smashed in the back, Cadence setting up her sword for a slash, some monekys and the blue blob! We were happy with the over all composition so decided to take it to final! Final being my pass, the pixel polish at the end is handled by the much more capable Ted Martens.

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PLAMF! And here she is colored up! That sneaky Necrodancer even made his way into the image back there with Cadence’s heart! Once Ted gets a hold of this image He’ll usually tweak the colors and saturation and stuff to make it more unified. He mentioned that having a large variety of tones helps with his decision making so that’s why there’s so much color going on. Ryan also mentioned that we should see Cadence in some of her other armor in the game so we gave her some studded leather, a great power up!

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So that’s another week here at Slick! hope you like this one and we also wanted to tell you that Crypt of the Necrodancer will be at PAX Prime this year at the Indie Megabooth! Ryan, Ted, and I will be down there so be sure to drop by and check out all the wicked stuff that will be there! So until next time, keep those dungeons raided and those rogue-likes balanced!

-Jesse

Follow us on twitter: Nick: @nickwaanders Jesse: @jouste SlickEntertainment: @slickentinc

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Dev-Blog 75: Intro-finale!

08/14/2013

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Welcome back followers of the fearsome!

This week we’ve got the wrap up for the Necrodancer intro as well as some notes on how it came to be. Hope you guys dig it!

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So after getting levitated around with dark magics, Cadence gets her heart yanked out by the cruel Necrodancer! This Is important because the game uses Cadence’s heart beat as the symbolic beat you need to follow to succeed. We discussed the expression of the Necrodancer a bit and decided that he can be grinning while he steals Cadence’s heart. In the images before this he’s a little more primal.

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After snagging the heart, the Necrodancer floats it towards himself, what a jerk! We decided to savor this moment with another more detailed shot and close up. We also calmed down his expression here to take a beat. What he’s doing is a pretty fragile process and is a very important one.

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Yikes! What an ugly dude! Here the Necrodancer absorbs the heart with a blast of power. The forearms are separated from the body so we can have some animation variation on the parallax. Drawing in chunks is a little weird sometimes because your characters have all these stubby parts and it ends up looking a little strange. He also goes into full evil time right here as well which is always fun to draw.

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But it looks like all is not lost! Smoking from her recent resurrection; Cadence slowly rises to her feet. The game basically starts right after this scene and the transition works pretty well.

So these stills are going to be combined with sounds, voices, and snappy editing to help pump them up in the end as well as a much more professional pixel pass by Ted. The games ending will be done in this style as well! but you may just have to get there for yourself to check out what happens!

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So another week dances by here at Slick! Another huge thanks to Ryan Clark at Brace Yourself Games for letting us share all this neat stuff with you. Until next week, keep those treasure hunters looting!

 

-Jesse

 Follow us on twitter: Nick: @nickwaanders Jesse: @jouste SlickEntertainment: @slickentinc

 

 

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Dev-Blog 74: When we last left our Hero…

08/07/2013

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Welcome back followers of the fearsome!

We’ve been getting caught up again in our contract work so this will be a bit of an art talk as well as a continuation of last week’s post! We are going to show you the next couple images from the intro cinematic and talk a bit about the process and how quickly it’s come together.

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Here’s Cadence right after her nasty fall, it looks like she isn’t going to make it with that amount of blood on the rock! When designing this shot Ryan, Ted and I talked briefly about how we could convey Cadence’s death without the classic “Stalagmite through the Sternum” bit, so we opted for a head injury and twisted her body around to a more uncomfortable state. Hang in there Cadence!

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Wowzers! Look who appears! It’s the Necrodancer himself! We went for a more simpler background so that he could really be the star of the shot. Cadence being in the same position helps the viewer really take in the Necrodancer as the big deal here. The familiarity of the other shot in this image also makes the Necrodancer’s appearance more snappy and magical! The debris, wisps, and Necrodancer are all on different layers allowing them to parallax and look super neat.

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With some gnarly powers Cadence is lifted up from the ground! We added more debris and power-wisps to this shot to show that the Necrodancer really meant business. Cadence is depicted smaller and vulnerable as the Necrodancer casts some wicked spells on her.

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And another shot of that fiend magicking our Hero! Since this is where the story starts we stretched out this sequence to really hammer home that the Necrodancer is a jerk and needs to get his comeuppance. The cape is exaggerated here and used as a framing device to keep your eyeballs happily bouncing in the frame too look at all the neat stuff there.

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So another week wisps by here at Slick!  A huge thanks again to Ryan Clark for letting us talk so openly about working with Brace Yourself Games and being able to show you guys what we have been working on! So until next week, watch where you dig when looking for loot!

-Jesse

Follow us on twitter: Nick: @nickwaanders Jesse: @jouste SlickEntertainment: @slickentinc

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Dev Blog

January 20 2017

I almost can’t believe it: Slick Entertainment is a decade old! In the last 10 years we’ve made a bunch of great games, and I am super proud of what we’ve achieved with our small team: 4 fun games, custom C++ engine on 6 different platforms, 3 games feature online multiplayer, all hand-drawn art for […]