Dev Blog

Dev-Blog 97: Necrodance-mat creation!

01/29/2014

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Welcome back followers of the fearsome!

This week Nick is out in Holland so lets hope he’s having a super time over there! So before we start our new project posts we have some cool stuff that was done for the Necrodancer team over at Brace Yourself Games!

Necrodancer is a bunch of fun on the keyboard or a controller, but it’s SUPER fun on a DDR dance mat! SO this week we’ll show you guys the process we went through in creating the template for some very cool peripherals.

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The first thing that we knew that we wanted to is make it a double dance pad set up because co-op Necrodancing is awesome and it’s always good to have more room for art!  Here’s the basic template for 2 dance mats side by side. We wanted them to “combine” into one big cool picture so you’d want to get the set of two.

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We had the choice of either going for a mash-up of the Necrodancer with a bunch of monsters or a simple scene with Cadence and a Skeleton.

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We represented the buttons with rough gray shapes but ultimatley we didn’t like the bisection of the necrodancer in the top image so stuck with a classic dungeon battle!

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here with some hackey photoshoppery we displayed the rough image onto some dance mats to get an idea on how they’d look. Not too bad for a little free-transforming!

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Solid buttons ended up blocking out too much of the art so we went for some translucent gem style buttons that we were pretty happy with.

NEW_firstpass03And here’s the first shot at the scene! After going through some pixel work and a pass from Ted It was ready to go! I was really happy with how the spooky skeleton turned out. He’s very “90’s action figure” which is what a lot of my stuff is.

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And Voila! Here they are ready to tackle some dungeons! The manufacturers are Precision Dance Pads and they make super durable and super great dance mats. It’s so cool to see your stuff on something like this and it was a super great project! Keep your eyes out for the Kickstarter that will help these pads get into some homes!

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So another week sneaks by here at Slick! We are hard at work on our new project and are really excited to start showing you some stuff on it. We’ll be organizing our newer dev-blogs a little better in the future as we can now have tech-talks with Nick, design posts with Caley, and Art stuff from me! Thanks so much for checking out our stuff and until next time, keep dancing through those dungeons!

 

-Jesse

 

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

Follow us on Google+: Nick: +NickWaanders, Jesse: +JesseTurner, Caley: +CaleyCharchuk

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SlickEntertainmentInc

 

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Dev-Blog 96: Steam Dev Days

01/22/2014

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Welcome back, followers of the fearsome!

This week isn’t really a Waanderful -tech post, though it is about things I’ll need to change in the engine to prepare for future developments. I spent last week at the Steam Dev Days, a fantastic event organized by Valve Software. Talks ranged from how to port your engine to Linux (and SteamOS, which is based on Linux), how to make the best use of Steam features like community sharing and the workshop, as well as what Valve sees as a big thing in future: Virtual Reality. I’ve always been a big fan of VR, so I can’t wait for this to become reality. I wasn’t one of the lucky people to try out their VR system, but supposedly it’s really, really good. 

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So what did I learn? Well, actually that my engine isn’t in that bad of a shape to be ported to Linux! Since I’ve got it running on PC and Mac already, and I’m already using OpenGL, a lot of issues are already resolved. There are a few things I want to work on though:

1) I need to learn Linux! I’ve been putting it off for long enough. I’ve installed Ubuntu using Parallels on my Macbook, and I’m playing around with it. I’m having trouble updating Ubuntu to the latest version, but this may  be because of Parallels, it seems have a few quirks. I’ll have to play with it some more. I did manage to install QTCreator, which seemed like a nice way to debug on Linux. 

2) I’m using a homebuilt project/solution creator tool that has proven very useful to port our games to different platforms, but I am getting a bit fed up with maintaining it, especially with new versions of XCode and Visual Studio coming out regularly. I’m thinking of switching from my python based system to CMake, and I’m currently investigating how to convert my current setup to CMake with the least amount of changes. It doesn’t seem that hard, but it’s all about knowing the vocabulary (which I don’t). Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find any clear examples online about how to convert say a Visual Studio solution with multiple libraries to a CMake setup, so if anybody has suggestions, please let me know in the comments! I’ve found snippets here and there, but nothing too in-depth. Maybe I should blog about the conversion process myself, so others have a bit of a guide to follow.

3) I should switch the engine to SDL2. My engine has shipped games on XBox360, iOS and Android, but it has never actually shipped on Windows, MacOSX or Linux. I’ve created code to manage application windows, threads, timers, etc, on most platforms, but I’m a bit weary about adding and supporting Linux myself. On top of that, joystick support tends to be a pain in the ass on OSX, and SDL2 seems to have support for it built in. There are a few things I’ve found out so far that I don’t quite like in SDL2, such as no retina support on the Mac. Hopefully this will be added soon. But, I’m hopeful, and I will probably try to get this implemented as soon as the Shellrazer expansion ships (SOON!), and I can rip up the entire engine to my hearts content. :)

4) VR is awesome. I really need to make some time to experiment with this. 

There are a lot more things I want to fix, but these are the main and most urgent ones. 

Alright, that’s it for this week. Keep those turtle cannons blazing!

– Nick

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

Follow us on Google+: Nick: +NickWaanders, Jesse: +JesseTurner, Caley: +CaleyCharchuk

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Dev Blog 95: Wrapping up Bugzkrieg!

01/15/2014

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Welcome back followers of the fearsome!

Jesse here to hit you up with our weekly report here at Slick! Nick is currently down in Seattle at Steam-Dev days! Let’s hope he’s having a super cool time with all those other awesome Devs over there.

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So we’ve been getting together our new project but we still have to get our turtle out the door! With all the localization, new enemy and weapon balances, sounds, and everything else, it’s been a pretty big undertaking. On the plus side we really learned a lot about how we want to be working on our next game further down the road.

-First off we want to be able to add new content easily for all future projects, adding new content to Shellrazer became a ton of work because everything was custom made. Nick had to go in and create every new enemy behavior from scratch and it became really time consuming. What was actually pretty funny was that all the crazy behaviors that we designed in icebreaker ended up being some of our more “un-fun” interactions! The Ninja-Yeti squads and Snowball-o-mancers just weren’t as fun to fight as the classic enemies we had on the first island. With that in mind we kept our favorite bad-guy behaviors and brought them over into the newest expansion, this was much faster and easier to implement.

-Shellrazer also had a definitive ending to the game, and we found that people would just stop playing after they’d beaten the final levels. Now we initially thought that around 5-6 hours of play time wasn’t the worst thing that we could give to a player for a couple bucks but it seems that we were wrong. We’ve been really impressed with the pile of games that have come out with seemingly unlimited replay-ability and want to snag some of that thunder for our next game.

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So we are nearing the home stretch of our newest and dare I say BIGGEST Shellrazer update! Sorry about the short Dev-Blog but we are hard at work getting our newest project up and running! It’s going to be a ton of fun and we can’t wait to show you guys!

Until next time, keep those turtle cannon’s blazing!

-Jesse

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

Follow us on Google+: Nick: +NickWaanders, Jesse: +JesseTurner, Caley: +CaleyCharchuk

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SlickEntertainmentInc

 

 

 

 

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Dev-Blog 94: Aaand we’re back!

01/08/2014

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Hello fearless followers! (That’s the tag right?)

Caley here, with the first dev blog of 2014!

It’s a brand new year at Slick, 2013 is in the history books and we keep on keeping on. Last year was one of experimentation and support. Over the year we were playing around with a few ideas for our next game, Shellrazer got a new expansion with a 2nd on the way! Plus we helped out a few devs around town.

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But now it’s 2014 and you’ve got a lot to look forward to! An idea has finally stuck and the new project is now in full swing.

Nick has been setting his keyboard on fire making the Waanimator. That’s shaping up nicely. Up next is work on the level design tool and gameplay systems! More info on that in the coming weeks!

The IGF nominations have also been released. Congrats to all the Vancouver locals that made it on the list! Ryan Clark(Necrodancer), Klei(Don’t Starve), Matt Thorson(Towerfall), Andy Moore(Monster Loves You), the list goes on! Vancouver Represent!

Cheers from the Slick Crew! Happy 2014!

– Caley

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

Follow us on Google+: Nick: +NickWaanders, Jesse: +JesseTurner, Caley: +CaleyCharchuk

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SlickEntertainmentInc

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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 […]